Monday, March 10, 2008

Manga Monday: Emma!

Emma (Volume 7)
Kaoru Mori
William, the eldest son of a wealthy family who stands to inherit everything, endures plenty in his struggles to be with his love, the maid Emma, who is deemed an unfit match by Victorian London society. In the latest volume of the thrilling series, we see the story of the couple's endeavors to be together come to a conclusion, including all of the immediate ramifications that come with the difficult steps that they take. I'm impressed that not everything is left tied up in a neat little bow. There are still hardships ahead for the couple and we can only speculate at this point how they will turn out. But it's been a wonderful ride. The series was meticulously researched with beautiful detailed art and fantastic characters, including a rich supporting cast. The good news is that this isn't the last volume of the series at large. In the back of this seventh volume, it is revealed that next year Emma will return with volume eight, where the book will focus on secondary characters in short stories. Not only that, but another manga from Kaoru Mori, entitled Shirley, will be out in July, featuring more short stories exploring English maids. This is fantastic news. I was kind of putting off reading this volume because I thought that it would be the end of Emma for good and I perhaps wouldn't see anything new from the creator for awhile. But now we can look forward to at least two more volumes of Mori's lush drawings in stories that are sure to amaze as much as these past seven volumes of Emma. I was admittedly a little surprised that the cliffhanger from volume six was paid off so early on and the rest of the volume was wrapping things up, but it was satisfying to see everyone who'd flitted in and out of the book since the beginning have some face time and react to the events, in delight, shock or suppressed anger. The final scene is pretty much perfect however, the best final scene that I've encountered for awhile in comics overall, framing everything in a perfect snapshot. It really makes me envious of anyone who has yet to discover this world for the first time.

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