The Manga Guide to Statistics

Monday, May 6, 2013  By  Emily Serven     No comments

Rui has a problem. She has a crush, but can’t seem to get his attention. To solve this, she decides to learn statistics to impress him. Since he works in statistics, she decides to ask her father if she can have a tutor in the field, expecting him to set her up with her crush. However, she’s stuck with another (in her opinion, less attractive) guy, and resolves to learn statistics anyway with the goal of impressing her crush with knowledge she’s gained.

The story itself isn’t that bad, other than the fact that Rui’s crush is one of her dad’s coworkers. Although ages aren’t explicitly stated, you assume that she’s a high schooler and her crush is probably north of 30, which is a bit creepy. However, the main purpose of the book, teaching statistics, is done very well. When a concept is introduced, it’s presented in a simple and relevant real world scenario. There’s a text explanation at the end of the chapters in case you didn’t understand the scenario, additional exercises at the end of the chapters with answers for more practice, and a summary. New sections of the comics are labeled so you know when there’s a cut to a new topic. Some scenarios will make more sense to readers with more knowledge of Japan. Examples include those involving manga reader questionnaires and language proficiency tests. But the concepts are universal enough that normal readers will still understand them.

The art is simple without too much detail in backgrounds and character design, but more importantly, the equations and graphs are written clearly and concisely. Proportions and poses sometimes look awkward. One appendix includes information on calculating using Microsoft Excel and includes screenshots from the 2003 version. The screenshots are of the cells themselves and some dialogue boxes, which may or may not change in later versions.

The only thing to look out for is Rui’s crush on her dad’s co-worker.

The Manga Guide to Statistics
by Shin Takahashi, Trend-Pro Co. Ltd.
ISBN: 9781593271893
No Starch Press, 2008

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