Depend on what you know about the series, If you've been a fan of Violet Evergarden series, this movie is a must watch. If you never watch the series before, the story is about an ex-child soldier name Violet who had a problem of understanding and expressing emotion. After the end of the war she became a ghost writer (this occupation is called an automemory doll) and learn more about emotion through writing letters and interacted with her clients. This movie was set around 3 years after the main story and Violet is now capable of understanding emotion.( I recommend at least watch the 1st episode of the series, it would provide enough background for the whole movie, just don't be startled with the radical change of Violet's character).
Wether you are new or old to the series, this movie is still a good show in drama/slide of life genre. It's a kind of show that base on the thought that we, human have a good heart and is capable of improving oneself and be kind to one another, and it left me with a warmth in my heart. It's not perfect, the pacing is slow and some audiences may find it's boring and the movie tend to be overdramatic from time to time. The impact of emotion would variously affect each audience. Needless to say that it would be more impact to your emotion if you are already invested in to the series. If you are a fan of the series like me and felt connected to Violet, this movie is a joy to watch since Violet was grown up to be a gentle and kind person and many of her action/narration had a reference from the event of the main series.
The art, animation in this movie is top notch but not exceed the quality of the main series which in my opinion, is a quality worth to be a movie by itself. What is great about this movie is the detail of each scene. The team in Kyoto Animation must have put a lot of care and effort in this animation so many subtle things appear in the movie gave you a hint of feeling and intention of characters. This not a show that would always tell the audiences what the character was thinking or feeling but rather let the audiences figure out for themselves and this was made possible by the combination of many small details. The music composed by Evan Call is again, beautiful and suitable to the theme of the movie and the voice acting (I watched in Japanese soundtrack) is great. The only thing I complaint about is the narration of Taylor, one of the main character is a bit too loud and sometimes, downright annoying.
It's also important to note that this movie is a side story and the focus of the story is not on Violet herself. We just watch the story unfolded around her and other characters. It's the same experience as you watch each episode in the main series which is not a bad thing , but if you wish to see the story mainly focused on Violet, this show would not deliver.
I think this show is like a prequel before Violet Evergarden the Movie roll out next year. It move the time frame to 4 years after the war and violet is now 18 years old at least (which is why there are some fan service scene done right here) and it add some questions to be answered. I just hope that in the next movie all these questions would be answered and Violet would find the happiness she deserved to have.
Lastly, there is no additional scene after the credits end. Still, it's an emotional moment to think that 35 lives of talented animators were lost from the arson attack at Kyoto Animation. May they rest in peace.
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