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Bilibili Turn Karl Marx Into a Swashbuckling Anime Character

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Viewers of the world, unite! Popular Chinese streaming site and gaming hub Bilibili has announced that it’s (slightly belatedly) marking the 200th anniversary of the birth of Karl Marx by commissioning an anime series of the world-renowned philosopher’s life. A Communist anime fest-o, if you will. Sorry.

karl marx anime china bilibili

Engels, Marx and von Westphalen in the new anime series

Entitled The Leader (领风者), the show — backed by the Project to Study and Develop Marxist Theory (launched by China’s Communist Party 14 years ago) and The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences — is set to be released next spring. In addition to depicting the development of Marx’s political theory, it’ll include a bit of romance (looking at his relationship with wife Jenny von Westphalen) and friendship (via his pal and benefactor Friedrich Engels).

Bilibili’s summary of the series describes Marx as a dauntless figure who awakened the world’s sleeping proletariat and profoundly affected the world’s pattern of development in history. Also seems like he was pretty handsome?

karl marx anime china

Throw off your chains: Karl Marx as depicted in a trailer for Bilibili’s “The Leader”

Excited? If so, you’re not the only one. A trailer for the new production released this week by Bilibili has set tongues a-wagging and keyboards a-clacking across China. As of Thursday night, the preview video had nearly 380,000 views and the series had picked up 55,000 followers on Bilibili, just a few hours after it was released.

What are the reactions of Chinese netizens? Largely amusement and excitement. This user’s reaction on Weibo is representative of most responses on Chinese social media:

marx anime china bilibili

“I saw this in my free time. Aaaaaaaaaahhhhhh. Making a cartoon for an idol [like Marx] is sooo great!”

So come Spring 2019, gather all of your favorite comrades around your computer screen for the premiere of this epic series. Sounds like a Party!

anime marx china

Brianna Leatherwood
    Brianna is an Anthropology student at Yale-NUS College in Singapore. She is currently studying at Ningxia University, focusing on Chinese Language studies. When not hitting the books, she enjoys playing badminton, volleyball or basketball with her friends.

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