The final installment of the anime Violet Evergarden is hitting theaters in the U.S. and Canada March 30, 2021 with its feature film, Violet Evergarden: The Movie. Violet Evergarden started off as a light novel written by Kana Akatsuki and illustrated by Akiki Takase, and the popular series was also adapted for Netflix, with the anime airing 13 episodes in 2018 and a stand-alone film, Violet Evergarden: Eternity and the Auto Memory Doll, airing in 2019.
The franchise is relatively short compared to other anime; however, it's endeared itself to many fans. The final chapter will conclude Violet's story as she comes to terms with her emotions, a new client, her past and the death of the Major. Before enjoying this final chapter, here are some of the key things to remember about Violet Evergarden before the film.
Who Is Violet Evergarden?
The titular character is a 14-year-old child soldier with no memory of her life before the war, not even knowing who her parents were. In the midst of the war, she attacks Leidenschaftlich, killing Captain Dietfried Bougainvillea's men. The Captain apprehends Violet and "gifts" her to his brother, Major Gilbert Bougainvillea, hoping he would use her as a tool; however, the Major takes pity on Violet.
While he uses her in the war, he's adamant about treating Violet like a person, even giving her a name and teaching her to read and write. He's also the first person to tell Violet he loves her, but Violet doesn't know what that means. While Gilbert goes missing in action, Violet survives the war, and the truth about the Major is kept from her for some time.
She must adjust to civilian life, getting a job at CHS Postal Company as an Auto Memory Doll in hopes that the position will teach her what "I love you" means. Her start as a Doll is rocky since she is unfamiliar with emotions; however, she becomes one of the most in demand Dolls later on. Some of her notable positions include orchestrating the public love letters between two royals, ghostwriting on behalf of a famous playwright and writing 50 letters from a dying mother to her daughter.
Sadly, she learns about the Major's death, and this shatters her. However, thanks to her friends, she is able to pull herself up, choosing to live a life for herself while continuing to be a Doll.
What Happened to Major Gilbert?
As mentioned earlier, Major Gilbert is in charge of Violet after she's apprehended by his brother. He leads a successful attack against Gardarik that guarantees Leidenschaftlich's victory; however, his men are ambushed. They all die on site, but thanks to Violet, she escapes with the Major. Unfortunately, they both suffer horrific injuries.
The Major's shot in the eye and abdomen, while Violet's arm is shot off. A grenade then traps them in a building, with the explosion tearing off Violet's other arm. On his deathbed, the Major begs her to live a free life and confesses his feelings before shoving Violet out of the way of falling debris. Violet's later found passed out and alone, but given the rubble around her, the lack of a body and the Major's abandoned dog tags, he's presumed dead, despite officially being dubbed missing in action. Most of the characters accept his death, regardless of there being no body; however, Violet believes he somehow survived, but she won't let this hold her back from living.
What Was the War?
The main storyline, as well as the upcoming film, take place after the war; however, the war has not only personally affected Violet, but it can still be felt in the world of Leidenschaftlich. Throughout the series characters like Violet, Captain Bougainvillea and Claudia Hodgens deal with life after war. Meanwhile, several of Violet's clients have connections with the war.
This war initially started over resources, with Leidenschaftlich having metal ore deposits that Gardarik wanted. This conflict lasted years, but Leidenschaftlich eventually won; however, peace isn't smooth. In the north, there are those opposed to the peace talks, and these rebels have nearly started another war. Thanks to Violet and Captain Bougainvillea, their main attack is thwarted; however, this anime has proven time and again that the effects of war can be felt long after peace is declared.
What Is an Auto Memory Doll?
An Auto Memory Doll is a woman who writes on behalf of others. The client can either come to the post office to have their letter taken care of or they can request a Doll come to them to conduct their work. The latter is often the case, especially when the project at hand takes several days. For many dolls, this means they have the opportunity to travel the world for their work.
The writing a Doll does varies, with some transcribing information or ghostwriting for their client. In cases like that, they may not have as much creative freedom; however, what Dolls are known for are their letters. Along with physically writing the letter for their client, a Doll should be able to know what the client truly means without them having to say it. This is what causes Violet trouble early on, as she takes the words of her clients too literally. Thankfully she improves, and Violet learns about love through her letters, which will likely be further explored in Violet Evergarden: The Movie.