Posted by Lenlo on 13 July 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Dr.STONE

Hello everyone, it’s your friendly neighborhood Lenlo here. Ready for another season? Well you better be, cause this might be my favorite season of the year. Starting of course with Dr.Stone, a series I have followed since its first few chapters. So that said, open up your textbooks and let’s dive in!

Starting off, production. Now, I don’t mean this disparagingly, but Dr.Stone is not a fantastically animated show. It has it’s fun with facial and body expressions, don’t get me wrong. They are doing their best to adapt Boichi’s art after all, and the man is a master of the reaction face. But in terms of actual fluid animation, it’s a lot more still’s and sliding models than other hard hitters of the season. Such as Fire Force or Vinland (I love this show). Luckily, Dr.Stone isn’t really an action show, so this shouldn’t be a problem. The series focuses more on its backgrounds and its environment. Really selling this stone-age world they are living in now. With the Dr.Stone’s subject being on science and the rebuilding of civilization, I think its a good choice. I just hope the few setpieces there are end up getting the attention they need.

Now onto the big stuff, namely Tsukasa’s introduction. I always enjoyed Tsukasa in the manga, and I think Dr.Stone did a good job with him here. Dr.Stone dedicated this entire episode to establishing his character, his ideals and his threat, all really well. From the start we see how he fits into this world. How it is his ideal world, perfectly fitting his views on youth and anti-modern social conventions of property and the like. However, by having him care for Senku and Taiju, and the first few stone statues he comes across, Dr.Stone shows him to be more than “pure evil”. Letting him stand on his own as a character before making him the Antagonist. The early setup with how OP he is also works well, because you know our leads will have to fight him. An OP Protagonist is boring, but an OP Antagonist can be fun.

In particular, I enjoyed how Dr.Stone presented Tsukasa and Senku’s relationship. It focused a lot on their mutual respect for each other and their talents. As much as someone might like Taiju, he is not Senku’s equal. Not like Tsukasa, who is smart enough to understand Senku and contribute to the discussion. To actually be able to have discussions with Senku instead of just being a yes-man. This leads to a clear undercurrent throughout the episode, an implied threat that Taiju isn’t able to pick up on. But that both Senku and Tsukasa see. And this mutual respect leads them to actually trying to talk it out, to explain their ideal worlds to each other. For me, this conflict of ideals is far more compelling a relationship than a simple “Bad guy kills people” narrative. And Tsukasa does that, but he doesn’t only do that. So it works.

Meanwhile, Senku was thinking about this before they even brought Tsukasa back. You can see it in his early jokes with Taiju about bringing back a murderer or something. Clearly laying the groundwork narratively for Tsukasa, while establishing Senku’s slight paranoia. Him stating the 4 uses for Calcium Carbonate, and then backtracking at the end as he realizes he shouldn’t tell Tsukasa. Who clearly noticed. Even going so far as to build a crossbow at night, clearly not intending to use it on lions. Little of this was actually subtle, but as a manga reader, I enjoyed how it was presented. Giving us this fun, happy episode of pushing their civilization further. Starting off with jokes and physical comedy, only to end with plots of murder and implied societal culling. Both with, at least somewhat, valid views on society and its flaws.

My only real concerns with the episode are Taiju and the comedy. As a manga reader, I know one of these issues resolves itself. Taiju gets better/stops being a problem as the story goes on. The comedy however is far more subjective, hit or miss and never really goes away. Even as the series gets more serious, the physical comedy will still be there. And Boichi has a very… very exaggerated style of physical comedy. You can see it in many of the faces early on. As they become incredibly detailed purely for a reaction shot. That isn’t a stylistic choice, that is all Boichi. For me, this works because I enjoy how detailed the art becomes purely for the sake of a joke. The juxtaposition between the two are what makes it for me. But I know it won’t work for everyone.

Finally, the last bit I wanna talk about is the music and sound design. Dr.Stone’s OST is really good so far. Specifically I enjoyed the whimsical flute like track during Tsukasa’s hunts. That and the ending track during their ideological confrontation. It just doesn’t sound like anything else in anime recently for me. Between this and Vinland, I think I will be spoiled for good OST’s this season. As far as sound design goes, I think Dr.Stone did a decent job here to. It didn’t wow me or anything, though I do enjoy the stone sound effects. Funny a show being named Dr.Stone having its best sounds be rocks. The real test though will be how it covers the various science effects as we move forward.

So all in all, how was the 2nd episode of Dr.Stone? Personally, I thought it was better than 1st. We meet our central Antagonist, and if that’s a spoiler for you then you weren’t paying attention to the episode. The series did a good job slowly shifting its focus. From the happy-go-lucky start with their science, to the looming danger of a primitive man in a primitive world. To the greater ideological clash. All the while using Taiju to make sure we never stray to far from the series roots, so we don’t get to dark. Sure, the production value’s aren’t the greatest of the season, but it has stiff competition there. And Dr.Stone knows where to make it count, focusing on the characters faces. If the adaptation stays true and keeps this quality, I have no reason to think it won’t be great.

One Response

  1. Avatar Nano says:

    This story definitely has a unique plot about a teenager who gets stuck in a world where everyone has been turned into stone. But, at least he has some friends to hang out with and I’m curious to see what happens next.

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