Emma Volume 7

I’ve been pacing myself with the Emma manga, but it’s been long enough since I read Volume 6. Finally, in Volume 7, Kaoru Mori finishes her story of the Victorian maid who dared to fall in love with an upper class eldest son. William must deal with the consequences of breaking his engagement to Eleanor and also track down Emma, who is convinced that she can never successfully be with him. With Mrs. Meredith’s help, however, she might be able to pass in society after all.

I love this series so much and been eagerly awaiting the whole time to see whether Emma and William have a chance to be together. Ms. Mori doesn’t sugarcoat the ending. As we’ve seen all along, breeding and behavior are paramount  in Victorian society, with repercussions for those who go against the grain. Not everyone ends up happy, making the end more realistic but a little less satisfying. It seems like the outcome is still somewhat open, especially in the amount of resolution for minor characters like William’s family. I’m glad she decided to continue for three more volumes in the “Emmaverse” to focus on the other characters.

Again, the art is just beautiful. Kaoru Mori draws with a cinematic eye, panning a landscape or showing emotion with a clenched fist. Many times a series of wordless panels reveal more than any dialogue could. The brilliance is still in the historically accurate details, like gorgeous ballroom dresses and lush sitting rooms.

A common plot device is fiction is to have a seemingly lower-class character pegged as secret aristocracy because of some innate characteristic (e.g. The Diamond Secret). While this sometimes seems implausible I completely believe it about Emma. Despite growing up as a flower girl she has a graceful manner and refined appearance, with cheekbones more pronounced than the other maids. Even the other characters feel that there is something different about her. She is reserved and demure, and ashamed to be stepping beyond her place, but love is powerful enough to give her confidence.

Luckily the library has the supplemental volumes, and I know at some point in the future I’ll be rereading this series. I’ve considered buying them but the paper quality isn’t that great, and some of them are out of print. Maybe they’ll turn up on eBay…

Published in: on August 25, 2010 at 9:29 pm  Leave a Comment  
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