Vague series synopsis: A maid named Emma in 19th-century London becomes romantically attached to a man above her station. He loves her as well, and the two of them must navigate this treacherous ground together.
I read the first volume of this manga series back during the Readathon in October 2012. My tiny review of it said just about nothing, except that I liked it and was annoyed that it ended right in the middle of the story. My library didn’t carry the series, and it turned out no bookstores in the city carried it either. In the two years since then, I’d pretty much given up the possibility of finding copies of the rest of Emma. Then, after moving to Newton, I discovered the entire series (all seven volumes of the main story, plus three additional volumes of related short stories) was in the new library system. Yay!
Emma was the first manga I ever liked, and now, along with The Tarot Cafe, is one of only two that I’ve enjoyed. I enjoyed the further six volumes in the main story just as much as I did the first. Each of the seven was about equal, and to be honest, I view the entire story as a single novel split into multiple books, rather than multiple novels. I don’t really differentiate between volumes, and so can’t really say that one was better than another. The story was a lot of fun as a collective whole, and the artwork was beautiful all throughout. I enjoyed it.
The only downside to the series for me was the end. Originally, I checked out all ten volumes, believing they were all the same story, and so when I reached the end of the seventh, I thought there was still more book to come. The story didn’t feel over, as there was a lot left unresolved. I would have loved another three episodes! Instead, the rest of the books were only semi-related. Boo. I didn’t read them, not because they wouldn’t have been good, as I’m sure they would have been, but because I’m not generally a fan of reading short story after short story in quick succession. Makes my head hurt! So I’ll save those short stories for another time when I want to come back and revisit Emma’s world.
This is a hard series to find, but I definitely feel it’s worth it if you can get a hold of them!