Aku no Hana (Flowers of Evil)

This was quite a ride. I was not expecting something much from Flowers of Evil (Aku no Hana,) but the results were fascinating. The anime is an adaptation of a manga of the same name.

The anime starts with Takao Kasuga, a student whose favorite book is Charles Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs du Mal that has a crush on Nanako Saeki, a pretty girl he idolizes. Later, Takao stays late in school; before leaving, he finds Nanako’s sport class uniform and, as you can guess, the boy hesitates. He was about to put it back, intentionally or not, but there was a sound that made him run away from school, taking the girl’s uniform with him.

This is where the conflict begins. Takao believed he could get away with it and just give it back when no one’s looking. Bad luck shows up when one of his classmates, Sawa Nakamura, tells him she saw him taking the uniform, and if he does not want her to give him away, he should follow her orders.

The story goes beyond a boy stealing female clothes. Most anime shows with a starting point like that would be part of a comedy or something along the lines to give us a good laugh. However, Flowers of Evil is not the typical high school comedy or slice of life; it’s very far from being considered one of the mentioned genres. This is the first time, at least for me, that I see something on a screen an animation that presents the many conflicts of growing up, to fit in a society and their expectations; self-discovery is what the author is bringing to the table. If we think about it, being young is easy compared to being an adult, but it is also terrifying to see as we grow up how things are not going the direction we wanted.

As we really know what we want, our inner journey to personal discovery could be scary. And the series, indirectly, tries to tell you in its own way with a dark atmosphere that teenagers are vulnerable in a world where you must adapt, without a clear clue on how to do it, to be considered normal. Nothing is straight to your face, the images, the music, the silence, and the protagonists don’t grab your hand along the journey, but it is clear what the story is trying to tell you.

The general atmosphere are what grabs you from the first second until the end of the credits of each episode. Sometimes you just hear the sounds of the town, the anime wants you to pay all of your attention to the characters and what they have to say, perhaps its own way to discover yourself as well (as if you were a teenager) and remember when some of your decisions, meaningless as they had been in school, could mean the world when you wanted to be accepted but something, or someone, was there ready to make everything fall apart in a few seconds.

Everything adds to the general mood of the series. Its music is something you don’t expect, especially when the credits start rolling. I don’t want to spoil anything, but the feeling of uncertainty is present at every corner; the sole mention of an “other side” makes you believe there’s something deeper in the meaning of maturity. The choice of music at the end of each episode is strangely scary and yet beautiful. There’s an actual message, a poem about a flower; I recommend you look it up after watching the show.

Best choice is bad choice

The irony here is that the artistic choice of using a rotoscoped animation affected the show. Let’s be honest, most shows and movies that use that kind of animation tend to look weird or just bad (not all of them, to be clear). However, I don’t see the Flowers of Evil any other way. The animation, as bad as it could be, was the best choice for this. Rotoscope animation, along with the story, the music, and the characters themselves are a perfect combination of a story about the fear that comes from our natural cycle. Unfortunately, not everyone is going to look at it that way; I bet a lot of people have avoided the anime the instant they saw the type of animation used. Although I don’t blame them, judging something by just images is not a good thing, they might miss a great experience doing that.

A great experience hard to recommend

The anime is really good, one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. I don’t regret a single second I spent in front of the TV watching the show. Sadly, it seems the anime was not very popular, perhaps for the animation, as I mentioned on the previous paragraph; this means it never got a second season, and it will never happen. I am talking about an anime that its thirteen episodes were aired in 2013.

I said it was one of my greatest experiences in anime, but it is hard to recommend when it is incomplete. At the end of the thirteenth episode we have a glimpse of a second season, something that never happened and never will. I guess you could watch it and see for yourself what it is about and then move to the manga to get the full story; but the music and the overall atmosphere from the anime is going to be missing. It is sad to see the anime incomplete.

If you want to watch Aku no Hana (Flowers of Evil) Crunchyroll is your place. The anime is available for FREE (with ads) or for Premium users. Click here to watch it on Crunchyroll!

Sing “Yesterday” For Me

Sing Yesterday PROMO

Promotional image

Sing “Yesterday” For Me is a drama (seinen) that surprised me. I rarely appreciate a drama about unrequited love. Most of the time it feels forced, and that is why I don’t enjoy the genre.

However, Sing “Yesterday” For Me felt different. It is refreshing to see an anime that takes itself serious, without recurring to all the yelling and jokes. I could actually see the story for what it meant to show the audience, and I could empathize with the characters. They all feel realistic (as realistic as an anime can be), they all have to deal with the issues in a relationship, or lack of one for the matter. Even when you dislike a character, it is because, somehow, you know this person needs some kind of help.

Sing YEES

Rikuo and Haru

The story centers around four characters: Rikuo Uosomi, a college graduate that is unsure about his future. While unsure he works at a convenience store; he is in love with Shinako. As his story develops, we see him being doubtful of everything, and it gets worse when he finally declares his love for Shinako. Unfortunately, she’s in love with an impossible love.

Shinako Morinome was Rikuo’s classmate in college and currently working as a high school teacher. She is still in love with Rō Hayakawa’s deceased brother. Though Shinako is not anyone’s favorite character because it seems she’s just using Rikuo, it is a very relatable character; sometimes is hard to let go some memories, not necessarily a person, but a place or a part of yourself. She could be taken as a representation of the people that holds a memory so tightly that one cannot easily let it go. Sometimes, even if we knew it would be better to move on, something drags us into a void, where everything around seems good, but deep inside it does not allow us move forward.

My favorite, is Haru Nonaka, an eccentric girl that adopted a crow and has strong feelings for Rikuo. She does know, though, that Rikuo is in love with Shinako, and as much as it hurts, she visits him at the convenience store before heading to work. Haru is a person that does her best to look happy; even when she tells Rikuo about her feelings toward him, she does it in a way that seems like teasing. That teasing is just a shield that helps her hide the pain.

The other character is Rō Hayakawa, he is Shinako’s childhood friend and holds feelings for her. He already knows that she still loves his deceased brother. Still, he wants to be closer to her. The character is the least important, and the anime does not explore much of him. But his behavior and age makes him someone important to Shinako, as another family member to take care of, or perhaps another obstacle for her to move on? I guess that depends on how you do perceive his character.

These characters and their circles make of this anime series something memorable. A tale of young-adulthood where anyone might be able to relate to personal experiences, or a feeling they’d had for an unrequited love. Although, the show does not try to teach you what is the best decision or what is not. It only wants to tell you the story of these characters and how they fell in love, how they try to hold onto a memory, and how other opportunities to be happy could slip through their hands. All of it, it does it pretty well.

Sadly, the anime, as it is today, is almost ruined by its ending. I am not sure if they’re going to add more episodes or not, but now it has twelve episodes, and the last episode ends abruptly. It looked as if the characters changed their minds in a second and things happen. I don’t want to say more because the anime is short and there are only four important characters; any more words and it would be obvious what I refer to.

I still recommend it, though, it is very enjoyable and relatable for some people.


Sing “Yesterday” For Me is available for premium and FREE members on Crunchyroll. Go and watch it clicking here!

Please Tell Me! Galko-chan

GalkoPromo

Promotional image

Please Tell Me! Galko-chan doesn’t follow a plot per se. It has a few characters, each filling a stereotype that the protagonist breaks; Galko being the girl that despite her looks, she’s kind of a mixture of her other two friends. Otako, is the… otaku, because that was not obvious enough. And Ojou, who’s the most innocent of the three.

Galko is a combination of her friends and herself.

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I need to start by saying this is uncomfortable. It was not bad at all. In fact, it is good, but it was an uncomfortable anime to watch. It is hard to tell if the anime is addressed to the male or female demographic. It has a lot of fan service; just take a look at Galko’s design, her proportions are a bit exaggerated, but it serves a purpose here (no, I am not joking or trying to justify anything). The episodes explain it very well, her classmates have an image of Galko that is usually wrong. Even her two friends at the beginning.

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If you can pass that out, look at it with an open mind, it could be a fun show. Just a warning, though, that this is not a show you want to see with your family around. The anime speaks openly about teen-female perspective, body, and some other topics that are not discussed in public, some people (with some people I am referring to the male audience) may find discomfort here. Although, I believe one of the objectives is to bring a few subjects that for some reason are still considered taboo nowadays. Things that might be better if we could discuss without raising flags.

The animation is one thing I loved. It looks very good and colorful. It is a delight to watch. Its bright colors make each episode even more enjoyable.

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There are twelve episodes and these are twelve minutes long! I’d advice you to check it out, but that depends on certain sensibilities over what is called fan service. Though as I’ve mentioned before, I don’t find it clear if this goes for the male or female audience. I think it can be enjoyed by both.

The anime is available on Crunchyroll for both premium and FREE members. Click here to watch it!

Wakakozake

WakakozakePromo

Promotional image

This anime is very short. It makes me wonder if I should consider it an anime at all; each episode is two-minutes long. Perhaps it could be considered an advertisement? I’d love to try all of their food just by looking at it.

Wakakozake Screen

There’s not much to explore. We have to admit that Japanese cuisine is very attractive, especially for us that don’t live in the country. Every time I see one of their dishes my mouth starts watering. And it is not strange that anime emphasizes a lot in culinary arts. Food Wars being the most popular example of this. Although, Wakakozake doesn’t follow the formula of cooking tournaments or anything flashy.

This anime reminds me of the live-action called Samurai Gourmet, except that this protagonist, Murasaki Wakako, is a young adult with a normal imagination. During the episodes she describes the food, drinks, and additional snacks or desserts. Sometimes she mentions her personal and professional work, but nothing in-depth to explore. This doesn’t make this a bad show, this is a short-episodic anime (or advertising) about food!

It is, somehow, charming. The animation is funny to watch. And I repeat, each episode is only two-minutes long. If you want to give a quick look at the Japanese food from the eyes of a customer, this is fun.


The anime, Wakakozake, is available on Crunchyroll for both premium and FREE users. Click here to watch it!

Hanebado!

This is one of the animes I’ve enjoyed more during this quarantine. I wish I had had more time to enjoy it in two or three days; but it took me more than a week to watch the 13 episodes. 

By the way, you can watch Hanebado! legally on Crunchyroll by clicking here!


HANEBADO PROMO

HANEBADO! tells the story of Ayano Hanesaki, a first year student in high school that is a beast at playing badminton, but after a match against a certain character that left our protagonist as “not-the-best” her mother abandons Ayano, taking away her daughter’s motivation to play badminton along.

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Mother of the Year

The other main character is Aragaki Nagisa, captain of the Kitakomachi High School badminton club, she lost a game at the Junior Nationals without scoring a single point. After that, she’d started to take her anger out on her friends.

Things get an abrupt change the moment Elena convinces Ayano Hanesaki to join the club; trying to help her friend to find, recover, and follow that passion for badminton again. To forget everything that had happened before and play. At first, she didn’t want to listen to her friend, but it doesn’t take too long for her to try a few friendly matches. 

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“Why do you play badminton?”

This is a recurring question that everyone asks to each other. And this is where we start to really know the main cast. Every member of the badminton club has a reason to be there, one could be more substantial than the other; but that is not exactly the point. In real life, we’ve had our unique motivations to do our own things, a career to follow, perhaps.

What makes things interesting is as the details unfold for each of the main characters, they evolve along its thirteen episodes, for good and for bad. These motivations ended up affecting positively and negatively on their respective teams or teammates. This emphasizes more with the two central characters. And I must say that their evolution is very well-done; the story has a few subtle twists and a satisfactory conclusion.

There is one character that is the rival for Ayano, even though I liked her, I believe she went kinda out-of-character the second time they met. First encounter she wanted to win against Ayano, and the second time they met is a different story; almost as if she were being a different person.

Subtle fan service

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Kaoruko besto waifu

The fan service is subtle. Nothing that would distract you from actually enjoying the show. We know there are animes that had a very interesting premise, but that is ruined, DESTROYED, by their ridiculous fan service. Here, though, you can argue that the body proportions of some of the female characters are a bit exaggerated; I am happy to reply with a relieved “WRONG! Well, yes, but WRONG!”, nothing happened in the anime that turned into a distraction from the story. Just the matches are great enough to put you on the edge of your seat. Especially the final match!

Must not miss

This is definitely a good anime. The animation, the characters, and the competition against each other and themselves, make this a MUST choice for those looking for an anime focused in sports. Perhaps badminton doesn’t seem like an appealing sport, but that shouldn’t let you judge the series without having a look first.

Hanebado! is available on Crunchyroll for both premium and FREE users!

The Worst Jojo

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure was, for me, the anime/manga that really got me into anime. As many of you, I was introduced to the Japanese animation with Dragon Ball, Sailor Moon, Ranma 1/2, and years later, Death Note.


Although, my love for Death Note was incredible; before that, I thought all the Japanese anime and manga was about a guy or a woman fighting powerful enemies, and yeah, Death Note changed that idea my mind had carved, but it didn’t help me become an anime fan. Ironically, it wasn’t until years later that a lot of people—and I mean it, A LOT OF PEOPLE—spoke highly of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure (an anime about fighting) on the internet; forums and anime websites put the series on a pedestal that made me curious.

Let’s skip the boring story about me becoming an anime fan. Let’s answer to the title. Who is the worst Jojo?

  1. Jonathan Joestar (Phantom Blood)
  2. Joseph Joestar (Battle Tendency)
  3. Jotaro Kujo (Stardust Crusaders)
  4. Josuke Higashikata (Diamond is Unbreakable)
  5. Giorno Giovanna (Golden Wind)
  6. Jolyne Kujo (Stone Ocean)

And just to clarify, I haven’t seen or read part seven or eight, and I don’t intend to. So this post only counts parts one through six. Steel Ball Run and Jojolion are out!

Every time someone has a discussion about “the worst Jojo”, most answers aim at Jonathan, the first Jojo. From a perspective, it is understandable, he is the first, and the author didn’t have the most awesome ideas like he does today. The magic called Hamon that was brilliantly used until Battle Tendency was good (the way it was used was genius), but it had its limits. And as for the story and character, we have the story of Jonathan, a goody-two-shoes that didn’t know how to fight and is a true gentleman, and villain that turns into a bizarre version of a vampire; the arc focuses in the rivalry between both and that’s it. The protagonist grows/develops really quick, he beat Dio down in the very first episode, when he was still a human. Dracula with esteroids.

Sometimes, a good idea is not put into words/manga/television as it meant to be. The studios have the power to change things before being aired or printed. It is a business, so they’re going to look for money, and the last thing they want to do is take risks with a new intellectual property. There are many reasons why the final product ends up different than the author’s original idea. I am not sure this is the reason Phantom Blood is “slow” (compared to the following arcs, because it is faster than other anime/manga series). But its originality, when you take in count that the arc is supposed to be a vampire story, with an over-the-top b-action movie, it is enough to make up for and ignore the weaknesses. Also, Jonathan, even though it happens too fast, the character grows; there’s a development in him…


UNLIKE…

SPOILER ALERT


At this point, we all know how the arcs in Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure are divided, right? Every arc has a descendant from the previous Joestar. Phantom Blood features Jonathan, Battle Tendency features Jonathan’s grandson, Joseph. Stardust Crusaders Joseph’s grandson, Jotaro. And it goes on… with a few twists; let’s just say that even the Family Tree goes bizarre starting from part four.

Most of the protagonists have a lot of charisma, even Jotaro, the “bad” guy that has everything calculated and under control. He doesn’t change much during his arc (Stardust Crusaders) and the following in which he appears as a side character (Diamond is Unbreakable, Vento Aureo, Stone Ocean); but he’s a fan favorite for a reason, and we see some heart in the guy during his last appearance in the series.

So, he’s not even close to be the worst Jojo. I don’t know about you, but as much as I tried, and as much as the author had wanted VERY HARD to make the following Jojo important, just because he came from one of the most iconic characters from the series, a meme-lord, and the first villain. The whole Vento Aureo was more like a spin-off that would have been mediocre at best without Bucciarati and the other characters.

GOGO

Giorno Giovanna is THE WORST Jojo

Giorno Giovanna is the worst Jojo. There’s no personality. There’s nothing that stands out other than the “revelation” of him being Dio’s son, a revelation that makes NO DIFFERENCE in the story. Just because a character is a 1/2 (if you’re a fan, you know what I mean by the “1/2”) descendant of an iconic character, DOES NOT make this new character a good character.

I am not sure, but starting from Vento Aureo, Araki had no idea what to do with the series. We need to admit, though, that he did a brilliant job with the stands; weird powers emanating from each, making all the fights based on strategy and intelligence rather than “power levels”. This is another thing that bugs me about Giorno; when he’s got the fight versus Bruno Bucciarati, his Stand, Golden Experience, was formally introduced, and it was weak, he punched Bruno’s face and it didn’t hurt him; however, he realized that he’d thought everything around him went slower, but when Golden Experience had touched him his mind worked faster, and that’s why he’d seen everything moving slower. Honestly, it is an interesting power, too broken, but genuinely interesting. Well, it seems Araki forgot about it because we never see that again; Golden Experience is still able to create life, and that’s it; even that ability to return the damage is gone for good.

As a character, he is just there, coming up with ideas out of nowhere most of the time. Indeed, there were situations where it was well applied, one example of a good use of his Stand was that episode when he turned several cars into frogs to confuse the enemy. Unfortunately, most of the times Giovanna is a living Deus Ex Machina. Especially in the final “battle”. This is where it got worse.

Diavolo is a villain that remains hidden until the very last few episodes. He is the leader of Passione and it is understandable to remain unknown. It makes that villain intimidating, and he is even more when you see it the first time as Doppio. You realize the guy is insane, his double personality disorder making him an unpredictable threat. And this is not even the beginning; his Stand, King Crimson, has the ability to see the future, erase time and move trough the erased part. One person as a Jojo fan, after the brilliantly done fight in part four of Josuke versus Kira, is expecting another with a better intensity level, or similar at least. I insist, Giorno Giovanna is a Deus Ex Machina. He arrived at the final showdown just to kill Diavolos once (get it?) immediately. The episode just took the time to make that arrow get in Giorno’s hands, but nothing else happened. We got this scene of Diavolos trying to use his Stand against the protagonist, and then, with the power of the arrow, Giorno’s Stand evolved to Golden Experience Requiem and countered King Crimson’s power. That’s it. No fight, only an overpowered character defeating the final boss; a Deus Ex Machina.

We all can agree that Jotaro got a new ability out of nowhere, indeed; the difference, again, is that AT LEAST we got a fight. Bland one, maybe, but A FIGHT! Giorno just arrived at the scene to defeat Diavolo.

Giorno Giovanna is a mediocre character. Giorno Giovanna is the worst Jojo.


Feel free to share your thoughts with me!

The Name’s Boogiepop

Boogiepop and Others cover

Promotional image of the anime adaptation

Boogiepop and the Others is a difficult thing to describe. First things first, I need to warn you: the anime is slow. And when I say slow, I really mean it. Its opening might give you the wrong idea of the show, so I advice you to just enjoy the music, but don’t judge it by its opening theme video. Boogiepop is a slow phased show, and if you’re looking for big, spectacular, bombastic fights; or, if you’re looking for horror and supernatural things to be thrown at your face directly, look away. This show is not for everyone, that must be said.

Let’s start with the opening. It is performed by MYTH & ROID, also known for working on other openings, like Re:Zero – Starting Life in Another World, among other anime series. Boogiepop’s opening is deceiving, as I have mentioned; it is really good, its visuals will make you pay attention and get interest in what is about to come. The problem is, when you watch it without clue of what you’re getting yourself into, then you’re going to be expecting an action packed series, an adrenaline rush full of fights and explosions. Let me tell you: it’s totally the opposite. The only true thing about the opening is the little hint of the arcs and protagonist. That’s it.

OP

So, am I telling you that Boogiepop and Others is bad? No, it is a great show, actually.

What should you expect from the series?

Boogiepop, putting my own words, I would describe it as a supernatural, psychological horror, drama. Its slow phased way to tell things makes the tense emphasizes with the events that occur.

The mystery, as the series goes on, gets bigger. And as one episode introduces you  to certain characters, and their point of view of the things that are happening, the episode ends to start the next with a different place and different characters and their own dilemmas. Always living life from the same event, until the arc is solved.

To summarize: there are mini-arcs consisting in three to four episodes. Each of them showing a different side of a same square.

Someone called Boogiepop

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The first episode begins when Takeda, a high school student, is worried about his girlfriend. He was walking on the street, and then a figure wearing a black cloak and a weird hat. The figure helped a strange, decaying, man with long white hair; it questioned the passing civilians if they didn’t feel bad for not helping someone in need. Takeda recognized that figure as his girlfriend, Touka.

He finds her, standing on the rooftop of the school building. Takeda asks her what’s going on, if she’d been messing with him. Touka, or at least the person that looks like her, tells him he is not his girlfriend.

“First of all, I’m not Miyashita Touka. Right now, I’m Boogiepop.”

This is where we get out first revelation. Boogiepop is a being that took the body of Touka Miyashita Touka. A split personality, as “he” explains to the boy.

A horror that is disguised with the daily lives

As the story goes on, you notice that there’s something wrong, and not only supernatural beings. These forces are there to follow orders from the Towa Organization, a shadow group which goals are not very clear; the anime’s first season doesn’t talk much about it, but we can assume that this organization has the purpose to get control of the world. Maybe the Illuminati is a close comparison.

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This is the creepiest thing that happens, and it lasts one second

The story as, it goes, tells you the problems that the characters have to deal day by day. Some of them don’t even know if normal is a good thing. Others believe that they will never be normal enough to fit. While some characters have to deal with acceptance (or resignation) of what they are meant to be. Depression, fear, angst, loneliness, and other feelings that, deep down, are taking over mentally. These creatures created by the organization take advantage of these issues.

“Everyone needs some help when they’re suffering.”

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These monster brought to life by the Towa Organization is what Boogiepop calls “enemies of the world”. As soon as they appear, Boogiepop automatically rises to the surface, taking control of Touka.

Its looks

Visually, I don’t have any complaints; to me the anime looks very smooth, and they add some blurry parts to add to the eerie atmosphere. The animation is not top notch, but it does the job very well.

In conclusion

The series involve a greater mystery that is told by the different students, points of view, for us to watch from every perspective of the events that happen in the episodes.

Unfortunately, this show is not for everyone. Boogiepop and Others doesn’t want to tell you everything, you have to put some pieces together, and learn how these entities, and Boogiepop itself, partly represents an issue that most teenagers and adults have to deal with day after day.

If you believe the opening and its action sequences are part of the show, look away. This anime is not for you.

However, if you like slow phased series that invite you to pay attention, and follow the story with hints told by different characters that aren’t directly related to the others, this is definitely an interesting anime to watch.


The anime consists in 18 episodes. It is available for you to watch on Crunchyroll.

Eternity and the Auto Memory Doll

After watching the anime Violet Evergarden, I was excited when I saw on Facebook that Konnichiwa Festival brought the movie to Latin American theaters. Of course, as I live just across the border from Juarez, I didn’t give a second thought, got my ticket and went to Cinépolis (the biggest and most popular theater in Mexico) really excited. As you can read on my previous post about Violet Evergarden, you know that I loved the anime.

Another thing. Though I don’t think a clarification is necessary here, Konnischiwa Fest made the movie available for three days only: February 14th, 15th, and 16th. I went on Saturday 15th, so you know this post had been scheduled.


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An experienced Violet

This movie shows an experienced Violet. She hasn’t changed much, though, we have the same girl that we loved in the anime. Only now you can tell that she’d learned a lot from her past duties as a Memory Doll. Her social skills improved.

What is the meaning of friendship?

Isabella York is a young noble that was sent to a girl Academy to learn how to be a proper woman. Then Violet is hired to do a different job: help Isabella to become what she’s meant to be, a proper lady. This time there’s no letter to write, but CH Postal Company made an exception because the request came directly from the royalty.

During her stay at the Academy, Isabella starts as a hostile person towards Violet. Isabella felt a bit useless because her temporary servant, Violet, knows better about manners. As I’ve mentioned before, this is a more experienced Doll; doesn’t take much, though, for Isabella to trust her. She began to feel comfortable with the company.

Their bonds grow stronger. Violet gained Isabella’s trust. She tells her about her past as a poor girl and her “sister”.

Bonds that grew stronger

The second half of the movie focuses on Isabella’s “sister”, Taylor Bartlett. After certain events that came from the Academy and Violet’s friendship with Isabella, Taylor travels to find the CH Postal Company for work.

The bonds that were tied grew stronger, they’d extended to other places to the point that two adoptive sisters that, for twists of fate, ended up cutting a distance from each other.

Violet Evergarden - Art Nouveau

Conclusion

Violet Evergarden: Eternity and the Auto Memory Doll focuses on friendship. The bonds that we make and how their strength could make us reach others. Never forgetting that the distance is insignificant when the feeling is real.


I really wish I could speak more about the movie. However, it isn’t long, and I’d spoiler something. This is definitely a movie you should watch if you like anime. It is not necessary to watch the anime on Netflix to understand what’s going on here. I STRONGLY recommend you do that, though! The story of the protagonist, her purpose, and how she starts gaining experience as a Memory Doll is beautiful.

Violet Evergarden

VEVVER

Violet Evergarden is an anime available on Netflix. It is also based on a Japanese light novel of the same name written by Kana Akatsuki and published by Kyoto Animation on December 25th, 2015.

An anime adaptation is available on Netflix since 2018, consisting in 13 episodes and an original video animation (OVA).


VEvergarden

Where it begins

The story starts with our protagonist, Violet Evergarden, whom has been raised as a weapon and used in war as such. She was literally a war machine—a child that had not known nothing but to follow military orders. There was nothing but chaos in her life, and her feelings were nothing. Violet was a robot-like creature.

Everything changes for her when the Major, Gilbert Bougainvillea, adopts her. Or more specifically, was given to him as a gift from his brother to use her as a weapon. Gilbert, though, didn’t see a weapon; he saw a starving child that needed something more. To be treated as a human being, not a murdering object.

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Their bonds gathered a sweet strength when both our protagonist and the Major were walking in a market. He wanted her to buy a dress, something that makes her feel like the girl Violet is. Then she saw an emerald and picked it up. Violet told Gilbert that it looks like his eyes; that, of course, touched deep in his heart.

We also see images of war, and how Violet ruined went straight into the battlefield without hesitation. Gilbert realized why she’d been considered a weapon only, but he didn’t let that obscure his perception of the girl. For him, that was a signal that she needed humanity. Love.

Before everything had ended, Violet and Gilbert were gravely injured. The girl lost both arms and she was unable to drag the Major out of the castle, and he asked her to stop. And gave her an order, a dying wish:

“Live… and be free. From the bottom of my heart, I love you.” —Gilbert Bougainvillea

And with those words, the story starts.

The power of words

Words move the world. The words that had been written tell a story, or the feelings of thousands. This is exactly the job of our protagonist now—After the war, Violet is hired as a Memory Doll, and her job description indicates that she has to write letters in the name of the employer. That employer could be anyone, from a single woman trying to reach her brother’s soul, to a big company that needs to close a deal.

Violet Evergarden accepted the job as a doll. Not to follow orders this time; the main purpose of joining is to find the meaning of “I love you”. But before that happens, her coworkers noticed that all her letters are too straightforward, and even though sincerity is a good thing, it is not the right way to do things. There are many ways to build words to cause an impression. And that’s what Violet learns in the beginning.

A linked journey

“I will run as fast as I can to wherever my customer desires. I am the Auto Memories Doll, Violet Evergarden.” —Violet Evergarden

Every customer has a story to tell. Every customer is a new emotion added to Violet’s experiences. As the story progresses, she grows emotionally, becoming more and more into a girl her age. Someone that was hurt by war, but maturing at the same time while accepting she was never a weapon; that she’s worth as any other person.

Conclusion

This is definitely one of the best anime series available on Netflix. If you’re looking for a good drama, do yourself a favor and watch it.