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Learning the Fun of Science Through Manga

©Kome Studio, Boichi / Shueisha ©Akane Shimizu / Kodansha ©Masamori Endo, Mari Manishi, TREND-PRO / Ohmsha

Manga that lets readers enjoy learning about science is currently popular in Japan.
It has also been common in the past to read manga in order to learn things that are usually written in textbooks, in an easy-to-understand way. In particular, manga about world history and the history of Japan has helped the studies of many students at elementary, junior high, and high schools.
Meanwhile, manga that helps people easily study about science—a field that is often considered difficult—rather than history has also gained popularity recently. This article gives a few examples of manga filled with scientific knowledge.

Dr. STONE—Rebuilding a Lost Scientific Civilization on Earth in the Future

The front cover of Dr. STONE Volume 3 ©Kome Studio, Boichi / Shueisha

A scene where characters make a medicine to treat pneumonia (From Dr. STONE Volume 4) ©Kome Studio, Boichi / Shueisha

One example is Dr. STONE, a manga that is also airing as an anime on TV. In this series, people from all over the world are suddenly turned into stone, and a few high school students find themselves brought back to life several thousand years later. One of these students is a genius with an incredible level of understanding about science and medicine, and he works to rebuild humankind’s lost civilization from scratch.
He utilizes his extensive knowledge as he collects resources from forests, lakes, and volcanic caves to make steel and glass, generate electricity, and even produce medicine for pneumonia. As you enjoy this series, you naturally come to understand the minerals and processes needed for glassmaking, for example, and so you gain an interest in a wider range of subjects.

Cells at Work!—Showing What Happens in the Body Through Anthropomorphized Cells

The front cover of Cells at Work! Volume 1 ©Akane Shimizu / Kodansha

In this scene showing pneumococcus invading blood vessels, the bacteria are depicted as people with very strange appearances (From Cells at Work! Volume 1) ©Akane Shimizu / Kodansha

A manga called Cells at Work! uses stories to depict mechanisms in the human body.Inside the human bloodstream, red blood cells chiefly carry oxygen, and white blood cells have a role of attacking microbes that intrude into the body. The protagonists in this manga are anthropomorphized cells, including a red blood cell and a white blood cell that look just like people. The red blood cell is a woman who works as a courier to carry oxygen and the white blood cell is a man who looks like a police officer. Meanwhile, the pneumococcus and other microbes are depicted as monsters and beasts.
The manga shows how white blood cells fight microbes that have intruded into the human body, for example, as part of a story.
This manga’s creator was originally asked by her younger sister, a high school student, to draw a manga featuring cells because she wanted to learn more about them.  As a result, she started making Cells at Work!
The manga became popular; it was made into an anime for TV audiences and was also translated and published internationally.

The red blood cell character, anthropomorphized as a courier
(From the Cells at Work! anime) ©Akane Shimizu / Kodansha, Aniplex, davidproduction

Learning Technical Information with Appealing Characters and a Captivating Story

A series called “The Manga Guide to ...” is particularly popular among manga that focus on learning, as it presents different areas of science in an easy-to-understand way. From pharmacology to machine learning, quantum mechanics, digital circuits, and even nutrition, this series covers a wide range of scientific fields in a way that anyone can understand, young or old.
For example, one title in the series is called The Manga Guide to Electromagnetism. The protagonist, a young male student, learns about electromagnetism from a female teacher who he comes to know by chance. It teaches you about electromagnetism as you easily read through the book, even though this field is usually considered to be complicated with many laws and equations.
This series has also been translated and published in many countries outside of Japan.

The Manga Guide to Electromagnetism ©Masamori Endo, Mari Manishi, TREND-PRO / Ohmsha

The teacher explains to the protagonist about the atomic nucleus, as well as the electric charges of protons, neutrons, and electrons.
The Manga Guide to Electromagnetism ©Masamori Endo, Mari Manishi, TREND-PRO / Ohmsha

The Manga Guide to Statistics has been published in many countries ©Shin Takahashi, TREND-PRO / Ohmsha

Learning the Fun of Science and Expanding Your Interests with Manga

All of these manga help you see the fun elements of science in addition to teaching you about scientific topics. In this way, they make you want to learn more. Science in itself has many interesting aspects to it, and the manga have presented these aspects in a familiar format.
If you feel that science is a boring subject that you are forced to study, why not try reading these manga or other works like them to discover the fun of science?