Season aired: Summer 2019
Number of episodes: 24
Genres: Adventure, Drama, and Comedy
Thoughts: Ah, Dr. Stone. A popular Shounen Jump story that rivals The Promised Neverland. Already, the series gained a strong following before the airing of the anime. One for the storyline and characters, but the second one surprisingly for its good reputed fandom. Despite the fact that The Promised Neverland and Dr. Stone consistently competed to be the best manga series of Shounen Jump, the two fandoms are incredibly civil and friendly towards each other in an actual positive competitive nature.
When a fandom, one of the most volatile areas on the internet, becomes famous for its good-natured personality, I can’t help but find myself interested. What storyline and characters lie in wait when their fans are inspired to be friendly rather than aggressive?
Senku is a child genius well known amongst his classmates. He gets along with everyone, but he is undoubtedly closest to Taiju, the ridiculously strong idiot who’s very earnest, loyal, and respectful towards other people. During Taiju’s confession to a girl he had crushed on for a very long time, a mysterious green light enveloped the world and turned them all into stone. Senku manages to keep his mind alive for millions of years before breaking free from his inflexible stone shell and must navigate a greatly-changed Earth with only a number of human inhabitants who are still alive.
Dr. Stone sets itself apart because of its core theme of knowledge. I don’t think there’s truly another series out there that could introduce war, exploration, romance, ethical dilemmas, and yet still shine the most when Senku goes into one of his passionate dives in explaining science and the development that humanity has made throughout the years. From the making of soda and ramen to the invention of antibiotics and electricity, I perk up in my seat despite the huge amount of scientific facts thrown at me.
Ultimately, Dr. Stone is a celebration of humanity. While without a doubt, humans have made fundamentally wrong decisions, as pointed out by Tsukasa, the series’ antagonist, our strength and curiosity have led us far and into incredibly positive change. Yes, humans are greedy, selfish, and prideful. Humans have tramped upon others for their own self-glory, and it seems like the older generation always hold power over the young. But even through this corruption, Senku points out that we developed medicine that cured illnesses that often afflict innocent children, defeated the night with our invention of light, and even brought flavors to our tongues we never thought possible. For every bad motivation and ethically wrong person in the world, there are selfless humans who push forward in curiosity and sometimes desperation for the better of humanity. And Dr. Stone made sure to show how beautiful that sentiment is.
Senku also strikes as a more interesting protagonist. For one, this teenager is actually not interested in anything but knowledge. Not even the introduction of Kohaku, an incredibly capable woman warrior his age with some beautiful legs to show, fazes him from his quest to learn more and invent more. He’s a protagonist without a love interest, and the main couple are instead his best friends. This leads to incredibly cute moments when Senku subtly expresses just how much he ships them and wants them to get together.
The characters can, however, sometimes get exaggerated a little too much. Taiju’s idiocy can become too annoying to handle, and Yuzuru, Taiju’s love interest, hasn’t shown much of her personality or character yet before the two best friends get pushed off to the side.
Tsukasa does show up as a worthy opponent to Senku with his speeches about the darker side of humanity and his strength and strategies in fights, but the army he collects is honestly quite confusing. For one, all of them are incredibly ripped and skilled to fight in hand to hand combat, which I’m honestly not sure how he could’ve found and gathered them all. There’s a girl who can do acrobatic moves and fight with her legs, a six-pack man wearing a mask who fights with a spear, and a young man always carrying a bow and arrow whenever we catch glimpses of him.
Ironically, what caught me off guard the most and probably the most nitpicky thing I will probably bring up in this review is that one of the women Tsukasa revived claimed that the stone world was infinitely better than the modern world. As a woman myself, I find that highly unrealistic because in the stone world there are essentials that women, in particular, need that the world cannot offer including but not limited to: pads and tampons when blood is literally bleeding out of our bodies, painkillers for those with debilitating cramps, and birth control pills and condoms so having sex doesn’t risk an unwanted pregnancy. I really doubt any single woman out there would agree a stone world is better unless she literally just doesn’t have a period.
Though the characters’ personalities can be written exaggerated, and in that same effect, feel flat, the character designs never fail to entertain me. Dr. Stone has some of the funniest stills and facial expressions to ever grace the series, and it’s so iconic, I think even people who don’t really follow the series would recognize a Dr. Stone character online.
There isn’t really too much animation to comment on because fancy fight scenes aren’t the focus of the series, but the soundtrack and visuals do an incredible job to accompany this series. Especially when Senku and his team make incredible strides in their technological advancement, the music pumps you up very effectively. The world that Senku explores illustrates exactly how I imagined Earth to be if humans never evolved – filled with vegetation and incredibly clean water and air. In a sense, you can’t help at times but side with Tsukasa. Perhaps the world is better and more beautiful without the involvement of humanity, which makes the whole impending fight between the two characters more important.
Dr. Stone has made it clear a second season is on its way, and I’m beyond happy that it will receive a sequel. At the end of the day, Dr. Stone is a reminder of the accomplishments of humanity and that sometimes we should take a step back from our day and simply be proud of how far we’ve become and how much more potential we can reach if we pursue our passions for the sake of others.
Voice acting: 7
FINAL SCORE: 79