Violet Evergarden is an anime available on Netflix. It is also based on a Japanese light novel of the same name written by Kana Akatsuki and published by Kyoto Animation on December 25th, 2015.
An anime adaptation is available on Netflix since 2018, consisting in 13 episodes and an original video animation (OVA).
Where it begins
The story starts with our protagonist, Violet Evergarden, whom has been raised as a weapon and used in war as such. She was literally a war machine—a child that had not known nothing but to follow military orders. There was nothing but chaos in her life, and her feelings were nothing. Violet was a robot-like creature.
Everything changes for her when the Major, Gilbert Bougainvillea, adopts her. Or more specifically, was given to him as a gift from his brother to use her as a weapon. Gilbert, though, didn’t see a weapon; he saw a starving child that needed something more. To be treated as a human being, not a murdering object.
Their bonds gathered a sweet strength when both our protagonist and the Major were walking in a market. He wanted her to buy a dress, something that makes her feel like the girl Violet is. Then she saw an emerald and picked it up. Violet told Gilbert that it looks like his eyes; that, of course, touched deep in his heart.
We also see images of war, and how Violet ruined went straight into the battlefield without hesitation. Gilbert realized why she’d been considered a weapon only, but he didn’t let that obscure his perception of the girl. For him, that was a signal that she needed humanity. Love.
Before everything had ended, Violet and Gilbert were gravely injured. The girl lost both arms and she was unable to drag the Major out of the castle, and he asked her to stop. And gave her an order, a dying wish:
“Live… and be free. From the bottom of my heart, I love you.” —Gilbert Bougainvillea
And with those words, the story starts.
The power of words
Words move the world. The words that had been written tell a story, or the feelings of thousands. This is exactly the job of our protagonist now—After the war, Violet is hired as a Memory Doll, and her job description indicates that she has to write letters in the name of the employer. That employer could be anyone, from a single woman trying to reach her brother’s soul, to a big company that needs to close a deal.
Violet Evergarden accepted the job as a doll. Not to follow orders this time; the main purpose of joining is to find the meaning of “I love you”. But before that happens, her coworkers noticed that all her letters are too straightforward, and even though sincerity is a good thing, it is not the right way to do things. There are many ways to build words to cause an impression. And that’s what Violet learns in the beginning.
A linked journey
“I will run as fast as I can to wherever my customer desires. I am the Auto Memories Doll, Violet Evergarden.” —Violet Evergarden
Every customer has a story to tell. Every customer is a new emotion added to Violet’s experiences. As the story progresses, she grows emotionally, becoming more and more into a girl her age. Someone that was hurt by war, but maturing at the same time while accepting she was never a weapon; that she’s worth as any other person.
This is definitely one of the best anime series available on Netflix. If you’re looking for a good drama, do yourself a favor and watch it.