Post by Old Man Dream on Aug 14, 2020 21:22:45 GMT
Emma: Victorian Romance was a two season TV anime series based on the historical romance manga series written by Kaoru Mori. Set in Victorian-era England, the titular housemaid finds herself falling in love with a member of the wealthy class named William Jones, who is the elder son of a family of merchants. However, their relationship runs into complications due to the differences in social status between Emma and William, with the latter’s family disapproving of their relationship and attempting to push him toward an arranged marriage with another wealthy family.
When many think of maids for anime and manga, they may think of their use as a fetish to pander to fans with cute or attractive female characters. Emma: Victorian Romance bucks this trend when exploring life in Victorian England in its focus on Emma and William’s budding romance, meant to believably depict a maid’s purpose as commoner women willingly serving a wealthy family to earn a living. Matter of fact, Emma is ridiculously accurate with believably portraying elements of Victorian-era England with everything such as clothing, locations, social norms, class differences, and conveniences. It’s thorough enough as such where some releases of the series come with a booklet that detail on specific elements of the era seen throughout the series that may be lost on those not familiar with its history. Mori, the series creator, is known for being an obsessive Anglophile and this certainly shows with how meticulous she was with getting all the details right with portraying life in the Victorian era. The only gripe I have with this is that characters still address one another with Japanese honorifics throughout the Japanese version of the series, which does take away from the authenticity of depicting Victorian England some. But it is still impressive just how highly historically accurate Emma is.
As far as plot goes, Emma: Victorian Romance does play out as a classic romance dabbling into tropes with Emma and William attempting to come to grips with what each want out of their relationship and trying to overcome the divide in their social status to come together. While the storytelling may be familiar territory for fans of romance titles, what sells the developments of the relationship throughout Emma is the strong character exploration that comes from their tribulations. Both William and Emma do find themselves dealing with conflicts that arise from their relationship with both having to choose between either their personal desires or maintaining the societal divide coming from both their social classes. The series does a great job with subtly dabbling into the thoughts and actions of both characters as they attempt to sort out their personal feelings on their relationship and the happiness of those around them. Each season of the series also offers up a strong supporting cast that help add to the developments of our two leads and the atmosphere of the series as a whole, in particular the retired Kelly Stownar, the Indian prince Hakim Atawari, and bold Dorothea Molders. As the series in both seasons is quite subdued and nuanced in mood compared to many anime titles on top of its familiar romance storytelling and Victorian era setting, Emma is likely to be an acquired taste for viewers.
If you are looking for something different for a romance anime and/or its depiction of maids, Emma: Victorian Romance offers a solid mix of both with its highly accurate depiction of Victorian-era England and exploring the developing relationship of Emma and William, as both attempt to work out their feelings through the social divide both face due to their different upbringings. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea due to how much of an acquired taste its premise is. But I’d still recommend it for fans of romance anime.
Rating: 8.5 of 10
Someday I’ll be gone To somewhere that we belong And God has never played his role 'Cause I’m the one who saves my soul It’s a perfect world we’re longing for
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