Violet Evergarden Ep. 11: War weariness

How many more young men will have to die before this series comes to an end? 

— Camp Menace? That’s a silly name. Even so, Violet is heading behind former enemy lines in order to ghostwrite a soldier’s letter to his dearest. Claudia has no desire to send one of his dolls, because it’s simply too dangerous. As a result, our heroine leaves without a warning. Is this the first time Violet’s taken up a job all on her own? Sure seems like it. This isn’t the first time she’s left without telling anyone, but it’s nice to see the girl develop a little independence.

— Cattleya says something about how some people just can’t live without war. Sure, sure, but rarely do people do things without reason. There’s almost always an aim. You certainly don’t start a war just because. Arms dealers, for example, would have a vested interest in igniting international tensions. For them, money talks. On the other hand, we don’t really know why the anti-peace faction wants war again so badly. Hopefully, we learn something interesting about their motives and not just that they’re evil.

— Former Violet probably wouldn’t have batted an eyelash at these terribly injured soldiers, but our Violet’s different.

— Violet finds herself in a country that has plunged into a civil war between the extremists and the moderates. We really don’t know much about either side other than that the extremists see the moderates as cowards. Not only that, the anti-peace faction has freed and armed a bunch of refugees. Refugees from where, though? Refugees wanting what, though? We’re missing a lot of contextual information.

— So how’s our girl going to get herself to a base that’s being blockaded on all sides by the enemy? Via a postman’s plane, apparently. If it’s this hard to get in, however, how is she planning to get out? And how much money is she paying this guy to help her? He’s risking his life to take on this job, after all.

— I actually really like the use of colors in this week’s episode. The snow also helps “brighten” a show that has normally looked rather faded and washed out in previous episodes.

— A group of soldiers are ambushed by the enemy, and I have a feeling that this Aidan guy — the one who wants to write a letter to his dear Maria — isn’t going to make it out alive. After plying us with happy endings after happy endings, Violet Evergarden seems content to throw us into the pits of despair as a lead-up to the series’ conclusion. I don’t exactly enjoy watching people suffer and lose their loved ones, but luckily, I can take some solace in the fact that I don’t know Aidan all that well. Structurally, this is a pretty episodic anime, and as such, we’re always meeting new faces every week. We can feel sad for side characters like Aidan or Anne from last week’s episode, but luckily, we don’t get the luxury to form deep emotional attachments with any of them.

— Speaking of which, Wikipedia says that the show’s going to have 14 episodes. Really? That’ll put the last episode right dab in the middle of April…

— Aidan ends up taking a bullet to his abdomen. It might not be initially fatal, but he’s not anywhere near a medic. As I thought (and feared), his fate is sealed. The placement of the bullet means he’ll live long enough just to dictate a letter to Violet, but he’ll never make it back to Maria. As a result, I almost feel like the episode is a tad too predictable. I hope I’m wrong; hell, I even hope that Aidan survives. I like drama in my stories, but at the same time, I also prefer happy endings. Unfortunately, you just know that this guy is ultimately expendable. He’s here simply to deliver a sad story.

— Oh come on…

— Basically, the pilot wants to turn the plane around because Camp Menace has just fallen to the enemy. Nay, says Violet! She’ll literally jump out of this plane if she has to! After all, she will travel anywhere to meet her clients’ requests!

— Don’t worry, she has a parachute. A pretty impressive-looking one too, I might add. And from Aidan’s perspective, Violet resembles an angel descending from the sky just to help him write some damn letters.

— Even though Violet’s been living a civilian life for the past year or so, she continues to possess super-strength and super-speed. As soon as she lands, the enemy soldiers open fire, but they don’t stand a chance of hitting her. Our girl starts strafing from side to side like some sort of anime ninja, and as a result, she easily dodges every single bullet.

— Once again, we can’t help but wonder if she’s truly an android of some sort. After all, 99% of the the show is grounded in realism, and no human shares Violet’s incredible aptitude for combat. If she’s not an android, then what is she? At this point, however, I doubt the anime will ever give us a proper explanation.

–Violet proceeds to take down all of the enemy soldiers by herself. Luckily for them, she’s not here to fight. She instead lets them all go with their tails between their legs. They just lost to a 14-year-old child. I can’t blame her for not subduing them. This isn’t her war.

— Our heroine’s infamous, though. She even has a nickname.

— It’s rather fortuitous, however, that Violet just happens to come across Aidan out in the open like this. It’s almost too coincidental.

— Geez, Claudia’s company has advertising all the way up here? Why bother if you’re going to be too scared to send any of your dolls up north, though?

— Somehow, Violet has managed to transport Aidan to a cabin. Good timing too, because a snowstorm has suddenly kicked up. Again, the girl has all the luck. And again, it feels almost too coincidental.

— Violet tells Aidan that he needs treatment, but he insists on dictating his letters to her. After all, he doesn’t know if he’ll survive for much longer. Could Violet have treated him? Considering how much of a super-soldier she is, it wouldn’t surprise me if she had picked up some medical knowledge from her time in the army. I guess we’ll never know, though.

— Violet has a new trick up her sleeve: she can commit a letter to heart by typing away at the air.

— Oh dear, Maria’s a childhood friend. No wonder he’s going to die. Childhood friends never win. Aidan shares his happy memories of Maria with us, but I’m holding off on my thoughts until the end.

— In the end, Violet comforts the man right before he passes. The effect where the drifting snow loses its focus and simply become shimmering pools of light is neat. It’s a beautiful and poetic way to portray a person’s passing, an act which is not normally seen in such a positive light.

— Oh, so she merely waits in a snowfield for the pilot to pick her up… well, that answers my question from before.

— Violet ends up delivering Aidan’s letters to his loved ones, and as we expected, the ending is anything but happy. Violet can’t hold back her tears either. As she breaks down in front of these relative strangers, the girl blames herself for failing to protect Aidan, but what else could she have done? Insisted that she treat his bullet wound? Even if she could convince him otherwise, he likely lost too much blood by the time she even found him.

— Maybe what this world needs isn’t ghostwriters but reporters. Maybe what this world needs is to see all the young men who have to die and all the broken families that they leave behind.

— It’s not that I don’t feel sad for Aidan and his loved ones. I do. I hate seeing couples torn apart. The problem is that my sympathy is overworked and has been overworked for quite some time. We’ve gotten four sad episodes in a row now. At some point, weariness starts to set in. I felt bad when Violet lost Gilbert. I shed tears for Anne in last week’s episode. As a result, I just have no more to give, especially since I just watched an excellent episode from A Place Further Than The Universe a day ago. To be fair, Violet Evergarden can’t help that. The show can’t control what another show airs. Nevertheless, the anime does itself a disservice by sticking with one thing for far too long. Speaking of A Place Further Than The Universe, it wisely paces itself by weaving levity with drama. Violet Evergarden has giving us nothing but one gut punch after another. I’m tired, man. I need a break. Could you imagine watching these last few episodes in one sitting?

First, we got happy endings after happy endings. No matter where Violet went, everything turned out perfectly for her and her clients! It got to the point that the story started to challenge our suspension of disbelief. I…is she anime Jesus?! But ever since the turning point — ever since Violet learned that Gilbert is no longer alive — every episode has been a downer. The audience gets no reprieve from Violet Evergarden‘s assault on our feelings. That isn’t to say that these episodes are completely devoid of hope. They’re not pitch black abysses of despair and bitterness. Anne will receive fifty wonderful letters throughout the course of her life, and Maria will at least know how much Aidan loved her. Nevertheless, it gets to the point where I’m starting to feel numb to whatever the anime throws at me. I felt a lump in my throat this week, but I didn’t tear up. Not like I did last week. Is it because Aidan’s story isn’t as sad as Anne’s story? Or is it because I’m just tired of feeling sad all the time?

— But to give credit where credit’s due, the visuals in this week’s episode are top-notch.

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4 Replies to “Violet Evergarden Ep. 11: War weariness”

  1. I feel like there really isn’t going to be any explanation about the anti-peace faction’s actions. They are just there so that we can see our lovely Violet-chan come to terms with her past and show off her avoiding-bullets-justu.

    I am truly annoyed with the anime logic this episode. Coincidences everywhere. Though I agree that the visuals this time are nice. Especially the shimmering starry lights in that cottage.

    Side note: I was too distracted by Maria’s knockers to take Aidan’s flashbacks seriously.

  2. Other than the visuals, this episode is worse than the last episode. This episode stretches my suspension of disbelief too much with all of the coincidences and the unrealistic chain of events. I mean we don’t even need to talk about Violet dodging bullets like a superhuman, the fact that a goddamn postman can go in and out of an “active” war zone with his airplane without a problem is already pushing it too much.

    I also don’t like how this anime treats war. Treating a serious, complex subject like war as a mere gimmick is one of my pet peeves and I think this anime pushed my button in this episode. I can ignore it in the previous episodes because I think war isn’t the focus of this anime at that moment and it has ended, so no problem I thought. But, it’s no longer the case and then this anime also treats it as a mere gimmick so it can have its sob moments. I just ugh…

    Then, this anime also plays the angle of Violet as some sort of messiah too much. I can’t even think this episode remotely sad because I’m either too pissed off to think of it as such or too busy laughing because this episode can serve as a glurge or its parody if you’re being generous.

    1. Man, I wish we could give each other likes or upvotes on this website. Your comment is so beautiful I want to acknowledge it somehow.

      1. No need to go that far, your sentiment is appreciated and enough. It’s unfortunate that despite the potential and the budget, this anime just end up as a mediocre soap opera anime at best.

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