Parents' Guide to

Violet Evergarden: The Movie

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Emotionally intense anime has violence, beautiful detail.

Movie NR 2021 140 minutes
Violet Evergarden: The Movie Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 14+

Visually delicious; emotionally intense; thematically rich

[This review is for the entire series, not just the concluding movie.] This beautiful anime is available on Netflix and DVD. It's not perfect--there are not exactly "plot holes," but there are some implausibilities--starting with Violet's prosthetics--that have to be overlooked or forgiven. And I would also argue the plot and writing aren't *quite* good enough to "earn" the emotion it's trying to elicit. However: if you take it as the full animation medium, not as a prose story, you have to factor in the artwork... and at that point, I think it probably does earn it all. Indeed the art is really superb. Wartime flashbacks excepted, it's universally lush, colorful, detailed, beautiful, and heavily floral (there are big flower themes going on throughout, on a per-character and per-episode basis; you will miss a bit if you don't know your flower names). The core of the story is a slow-burn theme of healing from trauma--chiefly via helping *others* to heal (i.e., "living life" vs. just being a sponge of neediness). There is a some language in a few intense scenes, some bloody-but-not-gratuitous wartime violence in flashbacks, one or two show-nothing bathing scenes, and one astonishingly low-cut outfit for a supporting character. But all that said: this show is perhaps the best example I know of for "pervasive sensuousness but virtually zero sensuality." See: https://www.vocabulary.com/articles/chooseyourwords/sensual-sensuous/ It's really kind of amazing in its restraint in that regard. Hugely Romantic; never erotic. There's some time-lapse and technological advancement throughout the show, which is nicely integrated into the themes of interpersonal connection and help--all in all it seemed a very charitable and "humane" treatment of technology. The English subtitles are a different translation from the English dubbing--I used both for fuller understanding; both have their merits and the dubbing seemed fine to me. The jumble of videos can be confusing, so here's the chronological watch order: Violet Evergarden Series: episodes 1–4 (25 min each) Violet Evergarden (2018 Special) (45 min) Violet Evergarden: episodes 5–13 Violet Evergarden: Eternity and the Auto Memories Doll (1.5 hrs) Violet Evergarden: The Movie (2 hrs) In the context of the sweep of the whole show--and understanding the character and arc of those involved--the relational age-disparity mentioned by a previous reviewer never even occurred to me as an issue. Anyhow: I recommend. :)
age 18+

parents need to watch this first

The "romance" in this movie is between a teenage girl (IMO drawn as a preteen in some flashback sequences) and an adult man. Parents need to watch this ahead of time and be prepared to discuss grooming, trafficking, and age appropriate relationships with their children.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (4 ):

This is an incredibly epic and richly-detailed tearjerker of an anime drama. Violet Evergarden: The Movie, based on the novel and anime series, reveals so much in the animation, finding so much beauty and story in the minutest details. It's also a complex story of flashbacks within flashbacks within flashbacks, but there's a method to the madness, and it's a story that rewards attention and focus. It's an origin story, and one that's accessible for those unfamiliar with Violet, and rewarding for those who are already fans.

It's an earnest movie that wears its melodramatic heart on its proverbial sleeve. It isn't difficult to imagine tweens (and teens, and adults) all over the world getting choked up before the waterworks begin. But it fits the story, and doesn't come across as mawkish or manipulative. The sincerity and the gorgeous animation win out. Besides the emotional intensity that may prove wearying for some, the only other criticism is that it's a longer-than-average movie, clocking in at two hours and 20 minutes, and after some of the plot points and character traits have already been established, it's easy to see what scenes could've ended up on the cutting room floor. But there's so much to enjoy otherwise, and what ultimately comes through is one of the best anime to emerge in recent years.

Movie Details

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