Ah, maids. Anime creators often use them to make moe characters even moer; usually with rather… embarrassing results to say the least. And take the well-known subplot, in which our hero has found his true love, but his stubborn parents refuse to allow this marriage because they’re stubborn and want to have an arranged marriage. These are two subplots which reappear in many, many different anime, but never quite like Victorian Romance Emma.
It’s very easy to just ignore this show because it looks boring, but it really turns into a pretty accurate portrayal of what life was for the English upper classes in the Victorian age. There is so much realism in this series and it knows it. This series shows noblemen as regular people, who hardly come into contact with the lower classes, and have to be continuously politically correct in front of their peers.
That’s nice and all, but what really makes this show is the cast of lead characters, and how wonderfully subtle their relationship plays out. This series definitely is a very slow one, and so people without patience are probably not going to enjoy it, but because it’s so slow it’s really able to make the romance between the two lead characters play out very naturally. This series makes excellent use of its 13 episodes and every episode, it pushes the story forward a little bit, until it finishes off with a very good conclusion.
There also seems to be a sequel, but I don’t think that that would have been necessary: on its own, Victorian Romance Emma is already a wonderful series about the bridge between noblemen and your average maids; any more would only ruin it. It’s one of those series which leaves a lot of the dialogue unsaid and the beauty is really watching everything slowly play out. For once, the fathers mentioned above are nothing like the stereotypical evil parents that refuse to let son marry for the sake of just a bit of drama, but Jones actually gives some very plausible reasons as to why he can’t let his son go off and marry a maid. It wouldn’t just be hard on him, but also on Emma herself, because as a noblewoman, she’d constantly be looked down upon by all the other nobles.
There’s just one character that really should have been left out. Thankfully he’s a side-character who doesn’t have much screentime, but whenever he does appear on the screen, he completely distracts from the main point of the episode and most of all is just a very obnoxious brat. I’m talking of course about Collin: the little boy who seems to have lost his balls somewhere (seriously, he has the voice of a girl!) and does nothing other than continuously whining and crying. There seems to be no point for him to be even in the show, so I really wonder why the creators even brought in such an annoying little brat.
Still, Victorian Romance Emma is a must-watch for everyone who is into historical series. It’s a mature romance series with very likable characters that knows exactly how to use its time, and how to subtly develop its characters. Even though in the beginning it may seem a bit boring, it all becomes worthwhile in the end.