I genuinely believe that science is the greatest thing to ever happen to mankind. Thanks to science, people in general are healthier, they live longer, certain tasks that would normally take a long time can be accomplished in a shorter timespan. Granted, there are downsides to this, but we’re living in the best times to be alive thanks to continuing advancements in science and technology. I bring this up because it’s a major element of the anime that I’m going to talk about today. Adapted from the manga written by Riichiro Inagaki and illustrated by Boichi, this is Dr. Stone.
A bright light encompasses the entire world, turning the entire human population into stone. 3700 years later, high school student Senku Ishigami (along with others) is revived and he sets out to revive civilization back to what it was pre-petrification using science. What we have is a post-apocalyptic future that’s reverted back before civilization where it’s survival of the fittest. Dr. Stone is a very grounded series for the most part with no supernatural features outside of the petrifying light and the physical feats of certain characters. Unlike most shonen series, this is not an action-oriented show. Don’t get me wrong, there is action throughout, but that’s not the main focus. It’s on the science. They explain how a lot of basic stuff works and what certain raw materials are and what they do in a scientific way. These are usually the most epic part of the anime, when they show the step-by-step process of whatever contraption they’re building and it’s complete. It made me think about all of the things we have that we take for granted. Most, if not, all, of our technological advances has made our lives more convenient and it took thousands of years for it to be perfected. And Senku is hoping to recreate all of that progress and get humanity back to the way it was.
Senku stands out among other shonen protagonists outside of his ridiculous hair as he has no amazing strength or powers, he’s just really smart and he shows it off every time. He definitely comes off as arrogant and at times, scheming and sarcastic, but he has a genuine good heart and cares for others. His best friend, Taiju, is a dimwitted musclehead who also has a good heart. He has a crush on Yuzuhira Ogawa, who he intended to confess his love to before the petrification. Along the way, they revive Tsukasa Shishio, a martial arts student who was dubbed “The Strongest Primate High Schooler.” This motherfucker is so strong, he killed a lion with one punch. At first, he’s an ally of Senku and company until he reveals his goal to create a new world with only young people being revived because he views adults as morally corrupt (I mean, he does have a point). Senku intends to revive everyone (or at least as many people as he possibly can), which puts him at odds with Tsukasa. In the sixth episode, Senku parts ways with Taiju and Yuzuhira who he sends to spy on Tsukasa after faking his death. Along the way, he meets Kohaku, a girl from the Ishigami Village where Senku decides to establish his Kingdom Of Science to go up against Tsukasa’s Empire Of Might. There, we meet other characters: Chrome, a self-proclaimed sorcerer who becomes Senku’s right-hand man in science, Kinro and Ginro, two brother guardsmen with the former being stern with the rules while the latter is a cowardly slacker, Suika, the most adorable thing ever who wears a melon over her head, Kaseki, an elderly craftsmen who’s recruited to help build all the things the Kingdom Of Science requires, etc. There’s also Gen Asagiri, a self-serving mentalist who was revived by Tsukasa and sent to the Ishigami Village to confirm Senku’s death, but he eventually switched sides.
The animation, for the most part, is pretty good. The backgrounds are lush and detailed and the character designs really stand out. Although, certain designs kinda throw me off a bit. See, the male characters look fine, but the female characters? Many of them have the same faces where the eyes are WAY too far apart and their mouths are tiny. Dr. Stone is also one of the most hilarious anime series of the year. There’s not one episode that I didn’t laugh at, it’s that funny. Most of it is due to the facial expressions. I was in tears every single time they showed any goofy expressions. The anime isn’t just funny, but it’s also got a surprising amount of heart to it. A few examples; in episode 9, they built a power generator that would power a lightbulb and the village is in awe of the light that’s created by it, in episode 11, Senku and company create a pair of glass lenses for Suika because she’s nearsighted and she’s able to see the world more clearly, in episode 22, the village built an observatory for Senku on his birthday. Also, there are a few episodes that are dedicated to Senku’s adoptive father Byakuya, an astronaut who was on the International Space Station with five other individuals when the petrification occurred. They crash land on Earth in an attempt to figure out what caused this crisis and Byakuya leaves behind a message for Senku if he ever survived. Now, one might question how he would know if Senku is still alive and how convenient his plan is, but whatever.
And that was Dr. Stone. It’s educational, hilarious, heartwarming, and entertaining overall. It’s one of those series since Bill Nye The Science Guy that’s made learning about science cool. It’s definitely worth checking out. All 24 episodes are available in all the streaming services that feature anime. A second season is of course happening and it’ll be focused on the war between the Kingdom Of Science and the Empire Of Might. Can’t wait for that to drop. Next time, we’ll be talking about Carole & Tuesday.