Nippon x Deutscheland: Mein Kampf manga sells 45,000


Longtime anime and otaku culture-fans may have noticed over the years that Japan seems to have a peculiar fascination with Germany. From misplaced German-sounding naming conventions to the national anthropomorphizations found in Axis Powers Hetalia, Japan and Germany are tight, like this *pinching movement with fingers*

That pop-culture affection has worked its way into the realm of literature as well, as the manga adaptation of Adolf Hitler's manifesto Mein Kampf has sold over 45,000 copies. Yes, there is a manga adaptation of Adolf Hitler's manifesto Mein Kampf, and it has sold over 45, 000 copies

The statistic came up as increased calls came from scholars  to allow the controversial book to be published again within Germany. The current copyright on Mein Kampf is held by the Bavarian government, which has so far resisted such requests, feeling that doing so would play into the hands of the far-right and Neo-Nazi movements. Regarding the manga (which has not made it outside of Japan), the government felt that they "have trouble considering [it] as an appropriate medium for critically representing this problematic work."

The manga itself is published as part of East Press’ Manga de Dokuha (Read via Manga) series, which also includes adaptations of such works as Dante Alighieri's The Divine Comedy, Karl Marx's Das Kapital, and Nicolo' Machiavelli's The Prince. Thus, it's not as if Hitler is alone in getting himself manga-fied. Kousuke Maruo, an editor at East Press said, "It is a famous book, but there are few who have read it. I think it is [studying] material for knowing Hitler, a man synonymous with 'devil,' and what sort of thinking created that level of tragedy."

Personally, I'm with East Press and the scholars calling for Mein Kampf's reproduction. The best way to strip such controversial works of their symbolic power is to expose their faults and myths for all see and dissect. Those who wish for the return of Nazism would actually benefit more from Mein Kampf's remaining a taboo, able to build around themselves an aura of martyrdom and victimization, a similar one to that which drove Hitler's own thinking before his ascent to infamy.

As for Japan's seeming affection for Nazi Germany? I would think it more than an attraction to that period's powerful imagery than any sharing of ideals. Even today some of the most striking pictures around can be found viewing old footage of Hitler youth rallies or parades. 

What about you? What sorts of controversial works would you want (or not want) to see in manga or graphic novel format?

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Josh Tolentino
Josh TolentinoManaging Editor   gamer profile

Josh is Japanator's Managing Editor, and contributes to Destructoid as well, as the network's premier apologist for both Harem Anime and Star Trek: Voyager For high school reasons, he's called "u... more + disclosures



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