When a mysterious light suddenly engulfs Earth, humanity is left petrified, frozen in stone. Thousands of years later, the world is teeming with vegetation, and forests have taken the places of cities that once stood proudly. One of the very first to emerge from their stone prison is Taiju Ooki, who finds that his good friend, a brilliant young scientist named Senkuu, has been preparing for his awakening. While Taiju wishes to save the girl he loves, Senkuu is determined to figure out the cause behind the strange phenomenon and restore the world to its former glory.
But when they free the infamously powerful Tsukasa Shishiou in order to gain an upper hand against the dangers in an unfamiliar world, they realize that their new comrade has other plans. Tsukasa sees their predicament as a chance to start over; free from the corruption and destruction wrought by technology, he will stop at nothing to achieve his goals. With both sides unable to see eye to eye, Senkuu and his devotion to science will clash with Tsukasa and his primal nature in what will truly be a battle of the ages.
As a part of the JUMP START initiative, the first three chapters of Dr. Stone were published in English in VIZ Media's digital Weekly Shonen Jump on the same day as the Japanese release. After, the series was added to VIZ Media's Weekly Shonen Jump lineup. The same publisher has licensed the series for print release.
The protagonists will have to restore mankind from the beginning, both in terms of people, and in technology. It is easy to understand and very fun to read, it also has the mystery behind the petrification, which ends up making the story even more interesting.
One of the strongest points, even in comedies the art is good, Featured to the double pages, because they are absurdly beautiful.
At the moment, the characters are not very charismatic, the only ones that caught my attention were Senkuu (who makes the story to progress) and Tsukasa with opposing ideals and is the villain of the history.
I love reading this each week. It is richly imaginative and a comedic story with Sci-Fi that does not disappoint.
It's a really good story to read that improves with each chapter, also quite fun and has a mystery that is shown at the beginning that leaves us curious to find out what is behind it. If I mention a weakness in the work, I would say that they are the characters, but I believe that it improves throughout the work.
This review will contain spoilers up to the marked chapter.
A modern-day take on the ancient battle of Athens and Sparta with new twists and turns. What happens when one day all of humanity is petrified by an unknown light and humanity must rebuild? Enter your cast of The Brain, the Brawn, the Girl and the Enemy. Dr. Stone starts off strong with an engaging premise that has a ton of potential something that I wish was explored more often in anime and manga - the rebuilding of human society after a mass tragedy. Most of the time we see the after-product without seeing the process
that was used, the mistakes that were made and the things that were learned. Dr. Stone shows us all of this but that's about one of its only strengths.
I don't believe a lot of what Dr. Stone goes out to accomplish is done well. Our protagonist, Senkuu is a prodigy of the sciences, so much so that he built his own rocket that exited Earth's atmosphere before the tragedy happened. Prodigies are totally acceptable but knowing this creates an aura around Senkuu that just seems like he can find himself through anything. Specifically, in the tournament arc where one of the gags is that the heroes want to rig the tournament in a specific way, of course, they have to rely on chance for it to work out. Luck is against them in every shape and form and the worst matchup happens first. But the story can't just throw out it's most important character of the arc right away right? Of course, so through sheer luck, he wins. While this bit was executed well, it solidified that the aura around Senkuu was strong and I had predicted by this point he would succeed in the tournament and I was correct. I'm a believer in that you need a certain level of predictability in your work so the consumer can understand it, even if it only makes sense in hindsight. However, this isn't the only time Dr. Stone is so obvious. Upon its reveal of antagonist Tsukasa early in the story - his appearance is just so genuinely evil that there's no reason for you to question his allegiances from the moment he's introduced. You just know he's not gonna be allied with the heroes from the minute you see the guy.
Tsukasa and Senkuu create an interesting and philosophical duality. Where Senkuu wants to rebuild the world and Tsukasa wants to purge humanity and create his perfect world. It's nothing new, we've seen it in Death Note, Code Geass, Evangelion, Durarara, JoJo and more by this point. Tsukasa hasn't had his time yet to shine so his character is still very underexplored but this is an interesting part of Dr. Stone that has potential to be great. Likewise, the exploration of science through Senkuu's character is interesting but as smart as Dr. Stone portrays itself with science and philosophy it has a few glaring issues that it doesn't take Newton or Plato to find out.
First, when we learn of the village of survivors, later to be descended from Senkuu's father we know they've passed down 100 Stories known as the Hyakumonogatari, we even get an entire chapter dedicated to the establishment of the stories. But none of these descendants knew how the old world used to be. They passed down knowledge of what foods, materials and other items would be necessary for survival but no stories of the past, where they came from, what they could strive for? It's not like it was out of the realm of possibility for this either. They made 100 Stories, why not 101 where one is just a brief history of the past. Another glaring issue with the Hyakumonogatari is the original generation of surviving humans seemed to gamble on the entire idea that Senkuu would even emerge from this rock slumber. In the possible case that he never awoke, they never took any precautions for that.
Second is a bit of an ongoing issue but it deals with the humor. The humor exists in primarily three ways: sex jokes, facial expressions, and vocal inflections. I don't really need to explain why the first one can get old real fast so let's focus on the latter two. Facial expressions are probably the most common type of humor in Dr. Stone and it's very hit and miss. While the artwork does the expression justice, constant weird face making does not make good comedy. Tell me some good jokes, give me some funny dialogue, both of these are to be found in Dr. Stone but not all that often. Most of the dialogue based jokes kind of fail too, not as a result of poor writing though but because certain lines require an inflection of the voice. While most manga run into this issue Dr. Stone doesn't do much to mitigate against it. Sakamoto desu ga and Watamote were manga that had me laughing out loud, and Dr. Stone has the potential to have some laugh out loud moments. But if all of your jokes in this vein rely on the same kind of drawn out line like Spongebob saying "Reaaaaaaaaaaaaally?" you have a bit of an issue. In fact, I'm sure as an anime, most of the humor would work in general just because of how fluid it would work and the timing it could have. As a manga, Dr. Stone misses out on some of the comedic timing it needs for the jokes it uses, so if it ever gets an anime adaptation I totally expect the humor will improve.
Overall, I'd love to love this series it just has so much potential underneath all its problems. Nothing is extremely standout about it, but nothing is extremely offensive. But as a series based on science and the on-going themes of Brains vs. Brawn and ambiguous evil, there seems to be a huge level of suspension of disbelief I need to not question some of the things that are actually happening. If you've been through the song and dance of 100 shounen before and are bored of the same old same old, Dr. Stone probably isn't for you. But if you're looking for something with a different premise with the same general storytelling techniques you'll like it. But I'd rather go for Death Note or Hunter x Hunter personally both of which contain better twists, better philosophies, less predictable outcomes, and a smaller threshold of things that I need to accept to believe in the world and what's going on. They've also both been published in the same magazine as this so why not just grab those?
(Please note that I intend to update this review as this series continues.)
Dr. Stone is the new series from veteran manga writer Riichiro Inagaki, known best for being the writer for Eyeshield 21. This new story is a big departure from the sports story of his old work; an action-adventure tale set in a dark future where most of humanity has been petrified into a stone state. In this new world a few people make it out of their stone restrictions and attempt to rebuild the world.
In a world devoid of many people, Inagaki manages to keep things interesting with the few characters at
his disposal. Fast-paced and action-packed, this series keeps the plot moving forward at a surprisingly quick speed. Inagaki doesn't seem one for subtlety of plot, which is perfectly fine for the story he is attempting to write. For its length, Dr. Stone has been able to present a fun, entertaining story, unhindered by the barren landscape the characters are set in.
The characters are not particularly note-worthy. They are what you would expect from the average shounen, a dim-witted yet kind main character, a shrewd yet compassionate genius, and the obligatory cute female lead. Despite making use of overdone characters, the story is able to retain a glaze of freshness with its interesting use of setting, and unexpected villains. Though not anything worth writing home about, the series offers a fun sense of escapism that most look for in shounen manga.
The art, drawing by Boichi, is good for what it is. Clean line-art and vivid colouring. The expansive settings and backgrounds are well drawn, and the panels are well paced and positioned, giving us a sense of movement and action. Though at times the perspective seems slightly off, it is not really anything I'd complain about.
Time will tell what this series goes on to perform, but at the moment it seems worth keeping an eye on. If you're looking for a new manga that is fun and easy to read then give Dr. Stone a shot.
This review is heavily based on personal opinion and may feel biased (which I don't disagree if you say so), feel free to agree or disagree.
The concept of rebuilding humanity from the stone age with all of the knowledge that we have from the modern age is truly amazing by itself. Dr. Stone not only presents this concept to the public (though may not be the first one to do so) and executes it very well.
The artwork from Boichi is truly outstanding, the high detail on the art really makes me appreciate it and wonders how does a man accomplishes this. The character
designs, the details on the materials such as rocks and wood, it just all clicks.
Dr. Stone's main attraction for me isn't the character, however the clashing ideology between the protagonist Senku and the antagonist Tsukasa is something that I'm always interested to check out.
I love Dr. Stone, to the point that it's my favorite manga of all time. Seeing Senku and his friends make our everyday tools that we thought is impossible to make at the stone age is always thrilling. Every single chapter makes me wants more, and so far it hasn't disappointed me and I don't think it ever will.
Dr. Stone is a Shonen Jump manga that tries to put the typical power progression system into technology and executes it magnificently.