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After five years of harboring unspoken feelings, high schooler Taiju Ooki is finally ready to confess his love to Yuzuriha Ogawa. Just when Taiju begins his confession however, a blinding green light strikes the earth and petrifies mankind around the world — turning every single human into stone.
# 1: "Good Morning World!" by BURNOUT SYNDROMES (eps 1-13)
# 2: "Sangenshoku (三原色)" by PELICAN FANCLUB (eps 14-24)
# 1: "LIFE" by Rude-α (eps 1-13)
# 2: "Yume no You na (夢 の よ う な)" by YouthK Saeki (eps 14-24)
Dr. Stone is one of those sorts of anime which you love even though it's extremely over the top. It's realistic while being unrealistic, funny yet with high stakes. It's set in prehistoric-like times and that's what's unique about it. Make no mistake, this is the kind of "you'll either love it or hate it" anime. It's got these moments that'll either make you fall in love with the show because of its execution or make you hate it because of how stupid it might seem. I fall into the former category and I'll explain why. Dr. Stone is as much a comedy show as it is about science. You'll fall off your couch laughing if you continue watching it. I liked the concept to begin with and enjoyed the first few episodes, but they are nothing compared to what Dr. Stone has to offer later in the season. The build-up is quiet but every following episode is an explosion. This is when I honestly began to dig the show as much as I do now.
The setting of the show is so intriguing that you'll get sucked right in: Earth has been petrified; turned to stone by a mysterious light that suddenly encompasses the globe. Not one person on the planet is left standing. However, petrification doesn't mean death. These people are still well and truly alive, but they can't move, can't speak, can't think? Well, there’s one person who’s still maintained his ability to think and through his steely determination, breaks his petrification. I'm talking about none other than the protagonist: Senkuu.
Now, Dr. Stone is a show that you'll only fully appreciate if you can give a pass to its ridiculous science fiction stuff. A lot of what it portrays in terms of science is correct, however, the way the characters achieve it is fairly exaggerated. That's all down to the genius of Senkuu. He’s a supercomputer in the skin of a human. Senkuu is a guy made by mixing all of the most brilliant brains to ever exist in the real world. It's just ten billion times smarter.
The main focus of Dr. Stone is showcasing the brilliance of Senkuu and his little science team that he manages to gather. The gang of characters that he befriends all have their different goals and personalities. His initial encounters with them are not always on friendly terms but one of the things that’s good to watch about this anime is how these characters work together with an aim to form the kingdom of Science - Senkuu’s ultimate objective. Most of the inventions of the team wouldn’t have been possible without the cooperation and expertise of each individual and this, in my opinion, is one of the major standout points in the show.
The story starts off with Taiju finally deciding to confess his feelings to the girl he's loved for all his life. But, just like all great things, this does not come to pass. Right before his confession, the world is petrified. Along with Senkuu, Taiju is one of the few characters who partially maintained his ability to think, and that was largely thanks to his overwhelming love for Yuzuriha. He’s a hardheaded character (in both senses) who’s a perfect foil for Senkuu’s genius. He does most of the physical stuff which Senkuu isn’t great at, and their partnership together is what helps them overcome their greatest enemy.
Speaking of the enemy, that would be Tsukasa Shishio: the strongest person in the show thus far. He is another example of the exaggerations in the show as he's shown to be powerful enough to kill lions with a single punch. His petrification is cured by Senkuu when he found himself in a perilous situation. However, the two soon find themselves to have totally opposite goals. Their rivalry is a great example of what Dr. Stone is about: brains vs brawns. We don't see too much of Tsukasa after the initial few episodes but I do expect him to play a major part in the upcoming seasons.
The fiery Kohaku is the first of the many characters of the “new generation” that Senkuu encounters in his quest. She’s a fiery girl who’s one of the best fighters in this prehistoric world and one whose story I particularly enjoyed. Then there's Chrome, the yang to Senkuu's yin; a science user who’s shunned as a sorcerer as people find his interests weird. I personally think that Asagiri Gen, one of the characters introduced a bit later in the first half of the season, is one of the best in the show. I won’t go into details about him because almost anything I say about him would be more than some minor spoilers.
The art of Dr. Stone is great with extremely detailed backgrounds and character designs, but the animation does leave some question marks at times. It's not that it's bad, but you can certainly ask for something better, especially for a show that's garnered this much popularity. There are times when stills are overutilized while the “chibi animations” were somewhat overused. That said, I can't fault the overall art quality, although I fully expect and hope for this aspect of the show to be improved upon in the second season.
Unlike the animation, I have very little to complain about in the sound department. The OST has a variety of different tracks for various situations and their placement is pretty much spot on. I felt the voice actors too did a great job of mixing comedy along with the more serious stuff. The balance between the two adds a lot to the overall experience of the show. The first opening was good, but I think the second opening truly set the tone for the rest of the episode. I never really got bored of listening to it every episode and the visuals during the OP were perfectly directed.
Dr. Stone is definitely going to irk a few people due to its approach to the sci-fi genre and the way it’s handled. It has divided opinions over the last few months and I can understand where some of the negative opinions may stem from, but it covers up for it in spectacular fashion. But if you can ignore that, you're in for a hell of a ride and an amazing watch. It kept me wanting more after every episode and I watched it as soon as possible most weeks during its run. Its transition from comedy, which is better than most pure comedy anime out there, to a darker tone whenever required was one of the highlights for me. Overall, Dr. Stone was a great source of entertainment, and definitely one of my favorite anime of the year.
--- The review contains spoilers ---
Dr. Stone is an anime that took itself too seriously, and not serious enough - at the same time!
It did this by highlighting the cool ’aspects of science (through Senku’s re-engineering of past inventions), via methods that were beyond human capability. Sure. Humans can grow their own antibiotic (penicillium) through the natural molding process of bread; in fact, this was taken advantage of in ancient Egypt. But is it reasonable for one man to memorize the entire process of producing a sulfa antibiotic, and creating the various instruments necessary in doing so?
Seems rather absurd.
But what's more unbelievable than these absurd scientific feats, is Senku’s eccentric personality. Actually, everyone’s personality is turned up to an eleven on the ridiculous scale (Taiju would probably be around 3,700). This wouldn’t be a problem if said characters were funny, yet their personalities are anything but. Starting with the man of science himself, Senku, he has an encyclopedic knowledge of all scientific inventions (actually, he puts encyclopedias to shame with their dearth of information). Senku offsets his profound cognitive abilities with an edginess that redefines the trope itself. Essentially, think of Senku as an extreme version of Light Yagami. But where Death Note succeeds in providing an engaging, thought-provoking plot, Dr. Stone is as fake as Matsuda’s girlfriend (forever alone!).
Even bad anime have one character that can make the show, somewhat, bearable. That is not the case for Dr. Stone. (Google) Chrome’s inane antics and exaggerated facial expressions would normally be sufficient to categorize him as the worst character of the show; however, Taiju’s tomfoolery is second to none (although, Ginrou’s cognitive bêtise was something to behold - so many awful characters). Moving on from the comedically impoverished lot, Shishiou is the token evil dude who is bent on world domination. Instead of a personality, he perform epic physical feats like punching a lion or snatching a bird in mid-flight (dude thinks he's a f — kn ’falcon). Kohaku is your basic action girl, and Yuzuriha is just that ... m-minus the action, meaning: she’s just a girl (hard to believe, I know).
The amount of posing in Dr. Stone puts runway models to shame. Every time Senku inspires Chrome - which seems to be at least once per episode - they overly dramatize the situation to make it look like the two are going to save the world. Incidentally, this tone matched numerous events, particularly the tournament for Ruri's hand in marriage. The staff conveyed a sense of urgency in winning the tournament, but zapped all tension away when “liquid hot” magma lost in the second round. Also, the tournament itself was a travesty of bland fights, mismanaged pacing, and excessive stupidity.
Dr. Stone sort of had an interesting concept (turning everyone into stone), but it quickly dissolved into bat shit. The isekai-ish plot, along with the MMORPG style of acquiring new items was a stark reminder that Dr. Stone was a video game masquerading as an anime, meaning: we all got played. read more
"Even if you kill me, even if you kill anyone, even if you reset science ... There's always an idiot who will try anything, and the shiny monkeys will inevitably create a technological civilization."
The year is 5738, and the entire human population was petrified in stone three millennia ago. Three thousand years in the future, one kid awakens. He isn't your typical kid. He's Senku, and he's ten billion percent smarter than the average high school student. Now that civilization has regressed to the stone age, and the world needs a hero. Senku embarks on a journey to rebuild civilization with his knowledge of science.
First of all, if you are expecting a grand story about reconstructing the 21st century within twenty-four episodes, you will be disappointed. I initially assumed this would be a dystopian action-adventure — it's not; this is an edutainment comedy about science. I understand why this direction frustrated a lot of people. The trailers and promotional material were misleading. Unfortunately, this led to people harshly nitpicking it. It blows my mind that people have said the writing is shallow, without redeeming value and lacking focus. This series successfully uses an unreliable narrator; this gives it a sense of unpredictability. Anything can happen. It's exhilarating. I'm not going to pretend like this anime is perfect, but it's way better than some would lead you to believe.
In truth, this show is about Senku: The prideful genius who makes it his job to help everyone through science. Senku is overconfident to a fault. He prides himself on being ten billion percent logical, and he likes to think he'll always be right. Honestly, he makes his fair share of mistakes. He might be able to make a high-speed wagon in a couple of minutes, but don't expect it not to fall apart the first time he rides it. Seeing the show from his perspective is fantastic. He's not another overpowered blank-slate isekai protagonist who gets pushed through the story by coincidence. The story's direction is unpredictable because Senku is a force of nature. His encyclopedic knowledge of science is his main advantage. He's not invincible, he makes impactful decisions, and he makes mistakes. Much of the time, he has a utilitarian motive behind any of his kind actions. If he needs a lot of manpower, he baits villagers with ramen, with hard labor as their payment. It was always funny seeing the different ways he would trick people into doing what he wanted.
In this show, a life or death situation lies on whether or not Senku can create Coca-Cola from scratch. It does not attempt to hide how ridiculous it is. At the same time, it will also detail how to make cola with science. Once they have all parts of the latest science scheme working, we get a quick montage of it in action. He explains each scientific idea comprehensively before everyone begins working. It's all said in simple terms so the audience can follow along. I'll be honest; I don't know much about science. I slept through biology, chemistry, and physics. Somehow Dr. Stone got me to love science. Senyu taught me science can solve every problem. Like all good edutainment programs, the teachings are seamlessly weaved into the story.
The main characters are so likable — not just for their personalities and chemistry — because they have personal goals and senses of humor. The writers make sure to give each member of the science squad a considerate amount of development. For some of them, it's only a few minutes shoved in-between arcs, but their growth is visible throughout the rest of the show. I've said all I needed to say about Senku — he's the heart of the show. He has a subdued personality; even admitting he prefers not to show much emotion, but the show always subtly clues us in to how he's truly feeling. One of his pals, Kohaku, is entirely the opposite: She's a spirited girl who takes no shit.
On the other hand, his partner Chrome is another avid science fan, but he's more relatable because he isn't quite a super genius. He made a great deuteragonist, but I missed the original side characters Taiju and Yuzuihara. They're a pleasant enough duo even though they're only in a couple of episodes. I wish the story occasionally cut to their perspective. In the beginning, it's exciting watching Senku and Taiju trying to survive in the stone age. In a life or death situation, they revive the strongest man they can find, Tsukasa. With his revival, the antagonist enters the show. I've seen people criticize Tsukasa and say he's a weak villain, and I can't help but disagree. His goal for the stone world is to give everyone equal opportunity; no one will pay taxes; no one will own anything in simpler terms, libertarianism. To achieve his dream for the stone world, he endeavors to kill every petrified adult. He wants only to revive the strongest youth he can find, or the "pure-hearted youth," as he hypocritically calls them.
The first arc is an action-packed battle of wits, hunting for food, running from lions, creating the cure for humanity, friends reunite after thousands of years, the goddamn world ends. It's kind of epic. It's entirely unlike the bulk of the story, which is fine. It was an unexpected but welcome change of pace. I came for the exhilarating premise; I stayed for Senku and his band of goofy science trailblazers. When watching Dr. Stone weekly, my biggest problem was the slow pacing of the main plotlines. After rewatching the entire show, the progression didn't bother me as much. Even if it looks like the show forgot about your favorite character — don't worry — they'll be back.
Dr. Stone thoughtfully uses reincorporation in its narrative to hint at future plot points, new characters and foreshadow meaningful twists. In one of the early episodes, someone mentioned a specific electronic he missed from the old world; As Senku progresses science, he reflects on that conversation nostalgically and endeavors to make that same electronic. It seemed so insignificant at first, yet it became a central plot point later on. One of my favorite characters, Gen, the magician, is subtly mentioned in a book long before being introduced. Another clue sprinkled throughout is the modern pop culture references, which contrast with the archaic society. There's a pretty awesome in-story explanation for the villagers to use derivatives of modern Japanese. I have to give props to the writer for making someone from the stone age say "meme" without ruining the timeline.
These small victories might not seem like much on their own, but together it shows great foresight from the author. Senku's occasional unforeseen scientific solution comes to life satisfyingly — surprising both the audience and the other characters. Like any engaging twist, Senku's science is never contrived; every twist left me in awe. I could always look back and see the clues the writer creatively laid out. If the writer weren't just as brilliant as Senku, then he would not work.Thankfully, he is, and that's why Senku's a great protagonist. You could argue there's a lot of unexplained science in this series. I'd say it's not bad. There's no concrete explanation for the stone epidemic, and that's fine. I don't know science. I know stories. As long as the science stays consistent with its own internal logic, I think it has succeeded, and Dr. Stone does.
The humor is over-the-top but well-executed. It relies entirely on comedic timing and the presentation. Thankfully the editing in Dr. Stone is top notch. Every part of the audiovisual production works in unison. The BGM, openings, and endings were all superb — this is the best soundtrack I've heard all year. Each background song is deftly synced up with scene transitions and set pieces. Jokes land with boisterous sound effects — absurd facial expressions pop-up on the screen, lined-up perfectly with the punchline. I understand why people have criticized the comedy for being idiotic. And they're right. All of these characters are either idiots or socially inept. If you don't like them, you'll hate the comedy aspects. The jokes mainly rely on the character chemistry and, fantastic directing aside, I think they have hilarious chemistry. Other than the stellar character artwork (warning: some of the female faces are borderline Lovecraftian horrors), the backgrounds are consistently beautiful. TMS Entertainment continues to provide great still art; however, the longer the show went on, the more animation hiccups I noticed.
Dr. Stone gets heavily scrutinized for its plot progression, pacing, and dumb characters. Some of the criticism is fair, but much of it underserved. I consider myself pretty critical, and I enjoyed this show way more than I thought I would. The amount of research put into the science blew me away. The way it entertained me while teaching me felt so nostalgic. I grew up on edutainment, like Bill Nye The Science Guy and Magic Schoolbus. This anime follows in their footsteps, but for an older audience.
I never expected I would love these characters so much. I'm looking forward to their science shenanigans next season. It took humanity two million years to crawl out of the stone age to the modern era. Thankfully, it only took twenty-four weeks for people to realize Dr. Stone is a great anime. read more
Having been a fan of Weekly Shonen Jump works for many years, their arsenal of genres continues to bring diversity to its audience. From ninjas in hidden villages to mages from magical guilds, it seems once in a while, there comes a new hot topic for fans to celebrate. Dr. Stone celebrates a post-apocalyptic adventure that serves as a love letter to science but also brings a refreshing look to its fans.
One of the more distinctive features about the anime is the illustrator of the manga. Boichi had previously worked as an illustrator on manga such as Sun-Ken Rock, Wallman, and more recently, Origin. To see his character designs being animated is a breath of fresh air. In fact, the previews and key visuals demonstrated that Dr. Stone can be translated into the anime medium. Studio TMS collaborated with Crunchyroll to delivery to us a definitive imagination of the post-apocalyptic world. Just as in the manga, the anime takes in a period some 3700 years after the modern times. Now you can imagine how much potential Dr. Stone can bring with its expansive setting.
As with many anime these days, it's becoming easier to judge by the cover and more so by what to expect from the synopsis. Dr. Stone doesn't hide anything from its fans as the first episode quickly unravels the depths of its plot. We are thrown into the story immediately as the world seemingly ends and mankind get petrified into stone. It's too bad for a guy like Ooki Taiju since he was planning to confess his love to a girl named Yuzuriha. Then, we meet Senku Ishigami, a brilliant man with a fascination for science. Not only does have a big ambition to rebuild civilization, he also wants to revive science and discover the truth of the past. Comparing the two characters seems like apple and oranges at first but as time went on, I grew to appreciate both characters. They share similar goals despite having different skillsets. And unmasking the truth isn't an easy task. Combining their talents together brings them closure to discovering the nature of the Stone World. However, you may be wondering what Dr. Stone is really aiming for.
The answer is quite simple and that is to explore the idea of science but translating it into without being dull or forced down our throats. Every idea spawned in the show has a purpose such as important inventions. Senku’s brilliance helps bring technology into the Stone World through his innovative ideas. It's clear that his passions goes beyond just curiosity but genuinely wants to rebuild mankind into a civilization. As the main character, Senku’s natural charisma gave me the impression of a leader, someone who is capable of expressing his voice without much bias. Some of his actions may seem manipulative in nature but deep down, he is a selfless man who applies his logic to help people. However, Senku himself is not just the sole person to keep an eye on. If there’s one character to name that stands on the opposite side of Senku, it would be Tsukasa Shishio, a man with a desire to recreate a world without modern technology. Clashing against his personal ideas, Tsukasa serves as Senku’s main obstacle and antagonist throughout the show. Similar to Senku, he is also highly intelligent but also carries a great amount of physical strength. The plot details of his own ambitions and while not being promoted as much as Senku, we are shown about the true nature of his character.
As the cast expands, we are also introduced to Ishigami Village, a community from the Stone Age world where some of the major characters reside in. These include Chrome, Ginro, Kinro, Suika, Kohaku and her sister Ruri, to name a few. The village serves a symbol of mankind achievement. It's where we see some of the science at work and inventions bought to reality with the ingenious work of the characters. These include but not limited to food seasoning tools, clothing, shelter, fire, traps, alcohol, gunpowder, iron, drugs, magnets, glass, weapons, and of course, the formula that de-petrified humanity. If you think about it really, the ability to make all these made possible may be the closest thing mankind has to a superpower.
With the manga still ongoing, the main plot is decorated into arcs that expands upon the overall storytelling. This is similar to long running Shounen Jump manga and also important to flesh out its colorful character cast. Dr Stone keeps its fans engaged and entertaining with its addictive character chemistry. We have characters such as Kohaku and Suika often stealing the spotlight with their personalities. Others such as Tsukasa and Asagiri develops rivalries with Senku to bring out the best of their characters. Unfortunately, not everyone can be appealing in the show. I quickly lost interest in Taiju and Yuzuriha’s relationship after being introduced to the Stone World. Even as one of the more important characters, Yuzuriha rarely ever stands out compared to the other cast. When we talk about Taiju, he holds a much lesser degree of presence compared to Senku, Kohaku, Tsukasa, or even Asagiri in later episodes. Fortunately, the character chemistry connects the show’s humor together to still bring out entertainment. There's an immense amount of comedy that draws out character personalities. Sometimes, it may seem to go overboard but most often, it's great to get the fans entertained.
Even as a 2-cour show, Dr. Stone doesn't have enough material to cover the manga story. With over 130+ chapters and ongoing, the anime did accomplish the mission to deliver a wealth of its ideas. If you managed to complete the anime from first episode to the end, you should have a great understanding on what the author is trying to deliver to us. Luckily enough, the anime remains faithful throughout its run without going off rail with its main plot. Even the ambiguous background storytelling is told through the eyes of the international space station crew. The animation quality is adamantly beautiful with its world setting from the prehistoric landscapes to its scientific inventions. I can't thank Boichi enough to make his characters look more distinctive than the generic looking character models we find so often these years. Take me advice and read some of his other works. As with the animation, soundtrack brings a colorful sense of charisma with its theme songs. The character voice mannerisms synchronizes well with each personality, especially Senku, our scientific genius of the Stone Age world.
There's no doubt that Dr. Stone tried to be unique with its science culture and storytelling. Every now and then, there's an anime that I find myself deeply indulged in with its creative ideas. This show proved itself to be a refreshing take on the science fiction genre that 2019 needed. Toonami also recently took steps to bring the show to a broader audience in the West. Hopefully, that means more fans will get to experience the fascination of Dr. Stone’s style of science. I mean, what more could you want? Another season? Well good news because we're getting it. read more
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