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|| Eroica Yori Ai o Komete ||

From Eroica with Love
31 volumes, unfinished
Shoujo, UST BL, Spy Adventure, Comedy
Publisher: Princess Comics
Mangaka: AOIKE Yasuko

Other manga on this site by Yasuko Aoike: El Halcon, Nanatsu no Umi, Nanatsu no Sora

There's not much I can tell you that hasn't been said much better at But I will attempt a short overview.

*breathes in* Dorian Red Gloria, Earl of Gloria, is a member of the British nobility with an appetite for art, beauty, and adventure. In his pursuit of these things, he has taken on a second persona: That of "Eroica", an international art thief.

Klaus Heinz von dem Eberbach is a German NATO officer, a major in the espionage division. He is a man obsessed with doing his duty, and a man who despises those (the majority of humanity) who can't live up to his exacting standards. When you see this man smiling, someone is about to pay in blood and mayhem.

The year is 1976 when the two cross paths and purposes for the first time. After a rocky start, Dorian falls in love with his "twisted wire". Klaus, naturally, cannot stand homosexuals. Through the height of the Cold War, Klaus matches wits with many KGB agents all across the world. Dorian often manages to get himself involved in Klaus' missions, but whether he helps or hinders more is never certain. *breathes out*

This manga had a hiatus from '88 to '95, but is back and still continuing now. The art has had some major changes, but the unbelievable humor (slapstick, subtle, and laugh-out-loud) is a steady current through the entire series. It only gets better with age.

The first two stories involve a pack of characters who quickly get dropped as the plot evolves around Dorian and Klaus. So I would recommend getting hold of some later stories, rather than judging the entire series on the basis of the earliest work. My personal favorite story arcs (and I've only read through vol.15 as of this writing) are "Veni Vidi Vici" (vol.4, or story 8) where Dorian kidnaps the Pope as a side-thought, "The Alaskan Front" (vol.4-5, or story 9) where we see that Aoike-sensei has heard of the 'snow-storm cabin' scenario, and "From Laurence with Love" (vol.12, or side-story 5) where SI6 (Bond Wannabe) Charles Laurence accompanies Klaus to Hamburg, pops over to Luzern to return the fresco Klaus stole to Dorian and the monks, and then continues on to Alaska to bring back Klaus' exiled men.

What I thought:
I fell in love with this series. It is my absolute favorite, and I really don't believe anything will ever take its place. It has something for everyone: humor, action, spy thriller, Dorian, Klaus, and the enormous cast of supporting characters. The art threw me at first. But I quickly came to enjoy her style, particularly since it allowed her to create such great charicatures like Klaus' Chief and Pushy Dick of the CIA. Aoike-sensei really does her homework about the art and current events that tangle through her stories. In her latest story arcs she's started employing advisers with knowledge of the NATO military and such. The occassional Japanese culture reference from a British citizen might throw you momentarily, but take it as a learning experience. (And try not to notice when she draws a flag upside down).

Translations: This comic has been licensed by DC's new manga-translation branch, CMX.