Details: This is a review of the thirteen episode series and the single episode OVA. More information can be found at https://www.netflix.com/title/80182123 and https://myanimelist.net/anime/33352/Violet_Evergarden
Violet Evergarden is an anime whose primary purpose is to make you cry. Each story seeks to be heart wrenching or uplifting in some way so as to extract tears from you. Whether or not the stories will resonate with you, depends on how much you enjoy anime or drama. If you enjoy both, then there will be some meaningful moments throughout this show.
This show takes place in a fictional world much like Europe post World War I. The story focuses on Violet Evergarden, a young girl and an orphan who served as a soldier during the war. Soon after losing both her arms, the war ends and she enters civilian life, something she has no experience with. She soon finds herself employed as an Auto Memory Doll, basically a ghostwriter who writes letters for other people. By helping people write letters, Violet hopes to learn more about human emotions and about her own trauma.
The first thing that struck me about this show are the visuals. This show looks amazing. This is movie quality animation and art. I don’t know what the budget for this show was, but it must’ve been enormous. I know that they made a deal with Netflix to stream this show in the United States, so maybe this is some of that Netflix money. Regardless, this show looks amazing.
The music is also great. It’s mostly a fully orchestrated soundtrack with many memorable melodies throughout. This is just more evidence of that big budget.
As for the story, it is mostly well done. As said above, the show creators really try to pull at your heart strings and I found them mostly successful. There are some moments that were so excessive in how it tries to make you cry that I found myself in an very meta, out of body moment where I couldn’t feel anything because of how obvious the story was. Other than those moments, I found most of the show fairly moving.
It is a very slow show. Ninety percent of this show is dialogue, drama and introspection. Don’t expect too much action or explosions. If you’re not a fan of dramas, you’re not going to enjoy this.
Overall, I really enjoyed this show and look forward to the upcoming movie coming out this September.