Well, this was one significant episode. I must say that I’ve been harsher on the series than I should for the last half of it, but this episode accomplished a tremendous amount of things that the previous ones didn’t for me.
- Is it right to withhold the truth from a woman to keep her happy? Is it okay to tell the brutal truth to a man then? Does Violet have a woman’s heart now? When would it be okay to tell Violet then, if ever? Don’t just appear for a few seconds and say something that leaves me with more questions, Cattleya (I appreciate your screen time though, I guess).
- Violet is an invincible weapon of murder. But where did she get that ability from? Surely, she couldn’t have received full training before meeting Gilbert – it wouldn’t make sense for the military to want to train a kid specifically for such a purpose. Or would it? Was it natural then – perhaps hereditary, like that kid in Katanagatari? It sure is interesting that they gave her some sort of knife while everyone else used rifles though. I hope we get the answer eventually.
- Violet is desperate enough to go to both Gilbert’s brother and Gilbert’s old residence to confirm his death. The background tones get progressively greyer as the reality eventually sinks in. Quite heart-breaking to watch.
- Going back to that house triggers more flashbacks. The integration of flashbacks is something this anime does quite seamlessly. Nothing ever feels too intrusive.
- This scene highlights Violet’s mechanical nature well. It’s not just her words – her body also moves back and forth in mini twitches.
- Violet reacts violently to touch, or simply the suggestion of it. Her behaviour is comparable to that of feral children from studies I’ve read. According to one of many sources, “feral child” refers to children reared in the wild without human interference (often by animals) or children isolated in deprived spaces for a long duration of time. On top of physical problems with growth, these children often grow up to be incapable of human speech and functional social interactions. It’s hard to guess what happened to Violet, but her defensiveness and lateness in developing speech suit the description of a feral child. She’s certainly displaying a remarkable rate of recovery if any of this ever happened to her.
- Yet another “aww” moment. Violet has no sense of self and Gilbert is feeling tortured.
- Gilbert finally phrases his concerns as a question. The answer is an easy “no,” because Gilbert’s eyes are “more beautiful.” What is it that caused Violet to attach herself to Gilbert so firmly? And what exactly is their relationship? From most of their interactions this episode, it feels like a father-daughter relationship, which would fit well with the last episode about the playwright and his dead daughter. But then there are certain scenes with the two that suggest otherwise. Daughters also don’t typically talk about their fathers’ eyes like that. This is getting quite weird… I’ve mentioned previously that I’m okay with age gaps when talking about Koi wa Ameagari no You ni, and likewise, I wouldn’t mind if the relationship between Gilbert and Violet does turn out to be romantic. Questionable feelings happen in real life, and fictional works shouldn’t have to censor that. Unpopular opinion here, but I also don’t think taboo relationships are necessarily doomed… It would definitely need to be developed more though.
- Gilbert is greatly disturbed by Violet’s answer. He’s a modest person who doesn’t like to be idolized – at least, not by a young girl with no sense of self. What makes Gilbert a sentimental guy when his brother is…like that? Well, maybe it’s his brother and boss who are the weird ones. Gilbert is an uptight person even among his ranks, but appears to be the one with the strongest sense of morals. He interests me as a character and I’d be interested in learning more about him.
- Good to see a bit about Claudia and Gilbert’s relationship in the past. Claudia thinks they’re good bros, but Gilbert doesn’t believe in bromance. Claudia mentioned feeling guilty about Violet’s treatment multiple times, so I expected him to say more horrible things here. He really isn’t that bad though. The anime seems to be cramming Claudia’s relationship with Gilbert and Violet into this one interaction, but you really get the idea that he’s always been a fatherly figure. Maybe not doing anything to prevent Violet from fighting is enough of a crime.
- Common rule in fiction: leaving important things unsaid before a major battle is going to get you killed. Gilbert had no chance.
- After many incredible sequences of battle animation, Gilbert is shot and we almost have the entire story up to the flashback in episode one. Still missing how Violet lost her hands though, which is another traumatic story for another episode. The way the anime reveals info from flashbacks in bits is in line with how Violet herself processes her trauma. Sometimes we get quick flashes of something that happened in the past. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that these are like PTSD episodes, except Violet never loses herself entirely. She’s repressing the most important bits though, which is why we still haven’t gotten to the point where Violet loses her hands (and possibly why Violet passes out/remembers nothing about how Gilbert dies).
This episode didn’t introduce too much new information regarding Violet’s past. In fact, I don’t think it says anything new that is out of the audience’s expectations at all. It does, however, flesh out lots of the important things laid out in episode one, and I think it did so wonderfully. I will refrain from giving it any more praise until more explanations regarding Violet’s past are disclosed to us though. Again ending the episode highlight in a note of hope for what’s to come.