The first episode of Dr. Stone is a near panel-perfect adaptation of the manga’s first couple of chapters. To my mind, this is both a boon and a bit of a missed opportunity for the anime. It’s great because the Dr. Stone manga is a charming and stupendously entertaining adventure into the scientific unknown, and I’m very happy so many new fans will be able to experience all of that by watching the series. On the other hand, Dr. Stone’s first act is easily the worst part of the story, and I wouldn’t have minded if this production had spruced things up a bit in the transition to animation.
It’s not that Dr. Stone’s opening chapters are bad per se, but to me they are the shakiest part of the series’ whole deal. When we first meet our heroes, we’re not given much more to go on than “Senku is the slick smart one, Taiju is the loud but heroic oaf, and Yuzuriha is the girl.” Then, all of the humans (and birds) on Earth get hit by a wave that turns them to stone, and our two male protagonists spend the next three thousand years frozen in a waking nightmare as frozen statues while the planet returns to a prehistoric state of teeming wildlife. Senku awakes first, and he knows exactly what time it is because he literally counted every single second of the three thousand years he was petrified; Taiju managed to tough it out by focusing an ungodly amount of concentration on how much he loves the still frozen Yuzuriha.
You might imagine that hundreds of lifetimes worth spent fully conscious in a prison of the mind would do some kind of lasting psychological damage on a person, but nah. Being turned into statues for three and a half millennia is little more than an inconvenience for our heroes to shake off, and it isn’t long before the brilliant Senku and the bold Taiju commit to using the power of science to awaken the rest of humanity and restart civilization. It’s such a ridiculous and shallow setup for what will eventually become an epic and incredibly involving plot that Dr. Stone practically begs you to not think to much about it, which feels a bit like a mixed message from a show where the main hero’s core motivation is to “fight fantasy with science”.
Thankfully, if you can successfully take that little voice in the back of your head that asks questions concerning logic and realistic character development and toss it into a deep well from which it cannot escape, then you’ll likely have a lot of fun Dr. Stone’s premiere. Even though Taiju’s penchant for shouting everything he says is a bit harder to take when it’s not just words on a page, he has a genuinely loveable camaraderie with Senku, and their friendship makes the pair’s quest to solve the mystery of un-stonifying the world a compelling one. Senku himself is a great hero, a cocky smartass with the brains to back his ego who still manages to be immediately likable. TMS Productions and Studio 8PAN are also doing a great job of capturing artist Boichi’s sharp and punchy style, which means the show still has something to offer fans who’ve already read the manga. The summer felt like it was off to a Slow Start up until now, but Dr. Stone is here to give anyone looking for a rollicking shonen adventure a good time. You can also free Dr. Stone anime watch online and free download.
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. He’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.