If this is your first time clicking one of these, I’ll give you the quick version. In an attempt to become a better anime blogger, I’ve been watching as many different shows as I can this season, using the 3 episode rule of thumb to decide which ones are worth pursuing or not. This time, I look at the show Crunchyroll are pushing the hardest: Dr. Stone.
It’s impossible to miss Dr. Stone in this summer season, it’s everywhere. Crunchyroll are pushing it real hard. Is it deserving of the added marketing muscle it’s getting? Eh, maybe.
A post apocalyptic Shonen, the series takes place thousands of years in the future, after the entire human population (and some birds for some reason) mysteriously turn to stone. Seemingly, the first two people to wake from their petrification are super genius high schooler with the most anime outside of a Yu-Gi-Oh series; Senku and his muscle headed best friend Taiju.
The first three episodes mostly work to set up the stakes of the series. Both main characters emerge into a world reclaimed by nature, having to essentially start back from square one, a challenge Senku seems to relish. Senku himself seems supremely arrogant on the surface, while actually being a good dude deep down, it makes him a more unique protagonist than I generally see in these kinds of Shonen.
Taiju on the other hand is Shonen protag amped up to 1000%, he’s loud, he’s incredibly enthusiastic about everything and his primary characteristic is never giving up, as well as a seemingly never ending supply of stamina. The two make a good pair, literally the brains and the brawn working together.
And within a year they figure out how to slowly start recovering people from their stone prisons. The problem is, after finding themselves in a dangerous situation, their hands are tied and they destone a huge, “primate high schooler”; Tsukasa, who kills a lion with a single punch as soon as he wakes up.
I’m kind of confused as to what extent people in this world have super powers, between this guy’s inhuman strength and Taiju’s stamina. I thought it was just being played up for the comedy, but even Senku points out there is something unnatural about it
Tsukasa holds a grudge against “adults” and refuses to allow Senku to thaw out adults who will just corrupt this new and pure world they find themselves in, so he goes around smashing their petrified bodies. Something Senku disagrees with as he is determined to save everyone.
I can see why this series is being pushed as much as it is. The animation is on point, after skimming the first few chapters of the manga, it looks like it’s lifting from it pretty faithfully too. Not just that, but the environment artists are doing some top notch work, this “stone world” the characters find themselves in is really something to behold.
While I am enjoying the show thus far, I’m not blown away by it in the same way I was by a show like Demon Slayer in its first few episodes. While Dr. Stone is highly competent in all the ways you want it to be, it’s also a very “by the book” show in its setup and the beats it follows. And while the animation is very nice, it’s not taking my breath away.
The most intriguing aspect of the show is Senku and his cerebral approach to everything going on. His front of being an arrogant know it all is pretty paper thin when it’s obvious he does care about his friend. And Taiju has made me laugh a few times too.
Verdict: Continue Watching
Dr. Stone certainly is a highlight of the season for me, although not the highlight for me so far. It’s the kind of thing I’d end up watching anyway had I not being doing this self imposed challenge, and I can’t give any reason not to watch it.
The world the show has created is pretty and intriguing, the stakes are very unique and the character are very likeable so far. In these first few episodes, the series feels like it sides on the sillier side of Shonen. Leaning more into the crazy expressions and over the top characters than action sequences or melodrama.
Which is another point in its favour to help it stick out. I one billion percent want to see where this one goes, as I’m sure the more we learn about this world the more I’ll end up getting out of it.