Thursday, April 30, 2009

Emma vol. 1

Emma (vol.1)
Volume 1 out of 8
by Kaoru Mori
183 pages
Graphic Novels, Manga
October 2006

Emma's is the story of a maid in London, England at the end of the 19th century. She is brought up in Victorian England as a proper British maid. She is kind, gentle, and very humble. Emma serves her lady with utmost care. But, when William the son of a wealthy family comes to call on the lady of the house, (who used to be his governess when he was a kid) both Emma and William notice each other. However in the midst of the Industrial Revolution and the division between classes, William has far fewer choices to make impulsively than he would like. Is loving Emma even a choice though?

This is an amazing portrayal of the class system, still blatantly true in many nations and in even more it goes on still in many circles still. This is a topic that I find intriguing, as it was never something I dealt with. I loved Kaoru Mori's illustrations, and attention to detail, and the story, oh the story, I was entranced and blasted through this little Manga in less than two hours (even with TONS of interruptions from the kiddos). I am hooked for sure and know that I will follow on with the entire series. I first saw Emma on several other book sites ( Historical Tapestry and Tantabata and Nymeth and Kailana) and I immediately put them on hold at the library. What do I mean by immediately, well immediately as in: click, click, password, click, hold placed, click.

This is my first true Manga, I have read graphic novels before, but this was much more like a comic book type of read, but with so much more depth than I had expected. The great part is that reading Emma was so fun! I kept coming back to grab it up again and read a couple more pages, physically unable to put it down. I enjoyed the format, in the Japanese style (although in English) it is from back to front and right to left. It took me no time to grasp the order and I really thought it was fun to read it that way. I appreciated the story and plot and immediately fell entranced by Emma and her fellow Japanamation friends. For me this series is the perfect break in between books, the only problem is that now that I know how wonderful they are I just can't get enough of this genre. (Shhhh! I ended up reading two in a row!!)

Do you read graphic novels of Manga, which are your favourites? Do you have any recommendations for me that are more classic like this one, and not sexual or into extreme sci-fi violence? Do tell! I am now obsessed and need more titles to read!!


Ali said...

I'm not clear on the difference between graphic novel and manga. Looking at Emma's cover and the illustration you posted, I wouldn't have thought manga if you hadn't said so. Is it a matter of style? Format? Country of origin? Anyhow, I haven't read any that I know of, though I love certain types of graphic novels.

Ti said...

I just cannot get into graphic novels. Although I often find the artwork quite impressive, I can't seem to follow the storyline in that format.

I did as a kid. The old Archie comics were my fave thing to read but now? Not so much.

Nymeth said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed it as much as I did! And I loved your review. I couldn't agree more about how well it portrays the class system and the effect it had/has on people's lives. And the art couldn't be more stunning.

This was only my second Manga series (the first was Death Note - also good but in a completely different way) so I can't recommend anything else, but like you I look forward to reading more.

Red lady-Bonnie said...

This sounds intriguing and I'm going to have to give this genre a try. I read about this on Staci's blog, Life In the Thumb, and she had similar feelings as you.

Diane said...

I'm going to give this one a try! Thanks for the review!

Marg said...

I very nearly put this book in my bag as my next book today! I will get to it soon I think! I have started to read it online, but I don't think that reading on my computer really works for me.

Kailana said...

This is a great series! I am so glad that Nymeth told me about it and now it is making the blog rounds. This might mean they will rerelease a few of the editions that are currently out of print! I hope you enjoy the rest of the series!

Alyce said...

This looks like something I would enjoy. I haven't read any manga yet. I will have to see if the series is available through interlibrary loan.

gautami tripathy said...

I am yet to read a manga. This sounds good. I liked the cover and illustrations.

BTW, everything distils into reading is my new blog. Please do visit it, subscribe to it or follow it! Do help me spread the word.

Oh said...

Well, you got my attention on this one. I've never ever read a Manga (novel) but this gives me all the more reason to roam the bookstore tonight after working in the yard all day!