Another “deviation” from my “Not so trashy pirate shoujo” review…..
Nanatsu no Erudorado (７つの黄金郷/七海黃金鄉)
by YAMAMOTO Sumika (山本鈴美香)
6 volumes (incomplete)
Similar to Saradinassa, this series was also set in 16th/17th century, the Golden Age of Europe.
Story: After ten years of sailing abroad , Captain Drake and team was retuning home, England. On board, were the pair of Redford Twins – Olivier and Errol. When Olivier was 4 years old, she was kidnapped and her back was tattooed with letters “EL DORADO”. The tattoo were supposed to be the key (map) to the hidden treasures in the lost city of Inca. Vatican and Spain wanted Olivie (i.e. the golden treasures) as a tool to control England, so they capture Olivie’s mother and imprisoned her in an unknown island of Spain, in exchange for Olivie. The young twins’ adventure thus began…..My say:
I have to say, it was really the drawings that lured me in, much more so than the storyline itself. In many ways, its artwork has also reminded me a lot of Riyoko Ikeda’s.
Anyone would have recognised the mangaka through her famous Ace o nerae (or “Aim for the Ace“), which I have not read yet (tsk tsk, shame on me! -_-). But from what I read in others’ reviews, readers have been suggesting resemblances between the characters of the two series. For instance, Duke Lorenzo de Clemente to Munakata Masashi (aka the coach), and the Earl, Arthur Lawrence to Takayuki Todo, etc…. So I guess I don’t have to be too upset about the series not being completed (and most unlikely to be competed ever!)…… we just have to read Ace o nerae, swap the characters around…. and we will be alright ^^:
Having said that, I still brought this series anyway, knowing it was incomplete. The artwork was too beautiful, and some of them so sexy (not smut), for me to look away. The romance was there too….
Olivie has been raised amongst all other pirates, and as expected, behaved like a boy most of the time. But for the first time in her life, she started to have romantic feelings for Arthur. However, before this feeling could develop any further, Arthur confessed (or confronted more like?) that he would rather have a male friend and companion besides him than a female….. and so she chose to ignore her feelings for him and continued to act and behave like a man as ever…. until she met Lorenzo, who has actually been in love with her since he saw her portrait many years ago. Could Lorenzo’s past and his upbringings be a barrier to their relationship? Most of all, were Olivie’s feelings for Lorenzo as a dear friend only? At the end, Arthur admitted to himself that he has fallen in love for Olivie too, but he would never be able to confess to her, not until he has accomplished what he was destined to do (and still, we were not told what he was supposed to accomplish by the end of this uncompleted series! Humph!)
When Lorenzo displayed his passion for Olivie, she would find it terrifying sometimes. He also wondered if his desire for her would push her away from him instead? He has vowed to love her all his life. He would not ask for anything from Olivie in, so long he could love her and watch her from aside…. and yet, it was still hurting him when he sensed the “natural chemistry” between Olivie and Arthur; would the girl he loved be ended up with another man eventually?
Olivie has always envied the romance and passion between her parents (by the way, her father “kidnapped” her mother when he was 18 and she 12….. and they have fallen in love ever since… well…. ^^). She knew her dear twin brother would leave her at the end, after finding his own soul-mate. Arthur saw her as a friend and companion but never a woman; he would turn his back on her should his mission required (NB. he was an English spy). She thought Lorenzo was the only one she could rely on and be together with, forever. But his passion and desire for her has terrified her at times……Why would she be chosen to be tattooed? What was the true purpose of her destiny? or could it be? like the queen, she would end up choosing no one but instead, on her own confident self?……..
…. or would the ending be something similar to Ace o nerae … argh!
Digress: About the Queen……
In Saradinassa, Queen Elizabeth I has been highlighted with her cunning personality and at times, her weakness (coward?) for her love of her kingdom… To Saradinassa, Queen Elizabeth I was an alliance and a villain, whom just as untrustworthy as Philip II of Span.
But the Queen Elizabeth I in Nanatsu no Erudorado was a far more adorable person. Her humours, her admiration for fashion, poems, social events, etc, alongside her love for England were pictured altogether. This lovable queen, alongside her kingdom, was who the Redford twins and everyone else have sworn to protect….