Translated and Adapted by Sheldon Drzka
Manga, 2002 (Japan), 2006 (English translation)
CMX, pb, 188 p.
An upstairs gentleman and a downstairs servant share a secret love. The saga begins. In Victorian England, a young girl named Emma is rescued from a life of destitution and raised to become a proper British maid. When she meets William, the eldest son of a wealthy family, their love seems destined. But in this world, even matters of the heart are ruled by class distinctions.I’d wanted to try reading manga for a while but part of my hesitation was because there are simply so many of them and I just didn’t know where to begin. Also, how to find ones I would be interested in, that aren’t too cheesy, or sickeningly kawaii, or full of supernatural superheroes. Well, I love Jane Austen and stories of that type dealing with issues of class and society so I picked this up a few months ago thinking it would be a good introduction for me to manga, and it really was!
The art is wonderful, full of details, and I was completely transported to London in the late 1800s. The images also did a great job expressing moments of silence and awkwardness between the characters. Sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words. The artist is apparently quite the Anglophile and tried to represent the time period as realistically as possible. And I did feel like I was reading a comic version of a classic English love story. What fun!In this, volume one, we are basically only introduced to Emma and William and a few other characters, and the scene is set for their growing relationship and we can imagine the trouble they'll have trying to overcome the prejudices of society as the series continues. Now I can’t wait to read the rest of Emma and William’s story, and have, in fact, already ordered volume 2 and 3. My first manga is a definite success!
Interview with Kaoru Mori
Historical notes for the series
First sentence: England, the end of the 19th century. London. Owing to the Industrial Revolution, it is an age of change and innovation.
My Rating: 4/5
(#11 for 2008, Manga Challenge, Try Something New Mini-Challenge)
Also reviewed at:
things mean a lot (volumes 1-7)
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