Violet Evergarden: Eternity and the Auto Memory Doll (Violet Evergarden Gaiden: Eien to Jidō Shuki Ningyō) is a 2019 theatrical anime film based on Kana Akatsuki’s light novel series Violet Evergarden. The anime was produced by studio Kyoto Animation with director Haruka Fujita and writers Takaaki Suzuki and Tatsuhiko Urahata, and published by ABC Animation. It was released in Japanese theaters in September 2019.
“The heir to a noble house, Isabella attends a finishing school for well-groomed young women to satisfy an “agreement” with her father. While this residence where white camellias bloom is a thing of joy and beauty for most, to her it feels like nothing more than a prison. Having resigned herself to a miserable future shorn of the hopes and dreams she once held, Isabella reluctantly meets her new manners teacher, Violet Evergarden – an experience that could change both of their outlooks on life forever.”Plot Synopsis via Anime Limited, August 2021.
2019 is a year that many will never forget for Kyoto Animation, because it was the year that an arson attack had happened against the studio that sadly took the lives of 36 people, including director Yasuhiro Takemoto and character designer Futoshi Nishiya. In response to the tragedy, many of the studio’s projects had to be postponed for good reason. That said, the studio decided to continue with the go-ahead to release Violet Evergarden‘s spin-off film for theaters one month later.
A year after the show finished airing and an half-hour OVA special came along, Kyoto Animation wasn’t done with Violet Evergarden to the surprise of no one and worked on two theatrical film projects; a spin-off film that takes place sometime during the main series, and a sequel film that wraps up the story.
What we have today is the spin-off film Violet Evergarden: Eternity and the Auto Memory Doll, which was released briefly at UK film festivals by Anime Limited before the COVID19 pandemic started to cause lockdowns in the country. Eventually Netflix began streaming the film a month later with an English dub using the same cast as before. Funimation also picked up the US & Canada rights and released it in theaters over there as well.
Speaking of Funimation, they released the spin-off film for home video a week before they released the series in the United States back in December 2020. While the US release of the main series re-used the Madman discs, which were using the broadcast materials and Netflix translation, the spin-off film was authored as per usual with Funimation’s own translation thanks to their theatrical release. Meanwhile, Anime Limited took their time working on releasing the film with their usual traditional approach of offering a collector’s set.
Collector’s Edition Contents:
Violet Evergarden: Eternity and the Auto Memory Doll received the Anime Limited collector’s edition treatment, and is one of their most expensive special editions released for a film (up there with Anime Ltd’s releases of Weathering With You and Your Name).
This package offers a rigid box that houses the film in an Amaray Blu-ray case and a whole bunch of physical items. The first is an 80-page booklet that features artwork, interviews and information on the film as well as the director Haruka Fujita’s commentary on a set of storyboards. The second is a very unique addition which is a 28-page short story book from author Kana Akatsuki, translated for this release which adds extra content to the film’s story. In addition to the books, the box set also comes with an A3 poster and a set of five art cards.
The artwork is free of any information or BBFC content and the info o-card covers the information and specification like previous Anime Limited releases. The collector’s edition Blu-ray is limited to 1000 units for an SRP of £49.99 (the higher price is due to the extra physical content than your usual collector’s film release). This is also a Blu-ray only release and is expected to receive a standard edition over time.
I pre-ordered the film via Anime Limited’s store during its early bird week for £29.99 but used a £5 coupon code to save more money. The coupon was provided to me by the distributor for supporting their now defunct Screen Anime festival service. From there on, I signed up to their Anime (Un)limited membership which continues the 10% store discount but for £17.99 a year instead.
- Rigid Box with Amaray packaging and clean artwork
- Info o-card for specification and BBFC description
- 80-page Booklet
- 28-page Short Story Book
- A3 Poster
- 5 Art Cards
Distributor: Anime Limited
Released: 30th August 2021
Violet Evergarden: Eternity and the Auto Memory Doll contains the film on a single Blu-ray disc using the Funimation encode/author. The audio options available include Japanese with English subtitles and the SDI Media English dub commissioned by Netflix. The white subtitles are unlockable during playback, and the regions are compatible with Blu-ray players set to A & B.
|Audio||English Dolby TrueHD 5.1|
Japanese Dolby TrueHD 5.1
|Video||1080p High Definition Native format|
2.35:1 aspect ratio
Blu-ray On-Disc Extra Features:
Violet Evergarden: Eternity and the Auto Memory Doll is available to order through multiple retailers across the United Kingdom. You can order the collector’s edition Blu-ray release on Amazon UK.
(Disclaimer: Amazon links are also included when available. They are affiliated so if you decide to order them, I’ll earn a small percentage if they ship which will help me with any hauls or small bills.)