Home Movies

Here’s the best ‘Violet Evergarden’ watch order

Here's how to watch the award-winning series about a child soldier turned scribe.

Image via Kyoto Animation

Violet Evergarden was one of the biggest anime to emerge from the later 2010s. With direction by Taichi Ishidate, Kyoto Animation beautifully adapted the show from Kana Akatsuki’s award-winning light novel. To this day, the book remains the only work to win a grand prize at the Kyoto Animation Awards.

Violet, the show’s eponymous protagonist, is a child soldier-turned-scribe in a fictional European city set during industrialization after a major war has left her without a commander or duty. Mostly told in episodic form, Violet’s journey into learning the meaning of the phrase “I love you,” is one that is capable of touching any viewer’s heart. A tear-jerker through and through, Violet Evergarden is an emotional, heartfelt tale that everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime.

How to watch ‘Violet Evergarden’ in order

Rated TV-14, the 13-episode series aired in 2018 and includes an additional OVA (original video animation) episode from the Blu-Ray and DVD release. You should start here, and you could even stop there with how the story wraps up. 

It’s worth noting that the OVA, Surely, Someday, You Will Understand Love, is set between episodes 4 and 5, so while it will show up as episode 14, you could move it up if you don’t mind the pacing dropping off a bit.

If you want more, Violet Evergarden: Eternity and the Auto Memory Doll was released in 2019. The spinoff film is set after the season and finds Violet continuing her work as an auto memory doll⏤a sort of scribe and ghostwriter⏤by taking up residency at an aristocratic boarding school. Her unusual job is to assist the Drossel Royal Family by training the future debutante Isabella York. 

The series got a proper film sequel and conclusion in Violet Evergarden: The Movie. Teased back in 2018, the movie finally got its release, after COVID-19-related delays, in Japan in late 2020. The film made its way to U.S. theaters in early 2021 and, a little while thereafter, streaming. The film remained in the Japanese box office’s top ten for ten straight weeks upon release. It would go on to win numerous awards, including Best Art Direction, Best Screenplay, and the Grand Prize for Feature Film Animation at the Tokyo Anime Awards Festival.

While Haruka Fujita directed Eternity and the Auto Memory Doll, Taichi Ishidate returned to conclude the series. Reiko Yoshida was the primary screenwriter for the show and wrote both Violet Evergarden films. If you want the full Violet Evergarden experience, I’d at least suggest you watch the final film, which perfectly wraps up the story and brings closure to both the characters and the viewers. The Guardian called it “breathtaking”, adding that its romanticism is done with “unabashed sincerity,” a sentiment that can be applied to the series as a whole. The story of Violet Evergarden might pull hard at your heartstrings, but chances are you’ll find this as one of the most rewarding aspects of the viewing experience.

Where to watch ‘Violet Evergarden’ on streaming

Screengrab via Kyoto Animation

The most obvious place in which you could stream the whole series, including both films and OVAs, is on Netflix. The streamer has had the series in its catalog since 2018. That being said, Netflix has recently increased the price of its tiers, as well as adding new ones, with its most expensive plan being $19.99 per month.

You could acquire the series from Funimation via digital copy, or, alternatively, from Apple TV Plus. The 13 episodes of the series as well as the first film Violet Evergarden: Eternity and the Auto Memory Doll, could also be purchased on Amazon Prime Video.

Margarida Bastos
About the author

Margarida Bastos

Margarida is passionate about the intricacies of storytelling, including its ways of expression across different media: films, TV, books, plays, anime, visual novels, video games, podcasts, D&D campaigns... She holds a BA in English with Creative Writing and is halfway through a 2-year MA program in Text Editing / Publishing. She has previously written for Collider and Looper. Her love of storytelling is only second to her love for animals.