Science is Awesome – Dr. Stone Anime Review

“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.

Several millennia later, Taiju awakens to find the modern world completely nonexistent, as nature has flourished in the years humanity stood still. Among a stone world of statues, Taiju encounters one other living human: his science-loving friend Senkuu, who has been active for a few months. Taiju learns that Senkuu has developed a grand scheme—to launch the complete revival of civilization with science. Taiju’s brawn and Senkuu’s brains combine to forge a formidable partnership, and they soon uncover a method to revive those petrified.

However, Senkuu’s master plan is threatened when his ideologies are challenged by those who awaken. All the while, the reason for mankind’s petrification remains unknown.” – MAL

Episodes: 24 – Studio: TMS Entertainment – Dub/Sub – Aired: Summer 2019 – Finished – MAL Rating: 8.30 – Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi

In summer 2019 there was an amazing weekend where a bunch of new anime aired with the most notable ones being Fire Force and Dr. Stone. At the time I watched both premiers and Fire Force just grabbed me more at the time but I still really liked what I saw from the first episode of Dr. Stone and I told myself I’d get around to watching it eventually. Almost 3 years later the time has come and for somebody who loves science already this show was just a blast to watch.

The first episode perfectly sets up and encapsulates what this series is gonna be about. I love the whole premise of somehow the people of the world turning into stone and now its thousands of years later. That ever-looming mystery is great then you plop in an absurdly smart but compelling main character and you have yourself the perfect science-loving show. I can’t get enough of Senku figuring his way through this stone world using his big brain and all of the knowledge he learned in the past. Seeing all of these things being built is fun not only because its interesting to watch someone build various technologies in a stone world, but also because it’s all explained. This anime doesn’t speak to the viewer as if their dumb but it is always educating on various real scientific things and achievements at every turn.

Rewinding a bit, it’s always interesting to see very far in the future post-apocalyptic worlds. It’s sad when you realize how much knowledge and history has been lost permanently or yet to be discovered but at the same time, it’s interesting to see what survived and what was passed down. There are a lot of moments this season that plays into that which I enjoy. Not to dig too deep into specific episodes but my favorites this season were the ones that dealt with another perspective of what happened in episode one during the petrification. That whole plotline was amazing. So was really the last 3/4ths of this show as it shifts from following Senku and his friends to Senku and a group of villagers. I really enjoyed all of the characters in this show but just off the virtue of spending more time with the latter half characters and getting to know them better, I enjoyed them and the plotlines that revolved around them more. The dynamic between Senku and the villagers is way more unique than him and his friends. Going back to how this show celebrates science, I love the profound thoughts about it. Lines/moments about how no matter what state humanity is in or what era, there will always be curious people who wonder how and why something works. They also make science scary sometimes which makes the moments when Senku and co conquer it all the more meaningful. Add in the cold war between Tsukasa and Senku/the Villagers, and the show really hits multiple strides after episode 6.

Senku is probably the best superhumanly smart character I’ve ever watched. While he is ridiculously knowledgeable in all sorts of scientific matters, he’s not infallible. He still overlooks things, he still makes mistakes. He also doesn’t come off as a rude condescending person when he’s interacting with people less knowledgeable than him. Which, thank god, because he’s head and shoulders the smartest person on-screen at all times. Senku feels like a normal boy with just a huge brain and I love it. While he tries not to show his emotions, it’s very clear what he’s feeling during the more emotional moments. Characters like Senku are often not done well enough and can only be tolerated in moderation. So its a joy to see him written so well and able to carry this show. Also is catchphrases are so corny but they just work somehow, I love them.

Tsukasa is interesting. His superhuman strength and athleticism rival Senkus’s brain but he’s also smart, conniving, and charismatic. His philosophy is interesting to me because, in reality, he’s not wrong. His gripes he has with the “older people” from the old world are completely valid and the things that my generation is very vocal about right now. Rent, war, social issues, and all of the above. This is the type of character that I love because he’s valid but he’s also crazy. Just crushing petrified people, killing them in cold blood, is crazy. The dynamic between him and Senku is intriguing because Senku just wants to revive the whole world with no prejudice using his science while Tsukasa wants to return to the ways of the strong rule and take care of each other. I would assume there is definitely some middle ground between their beliefs but with Tsukasa being a murderer it’s hard. But yeah, Tsukasa is a great villain.

The animation is pretty good particularly the facial animations and emphasis on expressions are very welcome. I will say that the way some of the girl’s lips make them look very derpy and menacing but it’s not a constant thing and it’s something I got used to. But the character designs are really good, I especially liked the cracks that stay on the unpetrified people’s bodies after they awaken. It’s cool. Watching the dub, the voice acting was great and the music is amazing I thoroughly enjoyed the soundtrack especially after the opening grew on me.

So Yeah Dr. Stone is a blast. A cool premise with really good characters that all around feels like a celebration of science and humans’ scientific achievements. It’s very rare that you get a show with hard science that’s actually real that actually needs disclaimers sometimes because what’s being shown/explained can be dangerous, but this is that show. I wish more things would take after this because while sci-fi is fun so is actually real science. Dr. Stone really hammers home how scary, fun, wonderful, and beautiful science can be and I can’t wait to continue with the next season.

Dr. Stone – 9/10


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