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Literature / Violet Evergarden

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For the people who don't understand 'love'.

"Pleased to make your acquaintance. I rush anywhere my customers desire. I am from the Auto-Memory Dolls service, Violet Evergarden."

It is the end of a brutal war that has engulfed the continent of Telsis. As the people and nations of the land attempt to recover and rebuild, a girl who has known nothing but death and violence begins a new life at the CH Postal Company in the grand city of Leiden, capital of Leidenschaftlich.

What few know is that this beautiful young lady, Violet Evergarden, was formerly known as the "Battle Maiden of Leidenschaftlich," who served with distinction in a special operations unit under Major Gilbert Bougainvillea's command in Leidenschaftlich's Army. In the final battle of the war, Violet loses both her arms and her Major, and after recovering from her injuries, is taken under the care of former army officer Claudia Hodgins, the founder of CH Postal. In addition to fielding regular mail services, CH Postal also employs Auto-Memory Dolls, skilled typists who ghostwrite letters for the illiterate and for those who seek help expressing their feelings through words.

Having lost all meaning in her life, and seeking a new purpose for herself and her now-mechanical arms in a now-peaceful country, Violet joins the Auto-Memory Doll team, where she will learn to rediscover her lost emotions and understand the meaning behind the Major's final words to her: "I love you."

Violet Evergarden is a Japanese light novel series by Kana Akatsuki, illustrated by Akiko Takase, and first published under the KA Esuma Bunko imprint in December 2015. It was adapted into a 14-episode animated TV series by Kyoto Animation, with the first episode premiering on January 10, 2018 in Japan, and on January 11, 2018 worldwide through Netflix. It was directed by Taichi Ishidate, with Reiko Yoshida serving as series composer, Takase returning as character designer and chief animation director, and Haruka Fujita as series director.

The novels consist of the following:

  • Volume 1 (December 25, 2015)
  • Volume 2 (December 26, 2016)
  • Gaiden Volume (March 23, 2018)
  • "Ever After" Final Volume (March 27, 2020)
  • "Last Letter" Collected Sidestories Volumenote 

An original video animation episode was released in July 2018, followed by a spin-off film entitled "Eternity and the Auto Memory Doll" in September 2019. Another anime film was initially scheduled for a January 2020 premiere, but was then moved to April 24, 2020, on account of the July 18, 2019 fire at KyoAni's 1st Studio building. The rise of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic postponed the movie again, but it finally got released in Japanese theaters on September 18, 2020. It received an international Netflix release on October 13, 2021, the same day its Blu-ray was released in Japan.

Violet Evergarden provides example of:

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    A - H 
  • Action Girl: The title character is shown brawling with soldiers twice her height like it was a day job in a flashback.
    • This is shown in the novel as well, in Chapters 3, 6, 13, and Gaiden Chapter 6, where she defeats countless armed soldiers, usually either unarmed or with an oversized axe, despite said soldiers carrying rifles.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The anime expands on Violet's early days of working in CH Postal and her interaction with its workers that aren't found in the two main novel volumes: Episodes 2 to 4 are almost entirely all anime-original content.
    • The OVA episode covering Violet's job with opera songstress Irma Felice is anime-original.
    • The second half of the Eternity and the Auto-Memory Doll movie, which follows Taylor Bartlett's journey to become a postman and find her big sister again, is all anime-original. The movie actually inserts a very clear break at the halfway mark, indicating it has finished adapting the light novel chapter and is now entering a wholly anime-original storyline after that.
  • Adapted Out: Many chapters were cut from the anime, such as the prisoner client Edward Jones (Chapter 5), the detour when Violet and Benedict get stranded at a small village thanks to his bike breaking down (Chapter 9), and the Utopia cult (Chapter 10). There is also material that the anime partially adapted but didn't go all the way, namely Violet's early gory encounters with the Leidenschaftlich military (Chapters 6-7). The final 2 chapters of the novel (12 and 13) were quite different from the anime (as they contain the actual ending of the novel instead of The Stinger shown in the final episode).
    • As for the Gaiden Volume, the first chapter featuring Princess Charlotte was faithfully adapted as Episode 5, while Chapter 2 was also fairly accurately depicted in the Eternity and the Auto Memory Doll movie. However, the remaining 4 chapters of the Gaiden were never animated, as it would be impossible to do so according to the anime's take on the story since these chapters take place after Violet and Gilbert have reunited during the train hijacking incident and indirectly feature their romantic relationship as a background element in all 4 chapters.
    • The contents of the "Ever After" finale volume have nothing to do with the 2020 movie.
  • Age-Gap Romance:
    • Episode 5 of the anime featured the Perfectly Arranged Marriage between Princess Charlotte (14) and Prince Damien (24). To put in context: Charlotte was 10 when she first met Damien. She was struck by his genuine care for her feelings as a person instead of a potential bride and decided that she would marry him out of all the royal suitors presented before her.
    • Violet and Gilbert clearly had feelings for each other when they were in the military. This was back when she was about 12 and he was in his late twenties.
  • Anachronic Order: The light novels and booklets are essentially a series of shorts that jump around a lot in the timeline, with the proper chronological order found here. Averted with the anime continuity which sticks to a straightforward timeline by release order (with the exception of the OVA which takes place between Episodes 4 & 5, and the first half of the Eternity & the Auto Memory Doll movie which takes place between Episodes 6 & 7note ).
  • Arms Dealer: Volume 2 opens with a flashback of one of Gilbert and Violet's first missions to eliminate a Leidenschaftlich arms dealer and his entire retinue. The antagonist of the final chapter of the Gaiden volume, Salvatore Rinaudo, also spent part of his wartime career selling weapons on the side, even to Leidenschaftlich's enemies in the Northern Alliance.
  • Artificial Limbs: Violet lost both of her arms during the war, and by the time she woke up in the hospital, she already got replacements made in adamant silver. She has trouble writing with them, so she settles for typewriting, although in the Light Novel, she does write with a pen and ink on some occasions where bringing a typewriter is impractical.
  • Ascended Extra: In the anime, Violet herself becomes this, compared to the Light Novels, where she is a supporting character in all chapters except 8 and 13. This is due to the anime centering primarily around Violet, rather than her clients, although Episodes 5, 7, and 10 did focus more on her clients.
  • Asskicking Leads to Leadership: Gilbert is only put in charge of Leidenschaftlich's Army's Special Offense Force because he's the only person Violet obeys. Violet herself is the only member of said Special Offense Force, who gets away with questioning Gilbert's strategies and suggesting different ones, all of which revolve around her killing every single enemy soldier by herself before the rest of the SOF arrives.
  • Attempted Rape: After Violet was found on a deserted island as a child by Dietfried and his men, Dietfried's soldiers tried to rape her, but she killed them all but Dietfried. In the night before the battle at Intense, she sleeps in Gilbert's room because she's been killing so many soldiers on her own side because they keep intruding into her private room and trying to molest her while she sleeps. One wants to question exactly what the recruiting standards for Leidenschaftlich's military are like, but then this is the same military that men like Edward Jones and Salvatore Rinaudo fought for.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: "Witchcraft," an axe that's big enough and sturdy enough to double as a shield against bullets, with a chain weapon in the handle that seems to be remote-controlled somehow is awesome. The fact that it is described as having a handle as thick as Violet's waist makes it practically impossible to wield even remotely decently (not that this stops Violet from kicking ass with it). And then there's the fact that it's made entirely of solid metal, which makes it so heavy that only Violet has the strength to carry it.
  • Babies Ever After: Ann Magnolia has a daughter in the timeskip that's displayed in the conclusion of her focus arc. Princess Charlotte also mentions that she is pregnant with Damian Flugel's child in The Queen and the Auto Memories Doll.
  • Badass Normal: CH Postal Service in Chapter 13 of the novel. Within a span of two hours, CH Postal manages to go through all the legal procedures required to expropriate a privately-owned train station, hire everyone in the village said station was located in, completely destroy the train station and railroad, and launch a rescue operation spearheaded by Benedict, all because Violet, the most requested Auto-Memories Doll in Telesis, happened to be onboard a train that had been hijacked by Northern soldiers. It does help that many of the employees are former soldiers and orphans, who were conscripted during the war, and left to work for Hodgins because he offered them a, to them, better job.
  • Bait-and-Switch Lesbians: Promotional materials for the first movie feature Violet and Isabelle in rather intimate poses. They do get very close in movie, which even includes them sleeping in the same bed, and it all culminates in a spectacularly animated ballroom dance that just brims with romantic overtones. Alas, after Violet leaves Isabelle to her graduation the movie switches gears to Isabelle's life story (with her even getting married off to some noble), and the two never meet again.
  • Bait the Dog: Isidor seems a bit more agreeable than his bloodthirsty comrades in the extremist faction at first, bowing out of a confrontation with Violet and generally coming across as the general's Noble Top Enforcer. When he appears next, he insults a sympathetic dead soldier's memory and indulges in some Evil Gloating before trying to kill off Violet and Dietfried with a Psychotic Smirk.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Violet is this in Chapter 10 of the light novel, when she whirls in out of nowhere to save Lux Sibyl from being sacrificed by the Utopia cult. And then in Chapter 13 Colonel Gilbert Bougainvillea saves Violet from the train hijackers by paradropping onto the train.
  • Bilingual Bonus:
    • There are a couple German words used for political entities. Prominently: Leidenschaftlich, the name of the country, means passionate, but due to a quirk in etymological developments its capital, Leiden, translates to suffering. Other countries like Drossel and Flugel are similarly named.note 
    • The town where Gilbert buys Violet the emerald brooch is called "Mächtig", which is German for "mighty".
  • Bloodier and Gorier: In comparison to many of Kyoto Animation's works, the anime isn't afraid to get brutal when it comes to war, caking many characters with blood and even drawing pools of blood just to emphasize how horrific the conditions are.
  • Body Horror: The Light Novel makes a lot of effort, when it comes to detailed, vivid descriptions of practically everything. This includes how people have their skulls crushed by Witchcraft, the injuries Violet suffers during the war, how Violet's arms fall off while she's trying to save Gilbert, and how Gilbert has his eye ripped out.
  • Book Ends: The first episode has ""I love you" and Auto Memory Dolls" as the title. The last episode places the "I love you" at the end of the title, then trades the word "Dolls" for just "Doll."
  • Break the Cutie: Violet does not have it easy. In Episode 9 of the anime, she is so broken that she attempts to commit suicide.
  • Call-Back: Episode 9 in the anime is full of those. Every single character from the anime whom Violet has helped in the past up to that point shows up again.
  • Cast Full of Pretty Boys: In the anime, many of the male characters are rather good-looking. This can, of course, be due to the show generally having really good graphics. In the novel, Leon, Benedict and Gilbert are all described as being good-looking guys.
  • Cast of Snowflakes: Shown in many of the episodes in the anime.
    • In episode 3, all of the 10 Auto-Memory Doll aspirants have completely unique character designs, even though the episode only really focuses on Violet and Luculia. The guests in episode 4 also have unique designs and outfits. This becomes even more impressive in episode 6, where 80 Auto-Memory Dolls appear simultaneously, all looking completely different from each other.
    • Episode 8 has a scene where Gilbert and Violet are walking through Mächtig at night, with only the light from street lamps to navigate by. Every single citizen who appears looks completely different from the rest, and to top it all off, the lighting makes it all look even more impressive.
  • The Catchphrase Catches On: An in-universe variation; "Auto Memory Doll" is a small mechanical doll that types out messages, an invention of Prof. Orland made for his blind novelist wife that became the basis for typewriters in Violet's world. This term eventually turns into a 'symbol' of amanuensis industry in general. Nothing about android robots as Oscar found out the hard way in the novel.
    • Violet's introductory speech quickly ends up becoming Violet's standard greeting whenever she meets anyone, as displayed in Chapter 9.
    Violet: "Pleased to make your acquaintance. I rush anywhere my customers desire. I am from the Auto-Memory Doll service, Violet Evergarden... I apologize for this mistake. I always end up saying my introductory speech. It is an occupational hazard."
  • Central Theme:
    • The importance of communicating things clearly to the people around you.
    • Everyone has scars, and it's important to move on.
  • Chekhov's Gun: A case of this being a literal gun. In Gaiden Volume Chapter 3, Hodgins lectures Violet about her carrying too many weapons while riding on Benedict's motorcycle, and asks if she's been buying more weapons with her salary. She answers yes and goes on to mention that she just recently bought a precision rifle. The conversation moves on and the subject is dropped as Violet and Benedict depart for their next job. Near the end of the chapter, Violet did indeed bring said rifle with her on the job against Hodgins' advice, and she uses it to be Benedict's "backup firepower" as she snipes the pistols out of the hands of the gangsters chasing after Benedict as he confronts his past.
  • Child Soldier: Violet served in the military ever since she was a child and knows next to nothing about being anything but a weapon. Most of the child soldiers returns from the war trying to reintegrate into civilian life but failing.
    • Ale in chapter 3, "The Soldier and the Auto-Memory Doll," is described as being under 10 years old, but volunteers as a soldier because his family will be generously compensated for it.
  • Close on Title: Title cards for most of the episodes are shown either before or after the end credits.
  • Clothing Damage: In Chapter 13, Violet's dress gets more and more damaged as the battle goes on. And again in Gaiden Chapter 6, where despite not really getting injured while fighting Salvatore Postal Company, the new cute outfit she had bought for her date with Gilbert is in ragged tatters by the end of the day.
  • Coming of Age Story: The main premise of Episode 5 / Gaiden Chapter 2 is Princess Charlotte's emotional journey as the wedding arranged by her kingdom closes in. She starts out a Royal Brat, but with Violet's support, she gains the dignity and patience of a queen and the strength to say goodbye to her Old Retainer, Alberta.
  • Continuity Nod: Several are given, both in the anime and the light novel, such as Luculia and a few other minor characters from episode 3 showing up in Justitia in episode 6 and catching up with Violet.
    • Chapter 5 has Chaser mention Violet being the basis for the protagonist in Oscar's latest play.
    • Chapter 10 ends with Lux being saved from Utopia and offered a job at CH Postal. In all subsequent appearances, she is working as Hodgins' personal secretary.
    • Chapter 13 starts and ends with mentioning Oscar and Leon, describing what they're up to.
    • Gaiden Chapter 2 mentions that the person who recommended Violet to be Isabella York's etiquette tutor was Alberta, Princess Charlotte's handmaiden.
    • Ever After Chapter 1 spans a time period covering Violet's very first job as an Auto-Memories Doll to nearly two years later, ending shortly after the final chapter of the Gaiden Volume. As such, it is loaded with Continuity Porn referencing the majority of the jobs Violet took throughout her career.
    • Ever After Chapter 3 jokingly mentions that Violet, Benedict, and Cattleya are tough enough to "physically crush other postal companies." The three of them did exactly that against Salvatore Postal in the Gaiden volume's finale.
    • Ever After Chapter 4 ends with Colonel Gilbert Bougainvillea taking the "Femme Fatale" train back to Leiden from the North. This is the same train that was hijacked in the end of Volume 2.
    • Ever After Chapter 5 shows that Violet's latest job working for a composer in the city of Alfine was recommended by a certain novelist. Said novelist then appears in the chapter to play a major role in the story, and it's Oscar Webster. Also in that same chapter, she manages to confess that one of her greatest wishes is to show Gilbert all the sights and places she has been to working as a Doll, essentially recapping all her major work requests throughout the series.
    • In the OVA episode, it turns out Violet was assigned as the Auto-Memory Doll for Irma Felice's request because of a recommendation from Rhodanthe, the instructor for the Auto-Memory Doll training course in Episode 3.
    • In the 2020 movie, Erica is now working for the playwright Oscar as his assistant.
  • Constructed World: Taking place on Telsis, a continent with numerous nations that is essentially divided up into four main power blocs: the North, South, East, and West. The Great War that occurred saw almost every nation on Telsis consolidating into one of two factions, the Northern Alliance or the Southern League, with the East allying with the North and the West with the South.
  • Corporate Warfare: The final chapter of the Gaiden Volume concerns a rival postal company, the Salvatore Postal Company, attacking CH Postal using an artillery cannon and taking Hodgins and Lux as hostages, as well as bribing the city's military police to not take any action. Violet, Benedict, and Cattleya go into action to rescue them and organize a counter-attack by deploying CH Postal's own combat assets (mostly consisting of Former Regime Personnel) to strike back against Salvatore's branch offices throughout Leiden. CH Postal has a surprisingly large amount of weapons at its disposal.
  • Darker and Edgier: For Kyoto Animation, even more so than Beyond the Boundary. After about a decade of light-hearted anime works, Violet Evergarden presents a much more cynical story that deals with human cruelty front and center.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Given that the setting is in is somewhere around the early 20th century, this is inevitable. Child soldiers, heavy-handed political decisions, arranged marriage at a young age (with the age gap between the couple at that) for example...
  • Despair Event Horizon: Violet briefly crosses this in episode 9. Her Heroic BSoD eventually leads to her attempting to commit suicide. She gets better, after receiving her first letter ever.
  • Deadly Distant Finale: In the anime, the 2020 movie's Framing Device over 50 years in the future is a strong indicator that almost everyone we knew from the main story has long passed on. The movie even opens with the aftermath of the funeral of Ann Magnolia as her daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter try to come to terms with her passing.
  • Distant Finale: For the light novel continuity, the Gilbert Bougainvillea and the Fleeting Dream short story serves as this, as it takes place years later when he and Violet are a married couple, and he finds reassurance from her that she will always be by his side after he had a fleeting dream where she was lost to him forever.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: The ending theme is sung by Erica's voice actress, Minori Chihara.
  • Driven to Suicide: Violet, in episode 9. After a nightmare in which Gilbert says the exact same lines that Dietfried said to her in episode 5, she attempts to choke herself to death.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: After all the suffering and emotional trauma of the War and its aftermath, Violet and Gilbert finally get married in the finale of Ever After.
  • Fantasy Conflict Counterpart: The War is obviously one for The First World War, lasting for four years and embroiling many countries into it in two distinct sides. The weaponry used in battle include British Lee-Enfields and German G98s, along with the distinctive Luger P08 and 1911 pistols. Uniforms worn by the troopers bear noticeable resemblances to those used by British and German forces. The war's murky reasons and grey-on-grey morality are very much inspired by the horrors of the Great War.
  • Fate Drives Us Together: In Violet Evergarden - IF, even in another universe where she is known as Leidenschaftlich's Undine, was kept in Dietfried's custody, and is far closer to him than in the canon story, Dietfried can still tell at the end that she is developing feelings for his brother Gilbert, cementing that Violet and Gilbert will always be drawn to each other no matter what.
  • Floral Theme Naming: Most of the characters incorporate a flowering plant in their name somehow — Violet Evergarden, Gilbert Bougainvillea, Cattleya Baudelaire, Iris Cannary, Erica Brown, Ann Magnolia, Leon Stephanotis.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: The Dolls: Violet is eclectic, Luculia is phlegmatic, Erica is melancholic, Cattleya is sanguine and Iris is choleric.
  • Ghostwriter: The job of Auto-Memory Doll service is to put client's thoughts into a letter, effecticely writing messages under client's name. The titular protagonist, learns about human emotions as a member of said service.
  • Grand Finale: The Ever After volume and the 2020 movie both act as this for their respective continuities of the story.
  • Great Offscreen War: The four-year war on the Telsis continent in the past that divided it into the North and South, which the nation of Leidenschaftlich took part in.
    • Episode 8 in the anime shows a few flashbacks to the war. Chapter 6 and 7 in the novel both take place during the war, with Chapter 6 being from Gilbert receiving Violet until he says "I love you" and Chapter 7 being Gilbert's life flashing before his eyes.
  • Heroic BSoD: Violet goes through one in episode 9, after revisiting Intense, where she last saw the Major. She gets better, though.
  • High Turnover Rate: Ever After Chapter 3 mentions that Hodgins has staffing problems with CH Postal as most of the young men hired to work as postmen tend to quit quickly, largely due to CH Postal expanding quickly and having to hire as much help as possible in a short time.

     I - N 
  • I Call It "Vera": In the light novel, Violet owns a huge, custom-built battle-axe that's bigger than her own body, which the Major gave to her, named "Witchcraft".
  • In Medias Res: The novel version starts with Violet, already a famous Auto Memory Doll, taking jobs from the client. We don't learn about her origins until the final chapter of the first volume.
    • Ever After Chapter 2 begins with Dietfried slowly regaining consciousness from a bad head injury, with Violet watching over him while surrounded by panicked civilians. After he awakens and exchanges harsh words with her, the narration then jumps back in time a few minutes to explain how they ended up in this situation.
  • Innocent Fanservice Girl: Violet, because she has No Social Skills. When she is given a work uniform to wear she immediately begins stripping down, right in front of a (very flustered) boy.
    • In the light novel's first Chapter, Oscar walks in on Violet while she is completely naked, and the only person who appears to be bothered by it is Oscar himself. Possibly because she reminded him of his deceased daughter, who would have been the same age as Violet, and looked very similar, had she still lived.
  • Innocently Insensitive:
    • Violet herself, who is adept in military duties but knows next to nil about civilian life. When meeting the Evergarden family for the first time, Violet proclaims to their face that she doesn't know what a 'family' is and doesn't need one. This causes problems on the job, ranging from her bluntness being off-putting to some of her co-workers, to taking a client's words at face value and writing her response to a love letter as negative and materialistic instead of coy.
    • To some extent, Benedict, Hodgins' old friend with an uncaring demeanor who works at CH as a mailman. For example, when Hodgins slowly informs Violet that the Evergarden family is willing to be her guarantor but changed their minds about letting Violet live with them...
    Benedict: "That part hit a snag, huh."
    Hodgins: *Kicks Benedict's shin* "Come on, I was trying to break it to her gently!"
    Benedict: "Why should I care?"
    • Iris' mother. She simply couldn't understand why Iris was upset over her inviting a number of boys to Iris' birthday party as a means to get Iris to marry one of them and settle down in their village. She also didn't understand why Iris was uncomfortable with one particular boy who Iris specifically asked her not to invite (but her mother did so anyway). Iris later reveals to Violet that Iris had confessed to said boy who turned her down, which is why she left for the city.
  • Kicking Ass in All Her Finery: Violet. Apparently, dropping into the middle of an active battlefield to visit a client, while wearing her typical fancy outfit, is not out of the question. The same goes for fighting off a group of train hijackers, not knowing that the Army is already planning their own rescue operation. Kicking ass and wearing pretty dresses are not mutually exclusive.
  • Lighter and Softer: The animated adaptation is much more reserved when it comes to violence and cynicism than the light novel. For instance, where Gilbert's eye is described as being ''ripped out'' in the Light Novel, he merely gets shot in the eye in the anime. Additionally, in the light novel, Violet practically single-handedly takes out the entire enemy army stationed in the cathedral in Intense using Witchcraft, with quite detailed descriptions of how the enemy soldiers are mutilated and their limbs crushed by the giant axe, while the anime merely shows Squad 1 charge into Intense with rifles.
  • Like Reality, Unless Noted: The world of Violet Evergarden is set in an early 20th century European-like setting with a bit of Culture Chop Suey and minor Steampunk thrown in. In addition, as per the anime, the climate and plant life of a good part of the setting hearken more to southeastern Asia, rather than typical Europe.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Everyone. Violet is the character who goes through most outfits in the anime, but after becoming an Auto-Memory Doll she only wears her iconic white dress and Prussian blue jacket. The only other characters seen wearing more than one outfit are Hodgins and Iris, both of whom are shown wearing two different outfits, and both only on one occasion. This becomes slightly jarring in episode 6, where Luculia and two other unnamed extras from episode 3 appear wearing the exact same outfits as they wore in episode 3.
  • Line-of-Sight Name: In the anime, Gilbert names Violet after a flower growing just outside the training area, unlike the novel, where he names her after a flower goddess.
  • Memento MacGuffin: Violet's emerald brooch, gifted to her by Gilbert. It went missing during her stay in a hospital.
    • In the Light Novel, she says that she worries about losing it if she wears it in battle, so the Major tells her to just wear it during their time off. After the battle in Intense many things went missing, including most of Violet's belongings (since practically everything she owned was actually property of Leidenschaftlich's Army, save for a few dresses, the Brooch and Witchcraft). As a result, the brooch ended up on the black market after the war, and Hodgins bought it for Violet out of his own pocket.
    • The brooch becomes this again in Chapter 13. During the battle against the leader of the hijackers Violet loses the brooch (which had already been hinted could happen if she wore it in battle back in Chapter 6). She quickly manages to recover it, though. When the Major comes to rescue her, he finds out that the girl who didn't care about material things at all during the war held on to the brooch for all those years.
  • Mentor's New Hope: Taylor Bartlett for Benedict in Eternity and the Auto Memories Doll. The trope is Played With, as Benedict is not the archetypal Old Master, but Taylor is so passionate about delivering mail that he rediscovers his passion for the job he had grown bored with by training her in postman work.
  • Narrative Filigree: A large chunk of the Light Novel consist of nothing but descriptions of the scenery and various characters, which really doesn't contribute to the story, aside from creating vivid images of the scenes and characters in the reader's mind.
  • Never Found the Body: Subverted in the anime, where the Major was last seen heavily wounded in an area that was bombed immediately afterwards, and his dogtags were found nearby. The fact that his body was never found causes Violet to insist that he's not really dead, but it's implied she's just in denial and he never shows up again. However, it is played straight in the Light Novel, where he did in fact survive. Ultimately played straight in the anime too. Because Gilbert was found without his dogtags, therefore no identification on him, he was brought to a hospital run by a convent and spent a bit of time wandering from there.
  • Non-Indicative Name: Chapter 13 tells us that law enforcement in Leidenschaftlich is conducted by military police, which, despite the name, actually are a completely separate entity from the military.
    • The "Gaiden" Volume actually has 2/3 of its content (4 out of 6 chapters) take place after the end of Volume 2 in neat chronological order, making one wonder why it's referred to as a "gaiden" (sidestory) volume instead of just plain Volume 3.
  • No Social Skills: Violet lived her entire life as a Child Soldier, and thus has no knowledge at all about how to live in society when there is no war going on.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Twice between Violet and Leon:
    • He finds Violet's passion for depicting people's emotion through written letters similar to his own for deciphering old manuscripts about astronomical research.
    • Violet even comments on how they both have "Unfriendly faces".

    O - Z 
  • Orphaned Etymology: The CH Postal staff drink Darjeeling tea in Ever After Chapter 3, despite the fact that there is no Darjeeling in the world of Violet Evergarden.
  • Perfectly Arranged Marriage: The focus of episode 5, between Princess Charlotte and Prince Damien of allied nations. While it's played straight as the royals get to know each other better and look forward to the marriage, it is also exploited — their correspondence (actually initially written by Dolls at first) is published, making the public believe in the strength of their union and the alliance.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: Some events in the anime adaptation happen in a different order or are changed compared to the books.
    • In the anime, Hodgins gives Violet the plushies in the carriage on their way to the Evergarden mansion, but in the novel, he gives her the plushies in the hospital, right after she wakes up from her coma. Similarly, in the books, Violet works with Oscar, the playwright, in chapter 1 and works with Leon Stephanotis, the astronomer from Justitia, in chapter 4, yet in the anime, those two "stories" are episodes 7 and 6 respectively.
    • In the anime, both Gilbert and Violet make it to the top of the tower in Intense, where Gilbert launches the signal flare. In the book, Violet is ordered to abandon Gilbert on the stairs, surrounded by enemies, and runs to the ceiling to fire the signal flare herself. The manner in which Gilbert loses his eye is also slightly less brutal in the anime (instead of having it ripped out like in the book, he is merely shot in the eye in the anime).
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: In Chapter 10 of the Light Novel: "Challengers, come forward. I, Violet Evergarden, shall take you on."
  • Protagonist Title:
    • The series is named after its eponymous protagonist. Ironically enough in the Light Novel, Violet is only a protagonist in 2 chapters, 8 and 13. In both of these, she shares the spotlight with other characters as well, such as Claudia Hodgins, the employees at CH Postal Service, and Major/Colonel Gilbert Bougainvillea. In every other chapter, Violet is only a supporting character.
    • Many chapters in the Light Novel also feature this to a lesser extent, such as chapters 1-5 and 9-10 using the formula "The (something) and the Auto-Memory Doll", chapter 6's "The Major and the Automated Assassination Doll", chapter 7's "The Major and his everything" and chapter 8's "The Doll and her everything". The first referring to whom the chapter primarily focuses on, and "the Auto-Memory Doll" referring to Violet.
    • Played perfectly straight with Chapter 13's title: "Violet Evergarden".
  • Real-Place Background: Locations from the German towns of Nuremberg, Mannheim, Frankfurt and Cochem are used throughout the show, and the CH Postal Company building is modeled after the Museum of Kyoto in Kyoto's Nakagyo ward. The town of Leiden as shown in-series does not bear any resemblance to its real-life Dutch namesake though, much to the disappointment of fans traveling there.
  • Secondary Character Title: The first 4 chapters in Volume 1 don't focus on Violet at all, giving the clients more attention, while Violet works as a secondary character. Violet only becomes the protagonist for real in Chapter 5.
  • Serious Business: Writing letters, to the point where the correspondence between two royals arranged to be married is displayed for the awed public to discuss, letter by letter.
  • Scenery Dissonance: Employed as a way to convey grieving and the feeling of having lost life's meaning. The eponymous protagonist has just recovered from a very traumatic battle where she lost her arms and her beloved superior. When she awakes, the war has come to an end and both the landscapes surrounding her and the town she now lives in are too idyllic and peaceful for an ex-soldier who was never allowed to experience any feelings and is deep in mourning. The trope is subverted as she heals.
  • Schizo Tech: The technological level of this world is about that of early 20th century Europe, but they have prosthetic technology going beyond anything our 21st century has to offer (e.g. Violet's "adamant silver" arms).
  • Skilled, but Naive: This was Violet's initial problem with writing letters. She was the only one in her class to attain perfect scores in grammar and vocabulary, as well as having excellent typing skills, but she lacked the social skills to accurately decipher a person's true feelings and express them properly in a letter.
  • Spell My Name with an S: Despite Gilbert's brother's name being pronounced as "Dietfried" ("Dietofuriido"), the subtitles in more than one language of the anime on Netflix write his name as "Diethard", which is an entirely different name, while some fan translations actually use the name "Dietfried".
    • Official translations refer to Violet's job as "Auto Memory Doll" but the official English dub, as well as the fansubs & the fan translator for the light novels use the plural "Auto Memories Doll." Then there's inconsistencies as well as to whether there's a hyphen or not after "Auto."
  • Technology Marches On: An in-universe example. In the 2020 movie, telephones are becoming more and more widespread and a new huge radio tower is being built in Leiden, and the CH Postal staff mournfully lament that this probably means that Auto-Memory Dolls are going to soon become obsolete when technology will allow people to instantly talk to each other instead of sending letters.
  • Title Drop: With the exception of Episodes 1Title , 7Title , 8, 12,Note  and 13 Title , all titles are dropped at the end of each episode.
  • Title Drop Chapter: Episode 9, considering it is the point where Violet finally recovers from her Heroic BSoD.
  • Wanted a Son Instead: Claudia's Gender-Blender Name is the result of his mother hoping for a daughter, and apparently being very insistent in the throes of labor.
  • War Is Hell: The war is never shown to be anything but a pointless source of destruction, grief, and loss. Neither Violet nor any other soldiers desire or receive any glory or admiration for their roles or show any pride in their wartime deeds. The reasons behind the war and the question of who could be said to have "won" are never elaborated upon and ultimately don't matter.
  • Weapon Tombstone: In Episode 11, Violet buries Aidan and uses his rifle as a grave marker.
  • What Is This Thing You Call "Love"?: One of Violet's driving questions and what ultimately convinces her to join the Auto Memory Dolls service.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: Gaiden Chapter 5 is basically one long flashback recounting Hodgins and Gilbert's time at the Leidenschaftlich Army academy. It turns out to actually be a Framing Device of Hodgins telling the story of how he met Gilbert to a bedridden Violet who's sick with a fever.
  • Write Who You Know: In-Universe, Oscar Webster bases the protagonist of his latest production on his late daughter. Completing the play is his last hurdle in overcoming his grief. This is also the same in the OVA episode with Irma Felice, who bases the heroine of her latest opera on herself. Like Oscar, this is also because she is a grieving woman trying to come to terms with the loss of her fiancé in the war, and performing the opera is her last obstacle to letting go of him.


Video Example(s):


Oscar and Olivia Webster

Oscar recounts the moments he spent with his late daughter, up until he was struck with the same illess as Oscar's wife and their last moments together. His recounting over Olivia's death and being unable to move on from daughter's death causes Violet to become emotional about the idea of a parent losing their child.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / OutlivingOnesOffspring

Media sources: