kawaiiguy's Victorian Romance Emma Tv Review

Victorian Romance Emma

Victorian Romance Emma tv Review

Story & Characters

Emma takes place during the Victorian age in England (mid-late 19th century, I believe). Based on a currently serialized manga, the anime touches upon the love story told in the manga. Since I have not read the manga, I can not provide a decent comparison between the two versions. The anime aired starting in early 2005 and concluded mid-July at 12 episodes.

Our title character, Emma, is a 19 year-old maid working for a former governess in the city. Her story begins when one of her mistress' former student comes to call. William Jones is the eldest son of a wealthy business owner. He is slated to inherit the family business and carry on the family name. As a member of the gentry, he is expected to marry up into wealthier society.

Emma is the touching love story that spans two worlds: the working class and the upper class. I really enjoyed the plot and character development throughout this short series, and the peacefulness it instilled. While not the most original love story, the execution was flawless.

Rating: 6


Emma's artwork was extremely simplistic. Instead of visually overloading the viewer, the scenery and background remained calm and "lifelike." The background is always appropriately done: the marketplace was always filled with shoppers and venders, streets always had moving vehicles and pedestrians, and quiet alleyways always had the occasional cat. Static backgrounds did not exist in this series, which gave it a sense of realism. Every person, background or not, was given the same treatment.

The artwork was almost calming to look at. Every scene and backdrop felt like a Victorian painting. While the character designs did carry some of the stereotypical anime styling, they were all subtle and easy to forget.

Rating: 7


Music plays a major role in Emma. Like the Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou OST, Emma's background music is very calming and peaceful. It helps set the mood and serves as an additional player in the scene. Without the music, the visuals just wouldn't feel the same. Piano, string, and wind instruments dominate the soundtrack. Each piece is wonderfully composed and fit wonderfully with the rest of the series. I must point out that the soundtrack completely lacks vocals. The entire soundtrack is instrumental.

The voice acting for the series was extremely well done, with a few recognizable names. Touma Yumi provides the voice of Emma (and also Urd from Aa! Megami-sama and Najica from Najica: Blitz Tactics) and Kawashima Tokuyoshi voices William.

Rating: 8


Emma was sweet, subtle, and very classy; characteristics many current series lack. There are no magical girls, super powers, explosions, or intense action. The overall storytelling, characters, locations, artwork, and music were very pure and enjoyable. It is a wonderful series for sitting back and relaxing. It has plenty of historical references and clips of everyday life. Watching common people mill about their business makes the series that much more interesting to watch. As with any good story, the ending will somewhat surprise. It seems open ended for a sequel, but closes the book at the same time. By the second episode, I was completely hooked on the characters and their stories.

I would recommend Emma to those who enjoy the simple pleasures in life and don't expect much. People who like slow moving and relaxing stories may also like this series. Emma most definitely belongs in the slice of life category, along with Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou, Kino's Journeys, and Voices of a Distant Star.

Compared to other current series, Emma provides a breath of fresh air. It is (for the most part) unlike anything currently being shown and belongs in a class all by itself.

Rating: 8

Final Verdict

7.17 (above average)

Reviewed by kawaiiguy, Jul 22, 2005


  1. akika Nov 02, 2005

    I quite like your review, but I'd have given the story/character a lot higher than you've given it. I thought characters were developed really well, and since I normally really like English type movies anyway, I thought the story reflected the olden day English society quite accurately. (I'm not sure if Indian princes would visit all the time though)..
    The ending was not very satisfying, but it does reflect real life I think. Things like that happen heaps in real life I'd imagine, and it's very difficult for people from different classes to get married.
    I do hope however that there'd be a sequel though, it didn't feel like it has really ended..

  2. Northy Feb 24, 2006

    From a historical standpoint, I can't say how accurate Emma is, but it certainly put a good spin on the whole issue of differences in social classes as well as painting a pretty accurate (or so it seems) picture of old, victorian England. What's more, the visual aspect, while not trying to be flashy, is certainly impressive and detailed as it is.

    Emma is slow and reflective, which is how I like my shows. It's also, sadly, not the complete story. From what I heard, Emma was supposed to be longer, but was shortened down to 12 episodes because of budgetary reasons. I don't know whether that is correct, though, so don't quote me on that.

    Incidentally, I do have a scanlation of a manga called "Shirley", which is made by the artist who did the Emma manga. It's quite a nice manga which also comes highly recommended if you enjoyed Emma.

  3. ccsakuweb Jun 11, 2007

    Hi i think that the rate is more than 7.17, this manga won a prize because the ilustrations and details. so the points valoration i think that is a lot of more than 6 ... I love this manga and my valoration is 9 at min

    sorry my horrible english, im spanish

  4. Nariel Oct 24, 2008

    For someone who claims to have enjoyed this series, you gave it a low rating at the Story/Characters part ^^; Indeed, the story might sound awfully cliched, but i would have still given it a higher rating, because rhe characters are very well developed and the story is carried in a very good way.

    Anyway, what I really wanted to say is that the series has a second season, also of 12 episodes. Perhaps you should correct that information and watch the second season if you haven't :)

    Nice review anyways ;)

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