Even as it reels from the arson attack that devastated its studio and killed 35, Kyoto Animation remains open for business. Last Friday, it released into Japanese theaters its new feature, Violet Evergarden: Eternity and the Auto Memories Doll (Violet Evergarden Gaiden: Eien to Jidō Shuki Ningyō).
According to media reports, some of the screenings in Kyoto Animation’s hometown were emotional experiences with audiences crying during the credits when the names of attack victims appeared on screen. The studio disregarded its usual policy of giving screen credit only to artists who had worked at the studio for more than a year, and included the name of everyone who contributed to the film.
The film follows on from the series Violet Evergarden, which rolled out worldwide on Netflix last year. The series tells the story of the eponymous heroine, who tries to process her experiences of a terrible war by becoming an “Auto Memories Doll”: an entity with special powers of memory. The series was well received, winning a prize for best animation at the 2019 Crunchyroll Anime Awards.