Though I'd heard about the Manga Guide series from No Starch Press, I had not yet had an opportunity to check out any of the books in the series. So when I saw The Manga Guide to Databases, as a developer who mostly deals with databases I knew I had to give it a go.
The first thing I noticed upon cracking this book was the straightforward manner in which information is presented. As an occasional comic book reader, I was concerned that the book may create unnecessary complications in presenting the information in comic/manga form. But I quickly found myself drawn into the story of Princess Ruruna, Cain, and the Kingdom of Kod's issues with data management.
The story serves as an entry point into the many points made throughout the book. The Kingdom of Kod sells many different fruits, and between the Merchandise Department, the Overseas Business Department, and the Export Department, the prices of the various fruits were being messed up as they were managed in three separate places.
Throughout the book, the characters are taught database concepts and how to apply those concepts by Tico, the magical database fairy. As a person who already had knowledge of how to use databases, I was intrigued by the no-nonsense way that this fun book presented the concepts. I wish Tico was around to help me when I was learning the basics about databases!
For many non-technical people, databases are a type of black magic. And yet, databases are used everywhere and can be useful in a huge number of applications. So it's good to have a simple, yet effective manner for educating many people. I see this book as being very easy to work into beginning college courses or training courses as a gentle introduction to the many concepts involved.
In case you're worried that the book is entirely in manga form, I can assure you that isn't the case. Each chapter has an introductory set of pages in manga form, and then a number of pages that use text and illustrations to reinforce what was discussed in the first part of the chapter. This provides not only a fun way to get comfortable with the concepts, but also a well written summary of those concepts to make sure you understand them before you move on.