In the opening three episodes of Violet Evergarden, you become accustomed to Violet’s personality traits. The young lady is clearly affected by the war. Violet succumbs herself to military ways; organised, to the point, and the need to serve a purpose. Her goal has been solidified into the storyline; she needs to understand her purpose and the meaning of “I love you”, which Major blurted to her during the war.
Violet Evergarden episode 4 is the first episode in the series that dares to expand itself within this world that Violet resides in. The first three episodes were the base, and now we are beginning to witness the narrative developing. Violet is important to the wider story in episode 4 but she is not necessarily the main character.
What’s the premise of Violet Evergarden episode 4?
The Anime series has cemented the concept that Violet is now an Auto Memory Doll, striving to become the best and learn about human emotions. Episode 4 takes the lead character on an adventure with fellow colleague Iris from the postal service. Iris has been tasked to go to a village which happens to be her hometown, to help an older lady write a letter. Unbeknown to her, there was no task. It was her family, tricking her to come home and spend time with them prior to her birthday.
Before Iris embarks on her adventure, she damages her arm so she needs Violet to accompany her to help write the letter.
Why is this important to the overall story?
Apart from the war flashbacks, we haven’t up until this point seen Violet outside her usual habitat. From episode 1 she has obsessed with herself to find purpose in the Auto Memory Doll department. It was helpful for the overall story to witness another character take a stronger lead to see how Violet managed the situation.
Iris clearly has issues with her family as she voices her distaste for the birthday party planning. Her parents have other ideas in mind. Despite Iris being the stronger voice, at the same time, you explore Violet’s current thought process. The war has juiced out her emotional gauge and she has no grasp of how to read a personal situation. This is obvious when she decides to go against Iris’s orders and invites men to the party due to her mother’s wishes. Like previous episodes, Violet is regimented. She understands the order of power; mother then daughter, so she leans to the most logical choice and sides with the parents.
Has Violet not learnt from previous mistakes?
I recognised in the previous recap that Violet will battle personal situations time and time again on a steep learning curve. Clearly, she has not learnt from her mistakes. She thought she had overcome her issues to read emotions when she helped her friend’s brother previously. The point of this episode is to allow Violet to arrive in a different situation and learn that every personal scenario is subjective and it is not the case of applying the same logic to each task. The Auto Memory Doll job will be a theme for the rest of the season I believe, with different situations to handle. Violet Evergarden is establishing itself as an Anime series about overcoming pain and learning about yourself.
Is there any closure for Violet and Iris?
As the episode progresses, the party does happen and Violet once again becomes embroiled between Iris and her family. She decides to write a letter to the family on the behalf of Iris. This allows both characters to reconcile. We learn that Iris wanted to become an Auto Memory Doll because her childhood crush (who turned up to the party) rejected her when she was younger. Due to her misunderstanding of the meaning of “I love you”, she decides that writing letters for others will help her. Plus giving her a chance to remove herself from her parents.
This revelation is key as it allows Violet to find a worthy connection with her companion as she also seeks to understand the meaning of “I love you”. The letter she sent to the family on the behalf of Iris was an apology letter. The kind of an apology you’d expect from a child. Violet’s mission is complete, another letter is successful and Iris finds small peace with her family.
Each episode of Violet Evergarden is an average 25 minutes long. The amount of detail and messages that they manage to press into such a small space, without suffocating the narrative, is impressive. So far, the Netflix Original Anime series has not made a wrong move.