Violet Evergarden is a one-season anime adaptation by Kyoto Animations in 2018 of the accompanying Japanese light novel series written by Kana Atsuki. There have also been two films released in 2019 and 2020 respectively that conclude this award-winning series. Let’s dive into what makes this show so beloved.
Violet Evergarden is set in a world similar to 19th-century Europe that follows an ex-soldier named Violet Evergarden as she tries to live a normal life in the aftermath of a great war. As she adjusts to her new life, she decides to take up a job as an Auto-Memory Doll. This requires her to go around the world writing letters for people as many haven’t yet learned how to write. At the same time, Violet is also desperately searching for her commander, Gilbert Bougainvillea, who mysteriously disappeared during the war.
The animation in Violet Evergarden is absolutely gorgeous. Kyoto Animation has long been considered a high-quality animation studio with famous projects such as A Silent Voice and Clannad. With this repertoire under their belt, it’s no wonder that they knocked it out of the park with this one. The sheer amount of detail and care put into every frame is incredible. The old European aesthetic, along with the detailed color palette come together to create one of the most visually stunning shows I’ve ever seen.
Violet Evergarden’s soundtrack is able to seamlessly blend into the background while also strengthening the emotional heights of the series. Evan Call, an experienced anime composer, did an immaculate job with his compositions as his orchestral, violin-heavy songs fit the theme of the show perfectly.
Violet Evergarden is one of the most emotionally compelling anime I’ve ever watched. Its titular character, Violet, was a standout protagonist, but where the show really shines is in its individual stories. Every episode of Violet Evergarden tackles its own self-contained story as Violet helps people through her job as an Auto-Memory Doll. Whether it be a soldier trying to write back to his beloved or a sickly mother writing to her daughter, every episode tells a new story and we see Violet grow and help others express themselves through letters. The story’s themes of love, grief, and self-expression are able to really shine through its use of masterful storytelling and world-building. Violet Evergarden is not the most action-packed anime, nor is it the most sentimental romance out there, but it is a show that will make you feel on a deeper level than almost any other show. It really shows what can be done when a studio is given the resources, time, and proper source material to really create something exceptional.
So, if you ever find yourself trying to find a new anime to watch or if you’re looking to get into the genre, Violet Evergarden is an easy recommendation. Overall, I would give the show a 9/10.