When I read the synopsis, this was one of those series that seemed kind of sweet, so I thought that I'd give it a go; and oh how glad I am that I did! This tale of unobtainable love set in Victorian England had me gripped from the very beginning and I marathoned the entire twelve episodes in one day; I just couldn't get enough.
Despite its relatively slow pacing, you still manage to get a real sense of the progression of the central protagonist’s love and, as such, you really begin to care about them and their plight. Emma is so genuinely lovely and hardworking that she becomes possibly the most likeable heroine that I have ever encountered in anime. Unfortunately for her she happened to fall in love with a wealthy gentleman, William, and he reciprocated her feelings. Part of what makes this series so brilliant is the contrast in Emma and William's personalities. Emma is realistic about their situation, whereas the naïve William believes that everything will work out. Also, where Emma possesses a lot of inner strength, William occasionally errs a little on the spineless side, often buckling under the pressure from his family.
For me, the biggest surprise of the series was the attention to detail throughout. So many times in anime, you get a stereotyped view of Victorian England, however, the intricate detail in Emma adds an extra sense of realism that just sucks you in. As such, the whole series oozes a sense of grace and dignity entirely befitting of the era.
The series is also accompanied by a charming soundtrack, which really sets the mood without becoming intrusive. Each piece of music ideally suits the character or scene in question, and this is definitely one of my favourite anime soundtracks to date.
Victorian Romance Emma quickly became one of my favourite series because of its exquisitely quiet charm. For anyone who likes a good romance story, that isn't overrun with ecchi or so sugary-sweet that you find yourself physically retching, I would highly recommend this series.