Violet Evergarden: Eternity and the Auto Memory Doll

Violet Evergarden: Eternity and the Auto Memory Doll

Violet Evergarden: Eternity and the Auto Memory Doll anime movie
Violet Evergarden: Eternity and the Auto Memory Doll

Movie Overview

Violet Evergarden: Eternity and the Auto Memory Doll (Violet Evergarden Gaiden: Eien to Jidou Shuki Ningyou / ヴァイオレット・エヴァーガーデン 外伝 -永遠と自動手記人形-) is the first Violet Evergarden movie to release after the conclusion of the TV series.

However, the events of this movie don’t take place after the events of the series. Instead, much like with the special, this movie takes place at some point within the middle of the series. I’m not exactly sure when, though, because it’s been a few years since I last watched Violet Evergarden.

If I had to guess, though, I’d say that the movie probably takes place before episode 5 of the series. I’m basing this solely on the fact that Violet refers to Isabella as her first friend. Surely, Violet would consider Princess Charlotte, who’s introduced in episode 5, to be her friend.

At the end of the day, where the movie falls within the context of the series doesn’t matter. I guess maybe it does if you want to watch it in its chronological placement. But this is a side story meant to be experienced after the main series. That’s even where it falls in the source material.

Anyway, this movie is a bit weird in that it has two distinct halves. In the first half of the movie, Violet is tutoring Isabella York, a girl at a girls’ academy for the children of noble families. And in the second half, Violet is training Amy Bartlett, an orphan who wants to become a mail courier.

When the shift happened midway through the movie, I wasn’t a huge fan of the change. But, it pays off in the end. So overall, I’d say it wasn’t a detriment.

Isabella York

The half of the movie that focused on Violet’s time with Isabella York is definitely my preferred half. I would have been completely happy with getting a full movie of just Violet and Isabella. And I was a bit disappointed that their 3 months together was condensed into half a movie.

I have to admit that I wasn’t expecting to care about Isabella at all when I started this movie. But, surprisingly, that’s exactly what ended up happening. At the start, Isabella isn’t a pleasant person. However, she’s extremely likable once she opens up.

Isabella is a normal girl. She doesn’t know how to interact with other girls her age, she’s shy, and she doesn’t feel like she fits in with high society. But she still wants to make friends and do all the things friends do together. With Violet, she gets to experience this for the first time.

Isabella York and Violet Evergarden from the anime movie Violet Evergarden: Eternity and the Auto Memory Doll
Isabella York and Violet Evergarden

I really enjoy anime characters who act like normal people. Of course, I like Violet too even though she’s anything but normal. But it’s refreshing to see a character like Isabella when you consider how most of the other anime I watch daily don’t have realistic characters.

And by realistic, I’m mainly referring to how the characters respond to various situations. Yes, Isabella originally being an orphan who’s thrust into high society isn’t very realistic. However, the way Isabella reacts to the situation of being alone in an unfamiliar place and how she opens up to Violet after getting to know her is.

Going back a bit to how I like Violet, I think that’s also a reason for me preferring this first half of the movie. Violet plays a bigger role in this half, with Benedict filling in for her a significant amount in the second half.

Amy and Taylor Bartlett

In the second half of the movie, we dive more into Isabella’s background as an orphan. She originally went by the name Amy Bartlett before being taken in by the York family and renamed Isabella. The York family took her in because they needed an heir and Amy was an illegitimate child of Mr. York.

However, Amy wasn’t alone when she was taken in by the York family and sent off to the academy to learn how to be a member of high society. She had an adopted younger sister, who was really more like a daughter, Taylor Bartlett.

Taylor is the focus of the second half of the movie. After we get the background of her and Amy, we learn that Taylor wants to become a mail courier so that she can deliver happiness to people — just as Benedict did for her by delivering Amy’s letter to the orphanage.

Taylor Bartlett from the anime movie Violet Evergarden: Eternity and the Auto Memory Doll
Taylor Bartlett

Taylor and Benedict simply aren’t as good characters as Isabella and Violet are. Taylor doesn’t really act like a kid. She acts like a small, dumb adult. And while that might sound like a kid, it’s not. For a kid who’s around 7 years old, Taylor shows an exceptional level of restraint when it comes to everything other than being a mail courier.

We see that she wants a lot of things just like a normal kid would. She looks longingly at other children playing in a park and she stares wide-eyed at the box of candy she delivers to a boy. But she also never acts out or complains and she didn’t even run out to see Isabella at the end.

As for Benedict, he’s kind of just a jerk and there’s not much to his personality. However, I will say that I enjoyed just how frequently we got shots focusing on the fact that he wears stiletto boots with frills.


I give Violet Evergarden: Eternity and the Auto Memory Doll a 9/10. The title doesn’t make sense and I would have preferred if the movie wasn’t split into two halves. But the emotional payoff at the end was really good. I loved seeing how Isabella reacted to Taylor’s letter.

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2 Replies to “Violet Evergarden: Eternity and the Auto Memory Doll”

  1. It looks like I am the first one commenting on this good review.
    When I first watched the “Violet Evergarden” series, because a friend recommended it, I was impressed by the quality of the animation, who wouldn’t. But the fact that it was such tear-jerker put me off. I watched the series from beginning to end as a sense of duty to my friend impelled me to do. But it looks like by doing so I was vaccinated against all the tear-jerking, because when I decided to watch it again, I realized that I really liked it. As I have liked the two side-stories: the one reviewed here and another one about Violet being asked to write a letter under false pretenses, because what the customer wanted was to get ideas for a final song in a opera she was composing.
    As to the movie that ends this franchise, to put things in perspective, it was produced after the horrible attack to the anime studios that resulted in many working there dying of asphyxiation or burned to death when the place was set on fire with gasoline by a deranged individual, with the main animator retiring and stopping to work, so traumatized was she left by this.
    The movie had all the elements that made the series great: beautiful animation, music, the lovely visual metaphors of the passing of time … until the end, where Violet mops, begs for attention and cries herself a river, something so out of character, regardless of its motive, that I just could not accept it. But there is nothing perfect, is it there? Overall, a remarkable effort, some of it made under extremely difficult circumstances. (Full disclosure, I have seen the whole thing several times already.)

    1. Thanks for the comment, Oscar.

      Violet Evergarden is one of my favorite anime. Any anime that can make me feel the way this one did is good in my book. If you enjoyed Violet, I recommend checking out In This Corner of the World. It’s a movie.

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