Monday, August 16, 2010

Review: Emma by Kaoru Mori

As a quick update, yes, the jet lag is getting better.  It's just moving much more slowly than I would have thought.  We're almost a week out, and I'm just now able to fall asleep after midnight without struggling.  Now, I just have to move that bedtime up!  :) 

As something new to fight the sleeplessness, I tried out my first manga, Emma.  I had seen these reviewed on my friend Tasha's blog Truth, Beauty, Freedom, and Books.  I've been intrigued by graphic novels and mangas, and this story looked interesting, so I gave it a try!  Thankfully, it was a good choice for me this week.

Synopsis:  Set in Victorian England, this tale is of a housemaid who has been brought out of poverty and made into a proper British maid.  Ruled by class distinction and money, Emma seems to have drawn the attention of highborn William.  It seems that they are set to start a sweet romance, until Emma gains the notice of a few other suitors and class and money might factor in more than love.

Review:  First of all, if you haven't read a manga before, it takes some getting used to.  I'll admit that it took me a little time to figure out that I had to read from the back of the book, and from right to left.  It was a fun twist though, and I was quickly sucked into the story.

Since this is my first manga, I have little to compare it to other than graphic novels.  This might not be a good comparison, so I took it on face value and found it to be a lot of fun to read.  As a fan of Victorian England, I loved the setting and its class distinction.  Emma is a servant, but like many stories, she is the love interest of a rich highborn young man.  These class distinctions make for a nice tension and bit of ironic humor to the story.  As a quick new introduction into mangas, this was a fun start!

Now, if I can only get past the giant, sparkly eyes that I saw discussed in the news, then I'll be good.  I've had students come in with snake eye contacts, and strange colors, but I'm hoping this look will pass up the students I teach!  If you haven't seen this trend, check out this news report by CBS News on "Gaga Lenses" back on July 7th. Interesting trend to see coming out of the publishing world.  I wonder what other trends mirror those found in publishing.  Are there others that I've missed or ones you think would be cool to see?


  1. I like the new look!

    I haven't read much manga either, but this is one series that I do enjoy.

    All the characters do have really big eyes though don't they.

  2. I'm glad you gave these a try and that you enjoyed them! I hadn't realized you haven't read manga before.

  3. I loved this series so much :) I agree, Manga does take some getting used to, but once you have you barely notice the quirks anymore :P

  4. Marg--Thanks! I was ready to have something different from bloggers old templates. Ironically enough, I had just finished changing things when they added all their new update options. As for the manga, yes...those eyes are a teeny bit spooky!

    Heidenkind--I know! I had read graphic novels, but never wandered this direction. I actually have you to thank for this one. :)

    Nymeth--Yay! I have so many great readers to recommend these, how could I not read them?