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Anime Review: 'Emma: A Victorian Romance: Season One'

By January 13, 2013

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Love stories are hard to get right, in big part because love itself is complicated. It defies barriers of class and social station, and impels people thought of as sensible to do things that are anything but.

All this, and more, is encapsulated in a love story set in England's Victorian era, now the subject of our latest anime review: Emma: A Victorian Romance (season one) (compare prices), courtesy of Nozomi Entertainment / The Right Stuf International.

Originally a manga by Kaoru Mori, and reviewed glowingly by Manga.About.com's Deb Aoki, Emma presents the titular protagonist -- a woman working as a maid in a modest household -- finding herself the target of a man's affection, one who happens to be several rungs up the social ladder from her. Each of them should be wholly outside the other's social station, but the heart has a way of ignoring such things when it's convinced it's right.

Emma was previously issued by Nozomi in a limited-editing chipboard box set, which has since gone out of print. This new reissue uses more conventional single-width DVD-case packaging, and comes in at a slightly more affordable price point ($49.98 list). Episodes from the series are also available via Nozomi's official YouTube channel here.

Read our full review of the first season of this historical romance, and feel free comment below if you've seen this series.

Image: Emma: A Victorian Romance: Season One, courtesy Pricegrabber.


January 18, 2013 at 9:48 pm
(1) Joseph Petek says:

I bought both seasons of the older edition of Emma. Loved them. They were beautifully drawn, expertly directly, well-voiced, the whole nine yards. Emma might even crack my top 10 depending on what day it is.

And by the way, I *completely* agree about Hakim. Although I didn’t see him so much as comic relief, but more as the all-too-obvious outsider who is there solely to contrast and comment upon the relatively stuffy Victorian values. The rest of the show is so marvelously subtle, but Hakim has all the subtlety of a hammer. One can’t help but think that they could have come up with another way to comment about Victorian values without resorting to someone like Hakim.

It is sort of a tragedy that this was never dubbed. I mean, it’s set in *England* for God’s sake, so here’s one anime where the characters talking in English would have made perfect sense!

February 12, 2013 at 10:17 am
(2) anime.guide@about.com says:

Yes, this is one of those shows that would have worked fine with English audio (ditto Black Butler, which does have it in the first place). Nozomi and NIS America are two of the distributors that keep costs down by not commissioning dubs, although they will use them for shows that already have dubs present (e.g., in Nozomi’s case, “Martian Successor Nadesico” or the previously-released “Dirty Pair” material).

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