Saving the best for last in my look at recently-read manga:
William is the eldest son of a wealthy family. Emma is a former street urchin raised to be a proper British maid in Victorian England. Will they find a way to bridge the gap of class distinctions and recognize their true love?
The plot of Emma vol. 1 (CMX, $9.99) by Kaoru Mori sounds like the typical setting for yet another shojo manga. Except it's not; Emma is seinen, manga intended to appeal to young men. I find it interesting that there's an entire subgenre of manga that are essentially romance comics for boys & young men, and Emma is a stellar representation of that genre.
Mori's art and storytelling in Emma are astounding, the attention to detail, lush background, and sense of place and space all contribute to making Emma a winning reading experience.
I won't say any more of the plot so as not to spoil your enjoyment, except to mention that there are elephants...
Of course we know that William and Emma will somehow end up together when the manga finally ends; it's the journey that makes all the difference, and in Kaoru Mori's Emma it's a journey well worth making.
Rating: 4 (of 5).