• Before making a single edit, Tropedia EXPECTS our site policy and manual of style to be followed. Failure to do so may result in deletion of contributions and blocks of users who refuse to learn to do so. Our policies can be reviewed here.
  • All images MUST now have proper attribution, those who neglect to assign at least the "fair use" licensing to an image may have it deleted. All new pages should use the preloadable templates feature on the edit page to add the appropriate basic page markup. Pages that don't do this will be subject to deletion, with or without explanation.
  • All new trope pages will be made with the "Trope Workshop" found on the "Troper Tools" menu and worked on until they have at least three examples. The Trope workshop specific templates can then be removed and it will be regarded as a regular trope page after being moved to the Main namespace. THIS SHOULD BE WORKING NOW, REPORT ANY ISSUES TO Janna2000, SelfCloak or RRabbit42. DON'T MAKE PAGES MANUALLY UNLESS A TEMPLATE IS BROKEN, AND REPORT IT THAT IS THE CASE. PAGES WILL BE DELETED OTHERWISE IF THEY ARE MISSING BASIC MARKUP.


Farm-Fresh balance.pngYMMVTransmit blue.pngRadarWikEd fancyquotes.pngQuotes • (Emoticon happy.pngFunnyHeart.pngHeartwarmingSilk award star gold 3.pngAwesome) • Refridgerator.pngFridgeGroup.pngCharactersScript edit.pngFanfic RecsSkull0.pngNightmare FuelRsz 1rsz 2rsz 1shout-out icon.pngShout OutMagnifier.pngPlotGota icono.pngTear JerkerBug-silk.pngHeadscratchersHelp.pngTriviaWMGFilmRoll-small.pngRecapRainbow.pngHo YayPhoto link.pngImage LinksNyan-Cat-Original.pngMemesHaiku-wide-icon.pngHaikuLaconicLibrary science symbol .svg SourceSetting
File:Victorian Romance Emma1 3992.jpg

It's London, the late 1890's. Young Emma is a "maid of all trades" who lives and works for a former governess, outstanding because of her unusually high level of instruction (her mistress has taught her all sorts of subjects) and her glasses. When a former pupil of her mistress, William Jones, drops by for a visit, both maid and man fall in love with each other. However, there are numerous obstacles to their relationship, like their different social statuses, the pressure on William to marry another woman, among other things.

The manga, by Kaoru Mori, also has a number of side stories, covering things like older characters' pasts and the daily lives of minor characters. They have more of a Slice of Life feel than the main story.

Yep, it's a classic, almost cliched story whose premise is almost a Dead Horse Trope. However, the story feels very fresh because of the personality of the main characters, and the fact that almost no one can be hinted as a real villain, even those who don't like Emma and William's relationship. It also helps that the Victorian sense of romance is very similar to the Japanese sense.

There was an anime series in 2005, which only covered half of the story. A second series, which completed the second half, began in April 2007. Both series have been released separately on DVD in the U.S.; an omnibus DVD edition, in two volumes, was released on September 13, 2011.

Although it has a sizable Periphery Demographic, fans explain it as "a show about a maid, but not a maid show."

Not to be confused with Jane Austen's Emma.

Tropes used in Victorian Romance Emma include:
  • Adaptation Expansion: Especially in regards to the ending. The manga ends without a wedding or Distant Finale, at least at the time when the anime was produced. The last few side chapters wrapped it up with a wedding.
  • Animation Anatomy Aging: Compare Dorothea and Aurelia in flashbacks to their older versions. Also Kelly Stowner to some extent.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Argh, Vivi.
  • Apron Matron: Mrs. Kelly Stowner.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Mostly averted, as about half the characters are aristocrats. However, played devastatingly straight by Viscount Campbell.
  • Art Evolution: The manga starts off with its characters having soft, round features, making it quite unique compared to other manga. As it goes on, the style evolves into a more sharp, defined style, eventually with a typical "manga" look.
  • At the Opera Tonight: Will and Eleanor watch The Barber Of Seville (presumably Rossini's version) together; Grace and Viscount Campbell are also fans. A later side-story goes behind-the-scenes with the cast.
  • Author Appeal: Author Mori Kaoru is an avowed Anglophile and very fond of maids (and possibly blondes)
  • Big Fancy House: This series shows just how much work goes into keeping one of these running.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Any writing in the anime shows up in English... but the series is produced entirely in Japan.
    • Spelling is a little irregular at times, like the Cristal Palace Gaid in volume 2 of the manga.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The final ending takes place early in the Edwardian era and just about everyone's happy. That is, until you realize what happens in about ten years...
  • Blind Without'Em: Emma needs her glasses.
  • Cheerful Child: Erich Malders
  • Cool Old Lady: Mrs. Kelly Stowner, again.
  • Crash Into Hello: William first meets Emma when she opened the door just as he was ready to knock. Dorothea almost ran Wilhelm down with her horse when she first saw him.
  • Cute Clumsy Girl: Tasha. Her coworkers consider her only a little better than useless.
  • Did Not Do the Research: Despite the usually high quality of research in the manga, chapter 2 featured a model aircraft which looked nothing like the glider designs of the 1890's and more like a World War I-era biplane.
  • Distant Finale: While it's not THAT distant, the 3-chapter finale covering William and Emma's wedding at the end of volume 10 apparently takes place several years after the end of the main part of the series, judging from how the children have aged.
  • Eternal Sexual Freedom: In the manga Dorothea has a very frank attitude toward sex, though this may be partly to emphasize her "foreignness". Standing naked in front of a window is probably going over the line, though. Then there's the servant girls bathing together and openly talking about how much they enjoy sex...
    • Granted, this is likely an attempt to show the hypocrisy of Victorian sexuality.
    • Actually it was just one maid talking about how she could never have just one man and the head maid telling her not let her love life interfere with work or the household
  • Flash Back
  • Funny Foreigner: Prince Hakim and the Malders (specially Dorothea)
  • Genki Girl: Vivianne
  • Gorgeous Period Dress
  • Gossipy Hens: Eleanor's interchangeable friends, at least one of whom has a crush on Grace
  • Happily Married: Wilhelm and Dorothea Malders
    • And later William and Emma.
  • High-Class Glass: Vicount Campbell and Wilhelm.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Eleanor and Hans to William and Emma respectively
  • I Was Quite a Looker: Johanna, the Malders' head cook, claims to be this, but we only have her word for it.
  • Is That Cute Kid Yours? Grace gets this now and then about Vivian and Colin. She does not take it well.
  • Knight Templar Big Sister: Monica, to Eleanor, though not quite as extreme as most examples.
  • Large Ham: Monica.
  • Love At First Sight: William towards Emma
  • Meganekko: Emma
  • Meido: Emma and about half the cast
  • Names to Know In Anime: Yumi Touma (Emma), Sanae Kobayashi (Eleanor), Yuji Ueda (Hakim), Naomi Wakabayashi (Tasha), Noriko Shitaya (Colin), Yoko Honna (Sarah), Sayaka Ohara (Grace)
  • Of Corsets Sexy: Both the manga and anime have scenes where characters have their corsets laced. In the manga, the author explains that she is fond of such scenes.
  • Old Retainer: Stephens to the Joneses.
  • Only Six Faces: It is often difficult to differentiate between the characters; the author usually uses hairstyles and Animation Anatomy Aging to make her characters distinct. Most obvious with the women in Hakim's harem—it seems to be made up of several identical Indian beauties.
  • Parental Abandonment: Emma is an orphan; the Jouneses have a Missing Mom due to what looks like a case of post-partum depression. She's not dead, just retired in the Yorkshire countryside because she couldn't stand the stress of society life.
  • Porn Stache: Dorothea agrees to marry Wilhelm on the condition that he grows one — his face looks "scary" without. In her defense, it does make him appear more paternal.
  • Promotion to Parent: Grace has to fill in for her absent mother and busy father with Vivian and Colin. She might be a bit too good at it. William also catches a little of this.
  • Scenery Porn
  • Seinen: You'd think it would be Shojo or Josei, given its focus on romance, but according to The Other Wiki, [[
  • Shown Their Work: Rather obsessively in some respects. And then the translators Stateside decide to have Richard Jones say things like 'Blimey' just because he's British. Because, you know, people of his class would've said that.
  • Show Within a Show: The characters attend operas and plays pretty regularly. One manga chapter features The Prisoner of Zenda and another, The Barber of Seville.
  • Shrinking Violet: Emma — justified on account of her social station; a girl from beginnings as... humble as hers could never have hoped for a respectable position as a lady's maid, which was fairly high-class for a poor girl in that day. Emma is keenly aware of social class and recognizes her absurd luck at having been taken in and educated by Kelly Stowner. She is thusly reluctant to do anything forward enough to jeopardize her career (or hurt William's standing), even if it means turning down the man she loves.
    • Also little Ilse Malders, who is quite shy.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": One fan translation, while very good in most respects, insisted on the spelling 'Jounes.'
    • The original official spelling was "Jounse," so this might not be as ludicrous as one might think.
  • Spoiled Brat: Vivian.
  • Train Station Goodbye: William is just a bit too late to catch Emma when she leaves town.
  • Tsurime Eyes: Eleanor.
  • Uptown Girl: Inverted, the girl is the poor maid and the guy is the wealthy gentleman from the Ritz.
  • The Voiceless: Colin, until the Distant Finale.