Emma – A Victorian Romance, also known as Eikoku Koi Monogatari Emma, is a classic anime which some of you may know already. Its first season was released in 2005 while the 2nd season was aired in 2007. For the sake of others who are not yet familiar with the series though, I’ll try reviewing it without spoiling as much. I’ll be reviewing the two seasons together in this article, in order to give you a full coverage.
The story is happening in 19th century so if you are a lover of this era just like me, then you will probably love it. Our heroin is none other than Emma. She is a maid working at the house of an old teacher since she was a 15-year-old. One day, a former student from a rich family named William came to visit his teacher. He then falls in love at first sight with our beautiful maid. 😆
The situation is clear to be tough for our couple. They won’t realize it until that late hour when William’s dad made it clear for his son and Emma that things can’t work out between them, in an indirect manner. I must admit it was a smart move by William’s father.
For the second season, we are following the rest of the story. It tells us what is happening between our couple and what kind of troubles are they facing. Are things going to work between them or not?!
The opening and endings themes
The opening and ending in both seasons of Emma – A Victorian Romance are interesting as you can see how the day begins. People get ready for work and you can follow their daily routine while listening to the calming music suitable for the century we are watching.
The drawing and graphics are good for a classic anime but I had this one little problem in the first season. That is… all of the characters have almost similar faces and features with very little diversity between them. The story is happening in London but I think it’s not necessary that most of the characters should have blond hair.
The drawings of the characters were way better in the 2nd season, you can notice the improvement in the drawings and especially in Elinor eyes! They weren’t as professionally drawn in Emma – A Victorian Romance‘s first act.
Emma – A Victorian Romance‘s plot is actually good but not interesting enough to capture your attention during the first 5 episodes of the first season. Things were going on pretty normal and smoothly but nothing is exciting to push you further to complete watching. I don’t want to say boring but there was no action or drama while characters were appearing one after another. The introduction in first episode was quite the charming one but not that strong to make you want to watch the other episodes.
However, for the second season of this anime the episodes were quite interesting and you will be attracted to know what will happen next. Things were dramatic!!!! And I like how the author was able of create such a normal dramatic life with little spice in it without things being over dramatic or things being too boring. I’d say there was what we call “balance.”
Emma was trying hard to fight her feelings for William and he is trying hard to gain the acceptance of his father and show Emma that things are alright and nothing would happen to him nor her. The struggles were tough for them and things weren’t easy but seeing them trying gives you hope.
Here is a notice if you are going to watch Emma – A Victorian Romance:
The first season acted like a long introduction to the 2nd season so you can’t watch the second season without watching the first one as both complete each other.
What I liked most about this anime and the characters:
I liked the fact that Emma our heroine is just a simple girl with normal body! Not a girl with extraordinary breast that will soon explode or too flat. She is a normal girl who has simple yet pretty features such as brown eyes and brown hair, also not with a weird color. This makes you feel that you are watching a real life story. In essence, it made the anime very realistic. She also seems to be pretty popular with men as she has a charming character and pretty face.
He is our handsome, polite and gentle young master. You can see his efforts in trying to get close to Emma. The conflict that he is facing about whether to tell her his feelings or not was quite interesting.
His efforts to gain the acceptance of his father was amazing too.
The Indian friend of William. He is such a handsome attractive man . Things were exciting knowing that he brought an elephant and also fell in love with our maid immediately. For him the progress was faster than our hero. After getting rejected though, he transformed from being a rival to being a supporter for our couple! 😆
She is William’s former teacher and the one who brought Emma up. She even taught Emma reading and writing. Kelly Stoner had a smart, elegant character and a sharp mind. Seriously, this lady was quite charming with a unique character! It was devastating losing her at the end of the first season. The good thing is that her memory and soul will be continuing in the 2nd season.
New characters appeared in the 2nd season and each of them played a role in helping Emma to decide what to do. Emma gained friends who supports her like Adele, Polly, Annie and Alma. The most important character in the second season was Hans, the butler. He played a role in making Emma realize her true feelings. The family she was working with the Molders family with a unique mistress who was also encouraging her.
William’s mom also appeared in this season and we got to learn her story too. She is way too charming with her personality.
I have to say that the characters in the 2nd act were much interesting and played an important part in the life of our couple. Each of them had a role to play so you can say that all of them were heroes. It was also much better than the first since the things that weren’t likeable in the previous season was fixed. Thus, there is nothing to be disliked in the 2nd act.
The first season was left open with nothing to consider as an ‘ending.’ Emma is still 20 and the same goes for William, which means they are still young. The anime didn’t give us a satisfying closure about what happened to them in the future. Gladly there was a 2nd season that was able to answer the unsolved questions in the first season. It also gave us a satisfying ending which was warm, adorable and full of feelings.
This makes me think that it could have been better if there was no division like first and second season. Rather, consider it as one anime with 24 episodes.