Emma: A Victorian Romance

May 21, 2017

With my ever growing obsession for Japanese maids, it was about time that I finally gave in to my long time thought that I should go watch a series about the true and historical origins of a maid. Yes, those domestic helpers of wealthy households in the western world. The original maid before Japan somewhat ‘corrupted’ the term. Uh huh. Emma: A Victorian Romance isn’t exactly a historical series about maids in England but as the title suggests, a forbidden romance between the different classes during the Victorian era. So no sci-fi elements or exaggerated fantasy adventures of alternate retelling of history. No maid cafes, no nekomimi maids, no mercenary maids or assassin maids. Just your plain period English romance involving a plain English maid.

Episode 1: The Present
William Jones seems to be hesitating to knock on the house of his ex-teacher, Kelly Stowner. Accidentally the maid, Emma opens the door, bumping into his face. Now that William’s family is part of the gentry, he decided to take his teacher’s heed to visit her although he did it on an unscheduled notice. William can’t seem to take his eyes off Emma. Kelly receives a message that she needs to meet someone so the stay is cut short. After he leaves, Emma notices he has forgotten his gloves. Kelly knows he will come back to get it but seeing Emma staring at it, he tells her to go return it to him. Unfortunately he was already long gone by then. Back in his mansion, he can’t help think about Emma and is unenthusiastic when his personal old maid, Theresa tends to him. Emma apparently has lots of admirers like the mailman. He even gives her a letter and is willing to wait for an answer. Thanks to Kelly’s teachings, Emma is able to read and write but unfortunately it is mostly to use to write rejection letters. Next day, William is shopping at his favourite antiquity shop when he spots Emma walking outside. He happily goes to talk to her and walks her home. However he doesn’t want to take back the gloves as it would give him another reason to visit Kelly again. William has noticed that Emma has bad eyesight and her current prescription isn’t helping. He offers to make new glasses for her. That night as Emma contemplates about his offer, she remembers as a child she had a hard time with her visions. There were numerous times she broke the pots and missed spots while cleaning. Eventually Kelly noticed this and got her glasses. It was the first time she saw how beautiful the world was. She never knew the world looked like this. In view of this gift, Emma declines William’s offer. He asks if she would like anything else in exchange. She would like a lace handkerchief as it was a dream of having it. Immediately he goes to a shop and gets her one. It makes her very happy and in turn he too is a happy young man.

Episode 2: Two Worlds
William waits at his favourite antique shop and pretends to window shop just so Emma could pass by and he coincidentally could help her. She wants to return his gloves but he will leave it for another time. Emma thinks it is an excuse to visit Kelly. Theresa admonishes William for giving excuses to skip work and she has to cover for him. At this time, Williams’ siblings, Grace, Vivian, Arthur and Collin just returned from a health resort. William is called by his father, Richard about him rejecting invitations. As they have already ascended into the upper class, they need to ‘improve’ themselves. He wants William to attend tonight’s ball and mix with others. Of course he becomes a wallflower. An old acquaintance of Richard, Lady Campbell introduces her daughter, Eleanor to him. He dances with her. Next day when William is accompanying his sisters to buy parasols, Eleanor comes in. Grace and Eleanor know each other. Vivian thinks the duo are getting along pretty fine and leaves them alone. When William buys a parasol, Vivian thinks it is for Eleanor. It gets awkward when he says it isn’t. Emma sees William leaving the shop with the ladies. She quickly turns around and walks away as fast as she can. Next day, William visits Kelly and this time to retrieve his gloves. Kelly then sends Emma to buy sugar in which William wants to accompany her. All part of Kelly’s plan? William gives the parasol to Emma but she declines it as she cannot accept more luxurious stuffs. He apologizes for his rudeness as he thought he would like to see that smile again. He’ll stop giving her presents but would like to see her again from time to time. So who will he give the parasol to? Theresa. As thanks for all the troubles he caused. When Eleanor sees that parasol being held by happy Theresa in the streets, she couldn’t help giggle a little.

Episode 3: The Confession
One morning William wakes up to find his friend from India, Hakim Atawari is right at his doorstep. He brought along his entourage too. Yeah, how the heck did he bring his elephants into England?! Anyway as an old friend from the Indian royalty, he is here to stay for a week and this visit is supposed to be a secret. But when the newspaper reports about, it is hardly a secret anymore. Thus Hakim wants William to take him around town. Those English blokes are going to be surprised to see this jumbo ruling the cobbled stone streets. Luckily they are passing Kelly’s street so it is an excuse for William to pay another unexpected visit and ‘recover’ from the elephant ride. Almost got motion sickness. I guess this is why somewhere down the line England passed a law banning elephants on the streets. Anyway as Emma treats William, Hakim can’t seem to get his eyes off Emma. It is so obvious he is smitten by her. Next day, he and his servants go out early just to help Emma with her errands and send her home. Jealous white boy can do nothing but spy on them. Nothing suspicious so far. Next day, William is baffled a client wants to show him some work he ordered. Did he? When he sees Emma’s name engraved at the bottom and realizes the one who ordered it was Hakim, he rushes to Emma’s place. Too bad Hakim already beat him because he is all dressed up like an Englishman. Stalk outside is the only thing William can do. As Kelly is not in at that moment, first Hakim tells her he is here just to see her. Then he asks if she is William’s lover. Since she isn’t, he is glad so because as one of William’s few friends, he would like to start this off on a fair note. Then he confesses he likes her and wants to protect and see her again. Uhm, so does she need to give an answer? Naturally William has got a lot on his mind. His worries up a notch when he hears about Indian royalties don’t normally visit England unless they’re looking for a bride. I hope this wasn’t what mail order bride used to be.

Episode 4: Myudie’s
Hakim driving a motorcar inside the mansion? It has been over a week and Hakim is still around? Well, something caught his interest lately… We know what it is. Hakim takes William out for a spin with the motorcar. Then it runs out of petrol. Myudie’s, a library that catches Hakim’s eye as he goes to browse the porn section with William. How do you like your 19th century porn? They are caught red handed by Emma who is also there to borrow a book for Kelly. William tries to explain this awkward situation but Emma runs off. On the way home, William feels Hakim is keeping a secret from him. Yeah, Grace’s tennis invitation. It seems everything is going ‘against’ Arthur. He ignores Collin’s questions of what a prefect means since Arthur just became one. Poor boy cried even when he got his answer. Did he understand all that? Arthur also was too harsh with Vivian playing tennis so Hakim had to take over and make the little girl happy. There is a good mood between William and Eleanor as he teaches her to play tennis so Arthur comments if things get good between them, they will be closer to peerage. That night, Hakim tells William that he confessed to Emma but was rejected. You can tell William feels relieved. However Hakim wonders why William doesn’t tell his true feelings to Emma. Excuses like he doesn’t know her isn’t going to cut it. Because Hakim warns if he continues to dawdle, Hakim might steal her again. Next day William meets Emma and tells her about his friendship with Hakim. Because of the school they went together, it taught them how to express themselves freely and thus why Hakim was so straight upfront with his confession. However William can’t be like Hakim and sometimes he feels envious. When Emma mentions he is fine the way he is now, it boosts his mood.

Episode 5: Dinner Party
All Emma knows about Kelly was that she married her husband, Doug at 18 in an arranged marriage. But she lost him at 20. She worked as a governess for 30 years before retiring and living here alone since. Kelly realizes she forgot she invited the Knoxes to dinner tonight. So as Emma scrambles to prepare the food, Kelly props up the place. Everything is well done until Kelly realizes the rain has seeped into the roof and ruining the wallpaper. With time running out, she has Emma call handyman, Al who is also an old friend of hers. He manages to fix it in time before the guests arrive. As Kelly has Emma treat him to a drink in the kitchen, Al tells her some of the old stories like he and Doug were best friends and Kelly was the governess for the Jones. Fortunately for Al he gets to stay for dinner since the Knoxes got their delivery boy to say they can’t attend tonight’s dinner. So Emma hears more of Al’s ‘sarcasm’ about Doug and Kelly’s blissful marriage. When Al passes out drunk, Kelly remembers Emma moved in here the same time she bought this house. That was 5 years ago. She asks if Emma is going to turn down William the same she did for Hakim. She says he is a strange but good man because he doesn’t mind her status as a maid. When asked if she loves William, Emma doesn’t answer. When Kelly retires to bed, she accidentally slipped and fell from the stairs. Luckily she only sprained her ankle. During the slip, her precious necklace broke into pieces. Emma has collected them but Kelly tells her to leave it as it is. However the next day Emma is able to put everything back together again. How? She noticed the necklace Kelly was wearing in a photo with her husband. She knows it was Doug’s gift to her. Kelly decides to give it to her since it doesn’t suit her anymore. Kelly dreams of her wonderful time with Doug as a newlywed. And making Al as their errand boy.

Episode 6: The Visit
Richard is not happy that his son is idling around too much with Hakim. Even more so he is often out. We all know by this time he is always hanging out with Emma. At the ball, William didn’t turn up but ironically it is Hakim who did and he is showing all the gentlemanliness of the English aristocracy that Richard would love his son to have. While talking with Eleanor’s mother, he learns that Kelly has been injured. Thus he summons his son and chastises him for not saying anything about it despite he knew it for some time. Hence they are going to pay a courtesy call to her soon. William feels awkward in between as Richard talks to Kelly. Her injury has made him realize that although he is healthy right now, you’ll never know in the future. That is why he wants his son to quickly succeed his family business. Hence he has made arrangements for a young lady who is interested in William to be acknowledged into the family as soon as possible. William is shocked to hear this and protests. But he couldn’t answer when Richard asks him if he has someone else in mind. At this point Emma who has heard too much is spacing out and is making a few simple mistakes. Richard would of course take into consideration the feelings of his son but he prefers him to marry a person of the same person. William assures he isn’t marrying a foreigner but what father meant was England despite being a nation has 2 countries within itself: The upper class and lower class. Although sharing the same language, they are still considered as different countries. The Jones take their leave and this leaves the young ones deep in their thoughts.

Episode 7: Crystal Palace
William and Hakim attend a party hosted by Eleanor’s family. It looks obvious on his face that he doesn’t want to be here but at least he still has the courtesy to talk to her and show his face. When Emma gets a letter from William to meet, she looks happy. She requests for a day off but Kelly gives her the entire day. Oh, she lends her red dress too. Emma meets William at Crystal Palace, a giant structure made out of crystal exhibiting worldly items. As William shows her around, I have a feeling he is trying to show off his knowledge about the exhibits. So much so he was too fast for her pace and they got lost in the sea of crowd. Luckily they manage to find each other and continue talking. Then they sit down and talk. And talk and talk and talk… So much so they didn’t hear the staffs yelling it is closing time nor do they notice everyone else streaming out and that it has gotten quieter and darker. Wow. So absorbed in their conversation, eh? And when they realized it, too late. Locked in. Those staffs didn’t do their job to check… William wanted to throw and smash the glass but Emma stops him. We’re civilized, right? I guess the good thing is that they can talk all night for all they want. I don’t know how talking this much can lead to a kiss. Oh wait. It’s the 19th century. By next morning, a staff opens the door and is shocked to see them. Somebody didn’t do his job… They head home like as though it was nothing. William goes home to sleep (he was watching Emma while she slept) so Richard is fuming he is sleeping at this hour because Eleanor and her mom are here because they made an appointment to go riding. Maybe next time. Richard then says William has no escort for the next dinner party. Eleanor would love to be his escort. Everything’s set then. Kelly knows Emma just returned this morning but pretends she was sound asleep and didn’t know she came back last night.

Episode 8: Clock
Kelly now falls ill and her feet hasn’t recovered yet. It is evident as she has lost much of her appetite. Kelly notices her pocket watch needs more winding than it works so she sends Emma to repair it. Emma reads another letter from William. This time it states he is going to try to convince his father and hopes she will wait. When Vivian notices William has been sending lots of letters out lately, she thinks it is to Eleanor. He denies and says it is business correspondence. Not sure if Hakim is trying to stir the hornet’s nest because he says it is to Emma. The siblings wonder if this Emma is some duchess or baroness but William tells the truth. She is a maid. This does not sit well with Arthur and Vivian who clearly oppose this. The argument is cut short when Richard returns home and William is going to speak to him about this. As expected, he says no. Despite Emma is a good woman, it is not the question of character. He explains about the responsibilities of a ‘cultured’ woman. Although a horse can be trained to become a fine race horse, a cat cannot become a horse. If he further pursues this, he will be thrown out of the family. He chastises William if he is going to abandon his ancestors’ hard work for his own selfishness. Emma talks to Kelly about William’s letter. She has thought about it but realized that in reality the gap between their classes is too big. Kelly remains positive it will work out for her. Later Kelly talks to Al and she has a request. She wants him to support and encourage Emma in her love. When Al is seen rushing to get a doctor, Emma fears the worse. She returns the repaired pocket watch but Kelly is just lying there unresponsive. No matter how much Emma prompts her, there is no response. Reality hits Emma hard. It is the saddest day in her life.

Episode 9: Alone
Emma attends a small funeral for Kelly. Al helps shift some of the unwanted things in Kelly’s house to his friends. Emma also packs some of the stuffs but continues to live in the house all alone and sad. Al advises Emma to at least tell William about this. Meanwhile William has decided to do his duties and attend the dinner party to win his father’s approval. He escorts Eleanor and she can tell that something has been bugging William for a while. During dinner, she talks about not disgracing the family’s tradition in which William generally expresses how much he hates it because keeping up tradition for the sake of tradition is like being stubborn. It doesn’t help when Richard comments like as though he has set up William and Eleanor permanently. Eleanor isn’t feeling well (perhaps eating and drinking too much and in that tight corset) so she takes her leave without giving William a chance to say his true feelings. Maybe she doesn’t want to hear it too. On the way home, William talks to his father about what he said. He doesn’t like it and assures he is thinking about their family’s wellbeing as well. He is still adamant about his unchanging feelings despite how much he objects but Richard will not hear any more about it. Emma couldn’t sleep that night. She cries just at the thought of her late master.

Episode 10: Missing One Another
Emma is at the gates of the Jones’ estate. Hakim’s eagle eye vision spots her as he tells the butler to let her in as she is William’s acquaintance. She is having thoughts of staying but is made to stay till William gets back. He on the other hand is at the antique store trying to wait for Emma. But when the staffs tell him Kelly has passed away, William looked shock. He runs out and heads to Kelly’s place. The doors are locked. From the backdoor, he peeks into the window and finds most of the furniture gone. His heart sank. While William’s siblings are spying through the door at Emma, Hakim comes to talk to her. She is here to say goodbye to William and plans on moving back to her hometown by the sea. Care to elaborate on that? After letting him know that Kelly has passed away, Hakim asks if she will come back here. Never again. He finds it strange that they both love each other so why go to a faraway place. Vivian thinks Emma is here to seduce her brother so she barges in to give Emma a piece of mind and to get out. Grace takes her away while Arthur tells her to be careful of her reckless act because if others find out about William’s love for a maid, they’ll be the laughing stock of the gentry. Emma thinks of leaving but Hakim won’t let her. He gave up his love for her just because of William and won’t let her decide this herself. She remains stubborn and leaves. That is when William just came back. The first thing he does is to hug her and apologize for not knowing. Everybody in the mansion sees this scandalous scene. Time for father to step him. He slaps his son for this shameful act. William defies him. Richard tells Emma to leave now and Emma gladly takes up his offer. William gives chase but it seems Emma runs faster than him! In a skirt! Emma returns to Al’s place.

Episode 11: Past
Emma tells him that she will be returning to her village so Al tells what Kelly had requested of him. But it isn’t like he could afford her or refer him to any of his acquaintances on such notice. Rumours of William’s romance with a maid spread throughout the Jones’ household. Some are even joking about this scandal. It isn’t long before this reaches the Campbell’s household. Naturally Eleanor becomes depressed. During a party hosted by Richard, he had to go apologize to Eleanor’s mom for this farce and vows to get strict on him. Of course William continues to defy his father. If he cannot marry Emma, he will marry nobody else. Richard reminds him about responsibility and respectability and how mixing both classes would be disastrous. William will not listen and walks out of the house despite being grounded. He heads to Kelly’s place but he should know nobody is living there. As Al is passing by, he brings Jones back to his place. Welcome to the slums. First time seeing dirty and poor people in masses? As Emma isn’t in, Al tells William what he knows about her as told by Kelly. Born in a small poor town near the sea, her parents died young and she went to live with her uncle. She was subjected to abuse and hard labour by her aunt who disliked her for the ‘extra mouth she had to feed’. One day as she is supposed to sell clams, she got kidnapped by a human trafficker. Inside the carriage are also kidnapped young girls her age. As much as she screams and struggles, the carriage is on her way to London. While the trafficker tries to bargain for the right price, Emma took this chance to escape and loses him. She knocks from door to door in hopes to find work for a piece of bread but the maids will not accept her as they fear their master’s wrath. Eventually a maid took pity on her and let her in. Aside working in the house, she sold flowers on the streets. I guess William has heard enough so he leaves.

Episode 12: Lily Of The Valley
As Emma is really leaving today, Al tells her what he told William and thought they passed by each other on the way back. That didn’t happen. He thought William might have gotten cold feet after hearing her story and should have at least come to see her off. Emma visits Kelly’s grave one last time. Further flashback reveals after Kelly just retired, she was visiting a friend who hired Emma for some garden work. Kelly liked how Emma had that intelligent look and wanted to hire her as a maid. Her friend was sceptical she could do maid chores but Kelly is confident with the power of education. Emma agrees to let Kelly take her in and learn all that Kelly has to teach her. The rest is history. William talks to Hakim hinting he might not deserved Emma. He wasn’t at her side when she needed the most. There is also the risk of scepticism and the likes if William brings her into the Jones’ family. Up till now he has only thought of his own feelings and never about what he should do to make Emma happy. Thus he became scared at the thought to meet her as he wondered if he is important to her. Hakim goes on to call him a pathetic miserable coward (because William told him to). He doesn’t have the courage to lose her and yet he played the tragic hero role. They love each other and yet they are confused about it. When Hakim tells him Emma is leaving today, William makes a rush to her place. However Eleanor is here for a riding appointment. She knows something is wrong but understands and lets him go. He wants to confess something but all she says is that she will wait for him no matter how long it takes. With that, William makes haste. Of course she has already left and their carriages miss each other. William finds a note on the door addressed to him. She writes about her regrets and peace of mind. William now rushes to the train station and Emma is already boarding. He makes it in time to finally face her. But all she can say is thank you. Then off she goes. William who has been running the whole day after her thinks he can run after a train? After the steam locomotive is long gone, William sits around dejected before leaving. Emma only sheds a tear.

Molders-hen

The second season of the series. More maid romance drama after that abrupt and unsatisfying ending, but of course.

Episode 1: New House
It has been a month since Emma left London for Haworth. Currently she is employed on probation as a maid in the Molders’ estate under Madam Dorothea (they were riding on the same train and somewhat hit it off). Meanwhile William is attending another party. Hakim is amusing the English blokes with his elephant tricks. Yeah, probably why William didn’t want to be here. An awkward meeting with Eleanor. It is obvious he doesn’t have feelings for her but that’s not how she sees it. While Emma is outside, she sees the lady’s maid, Nanette talking and flirting with some military guy, Randy. Emma is caught by her for eavesdropping and warned to keep this to herself. Nanette explains she knows she is being used by him but she has to do it for the sake of love. Emma understands how she feels. When Dorothea is going to hold a dinner party tonight, she needs to have that blue fan. Although she dislikes it, it is a gift from the family she is inviting. Word spreads that the fan is missing and all the maids and butlers are called. Emma is suspected as she was the one cleaning Dorothea’s room. Some believe Emma is innocent but others remain suspicious of the new maid. Emma has her room searched and even stripped. Hans the butler is out getting parts for a broken clock. He sees Randy giving the fan to his girlfriend. He enters the pub to punch him! The girlfriend gives the fan back after he asks. Hans discovers Nanette has a part in this and punches Randy for her. Military man lost to a butler? With the case solved, the dinner party proceeds well. Next day, Nanette is fired by the head housekeeper, Mrs Wieck. Sad, she tries to poison herself but Emma stops her. Nanette doesn’t understand why she did this despite she tried to pin the blame on her. She know how she feels. This matter is brought up to Dorothea who finally finds out what happened. Emma goes out of her way to plead for forgiveness for Nanette. Dorothea laughs and agrees but Nanette will be assigned to another job. Nanette breaks down in tears. As she likes Emma’s honesty, she hires her permanently. William continues to be heartbroken and Hakim just loves teasing him about it. Eleanor makes her move as she writes a letter.

Episode 2: Moonlight
The Molders are holding a birthday party for their daughter, Ilse. When Theo, the pet squirrel of their son, Erich runs up a tree, Emma offers to climb and go get it. Although it ran back down, Emma is now stuck. Sort of. Hans offers to help but Emma insists she is alright. If that’s the case, he leaves her hanging. Literally. She falls but luckily falls on her butt and didn’t break any bones. As thanks, Erich pecks a light one on her cheek. Grace receives Eleanor’s letter that she hopes to visit Crystal Palace with them. William didn’t want to join in at first but seeing how his younger siblings are bugging him and Collin’s puppy dog eyes, I guess he is going. There, Grace is kind enough to take care of the siblings to let William show Eleanor the place. However because he is so distant, she gets frustrated and leaves. It took William a while to notice she is gone! He starts looking for her and even has Arthur help look. When William finally finds her, she can tell William is still thinking about that person. They are so close yet so distant. At that time when William left Eleanor stranded to go after Emma, she felt sad that her love had disappeared. She wondered if he would feel the same if she disappeared too. So William goes back home and complains to Hakim that he will have nothing to do with Eleanor ever again. Dorothea throws a party for her servants. But it seems Emma is prone to feeling sad and crying. The alcohol did this to her? I believe she can’t help think about William. And the same goes for William too. Dorothea thinks of taking Emma as her attendant to Mrs Trollope’s house.

Episode 3: Cool Rain
Trollope has an unusual house. It’s like a mini greenhouse. William is called upon by Richard about missing a dinner party of one of their important clients. He also saw William’s carelessness in handling their account. He chastises him about the importance of succeeding him as an heir instead of wallowing in his trivial personal problems. William storms out. Even Arthur knows what he is thinking. He has no interested in becoming the heir to bail him out. Arthur even tells off big brother about this love depression of his. If the person he loved saw him like this, she would be disappointed. And if this is how someone acts after being dumped, he wouldn’t want to fall in love himself. Grace is sick but needs to attend a charity play otherwise the hostess will spread rumours and won’t let it go for 100 years! William agrees to go in her place. He didn’t realize he is sitting next to Eleanor. Apparently Grace and Eleanor were supposed to go out together. Blessing? Not for William. Even more surprising is Hakim and Vivian in this Romeo and Juliet play. Everybody is crying except William. He’s not impressed… Eleanor leaves as he doesn’t want to see her crying. He goes after her. I think he took it the wrong way when she says she wants to stay here a little while. Because he goes off and Eleanor had to chase him in the rain. William ignores her until she catches up. She maintains she will still wait for him. Although William says being with her makes him happy, he realizes it is only easing his loneliness. It’s not love. She hugs him. When the rain stops, he notices she has dropped one of her shoes. He helps put it back. When Dorothea expresses she wants to go back to London again, Trollope remembers London didn’t quite suit her but the only thing she liked was Crystal Palace. Hmm… Is Trollope William’s mother? Emma’s most prolific memory was of course her kiss with William. William accompanies Eleanor home. He asks if her foot hurts. It’s not her foot that hurts. Get it? I think he gets the hint and holds her hand. Change of heart?

Episode 4: Courtship
William is dating Eleanor and taking her seriously. Meanwhile the maids of Molders are talking about Dorothea’s trip to London. Polly in particular is very excited to be chosen. However to her dismay, Emma is called. It seems Wieck has assigned Emma and Hans to go to London. Emma wishes to opt out but Wieck tells her this is an order and not a request. Hans thinks she hates him that much but she assures he has nothing to do with it. William couldn’t come to the beach with his sisters and Eleanor since he is being responsible with his work. Suddenly a lavish carriage arrives. She is Monica and Eleanor’s elder sister who is married to the Mildrake family. When Eleanor tells of the man she loves, Monica seems surprised. The jealous kind of surprise. Emma thinks of getting out of this London job by smashing a vase but is hesitant. However Polly helps her with it! Emma takes the blame she smashed the vase and so Wieck has to reconsider her. Polly takes this opportunity to barge in and promise she’ll work hard for this trip, blah, blah, blah. It seems Polly has an ulterior motive. There is an ad looking for a maid that pays well and she plans to quit here and join them. However Hans sees the address and knows this place is a scam to lure innocent girls in and make them do dirty work with low pay. In worse case, she’ll be sold off in the streets. Polly now is scared as she finds Emma to look for Wieck. She admits breaking the vase and doesn’t want to go to London anymore! Wieck never intended her anyway. But shockingly Emma says to reconsider her going to London. What’s with these fickle minded people?! Meanwhile Monica dashes her way in the rain to the Jones’ estate. She barges in looking for William. She found Hakim’s room first. With William entering, Monica chides William for not being worthy of her sister because of those easing loneliness words. Eleanor managed to catch up and with the Jones sibling watching, the drama just increases. William then admits he said all those but now holds Eleanor dear. He then proposes her to marry him. Richard is very happy at this and welcomes Eleanor into the family and will call her parents to pay his respects.

Episode 5: Embrace
Dorothea goes on a shopping spree and guess who she meets? Trollope doing the same too. Because Trollope will be attending some party, her maid Martha is worried she doesn’t have an attendant. Dorothea suggests Emma to be her attendant. Meanwhile William and Eleanor are getting ready for the engagement party. It’s like Eleanor still has doubts over William’s love because when he comments any dress looks good on her when asked, she gives that sad look thinking he is not interested! Oh God. If this is what his married life will be… Grace has written a letter to mom about the engagement party and she has replied she will turn up. Emma pays a visit to Kelly’s grave. Al knows something is up when he sees flowers on her tombstone. Emma is made to try all the dresses in which the ladies find every piece she wears on very lovely. The corset must be hurting… Even lovelier when Emma takes off her glasses. At the engagement party, Richard meets with Eleanor’s father, a viscount. The latter asks about his wife so the former answers due to circumstances they are living separately and is confident she will arrive. The viscount doesn’t seem too pleased he too has ‘circumstances’. Although they shake hands, later the viscount throws away his glove! If you’re wondering why Hakim isn’t around, he’s already gone back to India! Finally? Trollope arrives at the party with Emma. Mother and son are happy to see each other. At first Emma and William couldn’t recognize each other because Emma is blind as a bat without her glasses and she looks gorgeously different. But upon closer look, they realize who the other is! It gets awkward when Grace brings Eleanor to introduce to mom about William’s fiancée. For added drama, Emma couldn’t take it all and faints! She is put to bed and a carriage will pick her up next morning. So after the party and when everyone has left, William quickly goes to where Emma is sleeping. They finally have their moment together. They hug and cry like they’ve never seen each other for ages. Well, it certainly feels like so because Emma says she missed him a lot. And then the inevitable that would certainly add to the gossip scandal of every elite b*tches: They kissed.

Episode 6: Success And Loss
By the time William wakes up in the morning, Emma is long gone. She walked all the way back to Trollope’s hotel. Trollope can tell from her body reaction about Emma’s romance with William. Mother knows best, right? When William asks Grace where mom is staying, Richard is not pleased because today they’re supposed to make wedding arrangements with the Campbells. Then William drops the bomb: The engagement is cancelled! WTF?! When he arrives at the hotel, Trollope is expecting him but Emma has already gone back to Haworth with Dorothea. Mother and son take a walk together as mom reminisces about the past. Richard didn’t attend public school and rumours were rife he was desperate in getting into the gentry. No ladies would want to dance with him except for Aurelia Hartwick (Trollope). They hit it off and soon got married. By then, many ladies were gossiping about this because no lady would marry an upstart like that. The Jones had to attend many invitations as they were benefactors to their estate. But each time Aurelia was tired or suddenly started crying and this made others think she is being rude. After getting a diagnosis from a doctor, it seems the air in London is bad for her and Richard feels it is best she goes to live in the outskirts until she gets better. They don’t know how long it’ll take. Trollope believes Richard had a reason against William’s decision because they will be up against all of society. Later Richard and Trollope meet as they talk about their son. Richard thinks they are unwilling to see reality but Trollope believes they will whether they want to or not. Polly notices Emma has become more distant since her trip to London. It’s like she is immersing herself in work more than before. Maybe Polly is just being lazy? As the Molders have roots in Germany, they celebrate their own version of Christmas. A giant pudding is baked for the servants. Emma is ‘lucky’ because inside a pudding there is a ring that symbolizes a lover while Hans has a church bell that symbolizes wedding. While this is just a game and not to be taken seriously, Emma can’t help think that God is testing her.

Episode 7: Evening Waves
William talks to his dad that he will see the Campbells to annul the marriage. Even if he is threatened with disownment, William will still go ahead with it. So when William drops the bombshell to the Campbells, you can see the literal shock on Eleanor’s face. Though William will atone for this (how?) and this is entirely his own fault, the viscount reminds him about the laughing stock they’ll become and that this engagement is like a contract. It is still valid as long as both sides to not agree to cancel. He can tell William might have some affair with a maid or a useless girl to come to this decision but William disagrees that nobody in this world is useless. Of course, Eleanor is now in utter depression. Rumours soon spread about the marriage cancelled because of a love affair with a maid. Vivian is very much against this annulment and Arthur is condemning William for using this as an excuse to justify his feelings. Dorothea’s husband doesn’t want to accompany her to some charity party. Dorothea decides to make Emma her company again but since she is so against it, Dorothea just makes Emma her attendant. Also at this party is Eleanor as her mother hopes to have her take her mind off things. But Eleanor doesn’t feel like it so mom has to advise her about standing proud and confident to blow those rumours away. And then the inevitable. Eleanor and Emma’s eyes met. It’s that dreaded feeling again. Luckily Emma quickly goes away before anything untoward happens. So when she gets back, all the servants are talking about the rumours. With Emma suddenly bolting out like that, they deduce that she might be that maid in the rumour. Reluctant Hans is tasked to bring her back. He sits with her and fixes her broken timepiece while telling stories of how he admires watching his father fix watches. To his shock, Emma starts crying before running away. I don’t think his story was that boring or sad. Emma can’t help regret and ponder why she kissed William. She wasn’t being rash. She just couldn’t control her impulses. Simple. You’re in love with him, isn’t it?

Episode 8: Whereabouts
Emma tries to drown herself at sea back in her hometown?! Luckily Hans is there to save her. Though, it wasn’t Emma’s intention to kill herself but she did think about it. They stay in a nearby cabin as Hans explains why he got this job (because it provided boarding) and feels Emma is different than the other maids because of her determination. William is drowning himself in work and seemingly trying to rush to secure contracts and investments. Eleanor continues to be gloomy so her father tells her off for being pathetic for allowing an upstart to go back on his promises. Monica won’t take this and defends Eleanor. Why, she is going to bring Eleanor to William to settle it. Don’t worry. Hakim will send her on his elephant. So he’s back? This explains about the Indian bug Monica is bitten with as she is fascinated wearing Indian clothes. William is surprised to see Eleanor riding with Hakim. As they talk, Eleanor hopes to change for the better and become strong. William apologizes for being selfish and regrets what he did. He shouldn’t have done this to her knowing very well he can’t forget about Emma. This only hurts Eleanor further as this means he never had the same feelings she had for him. What’s a lady got to do but to run away in tears. As Emma and Hans have not returned, Polly thinks they have eloped. Well, some might start to feel they have taken Emma for granted because she is quick and meticulous. Speaking of the devil, they return. Immediately they are summoned to Dorothea’s room for explanation. Dorothea cannot let this slip since Emma left without any notice. She asks Wieck for her opinion. She doesn’t want Emma to be given preferential treatment. So in other words, sack her. However Hans stands up for Emma. As he forced her to return, this means Emma was fully prepared to face the consequences. He hopes Emma could be forgiven. With Emma agreeing, the issue is solved. The maids are relieved. I mean, without Emma they’ll be so much busier. She’s such an important person in the house and worth 3 of you maids put together! Finally Hans tells Emma that she might have said she has no place to return. Well, this is her place now.

Episode 9: Resolution
Trollope pays a visit to Dorothea. She feels guilty even though it wasn’t her fault that her son’s engagement might be annulled. But seeing Emma in high spirits, she is relieved that she has put her past aside and is a strong woman. Eleanor is still reeling and perhaps getting worse in her sobbing. But suddenly she stops all that because if she doesn’t overcome this, she’ll always be at an impasse. So she starts eating lots of sweet stuffs, goes out riding and do sketching of her personal maid, Annie. Her mother is worried this might be taking a toll on her and thinks calling off the engagement would be better. The viscount agrees but they will be the ones who will offer the cancellation. At first he thought the Jones’ fortune would help their financial situation but now they are back in the black, he doesn’t need them anymore. William has been receiving letters from clients who do not wish for him to attend. Many of such clients are close to the Campbells. Even if William attends some of the party that he is not shunned, he hears others badmouthing his family. It is safe to say that they are now social outcasts. Richard receives an official letter from the Campbells to annul the engagement. He tells this to his children. Vivian is most upset this means she cannot make her debut in society and she has worked hard for it. An option is for William to be disowned and the Jones seeks forgiveness from the Campbells. However William has no intention to leave his post and he will still marry Emma. This makes Vivian hate her big brother. Hakim overheard this and even talking with William won’t resolve anything since they’re at a point where they can’t appease everyone. William makes a surprise visit to Trollope to get information on where Emma is now. She tells him the information because it is not for her to decide on William and Emma’s life. She has envisioned her children of how they would grow up to be like every day. William has turned out far better than she had envisioned. Emma opens the door and to her shock it is William. Right away he asks her to marry him and promises to protect her for the rest of her life.

Episode 10: By The Window
Emma tells him to leave and with Dorothea coming into the picture, he takes his leave but promises to be back. At this point, all the servants are pretty sure Emma is that rumoured maid. William continues to drown himself in work but because of his reputation, many clients stay away and thus contracts are hard to come by. Every day William waits outside the house but Emma ignores him. He even wrote letters. A drawer choke full of them and she never reads them. If reading them causes her more pain, then why keep instead of throwing it away? Don’t tell me it’s rude. Hans had to go tell William off that Emma already told him she never wants to see him again. William knows Emma rejected him but he can’t give up because of that. Hans might think he is just being selfish in this case but if he doesn’t let out all his feelings, Emma will never have any closure. Hans apologizes to Emma for overreacting. Then he invites her out this Sunday since Dorothea gave them the day off. During the outing, he asks her to marry him. The reason being since she accepted his invitation, he has his expectations. If she hasn’t forgotten about him, why didn’t she turn Hans down? He wonders if she is running away of guilt. It is a good thing he asked her out because she might never break up with him. William talks to Hakim for advice for he has lost confidence for the people around him who are against this. He never thought Emma’s feelings would change. The next time William visits her, he gets close enough to speak his mind and make her listen (all the servants are all ears listening to the drama too since Dorothea also wants to see this interesting conclusion). He understands her hesitation because the last time he said he would protect her, they were just meaningless words. They will face difficulties in high society but he is confident they can overcome it together. He won’t abandon her halfway. Since this is still bothering her, he throws her a final ultimatum. Next week he will be waiting at the fountain at Crystal Palace. If she fails to show up, he will give up on her.

Episode 11: Time
William learns the bad news that the government has withdrawn the pledge for the railway project in South America they are heading. Furthermore, a baron has been standing in their way and the government. This means their stocks are now worthless piece of papers and their losses go into millions. Their options are limited but William decides not to give up and try to go talk to a government official. He gets a little hope since the government guy will see what he can do. William doesn’t stop there as he seeks to gather investment pledges from his friends. So far he has a few of them but many rejected him. Despite Hakim also lending him a lot, the Jones are still short by a million pounds. The baron sees the viscount and looks like they are doing some pretty shady stuffs. Although the viscount doesn’t really like it and warns the baron to know where he stands. William receives more bad news from Richard that they may need to sell assets from the family to compensate their clients’ losses. This means closing down the company. William thinks if they give up now, all they did until now are for nought. Richard says they have only a day to make a difference or the government will really revoke their pledge. It seems the viscount has heard about their activity of gathering investors and he is putting pressure on them. Furthermore, the viscount is forming a new railroad company. William’s siblings are worried about their future. Although he assures them they will take care of each other, inside he is stressed up. Arthur tries to help up by giving some names he got from his friends to help alleviate the situation. He had to swallow some of his pride to get it so hope this helps. Dorothea’s husband reads about the government’s decision to auction off a railroad company. However she is more interested in Emma’s decision which is today. Seems Emma decides to head out. The servants are abuzz since they think she will accept William’s proposal. Emma visits Kelly’s grave and then visit her old place. It is under renovation since a new tenant will be moving in soon. She remembers talking to Kelly about her worries about William because even though she loves him, she is worried she cannot make him happy. Kelly told her that is already her answer. When Emma leaves, she hears a commotion about a fire. Dorothea’s place is burning down.

Episode 12: Flower
Money before love? William needs to go around to secure the funds first or else many who around him will be bankrupt. Note, this doesn’t mean he is prioritizing business over love. However with so many rejections, the last name on the last, the earl finally agrees but the amount he pledged is just peanuts. Then it’s like a miracle because an old client decides to hand a cheque to him for the balance after seeing how he worked so hard and persevered and changed his mind. William has a feeling Hakim had a hand in this because that client has trading ties with India and he knew exactly the amount needed. Time to head for Crystal Palace. Meanwhile Emma rushes back but the fire is already too wild to be stopped. She wanted to go get something important from her room but Hans stopped her. Firemen eventually put it out and Emma returns to her room, glad the handkerchief is still alright. Hans talked to her and wonders why she is still here when she loves William so much. He admits he was happy when she came back but when he saw the way she tried to save the handkerchief, he finally understood how much she loves William. Realizing it would be useless to wait for her, Hans wants her to be happy. With everyone giving Emma their blessings, she runs off to Crystal Palace. Last time William ran after the train. This time Emma runs after a bus! And she manages to catch it! In a skirt! OMG! I have a feeling Emma’s hidden talent is running! Seriously! But by the time she reaches, the place is at closing hours. William isn’t seemingly there. But wait. There he is. Why must he sit in some hidden spot and not in a place to be easily spotted?! First things first. When they see each other, a big hug. A few tears. Then William pops the question. Emma agrees. Finally. The drama is over. I suppose this means Emma will have to quit being a maid to become William’s wife as she says goodbye to Dorothea and the rest. At a party, Richard and the viscount bump into each other. The latter is not amused he has no shame but Richard asserts he did nothing wrong and is proud of his son. The viscount remains arrogant telling him to watch his mouth if he wants to remain in this society. It is hinted that Eleanor might have found somebody new. Emma writes to Dorothea about her blissful life with William and their 4 children!

Pride & Prejudice
Finally we can put 2 seasons of impasse to end. If you think about it, it looked so simple and all they have to do was be true to their feelings and everything will be done. But remember, living in such a period, such is already highly unacceptable in high society. It is a good thing that William and Emma finally end up marrying each other and have a happy family because it would have been a real tragedy and slap in the face had it ended in somewhat the similar disastrous fashion as the first season. Yeah, happy endings are a must especially when it involves a maid :-). And of course, had it been that simple, there would be no such drama for us to watch in the first place. So, thank you?

I have to admit that this series is one long drawn out romance drama between William and Emma. If I actually think about it, the entirety of both seasons are just boring. However something kept me interested in wanting to know more and perhaps that is to see if William and Emma could really hit it off. Though, I have my reservations it would go anything but well because, you know, drama. Yes, the different classes in society as well. So it had me thinking, if Emma wasn’t a maid, would I have actually classified this series as downright boring? Did my blind love for maids prejudiced this romance drama to be a little fascinating and interesting instead of outright dreary and draggy? Maybe.

And so for the obvious reason to drag out the romance drama between the upstart gentry and the maid is because of these English blokes not being able to show their true feelings to each other. Not to say that it is very much different than today but yeah, partly it is because life in that era is like that. Being too flamboyant is somewhat frowned upon as it is viewed as ‘uncivilized’. Therefore you can’t blame William and Emma and the rest of the other English blokes putting up poker faces in the name of culture, civilized manners and etiquette. Not to say that everybody here are like robots but watching them from my era it feels so unreal. But like I said, life is like that then. Even when you hear William confessing to Emma and her reaction in hearing those shocking words, you can feel that there aren’t enough emotions in their reactions. It is like they are trying to be reserved or something. Uh huh. Poker face. Even when Eleanor was crying the first time after talking to William, it doesn’t feel heart breaking enough. Get what I mean? Emotional outbursts like exaggerated surprises are only for today’s so dramatic emo drama.

Sometimes I feel the final ‘drama’ of that railroad project feels like a distraction. Because with the romance drama already at boring point, they need something else dramatic to divert our attention. And also to show how William has matured into a fine man with his kindness and perseverance. Yes, it has nothing to do with all that has happened so far but I suppose this is also somewhat necessary because in the end you see William and Emma living a cosy life in their big mansion and beautiful garden. This means he must have been successful in his final negotiations push, right? This at least smoothens their livelihood in the gentry. Otherwise all will be for nought if they have to live in poverty and your usual husband-wife argument with accusations, blaming and regret all get thrown in the mix. Something we don’t really want to see happening between them, right?

Although William and Emma are the main focus of the series, because focusing solely on them too much will be such a bore, that is why sometimes we are distracted with other secondary characters. Some are do play a minor important role while some just feels redundant. For instance, Kelly might not feel that she has a lot of presence in the first season but she does have a vision and insights for Emma. Not only teaching and raising her as a proper woman and maid, she quietly gives her support for her till her death. It is such pity that a great character had to pass on and continue to exist in flashbacks and memories of Emma.

Then there is the boggling Hakim. His existence and role in this series is just baffling. I know he is William’s friend but he hangs out in the Jones’ estate all day doing nothing by lazing around, smoking his shisha or something. Sure, he gives William some advice but that is sparsely and does his dealings behind the scenes indirectly. I’m sure he is interested to see how things between William and Emma turn out since he had to ‘forfeit’ his chance. It’s like he needs to see this through and get an ending he wants or all will be wasted. And to think he would be William’s rival for Emma but that died out as soon as it came. Besides, isn’t he part of the Indian royalty who is supposed to be ruler of his country or at least some state? What is he goofing around in England for? Should he not have some sort of responsibility as a royal member? Even more mind boggling are his woman servants flanking his side. They feel like emotionless robots. Real life dolls to be more precise. They just bum around with him.

Another baffling character is Trollope. Even after the reason for her living separately from her family, I don’t understand why she had to change her name. To avoid others from knowing who she is? I’m sure she is so out of the picture for so long that anybody would hardly remember her. Of course maybe they will remember if they remember she is Richard’s wife. She after all skipped a lot of parties which is seen as a rude sign. Also, if she sometimes visit London, why doesn’t she visit her family? Because as far as I understand, she hasn’t seen her children since William was a child. Maybe she doesn’t want to give her children false hopes especially Vivian who was just crying when she went away. So living the non-hectic life alone in the outskirts is better? So much about the quality of life. And since she is still living by herself in the end, I am guessing she’ll live like this till she kicks the bucket.

Seeing the poster for the second season, I was anticipating there was some sort of romance going to bloom between Hans and Emma, thus this could be the ‘drama’ for the sequel as he becomes the third wheel and obstacle to vie for Emma’s affections. Well, they sure trolled me. Hans is unsociable and not the kind of guy that any girl would want. He doesn’t like Emma at first but after he learns more about her, he stands by her side. And because I said about English people having poker face, I can’t tell if he really loves Emma or if he is just trolling her when he proposed to her. In the final episode, he comes clean with his feelings but even so, that feels quite indirect. He must be trying to be considerate knowing Emma’s heart belongs to somebody else forever. So as usual he has to put on his poker face and be a real man to let her go.

Dorothea is a nice lady but I don’t really see her making any much impact on the series except with her being friends with Trollope, it is like a convenient plot to have William and Emma meet again and screw up their feelings for each other. Besides, it got me thinking that naming the second season as Molders’ chapter felt a bit misleading because the household doesn’t really play any big impact in the overall flow of the story. Just a place where Emma is working and residing now. Sure, you can argue something about Hans relating to this but what I meant was the Molders’ household itself. My impression was that something major would come out of it especially Dorothea’s husband who wouldn’t even matter if he never appeared at all. Maybe it is just me thinking too much.

William’s other siblings also don’t do much. Grace is playing the big mother and big sister, Arthur getting by, Vivian the cheeky brat who is really looking forward to her debut in society and Collin… Oh Collin, this is what I remember about him. It seems to be a running joke that when Collin asks a question, everyone ignores him. He keeps asking and they keep ignoring him. Until he cries! Proof that nobody pays attention to kids until they start wailing? This is less obvious in the second season because I don’t see him asking questions anymore. Not really sure if Vivian and Arthur have really accepted Emma but looking at how things turned out, they just have to get over themselves and accept reality. They’ll be too busy with their own stuffs in society to bother about somebody’s life that don’t really matter in theirs.

Sometimes I feel pity for Eleanor. She might be a little naïve but can you blame her for this is her first time coming out to society and in love? She tries so hard to win William’s heart and attention and all this while he was looking away, she never gave up. Even during her short stint with William, it seems she still has some scepticism about his love. Her joy becomes short-lived and it was like a slap in her face when he cancelled it. Then she couldn’t stop crying and feeling hurt. Thank goodness ice cream wasn’t a thing then because she might have tried to nurse her broken heart by turning into a glutton. And it is also a good thing that she didn’t turn into a vengeful yandere that she decided to hunt down Emma and take her out. What did I tell you about the non-existence of sci-fi elements and exaggerative fantasy adventures in this series? It is good to see her try and get back on her feet and get over this. Because it will be a shame for her to see her crying for the rest of her life and die a spinster. Though, it is not sure whether she really got it going with her potential beau but then again, she isn’t the star of this show. In this context, Eleanor is like the third wheel in William and Emma’s romance, right? It is amazing these women never enter a cat fight when they see each other once. Wow. English people are this civilized? At first I thought why Monica didn’t want to give William a beat down. But I suppose she is putting her trust in her beloved little sister she loves so much and let her sort it out. Otherwise for a woman who could even stand up to her own father wouldn’t let this lie down and maybe give William a piece of her mind. And she being bitten by the Indian bug? Yeah, those clothes are airier and easier to move in compared to the stifling and stuffy Victorian dresses.

So back to our main characters, William and Emma. William looks like he has grown into a different in both season. In the first season he was the carefree and not-taking-any-responsibilities eldest son and even if he frolics around till he finds his love in Emma, that even doesn’t feel that he is serious. I mean, it feels like he is taking this love thingy with Emma lightly. Not until Emma left till he had to nurse his broken heart and change. He works hard to become the heir of his family business that every father would be proud of. More drama added to his life with his surprise engagement to Eleanor and surprise cancellation after fate chose to screw him over again. So he works even harder and even the penultimate episode distracted us with the threat of their family going bankrupt or something. That won’t happen to a main character, right?

Emma on the other hand is quite blessed. If you consider that among all the maids, she won the big lottery of marrying into a rich family, no? It is unfortunate she has a tragic and sad life as a child but thanks to Kelly, she is able to live a decent life. So when she falls in love with William, she becomes confused and in a dilemma if she would become his homewrecker or something and that is why all the drama of Emma trying to reject him and shut out her own feelings just so she wouldn’t shake the fabric of society. I don’t know being this way is considered considerate. For the sake of the plot, it isn’t. Either way, they would still face some sort of hardship. Being true to their love means earning the wrath of society as the entire class of nobles and gentries will be against you. Hiding your feelings means hurting yourself and staying untrue to yourself. But I’m sure English people can handle the letter. Because they’re a pro at being, wait for it, poker face. And to think that Emma had lots of admirers then, it shows that even back then people love maids! Viva maids! Emma’s hardworking attitude earns the respect of the other maids in the Molders’ estate. Because I think some of them like Polly is really a funny girl. She thinks highly of herself and dreams bug but can’t match humble Emma in any way.

One thing I really love about the series is the beautiful and catchy opening theme. Silhouette Of A Breeze by Kunihiko Ryo is a very nice and lively instrumental piece. Even if it doesn’t match the romance drama atmosphere of the series, it really does catch your attention. There are a few versions of it like the piano one and the Celtic version which is used for the second season’s opener. Of course this original version is still the best and my favourite. I’m glad they retained this song as the opening theme because I don’t think I would really like it if they changed it like how certain animes do. What I mean is that there are some first opening themes that I really like and is much better than the subsequent opening themes. So for them to remain this piece whether intentionally or not is good. Because there was almost a 2 year gap between both the seasons. Maintaining the instrumental themes, the ending songs are also instrumental. Yeah, it would be weird to hear songs in Japanese in an English setting but hey, it’s already weird to hear English men and women speak fluent Japanese! So for the first season we have Menuet for Emma by Tokyo Recorder Orchestra as the ending theme and Rondo Of Lily Bell by Kunihiko Ryo for the second season. They sound rather okay and lovely in its own right but still it can’t beat the opener.

The art and animation may not really stand out but it is rather because back in the Victorian era, everything is drab and gloomy, right? But if you are talking purely about the art style of this series, it might not seem anything special. However if you really take a closer look at the surroundings, you will notice the details of the English life during the era. As I discover, the manga author of the series is quite fascinated with the English culture and has done her research on the subject. So while the backwater inventions, furniture and buildings may look ordinary and nothing that strikes you, you should be aware that life in that era is, well, like that. So it is with much fascination for me to see the Victorian style British life that is depicted close enough to what it was in this anime. Making my experience watching this series better is the extra historical information at the end of the episode, courtesy of a kind fansub doing extra research on the Victorian culture that gives us an insight to their life. So now you know why those silly Victorians dip in the sea with their fully clothed ‘swimsuits’. Try not to laugh…

Because of both season having almost 2 years of gap in between them, the studios that produced them also changed. The first season had Studio Pierrot who did many famous animes like Bleach, Naruto, Tokyo Ghoul and Yuu Yuu Hakushou. For the second season, it is Ajia-Do who did Zettai Shonen, Nintama Rantarou, Kaiketsu Zorori and recently Shuumatsu No Izetta. Thankfully there is no difference in the art style. At least, nothing that is very obviously different. But I would like to note that the strangest looking character is Eleanor. At first I thought her features like her face and eyes are somewhat, uhm, elongated. She looks a bit strange that way. Like an alien? This isn’t so obvious for the second season or I might have gotten used to it. Of course, I have to comment on the maid designs too. Nothing as flashy and sexy as the modern day Japanese counterparts but they still look stunning despite the boring black and white garb they don all day. Yeah, it proves that the original classic can still look good today. Well, if you’re maid obsessed anyway.

Overall, they don’t make such romance drama animes these days. It would have been boring to death seeing how anime has evolved so much and viewers’ expectations and tastes have changed to a different level. There are a handful of series involving romance with maids but Kaichou Wa Maid-sama, Mahoromatic, Hand Maid May and even Hanaukyou Maid-tai aren’t nowhere near this level. This series is a refreshing watch because it is a period romance drama without all the flashy typical anime stuffs and the accurate details to the historical stuffs are sure to fascinate you (if you pay attention, that is). I don’t think I want to live in that era even if I had a maid serving me. Nothing beats the internet to find and download all those maid pictures, movies, games and more! Oh well, time to go back to my favourite modern Japanese anime maids. Cheerio English maids. Konnichiwa, tadaima nihon meido-tachi.

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