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Emma, Vol. 01

(Emma #1)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  3,876 ratings  ·  381 reviews
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.
Paperback, 183 pages
Published September 20th 2006 by CMX (first published August 30th 2002)
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Average rating 3.83  · 
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 ·  3,876 ratings  ·  381 reviews

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Aisyah ♡
Review for the whole series

I love this manga, definitely wasn't what I was expecting at all.

It's set in London during the Victorian Era, Kaoru Mori-sensei did an excellent job of creating a believable atmosphere with beautiful drawings of Big Ben, Crystal Palace, quaint coffee shops etc. Not to mention the horse-drawn carriages, ballroom dancing and beautiful Victorian dresses.

The main focus is the romance between William, an upstart noble, and Emma, a maid with a dark past. Their relations
Feb 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
(I've decided to keep only this volume here, to save space - and will use this one to review the whole series, which I will do when it's a right moment for it. I can alread say that this series is very much worth owning and you get a great sense of the world of that time from it. :) ) ...more
Seth T.
Jan 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
[[This is a review of all seven volumes:]]

I am officially on-board for any of Kaoru Mori's future projects.

The author's zeal for the era of her focus is blindingly evident and her rendering of its particulars exhibit such attention and joy that it's hard not to get swept up by the objects of her affections. Let's be clear. In real life, I have no interest in late-19th-century Britain's class disparity or in maids. Yet due to Mori's work here, I was absolutely engaged for the whole seven volumes,
Jun 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Two words: Victorian London
Anya (~on a semi-hiatus~)
On a manga binge presently, CAN'T STOP WON'T STOP.

EDIT As a child, I loved the anime of Emma and since I missed quite a few number of episodes, reading the seven volumes filled all the story holes I had. I love how the manga is set in Victorian England (graphic novel and historical romance-two of my favourite things combined kyaaaaaa). I love how along with being a romance, it explores the difference between the social classes of that time. The art is exquisite. Also, lesbian housemaids! I wish
Vishakha ~ ReadingSpren ~
Rating this manga was very difficult for me. I liked it, definitely. Its so refreshing to read a slow, refined romance like this after all the recent YA instalurve. And its set in Vicotorian London! Such a romantic era.

This manga's namesake, Emma, is a nice, hardworking and diligent maid to widow, Mrs. Kelly Stower, who was also the governess of William Jones. Now William here, belongs to a rich merchant family trying to rise in the gentry. They fall in love. And the main Plot of the series, for
I was extremely impressed with the detail in Mori’s drawings of Victorian England; it certainly wasn’t something I was expecting to find in Japanese Manga.

Yet, nothing happens in the first volume of this series and the whole plot is very cliché -- female servant resists the advances of a man higher up in the social rungs than her while he falls further and further in love with her only to be married off to someone of the same class. The relationships between Emma, her employer, and William are
Feb 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this book, but the characters lacked any depth. The art was good, though.
Nov 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to apple by: Estara
Shelves: manga
What a touching love story ♥ it made me smile and giggle and almost cry. Emma is a character that defies all odds, William the male lead sort of pales in comparison (dude, man up a little!). The artwork is gorgeous especially the detailed scenery and costumes. I also love the chapter when William's parents first meet each other ...more
Sep 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: manga
I've been wanting to read this series for a while. After I finished Downton Abbey, I thought this series might feel the void I felt after that. Now, I'm not so sure.

Emma works as a maid for an elderly woman named Kelly Stownar. She seems to be this polite, quiet young girl. The story is centered around Emma and this man named William and how they seemed destined to be lovers.

I had a few problems with this story. One, there was no way to really get to know the characters. A few traits may have
A Japanese manga set in late 19th century England, in which a rich gentleman falls in love with the young maid of an aging woman who used to be his governess when he drops in to call on her. I liked the Upstairs, Downstairs theme (a British television programme which used to be my favourite when I watched it in the 80s), but the drawings were just ok, and I found the dialogue of poor quality and completely lacking in historical verisimilitude. Not quite my cup of tea, as the English say. —May 20 ...more
Audra (Unabridged Chick)
...for this world allows you no more than a cupful of dreams. So be stingy with your time. And run.

Or something like that.

I think if I had known manga was similar to graphic novels, I might not have waited so long to make my first attempt. As it were, thanks to Read Harder 2019, I begged the internet to recommend some historical romance manga, and across the board, folks recommended this series.

Holy crap, it was so charming.

Set in 1885 London, our heroine, Emma, is a maid for a retired governes
Giselle Bradley
The art is beautiful but the insta love is way too much for me. I wish there was more development.
Mar 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
I’m definitely a sucker for anything set in Victorian era London. That time period was fascinating considering it really wasn’t all that long ago.

I love Emma already and I can’t wait to see how she grows over the course of this series. I really like the art style and the characters and will definitely be continuing on with this manga!
Jan 27, 2018 rated it it was ok
Nothing happens. At all. For 183 pages. You would not even remotely begin to believe how much nothing happens. It gets the second star because the drawings of nothing happening are cute.
I had read glowing reviews and was really looking forward to reading Emma, which is historical romance in manga format. The 19th century London setting is beautifully drawn by mangaka Kaoru Mori. Emma is the only servant in the home of a retired nursemaid, Kelly Stownar. At the start of volume 1, Emma is introduced to William Jones, son of a wealthy businessman, when he pays a surprise visit to his former nursemaid. The two young people are immediately attracted to each other.

Later, William gets
Tom Ewing
Mar 05, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: manga
I picked up Emma on the strength of Mori's A Bride's Story, and you can see that manga's approach in prototype here: an unconventional romance where the gently advancing plot is really an excuse to linger on the details of the exotic setting. But here the British reader is at a disadvantage. 19th century England is very familiar, and Mori's diligent research only makes it feel more so. Her themes are the same - how the ritualised labour of women stitches whole societies together - but while word ...more
Sep 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: asian-comics
When i watched this in anime I was kinda bored with this one so I didn't expect much out of this one. I think because the anime format calls for something more kinetic and visually striking. In a reading format we are able to relish the quiet moments more and that gives the book more power.

Two star crossed lovers meet in and fall in love in Victorian England where the division between the classes are almost insurmountable. From this premise it is easy to think that this would make for a really m
Dec 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I really liked Kaoru Mori's A Bride's Story (historical fiction manga that will still appeal to the broader graphic novel crowd), so I was anxious to read Emma also.

This time, the main character is a maid favored by a wealthy woman working in Victorian London (instead of the 1800s Caucasus). The plot still centers around her daily life with some extra drama tossed in.

I didn't enjoy it quite as much as A Bride's Story, but that is hard to top. I'd say it's good for fans of Downton Abbey and othe
Stilted and stiff dialogue, disconnected and fractured narrative continuity, and overall very tedious characterisation, with many a coincidence that's merely for convenience.

This story is marketed for the setting, Victorian England at the end of the 19th century, which is depicted well enough through the art, which is of decent quality although not great, and for the romance between the protagonist and an aristocratic gentleman. And a not very plausible romance it is, for which it's not easy to
Dave Schaafsma
Aug 30, 2013 rated it liked it
She's a good storyteller, and a fine artist, a cut above standard manga, for sure, and I like her other work...she's more complex than most..but I am not yet fully engaged... ...more
Kid Disaster
Beautifully drawn manga about a gentleman and a maid. Just like any good romantic story Its got the angst, and the perpetual embarrassment. I'm in love. ...more
Shayna Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ♬
Not a big fan, but u might like it!
Smaug the Unmerciful Editor
Mar 03, 2020 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of manga, fans of Victorian fiction
I've got mixed feelings about this one. I really liked the story (which uses confusion as one of its main antagonists without making it lame) and some of the characters (like Al and Hakim---"Maybe the road was blocked by a cow.") but it's not without its issues. Will's sister is gay, I think---she mentions, while on the subject of marriage, that she's spoken for, and then mentions the girl that Will is supposed to be courting, some of the men look at scantily clad women in catalogs, and, of cour ...more
Jul 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Historical romance type of manga? Sign me up for more! I absolutely loved this cute story told in early 19th century London. A forbidden societal romance begins to bud. Characters are introduced. Humorous aspects arise along with serious inspection of societal issues from the time period. I really enjoyed the artwork too. I plan on reading the other volumes soon!
Nov 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It's been awhile since I started with book one and worked through them all .. from book one to book ten, there is some MAJOR character development!!! Still...this was the book that hooked me. It was just so different from any manga I'd read. And Mori's only got better as the series progressed. ...more
Jul 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Cute but nothing amazing. Probably keep reading, to see if it gets better.
K. Martin
Oct 04, 2020 rated it did not like it
The short review [of the whole series]:

I’d read this series years ago initially when it was published by CMX, and thought it was a wonderful read (4 – 4.5 starts). Years later, I’ve read through it again - this time the Yen Press editions (which has a different translation job) - and sadly I’d have to give Kaoru Mori’s “Emma” series 1 – 1.5 stars.

It’s the standard problem of someone from one culture (Japan) writing about another culture (England): the author likes the imagery and “idea” of the c
Oct 29, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: people who like fluffy Manga
I can't believe that while I live in one of the most multi-cultural cities in the world that I have not given manga a chance before today. It's a shame really I've spent the last 21 years living under a rock it seems. I mean how can I have lived in a predominantly asian community almost my whole life and not have piced one up before today? Alas, life is filled with such regrets.

Anyway, about the book itself. It wasn't great but it wasn't bad either. I found it to be a cute little story. I liked
Jan 07, 2012 rated it it was ok
Reread this in Dec.2016 because I really enjoy Mori's Brides series and couldn't remember why I didn't like this one. I remember now. The historical accuracy feels just too far off in its details. Every man is in love wth Emma, a maid to a retired governess (which would put her very low in the social hierarchy). In the Victorian class system, this would have been highly taboo. For one young man of the aristocracy to fall for her would be unusual, but she's inundated with interest, including a pr ...more
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YouTube Anime/Man...: Emma 3 15 Jun 15, 2017 11:35AM  
YouTube Anime/Man...: Emma Discussion 7 9 Jun 15, 2017 11:26AM  
Josei and Seinen ...: Emma Discussion 11 12 Jul 12, 2013 05:35AM  

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Kaoru Mori (森 薫) is a mangaka best known for her series "Emma". Many of her stories are set in Britain and center on characters who are maids. ...more

Other books in the series

Emma (10 books)
  • Emma, Vol. 02
  • Emma, Vol. 03
  • Emma, Vol. 04
  • Emma, Vol. 05
  • Emma, Vol. 06
  • Emma, Vol. 07
  • Emma, Vol. 08
  • Emma, Vol. 09
  • Emma, Vol. 10

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