Posted by Lenlo on 20 July 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Dr.STONE

Hello everyone, time for another day at the anime blogging grindstone. This week Tsukasa’s conflict comes to the fore, Yuzuriha wakes up and our team goes for a hike. Let’s get to it!

This week, Dr.STONE continued to make good use of Boichi’s original art. However we are starting to see some of the limitations of his style. Originally a hentai artist, Boichi’s style is rather exaggerated. After his years of work on Sun-Ken Rock, for men this results in veritable mountains of muscle. He clearly enjoys drawing that muscle as well, which you can see in Tsukasa. Turning them into rock solid titans. For his female characters however, he runs into a similar problem as Saber from Fate, though more exaggerated. With all of them looking the same, with the same proportions and similar doll-like faces. It makes for appealing manga stills with his exaggerated art. But an anime necessitates a lesser amount of detail, and this just ends up making Yuzuriha look… off, for me. Its not something that is going to change though. For better or worse.

Speaking of Yuzuriha, I would wager some anime-only viewers were expecting her to stay stone for while. For Dr.STONE to hold off on her de-petrification until a mid-season finale or something. Well take that anime-only people! Yuzuriha is all but irrelevant to the greater story! Focusing mostly on Tsukasa, Senku and the world at large. I am sure for some this might end up being a turnoff, and if cute girls are your thing don’t worry. Like I said, Boichi started as a hentai artist, so I promise you there will be more waifu’s in the future. Or more husbandos if that’s your thing. All that said, I was never a big fan of Yuzuriha in the manga. She never really caught on as a character with me, and stuck to neatly to this archetypal “perfect woman”, which will no doubt annoy someone. Like a first pass female lead.

This extends to Taiju in a way as well. Both are first pass characters for the series, and both are relatively… simple, dull and in some ways annoying. Its as if the author realized this as they went, as their part in the story gets smaller as more characters are introduced. Better characters, in my opinion. Taiju is all the simplicity of My Hero Academia’s screaming Bakugou, with none of the depth of his own demanding personal standards. Taiju is like the standard Shounen protagonist boiled down to its core, leaving mostly the annoying negative traits in my opinion. Luckily, for one reason or another, Taiju stops being a problem soon. So if you don’t enjoy him either, stick with Dr.STONE for one more episode and see where it goes. As we are about to finish up the prologue and focus entirely on Tsukasa and Senku.

Getting back to Senku and Tsukasa, I enjoyed their back and forth this week. Dr.STONE is doing a good job of showing that Tsukasa respects them. He doesn’t want to hurt or kill them. They fit within his perfect world, and so he has no reason to hurt them if they don’t oppose him. It’s a good reason for why Tsukasa let them live. A classic error for Antagonists, letting the heroes go for no good reason at the start. You need something like this so it doesn’t feel like a plot contrivance. Meanwhile Senku is showing common sense and trying to plan around this. Fleeing to somewhere else to continue his science. Gain a weapon that one-ups Tsukasa’s raw power. It wasn’t perfect, this whole section. Tsukasa, as much as I like him, is flawed. But not egregiously so.

What I mean is, Tsukasa is a bit too smart here. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a potent antagonist. And Tsukasa being both brains and brawn is fantastic, as it makes him a potent threat. However, if Tsukasa becomes too perfect, then you start to doubt how the Protagonists will defeat him. It sort of breaks the illusion and reminds us consciously that we are watching a work of fiction. That he will be beaten because the story demands it. I think had Dr.STONE had Tsukasa take longer, or be more unsure of his guess, would have been better. Have him identify the direction they are going, but not the why. Have him take longer to work it out. That way Tsukasa is still smart and strong, but Senku remain’s smarter. Giving them both specializations while making him a threat. It’s a small gripe for sure, but necessary.

Finally, I want to take a look at a specific scene that I think encapsulates Dr.STONE. My favorite scene of the episode actually, the Buddha. This scene has a bit of everything I love about the series. From the interesting world of our fallen past civilization to the characters themselves. A sort of wake up call that this really is still their country, and everything really is gone. Ala the Statue of Liberty and Planet of the Apes. Meanwhile it also has some of the best banter. Where Taiju has all of his fantastical and emotional ideas for its survival. Trying to cheer up Yuzuriha, just for Senku to science it away. Generating comedy and informing their characters at the same time. This scene is, to me, a microcosm of the series. And if you didn’t enjoy it on some level, I fear Dr.STONE might not be for you.

So all in all, how was Dr.STONE this week? Not as good as last week, but still fun. We are still establishing the central conflict. Things are moving at a brisk pace, so there is plenty to be engaged with. The production values are nice, and I sorta love this OST. I haven’t heard bagpipes in anime since Fairy Tail, and we all know how Fairy Tail went. So yeah, I am pretty positive about Dr.STONE. Having read the manga, I am a little impatient to get to my favorite parts. So I don’t wanna mark it down to heavily for any criticisms of pacing or the like. But knowing what is to come, and seeing what is being produced so far, I am not worried. Dr.STONE is a solid shounen for folks who like Shounen. Similar in that way to Yaiba, with a more unique premise.

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