Dr. Stone – Does the Anticipated Post-Apocalyptic Shonen Jump Show Standout?
The highly anticipated post-apocalyptic Shonen Jump (weekly) manga Dr. Stone has finally been adapted into an anime series. Dr. Stone is the series from manga author Riichiro Inagaki, formally most known for writing Eyeshield 21. However, writing a post-apocalyptic sci-fi adventure certainly deviates from the days of writing sports anime. So, how does Dr. Stone fair? Can a scientist as a protagonist stand out enough?
Dr. Stone’s story begins with Taiju, a student for the past five years who has been in love with his friend, Yuzuriha. Deciding that enough is enough in teenager like fashion, he arranges to meet her underneath the tree at their school to finally confess he’s in love with her. Beforehand, he sees his friend Senku, a passionate science enthusiast and the protagonist of our story to tell him he’s finally going to confess to Yuzuriha.
After informing Senku, Taiju rushes to the tree where Yuzuriha is already waiting for his arrival. Suddenly, before he gets the chance to confess how he feels, a bright light comes and turns the whole human race into stone!
New Civilization Begins
Determined and focused to see Yuzuriha once again to tell her how he feels, he stays conscious until one day he breaks out of the stone that confines him. He finds himself in a post-apocalyptic world! 3,700 years have passed and all of civilization has vanished and the rest of humanity is still petrified. Civilization is truly back to basics. Taiju eventually finds Senku, who has been freed from the stone for the past 6 months.
With Senku’s natural science smarts and Taiju determination, they begin their quest to rebuild civilization from scratch again. They discover that Nital properties help break down the stone that humanity is encased in. The first person on the agenda to revive is Yuzuriha, however, due to a strange chain of events lions end up chasing Senku and Taiju.
With no other option, they use Nital on Tsukasa (The Strongest Primate High Schooler) that Taiju saw earlier petrified in stone. Tsukasa kills the lion in a rather dramatic scene with one overpowered punch and intimidates the other lions leading the rest to flee. Tsukasa then agrees to joins Senku to help rebuild civilization.
However, this is where the anime piqued my interest. It becomes apparent rather quickly that the two have different views on how to achieve their goal. Tsukasa firmly believes that science will bring nothing but conflict to humanity because of the personal experiences he has encountered. His conclusion being that only the young and pure should be unpetrified as adults are corrupt.
Meanwhile, Senku believes science and technology are the best options for rebuilding civilization once again and all of humanity should be resurrected. The challenge excites him. Tensions rise rather quickly, and the cat and mouse game quickly unfolds between the two.
What may come across as a somewhat familiar Isekai beginning quickly explores many thought-provoking questions and keeps you intrigued enough to continue watching the show. At its core, it’s still a post-apocalyptic sci-fi adventure, however, it introduces and explains real-life science concepts that could be hypothetically applied to an actual situation that isn’t often explored. The protagonist’s passion in science defiantly holds up and adds an interesting dynamic to the series.
The protagonist and antagonist have conflicting philosophies and it will be intriguing to see how they play out. Can science be justified? Are some people’s lives for important than others? It’s easy to see why Dr. Stone has such a loyal fan base with its multifaceted layers to the story. It’s certainly something worth checking out as it deviates from the usual formula of storytelling.