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The Connection between Led Zeppelin and Eroica

The Japanese manga, Eroica Yori Ai O Komete (From Eroica, With Love) is described elsewhere on this website. The author, Yasuko Aoike, used Led Zeppelin--by that name--in her early 1970's manga called Sons of Eve. She apparently decided to fictionalize her four favorite musicians when she began what turned out to be one of the longest-running and most popular of Japanese manga.

The main character, Eroica, is a tall Englishman with long curly blond hair who travels sometimes in a black zeppelin, and sometimes in a submarine called the "Aqua Zep." Eroica's real name is Dorian Red Gloria, the Earl of Gloria (well, there has to be some fictionalization!), and in his Eroica persona he is an international art thief.

Just in case you think that's hardly enough to make the connection, Eroica has three henchmen. Mr. James, the "stingy bug," is his accountant, who has worn the same suit throughout the entire series (it acquires more and more patches as the years pass). Mr. James has a mop of black hair, with a lock perpetually down over one eye. It's a tossup whether it is Eroica, money, or his Casio-mini calculator that Mr. James loves most. He certainly never spends a penny if there is a way to avoid it.

Then there is Bonham, Eroica's right-hand man. He is stocky, with bowl-cut hair and a mustache. He's an expert at anything mechanical, and can drive any vehicle needed in a caper. A poignant side note: this series has been ongoing now for eighteen years. These are comic-book characters; they never get any older. Except for Bonham. In real life, he didn't. In Yasuko Aoike's invented universe, he has aged and gotten gray. In a recent episode, "Nosferatu," one of the villains taunted him as "Grandpa."

Finally, Eroica's third henchman is called Jones. It's not clear exactly what his specialty is; he just does whatever is required. And his appearance keeps changing, clothes, length and style of hair, etc. And...he has not appeared in recent episodes.

If this tease has intrigued you, I need to give you one warning: like many Japanese manga, particularly those aimed at young girls (!), this one contains homoerotic material. It's all talk, no action, but if the idea offends you, don't investigate any further. If you are intrigued rather than offended, click
for more information on Eroica.

If you like Led Zeppelin and Eroica, you are likely to enjoy the story "Reflection of a Dream" by Jean Lorrah, available through the "Read a Good Story, Do a Good Deed" program. Click here to find out how to get the story.

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