The story in Violet Evergarden 9 is as predictable as they come. We start with the end of the flashback, with Gilbert dying and the suddenly armless Violet determined to pull him out of there with her teeth if need be. Pretty much everything we expected. After that we get scenes of Violet dealing with both grief and guilt in ways that, again, could be predicted, and the beginning of the slow climb out of it … the concept that there are people who are happy she’s alive dawns on her. They bring up the concept of writing and delivering letters, helping people come closer, as an antidote for sins committed in the past, for the second time. In a nice touch, Iris and Erica write their own letter to her, and Violet realizes just how valued the act is, fine and dandy, she’s healing.
I’m not sure I like the idea of mail delivery to counter sins of the past, but I do understand how just the act of doing a good dead, or even working, can aid the healing process. But what happens now? Violet isn’t yet where she wants to be, but she’s turned the corner. NOW what is the show going to do? Many more scenes of Violet getting through it all is going to get repetitive, but there are at least three more episodes to go. Are they going to crank up the war again? They’ve been hinting at it for a while, this week being some “Anti-peace” activists causing trouble, but is there time to introduce a whole new war, or maybe Violet and her friends will get caught in a smaller struggle, and she will have to make choices in order to save her friends, which would be interesting since she will not be following orders this time, but also kind of predictable. So it will probably happen.
The first half of Hakomei to Mikochi 9 has one of the oddest situations I’ve ever seen in fiction, let alone anime. The girls, along with Sen and Konju, explore life underwater in an airtight sphere, powered by the skeleton of a fish named Simon, which gets its rhythm through a wire connected to a tambourine Konju plays. As they descend deeper and deeper, all we can hear is a tambourine beat and some underwater noises. The concept is so individual and odd that no creative committee could have thought it up, and the anime creators knew to keep it simple and basic, and let the situation speak for itself. Well, I suppose that for all the bright colors and details in the series, you could also call it subdued. Alas, we don’t see many wonders down there but fish. The story focuses more on Sen and Konju squabbling about this and that, and another moment of life and death. The second half, where Mikochi designs Sen a new outfit, feels more like a “how-to” show, what with all the talk of dyes, but remember these are three-inch tall girls doing the design work, using only basic tools and things found in the forest.
Darling in the FranXX now turns from Hiro and 02, mostly, and begins to pay attention to the troubled side couples. First up is perhaps the dullest, Gorou and Ichigo. “Dullest” because there’s nothing much anyone can do about the situation. Ichigo loves Hiro, who is taken. She is trying to accept it, but hasn’t gotten there yet. Meanwhile, Gorou loves Ichigo, repeat the above … All they can really all do is keep working to accept what they can and can’t have, and find something of value there. Which they do, thanks to Gorou and his Franxx being eaten by a Klaxosaur but still alive after Ichigo gets ejected.
I suppose there’s your weekly metaphor right there, Ichigo getting pushed aside so that Gorou can do the heroic thing at the cost of his life. Ichigo and Gorou know each other well enough that she knows he’ll try something heroic and get himself killed, even though the others have a plan to rescue him, also he’s totally forgetting their line, overused in this episode, that he’s too weak to do anything alone, but with her they can win. And so together they manage to save the day (well, the others help too) and reach an understanding of just how important the other is. Gorou even confesses and gets Ichigo cutely flustered. Probably things will get better for them now. Meanwhile, I still wonder if the show is going to sacrifice any of these couples, or pieces of them. Not this week. Not that I’m rooting for such a thing–I don’t really like it when regular characters die in a series, but right now it all seems a little tame. Well, maybe one of the other couples will spice it up. Or they’ll start questioning their roles as saviors with no choice …