Violet Evergarden: A Deep Dive into the Anime Phenomenon

Violet Evergarden: A Deep Dive into the Anime Phenomenon
Violet Evergarden: A Deep Dive into the Anime Phenomenon

Violet Evergarden is a Japanese light novel series written by Kana Akatsuki. The franchise has gained popularity among most anime fans all over the world. The light novel series was published from December 2015 to March 2020 by Kyoto Animation. The anime adaptation television series, also produced by Kyoto Animation, began airing on January 11, 2018 and ended on April 5, 2018, running for 13 episodes. 

In July 2018 an original video animation episode was released following the rise of a dedicated fanbase. Then in September 2019, the franchise released an animated film, Violet Evergarden: Eternity and the Auto Memory Doll. The movie premiered in Japan. The following year a second anime film Violet Evergarden: The Movie was released which served as the finale of the franchise. In 2014, the Violet Evergarden franchise won the grand prize in the fifth Kyoto Animation Award’s novel category. 

The Story Looks At WWII From The Perspective Of The Japanese

Violet Evergarden

Violet Evergarden is set in the 19th century when WWII started. The story is set in a fictional country, Leidenschaftlich, and features Western European influences. It follows the story of Violet Evergarden, a child soldier who was raised in the middle of the war, Violet wasn’t raised like a typical human girl leaving her to act robot-like. Violet faced a lot of trauma growing up. Before dying, Major Gilbert Bougainvillea who was her mentor and guardian, said that he loved her. But she was confused about what this meant, having never heard the word love.

After the war, Violet starts a new life working at CH Postal Services as an Auto Memory Doll, a ghostwriter who transcribes people’s thoughts and feelings into letters. She struggles to understand emotions as she writes and battles with trauma from her past life. Her new trade takes her on an adventure that will reshape her clients’ lives and hopefully lead to self-discovery.

All The Characters in the Series Are Praised for Being Realistic 

Violet Evergarden

The series features a diverse set of characters, each character with their own unique stories and personalities. The main character and protagonist of the series, Violet Evergarden was voiced by Yui Ishikawa in Japanese and Erika Harlacher in English. Violet is a former child soldier and an orphan. She was enlisted in the Leidenschaftlich army and fought in the war, where she was treated as nothing more than a weapon because of her extraordinary fighting skills. She lost her hands during the war trying to save her guardian and mentor but was replaced with robotic hands. Violet then worked as an Auto Memory Doll at the CH postal company. She initially struggles with understanding emotions and expressing herself but gradually learns how to connect with people through her writing. 

Another major character in the series is Major Gilbert Bougainvillea a major in the Leidenschaftlich army. Daisuke Namikawa voiced the character in Japanese and Tony Azzolino in English. Gilbert was first introduced when his brother, navy officer Dietfried Bougainvillea brought Violet to him to use as a tool for battle. Gilbert was the only one who really valued Violet and saw her as a human being rather than a weapon for war. He never expressed his emotions to Violet until his death when he told her he loved her, leaving her confused. However, initially thought to have been dead, he recovered from his injuries and reappeared several years later. 

The character Cattleya Baudelaire was a figurehead Auto Memories Doll who worked for the CH Postal Company. She joined the company as one of its initial employees. Cattleya Baudelaire worked with Violet and became her friend and confidant. She was voiced by Aya Endō in Japanese and  Reba Buhr in English.

Violet Evergarden Explores a Range of Themes

Violet Evergarden

The series explores a number of themes and messages throughout its story, many of which are deeply emotional. One major theme is the effect of war and its aftermath. This can be seen in the life of Violet Evergarden. She was made to be a weapon for war and after the war ended struggled to adapt to a normal society and function as an ordinary human, not a war machine. It was also clearly seen how Violet felt guilty for all those lives she took during the war and the impact it had on their loved ones. She suffered a lot of trauma after the war, this shows that it’s not just civilians but also soldiers who suffer in the aftermath of a war. 

Another central theme is love. Violet Evergarden doesn’t only focus on Violet’s journey to discover what love is, following the last words Gilbert said to her but also the implications of what that word means. In almost every episode, Violet learns some new facet of love that completely changes her understanding of the concept.  The series also explores the power of letters. The series shows how writing can serve as a bridge between people, and how people’s thoughts, emotions, and feelings can be transcribed into words on paper and communicate with one another.

Violet Evergarden Was Critically Successful

Violet Evergarden

Violet Evergarden gained a lot of positive reviews, from the light novel to the television series adaptation. In 2014, the light novel won the grand prize in the fifth Kyoto Animation Award’s novel category. The anime also won the IGN and the 3rd Crunchyroll Anime Awards for best animation in 2018 and 2019 respectively. The film adaptation was also very successful and had a lot of positive reviews. 

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