Another episode and another side story of one of Violet Evergarden’s side characters. Meh.
Japanese Original Episode Title: 「あなたが, 良き自動手記人形になりますように」
Iris, the loud tomboyish Doll, gets a personal invitation and request to write a letter from a woman in her hometown. Being the little brat that she is, she manages to fall off the stairs while antagonizing Violet over something too trivial for me to remember and breaks her arm. Because of that, Violet has to accompany her to the countryside and help her ghost-type for her local client.
As they arrive in Iris’s hometown, her whole family is there to welcome them and quite carelessly reveal that it was them who had hired her to write her own invitations for her surprise birthday party. I wonder if they actually had to pay to get these done, and if so, these are some pretty well-off villagers and why can I not be their daughter, live in the mountains and eat amazing food every day while looking at the moon? By giving the guest list a quick look, Iris realizes that her parents are trying to get her hitched to a local guy, and she is infuriated, but she plays along. She, however, asks Violet to avoid inviting a guy called Emonn to the party, but of course, not finding a reason to obey her command, Violet refuses to do so.
So, Emonn shows up at the party, Iris is furious and disappears, ruining the celebrations. She accuses Violet of ignoring her and explains to her that Emonn had romantically rejected her in the past, a piece of information Violet deems a good idea to share with Iris’s family. Iris is not impressed. The screaming continues for a bit until Violet expresses her difficulty understanding human feelings. Somehow this escalates to Iris forgiving her and the two of them writing letters of apologies to the neighbors. Violet explains to Iris why she wanted to become an Auto Memory Doll, and Iris empathizes. Her parents give her a bunch of blue flowers as she once again leaves for Lieden. Thanks to a flashback caused by that, we learn that Violet was named after a flower. Ground-breaking.
Themes & Trivia
Iris: An iris is, of course, a real flower. They tend to grow around mountains and northern meadows all over Europe and Asia. Most iris flowers are not blue but purple, but I guess this would overshadow Violet’s backstory. Also, have you noticed that three out of four AMD have the names of flowers?
Bowing: Was Violet’s curtsey in the episode the most magnificent bow you have ever seen illustrated in anime? A curtsey is a traditional form of greeting for girls and women that originates from as early as 17th century northern Europe. Nowadays, it only takes place in the presence of royalty, or after dance shows.
That is a lot of feet: How many shots of Iris’s feet and shoes did we get in this episode? I can’t be bothered to go back and count, but that was way more than normal. Do I smell a foot fetish in the production team, hmm?
Is it just me or is sending out invitations to a small village, especially invitations requiring the hiring of a professional for the birthday party of a regular local, as redundant as a card game/pokemon match/food battle? I feel like the show is focusing too much on letter writing, to the point where it’s being fetishized without really expanding on it properly – which is why a lot of superficial flutter is necessary. The whole concept of hiring a fancy-dressed sexy woman to write your letters is actually demonstrating that writing itself is not glamorous; it is a very regular human activity, and, believe or not, most writers don’t strut around dressed in extravagant outfits. It feels to me as if writing is this show’s… ‘thing’, and for some not very solid reasons, it needs to be applied and be present in every episode.
I don’t like side stories
Sorry but side stories just don’t do it for me at all. I want to know what happened with Violet and the major and how all this will end up. And unless an episode is mainly building towards that, then it is a bad episode.
What did you think of the Violet Evergarden’s fourth episode? Did it live up to your expectations? Let us know in the comment section! And don’t forget to check the rest of the Winter 2018 anime reviews on MANGA.TOKYO!
NEXT TIME: Don`t Be a Tool, Become Someone That Matches with Their Name (「君は道具ではなく, その名が似合う人になるんだ」)