Saturday, March 21, 2009

Emma by Kaoru Mori - Volumes 1-7

Completion Date: March, 2009

Reason for Reading: Manga Challenge, New Author Challenge.

In Victorian-era England, a young girl, Emma, who is rescued from a life of destitution and raised to become a proper British maid, falls in love with William, the eldest son of a wealthy family, but the strict rules of their society force them to keep their romance a secret.
It seems like forever ago that I read this series! When you hear the title, I am sure that most people automatically think of Jane Austen's Emma, but that is not the case at all! The series is a romance-type manga set in Victorian England. I have read manga off and on throughout the years, and I do enjoy it, but this was actually more my type of read than some of my other attempts with the genre. I was not entirely sure about the romance angle of the story, but the history side of it worked really well at catching my attention. I have to say that I am very glad that I gave the series a try because it was a good story, it had accurate history (complete with historical notes), and the artwork was fantastic!

I really liked the characters in this story. We have Emma, the title character, who has a rather difficult life. By a stroke of good fortune, though, she finds herself in the employ of Lady Kelly. Lady Kelly is a widow who sees something in Emma that she can use, so she takes her on from a young age as her maid. Lady Kelly has been basically alone since she was 20 and her husband died. She made her living as a governess. Even though she is retired, the young people from her past still come to visit her. It is one such visit that is the basis of the romance story in this series.

Enter William. William is the heir to a substantial fortune. He comes from a very good family who wants him to marry a woman from an equal, or better, family. He has spent some time with Emma, though, and he has found that he is in love with her. Emma has had offers from many men, but turned them down. William is different. The problem is that he is from a good family while she is just a maid. His family will never allow it. This means that they have to keep everything a secret, which leads to a bit of drama down the road. For manga, though, this was very quiet. Usually the female characters in this series are loud and vibrant. Emma is very quiet, and even though her relationship with William is scandalous for the times, it is a rather quiet series as a whole.

One thing about manga series are they are so long! Many look really good, but it gets costly if you have to buy them all. This series has seven books right now, but will be completed when there are ten. For a manga series that is a very manageble number. This is also a good series for people that like Jane Austen, romance novels, Victorian England, etc. It is a chance to try the manga world without going too far out of your comfort zone. The characters come alive on the page. Emma may be a bit of a quiet character, but we really get to know her as the series progresses. I really enjoyed learning about all of the characters in the book and look forward to further character development when the last three books are released.

Nymeth has also reviewed the seven volumes. Her review was soon after she read them all, too, so it is a lot better review! She also has tanabata reading them, so you can read her review of the first one here. It really is a great series! I hope other people will take a chance on them.

8 comments:

  1. Nat actually said it was a coincidence she picked it up at the same time as us! But I do hope we persuade more people to try this series. So gooood.

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  2. Nymeth: Oh, I missed where she said that! I have been a bit behind on blog reading and have been skimming more than I should! Other people do really need to read this series, though!

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  3. I really do wish my library had these :)

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  4. Tink: It really is a good series.

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  5. This does look like a lot of fun. I read Nymeth's review as well and will definiltely look out for them.

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  6. Rhinoa: I really enjoyed this series! I am looking forward to the last three books!

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  7. It actually was a coincidence we read them at around the same time. I'd picked up the first volume last year sometime but finally decided to read it this month, and then Nymeth beat me to it. :)

    This was such a fun series, wasn't it? I want to own them all as I think I'd read them again. I'm looking forward to getting the back stories on some of the secondary characters in the last 3 volumes.

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  8. tanabata: I want to own them all, too! Disappointing that some are out of print!

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