Anime Series on Karl Marx Debuts to Mixed Reviews

On streaming site Bilibili, netizens are talking more about the German philosopher’s looks and less about his ideas.

A popular Chinese streaming site premiered the first two episodes of an animated series based on the life of German socialist philosopher Karl Marx on Monday to mixed reviews from viewers.

Less than 24 hours after its release on Bilibili, the first installment of “The Leader” had received over 2.8 million views online. The seven-episode series was a collaboration between the central government’s Office for the Research and Construction of Marxist Theory, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region’s publicity department, and a film production company based in the region to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Marx’s birth, which was observed on May 5, 2018.

Marx’s ideas — articulated in famous works such as “The Communist Manifesto” and “Das Kapital” — have been massively influential in China during the 20th and 21st centuries. In a ceremony honoring the philosopher in Beijing last year, Chinese President Xi Jinping called Marx “the greatest thinker of modern times.”

Nearly 70 years after the country’s Communist Party declared the founding of the People’s Republic of China, the German socialist revered on the mainland is being reintroduced to young Chinese through popular entertainment. Last year, the TV show “Marx Got It Right” was debuted by state broadcaster CCTV, while the podcast “Explaining Marx to the Post-’90s Generation” was aired on 15 radio stations in the country.

Marx is now being portrayed in early episodes of “The Leader” as a chiseled and charismatic protagonist, though the trailer for the show’s later episodes indicates that his well-recognized bearded visage is set to appear later in the series. Read the full article here.


– This article originally appeared on Sixth Tone.