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The Manga Guide to the Universe Paperback – August 1, 2011


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Product Details

  • Series: Manga Guide To...
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: No Starch Press; 1 edition (August 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593272677
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593272678
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #80,087 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Kenji Ishikawa is a scientific and technical journalist. He was born in Tokyo in 1958. After graduating from the College of Science at the Tokyo University of Science, he worked as a journalist for a weekly magazine and later became a freelance editor and writer. Besides writing novels and various columns, over the last 20 years, he has also written technical commentaries for general readers and conducted many interviews with leading engineers and researchers. His works cover scientific areas such as electricity, mechanics, aviation, astronomy, devices, materials, chemistry, computers, communication, robotics, and energy.

Kiyoshi Kawabata, PhD, ScD, is a professor emeritus in the Department of Physics, College of Science, at the Tokyo University of Science. Born in the Mie prefecture in 1940, Kawabata graduated from the School of Science, Division of Physics and Astronomy, at Kyoto University in 1964. While working on his doctorate, he studied abroad in the United States and received a PhD in astronomy from Penn State University in 1973. He was also awarded a ScD in astrophysics from Kyoto University. In 1981, he worked as a researcher at Columbia University and then worked for approximately eight years at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies. In 1982, he began teaching as an assistant professor in the Department of Physics, College of Science, at the Tokyo University of Science, and he became a full professor there in 1990. He specializes in astrophysics, particularly observational cosmology and radiative transfer theory.


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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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The Manga Guide to the Universe is a fun and engaging title.
Michael Larsen
Where these books absolutely shine is how easy it is to apply the material to things you know so that you can learn it in the stories.
Shala Kerrigan
From him they learn the ancient myths about the origin of the universe, as well as the different theories of the geocentric model.
CuteEverything

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Shala Kerrigan TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 22, 2011
Format: Paperback
I love this series so much for it's simple clarity and because the stories introduce the material in such a way that it's easier to visualize and understand.

In this one, 3 students need to put on a play to avoid losing their drama club. They decide to do the Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, an ancient story about a bamboo cutter who finds a child in bamboo, the child is from the moon. Talking about it, they realize that they need to know a lot more about space so they can update the story and make it their own. The brother of one of the students is a university student studying astrophysics. With his help, and the help of his teacher, they learn a lot more about the universe.

The authors use things like soccer to demonstrate some of the current theories and discuss the history of astrophysics from the time when people thought the earth was the center of a very small universe, to realizing we weren't even the center of our solar system and on to realizing just how vast the universe is.

They explain the measurements used and a little bit about how our current data is being accumulated. They discuss theories as well as what is known and explain how tests and math are validating the theories that scientists currently have about the universe, it's origins, it's possible eventual end, and how it all works. Even talking about the possibility of extra-terrestrial life.

It's a fantastic introduction into basic astrophysics. Not just for kids but also for adults who would like more understanding. I'm not a scientist. Just an occasional dabbler, I watch Nova and read some of the more popular books on the subject. Where these books absolutely shine is how easy it is to apply the material to things you know so that you can learn it in the stories.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By battlesysadmin on August 11, 2011
Format: Paperback
I received a preview e-copy of The Manga Guide to the Universe to review. The book really surprised me. I have bought Manga Guides as gifts, but never read one myself. I expected a children's book, and it wasn't at all. On every page of text, I leaned something brand new, or something that I had forgotten years ago. This book has a thoroughly scientific bent underlying its fun attitude, covering details about the planets in our solar system and what lies beyond, the history of thought about the universe, and how to gain perspective on it all.

Discoveries made by great minds in the ancient world are humbling. Mathematicians and astronomers in those days had access to little more than their own unaided observations and power of thought, yet were able to make remarkably accurate calculations which we have scarcely improved with all of our technology.

The addition of manga to the pages of text is very welcome. Three or four pages of text was my limit before I found myself longing for the manga. The drawings are well done, with expressive characters in a range of manga styles and a variety of backgrounds and page layouts. The story has a clever correspondence to the topics covered.

One unexpected benefit of reading The Manga Guide to the Universe is that I have more insight into the science behind science fiction. Reading a story that includes interstellar travel or hyperspace, I can better appreciate and understand the structure of the world an author has built for the story.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Tyrone Stewart on July 24, 2011
Format: Paperback
For anyone wanting to learn the modern thoughts on the universe, this is a fantastic book to pick up. I expected the book to include some basic facts and a summary of a few ideas. I was surprised to not only find in-depth and in some cases highly technical explanations, but also the perspective of the universe from ancient cultures, such as the Egyptians and the Japanese.

This book is broken up into two parts per chapter: the story and the explanation. The story is just what it sounds like. This when the characters interact and discover more about their world in the "comic" format. The explanation is an exposition where facts are given to the reader to digest. This is where the bulk of detailed information and history lessons come into play. Many people may find this dry or too complex, despite it being simplified. Luckily, even if all you read is the story you'll still learn more than you knew.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By activeAnime on October 16, 2011
Format: Paperback
The Manga Guide finds new ground to teach and makes learning fun and easy in the Manga Guide to the Universe. It takes a reader through the evolution of our theories about space, the cosmos and its celestial bodies. It does it all in a very easy to understand format and style that makes learning interesting, fun, and far easier than the topic might suggest.

This book was great. It begins with ancient world views on the cosmos which was fascinating whether it was looking at the Babylonian concept or the Egyptian and Chinese beliefs. It eases the reader into the more sophisticated theories by building up the history of how the theories came to fruition. It delves into Galileo's theories, touches on Copernicus' concepts, and slowly builds the education about why our world and the worlds beyond are the way they are and why and how space is what it is believed to be both historically and in the present.

By the time it builds to present beliefs, readers will have learned all about the planets in our solar system, Geocentric vs. Heliocentric theories, the expansion of the universe, Dark Matter, Kepler's Laws and how the universe is measured! It is all immensely exciting material for anyone to learn. What is truly impressive (beyond the many awed moments you will have reading this book with what you learn) is how the guide makes the information so accessible. I am no astrophysicist by any stretch and yet I could understand every concept as it was explained in the book. The guide accentuates the ease of learning by having entertaining comical manga panels with an ongoing story for readers to enjoy.
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