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Hey Spitz, What’ve You Been Watching? February 2019

March 11, 2019

Spring forward, huh?
Hello, folks. I suspect my lateness is falling out of fashion?
Something which has struck me in recent months, as I’ve finally taken the time to check out some of the anime series currently exclusive for North American release through Netflix, is the idea of a series being locked behind a streaming service.
Little Witch Academia, which was covered recently, as well as (to tip my hand a bit) Violet Evergarden are currently unavailable for purchase on disc in the West.
While this isn’t a big deal as long as they are available in some form, it is nonetheless a bit disappointing to be unable to support the series in this way. To put it in unnecessarily dramatic words, it feels as though Netflix is holding these anime series hostage.
With the growth of digital services over the past few years and the slow but inevitable transition away from physical media, does this mean that there will be a day when there is no option for a physical collection at all?
There’s no guessing which series I’ve been working through:

 

Violet Evergarden-
In a region scarred by conflict, an unsteady peace has at last been found.
As the participating countries struggle to pick up the pieces following the end to a great war, there are countless voices seeking a means from which to channel their feelings.
Many people hire the services of Auto Memory Dolls, who are women armed with type-writers; part copyist, part delivery worker.
One such Doll is a young woman named Violet. After waking in a hospital and having been fitted with prosthetic arms to replace those lost in conflict, she works under CH Postal Services, and longs to find that which the war has taken from her.

What I thought-
This series managed to gather up a bit of excitement with a series of previews running up to its airing last year, with visuals best described as “luscious”, and a certain air of longing and loss expressed throughout.
I think those two attributes were held to for the most part.
Violet Evergarden is a series I would watch an episode of while I waited to clock in at work, until it became too abusive to do so.
While I don’t think the finished product achieved the fluidity and density of visuals showed in those previews, this is still a bit of a marvel from the production angle. Excellent original music and voice acting bring emotional weight to scenes, and the series not only exhibits an excellent overall style, with (in typical fashion for KyoAni) even minor characters sporting great character designs. The animation is a mixture of CG and traditional animation, though the CG is by no means overused or intrusive, and I laud the inclusion of actual, 2d animated vehicles, which have become a rarity nowadays. Something in particular which grabbed my attention with the visuals, was the attention given to the animation of character clothing. Rarely can you get a sense for texture or even how materials must feel to the touch as is the case here, with Violet’s Doll uniform being the obvious highlight. It’s a small thing, but it stands out, and it lends an extra tangible feeling to the characters on screen.
While I wouldn’t call the main narrative the primary draw, watching Violet grow over the course of the series was quite gripping on its own. What starts out as a fairly absurd character becomes one you sympathize and even relate to to some degree, and her growth feels organic and deserved given the experiences you as the viewer share with her.
These experiences are what I would consider the highlight. As Violet travels the land to carry out her services, she encounters a handful of likable characters with interesting problems. Their smaller stories range from encouraging to heart-wrenching, and watching Violet, who begins the story with limited emotional capability approach each, can be both funny and endearing.
This is a tremendous series, both in scope and thematically, and it stands as an example of Kyoto Animation’s range as a studio; capable of both airy moe comedy as well as weighty emotional drama.
Violet Evergarden is tremendous. While over-the-top at times, this is a tale rich in character and themes, with some of the most jaw-dropping visuals you will find in a 1-cour series.

 

Boy, that stream idea sure didn’t pan out, did it. There are issues seemingly related to my pc setup which cause gross artifacting during streams, seemingly regardless of what settings I use. Frustrating. We’ll keep trying different things until hopefully something works.
There is another gaming related thing I’m interested in doing should the streams fail to work out, but it may require more editing than I have time for at the moment. I’m trying, I promise!
That’s it from me for now though. Are you as amped for Springtime as I am? Enough with this cold weather..
(Last year this month.)
恘悃怂

From → Anime

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