Violet Evergarden-Behind the Scenes- Part01


The original Japanese text was written by Shigeru Saito.
Translated by Jun F



Violet Evergarden.  



The name which refers to a very lovable person, and at the same time, is also the name of a work. I’ve been in this for a long time, both as a producer and as a music producer. However, until now, I have not spoken proactively about Violet. Because, in my thought, it was needless to be told. 


To be more precise, since many people have already learned of Violet through the novels and anime, I thought it would be unnecessary to add my own episodes and reminiscences. But on the other hand, gradually another thought appeared to me that perhaps it might make people enjoy the film even more, if they knew the story behind the scenes in preparation for the release of “Violet Evergarden the Movie.” Eventually, I decided to follow that voice. 


The “story” I’m referring to here is the story of the people who have made Violet Evergarden. Maybe it’s inappropriate to talk too much about the background. The entire thing is already contained in this completed work. Therefore, I want to try not telling too much of it. In fact, the completed visuals and music of the film Violet Evergarden had already explained it all. 


So, I’d better not say too much, but want to convey it in the right way. By doing so, it would provide more “high-resolution” to the Violet Evergarden, I thought. 




-Every staff member involved and every audience member has a story to tell. It weaves together and forms the Violet Evergarden. In this degree, I started writing the “story” with the hope that someday, when the film is released, people will be able to get to know the “story” a bit more. However, I can only write what I can see. No matter how much enthusiasm I put into my writing, it’s only a limited perspective, not all of them. But still, I believe that by doing this, the passion and love of the staff will be conveyed, rather than not saying anything at all. 




Here’s the story. 


My first encounter with “her” was in the beginning of 2015.  


The title of the novel I came across as a new project was “Violet Evergarden.”  


-It seems to be a story about a violet garden. But what “violet garden” indicates? “Ever garden” sounds elegant, and it has a sense of permanence to it. Could it be a story like “The Tale of the Young Grass”?  


In retrospect, it was quite a shallow imagination. But with a glimmer of such a feeling, I started to turn over the pages. 


Then, I fell in love.  


I am not sure that there had been a story ever that moved me so profoundly. (Since I’m not a bookworm, I guess I’m the one who doesn’t know so much about the various stories that exist in the world. So, I would like you to understand that the following expression is only my standard, just in case.) 


There was an overwhelming immersion into the mind. It seeps in and doesn’t leave. If you were to use a real-world analogy, you might imagine a curry udon stain on a white shirt.  -Please forgive me about being a character who can’t help but want to insert some nonsense in the middle of my writing-  




It was stunning: the writing style, the line breaks, and the story itself.  


I was captivated.  

It was a crush. 


It was literally a surprise that I could fall into such a feeling. I couldn’t stop myself from thinking about her. Violet is living her life to the fullest. She’s courageous, sincere, and innocent. Although she is bland, but is always thinking of others. There was an expression such as” She’s silent but has the power to make people better” – I wondered if there could be a more perfect description than this. Each one of the stories was great. I don’t usually reread novels, but this time, I read the manuscript over and over. I can hardly remember how many times I’ve read. Perhaps three or four times? I can’t tell. 


No wonder this work had won the grand prize. (5th Kyoto Animation Awards) Furthermore, it has the potential to become an anime. I was thrilled, and my heart raced as well. I was extremely excited to imagine the future of being involved as a producer and as a music producer. 


I told the producers of Kyoto Animation that this story was awesome. But then I regretted my own lack of vocabulary. It was “感動的(Kando-teki)”(impressive),”素晴らしい(Subarashi)”(wonderful), but it could hardly express my emotion by these words. If expressing in English, would it be enough using “very” or “very much”? How about the word “excellent”? But how high level an expression “excellent” would indicate? 


This is where my relationship with Violet began. What kind of animation, what kind of dramatic background music, what kind of songs would go well with it? -I kept imagining it every day. 


And of course,-the VOICE. 

What kind of voice will it be? There was a description of Violet’s voice in the novel. A REIRO(玲瓏) voice. I wondered what “REIRO” meant. It sounded fantastic, but I didn’t know what it meant in detail. When I found out that its description was “the beautiful sound of metal and balls”, or “a beautiful voice that reminds us of sound of a ball” at last, my very first thought was: who would carry Violet’s voice? Someone who has a beautiful voice reminiscent of the sound played by a sphere…. 


At the time, I could only imagine it in my mind. What a hurdle to overcome! The voice must be a wonderful person, sincere, and filled with compassion for others. And it has to be “REIRO” yet again. The voice ringing in my head as I read the novel became more and more deified. 


The more I read, the higher my expectations for the voice rose. There are so many obstacles in making an anime of Violet’s world, but even among those obstacles, it seemed to be extremely most difficult to meet such a beautiful voice. But now I came into the right answer. It really did fit. The great casting was made happen. 


After it was published in a book, I again read the novel “Violet Evergarden” over and over, while I imagined the “Violet World” each time. I’m a producer, but also a music producer at the same time. I convinced that this film would undoubtedly take off into the world. Not only that, it will continue to be talked about and loved for many years to come. Young and old. Borders. Race. I was pretty sure Violet would jump over these barriers and surely reach people’s hearts. It will be a splendid work that will be loved ten years or even 100 years from now.  Thus, we had to move with this in mind. So, from the start, we thought we should take one action at a time with a global perspective. 


By taking this into account, the first thing we worked on was to create footage to promote the original work.  

A Commercial that expresses in 30 seconds.  

Now, how do I shape this?  

-This was the beginning of the process of creating Violet Evergarden from the world of letters to the world of visuals.  



Continues to Part 2


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