Last year I alerted readers to a manga version of Karl Marx's Das Kapital in manga form, noting that the easy-to-read version of Communism's main manifesto had sold 6,000 copies in mere days of being released.
Publisher EastPress Co. must have been blown away by all the profits they were making off the Marx manga - ironic as that may be - and barely half a year later an entire series of manga masterpieces have hit Japanese store shelves. Included in the group, though it's more master race than masterpiece, is Adolf Hitler's vitriolic plan for megalomaniacal world domination.
Mein Kampf (My Struggle in English; Waga T?s? in Japanese) is now available online at Amazon Japan, priced at a low, low 580 yen (about $6.20) each. Tax is included; maybe a ShamWow too for all we know. Irony rears its head once more as Amazon suggests readers buy EastPress Co.'s manga-ized Mein Kampf together with Marx's Das Kapital for just 1,160 yen (about $12.40). Stranger bedfellows have yet to share the same bookshelf's lebensraum and somewhere, Molotov and Ribbentrop are smiling.
The original Mein Kampf may have detailed Der Future Fuhrer's struggle for power but the manga version is finding the road to sales success as simple as a walk in the park. In a tank. In 1939.
Over 45,000 copies have been sold... though none in Germany, where the Bavarian Finance Ministry holds the copyright to Mein Kampf and under German law has the right to prohibit any and all versions from being sold in, or into, Japan's former wartime ally. When asked about the matter by a reporter from Japan's Asahi Shimbun newspaper, a ministry spokesman replied (in an icy, Otto Preminger-ish accent and while revving up a dentist's drill, we imagine) "We have trouble considering manga as an appropriate medium for critically presenting this problematic material." Is it safe? Obviously not!
EastPress Co. publishes 43 different works in their Manga de Dokuha series which includes seminal works of philosophy and literature by Machiavelli, Dante, Goethe, Nietzsche, Dostoevsky, Kierkegaard, Saint-Exupery and others - who are all probably spinning in their graves. (via Japan Probe, Anime News Network and Nerdsomosnozes)