Posted by Lenlo on 28 July 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Dr.STONE

Welcome all, to the climax of Dr.STONE’s opening prologue. A lot happens this week! We see a young Senku, Tsukasa catches up and perhaps the greatest change, Yuzuriha gets a haircut. Lets dive in!

Right off the bat, for as much as I enjoyed it narratively, visually Dr.STONE was pretty weak. The biggest example of this is Tsukasa’s run through the forest. With the ground and trees looking like they came from a completely different series. Tsukasa himself standing out against the background textures. It doesn’t help Dr.STONE that Kimetsu no Yaiba is airing in the same season either. Ufotable’s CGI landscapes are both better done, and better directed. Going for dynamic camera movements and effects such as fog to cover any iffy textures. Using a first person view to get around actually placing 2D characters into a 3d scene. Yes, its production tricks, but they are clever and result in a far better looking scene than we got here. Luckily, that was Dr.STONE’s worst offense this week. The rest resulting in a fun, if melodramatic, cliffhanger.

First up, let’s talk Taiju and Yuzuriha. Dr.STONE showed us a lot of their character this week. Starting to explore some of their deeper facets. For instance, we saw another area where Taiju is superior to Senku. That being emotional intelligence. Normally in anime, the delayed confession is trite and pointless, but here it informs Taiju’s character. That he thinks of and wants to avoid a situation where Yuzuriha feels she can’t say no. Both because there is no one else, and because he is the only thing between her and the Stone world. Simply put, Taiju is good with people, while Senku is… generally not. We also saw Yuzuriha and her mental fortitude, facing death and still choosing the many over the few. She’s still a bit to perfect for my taste, always was in the manga, but she is more than a pretty face now.

Next up we have a lot of Senku this episode, a lot of his history. The most concerning bit, at least from a parental point of view though, is his bomb. There was a bit of censorship this week in regards to original content. Dr.STONE’s original manga even went so far as to give percent composition. How much of each and how to mix it to get it right. This was completely understandable, though I do fear this sort of decision affected the later aspects of the manga. As Dr.STONE really started to tone down the exact specifics that went into its technology. Most likely out of a fear of people replicating it. That or just finally running into a wall on understanding the technology itself. All this said, don’t make a bomb at home kids. It will blow up, and I will laugh at you.

Now we can get onto the big ones, Senku and Tsukasa. I always enjoyed this confrontation in the manga, as its a relationship I love. My personal favorite kind of Antagonist, one who respects the protagonist. They aren’t unquestionably evil, muahahaha style. They have a disagreement in ideals with our lead, and would prefer to talk it out. Tsukasa tried to reason with Senku, to find a reason not to kill him. However he never expected it to work. Because if Senku were the kind of person to accept such an ultimatum, he wouldn’t be the same man Tsukasa had come to respect. It is that very drive that forces Senku to refuse, that Tsukasa no doubt respects. Its this kind of conflict of ideals, where neither side can give in even though both don’t want the fight, that I enjoy the most.

That said, I think the pacing was very odd here. Specifically, the young Senku flashback. In a vacuum, I enjoyed this flashback. It sets up a lot about Senku’s character, his family, and how they supported his passion. We got to have a lot of fun with Senku’s science experiments getting greater and crazier as we go. Dr.STONE even showed us the beginnings of Senku, Taiju and Yuzuriha’s friendship. This was all fantastic and I think it was necessary for the drama of the final scene. To really drive home what was at stake for the 3 of them. I just think the placement was off. Open the episode with this, instead of placing it right in the middle of our episode capstone. It really drained the tension from the scene for me, instead of heightening it. Overall though, I enjoyed it.

Lastly, let’s talk forests and cliffhangers. The people in the forest, and the cliffhanger. For the people in the forest, I already know the answer as a manga reader. But I am curious as to other people’s opinions on the matter. Are they people who have broken from the stone first? Perhaps humans have re-evolved somehow? Or maybe some avoided being turned to stone at the start, and these are their ancestors? I would love to hear your thoughts, dear reader. The other aspect though, is the cliffhanger. For me, I don’t much see the point to be honest. We all know Senku isn’t dead, though you could spend time trying to figure out why. As interesting as it would be to switch to someone else, like Taiju, as the lead they aren’t who the show is named after. Regardless, I will have much more to say next week.

So all in all, another decent episode. Production had some hiccups and the pacing was a bit off. But Dr.STONE was never the strongest series for me narratively even as a manga. It had a gimmick that I enjoyed and some fantastic art behind it. Fun characters that were a treat to read. A lot of that is getting carried over into the anime series. Yet some of the charm is getting lost in translation, which is natural. So while I am enjoying the series as a piece of entertainment, similar to Yaiba it is meeting that goal of “Competent Shounen” and little more. Still, we are just 4 episodes in, and the idea behind Dr.STONE was always unique. Perhaps the anime can start to change it up a bit from here and have some fun with the presentation of it all. We shall see. Regardless, its a fun series.

2 Responses

  1. Avatar Nano says:

    Dr. Stone’s storyline was very interesting and I was excited to watch this anime. Just the unique angle of how a teen finds himself isolated in a world where everyone has been turned to stone. I read a lot about it on several blogs before started diving into the show. But, I must say after 2 episodes… I’m having hard time keeping interest. Have you found the same to be true?

  2. Avatar Lenlo says:

    With the interest? Yes and no. I am current on the manga, so I know what is going to happen, and that no doubt colors me a bit. However Dr.STONE was never the strongest series narratively. I was always in it for Boichi’s art. So much so that, even with the current manga arc, I am not really caring about the story. Just the art and week to week jokes.

    As far as the anime goes, Dr.STONE is trying to be something different and really only manages to land at “competent”. Unlike Yaiba, which has amazing visuals to back it up, Dr.STONE doesn’t really excel at anything. Its just… decent in every respect. My favorite part of this first arc for instance was always Tsukasa as a villain, and even he won’t be getting much focus moving forward.

    So my suggestion is watch 1 more, as next episode is going to really shift the structure of the series. Change up the who and the what and the where. As we have just finished our introduction/prologue arc. And if they doesn’t draw you back in, feel free to drop it. Because I am sure I am a little biased in regards to how much I enjoy it as a manga reader.

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