If you’re ever after a gut-wrenchingly beautiful anime that will leave you feeling all kinds of emotions, Kyoto Animation’s Violet Evergarden is the one for you.
A stunning and illuminating piece of work, Violet Evergarden follows the tale of the titular character, a former child soldier raised to be a deadly weapon during the Great War, who, during the final leg of battle, lost the only person she ever held dear. In her final moments with him, his last words left her confused and determined to understand what his words meant.
Lost and alone upon recovering from her injuries post war, Violet takes on work at a writing agency as an Auto Memories Doll, a ghostwriter of sorts who writes letters for those who are unable to properly convey their feelings through the written word.
Her journey across the country, writing for a variety of different people, led to her learning more about culture, society, and most of all, human emotion, all things that growing up in war didn’t teach her. With each journey and letter written, in other words, after each episode, Violet becomes a step closer to understanding what exactly her beloved Major Gilbert meant by the words “I love you”.
Though only 13 episodes long, season 1 of Violet Evergarden was filled with powerful storytelling that felt wholesome and incredibly satisfying. The entire narrative is a testament to Kyoto Animation’s prowess as a studio famous for spellbinding stories and stunning visuals.
The carefully crafted and visually enthralling animation used in this anime combined with such a riveting story meant that every moment was breathtaking. It was difficult to not feel a combination of mixed emotions while watching Violet grow and develop as a character.
More so than the story and animation, it is the character development that truly captivates. Violet learns more about human emotion and relationships with each episode and her realisation of these emotions will tug at your heartstrings. There was never an episode where my eyes were dry and after the first couple of episodes, I had a tissue box permanently with me as I watched the anime.
Violet Evergarden, though only one season long currently, is one of the most beautifully made anime I’ve ever seen. Even as I write this, my heart sings and longs to revisit the title. Madman Entertainment certainly picked a great title to distribute and I can’t recommend this enough to anyone and everyone, regardless of whether they’re anime fans or not.