Weekly Digest #87
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In this digest-
1. The Book with Timeless Lessons: Shigeru Mizuki’s Hitler: A review
2. Happiness Quotient From Around The World
3. Did You Know?
4. Entertainment Quotient
The Book with Timeless Lessons: Shigeru Mizuki’s Hitler: A review
By: Agastya Rao
“Mizuki’s Book is changing the way we learn History”
The Paperless Press rating- 5/5
When you think of a biography about Adolf Hitler, you would expect it to be a giant book with four hundred pages of text. While there are countless books in this type about Hitler that exist, one book was miles ahead of its time and is one of the best described and best written biographies of Hitler. This is not your “ordinary” novel, but is a Japanese Manga originally published in the year 1971.
While the way the content is depicted is unconventional for a history book, the way that Mr. Mizuki has depicted Hitler’s life is utterly amazing. Using expertly illustrated cartoons, Mr. Mizuki takes you through Hitler’s life showing you not only his rise and fall, but also the catalysts that led to Hitler becoming the devil he was.
Mr. Mizuki quite literally paints a picture of Hitler’s life, and the cartoons make it all the easier for the reader to understand. Moreover, Mr. Mizuki has also proved that a history book does not have to be seven hundred pages long to explain the life story of a person. Mr. Mizuki depicted Hitler’s life, the situation of Germany and the plight of Jews being persecuted by the Nazis all in a book that is not a mammoth epic saga, but a book that is interesting to read.
The way that Mr. Mizuki has carefully drawn his cartoons is interesting as it strikes a perfect balance between being serious and being funny (For example- many of the later cartoons about Hitler are exaggerated and funny). History Biographies and textbooks have been depicted as boring in society for a long time, and a major reason for this is simply in the way the content is shown. Mr. Mizuki combined cartoons, a form of a comic and history to create a book that is interesting for even a person who is not a big history buff to read.
Another aspect of the book that added to the quality of reading was the blend of humour into a serious story and the way you could see that change in Hitler’s factual expressions through various emotions. This added feature of the intricacies of the Hitler’s facial expressions, down to the most minute details of his expressions expertly drawn by Mr. Mizuki give you an insight into Hitler’s mindset at the time; how he went from being a failed artist, to one of the most powerful and ruthless dictators in the world.
To sum it up, I would say Mr. Mizuki has illustrated and written a masterpiece. The trend of historical stories being explained through comic form is gradually rising. Another book which is drawn/written in a similar way is They Called Us Enemy by George Takei which displays the life of Mr. Takei and the lives of Japanese Americans who were in American Concentration Camps during the time of the Second World War.
The way Mr. Mizuki described and illustrated the story was masterful. If more books are depicting historical stories in a graphic novel form, I am all for it! The graphic novel-biography Shigeru Mizuki’s Hitler is changing the way we learn about History.
By: Mihir Rao
By: Abhimanyu Rao
Entertainment quotient for the week:
Ice Age: Scrat Tales
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