Anime Review: Dr. Stone - Season One
So recently Dr. Stone wrapped up it's first season, with an announcement that yes, we are getting a second season. Yay! Thus I thought it would be the perfect time to write a review of this gorgeous anime - while trying not to give away too much as I fully believe this is something you must enjoy without spoilers.
If you are someone who doesn't watch much anime, or perhaps haven't even really explored anime as a genre, Dr. Stone is a good introduction to this wonderful, incredible, imaginative and always interesting, ever expanding world of stories that is Japanese animation.
The reason why I say this is because sometimes, anime can be quite confronting - I've often had discussions with people who have caught anime shows unaware and are completely put off due to watching wholly inappropriate animes as "beginners."
Every now and then something like Dr. Stone comes along. I thought, yeah, this is just going to be a regular run of the mill show - no - by the end of the season it was tugging at my heart and had me with some tears at just how well told of a story it was. Spectacular? Hm, no - I leave the label of spectacular storytelling to Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood - but it's still a story worth watching.
It starts with a very simple apocalypse set up.
Everyone in the world is turned to stone in a flash of green light.
We follow the main character, Senku (you know he is our hero because of his crazy hair), on his journey to rebuild civilization after he is "freed" from his stone prison.
It is the people he meets along the way, the fascinating opposition he faces to his hopes of reviving the world to its once technological state, and the unfolding arc of who Senku actually is that makes Dr. Stone's first season a lovely crafted first arc.
Animated gif discovered by White
Now this anime, weirdly enough, actually reminded me of a book called Day of the Triffids - not because there was alien plants running around trying to kill people - but because of the theme of survival, and warring factions. Having a character like Senku, who is a genius, in a non-technologically advanced world is similar to the concept Day of the Triffids worked off of; that in a world of the blind, the one eyed man is king (when there are alien plants that will kill you if you're blind.) Good book, recommend it. Also involved a flash of green light.
In Senku's case - in a world without technology, is the man with technology king?
My favourite part of this whole anime I truly cannot speak about due to it being a major spoiler and experiencing this emotional journey with Senku is, personally, the best part of this story. You may worry that as a character, Senku could be unrelatable and stoic, but he is far from that. He is profoundly complex and shows this through his interactions with those around him as he alters their lives through his skills.
Is this anime without faults? No. It drags in several episodes - you'll know which ones when you get to them. I felt like just getting an eraser and rewriting whole scripts - a terrible habit I have as an writer.
It turns goofy every so often, and this may be very jarring for people who are not used to the style of animation.
But if you are wanting to start your journey into anime, it is one I can recommend. And if you are a writer and want to see characters that appear simple on the surface but gradually unfold as complex - though still in a simple boxed plot - then Dr. Stone is a good example.
So, if you've got some time - enjoy a good story.
I'll leave you with the English version of the first Opening Song "Good Morning World", covered by Studio Yuraki.