Dr. Stone: Terraforming Review


The Dr Stone manga may have ended a little while ago but the franchise lives on with the anime special, future seasons, and now this one shot. There are certainly a lot of other stories to tell here in the verse and I was glad to see that the one shot takes place after the series. It’s sort of like a speed run of readapting the first arcs but with the whole gang already around. It goes by quickly and captures the classic charm of the series.

The story starts with Senku lost at sea and no memory of how he got there. Gradually he remembers and basically the cast was on a plane when lightning struck and knocked them all down. They were able to use the revival formula to turn into stone but Senku fumbled the grab and so he revived himself by mistake. Now he is all alone in the middle of the ocean and has to try and survive now. Can he really pull this off without freezing to death? He may be the mighty Senku, but this is no easy scenario.

The reason why I say it’s sort of like a speed run version of the actual series is because from here Senku works on reviving the rest of the characters one by one and getting to safety. If not for the subplot with Dr. Xeno and the others, you could easily play this as an alternate take on chapter 1. What if Senku warped back but with his current knowledge? In a way it probably wouldn’t change a ton but he would have had an easier time of it. Sure enough, Senku does really well here and gets everyone up to speed.

I wouldn’t say any important developments happen here and that’s the norm for special chapters. This is really just a chance to get to see your favorite characters one last time. After all, there probably won’t be any other Dr. Stone manga chapters for a long while so you have to savor them as they come. It’s a fun adventure that definitely ends quickly but makes for a good all around story. We get some more inventions as well as the formulas for how to make them. For example, making sails out of fish skin definitely seems like a very obscure tactic that you probably wouldn’t think of right off the bat.

The characters are all around to help but for the most part Senku is really the one pulling the strings. Suika and Chrome get to help out with one idea though and as always Kohaku is good as actually doing the manual work. She may not succeed in getting Senku flustered but completes all of her other missions. I’d say the chapter is the author trying to really re-confirm to everyone that Senku is still a man of science who doesn’t have time for the more emotional moments. So anyone hoping that would change here probably will be in for a bit of disappointment but the series had been setting this up for a very long time at this point.

The artwork is as good as always. The series has a lot of detail and there’s just a whole lot of ways that it enhances a story like this. The oceans look good and all of the background details as well. It’s definitely the way to go. This artist certainly has a lot of skills so I look forward to him doing more stories whether it be Dr. Stone adventures or some more One Piece stories. Either way works.

In a way the story also sets up for a bunch of other sequels as well. There’s a lot of materials that the heroes need to get after all on their way to building the time machine. What I’m most interested in is how this will play out. What are the time travel rules that this series will use? Additionally, it may be easier said than done to actually prevent the whole stone event from happening. Senku has enough clout where maybe he could convince someone like Xeno to help him in the past but he would have to handle it very interesting. That could easily be enough for a full oneshot volume or something like that. I think it’s the next logical step in the Dr. Stone mythos.

Overall, This was a fun story. It just goes to show that no matter what kind of situation you put him in, Senku will be just fine. It helps that the revival fluid can help you cheat death at any time. A series about how this affects society would also be interesting. The fact that there’s a substance which can heal you indefinitely has to have had a major effect on the world right? It changes the way everyday life would be played out, particularly for risky kinds of situations that would be more standard now. If you enjoyed the main manga then you should certainly read this oneshot. It’s a very solid self contained adventure.

Overall 7/10

Dr. Stone Review


Now it’s time to review Dr. Stone, a manga that ended a while back but I hadn’t gotten around to reviewing it yet. It was pretty nice to see this title get successful. It’s fairly outside of the box with the premise and is going for a different feel than the average Jump title. Yes, I still tend to lean towards the fully action packed ones myself but it’s never bad to have a change of pace title. My thoughts are, if a series is good then no matter the genre I want it to go on for as long as possible. That includes everything that’s a 7 or up, for a 6 I suppose so but I’m less invested. Either way this title ends up being above both scores.

The series starts off by introducing us to Senku who is a brilliant worker who isn’t very emotional. In contrast his friend Taiju is always acting very emotionally as he runs off to make confessions and do his thing. Well, one day the Earth is blasted with a powerful ray that turns everyone to stone. All of the characters slumber for thousands of years until Senku finally wakes up due to his incredible mental fortitude. He must now bring humanity back from the Stone Age and find out what happened here. Will he be able to pull this off or is humanity already completely doomed?

Now that’s a very early plot summary of course but no worries I’m going to be diving into the arcs in a minute. Right off the bat I can say that part of what makes the science work is how some of it is actually possible. As the series goes on some parts may be a little tricky or stretch disbelief a bit. I suspect it’s because the manga needed to be wrapped up so things were going fast, but especially in the first half the attention to detail is really great. I even put the series to the test. Yes that’s right, I decided to find out if this was actually real and so I made the Senku Cola.

To this day that was a very memorable moment for me and I had a blast with it. The drink actually did taste really good too and that’s when I really gained respect for the series. The author clearly did his homework and so then you get extra enjoyment out of seeing how it goes since you could make some of the other stuff yourself. I was mildly tempted for the homemade ramen but to me the Cola looked the best either way.

There are some fights here but I do want to stress that the series is more about the journey. Seeing how the characters overcome all of their hurdles without the benefit of high powered technology. I’d say the series does well with that throughout. The characters are fun and it’s just a solid series through and through. I’ll list some issues I had with it down the line but for now lets focus on the main aspects that really worked aside from the science.

One big thing is that the artwork is really solid. This artist really knows how to add a whole lot of extra detail here. It makes for a solid read when you want to really narrow in on a page or set of pages. The backgrounds hold up to the extra scrutiny and the character designs are on point as well. The clashes we get during the fights are also solid. On the flip side, you will rarely see a prolonged fight for that reason as the art style is better suited to powerful stills than a lot of choreography. You will see the rare extended fight but not very often. It does show glimpses of the author being able to draw a long fight if he wanted too though. I think if he made that a focus then it would be done well, this just wasn’t the series for it.

I also give the author credit for having Senku get everyone up to speed so quickly. I do not like stories about cavemen and such. Never have and this series could have easily gone in that way but fortunately with his tech, Senku keeps things civilized right from the jump. Definitely a really good move and even the people who grew up in the village can speak English normally and aren’t just being super quirky the whole time. Characters do have their quirks of course but not the cavemen type.

There are also some solid philosophical debates here with the villains having very different reactions to a world of stone. In a way this is a chance for humanity to reset so some characters like the heroes want to make everything normal again while others want to radically change the world. It never gets into a very gray area as you don’t doubt Senku and the crew but at least the villains do have some solid thought processes behind their actions which makes most of them rather solid. I do think it’s important to have good villains to balance out with the heroes whenever possible.

Now for my main issue, it would be that the final part of the series moves at such breakneck speed that you feel like it misses some opportunities and also that some parts are impossible even for their mastery of science. Building multiple rockets in a super short span of time? We needed some more time skips there. The whole final twist? It wasn’t super satisfying, now there were a lot of theories for this and I liked the future Senku one the most but what we got just didn’t lead to any real big moments. If you do go with this angle for the reason as to why the Earth got turned to stone, then you need to take it further and have a follow up arc. Finally, there’s a moment where we nearly got another huge timeskip of many, many years that ended up being a fake-out. That said, I wasn’t particularly torn up about it since it would have been about a character that I wasn’t a huge fan of. I think it would have been interesting of course but I wouldn’t call that one a bad thing.

Now that we’ve talked about the series on a large scale, lets dial it back and talk about the sagas. First up is the pre arc which involves Senku and his childhood friends being split up so they go with Tsukasa as spies while Senku heads over to Ishigami village to recruit some troops and get started on his transformation into a world of science. This was a good way to introduce a lot of characters and it’s a fun pre arc. Senku gets to show how he fights with science and it was also a really solid way to introduce Tsukasa as a true threat. I definitely would have removed the whole him fighting an animal part though as he already know that he’s tough. No need to stress the point.

As a main character Senku is definitely solid. He’s not going to be joining the top ranks of protagonists anytime soon but he gets the job done and always has a plan. His lack of emotions help him in a lot of ways since he doesn’t panic easily. I like his confident demeanor and he just doesn’t make mistakes. Senku’s a very well rounded character who even learns to lighten up a bit by the end and has some emotional moments like with Tsukasa. He may not change a ton but he doesn’t need to, he was already equipped with good skills from the start.

Then you have Taiju who was also solid. The guy doesn’t get to appear or do as much as you might expect but he’s always a good friend. He did well in standing up to Tsukasa initially and can always be counted on. My main problem with him is that he takes being a pacifist way too far at times. You should absolutely still be able to punch someone in self defense or to protect a friend. He takes his ideals a little too far at the expense of the safety of his crew. Fortunately he is rarely put in a position like that but it is a slight mark against him.

Yuzuriha was sort of the main heroine for about a volume before vanishing and she’s another good character. Like Taiju she ended up vanishing early but made the most of her screentime. She’s a nice person who wants to help out. Ultimately she didn’t get a lot more character than that but she is around so you’re not going to forget her or anything like that. She helps out as needed.

Tsukasa is the first villain to show up and right away I liked the guy. So his goal is very simple, he figures that grown ups are the reason for all of the strife and corruption in the world so he wants to spare only the children and remove everyone else. That means he’ll go around busting up all of the adult statues and then he’ll revive the youth to take over the world. It’s a pretty interesting way to rebuild the planet but you can argue that it just delays the inevitable as they will be adults someday. If humanity is just that corrupt then this strategy won’t work.

His only chance is if he can raise the next generation personally so that they don’t end up twisted but it seems hard to stop that if the adults are that bad. It’s an interesting idea though and why not try to make the world a better place instead of resetting it to how things always were right? It’s just that his methods involve murder which destroys his chances of having a good discussion about it. What would have been interesting is if he decided to instead keep them as stone and made a case to Senku that they shouldn’t revive them yet as they think about what to do. I want to say Senku may have at least heard him out for a while even if ultimately I don’t see them coming to terms on this.

Tsukasa can fight and lead really well though so he was the perfect character to put in as the first major villain. He really has a lot of presence in the story and he’s so powerful that even great plans can end up crumbling in front of him. That’s what it means to wield great power. Back to the village characters though, we get a mini boss in Magma. Eh, the guy never interested me much though. He’s the kind of villain who is fighting for the girl and is super petty all around. Not much to cheer on in that case and he ends up lagging behind.

Kohaku is the character who really takes over the main heroine spot and I enjoyed her character as soon as she went up against Tsukasa in the forest. She had no fear as she charged in and while she ultimately didn’t prove to be a match for him, I respected the courage there. Kohaku was absolutely not going to back down and that’s the right approach here. Always try to go for the win and don’t back down. It’s the best way to go about this. Throughout the series she is really handy whether it be for scouting missions or helping with the inventions. Her excellent eye sight and hand-eye coordination really come in handy.

From all of the village characters she is certainly the best one. Chrome is another villager and his thing is that he’s a scientific mastermind like Senku. Of course he doesn’t have the benefit of formal education like what Senku has but in a way that makes it more impressive that he’s able to keep up. He’s not really my kind of character though. He’s helpful in a pinch but the whole time you just feel like he’s a weaker version of Senku so he doesn’t get to make as much of an impact. He contributes a lot but he just can’t catch up to Senku even if he does mean well.

Finally you have Suika and she is just too young for this. There’s only so much that you can do as a kid and while her watermelon crawl is handy and all…she just never ended up being all that interesting. Kids often just get in the way in Jump titles and while she wasn’t panicking or being taken hostage a lot, I would put her as one of the weakest villagers. She definitely needed to be a little older to really help out.

The village has a high ranking member in Ruri who is good for the info dumps, but she doesn’t ultimately get to do much. Once she is cured from her disease she just sort of fades into the background. She isn’t a fighter so that was probably inevitable though. Someone had to give out the news right? So at least she had that job but ultimately her sister Kohaku ended up being a lot more fun.

Kinro and Ginro are two supporting characters in the village but I never ended up being a big fan of either of them. For Kinro, he is technically a good fighter and he tries to be strict, but often times it’s hard to take him seriously. I feel like he needed to be a little stronger to have really had an effect like that. Meanwhile Ginro is the comic relief character who is scared of everything. Unfortunately he never gets to be endearing so instead he just ends up being annoying the whole time. If I had to pick a comic relief character who was better then I’d go with Kaseki. He really just has one gag that is used on repeat with his whole turning buff thing but at least it’s not a super annoying gimmick or anything like that. I’m not a big fan of the guy but he’s not really around much anyway.

Okay now it’s time for the first big arc of the series which is the famous Stone Wars. Tsukasa and his group make their move so Senku and friends are forced to respond in kind. It’s a great way for the heroes and villains to finally meet up after all of the build up. It certainly lived up to it too with the best climax out of all the arcs. To date this fight has not been passed in the series. It was a great way to wrap up all of the character arcs and aside from the whole finding out why everyone was turned to stone thing, would have even worked as the series ending. It was a lot of fun all the way through and the arc really blasted through at a quick speed. It never dragged on and the whole thing had a very fast paced feel to it.

We got to meet more of the troops during the war as well. First up is Hyoga who is certainly very ambitious and a talented fighter. Next to Tsukasa he was likely the strongest one here and really looked impressive. He makes for a fun villain and while he’s nowhere close to Tsukasa, I liked his fighting style. His weapon certainly does have a long range which is really handy for any fight. His opponents always have to make sure they’re out of range or they’re plum out of luck.

Homura is another fighter on their side and her acrobatics are impressive. She was even able to stalemate with Kohaku for a bit there. Senku looked bad in letting her go at one point but she definitely showed why Tsukasa trusted her with the dangerous recon jobs. At the end of the day she did good. Then you have Ukyo with his super hearing. Not the most loyal fellow to have around but he’s got good aim and is another solid fighter. I wouldn’t say he ranks against the other villains but he’s reasonably good.

We can’t forget Gen the trickster who always has everyone on the ropes…at least for a few arcs. My only gripe with him is that his mentalist abilities don’t tend to help out much later on. In a way his biggest weakness is the fact that he’s well known so nobody believes him anyway or he’s going up against other geniuses who aren’t going to fall for that kind of trick. So either way he ends up being put in a tough position. Gen’s a fun guy though even if he is ineffective a lot of the time. He just needed some kind of power up although I’m not sure how that would work in this context.

Yo is another one of the villains in Tsukasa’s army and I liked him well enough. He’s a corrupt cop who is used to using a gun so he is actually very helpful on the battlefield. I thought he was a rather unique character who worked well in this context. Definitely someone you don’t forget too soon. He may not be super talented but he’s better than the no names so he at least earned his spot as one of the guards.

Well with the Stone Wars done, it was time to get a boat and then head off to the next adventure. This time it’s a big battle on an island against someone who knows how to manipulate the Medusa stones in order to turn people into stone. It makes for a very dangerous weapon and this is definitely not someone that you want to go up against without a plan. The villain here isn’t as interesting as Tsukasa by a longshot but it’s still a fun arc. We get some memorable visuals like the villain jumping head first towards the water while yelling. That could be a good jump scare in the show if handled right.

Ultimately it doesn’t have the hype and pure stakes as the Stone Wars but it’s still a good follow up arc. Plus it probably would have been very difficult to have topped that initial saga. The villain being rather lackluster is the arc’s biggest weak point but as a whole I would still say it does more good than bad. It’s the weakest of the big arcs pretty much by default and that’s because I merge the Xeno and aftermath as one arc. If you split them then this beats the epilogue.

Ryusui got to join the crew during this adventure and he’s really a standout character. Now here is someone who can absolutely hold his own with the old guard. He brought a lot of confidence to the table and ended up being a very memorable character as well. His expertise with the boats were absolutely unmatched and he always knows how to have a good time. I’d argue that the cast really needed a high energy guy like this to keep everyone focused.

Then you have his assistant Francois who does well with the cooking. This character doesn’t get a ton to do but is still fun enough. Ibara is the main villain of the island arc and he never grew on me. In a way he’s the perfect example of the kind of corrupt grown up that Tsukasa was talking about. He found out how to use the medusa power and immediately used it to be an evil ruler. Literally the guy wasted absolutely no time in doing so. If he was a little less greedy and focused more on leveraging that into being an unstoppable king who at least cared for his tribe then he may have actually made it out of this.

Matsukaze is a solid character. I like that he can fight well and it’s just a shame that he happened to decide to serve a comic relief character. Man he could have really gone places but he was introduced rather late so it’s possible that he wouldn’t have had a chance to do much more than that either way. It’s just nice to have another fighter on the team. Mozu is another strong warrior but he doesn’t have much to do. Again as this isn’t really a battle manga, you can’t expect the characters to get to mix it up with the others too often.

Finally we approach the Xeno arc and this time we got to have some real competition for Senku. Xeno is the first villain to actually be able to keep up with Senku on an intellectual level and it works extremely well. Basically he is a part of the Nasa group and he actually had a plan for if this ever happened and he got a chance to rule the world. The guy thinks ahead, that’s definitely his forte without a doubt. Can Senku and friends really stop him? The guy has homefield advantage since they’re in America or maybe Senku and friends have finally picked an opponent who is too powerful.

It was great to see America and part of what I also liked about this arc was it showed that Senku wasn’t the only one to defeat the stone conditioning. You have to assume that at least someone else was able to keep their mind active the whole time and it’s fitting that Xeno could pull this off. They don’t call him a genius for nothing after all. When the heroes land in America and see that the place actually still looks okay, it was a great shock value moment. The villains had already started tending to the crops and such to build a civilization of their own.

For the first time Senku and friends were truly out of their depth in a modern world. Stanley also does give us some really good action scenes as that villain’s an expert with a gun. The series also paid special attention to show that as a soldier he was still bound by a code of ethics and didn’t suddenly become a monster or anything like that. It was a good way to give the villains some nuance here. Stone Wars is my favorite arc still but this one was definitely a blast.

If I have one issue with the arc it’s that at this point with a way to not only undue the petrification but also to glue the parts together, there isn’t a lot of stakes anymore. At one point the villains start blowing up the heroes to kingdom come but you know they can be revived anyway so it’s not particularly a big deal. At least in DBZ the planet might blow up so there are no dragon balls but here it’s not like the villains are going to do anything. As soon as the heroes found out that the serum pretty much makes them immortal, it meant that traditional fights wouldn’t have the same impact as they used to. At least it was a good way to show how effective guns are as even Tsukasa couldn’t do much against them. Guns are truly overpowered in a world where only one side has them.

Xeno definitely lives up to the hype here as the big bad. His discussions with Senku are really solid. Even if they both disagree on a whole lot of things, they have respect for science which is what still unites them. They never ended up forgetting that part of themselves. He has a cool design too and has to be one of the stand out characters here. Likewise Stanley is excellent as the muscle of the crew and is also very smart in his own right. He picks up on all the clues Xeno sends him, no matter how subtle they are. He’s also an expert at reading the room and using his expertise in a fight to get the upper hand on the heroes. These two are a big reason as to why the arc was a lot of fun.

After the main fights we also get a lot of new characters added into the mix for Senku’s group. For the most part they’re all added in too late though and don’t really get much to do. I dare say they didn’t need to be added like the watch guy or the girl who can read the land. It’s nice to have some more support but ultimately I didn’t feel like their roles were so big that they had to be around. At least Sai got to give us some video game moments which is always fun but for the most part you knew the series was ending so you were more interested in seeing the Whyman plot come to an end.

Now for that part, that’s where things crumble a little bit. So lets overlook how the science goes really fast here. While I don’t buy into them creating numerous rockets back to back in a short timespan like this, we had to get the heroes into the Moon somehow. My issue is that Whyman does not live up to the hype. This guy had great moments where he yelled to the planet and even had Senku’s voice somehow. Needless to say, the hype was through the roof here!

Then when he shows up, the guy has no passion, no vision. His true form isn’t very interesting and his whole plan makes absolutely no sense. The heroes even mention this and Whyman has no real response to this. Because even he knows that his actions made absolutely no sense. I didn’t think the manga did a good job of really explaining this guy. Considering that this plot was around for almost the whole series, it feels like the author didn’t really think it through. There were so many interesting routes that could have happened for this and they all ended up fading away.

It’s not a train wreck ending or anything but I thought it was super underwhelming. If ever there was a time to throw in some action and fighting then this was it. It would have made for a very memorable climax with everything at stake instead of whatever this was. At least the aftermath/epilogue for the series was cool though. We finally get the high tech gizmo I had been waiting for and it would work really well for a sequel series. There’s a lot of potential there.

Before wrapping things up, I should quickly mention that the series handled the mini flashback saga well. I liked Byakuya and Lillian as the two leads to that adventure. The old ship crew all had a good dynamic and it was nice seeing them end up creating their own small world on Earth as well. Naturally they couldn’t wait 3700 years for Senku and friends but they did well to accomplish a lot on their own without a resident genius.

Overall, That about wraps up Dr. Stone. It was definitely a great series with a solid amount of characters and action. It certainly had a long lasting career with all the chapters it ended up with and it’ll be nice to see some kind of sequel or spinoff eventually as an ongoing. Of course if the author is busy with more One Piece projects I’d definitely understand. I’m sure he’s having fun getting to tell a lot of different stories. If you haven’t read Dr. Stone yet then I would definitely recommend changing that. It makes for a very interesting read and you should definitely try making the Senku cola once you get to that point.

Overall 8/10

Dr Stone Season 2: Stone Wars Review


It feels like it’s been a while since Season 1 but now it’s finally time to enter the Stone Wars. Dr Stone has certainly been rising up the ranks quite a bit. It feels like it’s quietly begun to catch up to titles like Clover and MHA but maybe it only seems quiet because the other titles seem to be a lot bigger in America while I guess Stone has Japan at the ready since it keeps claiming the #1 spot in the magazine rankings. The Stone Wars have been hyped up since the beginning of season 1 and this season delivers by wrapping this up.

Well, Tsukasa has built his army of powerful warriors. He also has command over the revival cave so Senku is unable to call for any more reinforcements. Worse yet is the fact that their chief backup scientist Chrome has been abducted. Senku’s army of science is going to need to find a way to break Chrome out and stop Tsukasa all while keeping fatalities to 0. It’ll be the toughest objective he’s ever had to face and yet this kind of thing won’t phase Senku. He’s ready to do whatever it takes in order to claim victory.

As this season is throwing us more into the climax there is less time for the food recipes we got in season 1. There still is 2-3 hovering around like the cup ramen but nothing quite like the Senku Cola which I got the pleasure of making at home one day. Now that was a blast. This time the group has to get some more combat ready equipment on hand so that includes a tank, gunpowder, flash bombs, sonic weapons, etc. They definitely aren’t messing around here since one failure could very well equal death.

The season is only 11 episodes which feels really short but that does mean there’s always something happening in each episode. No time to waste. Tsukasa’s army also gets a chance to shine here as there are quite a few named fighters. Tsukasa and Hyoga aren’t the only ones running around after all. When the power gap is this wide it could be easy to assume that plot hax is the only way for the heroes to win but the difference in science is drastic enough where I’d say it makes sense. Science can easily tip the scales in a battle of humans. This is also all considering that Senku is effectively holding back because he doesn’t want to seriously injure or murder anybody.

If the Stone anime series has any weakness, it’s that the animators still haven’t really gotten used to the action scenes yet. While the animation in general is very solid, the action scenes are quite weak. There’s no impact to any of the blows so even powerful fighters like Tsukasa and Hyoga don’t look as impressive as they otherwise would. To try and get around this sometimes the show will use stills instead to at least have a more detailed shot which works well but I’d like to see the animation take a step up for some of the future fights. Dr Stone isn’t primarily an action series but that doesn’t mean you can’t have great fights right?

The subtitle “Stone Wars” and the excellent promotional artwork can also give you the wrong idea if you haven’t read the manga already. Don’t go in expecting a giant war season where everyone is fighting it out with nonstop action each episode. Keep in mind that at its core this is still a science based adventure where Senku is proving that science can always beat raw power. It would go against the show’s whole message if they were just punching everyone out…although I wouldn’t complain if that were the case because that would be hype. Maybe in a future arc Senku will build them all mecha suits or something.

As for the soundtrack, it’s definitely solid as always. You should recognize a lot of the tunes from season 1. The opening’s pretty solid too so you’ve got a good selection of tunes here. Mecha Senku doesn’t appear much this time but he still gets his moments and usually the music accompanying him is on point as well.

Now the question is, does season 2 beat season 1? It’s very close because season 1 had the big meetings with the characters as well as the tournament. The opening 3 or so episodes of the season may be the series at its peak. Ultimately, I would probably give season 1 the edge but it’s close enough where I wouldn’t say it’s a big deal. They’re both neck and neck and excel in different areas over each other.

Now lets take a look at the characters. Senku is the main character of course and he continues to show why he is the genius of the village. He always has a plan and then a backup option in case that one doesn’t work. He doesn’t always have time to explain things to the others but because of that he is able to even surprise the villains. Now that’s some next level prep work.

Then there’s Chrome who continues to be a great supporting character. He’s nowhere near Senku’s level at the moment but he’s a quick study. Also you have to consider the fact that he had no formal training the way Senku did. Chrome was studying in the stone age the whole time and didn’t have any access to textbooks or things like that. This season also gave him a chance to learn on his own and contribute without Senku being around. In a lot of ways this was Chrome’s season and he didn’t drop the ball when it counted.

Kohaku’s role is smaller than that of season 1 but she still makes her presence felt. She gains a rival of sorts in the gymnast who works for Tsukasa. Finally Kohaku had a worthy rival in close quarters combat. It was a pretty fun battle and Kohaku always adds a lot of energy to the team dynamic. You definitely need to have her around to complete the team.

Gen’s another important member even if he can’t keep up with the main 3. He uses his powers of persuasion to help the heroes when they’re trying to scam the villains. He’s definitely a hero who is very useful to the team. He may not be a fighter but his intellect is close to Senku’s, just not in a science sense. Gen is more about manipulation and is another memorable member of the cast.

Magma surprisingly gets quite a bit to do here. You could say he’s officially one of the supporting characters now although I suppose in season 1 he kept up a steady amount of activity. He’s still not all that impressive though since strength is his only thing and Taiju is stronger than him. So at the end of the day that means he is doomed here. As a character Magma still needs to do a lot more for me to like him.

Meanwhile it’s good to see Taiju and Yuzuriha back. It sure felt like a while since they got to appear and both of them look good here. Taiju is able to put his raw power to good use. He’s still a pacifist so he won’t actually punch anyone in the face or anything like that but he has other ways of showing off his power which really makes him have a commanding presence here. He’s also just very genuine in a fun way. Meanwhile Yuzuriha is a bit of a silent MVP as she singlehandedly saved many lives in this season with her sewing skills. With a lot of people being broken into pieces you can probably see how her sewing skills would be really handy.

Kaseki is still around but there’s a bit less for him to do. He’s one of those guys who is supremely helpful behind the scenes though. Suika is also good for surveillance but is a little too young to be super helpful in the field. Her agility is on point so she can always get away though. These two don’t stack up with the other characters but are pretty reasonable.

That brings us up to the villains. First is Homura and she’s a lot of fun. The fact that she was able to transition her gymnastics into a combat field is already impressive. Outrunning Kohaku who grew up in the jungle while dashing across trees is even more so. Their quick skirmishes are always a lot of fun and Homura does a good job of evading capture even when she was outnumbered around 10-1.

Then you have Ukyo who is one of Tsukasa’s most dangerous subordinates. The guy has super hearing to the point where he’s like a human sub. While the series is still pretty realistic there are slight exaggerations to character abilities to keep things interesting. We saw that with Tsukasa and Taiju’s super strength back in season 1 after all so why not apply that to agility and hearing as well right?

Ukyo’s a pretty interesting character but you could probably guess that from his first appearance in the show. There’s clearly more than meets the eye with this guy and he delivers. Nikki is another member of Tsukasa’s group. Her role is a bit smaller than the others but she comes in handy. She’s another power fighter like Magma, Taiju, and Tsukasa. She hasn’t gotten a big fight yet but I expect that will change eventually.

Then there’s Yo who’s role is also pretty small. His backstory as a cop is pretty entertaining though. The guy is right at home in the cave era with how much he likes to be in control. Yo also has a good backup plan for when things go south so you also have to give him some credit in an intelligence angle as well. Yo’s a fairly all around guy and I like his confidence. From all the villains he’s already top 3.

Finally you have the main two. First up is Tsukasa who already had stolen the show in season 1 and continues to be very strong here. He’s a villain without a doubt but one of those interesting villains who at least has a rational goal. We learn more about it as the season goes on too. It gives some extra depth to his mission and also answers some questions from season 1. Needless to say, the guy puts on a good show and his fight in the climax of the season is a lot of fun. There’s no character even close to passing him as the best in the series.

Finally there is Hyoga and immediately you can tell that he’s a lot more ruthless than Tsukasa. While Tsukasa prefers to avoid bloodshed whenever possible, Hyuga has no such reservations. He does what he wants whenever he wants and is willing to sacrifice other members of the team if it’ll keep him safe. So even if he’s on your side, he’s not someone you want to trust at all. He’s absolutely one of the more dangerous characters here though and makes for a good villain.

Those are all of the main characters I’d say. You’ve got others like Ginro and Kinro running around but they really don’t do much at all here. The show already has a fairly big cast so you can’t have everyone running around the battlefield or it’ll get a bit crazy. The cast is quite solid though which is good, they definitely hold their scenes. The season ends with quite a few direct cliffhangers that’ll help you get psyched up for season 3. Ideally the break won’t be too long since I think the date may already be out too although I forget when it is.

It’s definitely hard to match the war arc since you could say the stakes had never been higher. Tsukasa is the one who was trying to prevent scientific process and was willing to murder to get that across. In theory the heroes shouldn’t be facing any more opposition like that as long as they’re careful who they revive and in this case they already have the numbers advantage. Each arc brings with it new elements though so I won’t talk about what’s to come.

As a final note, I think a lot of Dr. Stone’s strength really comes from the writing. The show is always interesting whether it’s with the war going on or Gen and Senku just trying to scam people into joining their army. The show is able to balance out the humor and action pretty well and you couldn’t do that without a good character cast or solid writing. You can’t really have one without the other and that’s why the series is so effective.

Overall, Dr. Stone Season 2 is definitely a solid follow up to the original. With this arc completed we’ve really made it through all of the set up from the first season so you could say that a big chunk of the story is now complete. Of course we still need to know why everyone got turned to stone though and of course the manga is still going so you can bet that there will be a lot more characters and plots coming up. If you like a good adventure series with fun action and characters then this is a good title to check out. Naturally if you’re someone who enjoyed season 1 then you’ll definitely like this one as well.

Overall 8/10

Dr. Stone Review


It’s time to look at one of the current big Shonen Jump titles. For a while there I actually thought it was going to be one of the current Big 3 next to Black Clover and My Hero Academia but the huge success of the Demon Slayer ended up nabbing the third slot in my eyes. Also depending on how you look at it One Piece would still deserve one of the slots but my view is that even though it is still the biggest title it is firmly known as the leader of the last generation. With all that said, Dr. Stone’s anime was great and this is a really solid anime to check out. We’ve got a lot of excellent world building here and a colorful cast of characters that make this unique premise work out quite well.

The series begins by introducing us to Senku and Taiju. Both of these characters are completely different but are great friends nonetheless. Senku is a science wiz who likes to look at things objectively and isn’t very emotional. Then you have Taiju who is super emotional and despite being very powerful he likes to resolve things peacefully. One day he goes outside to confess to his childhood friend Yuzuriha but a powerful light envelops the world first. All humans and animals were turned into stone and then billions of years passed. Taiju manages to break out of his stone shell eventually and finds that Senku has managed to do the same. These two now need to find a way to find a cure and break the rest of humanity out of stone. Will they be able to restart the human race? Another question in the back of their minds is also, how did this happen?

A great show should always start off with a solid first episode. I don’t think you have the luxury of hoping that people stick around for a bunch of episodes just waiting for things to get good. There’s no excuse for a premiere to not be exciting and Stone delivers. A lot happens in that first episode and we’re introduced to the premise. You’ll likely have a lot of questions and that is intended because the series is part mystery to the extent of wondering how this all started. Was it an alien attack, did another country mess up with a chemical bomb? There are a lot of possibilities but the characters have little time to ponder this initially so don’t expect a lot of answers in the first season. I wouldn’t expect that plot to get closer to ending until near the end of season 2.

The series is pretty well grounded in reality right now so I wouldn’t expect anything too supernatural either. The toughest part about a plot like this is once you know most of the answers. The intrigue and suspense is part of the appeal as well as the limited cast. It’s inevitable that more and more people will start to get revived and I’m assuming the series would probably end once almost everyone is back as we cut to an epilogue. It’ll be interesting to see what direction the series goes in because there are a lot of paths to take. The cliffhanger for this season definitely makes the story of season 2 pretty obvious. Based on the plot coming up I’m assuming that one may even beat season 1.

Lets back up a bit to talk more about the show though. The animation is really solid. It’s very smooth and the colors pop out. The faces from the manga are adapted pretty well so you can expect some nice, crazy expressions. The fight scenes can be a little less intense and it’s clear that it’s not the anime’s strong suit. I’d like to see them put more of an effort behind this in season 2 since that one has many more fights, but they’re still good enough. Most of them just rely on stills and such to hide the movement. A good story will always compensate for the fights but I think Stone can get closer to hitting the next level with quality action scenes.

The writing is definitely great here as well. For a dialogue heavy series like this you definitely need good writing. It’s completely necessary here and Stone delivers in full. There are no episodes here that are boring in the slightest. The pacing is on point. Clearly for any series you can’t be in a big action part all the time so we have a few downtime episodes but they still further the plot and give development to the characters. An example of an episode that could have been boring in a different show is the flashback episode with Senku’s Dad and the rest of the crew. The characters are fairly short lived but they’re all fun enough. I definitely enjoyed Byakuya’s character.

He’s definitely quite different from Senku with how expressive and emotional he is, but he’s still got a good intellect as well. He just seems to hide it a little more than Senku would. All right, let’s talk about the cast. First up is Taiju and the series does a nice mis-direct here. Initially you think he’ll be the main character because he gets the first scenes and the largest role in the opening episodes. That’s actually not the case though as Senku takes the reigns and Taiju vanishes for most of the season. Taiju really gets written out of the show pretty early on but I like the concept of two main characters on different paths. It doesn’t look like Stone will fully go there as it’s 95% Senku but it’ll be fun when Taiju returns.

I like Taiju’s character, but he is too soft at times. I understand not wanting to fight. It’s not a bad trait to have and just because you’re strong it doesn’t mean you should even have to fight. However, if you are in front of someone who is trying to murder your friends then you have to fight. Taiju’s strategy is to let Tsukasa keep whailing at him without trying to land a blow but the guy is going to murder everyone else once Taiju can’t get up again. It’s not a proper strategy and it makes Taiju appear to be way too idealistic here. Sometimes you have to raise your fist.

Meanwhile Senku is a much more practical character, but his body isn’t ready for a fight. He’s devoted everything to learning the art of science so he really can’t fight at all in hand to hand combat. He is prepared to fight in his own way though with a lot of scientific gadgets. He’s a very entertaining lead and a very unique one. We don’t see a whole lot of super geniuses as main characters. The last one I can think of would be Light Yagami whose genius ended up turning him over to the dark side. Senku has a lot of great moments throughout the series.

Then you have Yuzuriha who appears to be the main heroine at first, but similar to Taiju she vanishes early on. We don’t get to learn a whole lot about her character yet, but I can say that she’s already a quality character from how she handled the situation. Rather than panicking or anything when she broke out of the stone she quickly got with the program and followed the heroes out of there. It’s extremely rare for a character to take this kind of situation well without asking a bunch of questions so she left a solid first impression with me. She’s also very pro-active and will help out with any task.

Then we have the best villain, Tsukasa. He doesn’t want the world to go back to the way it once was with the rich ruling over all and society becoming one sided. As such, he believes that only kids should be revived which leads him to be at odds with Senku who wants to revive everyone. Tsukasa is the main villain of the series so far and they did a good job of picking him to be the leader. His goals aren’t even crazy and he’s not the kind of guy who goes around murdering everyone. He stays true to his ideals and even though those don’t negate the fact that he is a mass murderer, at least he is one with a sound plan which is the first step in being a compelling villain. So far he has dominated in all of his fights and I look forward to seeing him get more fights. Right now it’s clear that nobody stands a chance against him.

Clearly you’re to root for Senku in this series but Tsukasa’s main point is hard to grapple with. He points out that if Senku just resurrects everyone society will quickly go back to how it is. Senku’s point is that none of that matters until they resurrect everyone. His main thought here is that he is not a politician or anything like that so his goal is to use science to save everyone and it’s up to everyone else to make things work after that. Both of them are rather extreme at the moment but even if they do resurrect everyone at once there is no proof that things will go to how they used to be. If Tsukasa and Senku were to work together it should be easy to change things but both of them are quite firm on their views.

Gen is another main character in the series. He is a wild card and is proud of that. Senku knows that he’ll have to try and win Gen over because this guy can cause a lot of damage to both sides. He’s a fun character who is a genius in his own way. He’s great at manipulating people although I find it ironic that at least half of the time this doesn’t work because everyone already knows that he can do this. It’s an ironic thing to happen to him, but it makes sense. If someone knows that you are great at lying then they just won’t believe you. It’s the same concept with Gen.

Then we have Chrome who is a scientist in his own right. He’s done really well in the past and is Senku’s main partner. He’s a fun character and brings a lot of energy to the series. He’s easily one of the best characters in the series. He’s improved quite a lot in a pretty short amount of time so the guy has a ton of potential. I don’t see anyone ever passing Senku because that guy is practically a robot but it’s always good to have more than one genius. This way you can work on two things at once.

Finally you have Kohaku. She’s introduced pretty early on and is the first villager we meet. She also happens to be the strongest one which is a nice change of pace because usually the strongest is left for last. Kohaku’s a great character and even has a brief skirmish with Tsukasa. While you definitely don’t think she ultimately has a chance it’s still a great effort on her part. She’ll do whatever it takes to help Ruri and isn’t afraid to jump in and grab whatever materials Senku needs. Right now they’ve got a pretty good dynamic going. While I miss the opening trio from the show, she helps the village come close to matching up to that. Between her and Chrome I’d even say that they’re a better trio than the first 3 characters but the other villagers bring them down a tad.

Suika is one of the side characters in the series. She’s a nice kid who wants to help out, but her eyesight isn’t very good and naturally there are no glasses back in these days. She’s not bad although definitely one of the least interesting side characters. You’ve also got Kinro and Ginro from the village. Kinro is a serious fighter whose eyesight also isn’t great but he has learned to fight well despite this. He’s a good character although I do admit that I thought he’d be a little stronger. He’s very loyal to the village so you can always count on him. He’s way better than Ginro who is openly antagonistic and doesn’t want to fight. I really can’t trust that guy as an ally and definitely wouldn’t mind if he got written out.

Ruri is a pretty big character in the village for a while because of how sick she is. Ruri’s definitely not a fighter like her sister Kohaku but she is very wise and helps the characters learn about the past. For a non combatant character Ruri is solid. Then you have Kaseki who helps Senku build a lot of the inventions. He’s a pretty emotional character since he never really had any friends before. The guy may be very old but now his life is a lot more fulfilling and he’s getting to really enjoy himself. I’m hoping he lives through this series, I’d definitely like to see him continue to contribute.

Then we have Magma who is the main bully of the village. He just wants to rule no matter what and for these tribal times that isn’t really unheard of. I don’t really like him as a character though and he doesn’t offer a whole lot. The main problem is also that he has strength but no real technique so it’s not like he’ll be able to do much against the villains. That was his only asset that he could bring to fights and without it there doesn’t seem to be much point to his character. Maybe he’ll prove me wrong though.

For the villains we are briefly introduced to Hyoga and Homura. Both of them have not had a whole lot to do yet so it’s almost like a preview for season 2. Homura was able to hold her own against Kohaku briefly and Hyoga seems like a dangerous foe both in physical abilities as well as with strategies. I can already see both of these characters being very solid villains which is making Tsukasa’s army look more and more stacked. At this point it’s hard to picture the heroes winning against them in a fight.

That’s where Senku comes in though. Inventions are the ultimate equalizer though so that’s why this is a series where it can actually be believable for Senku’s team to come out. Between his actual inventions and the bluffs that they can create, the army of Science is in a great position as well. The season has set up a lot of good pieces and this feels like a very complete anime. There are enough episodes to really introduce the characters and every aspect of the show is sound. This is what it takes to be a great anime.

Finally one thing I also like about the show are the various science experiments. I’m sure a lot of these things are simplified down for the sake of making everything in the show quickly a lot of these recipes and methods are quite real. I made the Senku Cola myself and it actually did taste quite good. I always like when I feel like I’m learning something while watching a show and you’ll definitely gain some good knowledge during Dr. Stone. It’s like an added bonus on top of everything else.

Overall, Dr. Stone is a show that I can recommend to everyone. Whether you want a classic action Shounen or are looking for something different this show should have something to interest you. It’s well written and the show looks nice. The action scenes are really the only weakness as I mentioned but it’s not enough to stop this show’s momentum. The animation in general is also very detailed so I feel like if the animators really put some time in they could definitely get us some great fight scenes too. Stone quickly shows why it is an up and coming title and I’m sure things can only continue to get better from here. I’m definitely looking forward to Tsukasa taking more fighters in the next arc.

Overall 8/10

Dr. Stone reboot: Byakuya Review


It’s definitely cool to see that Dr. Stone already got a spin-off. At only 9 chapters it is a pretty quick one but that’s fine. I think it would have been hard to stretch the premise out too long or it may have felt a little redundant. Either you have the original astronauts doing a lot of the same things Senku and pals have done or you stay up in space with not a lot to do. This spinoff is definitely pretty emotional though thanks to the addition of a new character.

The series starts by introducing us to Byakuya and his crew as they watch Earth get enveloped in stone. Byakuya figures they need to dash back to Earth. His crew is a little skeptical about this choice but eventually agree to do it. As they head out, Byakuya is forced to leave the A.I. Program behind to guard the ship. The robot says it will wait for the humans to return no matter how long it takes. Will it really be able to stay operational over the next 3000 years?

The first few chapters play out pretty similar to how Byakuya’s story was in the main series. It expands on some areas while cutting out most of the scenes we already saw. The spinoff was timed pretty well since the end of the series ties in really well with the current events in the main title. Somehow I don’t think Rei would show up until the final chapter of the series because she would probably break the immersion for many and would be a little too handy. In general this series is a little less realistic than the main one but it does show you just how advanced the Dr. Stone series could have been if not for the stone wave. If anything I think it shows that it is far more advanced than our Earth.

Byakuya is always a fun character so it was nice to see more of him. He’s quite different from Senku but still has that same determination and drive to succeed. Lillian’s a solid heroine as well and the two of them are the best members of the prequel cast. The rest of the characters are around but they don’t leave much of an impression this time. That’s because there really isn’t enough time for them. The rest of the series is about the A.I. Rei after the humans have gone. She aims to keep the ship in good condition but as the centuries pass it gets to be a difficult task.

I have to admit that Rei’s plot isn’t quite as interesting and since it’s over half of the series that means this isn’t going to be a title with a lot of replay value. Her chapters are almost silent as she fiddles around with some tech and keeps putting upgrades in the ship and on herself. By the end of the series she has her own robot body which is cool. I do think it would be a waste to not have her ever appear again so I would like a cameo by the end of Dr. Stone. I think Byakuya should have been straight with her and told her to come to Earth. Given how resourceful she is I have a feeling that Rei would have been able to pull it off. If anyone could, it would definitely be this A.I.

The art is definitely pretty solid like the main series. All of the characters are pretty well detailed and the backgrounds are solid. It makes for easy reading. I blasted through the series all in one go so it did hold my attention. The writing is solid as always and I’m glad to see Stone getting a spinoff already. Some series take a long time to get any so that’s pretty impressive for sure.

I am still a little surprised that the series wasn’t about showing more of Byakuya’s adventures, but since this was always meant to be a miniseries perhaps the author wants to save that for a spinoff. Ultimately it’s not like Byakuya’s group would go too far since we know how their adventure concludes, but I imagine it could still be pretty enjoyable. Rei’s story is certainly out of the box, but if she appears again then it’ll all be worth it. If she doesn’t return then I admit that will be pretty unfortunate. There’s still so much they can do with her even if she will be overpowered.

The ending does occur at the expense of Senku’s character though. He doesn’t notice a signal from Rei that I feel like he would have figured out right away. He knows that the event isn’t a natural phenomenon and the guy is always super curious about anything like that. Ideally he’ll notice at some point, but I think the series should have ended without her giving that signal. It would have made Senku look a little better at least.

Overall, Reboot is an interesting prequel. You sort of get the idea that it’s going to be like Attack on Titan: Before The Fall where it doesn’t really matter, but hopefully that is not the case. I believe this title would retroactively get a little more interesting if it does end up having an impact on the main title. It would be a nice crossover of sorts. If not? Well, this is still a fun little mini series. I imagine it’ll eventually get bundled together as a one shot volume so if you see it in stores I’d recommend picking it up.

Overall 7/10

Dr. Stone


I’ve finally started the manga that’s become quite the hit lately. Dr. Stone has some similarities to the Promised Neverland with the main cast being trapped in a dangerous world and looks to have a lot of potential. I don’t imagine it’ll end for quite a while, but when it does I’ll have a review at the ready.

Overall 7/10