The Manga Guide to Electricity by Fujitaki & Matsuda

Title: The Manga Guide to Electricity

Author:Kazuhiro Fujitaki

Illustrator: Matsuda

Producer: TREND-PRO, Co., Ltd.

Translator: Arnie Rusoff

Publisher: No Starch

ISBN: 9781593271978

May Contain Spoilers

Rereko is a bit of a dunce, and that is rather unfortunate, since she lives in the futuristic city of Electopia.  Her punishment for being so obtuse?  A sentence of cramming in the backward city of Tokyo!  Will Rereko be able to crack the books and ace her makeup exam with the help of Hikaru Sensei?

I really enjoy the concept of this series of textbooks published by No Starch.  They actually make tough topics and scientific theory fun.  The illustrations and concepts are presented in a light-hearted and non-threatening way, all the better to pave the path to learning.  Rereko is a loveable nitwit, and Hikaru is a sincere and very messy scientist.  Hikaru takes Rereko’s sudden appearance in stride, and enthusiastically begins tutoring her in the mysteries and wonders of electricity.

The format of the book is as follows:  Each chapter begins with illustrated sequences of Rereko and Hikaru discussing different concepts in electrical science.  Hikaru patiently explains such subjects as electrical circuits, how electricity works, and creating electricity.  Then, prose sections delve further into the topics, explaining them in greater depth.  Useful illustrations accompany the descriptive sections, and all of the information is presented in clear and easy to understand language. 

Personally, electricity is one of my favorite scientific advancements.  It allows me to Twitter, blog, and spend too much time on the interwebz.  It feeds my air conditioner in the summer, keeps me dancing away at DDR, and illuminates my home so I can read all night long.  What is not to like about electricity?  While reading the book, I discovered that there is a lot about electricity that I didn’t know.  Learning along with Rereko was painless, and was even engaging and fun. The topics are covered with enough detail to make you feel like you are learning new and useful material, but not so deeply that you come away confused and overwhelmed.

As a textbook, I found the Manga Guide to Electricity to be engaging, organized, and easy to understand.  The comic book portions stay on topic, and other than the most basic of departures, concentrates on the topics at hand.  The sequentially illustrated portions serve to highlight the upcoming text explanations, yet still manage to give the characters personalities as they follow along with the science of electrical theory. This is a great concept, and I wish material had been presented in this fun and entertaining way when I was in school. 

Grade: B

Review copy provided by No Starch