Emma: A Victorian Romance
Emma is a maid working for Kelly Stowner, a former governess, in Victorian London. When one of Kelly's former students, William Jones, comes to visit her, he catches the eye of Emma, and they begin to fall in love. But William belongs to one of the richest noble families in London ... Can a relationship between a nobleman and a maid truly work? How will William's family react? The answers lie in this anime.
Finally, a maid anime that isn't doinky!
Yes, in Victorian Romance Emma, you will find no squicky fanservice, no lolicon, no uncomfortable "Danna-samaaaaa"s, just a woman who happens to be a maid. I have to admit that I was worried this was going to be "just another really bad maid anime", but when I watched the first episode all those fears were dashed. It is simply a very good historical drama, with a great amount of love and detail put into it.
First off, I must mention how GREAT the animation in this series is. It's doubly surprising when you realize this was done by Studio "No-Budget" Pierrot! But the animation quality is a far cry from series like Naruto or Tokyo Underground. It's so good that in crowd scenes, people actually *move*! And there is just about no Engrish to be seen. Although there are a few slip-ups (like characters reading books from right to left), the detail that was put into this anime is astounding. The character designs are also pleasant to look at.
The plot and characters are also excellent. There aren't really any super-unlikable characters in this series, and you want to cheer Emma and William on. The research that Mori-sensei put in for this series is great, and there are barely any inaccuracies when it comes to depicting life in Victorian times. Unfortunately, this series was cut short from 36 episodes to 12, because Studio Pierrot didn't have any more money...so the ending doesn't really stop at a good place. It's not as doinky as the His and Her Circumstances ending, though. Hopefully, Studio Pierrot will be able to get more funding so that they can do more of this series! The music is also beautiful to listen to, especially the OP, and the seiyuu all fit their characters and do a good job.
I very highly recommend this anime, as it proves that maid anime CAN be good and have a plot. I just wish it was longer ... because I really want to spend more time with these characters!
Except for the somewhat disappointing ending, this anime is great! Add a star if you really like maids. — Jennifer Berman
Recommended Audience: Well, this is set in Victorian times, so unless you're still the kind who considers exposed arms to be "fanservice", there's virtually nothing objectionable to be found. This series is a bit slow and quiet though, so it might bore the very young. There are also some quite emotional scenes later in the series, which younger kids might not handle very well.
Version(s) Viewed: Prerelease fansub
Review Status: Full (12/12)
Emma: A Victorian Romance © 2005 Kaoru Mori / Enterbrain / Emma Production Committee
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