First Look: Dr. Stone

Manga Adaptation by TMS
Streaming on Crunchyroll

Premise

Thousands of years after a mysterious phenomenon has turned everyone on earth to stone, dumb jock Taiju and super genius Senku find themselves revived in a world that has been taken over by the wilderness.

Zigg’s verdict: Let’s Rock

Dr. Stone is a curious beast, a sort of mashup of shonen adventure, science-fiction, and with a dash of isekai on top. By far the least palatable to my mind are the tired shonen trappings – Taiju is a throwback to dumb-as-a-brick heroes of yesterday, and even after one episode he’s grating on me. Senku isn’t much better, what with his hackneyed catchphrase, smug holier-than-thou attitude, and character design right out of a Yu-Gi-Oh instalment. The show isn’t much of a looker either, though there’s a certain charm to its basic, thick-lined cartoon look.

With all that said, I did actually enjoy this, and that’s because it’s something we actually see fairly rarely in anime – a semi-realistic take on a post apocalypse. As dry as it may seem, I certainly got a kick out of the basic survival stuff that makes up a large chunk of this episode, and there’s even a little genuine science thrown into the mix as well. I think my future appreciation of the show will depend on whether it chooses to stay grounded or abandons the low road to go big on flashy super-powered pyrotechnics. If it’s the former, I could definitely be persuaded to tag along.

Iro’s verdict: Isekai in All But Name

That sounds like an insult, but it isn’t necessarily. Before the flood of “cheat skill” isekai works, I always felt like the most defining characteristic of most (at least anime) isekai was the concept of bringing modern day knowledge and sensibilities into a fantastical setting, and Dr. Stone fits this to a tee; the best moments of the premiere tickle the same kind of survivalist itch that something like Primitive Technology does. I don’t know if I’m quite sold on the cast, though. Senku basically being a magic super genius is already a bit hit-or-miss, and Taiju is so utterly uninteresting that I can’t see him bringing much to the table. This has earned another episode or two, but I’m not sure about any more than that.

Gee’s verdict: Elementary

Dr. Stone is by no means awful. In fact like another show airing this season, Astra Lost in Space, it’s a premise I can find a lot to like in. The idea of having to survive in a post apocalyptic world and eventually rebuild society can be an interesting one. The mystery of mankind’s petrification is a potentially engaging narrative arc. The problem here is at least so far, the show hasn’t really done anything to convince me it can make it interesting. Our two protagonists, despite their diametrically opposed personalities, are somehow equally generic. Taiju is your standard loud voiced shonen meathead who has a lot of willpower and Senku is your classic anime multidisciplinary super genius. There’s a couple sparks to their dynamic but it’s all done so by the numbers it’s hard to really care.

In a weaker season or in a life where I had more free time, I could be convinced to stick things out and see where Dr. Stone takes us. As is this season already has a fair number of promising anime. While I’m not ready to declare any of them a guaranteed winner just yet, they present more compelling arguments.

3 thoughts on “First Look: Dr. Stone

  1. I don’t think Dr. Stone lived up to the hype… (Crunchy is on the production committee, and thus has a vested interest in hype – it just got old.) This strikes me as a slow start type of show, and is going to take 2-3 episodes to get all of it’s pieces on the table.

  2. What bothers me about this show is that while it’s clearly not taking itself seriously at all, I still couldn’t tell every time if I was supposed to laugh with it, or if I was just laughing at it. In any case, if it continues to not take itself seriously I’m in…

    • Given the kinda character Taiju is, I’d be surprised if this show decided to take a 180 turn to melodrama. It’s probably gonna be on the goofier side in general.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.