Hello Everyone, HappyAnimeCamper here once again! So, I just finished the Violet Evergarden series, and I am absolutely in love with it. However, I also just finished reading the novel. Usually, I enjoy watching anime, and if it’s possible, also the manga it’s based on. Violet Evergarden isn’t based on a manga, but on a novel, which I was surprised. So, I set out to read it. Now, a note before I go any further, if I know a show is based on a novel or manga, and I read the novel/manga first, I have a bad habit of comparing the two and criticizing anything that doesn’t go according to the original(in this case, the novel). So, instead of writing a post about the anime, I decided I might as well write a whole post comparing the two. So, let’s start!
WARNING: MAJOR ANIME AND NOVEL SPOILERS
One of the first things, I noticed when I started reading the Novel is that the order in which you are introduced to Violet is different. In the anime, they start off by showing her being given to Gilbert by Dietfried, then what shows her losing her arms, then at the hospital, and then onto her journey of learning how to express and recognize her and other people’s feelings.
However, in the novel, it actually starts off with her once she is able to communicate feeling properly, and is already well known in the Auto-Memory Doll industry. Then, there is one chapter telling the whole detail of her life after Deitfried found her. And back to her life of writing letters while also still thinking about her “user”.
As a soldier, Violet’s only purpose in life is to follow orders. With Gilbert gone, she must find a purpose to live. The different arcs in the novel not only bring out Violet’s feelings and tears, but she also experiences other character’s will to live and develops her own reason to keep on living, achieving what Gilbert had wanted her to do.
The biggest difference which I didn’t find very nice was how they dealt with Gilbert’s “death” in the anime. In the novel, Violet does not go, and reinforcements come and they both end up in the hospital. Violet goes into a coma, and in that time Gilbert “disappears”, so that Violet stops acting as his tool and lives a normal life outside the battlefield. Everyone else knows that he is alive, and he continues working in the army. In the anime, Gilbert pushes Violet out of the building while it collapses, and then his body is never found, so he is thought to be dead by everyone.
Now, this becomes significant later on, as it changes her relationships with Deitfried and other people. The anime gives more time to “redeem” Deitfried for how he treated her and shows how Violet learns to express her emotions, whereas the novel is more set on Gilbert’s regret of treating Violet even somewhat as a tool, and why he pronounces himself dead to Violet is more clear; its to let her live a normal life.
They both end very differently, as the novel ends with Violet and Gilbert finally meeting each other on the continental train. Since in the anime, Gilbert is supposedly dead, they can not meet, and Gilbert is then replaced by Deitfried, who accepts Violet.
The anime and novel both have mostly the same arcs, such as when Violet writes for Oscar, works with Leon, and other characters. They both also focus on Violet learning things that most people take for granted, and how important feelings are. Violet could read, write, and fight, but no matter how good at those she was, they were no use without feelings.
The art pieces in the novel are done justice in the anime, with scenes from both being art pieces by themselves.
So which is better?
Both are masterpieces in their own right, but if you prefer a plot with rising action, or are simply a bookworm , you might prefer the novel. However, if you enjoy the color, then go ahead and watch the anime. However, what I recommend is to do both! Watch the anime, and enjoy the scenes, transitions, and voice acting, then read the book and enjoy the characters and all of their thoughts being narrated, feeling. If you read/watch both like I did, you get a new level of understanding and depth into Violet and Gilbert’s actions and feelings, and appreciate the author and director’s hard work to bring you Violet’s world to the fullest!
I hope you enjoyed this post. For a proper review on the anime, check out Sushiiiwithsoysauce’s review here!
See you later!