Violet Evergarden is an anime that will constantly hit you in your feels. It follows the titular character, war veteran Violet Evergarden, as she tries to understand what the phrase “I love you” really means. Violet is not as attuned to emotions as others, and much of her story involves her slowly learning about different emotions and beginning to truly live. Violet works for a company in the business of what is known as auto memory dolls. Violet helps to write letters at the request of others to help them articulate the feelings that they want to convey to another. In the process of writing letters for others, Violet is able to understand others’ feelings and begin to unlock her own.
Violet Evergarden is set in a time period that is before our current time, as Violet is still using a typewriter to write the letters, and letters are a preferred mode of communication still.
Violet Evergarden is animated by Kyoto Animation. Kyoto Animation is a popular animation studio that always delivers on vibrant colors and striking features, especially on the eyes of characters. By focusing so much on eyes, it makes it easier for viewers to see emotions in characters. Violet Evergarden is a light novel, and these kinds of details are given to readers through descriptions in words. In anime, unless there is a constant narrator, this cannot be given, and Kyoto uses eyes to help bridge this gap in genre.
This anime follows a more slice of life formula, in the sense that the plot is less of a driving factor in the episodes. Yes, Violet is learning what love is, but the episodes are more just day to day activities. Violet encounters different people and writes different letters, but there are not really any sudden changes or drastic events for the most part. If you are a fan of these kinds of encounters, I recommend giving Violet Evergarden a look.
Each episode deals with different people that Violet is introduced to. Each of them have different problems that require Violet’s assistance. Despite that pattern, each of the people who come to Violet are unique and touch on topics that can pierce someone’s heart. Letters could be from parent to child, between lovers, or between friends. A common theme throughout this series is if there is something that you want to express, then there is a letter to be written. As someone who enjoys writing and believes in how it can help express oneself, these episodes were powerful. Through the letters, people were able to connect, or even at times reconnect with another.
A fair warning: this anime is a tear-jerker. I cried several times throughout this series. There were plenty of tragic characters introduced with sad situations. There were happy moments and also sad moments. That is the reality of this letter business. I would give it a 8.5/10. All of Violet Evergarden is available on Netflix, Season 1, and the 2 accompanying movies. Give it a watch, if any of this resonated with you!
Photos by author
Writer: Timothy Jung