At a Glance: 'Emma - A Victorian Romance'
Intro and Summary:
Emma - A Victorian Romance is, as you might deduce from the title, a romance story, in the Victorian era, about a woman named Emma. Emma is a maid to a retired governess. A young man named William Jones falls in love with her, when visiting said governess, who used to be his governess. William's problem is, he is from a family of social climbers with wealth, but no titles. So his family wants him to marry someone who is also rich, but more importantly, with a noble title.
Out of the blue, an Indian prince, Hakim, shows up, because why not, and he falls for Emma too. Hakim is bold and forward, a foil for William, who is more shy and reserved.
Emma - A Victorian Romance
Manga by Kaoru Mori
Romance, Historical Fiction
1st season Studio Pierrot, 2nd season Aja-do Animation Works
2005 (season 1) and 2007 (season 2)
My gut feeling with this one is to tell people to read the manga instead. It appears to not only be beautifully illustrated, but well historically researched. A lot of stories try to use the tourist version of other time periods, but this is some good historical fiction. But, is it a good anime? Well, the medium of animation is better for stories with a lot of dramatic action taking place, usually fighting. A romantic story like this works better as a manga or book, because it's more about the inner feelings of the characters. As an anime, it's passable, but a little bit slow-paced. But I think this story has genuine merit as a manga.
Anyway, Emma basically delivers what you'd expect from a Victorian romance novel. A lot of class tension, a lot of being too shy and proper to say out loud things that are obvious to the audience, that sort of thing. Gorgeous gowns, parasols, and balls as well, of course. It's sort of like an anime version of a Jane Austen novel. And, forgive the expression, that sort of thing has never been my cup of tea. Too much estrogen for this Midwestern tomboy. But, if you do like this sort of thing, do pop in and stay for a nice hot cup of Emma - A Victorian Romance.