Not a single review? Well, I'll be the first.
TL:DR for no one who wants to read the full thing. Story 8, Character 10, Enjoyment 10. Not much art to really judge but seems standard but not relevant. Overall 9. Maybe a 10 after a re-read. Sorry if it seems all-over the place. I'm kinda terrible at reviews.
In the beginning, there's not much of a story. Violet usually just goes around helping different people as she is an Auto-Memories Doll. To keep it simple, they are personalized secretaries for those who cannot write for themselves. They are tasked with going anywhere that their clients need them to be and they write for them. It's a pretty simple premise and it helps pave the way for us to understanding Violet as a character, but it also will tug on your heart strings a bit as you learn more of the stories of the people Violet work for. Chapter 3 of Volume 1 in particular was very emotional for me. That's the beauty of this series, it's written so clearly that you can vividly imagine everything as it's described and paint the scene for yourself. The mid-way point of the novel does focus solely on Violet as it flashbacks to her life, who she was, she does what she does, and why she acts the way she does. It's a nice origin despite how ridiculous it may come off at some points. Nonetheless, the story never seems to fall flat in any manner. The story may not be the first of its kind with the premise, but that's not what holds this series up. It's the next section, the characters.
This series is a what I consider a character-driven story. The plots that unravel are not the driving force of this series, but it's the people who are involved in them. I won't dwell too much on all of the characters so I'll briefly try to brush over Violet and touch on others. I honestly feel like saying too much would ruin the series and you should want to read it on your own to know of the others. Violet is the main character, for spoiler reasons, I can't say too much about her. She is our main protagonist, the most famous Auto-Memories Doll for the CH Postal company who will go anywhere for the sake of her job. Violet is someone who doesn't seem to understand emotions and at first, she does come off as a robot of sorts. Her mannerisms and the way she goes about everything is very unnatural, as if she wasn't raised, but created in a factory. It's interesting because you want to know the who, the what, the when, and the why of what made her this way. Despite all of that, Violet comes off as more human the more you get to know her. It's an interesting development to see someone so ignorant to what it is to be human, but also someone so grounded in that same way. And as you get to know Violet's life, it all seems to fall into place. Which I must give the author credit for. To be able to write a character like Violet is impressive to me. That being said, Violet will not be the only character. Even characters in smaller plots, like in the beginning, are just as fleshed out and real. But I'd say those who are the most involved in Violet's life are some of, if not, the best support characters to anyone's story that I've read of. It's even more impressive that the author can make you care for and or sympathize with almost every character and their motives and reason.
This isn't a MAL category, but one I try to include when rating something because it matters is the development of story and characters. The story does time skip a bit and some transitions are a bit awkward, but nothing too major. As I've stated before, the plot doesn't exactly exist in the beginning for no other reason than letting us know about Violet and what she does. Which is fine, I don't mind the beginning being filler of sorts, as long as its written well. Which it is. Just expect a change in format as it progresses. Development of major characters is great. Everyone gets some and they feel so real. You can feel their pain, understand their thoughts and conflicts. It's nice.
I've cried, I've smiled, and I've enjoyed every bit of this novel. Every chapter kept me interested and I liked it all the way to the end. I don't read novels often. I'll hardly read a novel for an anime that's coming out, but Violet Evergarden is one of those series I've made an exception for. If you like character-stories then this is a series you'll enjoy. There's not much else I can express that I haven't touched on. I dare say that this series is a masterpiece.