I feel like I’m going to have to get used to this shows overt emphasis on Violet’s inability to read between the lines. For three episodes now this has been emphasised through the actions and words of the characters that could not have been more obvious. I do have to give this episode some credit since it did present Violet and her actions through the lens of another character, Luculia which was a nice change.
Luculia is another student attending school like Violet and is paired up with Violet during the letter writing lessons. However, it soon becomes clear that even Luculia has troubling expressing herself and understanding emotions. I liked that part of the episode because it goes to show that not understanding emotions does not make Violet any less human. In fact, being unable to understand the meaning behind words or emotions is something that is very human. It’s just that for Violet, it’s going to take a bit longer until she fully grasps them.
I really liked Luculia’s character and story but I do wish we got more of it. Her backstory fit very well with the premise of the show, that is, a post war society. Her parents died in the war and her brother survived who now feels guilty for not being able to save them. Luculia is really grateful and happy that he is still there for her but does not know how to convey that to him. However, Luculia’s relationship with her brother is resolved at the end pretty neatly. When she opens up to Violet, Violet writes a letter, a very simple one, that conveys what Luculia wanted to tell her brother, and hands it to him. I feel like this was too less to end in a complete resolution for Luculia’s story. The reconciliation between her and her brother does make sense but is a letter all it took? Also, we don’t really learn much about her character. Everything she does and says ends up being just another input to Violet’s growth. I feel like Luculia wasn’t allowed to become a character in her own right because her sole purpose was to be another reason that led to Violet’s growth this episode and that’s just kind of sad.
That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the episode. As I said, I liked Luculia’s story but this mainly came through the animation and the quieter moments of the episode. When Luculia walks home to her drunken brother lying on the coach, the distance between them is palpable. There is no sense of warmth in this home and that comes through the atmosphere. Also, the fact that brother keeps going out to drink until he can’t get up anymore is very telling. This is his way of dealing with his grief since he can drink it all away and try to forget hence he does that day after day because in reality, the guilt never goes away. This comes across when Luculia is telling her story to Violet and the brawl between her brother and people around him is shown. His face, full of pain, presents how guilty he feels about everything and how badly he wants to forget. Because of such detail, I feel like that one letter isn’t enough to truly create that happy ending we saw.
Violet Evergarden continues to be a wonderful show to watch in terms of its animation and character moments. I just feel like the representation of Violet is starting to get repetitive and I do hope they provide more variety there. Other than that, I am really enjoying this show and am looking forward to seeing Violet grow as a character.