Sequel to Violet Evergarden
Genre(s): Drama, Slice of Life
Age-Appropriateness: 12+ (Scenes of violence, blood)
Platform: Netflix (on October 13, 2021)
Episodes: One 140 min. movie
TheAwersome Rating: 9.4 / 10 (Masterpiece)
Premise: Several years have passed since the end of The Great War. As the radio tower in Leidenschaftlich continues to be built, telephones will soon become more relevant, leading to a decline in demand for “Auto Memory Dolls.” Even so, Violet Evergarden continues to rise in fame after her constant success with writing letters. However, sometimes the one thing you long for is the one thing that does not appear. Violet continues to comprehend the concept of emotion and the meaning of love. At the same time, she pursues a glimmer of hope that the man who once told her, “I love you,” may still be alive even after the many years that have passed.
TheAwersome’s Thoughts: This is it. This is the anime movie that I first decided to see in theaters, back in the summer of 2018. Three years later, over a year past its planned release date, it’s here and doesn’t disappoint. If you watched the original Violet Evergarden series, you already know that its animation was above most Anime movie standards. Take that as your baseline, and then apply “anime movie animation upgrade” to it and you have the most beautiful, intricate, detailed 2D movie that you will ever see in your life. And that’s to say nothing of the acting, cinematography, music, symbolism, story, and storytelling that are all improved upon as well. This is one you’ll likely want to see a few times so that you can fully absorb it.
While the series was mostly watching Violet slowly grow, and how she and her work affected others, this centers more on her, without neglecting that special feel that the main series had. Bring along some tissues because there’s going to be some cathartic crying going on.
TLDR: A crowning end to the Violet Evergarden story.
“But TheAwersome, you gave the main series a higher rating, is the movie not as good?”
The reason the series has a higher rating is because of what the series meant to me. Objectively, looking at animation, character arc, pacing, overall artistry, etc., I’d put the movie higher, likely. The benefit of a sequel movie is that you don’t have to do as many character introductions or worldbuilding, but that can also be a detractor. Something that made the series so special to me was the experience of falling in love with the world, the characters, the story. That rush of newness isn’t there as much when we’re continuing the story.
The overall message of the series is a different message than that of the movie. The focus of the series, I feel, is a post-war drama about healing and dealing with guilt and trauma while exploring the brighter side of humanity and learning to love oneself. There was a bit of the “It’s a Wonderful Life” effect of seeing how your actions have, do, and can affect others is positive ways. And to watch this at the tail end of an over two-year battle with both Harbour’s cancer and my own depression was the abundant catharsis that I needed. I needed to feel again because I, like Violet, had closed myself off from emotions (or tried to, only pesky ones like ennui and self-loathing stuck around) and didn’t really confront the issues in front of me. Or perhaps I merely hadn’t forgiven myself for having done so.
And the crying you get from Violet Evergarden is such a cathartic, healing cry. It isn’t one out of just sadness, depression, and despair, but one coupled with so much heart-healing power (I think we call that hope) that only KyoAni provides, and consistently does. It’s like emotional surgery, it hurts getting cut open, but then the bottled-up emotions can truly gush out and cleanse you of the negativity.