Manga Cafe Monday: Dr. Stone

I realize the first season of the anime for Dr. Stone came out a while back. That was where I started. Once a week, each week on its release date just eating this thing up. Wren and I had watched this youtube series of “how to make everything”. It was…mediocre at best? If that is an okay way of describing that youtube series. I realize it was geared to show how a regular person would go about making everyday things all the way from scratch, but some of the errors in the trial and error were just cringy.

That’s not what this about though. This has the same vein, but oh it’s brilliant. The art is interesting in it’s mild stylization. There are no intrusive computer graphics that break the story. The script is paced.

This could have become a dark anime easily. It steps into dark aspects of murder in regards to the destruction of the petrified remains of humans. It crosses over the divide of morality and forces the reader to question what is better for humans – to pursue science to better people at the potential destruction of nature, to escape the corporate greed, to “go back to the good old days.” Who benefits, who loses by going back. By the world going back to “nature.”

I love this give and take. The painting of a grey picture that people try to ink as black and white. Emotions are balanced with the storyline progressions. Arcs are introduced in ways of acquisitions and manipulation of resources. It’s an interesting format for teaching people some of the base principles of science without it being overwhelmingly childish. It crosses age divides and levels of scientific knowledge.

At the same time, it looks at those who aren’t “scientists” and shows how they too contribute to the betterment of society. That people who aren’t “professionals” can be scientists. Can ask questions and find answers if they’re brave enough to try.

For the most part, the anime keeps up with the manga. There are some deviations for the sake of formatting and expediency, but the core of the story remains intact.

This is one of those brilliant pieces that has been worked over and over by a team and it shows. Its not raw talent. It gives you those little emotions you need to feel connected with each of the characters without throwing you off liking the design or blubbering in big sobbing heaps at the end of reading section.

It is brilliant. At face value, it’s a curious peak of interest, what a child can grasp of “oh, that’s how a rocker piston works in steam production and sulfuric acid is dangerous”.

Once you peel it back to the bones, it’s a blatant question of what humanity would be if we changed. “If the world ended, if there weren’t as many people. Who would you want to remake the world with? Who should survive?” It asks all those hypothetical dark questions and runs with them.

What happens to a sonar tech if there are no subs? What about reporters, what do they know to make them valuable? Corporate greed as a resurgence?

What do we miss? Technology, clothing, dehydrated junk food? Creature comforts we’ve come to accept as commonplace.

I love documentaries like Life After People, Seconds From Disaster, and Extreme Weather. I like seeing what the world does regardless of people. How man bows to nature. How they learn to work in harmony with it. How, when they try to tame it, everything goes out of whack. Nature is a rubberband pulled tight. It will snap back into place, whether humans survive it doing that or not.

This is what this manga is. Something light for the young and naive reader, and something that edges the darkness for those who understand the depth in it.

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Chapel Orahamm View All →

I am a writer and artist working through the Kavordian Library series. I write sci-fi, fantasy, lgbt romance.

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