Loneliness is a hard burden to face, and heartache is isn’t so easily soothed by a few kind words and a passing glance. If it were that simple, these two souls would have likely passed each other by without a single care. However, that’s not what happens, because life and love just isn’t that simple.
Hey everyone, it’s Kernook here, and welcome to another Kern’s Collections. Today I’ll be talking about Emma: A Victorian Romance.
Video Production of This Script
This is the finished video regarding the script. It is written, edited, and read aloud by Kernook of “The Demented Ferrets”. You can watch the video on this blog and on YouTube. I hope you enjoy the content.
This is a truly interesting anime because it lacks so much of what we consider to be typical in the medium. You could completely take this story and make it into a live action series without any hesitation at all, and almost everything would still fall into line perfectly with what the story. It wouldn’t even be jarring or out of place, because this anime doesn’t contain many of the tropes we’ve come to expect from anime as an art-form.
A simple maid of all work, and a bright eyed young gentleman cross paths. Love blooms between them despite the class divide. This is the entire crux of this anime reduced down into a few simple words. It isn’t a particularly complicated series, but it’s not over the top either. It is subdued in many ways, a slow burn romance the likes of which you just don’t see anymore.
Emma: A Victorian Romance is a soft and gentle story about romantic love between a man and a woman. Frankly, that’s all it needs to be. It isn’t a question of if these two lovebirds will end up together, because they certainly will. Instead, it’s a question of how they will navigate that romance in a world so keep to keep them apart.
The series came out back in June 2005, offering fans a true glimpse of heartfelt storytelling set in 19 century England, London to be exact. In that way, you may in fact consider this to be a sociology anime in some ways, because the social system put into place is what divides these two characters. In most ways, it’s the only thing that divides them at all.
As a maid of all work, Emma is tasked to care for the complexities of a small household. She cleans, cooks meals, makes tea, answers the door and anything else that her employer may need. Her life is a simple one, meager because that is the life of most maids. Particularly for the maid of all work. This station was a commonality for households that lacked grand estates that would employ several people all with a key set of tasks. Hiring one promised a symbol of status at the time. If you could afford to hire one back in those days, you did because it made you more respectable. Emma’s general backstory is a common one for women of this era.
Young girls were raised into the trade, and so was Emma. This was a life most girls would come to understand if they sat below a certain social class. They could learn by an employer that had taken them in, or by their families in hopes of helping their child find a job. Women just didn’t have many places of employment back in those days, and a certain level of decorum was expected among the classes. A certain responsibility loomed over society at the time, and Emma’s story shows how romance unfolds when two people deny that responsibility outright.
When a simple maid steps into the world of the gentry, there are a hurdles to overcome. William, is a member of this gentry and he is the eldest son of a wealthy family. Now, that’s not be confused with royalty. He’s not royal blood. Gentry have high status, but often times they do not carry royal bloodlines. The confines of status mixes looms heavily upon William’s shoulders, especially when he meets Emma, and falls in love with her. He doesn’t care what society demands of him, he loves her.
This is a series that relies heavily upon implication and pleasantries. While you’ll find all of the usual wrappings of your typical romance anime here, a layer of firm composure rests atop every interaction. You’re not to see goofy levels flirting or inane romantic stupidity. Instead, you’ll tend to find the budding romance is composed, refined, and full of unspoken nuance. Love between these two isn’t easy, and the uphill battle they have is one strictly left down to the confines of their society.
If Emma had been born into the gentry herself, she could have fallen in love openly and honestly with William, with very little difficulty or opposition. Since she is a maid however, that’s just not the case. They both have their statuses to consider, even though William often doesn’t really care what people think.
All-in-all what makes this story so interesting isn’t that they fall in love, but the confines and intrigue of that love. As you watch the show, you’re brought to wonder what it means for Emma and William to have this connection in a world that would staunchly disprove of the mere idea, let alone actually doing it.
This is a series that keeps melodrama to a minimum, and focuses more on truly emotional events to drive the plot forward. There is a key character death for example that heavily impacts Emma’s livelihood, just as it would have in 19th century London at the time. That event and a few others are handled with the same gentleness as the rest of the show, even in those melancholic moments.
Ultimately, this is a series made for a true romance anime fan. Someone who likes the slow burn romantic entanglements, and the issues that might arise from them. Emma: A Victorian Romance is one of the best true romance anime I’ve ever seen. The title says it all, and if you enjoy romance between a man and a woman, this is certainly worth your time. That being said, if you want to see a healthy mix of GLBTQ or GRSM representation in the anime you watch, I’m sorry to say it’s just not there. Though if that’s more what you’re into make sure to follow the channel, because I will be covering an anime with those sorts of themes too in upcoming videos.
This has been Kernook of The Demented Ferrets, where stupidity is at it’s finest and level grinds are par for the course. I’ll see you next time, in the meantime, check out our other great content below.
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