Emma: Volume 1

Emma: Volume 1 seems like the manga I’ve been looking for all my life. I love the characters, the plot, and of course the illustrations. It even spawned an anime series available on DVD that I will definitely be looking for when I’m done!

In Victorian England Emma was raised out of poverty and trained to be a maid by kindly Mrs. Kelly Stownar, a retired governess. She is beautiful but very reserved, and spurns all suitors. Far on the other side of society is William Jones, one of Kelly’s former charges and son of a wealthy merchant. Circumstances keep conspiring to bring the two together but other circumstances are equally disruptive, not the least of which is a visit from William’s friend Hakim the Indian prince.

Not too much happened in this volume, and I flew through it; mostly it introduces the characters and sets up the basic factors of the plot. My one complaint is that minor characters meant to further the plot, such as various servants or William’s friends, are sometimes confusing because they are not given names or contexts.

The period detail is amazing in all the illustrations. As an example, you can see the clothing changes between the “present” and flashbacks to twenty years ago. Even though Mori is a young Japanese woman, she has a self-professed love of Victorian England and has clearly done her research. On a side note, I wonder if this counts as a translated book?)

The series is complete, with all ten volumes now available in English. I think I can get volumes 2-4 from other libraries in the area but I’m not sure what to do after that. I may just break down and buy them online if I can find a good enough deal!

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Published in: on June 23, 2009 at 4:12 pm  Comments (3)  
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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. […] picks up with the story of Emma and William where Volume 1 left off. Even as they admit that they mean something to each other, class differences seem to forbid their […]

  2. […] (Danish) and a book of Chekhov plays (Russian) for other challenges, as well as the Japanese manga Emma by Kaoru […]

  3. […] Emma, by Kaoru Mori: wonderful manga series about a Victorian maid. […]


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