Although I wasn't expecting to learn about Japanese literature in this book, it was really a nice fit, and in retrospect, it's quite natural to discuss how cultural views of celestial objects and the universe as a whole have changed over time. Ishikawa also ties the birth of new universes back to the original story in the final chapter in a brilliant and very satisfying way.
Throughout the book, we get a good view of why astronomers believed the universe was a particular way, as well as why they were proven wrong, from discarding the Earth-centered model, to recognizing the vastly greater distances of the stars compared to the relatively nearby objects of our Solar System. The text engages the reader with leading questions and logical implications, and the data and thought experiments are well served by the visual illustrations. Ishikawa uses both some classic analogies and some fresh, unique ones to get some difficult concepts across.
I was delighted that he also took time to cover some hot-button topics that a traditional textbook may have left out: Kanna discovers a UFO and by the end of a chapter, she has learned enough astronomy basics to figure out what it really was and why it seemed to be following her; the possibility of life either in our Solar System or elsewhere in the galaxy is discussed, including the specific details of our best nearby candidates, and the more general statistical argument made famous by Frank Drake.
The Manga Guide to the Universe is a perfect blend of lucidly argued basics and unfettered, cutting-edge possibility. One of the best yet in the series (which is saying a lot).