Not to be a downer or anything, but this Christmas has kind of sucked for me. Working in retail tends to have that effect I guess though. I’m currently on my 8th day of 12 where I’m not really going to get any real rest, and I’m already exhausted. I know some of these days involve Christmas itself, but I’m going to be so busy in those days that I’m hardly going to have time to recover from my 7 days of 12 hour shifts before I go back on Boxing day.
I don’t really mean to moan on these list of what are supposed to be celebratory, but I’m just so damned tired.
#4: Dr. Stone
Originally Aired: 5th July to 13th December | 24 Episodes | Based on the Manga written by Riichiro Inagaki | Action, Science-Fiction, Adventure (Isekai)
Dr. Stone is an Isekai. I said it. I don’t care if people want to be hyper literal with the translation of the word, Dr. Stone is an Isekai in practically every sense of the word. Don’t @ Me.
Dr. Stone ended up being a show of two halves, halves with a 5/19 split. Again, don’t get hyper literal with me. On the one side we have anything that involves Tsukasa Shishiou; the superhuman teenager who seems to have been plucked out of a Jojo series and placed into this one. And then we have the side that focuses entirely on the main character: Senku and his quest to bring science into a tribalistic society.
The bits with Tsukasa mostly suck, he only ends up being an active factor for the first five or six episodes. But when he goes away, becoming more of a background element, then the show can focus on the thing that it does the best.
Dr. Stone is about Senku, a high schooler with an encyclopedic knowledge of science of technology. Taking place several thousand years after all of humanity mysteriously turn into stone statues, Senku breaks free of his petrification and starts his personal mission to rebuild society as a “kingdom of science”, although his motives seem like anything but putting himself on top as king.
After setting up the main cast and our villain in Tsukasa, who disagrees with Senku and wants to create a purer, more tribalistic society outside of the reach of greedy adults, the two part ways and the vast majority of the show focuses on Senku trying to win over a small village he encounters along the coastline.
Little by little, Senku gains more allies through his inventions and bringing modern conveniences into this world of stone. The show is surprisingly meticulous with how it goes about Senku actually building these things, which is strangely one of the most satisfying things about the entire show.
It’s all the best things about a battle style shonen; seeing a protagonist get stronger and more important as the series goes on, but instead of superpowers and battle, it’s about how a character uses their intelligence and seemingly perfect knowledge of how everything works and is made to overcome their challenges.
Hence why it’s a isekai.
I particularly like Senku as a protagonist too, from his ridiculous design to his personality. He’s a smarmy know-it-all who has no qualms about manipulating people to get his own way, but from his actions, its obvious he’s a good person. One who just enjoys messing with people. Despite being the smartest person in the world, he never seems to lord it over people, rather he seems always encouraging of others to try and get to his level.
By the time we got to the series end and was gearing up for a big confrontation between Senku’s village and all the gormless teenagers that Tsukasa has revived from stone I didn’t mind that he was coming back into the story, despite being the weakest aspect of the early episodes.
The wider cast had grown and was strong enough that I wouldn’t mind seeing Senku’s allies go up against this army of Jojo characters using the advantage of 12 months of scientific breakthrough that Senku had been preparing them for.
Before I finish, I guess I’ll mention the art style. There seems to be a real divergence between how the guys in this show are drawn and how the females are drawn. I can’t count the shots of Senku or Chrome being highly on model, looking total badass, and yet the females are all seemingly drawn with their eyes trying to escape out the side of their heads. It’s just part of the mangaka’s art style, but it so dumb I can’t help but point it out.
Dr. Stone was a great, highly entertaining show that focused on wowing people with the amenities of basic life, and to that end it felt like something different. The announced second series is going to be pretty action orientated based on how this one ends, but I’m invested enough to want to see how it ends up and how Senku further gets this world of stone into a modern era.