A couple of months ago I wrote a blog post called “Dr. Stone’s Unconvincing Hero”. Like its title would suggest, it was about Dr. Stone’s hero, Senku, and why I struggled to get on board with his mission. To boil a 800-word-long post down into just a few key phrases: he doesn’t look hero material, but kind of sinister and velociraptor-y, his “good deeds” all seemed to be motivated by a desire to win people over to his “Kingdom of Science”, and I wasn’t sure whether restoring humanity to its former “glory” was such a good idea in the first place, given the problems our present-day world is beset with. While some of the things I wrote in that blog post still stand, after getting to know Senku a bit better, I’ve come to change my mind on a few key points. These are as follows…
Dr. Stone is one of this summer’s most popular anime, with good reason. The show’s premise, two young men, Senku and Taiju, setting out to restore civilisation using the power of science following mankind’s mass petrification 3000 years prior, is extremely interesting and quite unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. Another of its strengths is the way in which it walks its viewers, step by step, through everything its characters craft (including the science behind it). It feels great to have learned/been reminded (it’s been a long time since I last sat through a high school science class) so much about the world around me. I also love the fact that the show has opted for a setting that is lush, verdant, and teeming with life, as opposed to the dark, dreary, concrete wasteland that most post-apocalyptic shows seem to favour. Dr. Stone definitely has a lot going for it. Unfortunately, however, for all the show’s strengths, it has one major weakness: its unconvincing hero.