Thursday, January 15, 2009

From Eroica with Love

by Yasuko Aoike

I've read the first four books in this series so far, here and there over the last two years, but recent clean-up efforts led me to re-read parts of 2 and 3, and all of book 4 in the last two days. Now I'm really into it, and I've made hold requests to get the remaining books, 5 through 14, that my library owns.

It's classic Cold War-era manga originally published in the late '70s. Eroica (aka Earl Dorian Red Gloria) is a flamboyant, hedonistic, homosexual, aristocratic art thief. His nemesis is NATO officer Major Klaus von dem Eberbach (aka Iron Klaus), whose rigid Teutonic nature is at odds with his shoulder-length hair and bangs. (Of course, fashions that seem feminine or androgynous to a modern reader weren't necessarily considered un-masculine in the '60s and '70s — think long hair, bell-bottoms, velour, V-necks, and angel sleeves.)

Iron Klaus, of course, despises Eroica and his louche ways, while the Earl, of course, lusts after the Major. To the officer's chagrin, and to the thief's pleasure, their paths are constantly crossed. Or are they in fact star-crossed lovers? Klaus's hatred of Dorian (and queers in general) definitely carries a whiff of "me thinks the lady doth protest too much."

Me, I have a crush on Agent Z.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think you will enjoy the series I have read all the books up to volume 13 and can't wait for 14 to come out. 'From Eroica with Love' has a small but quite devoted fan base that over time I hope will just get larger.