From Eroica with Love Vol. #02 (Mania.com)
Review Date: Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Release Date: Wednesday, January 12, 2005
Translated by:Tony Ogasawara
Adapted by:Tony Ogasawara
What They Say
Sometimes risque, but never routine! Welcome to the world of Earl Dorian Red Gloria, a.k.a. Eroica. In this volume, the relationship between the Earl and the NATO officer reaches a whole new level. Plus, a bonus story in which a new officer discovers more than he bargained for on a ship that's all play and no work...
Right from the beginning of this second installment of From Eroica With Love, manga-ka Aoike Yasuko comes out firing with her two big guns: Earl Dorian and Major Klaus. The Earl is punishing his poor accountant with teasing advances and the Major is disgruntled about being stuck on a boring assignment and threatening shipping his failing underlings off to Alaska. The good gags are carried over and made use of again, but that is to be expected with this sitcom style approach. The gags continue to evolve so that it almost becomes even more hilarious knowing in advance what the Major is going to say when he runs into Earl Dorian again.
There are still however a few bumps in the road though that hold this title back. Some of the characters are just too silly and ridiculous, like the Greek Prince Phaerikis and his John Travolta stylings. There's also the effeminate "flamer" agent under the Major who is disguised as a woman for a little bit of unfunny espionage. There's a fine line between slapstick and ridiculousness, and it's a hard one to manage sometimes. Yasuko is still ironing out the kinks, but on the whole the stories are enjoyable.
However, the same can't be said for the last quarter of the book. Entitled "I.V.Y. Navy", the last 50+ page chapter is a stand-alone, almost concept chapter from the creator that has nothing to do with the Earl or the Major. The story follows Tomcat, a young German government representative, who finds himself on board a battleship filled with ambiguously gay seamen. Unfortunately, it's not as funny as typing the last three words of that last sentence. The side-story really kills off the momentum of the book and left a sour taste in my mouth. Luckily, I have volume 3 ready to get rid of that bad aftertaste.
Production with this volume has a few of the issues that plagued early CMX titles: bad cover design and terribly stiff spines. The English script, however, continues to be a really source of enjoyment. SFX are still mostly not translated.
Mania Grade: B-
Art Rating: B
Packaging Rating: B-
Text/Translatin Rating: B+
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Released By: CMX
Orientation: Right to Left