Original Run: July 5. 2019 - December 13, 2019 Number of Episodes: 24 Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Science Fiction Based on the Series Created By: Riichiro Inagaki and Boichi
***Warning, the following may contain spoilers for Dr. Stone. Reader discretion is advised.***
In a flash of green light, all of humanity was turned into stone, and modern civilization came to an abrupt end.
Thousands of years then past and the Earth returned to a time before the Stone Age. However, humanity managed to survive.
Supergenius Senku Ishigami (voiced by Yuusuke Kobayashi) successfully held onto his consciousness for over three millennia, and one day he was able to break out of his imprisonment. Alone in this new world, Senku’s love of science takes hold.
Although the task may seem daunting, Senku vows to save everyone who was turned into stone, as well as bring back two million years of human technological advancement in a single lifetime.
From rather early on in this series, it appeared as though Dr. Stone was gearing up for a second season. I have seen this many times before, and, more often than not, the result has been a shallow, exposition-filled introductory season, i.e., a show is setting up its most significant moments for its next chapter.
I am not a fan of when series do this.
Therefore, imagine my thrill when Dr. Stone decided to actually have a story that not only introduced its world but also had stuff happen. Dr. Stone was excellent; this was a fantastically easy watch.
For those who don’t know, whenever an anime is called a shonen series, it takes on specific characteristics. Most shonen shows center around action-adventure narratives with many fights and increasingly dangerous adversaries. Some of the most iconic shonen anime include Dragon Ball, Naruto, and Fairy Tail.
Dr. Stone was also a shonen.
What separated Dr. Stone from its counterparts and what really set this series apart was what it didn’t have. This story didn’t have magic, superpowers, or supernatural abilities. The protagonist of Dr. Stone, Senku Ishigami, wasn’t like Goku, Naruto, or Natsu (the respective main characters from the previously mentioned shows) because he had no interest in getting physically stronger, nor were his enemies portrayed as insurmountable.
This story was human vs. human. There were no monsters or mythical beasts. Yeah, some characters were stronger than others, but they were stronger in the same sense that your average joe is going to get their butt kicked in should they decide to take on the world heavyweight champion boxer in a round of fisty cuffs. This completely changed the dynamic of your typical shonen anime while still retaining growth, betterment, and accomplishment.
What I’m trying to say is that Dr. Stone didn’t try to reinvent the formula, but it also didn’t feel the need to be bound by it.
This series had personality, and what I mean by that is, this show was a lot of f@#$ing fun. There were plenty of reasons why this was the case:
- The comedy
- The action
- The supporting cast
However, I am giving the majority share of credit to this show’s success to its main character, Senku, who is, without a doubt, one of the best characters to come out of 2019. He had a beautiful balance between a snarky butt-munch and a caring leader. He had the confidence and skills to see any plan through, but he also made plenty of mistakes throughout the process. Senku never grew discouraged after a failure because he knew that every miss would eventually show him how to do something properly. And most importantly, although Senku was a genius with no equal, he wasn’t a dick about it.
Senku saw worth in everyone. He understood that most people do not understand the complicated science he finds to be second nature. He also never dismissed someone as an ignorant fool who should just listen to every word he said. Whenever Senku thought up a plan, he carefully explained what the plan was and how each step was to work in ways that someone with basic common sense could understand.
Additionally, Senku was fully aware of his own limitations. He had no stamina for physical activities, and he was basically useless in a fight. Despite those limitations, they never stopped Senku from doing what had to be done. He never shirked his responsibilities and was always the first to step forward, especially when something was dangerous.
By the end of this season, Senku had established a base of operations and many alliances through his hard work and determination. He earned the respect of his friends through his actions and not because the story said he needed to have allies.
Season two of Dr. Stone, whose production was confirmed at the end of the last episode, set up a clash between brains versus brawn, with both sides being insanely equal as of me writing this review. Senku’s enemies are intimidating and definitely a threat, but Senku’s own forces are so as well.
Therefore, if Dr. Stone season two retains even a quarter of its predecessor’s comedy, action, thrills, charm, and excitement, then this is going to be an amazing series to follow. I cannot wait to see what happens next.
Um, yeah. What should I say here?
Season two is in the works. Thus, certain aspects of the story that weren’t explained in season one were precisely that; they weren’t explained in season one. Unanswered questions can’t be considered a flaw until the story is finished. Besides, Dr. Stone made sure to keep its biggest questions front and center so that they were never forgotten.
Was there anything that bothered me about this show? Not really, and I’m legitimately trying to think of anything, nitpicks and all.
I mean, sure, it was surprising that the trio of Senku and his friends Taiju Ooki and Yuzuriha Ogawa (voiced respectively by Makoto Furukawa and Kana Ichinose) split only a few episodes into the series. Plus, central characters such as Kohaku and Chrome (voiced respectively by Manami Numakura and Gen Sato) were introduced comparatively late. However, both situations were justified, and there’s not much to comment on since they were what the story needed.
There was also the fact that Dr. Stone’s primary antagonist, Tsukasa Shishiou (voiced by Yuuichi Nakamura), didn’t have much screentime in the later parts of the series. But again, this was fine since the show thoroughly established how big of a threat he was, and just knowing he was out there was terrifying enough.
How about the ridiculousness of some of the contraptions Senku built? Could even a super genius harness electricity in the middle of the stone age? I don’t know, I haven’t tried, and I’m not a scientist. Regardless, though, that is what made this series fun. Most people probably couldn’t do that. But Senku wasn’t most people.
I am struggling to add even the tiniest thing to this section, and I am failing spectacularly. If there was something that bothered you about Dr. Stone, please say so in the comments below. Maybe that will highlight an aspect I haven’t considered.
Until then, I’m at a loss.
I could have talked about this series’ animation and soundtrack, both of which were quite phenomenal. However, I didn’t because those were not the elements that impressed me about this show.
This story was fun, the characters were a blast to follow, and the main protagonist was among the best of the year.
I am trying to think of another twenty-four episode anime from 2019 I found so easy to watch. Season two cannot come fast enough.
Dr. Stone has earned a massive recommendation.
But these are just my thoughts. What are yours? Have you seen this series? How would you advise Dr. Stone? Leave a comment down below because I would love to hear what you have to say.
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For Anime Hajime, I’m LofZOdyssey, and I’ll see you next time.
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