My very first impressions of Violet Evergarden, which I experienced only now because I purposefully avoided watching the PVs and finding any other information about the show, were… surprising. The “soldiers during and after the war” setting didn’t immediately click with me, I even found it unfortunate (compared to what other possible settings, I don’t know), and it honestly felt like the prologue or first chapter of a visual novel, for better or for worse. In retrospect, though, my surprise makes sense, because this is so different from everything else I’ve seen from Kyoto Animation.
A few minutes into the first episode, though, the KyoAni touch really starts showing. The comedic timing is very good, and the emotional punches (the first one for me being the scene where Violet receives the gloves) are strong. And, of course, it looks fantastic, as good as some movies. The soundtrack also stands out, in a few scenes in particular, and I really liked what I heard of it. All in all, a great first episode, and it lived up to my expectations of KyoAni quality even though it’s different from most of their other shows.
Verdict: Very good first episode. Definitely watching this until the end.
The first episode of this show surprised me as well, but in a less extreme way. I expected it to be either a very loud comedy or a relatively quiet drama. Instead, I got a relatively quiet comedy, which actually worked well for the most part. The main character doesn’t talk a lot, and her love interest – the 45-year-old guy – is surprisingly sweet and sympathetic. I have to admit that I thought the romance aspect of the show, at least so far, was well-written. Surprisingly much so.
That said, the fact that the romance is between a 17-year-old and a 45-year-old still puts me off, and it prevented me from really feeling the characters. It’s unfortunate, but I don’t think I’ll be able to overcome that, and it will probably lead me to drop the show sooner or later. For now, though, I liked the first episode so much that I’ll continue watching. At least one more episode.
Verdict: Surprisingly good, but I have fundamental issues with it. Will watch at least one more episode.