Violet Evergarden Movie

Movie (1 ep x 140 min)
4.47 out of 5 from 8,560 votes
Rank #25

As the world moves on from the war and technological advances bring changes to her life, Violet still hopes to see her lost commanding officer again.

Source: Netflix

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Violet Evergarden (VE) is a story about what it means to be human.Our titular protagonist starts off as a machine-like soldier, a weapon of war. When the war ends, she's hired to serve as a Doll - exemplary servants charged with crafting tailor-made letters for their clients. Violet's profession leads her to encounter people from various walks of life. She acts as a first-hand witness to her clients' humanity, watching as their desires and feelings gradually emerge. Violet's letters conveyed emotions to others, and those emotions reached her in turn. Her empathy blossoms, transforming the stoic Doll into a caring, resilient individual. Now that she's grown, VE: The Movie gives Violet the opportunity to write a letter of her own.Mild spoilers ahead, I highly recommend that you check out the show's synopsis or trailer(s) before reading further. Skip ahead to my spoiler-free Tl;Dr if you'd like to go in blind.Several years have passed between events from the TV series and the movie.This new Leiden is explored in greater detail with the Eternity and the Auto Memory Doll Side Story, which may be worth your time if you're in need of more VE. The key takeaway of this story choice is that of changing times. Leiden is far from a fragile post-war state; a symbolic radio tower erected in the city center embodies the progress of the nation. Technology has advanced, and innovations such as the telegraph and telephone are relegating the Dolls to a bygone relic of history. Times are a' changing, but some are struggling to flow with the tide."Aishteru." We all knew that the show would have to come back to The Major eventually. Teased at the end of the TV series, speculation surrounding his fate has circled the community. These questions have also lingered long in Violet's mind, and the lack of closure has kept her from moving on in life. Just as her writing ability has grown, so have the feelings welling up inside her. Violet's clients have earnestly demonstrated the meaning behind the Major's last words. But now that ignorance is long gone. All she has are letters unsent and feelings unrequited. In its first act, VE takes ample time to explore the concepts of survivor's guilt and loss. The TV series still threw our protagonist into combat skirmishes and was thus unable to explore this territory. Now that we're well into peacetime, I found these threads to be rather compelling. VE reflects on the ramifications and toll taken on survivors such as Violet, the Major's brother Dietfried, and the Major himself (this is my only spoiler, please don't leave!)Gilbert's inclusion is both simple and effective. Given how long fans have waited for answers, the explanation provided for his comeback may prove disappointing for some. Just like his return, Gilbert's plotline isn't engineered to pull big surprises, instead driving home an emotional gutpunch reminiscent of those we've come to expect from the franchise. Speaking of the TV series, VE includes memorable callbacks to past adventures, highlighting a handful of important moments that impacted Violet's life. Coupled with this arc is one more Doll job Violet picks up on the side. We'll leave the finer details out of the picture for now, but let's just say this arc took several cues from the infamous Episode 10^^. Both story threads pose an important question: "Can we leave things unsaid?" Is it right to swallow our regrets and carry on? What stands out to me most in VE is that while the film gives a clear answer to these questions, it doesn't antagonise the idea of staying silent. At various points in the story, our central characters arrive at a common conclusion. They each decide it's best to bottle up their emotions and leave their past behind. Doing so isn't always cowardice, sometimes keeping quiet is the right course of action. Things will sting momentarily, but people are conditioned to get by without a Happily Ever After. It's a storytelling approach that caught me off guard, and more so coming from KyoAni.I didn't want to think about the fire. I didn't want to be reminded of the arson incident that devastated Kyoto Animation. And yet, that was all that was on my mind as I headed into VE's final stretch. It dawned on me that this movie didn't need to get made. Just like countless anime IPs before, we might never have seen a conclusive ending to this story on our screens. And in this instance, no one would blame the creators; KyoAni suffered an unspeakable tragedy. In their shoes it would be understandable to throw in the towel and leave this tale unfinished. For all the fond memories and heartwarming stories this studio brought into the world, I was willing to accept that their time had come to an end. Surely, what we've already been given was enough.To leave things unfinished isn't wrong, but to speak our minds is far better! Letting out the inner desires of our hearts is liberating, and seeking closure brings catharsis. Such is the message of VE, delivered uncompromisingly by KyoAni. Under trying circumstances, I anticipated some form of trade-off from the illustrious studio's gold standard. However, the film's visuals are as stunning as ever; I couldn't find a single frame where the art dropped below the quality that we've grown to know and love. Backgrounds and facial expressions alike look gorgeous on the big screen. A swooning soundtrack accentuates the highs and lows of an emotionally-charged script - one that demonstrates the value behind the feelings we share and the words we write. VE's lesson is about the importance of conveying messages of your heart while you have the chance. KyoAni certainly seized the opportunity to do so with this finale, and for that I'm grateful.Tl;Dr: Violet Evergarden: The Movie brings definitive closure to this beloved series. Filled with memorable highlights from the TV season, VE still has a few more new stories to tell. The moving narrative, enhanced with the ever-sensational visuals and soundtrack, showcases the beauty in acknowledging the past that has shaped our present selves. VE also urges us to say what we need to say, while we still can. VE is a triumphant return for a hard-hit studio, a love letter from KyoAni to you. 7/10~STRAY RAMBLINGS (SPOILERS):- ^Oh boy, do I have some hot takes about Eternity. It's by far my least favorite instalment of the show. Don't get me wrong, the main plot with the sisters was strong. However, it felt a lot like it'd function better as just another episode of the TV series. Instead it got stretched out, with a good 30 minutes of padding that involved a sightseeing tour around post-time-skip Leiden. Nothing really happens, which is why I feel that most moviegoers could do without watching this side story. VE thankfully seems to have learnt lessons from Eternity, since it too had a short A-plot that could have easily served as a regular episode. The workaround was to hand us a secondary arc, and we should probably talk about that for a bit…-^^I found the various callbacks to Episode 10 rather amusing. It was as if the writers were admitting that they didn't know how to surpass that story. And for good reason too, Episode 10 is spectacular! VE's handful of Ep 10 references goes as far as to inspire a whole arc itself. But despite the similarities, I'm glad Yurith's arc felt like its own plotline. It tried a couple new things, and was a rare instance where the post-war innovation played a big role in moving the plot. Conceptually and thematically sound; the scene in the hospital had a damn good chance at leaving me in shambles. Hope you broke out the Kleenex for this one.- Another big Episode 10 reference came with the C-plot introduced at the beginning of the film. This wasn't super interesting IMO, the girl really didn't have a clear reasoning behind her globetrotting investigation. Just seems weird to be chasing after a stranger who wrote letters for your great-grandma, and grief didn't seem to be the motif since her character arc was about cherishing her parents. Anyways, it was sweet to hear about how Violet spent the rest of her days.- Shoutout to Yui Ishikawa, her VA performance made for really gripping moments as Violet!- I'll admit, the ending was unintentionally goofy with its length and soap. Still, it was tough keeping a huge grin off my face as the seaside scene kicked in. In a way it was symbolic; there wasn't any other way KyoAni were gonna end things, and I'll gladly take my running scene and trademark ugly-cry.- Didn't get to mention this earlier, but I really enjoyed what the writers did with Dietfried. He was a huge dick back in the main series, and is way more grounded here. Him and Violet each shared a deep connection with Gilbert, and their grief over his loss felt right. As far as secondary characters go in this film, he stood out the most.- BEST GIRL: Wouldn't be fair to pick Violet, so I'll simp for Cattleya instead. She's hot, seems smart too.From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for making it this far! Highly recommend seeing this in theatres if you can, but don't force yourself if the COVID situation at home is rough. In any case, the Blu-rays may be released by April. Will be looking forward to rewatching it then!If you happen to like my verbose rants, feel free to check out my other reviews for seasons past and present, peace~

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