Story: Riichiro Inagaki
Translation: Caleb Cook
Touch-Up Art & Lettering: Stephen Dutro
Design: Julian [JR] Robinson
Editor: John Bae
Science Consultant: Kurare
What They Say:
Upon arriving at a primitive village, science fanatic Senku schemes to recruit the villagers to help him bring about a new civilization based on science! His first target is a young, inquisitive villager named Chrome, whom Senku wins over by besting him in a scientific battle of wits. Their first big task? To find a cure for Kohaku’s older sister and the village shamaness—Ruri!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Kohaku has introduced Senku to what he thought he was going to have to be the progenitor for all of humanity, and that is civilization. Or at least civilization of some sort. Kohaku’s humble village of 40+ is small, but they exist at all. Someone survived or woke earlier than Senku and built this village. Someone told the tales of Momotaro and Fist of the North Star to their kids, and their kids’ kids, and finally to the village Senku visits. 3,700 years isn’t so much after all.
In it all is one of the most indicative and convenient characters of the series: Chrome. He embodies everything that Senku does, just much further back in technological advancement. He’s a gatherer that’s been getting raw materials together for years, and that’s extremely convenient for both the story and Senku as he tries to build technology to the levels it was in the 2010s. Chrome serves a good story purpose of not having Senku be a gatherer himself, trying to get dozens or hundreds of raw materials together, and just rummaging through Chrome’s storehouse instead. It saves the reader from general doldrums of either convenience in happening upon raw materials, which Senku himself said would take either tremendous luck or years to do, or failure after failure of searching. Chapters of that may be fun in the end, but let’s just skip the whole deal.
More importantly, Chrome serves a thematic purpose. Through 3,700 years of Senku being in stone, human curiosity and ingenuity have survived. Through it all, people still want to go on long walks through their woods and see what this strange rock is. Through it all, people still want to throw their strange rocks in fire. And through it all, people are still frightened, yet curious, at this sorcery, nay, science. It’s just what Senku wants and what Senku needs, both in terms of material and a partner to help him out.
But there’s still Tsukasa roaming about trying to kill Senku and create the world in his own, better image. No corruption, and no adults. Just “purity.” And now a self-described Mentalist named Gen that’s on Tsukasa’s side initially, but is wooed over by ramen. What is cooking, but application of science?
Dr. Stone is a reminder that science does rule, as Bill Nye taught me years ago. The tedious application and curiosity thereof may not excite me as it does Senku, but the enthusiasm behind it is contagious. Who doesn’t want to see Senku and his pals working hard through every obstacle they would face in a stone world? And who doesn’t want to pump their fist into the air when they succeed?
Content Grade: B+
Art Grade: B+
Packaging Grade: B
Text/Translation Grade: A
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Viz Media
Release Date: January 1, 2019