Violet Evergarden: Episode 5 Review

One of the most anticipated anime series of 2018, Violet Evergarden began subtly yet emotionally powerful with its first two episodes. The last couple weeks, however, left some viewers a bit wanting with plot inconsistencies and a lack of real progression in Violet’s quest to figure out what love is and in revealing her history with “The Major”. Despite any perceived flaws, Violet is making progress both in her work as an Auto Memory Doll and her understanding of complex human emotions, which leads her to the task of handling a highly delicate situation in this week’s episode, “You Write Letters That Bring People Together?”.

A few months have passed since the events surrounding Iris’s birthday in episode 4. At the military’s request, Violet now travels to the kingdom of Drossel to write a public love letter from its Princess, Charlotte, to Prince Damien of the kingdom of Flogel. This is critical because Drossel and Flogel were enemies during the war, and this arranged marriage between Charlotte and Damien is a central part of the kingdoms’ recently formed peace treaty. Making the love letter public builds goodwill and anticipation among the public for the big day. No pressure then!

Upon meeting Princess Charlotte, you can’t help but be struck by how different she is from Violet. She immediately comes off as the highly emotional/spoiled brat type versus the endlessly calm and eloquent Violet. Charlotte herself reacts to this contradiction, exclaiming “I feel like I’m not even talking to a human!” But in a masterful turn, the two begin to bond as they share their uncertainties about love and you realize that, in different ways, they share rough pasts and have both been used as tools to aid in others’ agendas.

Charlotte seems like a spoiled brat at first, but is much more complex beneath the surface.

Charlotte, despite being impressed with Violet’s writing skills, fears the proposed marriage to Damien because of their age difference – she is 14, he is 24 – and remains uncertain about her feelings for him. As a result, the public proclamations of love are all style with no substance. Among all this, the connection between Violet and the Princess continues to grow and ultimately leads Violet to make an exceptionally perceptive observation and decision – have Charlotte and Damien write letters themselves, from their own heart and mind, allowing them to get to know each other on a deeper level.

You’ll have to watch the episode to see how it all ends but it is a beautiful story. Contrary to the last few episodes where Violet was the central focus, here she takes more of a backseat to Charlotte and Damien which allows her to be more of an observer and, subsequently, a learner. All that said, we’re also left on quite a cliffhanger as Violet returns home to be angrily confronted by a former enemy from the war, hinting that next week’s episode will dig further into Violet’s past and a whole different type of conflict to deal with.

Plot aside, Violet Evergarden’s animation quality remains absolute eye candy, but the biggest standout this week is the script writing, particularly when Charlotte and Damien begin writing their own letters. The dialogue flows so smoothly and develops both characters – and Violet – in believable and enjoyable ways.

The only detail I found somewhat disconcerting was the reveal of Violet’s age. Considering the character’s design, her heavy past as a weapon of war and the maturity she exudes, I assumed she was 18, maybe 19. Well, it’s been confirmed that Violet

The episode ends with Violet confronted by a figure connected to her wartime past.

Evergarden is…..14 years old! It’s not necessarily a negative, just a bit of a shock – especially during an episode where she interacts with a Princess who is the same age and very much acts that age.

Overall, “You Write Letters That Bring People Together?” is a fantastic episode that has reignited my excitement for the series. After that cliffhanger ending, get ready to watch next week’s episode from the edge of your seat, because major reveals about Violet’s past are likely coming!

The subbed and dubbed versions of Violet Evergarden are available now on Netflix in North America.


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Author: Joe Ballard View all posts by

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