Last month, Violet Evergarden: The Movie premiered in select theaters in the U.S. and Canada, wrapping up the anime's story; however the tale about the Auto Memory Doll did not start on screen. Violet's story began in a light novel of the same name back in 2015, with the Netflix anime adaptation of Violet Evergarden coming out three years later in 2018. While the light novel series wrapped and the new film marks the end of the anime, for those looking to get into Violet Evergarden, here's how one can read the light novels and watch the anime series and films; although, the books are harder to come by than the on-screen adaptations.
How to Read the Violet Evergarden Light Novels
Written by Kana Akatsuki and illustrated by Akiko Takase, the light novels are about the titular Auto Memory Doll, who's a child soldier trying to figure out her place in the world once the war is over. As a Doll, Violet writes on behalf of those who cannot while also coming to terms with her past and her feelings for Major Gilbert Bougainvillea. The story is told over the course of four novels: Violet Evergarden Volume 1, Violet Evergarden Volume 2, Violet Evergarden Gaiden and Violet Evergarden Ever After. Unfortunately, there is no official English translation for the light novels, and the original Japanese version of the books are hard to find in the U.S,, but there are a few available for physical purchase on sites like eBay.
How to Watch the Violet Evergarden Anime Series
With the light novels being difficult to find, the anime series on Netflix is the next best thing for those who want to jump into the story of the Auto Memory Doll. The anime, which is produced by Kyoto Animation, is relatively the same as the first light novel's narrative, following Violet's emotional journey as she learns what "I love you" means and figures out what her role in life is after losing the Major. The anime is 13 episodes long and currently streaming on Netflix, with each episode being 24 minutes. There's only one season, making the series an easy binge watch.
Netflix also has Violet Evergarden Special, where Violet writes a love letter for an opera singer to use as lyrics. This 34 minute special acts as a filler episode, but it's best to watch it after Season 1, Episode 5, since it takes place after Violet has gained some notoriety as a Auto Memory Doll. Along with the special, there is Violet Evergarden: Eternity and the Auto Memory Doll, which is a feature film. Like most anime films, the movie is a side story, and it takes place after the events of Season 1, so it's best to finish the series before watching Eternity and the Auto Memory Doll on Netflix.
How to Watch Violet Evergarden: The Movie
As for the new film, Violet Evergarden: The Movie is not available on Netflix like the other titles are. Instead, Funimation announced it would release the movie theatrically in the U.S. and Canada March 30, 2021. At the time of this writing, there has been no news about when or how it will be released to watch at home.