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Dr. Stone Vol. #01 Manga Review

3 min read

From the writer that brought you Eyeshield 21!

Creative Staff:
Story: Riichiro Inagaki
Art: Boichi
Translation: Caleb Cook
Touch-Up Art & Lettering: Stephen Dutro
Design: Julian [JR] Robinson
Editor: John Bae

What They Say:
Imagine waking to a world where every last human has been mysteriously turned to stone… One fateful day, all of humanity was petrified by a blinding flash of light. After several millennia, high schooler Taiju awakens and finds himself lost in a world of statues. However, he’s not alone! His science-loving friend Senku’s been up and running for a few months and he’s got a grand plan in mind—to kick-start civilization with the power of science!

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
When I first read Dr. Stone as it came out through the English Jumps, I wasn’t too impressed with it. I liked it well enough to keep going, and it was a lot of fun watching the science stuff going on, even though I didn’t really get the nuance (I’m a writer, not a scientist!). But there was something about it that didn’t grab me the first time around.

Having now been grabbed by subsequent chapters and rereading these first chapters, I can honestly say I was wrong. In just the first few pages, Inagaki brilliantly sets up the dynamic between the two main characters, Senku and Taiju. And through the first few chapters, an entire story arc has been set to go. It is a battle between both man and nature.

It’s been 3,700 years since everyone was mysteriously turned to stone, so there are a lot of changes that Senku and Taiju have to fight against, including just some lions that have presumably escaped from a zoo and now exist as literal kings of the animal kingdom and top of the food chain. And in fighting against these lions, Senku and Taiju are forced to revive the strongest human apparently, Tsukasa. He literally kills a lion with his bare hands, which is ridiculous. In just another few pages, entire (potential) antagonists are set up in both the fear of animals that could kill you and in Tsukasa himself.

The biggest antagonist is probably just the 3,700 years that have passed since they were first turned to stone. They must live and thrive in this “stone age” without the aid of the usual technology. The events of most chapters are just Senku innovating new methods for doing the same things they used to, which is part of what makes this manga so fun.

In Summary:
We’re just barely scratching the surface on what this manga can do, and eventually does. There’s only four main characters going on right now, but they’ve set up an amazing dynamic for all of them (perhaps sans Yuzuriha, who’s only just been revived). Senku wants to save all humanity. Taiju wants to help him. And Tsukasa wants to create a new world in his ideal. They’re arguably the smartest people alive on the planet right now, and there’s two factions charging right at each other. It can only get fun from here.

Content Grade: A
Art Grade: B+
Packaging Grade: B
Text/Translation Grade: A

Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Viz Media
Release Date: September 4, 2018
MSRP: $9.99