Dr. Stone (Summer 2019) – Science and Postmodernism

★★★★½

“Nothing is impossible about science in this world.” – Senkuu. With this quote, I can conclude that post-modernism occupies the highest level of the ladder. Nobody can defeat it except science. There is no more supernatural, magical world, or belief. And you aren’t hung by such things anymore. It all depends on the use of nature, land, water, fire, air, etc. With “Dr. Stone “, I can conclude if there is nothing exaggerated. It’s a realistic anime but always an unrealistic enjoyable shounen. I don’t care about people who glorify this show because of science like “Cells at Work!“. It’s just a show with a lot of stakes on the table to put on.

Weekly Shōnen Jump is the main factory producing shounen bombastic works. They have many series of popular cult titles such as “Dragon Ball”, “One Piece”, and “Naruto”. In the middle of all of those titles, the adaptation of “Dr. Stone” came. It’s a show about fusion science fiction and post-apocalypse elements. TMS Entertainment wants to enliven the summer in 2019. Written by Riichiro Inagaki or well-known of “Eyeshield 21”, the anime began in a backyard. Taiju Ooki (Makoto Furukawa) ventured to express his feelings to Yuzuriha Ogawa (Kana Ichinose). Before answering, a mysterious green light emanated from a distance. In an instant, it’s turning humans in the entire world into stone.

Jumping 3700 years later, Taiju is free from shackles. He suddenly woke up in the same city area. However, everything changed completely after nature took over again. Taiju, amid confusion, looked for away. He meets with Senkuu (Yuusuke Kobayashi), our central protagonist. Senku is a central character on the show. On the side of Taiju, who is very good at athletes, Senku is a genius in science. He is a genius student who knows everything, understands the best steps. The awakening of these two people indicates that human civilization must be passed from zero again. They, amazingly, tried to build human civilization by using the Senkuu genius.

“Dr. Stone” is an exploration of building modern civilization again from scratch. It’s focused on Senkuu’s perspective about what he has to make, he builds up, he does, and he builds up again. It’s not about who is repeating the world using a mysterious green light. But, that’s about how Senkuu encounters all of the things he can find through his science empire. It’s the kingdom of science, the ultimate objective, mission, and vision of Senkuu. While traveling, he found many twists about the strangeness of the world starting from a village from hundreds of centuries ago and the existence of Senkuu’s dad. It becomes a red threat and object reveal of all these events.

I do have to say that this show has a great antagonist, especially his ideology about rebuilding a new world. I always hated antagonists in most of the shounen mostly because they are one-dimensional, unmotivated, cartoonish, and unrealistic. You can say it to this show too, has no sense the protagonist, the exaggeration power of the antagonist, and many more. But, it’s shounen, creativity without limits. Tsukasa Shishiou (Yuuichi Nakamura) is the stronger person in the world so far. He has an ideology, contrary to Senkuu, which wants to cleanse the world from dirty humans. In essence, he wants to destroy adult statues and rebuild the pure world again through generations of young people.

Both the rivalry relationship between Senkuu and Tsukasa reminds me of “Death Note”, but this is more like brains against muscles. The characterization in this show is very interesting. We know them much more closely, especially our protagonist about his curiosity with science and the world. On the other hand, a guy is sitting in the opposite corner. Tsukasa even just crushed a male lion with one punch. His ability in hunting alone is unmatched. The concept of humanism against idealism is the most powerful topic and continues to be brought up in the story. And the question arises: is Senkuu able to complete his mission that is saving everyone? Has Tsukasa succeeded in creating a new, pure world again?

“Dr. Stone” has a detailed scenery and the character designs. When it comes to animation, it’s just an average shounen show honestly. For a show that’s more concerned with substance than style, I love it. There is comedy also especially when they use chibi animations. With the soundtrack, they have a variety of departments as well. The voice actors did a great job, especially they had to mix a lot of comical moments and serious circumstances. Both of them add to the experience and if you count too, the opening theme songs are memorable enough.

The point of this show is exploring the scientific elements from beginning to end. It’s a sentence people said it out loud. You learn a little about making soap, making gunpowder, compounding grapes, chemical formulas, and so on. If viewed from science, there is a lot to say just because of its potential. But, to think this is a show where it makes you smart to watch is so ridiculous to say. With characters, especially supporting cast, we don’t have enough variety besides many characters to just join with the protagonist. One of my favorite characters, with worth to analyze, is Gen Asagiri (Kengo Kawanishi). I don’t want to get into the details of him but he becomes one of the prominent supporting cast too.

“Dr. Stone” successfully emerged as one of the fresh anime both in terms of concept and story. It tackles the science fiction genre as well uniquely and well-handled. With a lot of fashion, this show can also be said as “failed” in terms of potential, especially the characters. However, I can ignore many reasons why and how. This is the most enjoyable and hell-of-a-ride experience, especially this is coming as a shounen too. There is a comical moment, the rich ideology, the entertainment, and the emotional moment in specific parts are worthy.

Salman Al Farisi

An Indonesian who loves to watch and read everything. A literary student who likes to write about reviews and essays on Crackdown Review. But, I just wannabe critics who love arthouse than anything.

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