And the tears continue to fall…
“You taught me that even the smallest gesture like holding hands can warm a heart.”Violet Evergarden
I still remember very vividly the emotional rollercoaster that the series Violet Evergarden put me through. It touched in ways that I didn’t think a show could and I have watched shows that has left me questioning life afterwards. I still recall the conversations I had with friends about the series. Military personnel who I recommended the show to who came back and told that they couldn’t watch it all because it hit so hard but eventually finished it and found it to be one of the most beautiful shows they had ever watched. Going through reddit and finding that same sentiment amongst others.
In short, Violet Evergarden was something that completely changed you when watched it.
And knowing how the series took my hand and lead me on the journey that I wasn’t prepared for but ultimately needed, I was really hesitant to watch the movie when I saw it on Netflix. Like… I avoided this show because I wanted to watch it when it felt right if that makes sense? I’m doing the same to a Silent Voice and Made in Abyss… shows that I plan on watching in the upcoming days.
With all that said, I have finally watched it and just like before, I found myself in tears, smiling because it was well worth the wait.
The movie is broken into two parts and honestly, it felt like two episodes and that isn’t a bad thing. Anyone who has already watched the series would know that each episode alone could carry the series by itself and probably could have been expanded to create movie in of itself. This adds to the movie’s strength because it gently leads into the space of familiarity. I sat down and literally lost track of everything around me, completely enraptured by the tale of Isabella and Taylor.
Our movie begins with Violet on assignment. She has been assigned to Isabella as a handmaiden but doubling as a tutor at an all girls academy that is designed to groom girls into a debutante worthy of nobility. Isabella feels like the attending to school is like being in a prison as she isn’t allowed to see the outside world and because of that, is struggling.
Though it is short, so much is expressed in this first part and they bring it all together with Violet. I loved the idea in the series of Violet being somewhat of a blank canvas that can be molded and painted to into something beautiful and we get to see the fruits of this here. The callback to her time at the Observatory, an episode that happened during the series had been grinning and complaining because I would have loved to hear of her experiences from her perspective. (I wanted to hear about the constellations!!)
Though I can say she has made friends, I love the idea that this was her first true intimate friendship. It was cute to see the two of them explore the uncharted realms discovering what friends truly are. From Isabella’s initial cold treatment of Violet and her disgust towards the life of a nobility, (something that touches on the class divide and the gender roles), it was heartwarming to see Isabella come around to Violet’s subtle charm.
The second part picks up with Taylor, a young girl who has come to the CH Postal Company with the dream of becoming a mail carrier to spread joy and happiness through letters. This part was so endearing and it puts on full display the theme of the movie. That even something small like a letter can change and warm the heart.
Once again, during our short period of time with Taylor and the others, we get so much and most of it had me smiling! The way Taylor idolized Benedict for being a mail carrier. It was so cute to see her childlike wonder in the way Benedict memorized his route. The discovery that Taylor couldn’t read. Violet’s confirmation that it was very obvious that Taylor wanted candy. Taylor was a beam of sunshine and infectious warmth which was also kind of heartbreaking at the same time. The longing for her to see sister again even though couldn’t remember her. Cherishing the bear that her sister gave her and the letter from her. Her reasoning to become a mail carrier and how strong it was and how Violet helps her write her first letter to her.
Even the small moments carry weight. The callback to Luculia and how her life as progressed since the last time we seen her which was back when Violet attended Auto Memories Doll Training School during episode three. The conversation with the other dolls about their ideals. Erica’s dream of writing novels. Iris’s dream of becoming the number one doll. These short scenes that only adds to the characters makes you appreciate the studio’s attention to detail and remind you why you fell in love with these characters in the first place.
And Benedict gets the spotlight at the movie’s climax and I cried twice. I won’t ruin it here but it was satisfying for all the characters involved and definitely worth it. Tell me you weren’t clapping when Benedict agreed to find Taylor’s sister! His words were so true and that music!
One of the greatest strength of Violet Evergarden to me has to be the way the characters tell story. The way they make their characters come to life in the subtle details and allow their personalities to blossom genuinely. All the characters, no matter brief their screen time may be, conveys so much emotion that you can’t help but feel for them and latch on to them, wanting to hug.
From our brief cutaways to Claudia in a perpetual state of worry for Violet as always during the first act to Benedict’s slow taking to the adorable Taylor in the second act as she learned to become a mail carrier. Each interactions builds subtle upon the last, each moment become more and more meaningful to the story.
Isabella and Violet were simply beautiful, each of them learning and growing in their own unique ways as Isabella guard starts to crumble during Violet’s three week stay. My favorite moment between the two of them was when Isabella changed Violet’s hairstyle into pigtails and Violet’s thought she was going to sell her hair when she complimented on her feeling like velvet. Or when they stepped into the ball, Violet being Isabella’s knight for the event. They looked so amazing together!
This movie has unforgettable moments in it. Ones that you will find yourself smiling to when you reminisces and that think that it of itself is amazing.
Kyoto Animation has been the pinnacle at crafting the most amazing and beautiful productions I have ever seen and Violet Evergarden in my humble opinion is their best work to date. The series was like watching feature films in terms of quality and the film doesn’t drop a beat, maintaining the level attention and detail that it is known for. They have been known unique uses to composition and lightning to do some truly remarkable things with their scenes. From the way the sun pierces the clouds after it rains or how the afternoon sun looks so vibrant against the town’s landscape, it truly astonishing what they are capable of doing.
Music has always been dear to my heart. Orchestrated work and original scores has been my favorite thing to listen to since I was little. I cannot be more happy to live in an age where so much amazing music can be easily accessed. Violet Evergarden’s soundtrack has some of the most heartfelt tracks ever made. Period. Each song cane stand on it own, invoking emotions to any scene that you were to play them with.
Saying that, the music here phenomenal. Honestly, even though they use some of the standout scores from the series, they fit so perfectly well together that if you weren’t really paying attention, you wouldn’t have noticed. And the new songs added do not disappoint!
My favorite song was played during Violet’s farewell to Isabella. Here, you can hear the subtle hint at Violet’s theme on the strings and the choir which slowly builds in Amy & Taylor’s theme which also plays in full display when Isabella reads Taylor’s letter. (I couldn’t find Amy and Taylor’s Theme 2 anywhere so you will have to enjoy it when you watch the movie. Watch the scene first and then play it again…) The subtle piano that makes itself known and how the strings pulls at the heart. Man… I am tearing up thinking about it.
Here are some of my favorites… some of which I listen to idly when I’m going about my day.
My Final Thoughts
I absolutely loved this move and waited until now to speak on the terrible arson attack on Kyoto Animation back in 2019. In many ways, this movie is a memento to those who lost their lives during that event and to all those who are still carrying on today. It was the first work to be released after the tragedy and was the last work completed by them before it happened.
This film embodies one of the letters that Violet would deliver, carrying the memories and emotions of all those who worked on the project and standing at reminder of who they were and what they were able to achieve. It is a testament; proof that they lived and those that still here will continue to live on, never forgetting those that they loved and lost.
With everything that is going on in the world right now, it is good to true to find happiness anyway that we can and Violet Evergarden reaffirmed my belief that the simplest things can bring happiness. I would have never imagined that being a mail carrier would be so significant and it allows my imagination try and envision a world when communication wasn’t as easily accessible as it is now. Where receiving a letter from a love one could change everything.
And I know it had to be amazing because mail carriers bring…
Thanks for taking time to spot by. I really appreciate it! Did you see the movie? Does reading my thoughts make you want to see it? I tried my best not to spoil anything! I hope you cherish this movie as much as I do.
Until next time…