9 comments on “Dr Stone’s Unconvincing Hero

  1. To me this is a case of the Hero doing the right thing for the wrong reasons and the villian doing the wrong things for the right reasons. Senku reminds me a bit of Prince Charming in Shrek… sure he saves the princess but something feels off about him. I have a genuine dislike for protagonists like these and it prevents me from really getting into the show. I find myself rooting for non and just hope the minor characters get their heads out of their buttsies and be like… maybe we should not start making weapons or bride people to follow us it did not go well in the past…

    • Though I initially rooted for Tsukasa, the more I watch Dr. Stone, the more I feel that, like you, I don’t really want to root for anybody… Though Senku’s goal isn’t evil, and will likely benefit the lives of the villagers (at least in the short term), I’m super uneasy with the way in which he’s going about it, treating the villagers like his unwitting pawns. And while I resonate with Tsukasa’s goal to allow the natural world to thrive and establish a new world order, the way that he’s appointed himself king over the stone world and given himself the authority to decide who is and isn’t fit to live in it smells sort of master-race-y…

  2. “Why is it that he wants to use science to propel mankind thousands of years through time to restore them to their former glory? For the thrill of it. And to flex his intellectual muscles. ”

    Interestingly, I find this to be more realistic than Shinra’s desire to be a hero. In the spirit of full disclosure, I love Shinra’s character. I accept that heroes often want to be heroic as a goal (finding out what happened to his mom and brother are part of that). But Senkuu pursuing a challenge for the thrill of achievement?

    That’s kinda what I do every day (though it’s my job).

    “Instead, he wants to give mankind a fresh start by reviving the young and the innocent only. ”

    I’m pretty sure the percentage of innocent-inclined people in any population — young, middle aged, or old — is about the same. Killing older people because of the actions of those standing on top of the artificially-enforced patriarchal pyramid is itself an evil, isn’t it? I’m over 50 so I get my stone self shattered because a bank executive decided to crash a planetary economy?

    I don’t think I’d want my stone self shattered over that!

    ” Why is Senku so desperate to return to a world with all of these problems? Because he wants to prove that he can? ”

    I just started reading How to Rebuild Civilization in the Aftermath of a Cataclysm. What’s interesting to me is that Senkuu is following the spirit of that book. One of its tenants is that the opportunity to restore civilization means we could skip the mistakes of the past. For example, no need to go through coal and oil; just start with renewables. Use more modern manufacturing techniques that are sustainable.

    In fact, the smaller population would require it to avoid contamination. Heavy metals are a pain to deal with, from a human development perspective.

    I don’t think Senkuu intends to throw himself into the invention of pollution. Look at his first generator: human powered.

    “but who hasn’t wondered just how better off the world would be if it wasn’t run by corrupt, self-serving, middle-aged, white men? ”

    It absolutely would be. Better off, I mean. But the tools those patriarchs used to control the population? They’re all gone. They won’t be able to assert their authority. To be fully evil, they’d have to become physically strong and enforce their will with brutality. That is, until they would re-establish an economy of scarcity and control access to the scarce resources.

    Kinda what Tsukasa is doing! All he did was replace “old white men” with a “younger white man.”

    “but that’s one of my absolute favourite things about anime, the way it gets you thinking, its potential to spark debate…”

    I’ve been trying to cut back on making comments, because I don’t know that my perspective is generally interesting or invites further conversation. But I do enjoy the thought-provoking aspects of anime, too, and this is a topic I’ve been thinking a lot about. In fact, it was Dr. Stone that reminded me I wanted to buy that book I mentioned earlier!

    Hardcopy version, of course. It seemed silly to buy the Kindle version!

    • I stand corrected on a couple of points…

      You’re right, it’s not a bad thing, to work towards a goal simply for the sake of achieving something great. That’s what artists, athletes, musicians, and scientists do every day. It’s just, personally speaking, I need a different kind of motivation. I’m a people person, so many of my actions are motivated by the need to serve other people. I forgot that not everybody is motivated by the same things!

      I also hadn’t stopped to consider the fact that, whilst Senku IS retracing the steps of the past, he’s sidestepping many of the mistakes made by his predecessors, like using greener sources of energy. I’m still not entirely convinced by him and his mission (mostly because of his enthusiasm towards recreating weaponry), but I’m willing to give him another chance.

      Let me finish by apologising. Reading my post back, it does seem a bit ageist… I apologise if I upset you. It’s just, I wish that more people your age could be like you… A considerable percentage of the people I’ve come into contact with around your age are… well… quite unpleasant. The kind of people who would rather hoard their wealth than pay higher taxes to fund public services or help the less fortunate… The kind of people who constantly put down my generation, calling us “lazy” or “snowflakes” or saying that we’re always “glued to our phones” (ignoring the fact that they helped to raise us)… The kind of people who hurl abuse (even going so far as to wish death upon) revolutionaries like Greta Thunberg, an incredible young girl just trying to make a positive difference in the world. It’s these kinds of people I wouldn’t want revived in the scenario laid out by Dr. Stone, not you or people like you.

      • “I’m a people person, so many of my actions are motivated by the need to serve other people. I forgot that not everybody is motivated by the same things!”

        There’s not a day goes by that I don’t wish I were more a people person! I’m an introvert, and interacting with people drains me. I do want to help folks, but I do so indirectly by doing stuff like writing an application to automate mundane and routine tasks (so my team can do other things). It’s like I’m being helpful, but at arm’s length!

        “Let me finish by apologising. Reading my post back, it does seem a bit ageist… I apologise if I upset you. ”

        I honestly don’t think you need to apologize! I wasn’t offended in the least.

        “A considerable percentage of the people I’ve come into contact with around your age are… well… quite unpleasant.”

        I’d love to argue the point, but, I’d lose. The facts are on your side! I think I’ve run into those same people, or people who act like them. You’re right — they’re not pleasant.

        “The kind of people who constantly put down my generation, calling us “lazy” or “snowflakes” or saying that we’re always “glued to our phones”…”

        This is another point I wish was wrong! But, the facts are still on your side. I think the problem is that people in power have gotten terrifyingly good at propaganda. They realize they can’t openly campaign against anyone getting angry about displays of racism or sexism or economic favoritism. So, they label honest civil protests as “snowflakes” and let the insults fly.

        I wish more folks would see through tricks like that…

        “The kind of people who hurl abuse (even going so far as to wish death upon) revolutionaries like Greta Thunberg, an incredible young girl just trying to make a positive difference in the world.”

        For the record, if i have any hope for our future, it’s because of people like her. Or people like the students who survived the Parkland shooting who decided to try to make a positive difference. Or the kids who walked out of classes to protest our response to climate change.

        Or people like you clearly expressing your perspective through your blogs.

        It’s a good thing to try to make the world a better place by writing insightful anime blog posts. It’s not the same as testifying before the United Nations, but we do what we can!

  3. “who hasn’t wondered just how better off the world would be if it wasn’t run by corrupt, self-serving, middle-aged, white men”

    Who has wondered if whatever they’re replaced with wouldn’t turn out to be equally self-serving and corrupt? Evil, greed, and corruption isn’t limited to middle aged white men. Not by a long shot.

    “that’s one of my absolute favourite things about anime, the way it gets you thinking”

    Anime certainly can get one to think. It can also get one to enforce existing prejudices.

    Or, to put it another way, you object to the Kingdom of Science… but you seem to be OK with Tsukasa killing people who he deems unworthy and with what seems to be the growing brutality of his regime simply on the basis of his initial sweetness-and-light pitch.

    • Absolutely. Evil acts can be carried out by anybody, regardless of background. I guess finding out that my white, middle-aged bossman has been stealing wages from every single one of my colleagues and I has made me cynical!

      You may have missed it, but I said that I agree with Tsukasa’s motives (in the sense that I, too, wish that we could start again as a race, not repeating the mistakes of the past), but NOT its execution. Perhaps I could have worded it better, but I’m not giving the thumbs up to murder!

  4. Pingback: So I’ve Changed My Mind About Dr. Stone’s Senku | Watashi Wa Bucho!!

  5. Pingback: Ty’s Year in Review (2019) | Watashi Wa Bucho!!

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