This Week in Anime
Gettin' Dr. Stone'd on Science

by Monique Thomas & Nicholas Dupree,

The newest season of Dr. Stone sees Senku and company pull together their discoveries from last season for even more complicated inventions. This time the discoveries aren't just for science's sake; there's a looming threat on the horizon as Tsukasa's army grows in numbers.

This series is streaming on Crunchyroll and Funimation

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the participants in this chatlog are not the views of Anime News Network.
Spoiler Warning for discussion of the series ahead.

@Lossthief @mouse_inhouse @NickyEnchilada @vestenet


Nick
Nicky, this has been a stressful season, and I think we all need to take a second to sit back, kick up our feet, and just take the edge off. So let's all get STONED.
Nicky
That's right, it's time to get high on SCIENCE.
I'm actually, as Senku says, "Exhilarated!" to talk about the second season of science-propelled action. Today we're deliberating on Dr. Stone: Stone Wars!!
It's been a good couple years since we last checked in on Bill Nye the Shonen Science Guy, but boy am I glad we get to. While MHA is still my easy favorite of the current Jump landscape, there's just something ineffably charming about Dr. Stone. Plus knowing your taste in anime boys I'm sure you're glad to have Gen back.
Sweeney Todd lookin-ass conman.
Yeah, I'm personally pretty happy to have Mister "Manipulate Malewife" himself back in motion along with his science-splaining counterpart. And I'm pretty sure the animators are too.
Dunno what it is with the season and having characters play/sing the opening theme, but I appreciate it. That's easily the best shot in Stone Wars' OP.
It's a good OP too! Probably one of my favorites this season tbh. I just can't help but love it's funky energy. Dr. Stone might not always be the prettiest show, but it makes up for it by really going out there for things like a one-time cannon-fire.
Yeah, that's the gimmick this season. Where the first arc of Dr. Stone was all about building new inventions in the stone age to make life, y'know, less terrible, this season is about our plucky science heroes gearing up for full-on war! This of course includes the most essential of killing tools:
While the first season ended with a cold stalemate, this season starts with spring on the horizon. Senku and the Kingdom of Science need to figure out how to strike first WITHOUT killing anyone! But is a bloodless siege truly possible against Tsukasa's army? The answer is yes, but not without Senku characteristically being a total bastard about it.
You say bastard, I say Senku learned from the best that a Minmay Attack is the best way to prevent bloodshed. And Nikki can attest!
I salute the now strongest member of the "Nick" club and also future president of the United States for her ability to stan thousands of years into the future.
Truly, Tsukasa's greatest tactical blunder was not understanding the power of stan culture. He's just lucky he didn't revive any BTS fans or his empire would have crumbled in hours.

They would have revolted the moment Senku promised to recreate fancam technology.

Now I want a version of Dr. Stone where, instead of being the "Strongest Primate Highschooler", he's just a J-pop idol, but I guess music and science mesh.

Which is pretty much Senku's initial plan. This season pairs a little better off the tails of the last season, where they spent most of it putting together the big pieces. In this season we get to see a little more about how they start fitting together.

Sidenote: I also greatly appreciate Nikki for being the only female character without a serious case of BOICHI face. Also for being the one strong girl with actual, visible muscles.
Seconded, I love the Dr. Stone girls with all my heart, but sigh visibly whenever I'm reminded there are no chiropractors in the Stone World.
Senku can invent a god damn car in the Stone Age but apparently is too busy to whip up some leggings so Kohaku doesn't literally freeze her ass off. SMH.
Though I will say that the blob-aesthetic Boichi face made it ten times funnier when Gen changed his voice to go from Mister to this Moe Monstrosity.
I feel ya Senku. Especially when your friend is technically impersonating your dad's second wife.

This season starts off a bit slow, with a lot of trekking back and forth between locations and setting up new characters. Thankfully things pick up when Chrome gets himself captured like the genius he is.

Yeah, it's a lot of setup, but it was nice to see stuff like the phone, the record player, the batteries, and the engine made last season start piecing together. Chrome, Gen, and Magma deliver the phone all the way to Tsukasa's camp so they can have a way to reintroduce and communicate with Taiju and Yuzihira again.

Taiju continues to be a professional himbo, and it's good to have him back even for a little bit after they exited so early in the first season.

I definitely think the show benefited from sidelining them when it did—giving Senku new personalities to bounce off of made him way more engaging—but it's still nice to have them back.
Yeah, Dr. Stone's cast is better when you see them be the most useful in the right exact moment. There's both some pretty good plot and story reasons to have them be on reserve. For example, Yuzihira had to put together every statue Tsukasa broke like multiple Humpty Dumpties. I admire her "audible crafting noises."
Seriously this is a BONKERS task to leave to one person, but also one of my favorite moments in the whole show. Senku gets tons of cool moments where he talks about the power of diligence and determination, so it's great to see other characters get to exemplify that in their own unique way.

Yeah, this girl is definitely an MVP. While not everyone can be a genius like Senku or a warrior like Tsukasa, lots of characters have a Danganronpa-esque quality about them where they just have really strong individual talents. It shows how amazing and diverse humanity can be, and it's part of what makes Senku's workforce a true powerhouse.
I've described Dr. Stone to some people as akin to a DnD campaign. You have a ton of different characters with distinct specialties, and the story is at its best when those aspects of the characters are at the forefront, driving the narrative. It's why I'm so glad Chrome gets his own episode where he can't be overshadowed by Senku as a "science user."

This boy's come a long way from collecting cool rocks in his backyard, and I couldn't be more proud.
Chrome breaking himself out of jail using literally his own blood, sweat, and piss is truly remarkable, especially since his major opponent is a former dirty cop!
"Former" meaning he's no longer a cop. He's still a big ol' asshole. Really makes you wonder what Tsukasa's standards for his reborn world are that this is one of the first hundred people he woke up.
Well, to be fair, he was actually being dirty AGAINST corruption that time by pulling a sting on a shitty politician. So I can see why Tsukasa would roll with that even though actually All Cops Are Bastards. It's pretty entertaining to watch this 21st-century nitwit get owned by someone who's never even seen a working toilet before.
I've seen that bit so many times between the anime and manga and I STILL die laughing at Checkov's Nutshot. That's the secret sauce that makes Dr. Stone so delightful.
That's just what we call "a tactical retreat."
Really though, it's awesome to see Chrome, who's mostly been Senku's sidekick, get some time to shine on his own. Though he does get some assistance from the Male Trainer Character from Pokemon Diamond & Pearl.
Yeah, Ukyo is another valuable surprise ally. He was a sonar technician pre-Stone Zone, so he's got superhearing. Even when he's on Tsukasa's side, he's never truly that aggressive and always seems to try to find a passive solution. This makes reaching the middle ground with him easier than expected.
Turns out Ukyo's that one bitch who's not down for murder, and much as he tried to rationalize crushing statues, he's also very eager to team up with people who don't threaten to crush skulls to make friends.

Yeah, no one's gonna die when you have a TANK!
To be fair it's a non-lethal (so long as nobody gets runover) tank! They even made it out of paper because that's just how good Senku is. They also make Gen drive it because he's the only adult with a driver's license in the whole world.
Actually, I'm pretty sure Senku would just say anything in order to make Gen do more work and/or freak out. Which is good, cuz it's pretty funny.

Same energy.
Senku is very good when it comes to delegating tasks. He knows how to put the right people in the right places to get stuff done. But he is still a Bad Boss, and once they have the internet again everyone needs to call him out on Twitter.

#SenkuIsOverParty

Senku:
Meanwhile, Tsukasa may want to cull humanity based on his idea of a pure society, but at least he remembers the names of all his big dumb soldiers.

Yeah, we also get a little bit of Tsukasa's character again. He's ideals are bad but he still has moments of nobility and heart. Even when he storms on the Science Parade he still comes off super classy and handsome.
Honestly Tsukasa's not entirely wrong either. Like yes, the mass murder is abhorrent and arbitrary, but Senku could probably stand to have somebody challenge him more on what he chooses to recreate. Dr. Stone has a pretty strong stance on the moral neutrality of science, but it's undeniable that many of the things he's making to fight back against Tsukasa's side could be used for some real evil shit.
Yeah and I don't think the show intends to frame Tsukasa as 100% in the wrong (minus the murder), and his strong sense of justice is a necessary step for recreating the world too. Where it'll go with that has yet to be seen. But this is also what makes Senku's methods more compelling to me, because he doesn't plan on killing his enemies either and would rather win them over to his side. Tsukasa is no different!
Hey kids, remember that backstory Tsukasa dropped on us in episode 2? Well it turns out it's EVEN SADDER.
One does not become a world-class punch-thrower for no reason! Tsukasa was looking for a way to save his ironically-named sister from her chronic anime disease.
And that bit of humanity is what allows the two sides to create a wary truce, as Senku offers the chance to unpetrify and heal Mirai. Thus the day is saved thanks to the power of friendship, plus this dynamite we made.
Dynamite made out of bat poop and paper airplanes to be clear.
I do appreciate that the climactic battle of this season hinges on our main character anxiously waiting for poop to ferment. Again, that's the Dr. Stone secret sauce.
Though, notably it's not the LAST battle of the season.
Ah right. So you know how I said Senku's inventions could be used for some real evil shit? And how he just made a high power explosive in the Stone Age? Boy I sure hope nothing comes of that!

Anyway time to take a big sip from my I Hate When People Use My Inventions For Bad mug.
You know how this whole season was spent practically fighting over a cave of bat poop? How Scary-Mouth-Man has been giving Tsukasa backstab murder looks so hard that even Ukyo couldn't help but notice his gigantic betrayal-bone? If you expected all that to lead up to something, you'd be right!
Again, Tsukasa, you REALLY gotta start screening your resurrections better. Otherwise you end up with eco-fascists.

I'm all with Senku here on this. Falling back on the idea that we should just genocide everyone so you can fuck-you got-mine is 100% bad and also less interesting than the alternative of using our technology and willpower to try and make a better world for everyone.

Also it's a pretty good excuse for Senku to combine forces with Tsukasa, solidifying their true bromance.
Tsukasa may be down a lung, but they manage to come through in the end, through the power of friendship! and science! and several thousand volts of electricity!


Though uhh, about that lung hole.
It's fine. Science can rebuild lungs right? Nothing some back alle- er, back cave surgery can't fix, yeah?

Ok sure his blood transfusion is coming from a clay pot, but it's fine. He's fine.

And there's no anesthetic!
Don't worry, he's cool with it though.
RIP.

But yes, there are in fact limits to what science can do, at least when your best source of antiseptic is waiting for grapes to ferment. So instead saving Tsukasa becomes the new long-term goal for the Kingdom of Science, and the only way to save him is to find a way to repetrify and awaken him.
Yeah, but since Tsukasa can't survive long enough for them to get a hold of the bit of science-magic that made the earth stand still, Senku's gotta put him on ice, literally. It's a bit of science fiction but they use the parts of the car to build a freezer and then let him enter a cold sleep.

Senku's stalling for Tsukasa to pass out is a great bit of his inner sentimentality though.
It actually is consistent with the reality of Dr. Stone's world, mostly because they already established with Mirai that even full-on brain death can be reversed by whatever the fuck got the whole world stoned. So as long as Tsukasa's preserved in one piece they should be able to bring him back.

Granted, to do that they're gonna have to travel to the other side of the world and unlock the secret of the apocalypse, but at this point that sounds entirely within Senku's wheelhouse.

Yeah, with the first arc out of the way, the Stone World is now their Stone Oyster! I'm already caught up with the manga, but I'm surprised how fun this anime adaptation has been and it makes me more excited to see the stuff that's yet to come.
I'm also current on the manga, and I'm pretty excited to share what comes next with the anime-only watchers. Though I am not looking forward to the discourse around this guy:
Look, look, the characters of Dr. Stone are very comforting to me, even some of the shitty ones. Also I really need a third season if I'd like to expand my overgrowing collection of Gen pictures.
Well until then you can keep writing your fanfiction.
Look, that's something I'd like to keep private but for everyone else I'm gonna leave you with this most adorable picture of Detective Suika that's very good (and I didn't get to use). Do it for her!!
SHE DESERVES IT.

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