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The Manga Guide to Microprocessors

I was surprised at the subject of this latest title in the Manga Guide series. Many of the other volumes have been more general in scope, focusing on branches of science or math. The Manga Guide to Microprocessors is more specialized, with details about how a computer CPU works at the most basic level. Typical of this series, the characters are a cute, goofy schoolgirl being tutored by a more knowledgeable guy. Ayumi is a champion shogi player, but she’s […]

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The Manga Guide to Regression Analysis

The latest in this line of educational comics is The Manga Guide to Regression Analysis. It’s written by Shin Takahashi, the author of The Manga Guide to Statistics, one of the earliest of similar works translated over here, with art by Iroha Inoue. Never have I seen such an adorable way to learn higher-level mathematical techniques. Regression analysis, as the preface tells us, consists of “statistical methods for predicting values”. The main example used here involves two waitresses at a […]

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The Manga Guide to Physiology

It’s been three years since the last Manga Guide, but it’s a pleasure to see the series continue with The Manga Guide to Physiology. I always learn things reading these volumes. It’s a shame, though, that this came out so close to Human Body Theater, which tackled a similar topic — how the body is put together and how it works — in a way that’s more appealing to American audiences. I found the humor there, particularly having the organs […]

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The Manga Guide to Linear Algebra

The latest in the Manga Guide series tackles the complicated math of Linear Algebra. As with the other books, The Manga Guide to Linear Algebra (written by Shin Takahashi; art by Iroha Inoue) has a framing story to involve the reader and provide a sympathetic co-learner. Here, it echoes the classic shonen fight manga structure, as freshman Reiji wants to join the karate club. He’s too scrawny, though, so he strikes a deal with the brawny club captain — he […]

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The Manga Guide to Biochemistry

The author of The Manga Guide to Molecular Biology returns with another volume in the popular true-science comic series. (Note that with this book, the series pricing goes from $19.95 a book to $24.95, but Amazon has substantial discounts available, and other vendors might as well.) Writer Masaharu Takemura explains in the preface what biochemistry is: the study of the molecules that constitute our bodies … and the chemical reactions that occur within cells. While the science itself is full […]

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The Manga Guide to the Universe

The latest volume in the Manga Guide series, following The Manga Guide to Relativity earlier this summer, tackles the biggest subject yet. The result is the best Manga Guide so far. The Manga Guide to the Universe by Kenji Ishikawa, Kiyoshi Kawabata, and Yutaka Hiiragi follows the usual pattern — lots of pages of comics with cute girls learning science, backed up by text material that explains the concepts covered in more depth. This volume includes a bit more plot […]

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The Manga Guide to Relativity

The latest volume in the Manga Guide series explaining math and science with comics is the best yet! It’s got plot, characterization, and exciting visuals, plus my favorite science topic. Relativity is fun because in its thought experiments, it combines philosophy and what seems like magic. The Manga Guide to Relativity by Hideo Nitta, Masafumi Yamamoto, and Keita Takatsu opens with a bang. It’s the day before summer vacation, but the school’s headmaster (aided by his vice principal, who happens […]

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The Manga Guide to Molecular Biology

The latest Manga Guide to science covers Molecular Biology, the study of cells, genes, DNA, and their behavior. It’s an intimidating subject, treated in a fanciful way to make it more comprehensible by writer Masaharu Takemura and artist Sakura. The framing premise follows Ami and Rin, two college students about to flunk their molecular biology course because they never go to class. Their professor sends them to make-up classes on his private island (must be nice!), where they use a […]

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