Did You Know…Dr. Stone

I apologize for not posting this past Monday. I actually forgot to write something up. At first I thought I would go without posting until next IWSG Day. But it felt a bit odd not to have something up on the third of the week of the month. So, though late, here’s my first “Did You Know” post of 2021. Enjoy!

If you’ve been following me and my blog then you know that I love anime and manga. If you’re new to my blog then now you know.

Anyways, I’ve gotten into a new anime and manga and been loving every minute of it. Of course, I got into the story backwards, anime first then the manga. The name of my favorite new anime and manga is Dr. Stone. Written by none other than Riichiro Inagaki. the same mangaka who wrote another favorite, sports anime, Eyeshield 21. And it’s illustrated by the South Korean artist Boichi. 

I first blogged about Eyeshield 21 July 23, 2018. Ever since then, it’s made the top ten posts list the last three years. It was #4 at 101 views for 2018, was #3 at 418 views for 2019 and #3 at 772 views for 2020. And Dr. Stone is as comedic, interesting and captivating as its predecessor.

Dr. Stone is a Japanese shonen manga featured in Weekly Shonen Jump since March 2017. It’s a story about how humanity is wiped from existence on Earth. How? By a strange green light that turned all humans on the planet into stone. 3,700 years have passed. All the advances humanity has made crumbled into dust. Nature and animals have retaken their natural habitats. And it’s 3,700 years before the first human awakens breaking out of his petrification. The main character Senku Ishigami.

Senku Ishigami is an intelligent young man who loves science and whose main goal, before petrification, was to go up into space. Now that he’s awakened, he uses his knowledge to pursue his new goal in restoring humanity. But he can’t do it alone.

At first, all he can do is build a shelter. Make clothing for himself. Learn to make fire, hunt for food and then collect petrified birds to experiment on. He finds the statue of his friend Taiju of immense stamina. And places him inside the cave he theorized had something to do with him breaking out of the stone. And he was right.

Together they improve the living situation. And work together in coming up with a formula using the nitric acid from the bat droppings from the cave. To create the miracle formula to return stone statues back to their human forms. The first they choose to unpetrify is their friend and Taiju’s love interest Yuzuriha. But they run into some trouble, which starts the running gag that Senku has the worst luck. They end up running for their lives from a pack of lions.

To save themselves they use their miracle formula to unpetrify someone. A person Taiju recognizes from before he turned to stone. The famous martial artist, nicknamed the “Strongest High School Primate,” Tsukasa Shishio.

Which later turned out to be a mistake. Tsukasa doesn’t agree with Senku’s goal to revive all of humanity through his kingdom of science. He wants to set up a dictatorship where only the young inherit this new earth, their new stone world. As he sees adults with all their greed and power over others were the root of all the problems of civilization. Especially, in regards to science’s use in wars and to make weapons of mass destruction. Tsukasa then goes around crushing the statues of older people murdering them.

Of course they parted ways with Senku, Taiju and the now revived Yuzuriha on the run. And Tsukasa gives chase. Volume two of the manga ends with Tsukasa believing he killed Senku with a killing blow at the back of his neck. Thus ending his goals and the kingdom of science. But Senku lives thanks to the last piece of petrified stone on his neck. And parted ways with Taiju and Yuzuriha as they return to Tsukasa’s empire to spy on him. While Senku heads off in hope in finding more revived humans.

Which he does but the humans he found were descendants of the last humans from 3,700 years ago. Of astronauts who were on the International Space Station. Being in space saved them from the green petrification light. If I say any more I’d really be spoiling the story for you.

You must read the manga for yourself. Senku is the embodiment of persistence and never giving up. If you fail, try, try and try again. If something doesn’t work, figure out what’s wrong and fix it. Or try something else. 

Also, watching Senku as he recreates past inventions is both exciting and hilarious. The manga is filled with STEM projects. Although I wonder how accurate the science is. But he goes on to create, with four main helpers from the village, generators and a cotton candy machine. Magnets, a sulfa drug medicine, a cell phone, glasses, katanas, a record player. And many other things. You really must read the manga and watch the anime.

In fact, my favorite part of Dr. Stone was when the villagers heard music for the first time. The last song ever recorded by the greatest singer of Senku’s time. I admit I got a teary-eyed. Especially when the song pumped the villagers up. In joining Senku’s quest in reviving all of humanity from their stone statues. And bringing back all the amazing cool things science and humanity created.

I also love Senku’s interactions with the villagers. And the friendships he made with Chrome another scientist like himself. With Kohaku, Suika and Kaseki. Kinro and Ginro, he uses as manual labor the most to comic effect. Another thing I love is how most of the villagers are named after a mineral, gem, metal and or rock.

Can’t wait to read what invention Senku will create next to defeat his foes. And face his greatest enemy. The mastermind behind the petrification.

Are you a fan of Dr. Stone? Who’s your favorite character? Favorite invention created in the stone world? What invention would you prefer to be created if you lived in the stone world? What’s your favorite science fiction and or post-apocalyptic manga?

You can read the manga at Viz.com and or watch the anime at Crunchyroll.

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