Sunday, August 2, 2015

Anime Review: Emma: A Victorian Romance

I really need to stop putting these reviews off until the last minute. It isn't very productive. This time I have no excuse, I really didn't do anything beside hang around my apartment all day watching videos on Youtube. Anyway, this time I'm reviewing an anime that is perhaps the least anime anime I have every animed... Wait, that last part didn't make any sense. Anyway, This is Emma: A Victorian Romance.

They first met when she slammed the door on his face. No, seriously that's how they met.
It is the late 19th Century and in Victorian England the class divide between the Aristocracy and the Common people was clear as if it was etched in stone. While the wealthy are attending parties and trying to raise their standings with high society, the poor are working hard trying to make ends met. One day, William Jones, the eldest son of a family of wealthy entrepreneurs trying to make it into the Aristocracy, meets Emma, a humble maid in service of William's old instructor Mrs. Stowner. They fall in love almost immediately, but the line between their stations in life couldn't be clearer. William is expected to marry a member of Nobility thus securing the Jones' family a title, and Emma is expected to remain a servant for the rest of her life. What will Will do when face with the choice between the woman he loves and the family he treasures? What will Emma do when her path to happiness is fraught with hardships for not only herself but the man she loves? Find out in Emma: A Victorian Romance.

This is Hakim. He is AWESOME!
Emma is a far different anime than your typical fair, even among the romance genre. The characters are adults rather than teenagers (although they are young adults in the early twenties range) and as such their conflicts are not centered around the usual teen drama of "I don't love him" "Maybe I do love him" tsundere approach nor the "I love him" "But I also love him" love triangle. Now, there IS a few love triangles going on with our two leads at their centers, but it is approached in a more natural and organic way. It feels more like a progression of these character's drives and emotions rather a plot point that is only there to create more drama. And speaking of the characters, they are excellent. While Emma and William are probably a little on the dull side, around them we have William's siblings, who play off of each other amazingly well especially with "I speak my mind" Vivian, Mrs. Stowner, who always says just the right thing at the right moment to smooth things along for Emma and Will, and of course Hakim, an Indian Prince who with a few choice words cuts through all of the clutter of English proper society and gets to the heart of the matter. Seriously a lot of the characters are amazing.

"A Gentleman must always show his thanks, even to a servant." -That boy's father.
There is really only two issues this series has. The first is that this is REALLY niche show. I mean, there are no giant robots, no high school hi-jinx nor drama, and everyone has sensible hair. This series is more about being historically accurate and having grounded characters than anything else, and thus is hard to recommend to anyone except for that small group of people who enjoy this sort of thing. The other problem is that even though the series takes place in London, there is no English dub. All of these Brits speak Japanese. But then again, for a series like this, the only way to do a proper English dub is to go with either an entirely British cast or guys who can fake a British accent REALLY WELL!

As I said, Emma is a series that won't appeal to everyone. In fact it probably won't appeal to most people. However, to those who it odes appeal to there is a LOT to like. The characters are interesting and likable, the setting is so rich with detail that history buffs would enjoy it, and the more grounded story is a refreshing break from all the robots and samurai of other anime. If you're not interested, I won't hold it against you, but if you are then it is Highly Recommended.

Until Next Time.

-CRES, I have no explanation for this.

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