Called the bible for bigots, I always held the assumption that "Hitler" (manga) was just hate monger literature. I heard briefly in history class back in high school that it was good insight into how someone evil thinks. I heard it was the blueprint of Hitler's plans. I thought I got the gist of it and I didn't bother reading it back then. How nuanced can Hitler be anyways? Isn't he... Hitler? The epitome of evil and the gold standard for villainy?
Reading the first few sections, I kind of got blown away by how human the narrative is. You can relate to his relationship with
his parents(disagreeing with his father over career decisions, loving/taking care of his ailing mother) and even how he gets fed up with history teachers obsessing over minor details like dates of random kings and events.
The transition from Hitler, the restless lad who liked the outdoors, painting and architecture to Hitler, the man who's evil was so great it permeated social norms and made netural objects with long prior histories (swastika, roman salute, first name Adolf, the toothbrush mustache evil by association) is an interesting process. You hear all the time how Hitler had a vendetta against Jews because it was Jews who rejected him in art school or he had some personal incident with a Jew that colored his relations with them... but this seemed not to be the case at all? His mother and father as he described did not believe in racism. He mentions his father would not have approved of distinguishing between German and Jewish. His family doctor was Jewish. Hitler recalled that he only remembered one Jew in his school that he actively disliked, and the reason he gave was not that he was Jewish but that he was kind of a douche. Hitler was in fact unaccustomed to anti-antisemitism and unsettled by it in his own words during his stay in Vienna. Hitler did not seem like a knee jerk bigot and seemed quite well read. If anything, it seemed Hitler's hatred for the Jews was the byproduct of his almost pathological hatred of Social Democracy and it seemed to come gradually after he was kind of brainwashed by the racist media published at that time(which he only started reading because those papers were the only ones that were criticizing Social Democracy).
Regarding the art of the manga, calling it a masterpiece would not do it justice. Each panel masterfully illustrated by Shigeru Mizuki portrays the complex intricacies of Hitler's labyrinth of a brain. From his innocence to the imminent downfall, mein eyes have never been so mystified by any manga; no, by any form of art, even.
TLDR; "Hitler" kind of made me change my thoughts on Hitler as I realized he wasn't pure evil. He was more of a bad mix of loony, stubborn and brainwashed. He wasn't a super racist, I want to purge people for Freudian/insecurity reasons type of guy. He was no Stalin. Reading about Vienna society, I feel like he was more of a product of social ills that have been festering for a long long time. A conflict of some sort was due.
This quote from the manga sums up my feelings for this work of art-
"Blah blah blah perfect humans blah blah blah WWII blah blah blah Hitler blond hair blue eyes blah blah blah world domination" - Paddy Hitler McCormac (Hitler's great niece)