A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Some positive messages on being true to yourself instead of being what others want you to be.
Positive Role Models
While characters learn from past mistakes and try to make amends, no positive role models emerge in tearjerker anime.
Lead character emerges as a heroic leader during a time and place when women had few opportunities to pursue careers of any kind.
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Violence & Scariness
Soldier shot in the eye and killed; blood. Brief sword fight. Lead character loses her arms after being hit with a grenade. A tween boy is dying in bed.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
One of the female characters who works with Violet as a letter writer wears tight and partially-unbuttoned blouses that reveal the shape of her large breasts.
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"Bastard." A tween boy calls his younger brother "stupid."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Violet Evergarden: The Movie is a 2021 anime based on the novel and anime series. Here Violet learns that the man who mentored her is still alive and she must confront her true feelings for him. This is a romantic "tearjerker" movie, and not only due to Violet and Gilbert. In one of the side stories, a tween boy is dying in bed, and has hired Violet (who, after the war, works as an in-demand letter writer for those who cannot express their feelings) to help him express his love for his uncle and best friend while also using the letters to make amends for the times he was mean to them. Some war violence, including a flashback scene in which a soldier is shot in the eye and killed, with some blood. In a flashback scene, Violet loses her arms while trying to rescue Gilbert during a battle in which they end up separated. Pipe smoking. Overall, some of the more emotionally intense scenes may be too much for younger or more sensitive viewers. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.