Review: The Manga Guide to Calculus

The Manga Guide to CalculusThe Manga Guide to Calculus by Hiroyuki Kojima
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

While the book didn’t happen to explain calculus in the way I best understand it, I think it did do a pretty good job of explaining it. More importantly, I think the book does an excellent job of explaining why calculus is important outside of engineering. I’m not sure if my undergrad requires Calculus for journalism students, but the journalists at the center of this book certainly make an argument for how it can help data-driven journalists derive good first-order approximations for their stories and fact-check data given to them by others. All too often kids fail to glom onto subjects because they can’t see how it applies to them in the real world.

I felt this Manga Guide had a better story than the electricity one. It wasn’t an amazing story, but it was enough of a story that I was curious to see where it was going. It ends on a pretty good note, I think, given what’d been hinted on throughout the manga.

One thing that threw me for a loop is a few pages from the end when the main character jumps into the ocean because she’s so surprised to see someone in the ocean that she forgets herself temporarily. Her shirt becomes wet and you can see her bra. Anyone who’s read my reviews knows I’m not a prude. I just found it an odd detail for a comic that was otherwise all business. Certainly nothing to freak about about, it just took me out of the story for a minute.

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