Prince Damian was very generically charming, and I sure don’t mind that. This episode of Violet Evergarden was quite interesting, with Violet more like a side character than in any of the previous episodes. It’s quite a sudden shift (there seemed to be a big time gap too), but it showed an aspect of the world that I wasn’t expecting. I guess I wasn’t expecting monarchy, though I don’t know why that didn’t occur to me. I think the anime could have done a better job with world-building or with introducing the world to its audience. I didn’t really get a strong sense of who Violet fought against and what the political situation is now that the war has ended, and I’m not sure how exactly Princess Charlotte and Prince Damian’s countries fit in with all of this. We get a glimpse of their map sometimes, but that only makes me realize how little I know about this world. Does anyone else have this feeling, or is it just me not paying enough attention?
Anyways, let’s get into the episode.
- So Violet has suddenly gotten important enough to have an audience with the princess! My mind was screaming “why the hell would you let Violet?!” before I realized that much time has elapsed in the story since the last episode.
- I really love the look of this shot, by the way.
- So Princess Charlotte has a stuffed dog too! I guess fourteen-year-olds in this country are still attached to stuffed animals? Not like I have a right to laugh at them though. I was really attached to my stuffies until basically that age, and still can’t bear to throw them away… I think this little clue encourages us to connect Charlotte with Violet though, or rather, Violet with the childish selfishness of Charlotte. Perhaps we’re meant to be reminded that Violet is only fourteen (I know, surprising, right?), but she has already gone through such damage that she can’t even have a lively personality like Charlotte.
- Our girl Violet is finally learning. Although she’s not necessarily right here, she’s finally beginning to interpret people’s expressions and actions now. It’s good to see.
- I laughed a bit at this scene. It’s been so long since I’ve seen such a generic royal couple – a princess who’s actually a himedere and a prince straight out of Snow White or something. I think we all need our generic fairy tale romance though, so I was happy to ship them.
- Prince Damian is so…dating sim. It’s almost like KyoAni plagiarized him from some crappy mobile otome game – I’ve definitely seen a character exactly like this in one of those! Enough…I should stop making fun of him. He’s very husbando material and Charlotte is probably going to have a good life as his queen.
- I love this scene! The background and the castle and the flowers! And Princess Charlotte just looks so…fluffy! Kind of makes me want to pat her on the head too.
- Are age gaps trending in this season? Hmm…or maybe it’s just me. I’ve been reading manga and novels that feature huge age gaps, and I think I might be getting desensitized. It’s a political marriage, and they’re fortunate that they at least love each other (well, we know less about Damian’s side, but let’s assume this to be true). It feels more like a brother-sister relationship – at least, the anime version of the relationship between oniisans and imoutos.
- So in this world, love letters of the royalty are made super public. Why?? To turn the whole population into a fandom for shipping the right marriage? Well, I guess I see it working. …It might actually be a pretty good idea.
- Despite the excessive cheesiness, I kind of enjoyed the letter exchange between Charlotte and Damian, which eventually evolved into a sort of dialogue. It did make me ship them more.
- Damian shows up for a romantic proposal in the garden, because Prince Charmings are kind of required to do that. There we go – the quintessential romantic drama I never knew I secretly kind of wanted. It was alright. I didn’t really swoon over it, but it was a necessary and satisfying plot development.
- Even though it’s hammered into this scene as well as many others, I managed to totally miss the flower imagery in this episode. White camellias for Charlotte and red roses for Damian. A brief research tells me that white camellias symbolize innocence and loveliness while red roses represent passion. Nothing unexpected here. I do appreciate visual motifs though, and I think that it would be a fun pattern to look for if every episode features some flower imagery.
- At 14, Princess Charlotte becomes an adult. Her voice literally changes here, no kidding. It was a bit abrupt, but good for her, I guess. She’s getting married after all.
- I love this scene. Status reversal? Alberta is basically Charlotte’s mom in her arc. We don’t even get to see Charlotte’s parents in this episode, which is actually kind of odd. Alberta is paid the respect she deserves.
- Does anybody else think the yellow pattern on Charlotte’s dress looks like some sort of stain? I wondered that at several points in the ED.
- This part. I really can’t appreciate how this confrontation was done. Violet is happy now, so there totally needs to be a villain from her past to mess with her happiness? I don’t mind twists like this, but Captain Dietfried’s introduction is just so awkward. He gives Violet a recap of all the evil things she did (as a soldier following orders) exposition-dump style, and proceeds to bitterly accuse Violet of forgetting her sins and playing the role of a good person who spreads love through letters. The addition of him to the story would definitely add some tension to it and potentially catalyze Violet’s self-actualization, but I’m not too impressed by how he came in, and consequently can’t expect too much from him as a character. I also hope he doesn’t have a stupid backstory – the type that takes an entire episode to explore.
That’s it for the episode! My thoughts on it are all kind of scattered, but I did enjoy the episode, perhaps more than the previous ones. I still hold the opinion that episode one was the best episode though, and would add that it was the only one that I felt was deserving of the hype surrounding this anime.
Violet is pretty to look at, but I’m not sure if she has enough potential to carry this show as its titular character. I am waiting. The way she smiled in this episode made me compare her to Yin – another doll, interestingly enough. Yin doesn’t even appear that often in Darker than Black, but she somehow feels like a more lovable and pitiable doll. Yin also experienced unspeakable trauma, and although we don’t get as much insight into it as we do with Violet because Yin is practically mute throughout the show, Yin manages to make me feel more. Sometimes it might be better to leave space for things unsaid.
Let’s hope Captain Dietfried manages to throw some surprises into this series in the next episode!