This episode is a bit of an individual story arc. It is also not a particularly impressive one, in my opinion. A little too tropey for me. Needless to say though, it was as pretty as the previous ones in terms of execution, and I am still fairly pleased with the anime overall.
- Violet goes to school. It’s really more like a certificate program of sorts, considering that it lasted for less than a full episode. How much can you really learn during this time, and what makes such a certification prestigious?
- I thought it was cute during the first two episodes, but I’m getting a little tired of the anime’s interest in her repeated salutations.
- We finally get the opening! The sound was pleasant, but not outstanding the first time through. It’s probably one of those songs that you’ll end up loving if you grow attached to the show but that you’ll forget about if you didn’t feel much for the anime. At least that’s how things work for me a lot of the time. I hope to end up loving the song.
- The OP animation could have been a bit more thoughtful, I think. Nothing really gripped my attention there or stood out as symbolically significant. Maybe I need to watch it a second time? Some shots are super pretty though–just look at this one.
- I really like how the instructor doesn’t mind Violet’s oddities as long as she’s productive and efficiently so. Good teach.
- Luculia is so cute~ But unfortunately, she’s not that interesting as a character. The letter she dictated in which she disguised her feelings was fairly generic, and the letter that conveyed her truest thoughts was even more so. She’s just this quintessentially good companion and forgiving younger sister. I love her character design and her dresses though – I’ll say it again.
- “Oniisan…wait!” Why is it that every younger sister has to produce this line in between pants while trying to catch up with her older brother in flashbacks? I expected better.
- I thought Luculia’s brother’s alcoholism was a result of PTSD, but turns out it’s guilt. Guilt for a not-very-logical reason too, like many anime characters. Why would he feel guilty that his parents went out to some random place and got killed without his knowledge in the first place? Is it a macho thing where “the man in the house has to protect everyone”? I honestly think PTSD would have made a more meaningful narrative.
- I still don’t really know what to think of the irony here. They’re Dolls with the task of knowing the human heart–that in itself is super interesting. The thing is, we don’t really get any hint of how the ghost-writers are doll-like in the first place. They’re really only “Dolls” in name, and I don’t see how that’s significant so far.
- The first instance of Violet’s character development! It’s nice to see her finally start to understand things. I was rather surprised when Violet went up to the brother on her own will. My prediction of “Violet Evergarden’s Delivery Service” didn’t exactly come true when she switched from letter delivery to ghost-writing, but at least she delivers one letter now!
- I didn’t really notice the ED previously, but it deserves more attention at least for the visuals. Watching Violet walk, change colours, and change dresses was quite mesmerizing. Can’t say much about the song itself.
It’s interesting how both Violet and Luculia address letters to dead people in this episode. The one Luculia really wants to communicate to is her living brother, while the one Violet would risk anything to hear from is the dead Gilbert (we can safely assume he’s dead, right?). I think that at this point, Violet is already beginning to realize the impossibility of seeing Gilbert again. She pauses for longer when Gilbert is mentioned, and carries this broken expression whenever she talks about him.
The concept of letters can be explored in many ways. Letters can characterize, connect characters with each other, and narrate parts of the story. This particular episode was not that memorable to me, but I really hope Violet Evergarden sticks to experimenting with what letters can do.
I seem to have said a lot of negative things about this episode, even though I wasn’t exactly intending to before I started this episode highlight. That’s because I’ve noted enough of the good things previously, and because I have pretty high expectations for the show. I hope it keeps improving.