Violet Evergarden Movie

Violet Evergarden Movie

Violet Evergarden Movie anime cover art
Violet Evergarden Movie

Movie Overview

The Violet Evergarden Movie (劇場版 ヴァイオレット・エヴァーガーデン) is the conclusion of the Violet Evergarden series. It takes place after the events of the TV series and the Eternity and the Auto Memory Doll movie.

Now, before I go any further, I need to make you aware that I’m going to spoil everything about this movie in this review. It’s highly suggested that you watch everything the series has to offer before reading any further.

With that disclaimer out of the way, the Violet Evergarden Movie is the story of Violet being reunited with Major Bougainvillea. It’s discovered that the Major has been alive this whole time living on an island within the nation that he and Violet once fought against.

However, Violet’s journey to be reunited with the Major isn’t the only plotline of the movie. It also tells the story of a young boy with a terminal illness named Yuris. Yuris wants Violet to write letters to his parents, younger brother, and friend to be delivered after he dies.

If you’re thinking that this sounds a lot like the plot of episode 10 of the series, that’s because it is. In episode 10, which I regard as the single best episode of anime I’ve seen, Violet writes 50 letters from a mother to her daughter to be delivered on the daughter’s birthday every year after the mother dies.

That’s not the only connection to episode 10, though. The movie actually starts out in the “present” with the granddaughter of the girl who received those 50 letters. And throughout the movie, we jump through time to follow this girl’s search for more information on Violet.

Episode 10 left such an impact on me that I immediately recognized the house in the movie.

I Didn’t Need This Movie

This is probably an unpopular opinion, but I don’t think this movie was necessary. I didn’t need Violet and Gilbert to be reunited and live happily ever after. In fact, I would have actually preferred if Gilbert had just continued to be presumed dead — like how the anime series ends.

I’m generally not someone who needs a “hard ending.” Leaving the ending open, especially if that open ending is the more tragic option in a drama, is preferable to me. And, I don’t particularly think that Violet needed to be reunited with Gilbert for her character arc to be concluded.

I never felt that Violet’s journey as a character was leading her to the point at which she would be reunited with Gilbert. Rather, it’s Gilbert’s “death” that jumpstarts her journey of self-discovery and learning how to connect with others.

Violet standing on a harbor from the Violet Evergarden Movie anime
Violet standing on a harbor

I was also a bit underwhelmed by the ending. If we’re going out of our way to have Violet reunite with Gilbert, then at least make the payoff at the end worthwhile. They hug while standing in the ocean and then we’re just told that they lived together on the island for the rest of their lives.

Did they get married? Did they have children? Do they have surviving descendants in the “present?” Was their relationship even a romantic one? We don’t even have the answer to that basic question.

Sure, they both say that they love each other. And it’s very probable that Violet has romantic feelings for Gilbert. But at no point did Gilbert confirm he felt that way about Violet. He could just as easily love her as an adopted daughter. He’s like twice her age (which doesn’t really matter in context) and has always treated her as a child.

The Highlight of the Movie

The portions of the movie that have to do with Yuris, the sick boy I mentioned earlier, are the best. It’s a great reversal of episode 10. Instead of a parent leaving behind letters for their child, it’s a child leaving behind letters for their parents (and sibling).

I hate to admit it, but I may have shed 1 or 2 tears during the climax of Yuris’s story. That’s the first time any movie or series has achieved that. Episode 10 came extremely close. And if I rewatched it, it might succeed.

But, not only was Yuris’s story emotional, but it also tied together an overarching theme of the whole series. That theme is that nothing is permanent. People die, the world progresses, and there’s nothing anyone can do to stop time from moving forward.

Yuris talking to Lucas on the phone from the Violet Evergarden Movie anime
Yuris talking to Lucas on the phone

One of the ways this theme is illustrated via Yuris is his use of the telephone. Because it’s been so long since I watched the original series, I don’t remember if the radio tower was being constructed during it. I feel like it was. But I can’t say for certain.

However, the radio tower was definitely being constructed in the Eternity and the Auto Memory Doll movie. Its construction and progress were mentioned multiple times in that movie. In particular, an old woman asks Benedict about it at least two separate times.

At the start of this movie, Iris comments on how once the radio tower is completed, telephones are going to put auto memory dolls out of business. And at the climax of Yuris’s story, it’s a telephone that allows him to talk to his friend Lucas one last time when there was no time left to write a letter.

Conclusion

Despite the issues I have with this movie, such as it really not being necessary and the “present” timeline portion not amounting to much, it’s still a 9/10. For an anime to make me feel the way this one did, it has to be at least that high.

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