The Manga Guide to Physics

The Manga Guide to Physics

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The Manga Guide to PhysicsFor this newest entry into the “Manga Guide” series, the story centers around Megumi, who is good at athletics but not good at physics. Her rival, Sayaka, has challenged Megumi to a tennis match and has thrown Megumi for a loop by relating physics to the playing of tennis. This causes Megumi to overthink things and thus lose the match. While cleaning up the court as part of her loss of the challenge, male classmate Ryota tosses a ball into the court to help Megumi but ends up hitting her instead.

Since Ryota is an ace at physics and he saw Megumi lose the tennis match, Megumi explains how Sayaka’s remark after the physics test messed Megumi up. As such, she wants Ryota to teach her physics. He’s reluctant to do so but Megumi pretends that she still feels great pain from the ball that Ryota hit her with so he agrees. Ryota’s lessons often involve tennis, which is something that Megumi can relate to but sometimes he uses other examples.

Sayaka discovers what Megumi is up to and has challenged Megumi again. As the lessons continue, over time Megumi begins to address Ryota as “Ryota” instead of “Nonomura-kun,” which he finds troubling. She wants him to address her as “Megumi” or better yet, “Megu,” instead of “Ninomiya-san.” After the lessons come to a close, Megumi has her rematch with Sayaka and with Ryota watching, she puts her new physics knowledge to work and has a much improved game and respect from Sayaka as well as a good friendship with Ryota, who now calls her “Megu.”

As expected, there is a hint of romance in this manga story with Megumi becoming attracted to Ryota. Ryota is portrayed as the typical ultra nice guy but in the end, there are hints that maybe things will proceed from friendship to something more. I’m not sure why, but while this wasn’t anything heavy, it stuck out to me. That’s not a problem, just an observation on my part.

No Starch Press continues to forge ahead in its approach to the English translation and adaptation by allowing the “san” and “kun” honorifics through. As you guys know, I’m all down for this in any translated text from Japan and so I am excited to see No Starch Press take this leap. Granted, they used “sensei” in The Manga Guide to Electricity, but using “san” and “kun” is an even bigger step. I do wonder if the “chan” honorific was in the original Japanese text though because there were moments where it seems it would have been used.

Regardless, the inclusion of the honorifics helps with the bringing forward Megumi’s change of feelings for Ryota and it does the same for Ryota at the end of the manga (though I still wonder if the “chan” honorific would have been there). So hat’s off to No Starch Press. ^_^

Now to the physics.

Covered in this book are the law of action and reaction, force and motion, momentum, and energy. Newton’s three laws of motion are gone over in depth as well as the other aspects of physics that you might expect.

This volume mostly follows the same form as the previous books, however there is one difference. Instead of each chapter having a single manga section to cover the subject matter followed by a more in depth look at the same material in a more traditional form, this book breaks the manga stories up with “labratory” sections to go into depth on what had been discussed. As such, there are several manga sections and lab sections per chapter. I think this helps the reader gain a better knowledge of physics by covering it in chunks within the chapters rather than retreading such a large amount of materials in a single large chunk at the end of each chapter.

This book makes extensive use of real world applications for physics and while many of them center around tennis (which is understandable), I think that things will be easier to relate to by the average reader. Having applications of physics that are easy to relate to makes things easier to understand in my opinion. That’s where this book excels in my opinion and thus will be a useful aide for those looking to learn physics but find the subject daunting.

Bottom line: We have another fun story to help teach physics to the reader. By having real world examples of physics in use combined with breaking up the textbook stuff into smaller chunks makes this an excellent book for those looking to dip their toes into the waters of physics.

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2 Responses to “The Manga Guide to Physics”

  1. Animenerdz says:

    lol…they actually created such a book…come to think of it ^_^

  2. shadows writer says:

    Speaking of killing poor little cat-maidens. This book should murder the whole race.
    🙂

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