The Doctor is in. Dr. STONE's marvellous journey throughout its post-cataclysmic stone age has been a wonderful concept to engage in. The confounding occurrence of an unlikely phenomena, petrifying humanity for millennia, while Earth reforms to its prehistoric, sans-primal estate. While speculative, the embroiling plot tends to reveal one detail of major importance; while it seems mankind are encased in stone, their bodies have in fact, turned completely into stone. A de-petrification process is found, but is not absolute. The elixir created by the "Young Einstein", has managed to save the lives of his cohorts, but has also placed his pals in peril. Much like any epidemic, a cure could spark a civil war between multiple parties for its potential. While Tsukasa may be worlds behind him, there are many that have lived eons before Senku's eventual escape from his frozen state.
A continuation from the season's first batch of thrilling escapades, takes us beyond the group's initial findings of a desolate landmass. Once a bustling metropolis, Tokyo's twisted timeline has regressed evolution to a post primate environment, with the difference of its current dwelling possessing the intellect to push ahead at an extremely rapid rate. Everyday items that have become second nature are non-existent, further posing complicating plot points in which our protagonist must manifest his arsenal through means of natural resources scattered across the land. Senku's steadfast approach in recreating appliances aids the savvy scientist and his group along their journey in reviving the remains of humanity. The remaining twelve episodes here highlight the disparities seen in Senku's timeline and his new cohort's upbringing within the Stone World.
⚠ Main Plot (Warning: Spoilers)
A little while after Senku tasks Yuzuriha and Taiju with infiltrating Tsukasa’s empire, the kid genius continues his expedition through the Stone World as Earth’s first accomplished scientist in this new era of civilisation. Acquainting with a new tribe, a group of educated primitive, they befriend Senku with adoration for his intellect. Senku then leads the congregate, teaching them how to apply science in everyday situations while ultimately planning for Tsukasa’s evidential return. Suspecting “The Strongest High School Primate” of unlocking the secret to Senku’s de-petrification process, he continues to journey through Japan in hopes of scavenging enough ingredients to craft anti-biotics. With the group already attaining the necessary materials, the one glaring omission from creating the drug was alcohol.
The only way to get their hands on the compound, was to achieve victory in the Grand Bout; a tradition also known as the Ishigami Village Games, held every generation to elect a new Chief. There are some minor spoilers for the town’s namesake, so I will leave that to your imagination. With Chrome and Ginro handing their leader the sulfuric acid they desperately needed to attain the drug, Kohaku questions Senku after the group had discovered a crater containing gallons of sulfuric acid, if it was time to create the “miracle” drug. Senku instructs his team to begin the arduous task of lighting the road map. Hesitant, Chrome explains that the map was far too long for them to even consider beginning their objective, but the savvy scientist insists that the group are more than prepared to begin the experiment.
Displaying his confidence with his trademark smirk, Senku collects his glassware and begins brewing a storm. Mixing the ingredients of sulfuric acid, salt and utilising a makeshift water dipping mechanism to create hydrochloric acid, Senku mixes his concoction with sinters, blends it together in formulating chlorosulfuric acid – one of the most dangerous liquids that can cause severe damage to human skin, irritation to nasal passages, the oesophagus and could possibly blind a person. Senku explains the mixtures hazardous usage to the dismay of Kohaku, in which she beredes the genius for this sudden confusion. Senku absolves the young woman of her anxieties and describes the fluid as incomplete. It was up to the group in winning the Grand Bout, so they may acquire the key ingredient needed to create the drug. With the Priestess Ruri’s health hanging in the balance, the group devise a plan to eliminate the opposition one-by-one, but to also come out victorious in the hopes of keeping Magma – the Ishigami’s strongest villager – away from Ruri. With no hope of winning, Senki convince the team to rig the Bout, by having the mad genius lose early on, and let Ginro’s older brother Kinro advance. The hopes of the warrior defeating Magma, are to pave a path to victory, and allow the group to collect their earnings, along with Kinro placed as chief of the Ishigami.
Dr. STONE’s mischievous narrative continues to simply astound me on many levels. The complexity of each imperative sequence that completely unravels a broader plot point in future episodes, always has me gobsmacked. It’s a tale that takes you through waves of emotions before landing you on monumental moments that are consequential. The setting itself boasts a barrage of uncertainty, escalating anticipation to the highest with an abundance of action and suspense from the plethora of personalities, that profoundly describe this world’s presence perfectly. Multiple arcs of this incredible story come full circle upon its climax, leading to STONE WARS – Dr. STONE’s second series. The friendly faces, and neutral acquaintances met along the journey all serve a greater purpose as each chapter unfolds. Senku’s determination to restore the human race, faces a looming threat in Tsukasa’s potential diatribe convincing the mammoth warrior’s own congregate, in purpose of leading a dictatorship against the scientist.
The art of the long con takes a toll on Senku, as his ambitious yet exhausting attempt to revive humanity to its former state does come with caveat. While Senku may harbour an advanced education and knowledge that supersedes his cohorts, there may be a culture shock in which this new generation of humans may not be able to process. Pushing through the trials and tribulations of misunderstandings and teachings, Senku begins to establish his camp as the Kingdom of Science – a highly educated group to rival the Tsukasa Empire with hopes of progressing Earth with Science and Technology. Implications of Senku’s ancestry come into play, and its premise is astonishing. A penned plot that proves without a doubt, that storytelling can go leaps and bounds, but come full circle for sudden, unexpected impact. Character development, and personal connections can be made through Senku, and his group.
The endearing charm that is bountiful, and rich in each quirk carves a mark for each momentous occasion. Each character poses their own purpose as we witness the intense rivalries formed in the Village Games Arc. Most of which is smoothed over through the Origins Arc, and plays a major role in Tsukasa’s right hand invading the Kingdom, posing a major threat to Senku’s plan to take down his rival. There’s a war coming, and its unforgiving implications may have dire consequences for our protagonist, the safety of Taiju and Yuzuhira, his newfound compatriots, his Kingdom, and the rapid rate of Senku’s imposed evolution. While Dr. STONE’s initial season has raised the bar for its incredible adaptation, and performance, it’s storytelling may be some of the best within the industry today. An intertwining, long haul that is deciphered through each experiment, and overarching plot. The intent to revitalise, re-invigorate, and restore an entire race is quite the compelling setpiece for an expanding foray that unequivocally unravels an earnest quest. An overly confident rookie scientist labelled a genius by his “understudies” and close friends hopes to hero his world to glory. Yeah, that’s a tough gig. However, the mental prowess that our protagonist entails may see him claim victory, but he has one giant sized hurdle to overcome.
Noteworthy Mentions (Warning: Minor Spoilers)...
Kohaku is best girl. Like Senku, she is a descendant of the modern race and is well versed in the world that was once home to our initial cast. Her toughness, and will to antagonise oncoming threats make her a reliable ally.
Again, the series continues its quality animation that contrasts between serious and comical. Scenes are paced quite expeditiously in moments of haste that call for quick cuts and animation that suits the tone of its nature. The trope of breaking the fourth wall, and oversized craniums and bulbus eyeballs all demonstrate the hilarity that is ensued within each cell.
Cream of the crop. Voice acting royalty make appearances within this series; Matt Shipman (Attack on Titan, My Hero Academia), Josh Grelle (Yuri!!! on ICE), Brandon McInnis (SSS.Gridman, Overlord), Justin Briner (My Hero Academia, Pop Team Epic), Kristen McGuire (The Helpful Fox Senko-san), J. Michael Tatum (Steins;Gate, Free!), Megan Shipman (Steins;Gate 0, Darling in the FranXX), Patrick Seitz (Demon Slayer, Mortal Kombat), and a mega-ton more.
Dr. Stone is a Japanese manga series written by Riichiro Inagaki and illustrated by the South Korean artist Boichi. It has been serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump since March 2017, with the individual chapters collected and published by Shueisha into nineteen tankōbon volumes as of January 2021.