Violet Evergarden Director Discusses His Initial Hesitation About Creating Sequel Film

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Note that this article contains spoilers for Violet Evergarden: The Movie.

Violet Evergarden director Taichi Ishidate and producer Shinichiro Hatta discussed the recent Violet Evergarden: The Movie anime film in Newtype's November 2020 issue. In the interview, Ishidate shared that he initially had his doubts about creating a sequel to the TV series.

"In the TV series, whether Gilbert lives or dies isn't shown, but even if Violet were to never meet him again, she would live on," he said. "Personally speaking, that's the entirety of the story I intended to tell. So when talks of a sequel came up, I actually said that there was nothing else I wanted to do. But when I read the plot that the scriptwriter Reiko Yoshida wrote, it was so believable that I was spurred to action. I came to think that it was fine for Gilbert to live. This was a little less than two years ago."

On the other hand, there were still some aspects that Ishidate was firm on. "However, if the focus was just on Violet and Gilbert then it would become a love story," he continued. "I did not create the TV series with that intent. As I was wondering about what to do, Hatta told me, 'This is really a story about Violet's road.'" Hatta elaborated that he believed that the story of the film should be about the path that Violet takes through life, and how it paves the way for future generations.

Ishidate also said that he was careful to put all of the climaxes at the end of the film so that the various threads of the story come together in a satisfying way. He strove to keep the story simple, although after the first draft he incorporated a lot of feedback from unit director Taichi Ogawa. He described it as a work where everyone had a lot of input.

The interview also touches on the process of writing the dialogue. The interviewer said that they were surprised to discover that the lines were not recorded beforehand (i.e. "pre-score") because the voice acting was filled with such spontaneity, and the animation felt as if it was crafted around their performance. Ishidate praised the work of the voice actors for being able to deliver such a powerful performance at the end, and said that it felt as if they were able to do their lines in one take. Great care was also taken during the script-writing stage to ensure that the lines felt realistic.

The film opened in Japan on September 18. Kyoto Animation has posted the first 10 minutes of the film on its YouTube channel.

Kyoto Animation's television anime adaptation of author Kana Akatsuki and illustrator Akiko Takase's Violet Evergarden novels premiered on television in Japan and on Netflix in some territories in January 2018. The anime launched on Netflix in the United States in April 2018. The franchise's separate side-story anime, titled Violet Evergarden I: Eternity and the Auto Memory Doll (Violet Evergarden Gaiden: Eien to Jidō Shuki Ningyō), opened in theaters in Japan last September. Netflix debuted the anime on April 2.

Source: Newtype November 2020 issue

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