Despite the devastating fire that plagued Kyoto Animation earlier this year, the Japanese studio has managed to delight fans with a brand new feature film.
Violet Evergarden – Eternity and Auto Memory Dolls is a film based on the novel and anime series, Violet Evergarden. Released as part of Madman Entertainment’s Reel Anime Festival, the film follows the titular character as she continues her quest to learn the meaning of love by working as an Auto Memory Doll.
Though the film is based on the anime series, the narrative is more of a side story, unrelated to the main plot of the anime. In the film, Violet meets two very different girls and inadvertently changes their lives with her kindness and devotion.
Despite being a side story, the narrative of the film manages to continue Violet’s development as a character as she learns the meaning of friendship and sisterhood. However, for most of the film, we see Violet as more of a support character of sorts, the focus being on the story of the two girls. This gives us the opportunity to experience the world in which Violet lives and the experiences that she has, through her connections with various people.
Though beautifully crafted, the narrative did feel somewhat disjointed, almost as if the two parts of the film were actually meant to be two separate episodes that have now been put together to create a feature film.
Much like the anime series, the film is breathtaking in its portrayal of characters and the emotional turmoil they feel. Never before has a piece of fiction managed to tug at my heartstrings in a such a way, leaving me to shed tears of both sadness and joy, sometimes at the same time.
Visually, Kyoto Animation’s style of animating scenery and characters can clearly be seen. Till this day, the Violet Evergarden series and now, the film, are the most beautiful pieces of work I’ve ever seen. The world in which Violet Evergarden exists is simply stunning and manages to bring out feelings of warmth and serenity.
The magnificence of Kyoto Animation’s work doesn’t just stop there. Even the soundtrack is heartwarming, with its melancholic tune evoking a myriad of emotions. Much like watching the anime series, I had the main theme stuck in my head all day after watching the film. Not that I’m complaining.
Violet Evergarden – Eternity and Auto Memory Dolls was as breathtaking, gorgeous and simply marvelous as I expected. Though not as emotionally heartbreaking as some episodes of the anime series, the film was still filled with the same emotional pull that I felt from the series. Together with eye-catching visuals, charming characters and a soundtrack that will have you feeling like you’re floating on air, Kyoto Animation has certainly created another hit with this film.