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11 Reviews
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome spy story, January 21, 2005
By 
Gagewyn (United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Adolf, Volume 1: A Tale of the Twentieth Century (Paperback)
From the hype surrounding this I was expecting something kind of educational or with serious history. I was pleasantly surprised. This read as a good spy story.

The Adolf series proposes to tell the stories of three Adolfs. One is the historic Hitler. The other two are fictional. We start by following the story of Toge, a Japanese reporter in Berlin to cover the 1936 Olympics and to some extent our narrator through these stories. His brother is an exchange student living in Berlin. Toge receives a call from his brother about a secret that will throw Hitler out of power. When Toge arrives he finds his brother murdered. The police take the body but it never arrives at the station. When Toge tries to track down the body he finds that no one will admit to having met his brother and the police (who also have no record of the murder) claim that he must be making the story up. Through the first half of this book we follow Toge's search for information about his brother in Berlin. He wants to bury and avenge his brother, and gets caught up in something much bigger. Somehow the murder is connected with a murder of a Geisha six months earlier in Japan. Both victims had plaster under their fingernails. When Toge returns to Japan he continues to search for the truth about his brother.

Through this Geisha we are introduced to the next two Adolfs. One is the son of the prime suspect for the murder, a high ranking German intelligence officer stationed in Japan. The third Adolf is a Jewish German whose family is in Japan because that is a better place for them to live than is Germany. The two boys are the same age and are best friends, which bothers both families. Non-jewish Adolf doesn't want to go to school in Germany and take the career path that his father wants for him, because he doesn't want to be taught that jews and therefore jewish-Adolf are bad. Both Adolfs come to learn the horrible secret that can destroy Hitler and so they are caught up in the bigger story.

This is a really great and well paced story. I got pulled in and had to finish it. I had put off reading it because much of the hype I had heard about it made it sound dry and educational. It isn't dry. I'm sure that I learned something from seeing a telling of WWII from a Japanese perspective, but regardless this is a good story.

I highly recommend this book. Keep in mind that there are a couple of graphic torture scenes, a rape and a suicide (and book 2 gets much much worse). So don't give this to your fourth grader to teach them history.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quality Comic Paperback, December 5, 1998
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Adolf, Volume 1: A Tale of the Twentieth Century (Paperback)
ADOLF: A TALE OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY is about three people named Adolf during WWII- the infamous dictator, a half-German half-Japanese boy, and a Jewish boy. It seems that a potentially harmful document to the Third Reich has fallen into the wrong hands.
This is a historical work with fictional characters. I recommend this comic book to anyone interested in World War II, comic books, or Japanese magna.
The artwork is in black-and-white, but that does not detract from this masterpiece. There is a distinct Japanese style to the artwork.
This is the first book in a five part series. My only gripe is that the the most famous Adolf- Adolf Hitler- could have been featured in the book a little bit more. I am sure he will be in the other books- considering what the damaging information about him is.
Like I said, if you are interested in worldly events in that time period 1930's-1940's get this- now!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The first volume in a great, epic series, June 18, 2004
By 
Sibelius (Palo Alto, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Adolf, Volume 1: A Tale of the Twentieth Century (Paperback)
Osamu Tezuka's, 'Adolf: A Tale of the Twentieth Century,' is the opening chapter in what will turn out to be an epic, sweeping tale of 3 Adolf's - Adolf Hitler, Adolf Kamil (a jewish boy growing up in Japan) and Adolf Kaufman (a half japanese, half german youth). Within this framework, Tezuka will spin a deep and moving story set against the backdrop of Japan and Germany during WWII providing both entertainment and fresh historical perspective of events during this timeframe.
Spanning 5 volumes and over 1300 pages readers will easily glide through each book thanks to Tezuka's sharp and easy-to-digest narrative along with his crisp black & white artwork. This series is highly recommended to anyone interested in graphic novels, excellent storytelling and WWII. Definitely start with this first volume and enjoy the rest of the tale over the next 4 books.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Serious Manga for adults, July 25, 2001
By 
Steven Carroll (Sammamish, WA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Adolf, Volume 1: A Tale of the Twentieth Century (Paperback)
This, in short, is the good stuff. An excellent eye-opener for those who think of the manga genre as black and white anime that doesn't move. This manga series is a very human telling of the story of WWII through the eyes of 3 men named Adolf.
The style will perhaps not appeal to those who are used to American style or even the more recent Japanese style but to those willing to give it a chance, the storytelling is fantastic. This edition is on pretty nice paper and is definately worth the money.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unique Manga, March 28, 2000
This review is from: Adolf, Volume 1: A Tale of the Twentieth Century (Paperback)
I have read Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind, Ranma and manyother mangas but Adolf is one in its own. What struck me first whenopening the covers was the artwork. Generally manga has a typical style to it. Big eyes, small noses, strange body proportions and several other features typically define it. Adolf is the same, yet different. It was created by the same artist as the internationally recognised Kimba the White Lion and Astro Boy. I, like many Australians, grew up on shows like these and typically associate the style of drawing, cartoony even by Japanese standards, with children's TV shows. The artwork in Adolf is almost identical to his previous creations and to see it utilised in telling a far more 'mature' story was quite difficult for me to get my head around at first.
That is not to say that the artwork isn't good. It is brilliant when compared with almost any other manga. It is just so different to the manga I'm used to. Anyone who has read other manga will see exactly what I mean when they pick it up. You can fully see Kimba behind everyone's eyes.
The plot of Adolf is as intriguing as the pictures used to present it. Conspiracies, kidnappings, murders, betrayals, Nazis, this book has everything and all in a believable setting. You won't see any large-breasted valkyrie priestesses from beyond space in Adolf like you might expect in other mangas.
There is nothing to really fault with the book apart from that fact that with all its uniqueness it is not entirely original. It is a good book and the plot has not been done in a manga style before but I see elements of a thousand fiction novels rearing their heads in this one. Admittedly though, this is probably not entirely the author's fault as the original Japanese book was written quite a few years ago.
Ultimately Adolf: A Tale of the Twentieth Century is an excellent reading experience but is certainly not in the same league as Miyazaki's 'Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind' for pure storytelling genius.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In the same class as Maus, September 14, 1996
By A Customer
This review is from: Adolf, Volume 1: A Tale of the Twentieth Century (Paperback)
The entire Adolf series by Tezuka is fabulous.The story revolves around a secret coveted document that proves that Adolf Hitler was in fact a Jew himself.
Very well written from a Japanese Manga perspective.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the book you can't get, January 9, 2007
This review is from: Adolf, Volume 1: A Tale of the Twentieth Century (Paperback)
I read this book in the college library Oberlin, Ohio. I can't get it for myself. It's astonishing when you think about ANYTHING Tezuka did being out of print, but presently so is Astro Boy Vol.1. Anyhow, I hope to own this book someday - if LOTS of lovely manga-readers requested it, maybe we could ALL have a chance of owning Adolf, vol.1.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A masterful look at World War II from the Japanese perspective., December 17, 2008
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This review is from: Adolf, Volume 1: A Tale of the Twentieth Century (Paperback)
Osamu Tezuka deserves every good thing that's ever been said about him. He is a master storyteller, and the stories he chooses to tell are epics. Adolf is no exception.

Adolf is the story of three people named Adolf: the chancellor of Germany, a jew living in Japan, and a half-German/half-Japanese boy who grows up in Japan, but is sent to live in Germany when he is a teenager. The story explains how the war affects the common people who aren't doing the actual fighting, and who aren't living in the middle of the battlefield, something that's rarely addressed.

This volume opens at the Olympics hosted by Germany. A reporter gets word from his brother that he's found an important document that could bring the Nazis down, but is killed before the reporter can get to him. He tries to find the man who murdered his brother, but the secret police cover it up to the point it appears his brother never existed.

In Japan, the two Adolfs become friends despite their families being enemies. Eventually, the German Adolf is sent back to Germany to join Hitler's Youth and learn to hate Jews. Neither understand where this hate comes from.

Anyone who likes a good story, historical fiction, World War II, or Manga will love this story. It is a masterpiece!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent series - difficult to obtain first volume, December 29, 2008
This review is from: Adolf, Volume 1: A Tale of the Twentieth Century (Paperback)
Bought volumes 2-5 last year, loved the series but couldn't get a hold of the first volume until this year. If you've ordered this and are waiting for it to ship, stop: I tried to order from several different suppliers before realizing that no one's shipping new copies of this one.

To my pleasant surprise, this summer in France I discovered the series IS in print in french. If you speak the language, it's for sale for ~18 euros (~25 dollars) - still expensive, but not the crazy prices you'd pay for a used copy of the out of print english edition.

http://www.amazon.fr/Lhistoire-3-Adolf-Caroline-Pellerin/dp/2759501388/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1230606292&sr=8-1

I haven't researched other countries, but I strongly recommend reading this volume first - it really sets up the rest of the excellent story very well. I would've appreciated the rest of the series more if I had read this first.

Love osamu tezuka! This is one of his greats.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tezuka's Masterpiece!, March 27, 2001
This review is from: Adolf, Volume 1: A Tale of the Twentieth Century (Paperback)
This is the "GOD" of Japanese comics proverbial masterpiece. Tezuka was the pivotal force behind the rise of Manga in post-war Japan. He is responsible for most of the techniques and innovations that came about during the fifties and sixties. I've heard him refered to as the Walt Disney of Japan. ADOLF is the Japanese comics equivalent of WAR AND PEACE. Honing in on the three main characters, the three Adolf's, it nevertheless has a large cast of characters and Tezuka puts them through hell as the almost inevitable forces of war combine and attack each other throughout the world. Like all good historical novels it immerses the reader in the politics and events of the period. It also features a Japanese view of the events of WWII but without any miltaristic or nationalistic rhetoric.
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Adolf, Volume 1: A Tale of the Twentieth Century
Adolf, Volume 1: A Tale of the Twentieth Century by Yuji Oniki (Paperback - December 22, 2001)
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