When it comes to Japanese manga (comics), nothing is sacred: a good example is the outrageous Let’s Bible! Now, a new comic book entry seeks to bring Karl Marx’s seminal work on socialist theory, “Das Kapital”, to the struggling masses of today.

Reintroducing communist theory to a new generation disillusioned by the 2008 financial crisis is, ironically, a winning business model. Indeed, the meteoric sales of the new manga in Japan – 6,000 copies sold in a few days – encouraged publisher EastPress Co. to rush production of the Korean, Chinese and English versions.

It must be said that Vol. 1 of the manga Das Kapital is fictionalized: a story based on Marx‘s masterpiece and not a story illustrated line by line.

The main character of the manga is Robin, the son of a socialist who runs a cheese factory in cahoots with a stereotypical capitalist investor to the detriment of his workers – and at large, society.

When asked to comment on the success of the itch Das Kapital, EastPress spokesman Yusuke Maruo blamed the capitalist system for essentially dropping the ball. “I think people look to Marx for answers to the problems of capitalist society”, thought Maruo. “Obviously, the recent global crisis suggests that the system is not working properly.”

Higher and higher, Marx is the official Communist Party of Japan. Founded in 1922, the 415,000-member JCP is Japan’s fourth-largest political party and welcomes new “comrades” at the rate of 1,000 per month.

A new manga that presents socialism in an appealing style certainly won’t hurt those numbers. With the worst economic downturn in decades showing no signs of easing, being trendy well read means being trendy red. (via AZstarnet, Telegraph UK and Japan Today)