Violet Evergarden is a Japanese light novel series written by Kana Akatsuki and illustrated by Akiko Takase. It won the grand prize in the fifth Kyoto Animation Award’s novel category in 2014, the first ever work to win a grand prize in any of the three categories (novel, scenario, and manga). Kyoto Animation published the first light novel on December 25, 2015, under their KA Esuma Bunko imprint.
A 13-episode anime television series adaptation by Kyoto Animation aired between January and April 2018 with several advance screenings taking place in 2017. The series was awarded Best Animation at the 2019 Crunchyroll Anime Awards. An original video animation episode was released in July 2018, and a spin-off film premiered in Japan in September 2019. A second anime film, Violet Evergarden the Movie, was released on September 18, 2020.
Violet Evergarden: Eternity and Auto Memory Doll was originally scheduled for a limited two-week release in Japan. The film ranked 6th at the Japanese box office in its opening week, and due to its successful release was extended for a longer theatrical run. The film subsequently earned 831 million yen ($7.9 million).
In the first weekend of Violet Evergarden the Movie‘s release, the film grossed ¥559 million over the 5-day holiday weekend in Japan coming in at No. 2 behind Tenet, outpacing the financial performance of the first film, Violet Evergarden: Eternity and Auto Memory Doll By its tenth week in release, the film had sold over 1.3 million tickets and earned 1.9 billion yen ($18.3 million); the film remained in the Japanese top 10 box office rankings for ten straight weeks. The film also earned the distinction of being the first original anime film (rather than a compilation film) to open in the Dolby Cinema format in Japan.
The story revolves around Auto Memory Dolls: people initially employed by a scientist named Dr. Orland to assist his blind wife Mollie in writing her novels, and later hired by other people who needed their services. In the present time, the term refers to the industry of writing for others. The story follows Violet Evergarden’s journey of reintegrating back into society after the war is over and her search for her life’s purpose now that she is no longer a soldier in order to understand the last words her mentor and guardian, Major Gilbert, had told her: “I love you.”