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Conny Withay







Reviewer Conny Withay:Operating her own business in office management since 1991, Conny is an avid reader, volunteers reading the Bible to the elderly, and makes handmade jewelry. A cum laude graduate with a degree in art living in the Pacific Northwest, she is married with two sons, two daughter-in-laws, and one granddaughter.

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By Conny Withay
Published on February 25, 2013
 


Author: Masaharu Takemura
Illustrator: Kikuyaro
Publisher: No Starch Press
ISBN: 978-1-59327-276-0





Author: Masaharu Takemura

Illustrator: Kikuyaro
Publisher: No Starch Press
ISBN: 978-1-59327-276-0

And make sure you get a good balance of nutrients, of course! You’ve learned that proteins, saccharides, and lipids are all important to your body. You must realize by now that dieting by starving yourself is complete nonsense, right?” Professor Choko Kurosaka asks Kumi in The Manga Guide to Biochemistry by Masaharu Takemura.

With over two hundred and fifty pages, this oversize paperback book is one of nine in a The Manga series and geared toward high school or college age students with its theme of a cartoon running throughout the book. With no profanity, the book’s cartoon drawings are done in black and white by illustrator Kikuyaro. This English edition producer is Office Sawa and includes a five page index at the end of the book.

To stimulate young-minded interest, the cartoon and majority of the book is about Japanese high school female student Kumi who is determined to loose five pounds. With the help of her college friend, Nemoto, they ask his gorgeous biochemistry professor, Choko Kurosaka, to explain how best to drop the weight.

Intermingled among the cartoons and conversations between the three main characters, explained are what happens inside our bodies, what is photosynthesis and respiration, biochemistry in our everyday lives, enzymes being the keys to chemical reactions, molecular biology and nucleic acids. Charts, chemical reactions, diagrams, structures and illustrations give details of topics such as cells, metabolism, DNA, RNA, blood types, and ribozymes.

Besides the cartoons, there are scattered page breaks in the storyline that give fundamentals, technical knowledge, discussions on the importance of plant life, ATP, fatty acids, cholesterol, and amino acids along with five mystery section questions such as “Why do you gain weight if you overeat?” or “Why does fruit become sweet?”

In the end of the animated tome, not only does Kumi understand that if she expends more calories than she ingests, she will lose weight, but that her friend Nemoto has an interest in her, not the pretty professor.

Although the book is targeted toward Japanese culture in the cartoon and some of the cartoon frames can be confusing to an American, the English version of this very intensive book would be best understood by advanced biochemistry high school students or college level classes due to its plethora of technical scientific information packed in its pages. With too much information per cartoon page, one may be overwhelmed with the amount of material displayed.


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