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TV Series Review: Violet Evergarden

I recently watched a very interesting anime series on Netflix....Violet Evergarden. Now, anime is not usually my art/story style of choice (although I have been finding some interesting exceptions), but this particular series is so beautiful, so breath-taking that nearly every screenshot could be hung on the wall.

It is not a show I would recommend to absolutely everyone, because it does have some violent scenes that could be too jarring for the sensitive.

It is a tale in an alternative richly realized world that is reeling in the aftermath of a terrible war (that brings to mind our World Wars). Here we are introduced to a mysterious young woman who fought in the wars as a military weapon. Her past is largely unknown, her very humanity is in question, and she does not understand human emotion. Indeed, she is puzzled by the words "I love you" and is determined to unravel the meaning of it. So she sets off in her job of writing letters for people, many of whom who are still suffering from the war. And she learns of the many kinds and complexities of love, be it parents, children, siblings, friends, or lovers.

Because of the seriousness of the war, we are told and shown several tragic stories of lost loved ones. For the most part however, this is handled in such a beautiful way that leaves you feeling peaceful after a good cry (yes, WARNING, you might cry, I cried a LOT).

Besides the violence (which includes death, gunshots, loss of limbs, and general blood) there is a lady side character who wears a very bust revealing dress (sort of looks like a saloon girl) and she does make a comment to one of the male characters about being in bed together.

Also, in one episode a princess is married at 14 and was originally up for engagement much younger. While this is not terribly unusually for many cultures and histories, it was still weird to me. It is also indicated that 14 is not considered an unreasonable age of marriage for other girls as well. This did start as a Japanese anime where age of marriage is lower, but again, for me--a modern American--I didn't care for that very much.

Only language is a few instances of "h---", I believe.

There is likely to be a second season in the future, for which i am relieved because while the ending is sweet and good, it also leaves a very large question hanging in the air (which if the anime follows the book, it will come out with the right answer).

Overall, I am very glad I watched it. The art and music is just....just so beautiful. And the level of emotion and thoughtfulness is heart-wrenching. I'm not sure I've ever cried so much and so hard in a show. For the mature, I would highly suggest giving it a try.

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