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  • Thessaloniki, Greece
  • Joined Dec 22, 2011
  • 41 / M

Dr. Stone: Stone Wars

Apr 5, 2021

The main appeal of Dr. Stone is very similar to that of other anime such as Log Horizon, Overlord, No Game no Life, and That Time I reincarnated as a Slime: The civilization building aspect. It is aimed for people who find joy in seeing a character starting from the bottom and slowly building a better world for his friends and allies. It also has a videogame feel in how technology progresses, since the tech tree, sort of speaking, is about discovering something that unlocks something else. That can be very appealing to gamers who fancy the game mechanic of combining items and creating new skills.

With that said, it’s also not a ground-breaking show or that well written. It has minimal tension in the challenges the protagonist faces and it is full of juvenile comedy, so it never comes off as, let’s say, Castaway (that movie starring Tom Hanks). It’s closer to Gilligan’s Island. It doesn’t show right away in the first season, since there were moments when Broccoli Boy (Senku) would be failing numerous times, or when he would need to spend months on something before there is progress. It was enough for giving a sense of struggle and how nothing is easily achieved. The second season doesn’t do that anymore, as Broccoli Boy does everything right and very fast, thus nothing is at stake. This is partly because Broccoli Boy wasn’t the main character in the first episodes. It was that generic friend of his, who didn’t know shit about SCIENCE! During the episodes when he was the protagonist, the show was way more like a proper action/survival. Then it changed to a silly comedy running on easy mode.

What that basically means is that you shouldn’t go into Dr. Stone expecting great action and suspense. Everything in it is easy-going and becomes almost like a feel-good anime. The second season is called Stone Wars and there is no war in it. The battle was won with zero casualties through SCIENCE! and mind games, rather than brute force, which comes off as anticlimactic, but also somewhat intellectual. And I say somewhat, because it’s not that smart of a show either. It doesn’t have the thriller mind games of anime such as Death Note or Kaiji. It’s just that it does its best to solve its problems in peaceful and often comical ways, which, as I said above, kill all the tension and make the show to be quite breezy with its conflicts.

This wouldn’t be much of a problem if it didn’t go against the core theme of the show, which is showing how brutal life can be without the conveniences of SCIENCE! and therefore needing SCIENCE! so it won’t be that brutal. Without having any stakes, there is nothing to risk and there is no clear indication as to why technology is that much of a big deal when the primitive natives are living on Gilligan’s Island. In fact, the show is so breezy it doesn’t even bother to show the negative aspects of SCIENCE! and thus comes off as hypocritical whenever it is celebrated in a one-sided way. Technology can be just as devastating as it is helpful, and yet that aspect doesn’t show anywhere.

And yes, there are still lots of situations where they make it seem like someone is going to die or that things are very grim, but it’s always proven to be fake tension, since Broccoli Boy is solving everything too easily. You cannot take it lightly when the show itself doesn’t want you to take it lightly, thus it often comes off as hypocritical. What’s the point of having wars when they can’t kill anyone and nobody ever dies? Why have fake tension instead of just being prehistoric Lucky Star?

Anyways, the proper way to enjoy this anime is to be in a mood for an easy-going feel-good show. It’s not serious or smart, as the civilization building aspect has nothing realistic about it, the characters are mouthpieces for exposition of the technology than actual people with depth or much of a personality, the conflict in nonexistent, science comes down to a videogame, and the fake tension is only making all that pretentious. Just don’t go around calling it a breath of fresh air, because unlike most anime it doesn’t have much violence. It’s not much of an excuse when you can just as easily say K-On is a breath of fresh air because it doesn’t have the violence of Berserk.

5/10 story
8/10 animation
7/10 sound
5/10 characters
5/10 overall

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