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Mein Kampf Manga and Other Weird Nazi Fetishism

"Mein Kampf" is the latest publication in a collection of historical comic books called "Manga de Dokuha" ("Learn with manga") edited by the publishing firm East Press. The collection already includes manga versions of Karl Marx’s "Capital" and Tolstoy’s "War and Peace".

I came across this after a friend of mine told me about the weird Nazi-themed wedding trend in places like Japan, Hong Kong and South Korea.

We're used to people fetishizing Nazis here in the States, although it's usually in small, isolated incidents. Nazi parties on the scale of Ralph Engelstad's famous Las Vegas birthday parties for Hitler just don't happen here anymore, so we're naturally disturbed by this trend.

According to Nazi wedding afficionados, though, we shouldn't be: This isn't a celebration of Nazis. Not directly, anyway. It's a celebration of Nazi-themed anime and manga. (Oh, good. I was worried...)

Apparently, there's quite a bit of this stuff out there:

URDA: The Third Reich - This is an anime about Nazis trying to use time travel to change the outcome of the war.

Kekko Kamen - The story of a naked masked superhero fighting corruption at a school (which wasn't weird enough, so they made one of the enemies a BDSM Nazi.)

The Cockpit - An alternate history story in which Germany develops the first atomic bomb. The story focuses on the plucky Luftwaffe pilot tasked with protecting it. Hilarity ensues, presumably.

Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade - Another alternate history story about life in Japan after the Nazis conquered the Japanese. The manga was so popular, it was adapted to two live action films and one animated feature.

Kishin Heidan - In which a human resistance movement fights for freedom against the combined forces of Nazis and aliens.

Hellsing - A manga about Nazi war criminals who fled to Brazil, then became vampires.

To be fair, most of these stories don't treat the Nazis as heroes. Also, to keep being fair, if you're looking for a good villain for your story, there are few villains better than Nazis. Just ask Indiana Jones and Captain America.

Still, all of these Nazi-themed stories have inspired all of this Nazi-themed cosplay, and that's pretty uncomfortable... I mean, if cosplayers showed up somewhere doing a Raiders of the Lost Ark group cosplay, they'd be in trouble the moment "Indy" left the group to go to the bathroom. You can't cosplay just the Nazis and expect people to know what you're up to, and that's what these guys are doing: Cosplaying just the Nazis.

So, let's file this as yet another example of how context is everything.

It's not just at weddings, by the way, where participants will tell you, "We're not racist, we just like the fashion. Really." It's also at a Nazi-themed bar called "The Fifth Reich", where the Korean bartender actually goes by Hitler. Let's also not forget this Nazi-themed commercial for "Nokdu", a skin cream.