Well, hello there. I’m pretty damn sure none or a few of you readers know who the F@#$ I am. So as an intro, I am CyborgCommunist, the newest bio-mechanic addition to this blog. I live on the midget of an island known as Singapore, the same country Valence and Azure reside in. I’m a student as well, just like them. What am I like in real life? I’m an open and friendly guy although physically I look emo and generally pissed off at life. Of course i’m here because I enjoy the Japanese culture. Much like @fkeroge, we’re both addicted to Yuri (but I dare say @fkeroge is more hooked on it than me). So as my first post here on Ambivalence, or is it Ambiguity, I have chosen a manga I recently completed. Enjoy
Emma is a manga set at the end of the 19th century in the great land known as England. The story revolves around the fairytale-like love between a maid without a family and a member of the gentry. The main complication of this wonderful and fascinating read is that the young man’s family disapproves of her as she is part of the lower class.
First thing I noticed about this manga? The artwork is simply amazing. The level of detail that went into it’s drawing is stunning. If you’re not convinced, there will be pages from the manga ^.^ The artwork sure helped to portray the emotions well in this manga as well as added a sense of life to the story.
Of course I could not relate fully to this manga but I was still completely entranced by it’s storyline. The core concept is great but i;ve read manga with great core concept but incredibly crappy executions. Thankfully, this ain’t one of them. Its was completely captivating. I’m ashamed and proud to say I spam-read the last 6 volumes in a span of 3 days.
This manga’s core idea is on of society and the hierarchy system in it. The main protagonists, Emma and William are trying to go against social norms and marry when they are different classes of this hierarchy. And that’s rather fascinating ain’t it? Why does society create such a system? Why must we adhere to this system? Why much one man be placed above another in terms of importance simply because of his birth and his blood?
Although we like to think it has been extinguished with equal rights, the hierarchy system still exists, just that it is well disguised and mostly ignored. In the not so distant past, certain groups of people have been placed above in others. For example, the small group of white men of the apartheid who ruled over the massive amount of africans in South Africa. The whites being placed above the black slaves in colonial america. They were the uneducated natives. The simple barbarians. The hired help. These men were simply placed in power as the other group were seen as beneath them. This established a hierarchy system where only the top dogs got the very best. The others in the lower levels are ignored by those high up on the social ladder. And from history, we all know that these do not turn out well. Eventually, the more numerous “lesser” people are going to rebel. They will create dissent. There will be revolution. And there will be blood-shed. There might even be political reform.
Other examples would include China and its dynasties. The Royal family has always been placed in superior importance over the the rest of the people of China. The emperor himself was seen as the proxy of god. They could never be faulted and they were the ultimate rulers. They had rights no one else in China had. And this once again from dissent and rebellion. There is a reason that China has had 23 dynasties. It means that they were overthrown 23 times by the combined might of the people in revolution over the faults in the hierarchy system then a new Royal family installed in the previous’s place.
In Singapore, there is also the presence of a hierarchy system, although it isn’t so pronounced due to our multi-racial background and our laws. However, we do treat foreigners as below us. We also treat our maids and our low-skill workers like dirt. We also tend to treat those with lower education as beneath us. They are seen as inferior to us with all our shiny degrees and university diplomas. This will surely bring negative consequences won’t it?
Of course the hierarchy system is required to some extent. If we did not have a person or a group of people to head a country, we would be direction-less. That was one of the downfalls of communism, that it is impossible to have all men equal. There MUST be one who is above the rest to lead them. However, this man should only be placed in importance to lead. Nothing more. He should not be reserved special rights other do not have simply because they do not have his position or his standing in society. That’s goes the same for the rest of us. We are all human beings. We all share Earth together. We all descended from the same species. No one should be placed below or above just because of what they do as an occupation, race, bloodlines or education level or any other reason.
Ok, enough ranting. I might have bored people with that chunk on hierarchy and society. Either way, Emma is a wonderful read and I highly recommend it to all. I hope you readers enjoyed my post. If not, please feel free to leave comments with your thoughts on it. This is my usual style of writing where I try to link themes in manga and anime to real life. It’ll mostly be light-hearted but some of them can get quite….passionate so as to speak. I will be posting more (unless Valence deices i’m a terrible bore and shuts down my CPU). Till then, goodbye! I’m going to read the after story of Emma now ^.^