Violet Evergreen and the Salvation of Anime
One show I’ve been enjoying is Violet Evergarden, the much-hyped series by Kyoto Animation. It’s the story of a fictional country that experienced a long and difficult war with a neighboring power, and the journey of former soldier and cyborg Violet as she adjusts to her new career as an Auto Memory Doll, a person who composes letters and messages that capture the emotions of clients who hire them. Because the show is by Kyoani, every aspect of it is beautiful, and even side characters are so fabulously detailed that they sometimes develop their own fandom. I hope you’ll give the show a try!
Violet Evergarden is important for another reason: it’s the highest-profile Netflix-funded anime series so far, being fully bankrolled by the video streaming service. The arrival of Western funding for anime has been a veritable white knight (or White Knight of Sidonia, since that was the first Netflix-funded show) for the industry, allowing studios resigned to losing money on many of their projects to actually show a profit, and hopefully raise wages. Netflix is dropping a cool $8 billion on several projects this year, which sounds like a lot of money, but it turns out it’s quite affordable compared to their mainstream productions.
In addition, the new funding arrangement has the potential to break the tyranny of the Anime Production Committee system, in which holding companies with names like Madoka Quartet or Is The Order a Production Committee? are created by investors made up of animation studios (Shaft), development companies (Nitroplus), television studios (TV Tokyo), figure makers (Good Smile Company) and a company to hassle fans over their YouTube uploads (Aniplex). There are benefits to the system (risk is spread around various companies, funding is provided), but in the end it’s become a limitation to animation studios telling the stories they want.
We carry all the best English-translated visual novels, RPGs and other “hentai” games, and today we’ve got a treat: the Grisaia Complete Box, a deluxe box with four full length games to play, and tons of other goodies for your collection. You can preorder the amazing game box starting today!