The Manga Guide to Biochemistry Review

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The Manga Guide to BiochemistryThe folks at No Starch Press sent me the latest in The Manga Guide series, this time covering the subject of biochemistry. The story framework has female high school student Kumi wanting to lose a little weight and struggling against her desire to eat her favorite, fattening foods. Her male friend from college, Nemoto, doesn’t think she needs to lose weight, but decides to get her to see beyond a few pounds and how the body works — biochemistry. To this end, Kumi agrees to come with him to the university to meet his biochemistry professor, Kurosaka. Kumi wants to be as beautiful as Kurosaka is and is all down to learn biochemistry.  Kurosaka sees that Nemoto is romantically interested in Kumi and decides to help there while teaching biochemistry at the same time.

The book is broken down into five sections, each with multiple subsections.  The main sections cover what happens inside your body, photosynthesis and respiration, how biochemistry affects our daily lives, enzymes and chemical reactions, and finally, molecular biology and the biochemistry of nucleic acids. Since the manga story is designed to show how biochemistry comes into play in so many activities in our life (with food and its interactions with the body and such), I figure a lot of people will be able to relate to this, possibly more so than any other Manga Guide book to date.

As usual, the story framework is just that — a framework and nothing too deep. The manga aspects of teaching biochemistry do so in a way that is both fun and easy to understand.  However, there are times when deeper explanations than can be given in manga form are required, which is when the book switches to a more textbook style of writing, though never to the level of being super dry, tedious, or boring (well, assuming you are interested in biochemistry to begin with).

Since the story framework began with Kumi wanting to lose weight, it is possible that people wanting to lose weight may read this book and have a better understanding of how the foods they are currently eating interact with the body to make weight loss harder or easier.  As such, it might help encourage those wanting to lose weight to do so in a sensible fashion rather than follow some fad diet, which will work, but only ask long as you stick to the diet.  Understanding biochemistry in your own body might help one to lose weight and then keep it off.

The artwork here is nice, clean, and attractive, which helps since sometimes, the artists used in one of these books can have art styles that can be more distracting.  That is not the case here and I am glad for it.

In the end, I think this book will have a greater relatability factor to people than any other in the series, simply because food consumption, fats, body weight, and the like are all discussed here. For those interested in such things and more with biochemistry, I do recommend this book as a fun way to learn the subject.

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2 Responses to “The Manga Guide to Biochemistry Review”

  1. mr.Poneis says:

    This sure is interesting… Seems more reliable than Toriko at least…

    You think that I could wait for a anime someday? Not tv, but a serie of ovas…

    see ya

  2. AstroNerdBoy says:

    I don’t think any of the “Manga Guide” books will become anime titles. ^_~

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