Tag Archives: Violet Evergarden

Five Anime to Bring in The New Year

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations


2022 is right around the corner, and while it feels fair to say that most are not exactly excited for the new year itself, they are excited to leave 2021 in the past, and I find myself there as well. Thus, rather than sitting around and feeling bummed, I was thinking about the kind of shows that have made me feel hopeful about things to come. So, in dishonor of 2022, here are some shows that will (hopefully) give you some warm feelings going into the new year.

Kuroko no Basket

Part of me wanted to just find five comedy anime for this list and call it a day, and while comedy does often make us happy, they rarely bridge the gap into inspiring hope. Sports stories, on the other hand, can do that pretty effectively. Kuroko no Basket is one such series.

Though the show’s namesake character is not always the underdog, the show does a great job at making one want to root for him, because even during his moments of brilliance, it becomes obvious how much further he has to go. That, combined with its typical never-give-up shonen attitude, makes it an inspiring anime to watch.

Megalo Box

Speaking of inspiring sports stories,

The 2018 smash hit Megalobox is not only fun to watch but brings back a nostalgic feeling for a certain era of 1980s film, one where people were justified in being excited about a Mel Gibson movie. Regardless of the obvious Rocky influences, this is an anime that, even more so than Kuroko no Basket, inspires you to root for the main character Junk Dog.

Trapped in poverty, he has resorted to underground fighting rings in order to scrape by. However, given the challenge of Megalonia, along with the opportunity to once again face his rival, he feels more motivated than ever.

While I cannot speak to the quality of the show’s second season, since it ultimately got lost in a sea of seasonal watches to keep up with, the first season of Megalo Box is one that will definitely get you motivated.


A Place Further Than the Universe

Given the events of a…certain episode, which I will spare detailing here for anyone who has yet to see the series, including A Place Further Than the Universe on this list might be a bit controversial. Still, if there is any anime that rises above its somber moments to instill a bit of hope, it is this one.

Whether it be Mari’s desire to live her life outside of the anticipation of adulthood, Hinata’s drive to escape already pending adulthood, or Yuzuki’s wish to be like, and secretly find, her mother, all of these stories collide together beautifully. What is created at the end is an unbreakable bond formed by those who love adventure.

Violet Evergarden

I could honestly say the same thing I said about A Place Further Than the Universe about Violet Evergarden as well, but like, multiplied by five. Still, though there are a lot of moments of tragedy, including in the case of the main character herself, it is those same moments that drive the series’ more hopeful moments.

The profession of auto memory doll, in the context of the series, is one that is deeply intimate, as it requires the auto memory doll to understand the person they are servicing on a familial or even romantic level. While dealing with the trauma of others, Violet learns how to contextualize her own, and comes to love herself even more.

Golden Time

Would it really be my list if I did not include some sappy romance?

Apart from becoming one of my all-time favorite anime, this series does an incredible job at creating a complex romantic dynamic and exploring its implications fully. Almost every character’s arc feels fully resolved, everyone from the main couple, to even Nana, the rockstar who seems to be making a guest appearance from the manga of the same name. Golden Time is a series that not only makes one feel good by the end, but it may even leave some questioning the state of their own relationships.

Which shows have made you feel good recently? Let me know in the comments below. Also, Animated Observations is currently running a survey to gather opinions on the content we put out here, so if you have a few minutes and are willing to help out, it would be greatly appreciated.

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If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!


A.I.C.O. Incarnation and Violet Evergarden: A Tale of Two Journeys

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

While, I was on vacation, I got the opportunity to watch two different series on Netflix: Violet Evergarden and A.I.C.O Incarnation. There were a lot of good parts to both, but I would only consider one of them to be particularly good overall, that being Violet Evergarden. However, the reason why I consider Evergarden to be significantly better than Incarnation is because of the way each show handles the journey of each of its main Heroines.

For those who don’t know, Violet Evergarden tells the story of, well, Violet Evergarden, and her reintegration into society after the end of a civil war between the northern and southern factions of her country. Violet, being an emotionless child soldier, is unsure what to do initially, as she only ever took commands from her Major. She does, however, decide to become a Doll, someone who writes letters for those who can’t so that she can understand what the Major meant when he said “I love you” to Violet.

By contrast, A.I.C.O. Incarnation stars a fairly normal High School girl named Aiko, who, after losing her father to a car crash and her mother and brother in an accident known as “the burst,” relocates to a hospital/high school so that she can be looked after. Still, it is not long before things get weird for her. One day, a transfer student named Yuuya shows up only kidnap Aiko and tell her that the body she inhabits is fake, that her mother and brother are still alive, and that there is a way to get both her body and family back.

What most separates the two shows in terms of quality is A.I.C.O.’s failings, so I will start there. The most apparent problem with the show is how it front-loads a lot of information at the beginning, particularly near the end of episode one and the start of episode two, and because of this it feels confusing to try and fully understand the story. For instance, even the “burst,” the main event that is the catalyst for the show’s entire story, is only explained in vague terms at the beginning, and does not get properly explained until about episode three or four.

Another problem that the A.I.C.O suffers from which is a direct result the first problem is that because of a lack of understanding of the circumstances, it becomes a lot harder to feel invested in Aiko as a character. The rushed nature of the first couple of episodes makes it to where there is no real reason to pay attention and as a result the opening feels sluggish and boring.

However, Aiko herself is actually a fairly compelling main character. When it does finally become apparent whats going on, it feels like a high pressure situation and even when the truth of the situation is revealed at the end, the show still makes the audience want to root for Aiko.

Violet Evergarden, meanwhile, supports its main character in ways that make the show much more enjoyable. For instance, in contrast with A.I.C.O., Violet Evergarden takes its time in establishing and developing Violet as a character, not wasting a single bit of screen time. The show always makes it feel as if something new is being learned about Violet or as though she is continuing towards her goal and becoming more human. A good example of this is the episode where her new found friend Luculia’s brother is struggling to get his life back together. It is in this episode that Violet finally begins to understand how to write a letter, and in the process gives Luculia’s brother the strength to finally start over. Even over the course of just one ten minute interaction, Violet has a subtle yet immensely powerful transformation.

Another good example of this is near the end of the show, when after the climax of the series, Violet visits the Major’s brother, Gietfried, who has resented Violet since her brother’s death during the war. After realizing that there was not point in resent her, Gietfried says that the Major’s final order was to live free and happy, and that he knows that what his brother would have wanted. Up until this point, Violet had repeated the idea that she does not need to take orders from anyone, but did so rather unconvincingly. This time, however, as Violet turns to Gietfried and ends her visit, she says “I don’t need to take orders anymore,” and does so with a determined and reassured smile.

Violet also takes many other journeys because of her job as a Doll, and to be honest it would take a lot of time to go through all of them, but it is clear that the show makes a point to make sure that each of the journeys mean something. Whether it be a mom writing letters to her daughter before she dies, or unintentionally helping a young astronomer understand what he wants to do with his life, Violet’s episodic journeys not only help those that she visits, but are the reason she can be confident in herself by the end.

While I definitely enjoyed watching both shows, there is an important storytelling distinction that separates the two: A journey only is only as important and powerful as the character who takes it. Even more importantly, a great journey can redeem even the most uninteresting of characters, and Violet Evergarden seems to understand that a lot more.

How do you guys feel about these two shows? Let me know in the comments. If you would like to support Animated Observations, check out my Ko-fi:

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If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

This Week in Anime: Isao Takahata Passes, New Fairytail Manga, and More

With the Flying Colors Foundation drama officially over, after they announced last week that they would be closing operations, it is finally time to get back to covering more of the important stories of the week concerning anime. With that being said, let’s get started.

Studio Ghibli Co-Founder Takahata Dies at 82

It was reported on April 5th that Studio Ghibli Director and Co-Founder Isao Takahata died shortly after having been admitted to a Japanese hospital. The news was initially reported by multiple Japanese stations. It is unclear as to what the cause of death is, as at this time it has not been revealed to the public. It has been reported by an anonymous source that Takahata has had declining health for the past few years due to heart conditions.

Takahata’s career was a fruitful one. He worked at multiple animation studios throughout the course of his life, including the now Toei Animation. After agreeing to join with Hayao Miyazaki in 1981, the two produced one of Ghibli’s most acclaimed films “Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind” in 1984. Takahata himself has also directed films such as “Grave of the Fireflies,” and 2013’s “Princess Kaguya.”

It is a really sad occurrence when such an important figure in Anime culture passes away. I can personally attest to the lasting impact he will have on anime fans because when I first watched Grave of the Fireflies, I knew it was one of those films that would stick in my mind forever. I haven’t gotten around to watching Kaguya yet, but with all of the good things people have said about it, it looks like now it might have to be higher on my priorities. RIP.

Fairytail Author Hiro Mashima Announces Fairytail Anime Release Date and Manga Spinoffs

“Fairytail” and “Rave Master” author Hiro Mashima took to Twitter on April 5th to make a few announcements regarding his most recent hit series. The first of his teases was that the last season of the “Fairytail” anime will air during the fall 2018 season. The anime’s actual release date has yet to be announced, however.

The second of his announcements was the release of two new spinoff manga for the “Fairytail” series. Mashima also indicated that one of the two series will be a sequel. In addition to the news about Fairytail, Mashima has also been greenlit for a new series entirely that will begin serialization on June 27th.

As a long time fan of Fairytail, I can’t help but be excited. I haven’t actually read the manga, so I’m not sure what the sequel will be like, but the based on what I’ve heard about the story, I’m sure it will be at the very least entertaining.

Netflix Releases Violet Evergarden, and Anime is Announced to Have New Project

Many Otakus were disappointed that Netflix chose not to simulcast the show in Japan after other countries such as Canada were able to watch the show at the same time as Japan. Now, those U.S. viewers are now able to see one of the most popular shows of the winter season, as it has been released in its entirety as of April 5th.

It was also teased by the show’s creators that another Violet Evergarden project had been greenlit Kyoto Animation and that the new project might have something to do with the Violet Evergarden Gaiden novel, which is a collection of short stories from the Violet Evergarden series.

Having not seen the show yet myself, I’m not personally that excited, but I can understand why others would be. Even though the show was met with mixed reviews, there are many fans who still love it, and this must seem like a nice treat from Kyoto Animation. Hopefully, for those fans, this ends up being good.

What do you guys think of this week’s anime related news? Let me know in the comments below. Also, if you want to support the Aniwriter through donations or are just feeling generous, consider buying me a coffee on Ko-Fi. Otherwise, thanks for reading and bye for now, Friendos!

This Week in Anime: 1-4-18

Woohoo! 2018 is finally here, but the news never stops coming. Welcome to the first official episode of This Week in Anime of 2018. Let’s get started.

The Start of the Winter 2018 Season

A Place Further Than the Universe

Ito Junji

Many of the season’s shows are starting this week, with some having already started, including Sora Yori mo Tooi Basho, a show about a group of girls who want to explore the South Pole. Other widely anticipated shows include Violet Evergarden, The second season of both Overlord and The Seven Deadly Sins and The Ito Junji Collection, a collection of horror stories.

Sword Art Online Spinoff to Air in April

It was previously announced that Sword Art Online would be getting both a season three and a spinoff series. On Wednesday it was confirmed that the Sword Art Online spinoff titled “Sword Art Online Alternative” will be airing in the spring season of 2018. The show was written by Keiichi Sigsawa, the writer behind Kino’s Journey. The story focuses on an introverted girl named Karen Kohiruimkai, who plays Gun Gale Online as a way to escape her everyday worries and struggles. She tries to avoid interacting with other players but is eventually convinced by Pitohui to join the Battle Royale Tournament known as Squad Jam.

Logan Paul Films Dead Body in Japan’s Famous Suicide Forest


Not Anime related but a story still worth talking about, former Vine star and massive YouTube personality Logan Paul uploaded a video earlier this week showing the dead body of a man having committed Suicide in Aokigahara forest, known by many as “the suicide forest.” The video was part of a series of Vlogs in which Paul and friends of his explored Japan. The video features the Paul and two others preparing for a campout in Aokigahara. It then shows them walking into the forest, and having walked a short distance, seeing something in the distance. The three then approach what they believe to be a dead body, only to find their suspicions confirmed. The video shows close-ups of the body, with only the victims faced blurred as he hangs from a tree. In the video, he expresses his concern for those faced with depression and suicidal thoughts and says that suicide is not the answer.

The video prompted outrage from many, including many creators on YouTube such as Phillip Defranco and Boogie2988. Those who did not speak out in the form of Video Addressed the issue on Twitter, many saying that the video was disgraceful and that Logan Paul should be ashamed.

Logan Paul issued an apology on Tuesday saying “To the fans defending my actions: Don’t because they are not worth defending.

I think much of what has needed to be said on this issue has been said. It was stupid, insensitive and only serves to bolster Xenophobic feelings that permeate modern Japan. If Logan Paul really wants to atone for his sins, he needs to start by donating to the National Suicide Prevention Line that he claimed to care about in the video. Hopefully, although I’m not holding my breath, this becomes a sobering experience for Logan Paul and he learns that actions have consequences.

A Year-in-Review for the Anime Industry

In a great article from Teffen on Goboiano, They discuss the Anime Industries evergrowing problem with underpaid and overworked staff, and that often times the production committees run out the back door with most of the money. The article mentions that often times animators are paid to be at or below the poverty line and that many require financial assistance from families just to stay alive.


The New Trailer for Violet Evergarden Appears to be a Good Sign of What’s to Come

Kyoto Animation’s YouTube channel recently released a new trailer for their upcoming title Violet Evergarden and saying that this show looks good is a bit of an understatement.

A lot about the show’s plot has already been revealed. After a war between the north and south halves of the continent of Telesis, Violet Evergarden retires and starts work at the CH Postal Service. This is because she is facinated by the work of Auto Memory Dolls, people who can turn thoughts into words, and works to send those words to many different people.

We have seen in other trailers that Violet Evergarden hasn’t exactly had the easiest time after the war. We see her presumably returning to life before the war as she begins her new job and the many people she is going to meet while on that job. We also see the many painful reminders she gets of her husband being lost during the war, and that she is still very much affected by that loss.

The show oozes Kyoto animation’s extremely high production value, along with a beautiful color palette that emphasizes the fantasy elements of the show. The shows musical score also seems to be pulling no punches when it comes to emphasizing what seems to be the shows best elements. If this trailer is anything to go off of, then we might have already have a candidate for best anime of 2018.