First things first,
Thank you so much KyoAni for the World Premiere Screening on AnimagiC, Germany.
Simply put, the story is like a very long version of a typical Violet Evergarden Episode, where this time Violet considers someone as her first real friend.
Animation is like every KyoAni movie breath taking and in comparison to the TV-series, there is slightly no difference. As for the soundtrack, there is some old very recognized ones as well as some new tracks. Main and support characters are presented or mentioned, with also a lot of references from the TV-Series.
Overall, very good story, animation and soundtracks.
is about a illegitimate noble
woman Amy, who survived during the war years alone, resp. with her (not related) little sister Taylor. Due to a deal with Amy's father both were separated from each others. In short, Violet helps Amy and later ...
Over the years of watching anime, none has touched me more deeply than Violet Evergarden TV series. For me, it was everything that a TV series could offer. Therefore, I was excited to hear that Violet Evergarden Gaiden will be coming to theaters in September. After I watched it on the release date in Tokyo, I can safely say that it is a masterpiece in every aspect.
Story: The story is divided into two chapters. In the first chapter, Violet Evergarden goes to the private girls’ school and works as a private tutor for a girl named Isabella York. In the second chapter, the younger sister
of Isabella named Taylor Bartlett comes to CH Postal Company and starts working as an apprentice mail deliverer. These two chapters are masterfully intertwined into one coherent story. As you watch, you will laugh; you will cry; you will be moved beyond words could express. See it for yourself. It is as perfect as a story can be.
Art: Violet Evergarden Gaiden is even better than the TV series in terms of quality and design. Whether it is an interior scene or an outdoor scene, the art design is impeccable. With vibrant colors and meticulously drawn scenery, every scene in the movie is breathtaking and a joy to watch. Simply put, KyoAni has delivered again.
Sound: Violet Evergarden Gaiden’s sound design is some of the best I have ever experienced. It sets the mood perfectly and makes the scenes more beautiful and vibrant. Kudos to the sound director Youta Tsuruoka and the composer Evan Call.
Character: Characters are well-developed and multifaceted. It is a masterful character design in every aspect.
Overall Enjoyment: It is very enjoyable and has a lot of re-watch value. I would re-watch it multiple times when the Blu-ray is released.
In conclusion, Violet Evergarden Gaiden is a masterpiece that is built upon a solid foundation. It complements the TV series and offers a fantastic experience. It is one of the best, if not the best anime movies I have ever watched.
Violet Evergarden Gaiden is a side story to the main series and this is another tale of Violet's journey during her time as an Auto Memory Doll. Overall this 90-minute movie is a pleasant watch that goes along well with the spirit of the series - telling touching stories about human bonds and emotions, how they are expressed and how it empowers one to change for the better.
This review contains spoiler.
There are two main arcs in this movie. During the first half, Violet travels to a private school and becomes a tutor for Isabelle York, who comes from a prestigious royal family. In that period
of 3 months, a friendship is born between Violet and Isabelle as they spend time with each other. Isabelle tells Violet about her past during the war, and how she took in a young, orphaned girl by the name of Taylor as her adoptive sister. She recounts the happiness she shared with Taylor, before unfortunate circumstances resulted in the separation of the two. After the end of Violet's contract, Isabelle requests Violet to write a letter to Taylor, and then the second arc of the story commences. Taylor, who is now a grown child, finds her way to CH Postal Service years later after having received Isabelle's letter, hoping that she can becomes a mail deliverer in order to 'bring happiness to people', and of course, being able to deliver one personally to her dear big sister one day.
The story structure is simple and effective. We get to see both characters and their stories of separation and reunite, each told separately. But the pacing is a bit too quick during the first arc. Most of the movie time is spent on telling the story of Isabelle and Taylor, so the development between Violet and Isabelle during their time together felt rushed and it left a bit of unsatisfaction. Fortunately, there's a dance scene that compensates for it (I'll talk about it later) and Isabelle and Taylor's stories are solidly built. Their relationship is strong and it was told thoroughly and thoughtfully. It's a nice portrayal of human bond, and the tone of the story is lighter comparing to the other heavier and more emotional stories during Violet's journeys. Their ending is quite poignant; bittersweet, but hopeful which will surely leave a smile to your face.
Characters are perhaps the most important aspect of this series, and while this one is on par with the baseline quality of the series. I personally felt a bit mixed. The main reason is that I love to see more of Violet's growth, and it was a very reasonable expectation because this is a 90-minute movie. But, like I said above, there wasn't much screentime for Violet in this movie because of the rushed pacing during the first arc. Most of what you want to see from Violet happens here during her cultivating friendship with Isabelle. But because of the pacing problem, the time it took for them to become closer, enough to tell each other about their past is like a quick breeze, considering Isabelle is portrayed as cold and unfriendly towards Violet initially, it felt a bit unnatural, at least to me. Their relationship aside, there are still moments which you'll see Violet's physical and emotion display as a result of growth from her previous journeys, and it is a nice thing to see. As for Isabelle, her present day portrayal is somewhat affected as well, but her past was told well and it correlated with the state that she's in now, so her character is decent overall. And as for Taylor, well, she is still a child, so what you see from her is what you get, not much to say here.
Art and animation is spot on as always. It is just what you expected to see if you are familiar with the series: vivid, beautiful, charming, almost like a fantasy land. One of my favorite scenes is Violet and Isabelle dancing together in the ballroom. It was just amazingly animated. I can't help but fawned all over Violet's beauty and gracefulness.
The tracks are good. They reuse most of the tracks from the previous series, but there's an improvement in when they use them and when not to, using only the scene's atmosphere, which is a good plus.
Despite some problems with the pacing which affects character developement, this is still a solid movie. As a fan of the series, watching it is such a nice experience and it always leaves a delightful aftertaste.
Minor spoilers to the film and SAO within the review
NOTE: I have not read the light novels of the film or the TV show and this is entirely based on what the anime has to offer.
When I had first watched Violet Evergarden, the series had left a hole in my heart for being a sad, happy, and vibrant story of Violet’s trouble adjusting to the post-war era, becoming an ‘Auto Memory Doll’ to understand what her Major meant when he said: “I love you”. The side story: ‘Eternity and the Auto Memories Doll’ follows that journey, of Violet’s growth in the series, but what I
believe is not canon to the actual story. And is a decent spin-off of the plot of Violet Evergarden.
Violet Evergarden: Eternity and the Auto Memories Doll, follows the story of a Noble family member named ‘Isabella York’ who is tired of living her life in this ‘prison’ of a boarding school until she meets Violet, who changes her life entirely. This section of the movie was in my opinion, the best part of the 90-minute film, but it had its issues. The main issue of this part is the pacing, it seems that the entire section of Isabell’s character growth was skimmed over with what felt to be not even 20 minutes, of course, I didn’t time it, but it felt really short and underwhelming. When heading into this film I expected this movie to be revolving around the character growth of Isabella and Violet within the boarding school. This was not the case. In the 20-45 or so minutes of screen-time that this section of the film gets, there seem to be many details skimmed over that might have been deemed unnecessary to the plot. This seems to be a mistake as the character development felt rushed and lack-lustre.
After the first part of the movie, the movie introduces us to another main character, Taylor. I can’t go into very much detail about her but she has close ties to Isabell, but they have split apart due to reasons. Taylor takes over the second part of the film as she tries to find Isabella again with the help of Violet Evergarden and Benedict. At this point in time in the film, I feel that the story took somewhat of a 180 with the story, performing a time-skip and having some sort of a ‘second-arc’ of the film. This kind of felt like the first season of SAO when the characters leave Aincrad Kirito still has to save Asuna who was transferred to another VRMMO game. It was unnecessary and made the arc that was prior seemed skimmed over and unfleshed.
The OST of the film was mostly re-used from the TV show and doesn’t need to be explained thoroughly. If you’ve watched Violet Evergarden, you will know how good the OST is for the show and this is no different, it still somewhat adds a ‘magic’ feeling to the scene of the movie, but points can be taken off because of the pacing that ruined the character development.
Kyoto Animation has done it again with their vibrant, unique art styles that they perform to their works that create a realistic feeling. CG in the film is there and noticeable, but there seemed to be only 1 or 2 scenes that did use CG, they may have been more than just those but they were unnoticeable as they blended so well with the background art style.
Due to the pacing problem with the plot, certain aspects of the movie were skimmed over, creating a feeling of unsatisfaction as the characters didn’t have any meaning placed behind them and the 180 of the story didn’t help either diluting the character growth, making it a stagnant mess with the three or four main characters. With the first half of the film being about Isabell and the second about Taylor, it just didn’t feel that there was enough attention with each of them and that focusing on one or the other would have produced a greater piece of work, by fixing the big pacing issue that plagued the entire film.
Hopping into the film, the first part had really entertained me with the bond between Violet and Isabell, but the switch of stories and main characters diluted the entire film and kind of ruined the experience by the feeling that is was just 2 stories that barely correlated together, being stretched and sewn together to create this 90-minute film.
Violet Evergarden: Eternity and the Auto Memories Doll seemed to have sewn two stretched episodes of the show and create a decent but lacklustre movie that had issues with the pacing, character growth and the overall 180 of the story of the movie at the halfway mark, making the overall rating of the film a 6-7/10.