During the past several years, Netflix has been making huge investments in the anime industry. And with good reason. Some of the biggest franchises in the world come from Japan, and most of them have anime as their origin or as part of their components. So, it doesn’t come as a surprise that each year Netflix announces more and more anime series made exclusively for the platform. One of those anime projects that has served Netflix well in competing with other streaming platforms such as Crunchyroll or Funimation is Violet Evergarden. An anime that has received tons of awards and a story that has become beloved by the audience in a very short period of time. Now, Violet Evergarden: The Movie brings the conclusion to the story, but does the film rise to the occasion or does it fail to meet the hype?
The Violet Evergarden: The Movie is directed by Taichi Ishidate and stars Yui Ishikawa and Daisuke Namikawa. The film is the conclusion to the Violet Evergarden storyline, which is based on a series of light novels written by Kana Akatsuki and illustrated by Akiko Takase. The film is produced by the famous and always reliable Kyoto Animation.
First of all, it must be clear to all audiences that Violet Evergarden: The Movie is the conclusion to the Violet Evergarden storyline, which began in the form of a series of light novels, later adapted into a 13 episode anime, and after that, one previous film. So, while the film is surprisingly able to stand by itself, even if you haven’t been initiated into the series. To get the full effect of this fantastic ending, it is a must to experience the complete story, as this film is finally the climax that everyone wanted since the beginning. This element of the experience will also mean that some people will feel completely at a loss as to what is happening on screen. So do yourself a favor and watch the anime, the previous film and then come to enjoy this beautiful ending.
Kyoto Animation, which of course became infamous after being the victim of a crazy criminal who burned their building, killing several workers, rises from the ashes with exactly what we are used to seeing from them. The film presentation is just outstanding. The studio has always been famous for taking their time in the construction of their films, and this movie only cements that preconception. Each background in the film is exquisite, filled with a level of detail that is often unseen in anime films. Urban cities, islands, and nature are all recreated with the utmost care and respect, making the film a delight to watch.
The characters are also beautifully realized on screen. Every moment comes across with a sense of fluidity that can only be achieved by countless hours of work. The film does use CGI at points, but these moments are few and far between, and the tool is used in the most elegant and subtle way possible. When even a character trying to open a door becomes something of beauty, then you know that you’re facing masters of the craft at the peak of their game.
In terms of story, the conclusion to the plotline that we saw starting in 2018 with the anime is just wonderful. Violet Evergarden doesn’t do anything surprising with its ending. In fact, it delivers the same old structure where Violet, our protagonist, goes around using her abilities as a writer to improve other people’s lives. This, of course, allows us to experience some very heartfelt stories. But the film easily comes back to the main arc of the whole story, and towards the last 30 minutes, it is focused entirely on Violet and the end of her story.
This means that some characters that won people’s hearts through the anime get a bit neglected in this film, but this isn’t their story, it’s Violet’s, and it makes perfect sense. The film is long. We are talking about two and a half hours, with the first 30 minutes being dedicated purely to set up. This will be very helpful to those who have forgotten the entire story, as well as those who are just getting into the story at this point.
The film’s central theme regarding how second chances are so rare and beautiful comes across in a very clear and sophisticated way. Anime as a medium tends to go full into melodrama most of the time, but while there are some scenes that can be considered that towards the end, most of the ending is very nuanced and low-key.
The score by Evan Call is also incredibly beautiful and raises a lot of scenes to the next level. Tears can come easy when the score mixes with these emotional stories we see on the screen, so having a few tissues at hand might be a good idea.
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The Violet Evergarden is a beautiful ending to a beautiful story and proves that even after tragedy, just like Violet, Kyoto Animation is ready to keep delivering the best of anime to audiences around the world. Second chances are rare, and we must seize each one of them without fail.