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Anime Review: Dr. STONE

As a new season comes by, we’re greeted with more animes to fill our time with and more antics to laugh at. Today we’re going to be looking at Dr. STONE, one of the highly anticipated anime this summer. Ever since Owari No Seraph came out, there was no other apocalyptic anime that caught my eye yet but with its unique and intriguing cast, Dr. STONE has managed to hook me in its story. We’ll be doing a recap of the first episode, which hopefully will convince some of you to give this anime a try this season.

Premiered: Summer 2019
Genres: Adventure, Sci-Fi, Shounen
Studio: TMS Entertainment

Before we get into the recap, I’ll be linking the trailer for Dr. STONE for those of you who have not yet watched it or have no idea of what you’d be going into.

Video Credit:

If watching the trailer hasn’t got you excited for what’s to come, then look forward to the next few paragraphs! I guarantee that you’ll at least want to give this hidden gem a try by the end of this!

Let’s get right into it!

As the episode starts, we’re greeted with an ominous scene where all mankind is petrified and that not only Japan was affected, but also the rest of the world. Watching the baleful scene with man statues made me exhilarated about the prospect of an apocalyptic anime, which are a rare gem in the anime industry.

After a transition, we finally get to meet one of our main protagonists, a Japanese high schooler with a trendy hairstyle along with bushy eyebrows. He reminded me of Rock Lee from Naruto to a certain extent, even his voice and personality are similar to that of the latter. He mentions confessing to his crush Yuzuriha, to his friend. Speaking of which, Rock Lee can be seen calling someone else called Senku which is our other main protagonist.

Senku, a very intelligent and astute individual that can be seen working on science experiments which further emphasised on his Tony Stark personality. Obviously unfazed by his friend’s sudden exclaim, he unenthusiastically shows his support for his friend's endeavour. Just when you thought his character was flat, Senku immediately takes a mad scientist appearance and offers Big Oaf (his nickname for Rock Lee) an unknown liquid in a flask to help with his endeavour.

Obviously, Big Oaf rejected the flask, mentioning that he wants to date her through normal means instead of underhanded tactics. Seeing the two polar opposite characters interacting with each other got me looking forward to their development in the series.

Big Oaf’s just like one of us, nervous and scared of being rejected when confessing to his crush. Nevertheless, he makes up his mind to confess but before he can even let out his words, an unspeakable phenomenon arose that prevented his love confession.

An unknown green light can be seen rising from the horizon, petrifying anything that came into contact with it. Sensing the danger, Big Oaf pushed his love confession to the back of his mind and tries to protect his crush from the alien light. I was disappointed at first, thinking that it would be another cliché moment where the main protagonist sacrifices himself for his loved one. These types of scenarios bore me since a lot of them already appeared in various animes. But I was wrong.

Every living being that came into contact with it was turned into stone, even birds and eventually all of mankind. This got me thinking. What would happen if this exact scenario happened in our world? How would we survive? And what caused the green light to shine upon us?

These types of questions plagued my mind while watching this scene and try as I might, the answers were either not there or very vague.

With no one manning the power stations, the water pipes and planes dropping out of the skies like flies, the whole world is plunged into chaos, chaos no one can avert. Big Oaf can be seen struggling to remain conscious, driven by his love and desire to confess to Yuzuriha. His personality really reminded me of the classic head-strong characters like Naruto and Ichigo, which can be boring, but if done right, can help improve the character’s appeal. In this case, Big Oaf seemed like a likeable character to me and I can’t wait to see what he does in the series.

As buildings fall and terrains change, the Earth returns back to its pristine condition to that of the age of the dinosaurs. The new environment and surrounding have changed so much that it resembles that of Earth before human began its civilization. Back over at Big Oaf, he’s been moved into a cave on a bed of hay? I’m not really sure how he moved while petrified. This suggests that either he’s been really lucky and avoided every single mishap that can happen or someone else moved him. This means that someone has actually broken free of the petrification from the unknown phenomenon. But who?

Having broken free, Big Oaf recalls what happens as emotions wash over him. If I was him, I’d probably wouldn’t even have the willpower to remain conscious for countless millennia. I too would bawl immediately, thinking that I was the only one that survived. Nevertheless, he quickly gets over it and uses logic to find his way back home. Big Oaf is really strong and persistent in his mindset, something that isn’t uncommon but always fun to see in anime.

While walking, he suddenly remembers why he was alive in the first place, Yuzuriha. With haste, he makes his way to the camphor tree, the one where he last saw her. I would assume that his heart would be beating very fast, hoping that somehow, Yuzuriha survived and was safe. Instead of worrying for himself, he instead focuses his attention on her. You can really see how much he cherishes her to the extent of trying to protect her and even disregarding his own self to find out what happened to her. I’m looking forward to the interactions as well as the development between the pair. If she survives, of course. We don’t know yet at this stage.

After meeting her on the fated camphor tree, he unexpectedly finds a message on the tree trunk beside her. Someone must have left it there. But who? Who else other than Big Oaf survived? Of course, it’s none other than the mad scientist himself, Senku. Draped in loose cloth, Senku stands majestically on a tree branch of Big Oaf. And he looks to be doing well too!

Of course, the first thing you would do if you were in Big Oaf’s situation would be to rush into the arms of another human, though stark naked except for a leaf skirt. I’d imagine anyone would do the same. In an apocalypse, you’d go insane if you were alone all the time. Or at least I would. Besides that, the two seem to be surprisingly close. I assumed at first that they were mere acquaintances, nothing more. However, they're like best of friends judging by their first interaction after the petrification incident. Also, it seems like this anime will have its comedic scenes sometimes, which adds a bit of flavour to it.

With only the two of them in this age, they set out to find out the mysteries regarding petrification and how to reverse it. Though, both seem to have different agendas leading to the same goal. To save mankind.

Senku’s goal: To advance from the sticks and stone era to the technological era before the apocalypse and save mankind through science.

Taiju’s goal: To save Yuzuriha. Yeah, that’s it.

To wrap up this review, I’ll be giving my personal thoughts. First of all, the genre already got me interested in the anime since there are rarely any good apocalyptic anime and this looks like it could be one. The overall concept of recreating mankind and its creation is really fascinating and they even explored some of the early creations of mankind like pottery and wine throughout the episode. So rather than only action scenes and storytelling, they add in a few History lessons in there. 

What I’m interested most is the development between characters and their interactions. Especially the Senku-Taiju pair. Their complete polar opposites make the interactions between them riveting and their brawn and brain combination is always fun to watch. They remind me of Yuno and Asta from Black Clover, which has been a blast to watch. To end It, they also have comedy to which I would never say no to. I’m looking forward to more episodes and this might just be the anime I’ve been looking for.

You can watch Dr. STONE on dimsum over here!
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Written by Yeon Hee

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