“Meet me at the Crystal Palace”- Emma: A Victorian Romance (anime) – 10/10 Sugar Cubes

Love one another and you will be happy. It’s as simple and as difficult as that. ~Michael Leunig

Genre: Historical romance, drama

Review Status: Full (24/24)

Licensed: Licensed in the US

Summary: (Off the box covers for Season 1) In 19th century London, class lines are sharply drawn, and the social standing to which people are born dictates the path their lives will follow. Emma, an honest and hardworking young maid, never felt her place in life to be a burden. But then she met William, a member of the gentry and eldest son of a wealthy family. His warm smile and earnest affection threaten to capture her heart… but can love truly conquer all?

: Excellent. Maybe not movie quality, but way above par for a TV series. And the detail that goes into clothing and mannerisms is exquisite.

Review: Some stories are classic. That’s why they sell so well in the “Romance” section of your local bookstore. Seriously, I knew exactly what I was getting into when I bought this series- and yet, it was so much more. Maid and aristocrat fall in love? Yeah, it’s been done before, in a hundred stories since that era began. But to have it done well….. Well, that’s a rare treat.

No hooks, no gimmicks, no otherworldly creatures attacking London. This anime is exactly what it markets itself to be: A story about two people who fall in love during a time when your reputation and station in life were all you had to make a decent life for yourself. And it is as clean a story as could ever grace the screen! Except for two brief moments where Emma’s second employer is dressing (and you will get full-on nudity in those shots), there’s no sex, no dirty language, nada. Everything is held to Victorian standards of modesty, and the love between Emma and William is kept passionate and true, but innocent in the no-fanservice way I wish more anime were made.

The characters are excellent- the story holds true to Victorian attitudes, so there’s no instant acceptance or happy welcoming into the family (otherwise where would the story be?). Instead, there’s drama, betrayal, and a wild ride though the streets of London-town that had me cracking up! The story is relatively simple, but well told. It never deviates into pointless storyline or extra episodes- not that there’d be room for filler in this story anyway. And the romance? As good as it can get.

Overall: I can watch this over and over again. Great characters, art, animation, and a storyline that can pull your heartstrings make this an investment of time that I do not regret.

Recommended: Yes! 10+. There is a 2-second scene where you see a nakked woman from behind, but this scene is non-sexual.

Other Series You Might Like:
Romeo x Juliet (anime)
The Place Promised In Our Early Days (anime)
Spice and Wolf (anime)
Saiunkoku Monogatari (anime)
Emma: A Victorian Romance (manga)
5 Centimeters Per Second (anime)
Seirei no Moribito (anime)


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