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Emma: Volume 1 [Paperback]

Kaoru Mori
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Paperback: 183 pages
  • Publisher: CMX (20 Sep 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401211321
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401211325
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 12 x 19.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,189,971 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeously illustrated and wonderfully subtle 16 Mar 2007
Format:Paperback
It's very rare that I read manga with writing or artwork as good as this. Instead of hitting you with all the emotional subtlety of a brick, as most manga does, this volume teases out reactions through unspoken expression. Even in its sillier moments, I found myself breathless with empathy for the characters. I was equally awed by the effort that the mangaka has put into the background artwork; it doesn't have the horribly generic locations and buildings that a great deal of manga suffers from, and the setting really does feel like London.

This isn't a series for younger or impatient readers, but it's truly fantastic stuff for anyone who wants a story with depth and beauty.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful romance 3 Dec 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a gorgeously detailed historical manga, set in Victorian England and telling the story of a cross-class romance. Mori has exhaustively researched the details of life and work during the period, and it shows. But the characters are what really stand out - Emma in particular is a wonderful heroine and beautifully drawn throughout. If you don't think you like manga, but love classic novels, give this a try. My only complaint is that the translation contains too many Americanisms, which I found jarring. However, this may be balanced out by the fact that the story is complete in 7 volumes - no padding, and no waiting! The anime is lovely too.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  17 reviews
36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars an excellent period drama on the delicate side... 20 Oct 2006
By N. S. Michael - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Emma, as you might have guessed, tells the story of a young Victorian/Edwardian maid and her forbidden romance with a gentleman from a large merchant house whose family has aims for him that are much higher than she.

Volume one of the series contains the first seven chapters of the eventual fifty-two and focuses on basic introductions. We meet the shy, but kind and intellegent, Emma, the exotic Hakim, prim Mrs.Stowner, the somewhat daft and dashing Young Master Jones... the list goes on.

Pretty much every character we see, be they the main focus or the bit part side characters, will show up many times throughout the series, and not just as filler. Every single character has a point to them, whether it be to show some side of Victorian Society or to help a more important character (or even just the reader) figure something out about the story at large. I really must applaud Mori for this.

The art is superb, with a strict attention to details and architecture. There's something about the way Mori draws that lends elegance to her character's features. Despite the fact that Emma and Eleanor are considered beautiful, they're not drawn in the typical manner associated with beauty in manga... in fact, they're quite atypical if you compare them to other manga... but, in the spirit, mood, and fasion in which they ARE drawn, you cannot help but see them as so.

The pacing is just right for this sort of quiet courtship... slow and delicate, with an emphasis on subtlety that makes you feel like you're sharing a well reasoned secret with Kelly as she watches the two grow closer.

In the translator's/author's notes/bio at the end of the volume, a point was made that CMX has decided to bring over the series untouched. I assume that means it will be unedited, and am glad and hopeful that my guess is right. FAIR WARNING; in the later volumes there will be some female nudity as there are two, perhaps three bath scenes with several characters that have yet to be introduced. Parents should know of those, though I consider it to be quite tasteful.

There are only two things I didn't like about the release... one, was a choice the author made in the creation. There's a scene late in this volume where the reality breaks down a little and several characters, in typical fashion, have animals hovering near them that represent their current moods. It's generally a good emotive tool, but in a title that strives to portray a reality fairly strictly, this seems out of place. It's a fairly MINOR beef, and hardly noticeable, but I thought I'd mention it.

The other issue was a production one... in particular, the paper stock that CMX used. Perhaps it was done for affect, to make it seem aged (as it is a period piece), but the texture and color of the pages are off... too rough and off-white. It kind of washes out the art and makes it lose crispness. The cover too, is off odd consistency. I just recieved my copy yesterday and already it is starting to bow seriously, in spite of the care I've taken not to bend the spine in reading it. I really wish they used the heavy stock, at least on the cover, like the job they did on Megatokyo's fourth volume. Oh well.

My final recommendation is to BUY THIS BOOK... and every volume after. It's a short series, so it won't take too much of a bite out of your budget, and is WELL WORTH the investment. This is one of the few manga titles that I would include under the heading of LITERATURE... it's just that damn good, in story, character and rendition.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Subtle and amazing. 27 Sep 2007
By paxnirvana - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
In my manga reading habits, I'm not usually much of a shoujo fan - endless high school romances and magical girl storylines tend to bore me to tears - so I'm far more of a shonen fan. Give me action and explosions. Adventure. Heroism. Daring deeds -- escapism at its best.

But I'm also a reader of historical romances -- Regencies mostly -- so period tales appeal to me too.

I was browsing Amazon one day searching for something 'new' to read (can't camp on the "order now" button for the next "One Piece" volume all the time... heheh) and stumbled across a review for "Emma". Curious and intrigued, I bought the first volume. I'm willing to give most things that pique my interest a try with at least one volume.

Oh my. I devoured it in less than 15 minutes. Then went back and savored it again with a slower, more thorough read. And did that again and again over the next week while I waited (impatiently!) for my copies of volumes 2-3-4-5 to show up.

Gorgeously and subtly rendered art and story. Compared to shonen, this story moves at a snail's pace. But that's part of the charm. It builds. Slow and sure. Lets you become familiar with the people and place and the time. The rich details of daily life (for both upper and lower classes) are astounding. Not boring, but fascinating. So much cleanliness and comfort and convenience that modern, industrialized life renders simple and of little thought to how to it is achieved now, used to be done by laboriously by hand. And in the case of the lifestyles of the wealthy, by many many hands. It took a lot of support to run a mansion. (Which also employed a lot of people!) We've forgotten that. And forgotten that many of the world still live that way - by hand and with support from many others.

The story is just as deeply researched into the ways and mores of that very different time. Mori-sensei tells an engaging and heart-tugging tale within that venue. She's done a fabulous job of re-creating and capturing the tensions, prejudices (spoken and not), class barriers amid the reluctantly (and often painfully) changing culture of Edwardian England.

There are panels without text that still shout so many things at you. Mori-sensei, I bow to you. Your storytelling skills shine in this medium of manga. You are a true master of your craft. I feel your characters boredom as well as their enthusiasm. Their hope and their pain. Grief. Desperation. Joy. Resignation. Without you having to hurl any of those words in my face. They act pained. Or content. Or afraid. Or confused. Or they pretend those things. And I can see it -- or miss it -- just as the people around them in the story do.

This isn't action-adventure or even blatant romance (at first). What it is is a tale of quiet, ordinary heroism. About finding the courage to follow (or even truly understand) one's own heart. And then finding the deeper courage to live one's own heart.

I'm pulling for you Emma and William.

(I'm pulling for you too, Aurelia and Richard! It's never too late!)
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Elegant and classy 7 May 2007
By Kevin Keech - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Emma is maid to a retired governess; her beauty and grace have attracted many suitors, some beyond her station in life. The story line follows both sides of the romance, giving insights into the vast class differences of the times and setting up what are sure to be difficult social hurtles for Emma and Mr Jones.

If you're a fan of quiet heroins of Jane Austin and the graphic styles of Japanese Manga, I think you'll find this first book appealing.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartwarming and amazingly accurate! 13 Jan 2007
By Lit Nerd - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
As a Literature major, I have been force-fed Jane Austen, Charles Dickens and other famous English authors. I didn't really enjoy them (although I love Great Expectations) but that was due to immaturity and being forced to read 100 pages a week along with other piles of homework. When I saw Emma sitting quietly on the shelf, it was calling to the part of me who is a Lit nerd. Emma is amazingly accurate and it grabs your heart and refuses to let go! It should be a boring manga, but it's NOT. You sympathize with the characters and want them to be happy (and together).

As a manga freak who's growing tired of the romance mangas that feature 100 hot girls after a boring guy (known as harem manga/anime), the sappy high school romance manga that has misunderstandings galore with the girl running away crying every 10 pages, and the popular guy/girl meeting an unpopular girl/guy, Emma is a huge breath of fresh air! I normally prefer action/fantasy over romance, but, once again, Emma has me more interested in her struggles with society over a magical girl's struggle with an evil queen. Buy it. Please. The other reviewer put it perfectly: Emma is a winner. Thanks to it, I feel more interested in Jane Austen and the rest of the English authors I will be reading throughout my education in Literature. I hope they release the touching and heartbreaking 'Emma' anime as well....
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars My First Manga and not a bad start 24 Aug 2012
By Kimberly @ Turning the Pages - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
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 Emma, but felt she should say more. Her employer intrigues me. I like her a lot but I am not a fan of Hakim, or Mr. Jones Sr. William is still meh for me.

I like how the story was set in England and how the author/illustrator paid close attention to make it seem real. A prime example is the use of Mudie's Lending Library.

In the next installment I hope that Emma comes out of her shell a little more and I hope that Hakim goes away along with Mr. Jones Sr. William can stay but that's only because I'm not sure whether I like him or not. Maybe the next book will help me decide whether I do or not.

I found this to be a cute 3 star read and I'm glad I started my manga reading career by reading this.
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