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A fantasy drama novel series written by Akatsuki Kana and drawn by Takase_Akiko. The two volume novel ran from December 25 2015 to December 26, 2016. It was submitted to Kyoto_Animation novel Awards in 2014 and was notably the first work to ever gain the grand prize. It was adapted into an anime series by the studio with viewers getting an early peek at the first episode on July 2, 2017. The series began worldwide broadcast on January 11, 2018, running for 14 episodes. The anime was directed by Ishidate Taichi with Fujita Haruka acting as series director. It was written by Yoshida Reiko with a soundtrack composed by Evan Call of Elements Garden.
The series is set in a fictional kingdom called Leiden, which is based off of World War 1 era Europe. Leiden has just won a massive four year war and its populace are gradually transitioning to peacetime. Violet is a teen girl who has known war her whole life and because of this, her understanding of normal human experiences is very limited. Her only strong human connection was with Major Gilbert. With the war's conclusion, Violet, who has also lost both of her arms in the war, feels without a purpose and is instead troubled by questions. She is particularly troubled by the last thing Gilbert told her before the two separated during the war, "I love you," a statement that she does not fully understand.
In an effort to discover said statement's meaning, she joins Claudia Hodgins' postal company's Auto Memory Doll service, whose employees act as ghost writers for Leiden's illiterate, helping customers convey their feelings through words. As she helps people as an employee, she gradually learns about humanity and love.
The novel and the anime notably have different story structures. The novel starts chronologically in the middle of the story where Violet is already an established Auto Memory Doll and later reveals her origins, whereas the anime begins with her recovering from her war wounds and joining the Claudia's postal company. The novel mostly tells it story from the perspective of Violet's clients and emphasizes how they perceive her and elaborating on their own thoughts whereas the anime puts the focus more squarely on Violet herself, emphasizing her growth as a person. The anime also includes some anime-original stories to fill in the gaps. The anime also has a distinct method of naming its episodes. As soon as a character says the last line of dialogue of the episode, the anime will cut to a black title card showing the episode's title which is the last few spoken words of the episode.
The series main theme song is Violet Snow, originally performed in English by Japanese singer Yuuki Aira, but in an unusual move, Kyoto Animation decided to hire four more singers from around the world: Kate Higgins (USA), Jung Min-joo (South Korea), Freda Li (Taiwan), and Michelle Michina (France), to sing the theme songs in their respective native tongues.
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