Rivalry is something that is a part of the life cycle of many anime characters. Shounen anime throws rivalry into the mix almost by virtue of being shounen anime, but rivalry can exist under so many different contexts. We’ve seen Goku and Vegeta; Naruto and Sasuke; two rivalries that are extremely famous in anime and manga and bring out a feeling of “Red Ogre, Blue Ogre”. This contrast is prevalent in many different media, anime, manga and even light novels and is great when looking at the DNA of a genre; shounen is a great source but not the only genre where rivalry is a key element of the overall progression of the material. That being said, which is the best rivalry 2019 had to offer us? In a year that gave us Senku and Tsukasa; Carole & Tuesday and Angela; Joro and the Bench; Thorfinn and Thorkell; Kaguya and Shirogane, among many others, it’s a little difficult to choose.
However, if one is to be picked, Dr. Stone’s combative stone age pair of Senku and Tsukasa have to vie for control of the title of best rivalry of 2019. There are various reasons why they are the chosen ones, especially when there were many different explorations of the rivalry concept by shows that weren’t shounen like Dr. Stone.
Senku vs. Tsukasa and the Fight for the Future
Their rivalry was important
Senku and Tsukasa are a protagonist/antagonist pair that have intelligence as a common trait; however, they use it differently and have different abilities, personalities and beliefs. Their rivalry stems from a conflict of morals and opinions about reviving the world as it was prior to their petrification and this central idea is the source of their opposition for the duration of the series. The next announced season is titled, “Stone Wars”, a direct reference to the looming clash between the allies amassed by Senku and those amassed by Tsukasa.
The stakes are really high
Very early on in the series, we come to understand that Tsukasa has no qualms about killing other people. He is almost casual about crushing and killing the petrified, but alive, bodies of any adult. Tsukasa is believes that his version of the world, a world where civilization is based on hunting and gathering and subsistence farming is more perfect than the technological world of wonder from before the mysterious petrification of all life. Senku is very nearly dispatched by Tsukasa in the early stages of the series, and his presence makes the premise of surviving in the stone world even more of a challenge.
It gives something to look forward to
Due to the announcement of the second season of Dr. Stone, titled “Stone Wars”, we can see that the rivalry between Senku and Tsukasa has been set up by the first season of Dr. Stone. The second season is going to explore and possibly wrap-up this major arc. The battle is political, and Senku and Tsukasa represent charismatic kings capable of inspiring loyalty and confidence in other people. Their rivalry sets itself up to be the ultimate clash.
Stone was one of the standout titles of 2019 and it proved to be every bit interesting and great to look at while bringing unique twists to the shounen formula. For us, Senku and Tsukasa’s rivalry and the way it is presented as a matter of them meeting in the wrong era also alludes to the tendency of anime to turn rival characters into friends or have them start as such Who do you think will win the battle of the stone ages? Let us know in the comments below!