Monday, November 22, 2010

Manga Mondays (25): Emma vol. 9 by Kaoru Mori

Emma vol. 9 by Kaoru Mori


Warning: My manga "reviews" often contain spoilers. I find it hard to adequately discuss a volume of manga without talking about it in more detail than some might like.

Emma officially ended as a series of manga with Volume 7. Volumes 8 through 10 are a series of short stories about smaller characters in the series. Emma isn't in this volume at all, although we do see a younger William. I enjoyed seeing more of the other characters, although I miss the main story between Emma and William.

The volume has five separate stories. The first chapter is an adorable tale featuring Erich, the young son of the German family that employs Emma as a made starting in volume 3. He loses his beloved pet squirrel Theo while at a family picnic. The volume focuses both on Erich's panic at losing his buddy and Theo's panic at being left all alone in the wild. There are some adorable squirrel drawings. Much of the chapter is wordless, as we see Theo journey through his day alone. Mori knows how to draw cute animals.

The second chapter is a further exploration of Mr. and Mrs. Meredith's relationship (they're the German couple who employ Emma). I actually skipped this chapter. The couple is in bed throughout the chapter and Mrs. Meredith is naked. I read this volume of manga at the gym. As weird as seeing nudity in comics is when I'm at home, it is infinitesimally more awkward when I'm reading surrounded by dozens of people.

I loved the third chapter. We discover how William and Hakim came to be friends. As a young boy (about 10 or so), William accompanies his father on a business trip to India. There, he is set up with an Indian prince of the same boy. They can't understand each other, but they bond over spirited games of tennis. Mori says in the afterward that she wanted to explore William and Hakim's relationship further in the regular volumes of Emma, but there just wasn't time. Now I understand why Hakim was seemingly just thrown into the manga.

The last two chapters are a single story about three characters who weren't in Emma at all. It is a love triangle between three opera singers: George, Louise, and Alan. Alan is a relative newbie to the opera scene. He's receiving high praise and is a bit overwhelmed by the craziness. George and Louise are more established stars. All three are good friends. Alan is hopelessly in love with Louise. But it turns out that George is too. Who does Louise love? This was a pleasant story. The plot wasn't particularly unusual or exciting, but it was a sweet tale of three likeable characters.


  1. A short story collection? That's not something I've often seen in manga. :-) I've been interested in reading the actual Emma series, so I may go hunt down volume one.

  2. "As weird as seeing nudity in comics is when I'm at home, it is infinitesimally more awkward when I'm reading surrounded by dozens of people."

    LOL, I know what you mean. I'm always amazed on how much the visual affects us instead of the written nudity. I usually don't mind the nudity as long as it is relevant to the story and not thrown in for the sake of being 'risque' or 'sexy'.

  3. I'm so unfamiliar with Manga, but I love how you review it! :)

  4. Great review. I haven't read a lot of manga but I have enjoyed what I have read. I will have to keep an eye out for this :)


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