Riichiro Inagaki’s Dr. Stone is set to make its premiere. So, where would you recognize Inagaki’s name from? He’s the main writer to Eyeshield 21. As for the artist, the manga is illustrated by South Korean manhwa artist Mujik Park. To top it off, the original manga series recently won the Shogakukan Manga Award for the Shounen category.
So, what is Dr. Stone about? Based on what has been portrayed in the original manga, one day, the world is overwhelmed by a mysterious light and just about everyone is turned into statues. A few millennia later, some people are free from the spell. Naturally, one of the people free from the spell is our main character, Senkuu Ishigami, a science wiz who teams up with his best friend, Tajiu, to create a formula to save the rest of humanity. Senkuu is driven to help rebuild the world.
However, Tsukasa, a fellow teenager and trained MMA fighter, wants to use the present opportunity to create a new world without technology with how it has negatively affected humans prior to everyone turning into stone. As a result of his contrasting viewpoints with Senkuu’s, they become enemies. So, it all comes down to this very question, why You NEED to watch Dr. Stone?
Challenges The Shounen and Post-Apocalyptic Genre
As opposed to the typical action oriented Shounen Jump titles we’ve been getting the past 30 years from Dragon Ball to Boruto, Dr. Stone is more about brain over brawn. Senkuu knows he has no chance of taking on Tsukasa on a man-to-man fight, so he uses his brain to find a solution in defeating him unlike Gokuu, Naruto, Yuusuke, and Ichigo. Tsukasa’s motivations as a villain do make sense and are relatable to audiences unlike lets say Frieza’s or Toguro’s. While contrasting ideas have always been a part of conflict in storytelling, Dr. Stone in the Shounen genre takes things with a fresh spin.
Not only that, it breathes new life into the whole post-apocalyptic genre as well. As opposed to the trendy zombie apocalypse or post-nuclear war we see these days, Dr. Stone’s approach to it gives a unique sense of optimism right from the beginning. Not only that, the causes behind what caused humanity to turn into stone is still a mystery. As opposed to the world going to Hell, nature and animals thrived in peace so when humanity comes back. They’re practically given a clean slate but without the technological advances they had and it’s about bringing that back along with mankind. However, it comes back to whether or not humans really deserve a fresh chance which is what makes this series appealing.
We can all agree that the style of manhwa, or Korean comics, have striking similarities and distinguishing differences from the Japanese. Compared to most Shounen titles, Dr. Stone has a very edgy style that can be more akin to Seinen, or mature comics. The original manga does a great job of knowing when to demonstrate comedy, and when to demonstrate intensity. As the main character, Senkuu is certainly the ultimate instrument of showing off all of those extremities. There are times when he is drawn to show his comedic moments, his serious moments, and there are instances that find ways to balance those qualities that are difficult to put into words. Based on what has been shown in the trailers, TMS Entertainment has done a great job of being faithful to the design and all the qualities that make the original manga appealing. The colors provided also do an amazing job of capturing the original series and knowing TMS, they will do make original fans proud, and attract new fans.
Top Notch Voice Cast
Based on what we have been given on paper so far, this anime further looks promising with its selected seiyuu cast. Playing Senkuu is Yuusuke Kobayashi, who you may know as the voice of Arslan from Arslan Senki, Sekito from All Out, and Ren from Monsuto Anime. Considering these are all characters who are intelligent, unassuming, and young, he seems to be a perfect fit. As for Tajiu, one of the supporting characters, we have Makoto Furukawa, who you may know as the voice of Kakei Shigou from Aldnoah.Zero, Wong Shorter from Banana Fish, and he played numerous roles in Gate. As for Tsukasa, the main villain, we have Yuuichi Nakamura, also famous as the voice of Silat from Berserk, Hodr from Break Blade, and Toyohisa from Drifters. Considering the feral nature of Toyohisa, he is a great fit for Tsukasa.
Unfortunately, we can’t give much info on the music at this time but all we can hope is that it will find a way to balance its serene and intense atmosphere. Considering that the manga is still only two years old and ten volumes at the present writing of this article, we can’t expect too much in terms of episode count. However, if this anime is aired sporadically in the same vein of Attack on Titan and My Hero Academia, then we should expect this anime to be on the air for some time. For now, all we can promise is for those sick of Shounen or post-apocalyptic material, this is certainly a new and refreshing take on both genres for audiences to enjoy.