The manga book describes both Hitler’s autobiography and his infamous Nazi manifesto in the unlikely form of easy-to-read comic pictures and captions. Since it was published in Japan last November, its popularity has soared, with sales of more than 45,000.
The book, which forms part of a series on world classics turned into manga, covers a range of aspects of Hitler’s life, from his childhood to the formation of his political party.
Its success in Japan has reportedly ignited a debate in Germany about whether the ban on the work imposed since 1945 should be overturned.
The current copyright of the book within Germany lies in the hands of the finance ministry of the state of Bavaria which will not reproduce it out of respect to the relatives of those who suffered during Hitler’s regime.
Japanese publishers East Press are no strangers to tapping into the trend of bringing political tracts into the 21st century: the current series also includes a popular manga version of Karl Marx’s seminal anti-capitalist tome Das Kapital.
Manga enjoys a soaring popularity in Japan, with its most high-profile fans including the former prime minister Taro Aso.
Along with Nazism and anti-capitalism, there are few topics that are regarded as sacred from being transformed into manga. Previous issues tackled range from delicate Japanese-Chinese relations to the spread of bird flu.