Posted by Lenlo on 3 November 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Dr.STONE

Welcome one and all to another week of of Dr.STONE! Normally this is where I do a whole spiel, about what happened this week, etc. However this episode really solidified that I am just not into it. That Dr.STONE is really starting to lose steam with me. It has moments of brilliance there, as we see the science play out. But as a whole I just feel it doesn’t work as well as the manga. The gags last to long, the pacing much to slow compared to the manga. Meanwhile, I am realizing my nostalgia for reading the manga so many years ago was misplaced. Perhaps it was the magic of seeing a non-battle shounen anime. Or just the excitement of seeing Boichi’s art once again. Regardless, that magic has worn off, and the flaws are showing through.

First up, one flaw that has even bothered me since the manga, Tsukasa’s supporters. He starts this entire series detesting the older generation, wanting only to revive young people. Yet are you really going to tell me the people we saw today are under 30? They just don’t fit Tsukasa’s MO and come off as standard mooks to me. Which is a shame because it was a real missed opportunity I think to let young adults and such face running a kingdom. Really looking into the consequences and inner workings of a kingdom forged on “Survival of the fittest” from the view of young characters. Instead they just become nameless musclebound goons with stupid hair. The only one with any sort of personality or threat was Hyoga, which makes sense given his place in the narrative.

Onto the actual katanas and such, that was fine. I enjoyed the science we got from it, though as I said the gags don’t work as well. Dr.STONE just sort of repeats the same joke every time and it gets old. But the actual quenching and forging of the material was great. I always want more of this kind of thing, and I really wish we could just throw out the overarching war plot. Similarly, the idea of faking a gun to get out of the fight was clever to. It used everyone’s strengths there, even appealing to Magma’s sense of pride and how he does actually want the village. A sort of “Enemy of my enemy” sort of situation. Were the series just the science and clever uses of the science, I actually think there would be more value.

So, short post this week, but all in all how was Dr.STONE? For me, it just felt like a bit of a drag. At this point its not really innovating on or moving the concept forward much. The same gags are repeating, the same loop of “Science, conflict to use the science, new science” is just getting old. Part of that is of course this current overarching goal isn’t as interesting. “Beat Tsukasa” doesn’t compare to “Make Penicillin”. For a series focused on science, one is far more interesting than the other in my opinion. Knowing what I do of where the manga goes from here, I don’t have much hope for it. There are some standout moments for sure, similar to the acid lake one. But as a whole? It leaves me… dissatisfied.

9 Responses

  1. Avatar Tayo Jones says:

    Maybe you should be more patient. I hear the manga gets better after Tsukasa is dealt with.

    • Avatar Lenlo says:

      I’m current on the manga, I know exactly what comes. And it does. But we also won’t be getting beyond Tsukasa most likely. That said, its 18 episodes in. I feel like patience and due diligence has been done.

  2. amun amun says:

    I think you might be asking a bit much out of what I consider a gimmick-based shounen – I’m here for hijinks with a little tension and all the trollfaces!

    Your complaints are also one of the big reasons I’m anime only – reading manga before seeing the adaptation gave me really skewed expectations the couple times I did it. I also don’t want to know for certain what happens – watching it unfold is what makes the experience special to me.

    • Avatar Lenlo says:

      No doubt reading the manga before hand hurts a show for me it seems. Like I set expectations to high. It happened with One Punch Man Season 2 as well. Where the highs dont hit quite so high, and the lows hit harder, because you expect things to be better.

      Maybe I should set a personal rule and just… not review things I have read the manga for? Worth thinking about

      • Avatar Animosh says:

        I mean, knowing how much an adaptation butchers the source material can provide readers with a valuable perspective too. Plus, as someone who knows what comes later you can often see things that anime only viewers might miss: how certain things are foreshadowed, for example, or what particular events mean for the larger story and its themes.

        So if an adaptation is doing its job, I’d say it’s not a problem at all. (You’ve read Vinland Saga too, for example, and your familiarity with the source material is not an issue there.) And if it isn’t, pointing out its issues is only fair. Familiarity with the source material undoubtedly changes your perspective, but I don’t think it’s necessarily for the worse – especially for a reviewer.

        It’s also just a needless handicap. We can’t very well expect amun to review all shounen series on his own. ;)

  3. Avatar Animosh says:

    You don’t have much hope for the series, or just for this arc? I agree this arc isn’t very interesting, and that the show is at its best when the focus is squarely on science, but the penicillin arc can’t be the only time it puts its focus there, right? If you do mean the series, can you say – without spoiling anything – why you think it loses its flair later on? Just because the formula (using science to solve all problems) gets old after a while? Or something else?

    • Avatar Lenlo says:

      So doing my best without spoiling anything, its like this.

      You know how we just spent 10 episodes or so to get Penicillin? And it was a good time, because each step was slow and felt earned? The progress was substantial, but never came off as “easy”?

      Well, in future arcs, Dr.STONE speeds that process up alot. Imagine we got Penicillin in… 5 episodes? To take an example from a most recent arc, they need to make a drone for aerial stuff. So what do they do? They make a drone… in 5 pages of manga content. (Thats not an exact number, just what it felt like).

      So they still use science to solve the problems and thats still the focus, but the science lacks the… depth and exploration it has in these early sections.

      • Avatar Animosh says:

        Thanks for the explanation! On the one hand it makes sense that the series doesn’t want to spend 10 episodes on every major invention (otherwise the plot will never get anywhere), but on the other hand the plot is by far the least interesting aspect of Dr. Stone, so moving the emphasis from its (for me) best element (the fairly accurate, if simplified, representation of the scientific process and the values behind it) to its worst doesn’t sound good at all. Sounds like it slowly turns into more of a typical shounen with a bit of science, instead of putting science at its heart.

        Oh well, it’s still a fun concept. But if another season ever comes around, I’ll make sure to keep my expectations low.

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