The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials


Title: Emma.
Genre: Drama.
Format: 7 Volumes.
Mangaka: Kaoru Mori.

Synopsis: 19th Century London. A man is on his way to pay a visit to his childhood teacher; Mrs. Kelly Stowner. Just as he is about to knock on the front door, the door flies open to meet his face, knocking him to the floor. As soon as William recovers he sets his eyes on the terribly ashamed maid and it is at this particular moment that both are love struck, a maid by the name of Emma and a rich gentleman named William Jounes.

The Highlights
Plot: Industrial revolution Cinderella.
Characters: Show their development and conviction.
Art: Clean and crisp.
Ending: Might not be what you hoped for.

We all are very familiar with the story of the maid and noble/rich man that fall in love and have to deal with all the social status scandal that grows around their relationship. So, what makes Emma different from say… Cinderella? Not much if you only take into consideration the overall plot. But when you take into consideration the setting, the characters, and most importantly the realism you realize that there is not so much that these two stories have in common.

One of the most outstanding aspects of Emma are the characters. They are not only distinct to each other in terms of personality and behaviour, but even when they all are quite different from each other their personalities feel real and consistent through the series. It is also quite impressive that such a big cast recieved enough attention and background in such a short series (7 volumes). All of the key characters are taken into consideration and keep playing an active role with constant interaction between themselves, which only makes it much more enjoyable.

When it comes to the art, I am obliged to divide it into three different categories; backgrounds, clothing and character design. The first two really show the love and dedication towards detail that mangaka Kaoru Mori has, not only because of the high level of the details themselves, but also because of the time invested researching the architecture, fashion and style of the era to give us a realistic idea of how things looked like. As for the character design, I am afraid I can’t give high praise to it, for they fall flat and uninteresting, maybe one could think that this is only realistic, but there were times when distinguishing between one character and the next became quite a difficult task. Although there are some characters that did have a distinguishing feature, like glasses or a beard, other characters look very much alike. Character design also reminded me, in terms of style, to Fullmetal Alchimist.

When everything has been measured and weighted in, I can only end up recommending Emma to anyone who wants to read a good story with good characters and with good dialog that stays far away from fantasy land by walking the realist road to success.

The Rating: 9

Reviewed by: Dtortot

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