Dr. Stone (Anime Review)
Updated: Nov 23, 2020
Written by Shreyansh Saurabh
It’s the year 2038. Just another normal day on earth, until a beam of green light appears from nowhere in the sky and engulfs the entire planet, turning all the humans into stone statues. That escalated quickly, didn’t it? Time passes and nature reclaims the planet, until one day, 3700 years from the incident, the petrification withers off a high school kid — the protagonist Senku Ishigami. And thus begins his arduous quest to restore the world to its original state.
Typical Shonen anime revolves around a male protagonist having an improbable ability and an ambitious end goal of some sort, like becoming “The Hokage” in Naruto, or becoming the number one hero in My Hero Academia. But Dr. Stone sets itself apart from the standard Shonen jump fair and focuses away from the fighting. Senku is portrayed as a mad, cackling scientist, who sets out on a mission to reverse the petrification process and rebuild civilization from scratch. Unfortunately, one of the first people he revives is Tsukasa, a brutishly strong high school brawler who believes that adults are corrupt and is adamant about building a world with only young people in it. He has no qualms about killing people who get in the way of building his utopia. Thus, going forward, we see a true battle of wits vs. muscle and science vs. strength.
What makes this anime different from the rest is that scientific knowledge has been flaunted as a world-shaking Shonen power. The animators have gone to great lengths to make the real processes look as authentic as possible. The process of moulding of beakers and flasks from scratch, the creation of penicillin in the stone age, and the manufacturing of gunpowder have been portrayed with great detail and factuality (with the exception of a few to prevent viewers from manufacturing dangerous substances by themselves). The coolness factor is amplified by portraying the characters going through an apocalyptic adventure. It gives a weird satisfaction in watching a man bend the world to his whim with such simple tools and creating near-miracles, like introducing electricity in a stone world with just some practical scientific knowledge.
Set in a lush and rocky stone age, the background is gorgeous and highly refined. The forest-based post-apocalyptic world has been animated quite magnificently, with attention to detail given to even the smallest of shrubberies. The characters have strong comedic chemistry among friends and uneasy tensions between potential enemies. Despite having a huge cast, the animators have done a marvelous job in giving every character a unique flavour and attribute.
Dr. Stone bagged the Crunchyroll Best Protagonist Award of 2019 and it has got the funniest reaction faces you'll see. So, if you're looking for a fun change of pace from your typical anime, this is the one to go for. And for those of you just beginning their anime exploration journey, you’re in the right place. Just click play.
If you want to watch this anime, it's available on Netflix