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Dated 20 August 2019: Dr. STONE is neither a doctor nor a stone

Yuzuriha and Taiju
Guess who gets to be Eve and Adam? Go on, guess.

I wasn't really planning on watching Dr. STONE, but its premise involving mankind (and one particular species of bird, for some reason) being petrified for eons before re-emerging in a new primitive society sounded too weird to completely dismiss. Then I kept seeing reports that it was legitimately good, so that's basically how I got myself into this mess. It turns out the anime is pretty good (I have no idea about the original manga), despite my general loathing of shounen jive. Unfortunately, one of the lead characters shouts all of his lines (which, it seems from the Twitter, is a trait some people actually enjoy?!) because he's constantly excited or agitated about something. God, just chill out a little bit, okay? At least he's not as bad as Zenitsu from Kimetsu no Yaiba, since at least Taiju isn't a shithead. I swear to Haruhi, these two are the evil opposites of Momo from Machikado Mazoku who is wonderfully chill all the time. Maybe there is a Law of Conservation of Indoor Voice that I don't know about.

Kohaku and Senku
Senku pretends he's not trying to impress the
first blonde girl he's met in the new world.

Despite this, Dr. STONE manages to be interesting, if absurd. This is very much a cartoon, but it doesn't ignore the fundamental questions a viewer will likely come to ask. For example, why did everyone turn to stone? Why was Senku the first one revived? If you start drawing the girls with Key eyes, does it increase the likelihood one of them will contract Key AIDS? These are the sorts of things a sophisticated anime audience demands to know of its shounen anime. Dr. STONE doesn't actually answer all of these questions right away, but it acknowledges they exist. It seems I can expect to be watching this show for at least two cours, and it is paced accordingly. After seven episodes, the anime is only just now starting to introduce outside characters. Thankfully, they don't seem to be shouting literally all of their lines. One of them does appear to be totally dying of Key AIDS, though. P.S. Spoilers.

Dated 3 September 2019: Sounan desu ka? is Dr. STONE without Dr. Stone

Homare and Mutsu
Don't let rabbit shit go to waste.

Sounan desu ka? (English title, Are You Lost?) has turned out to be reliably amusing thanks almost entirely to Homare, without whom the rest of the girls would be as fucked on that island as they would be on the moon. For perfectly valid anime reasons, Homare spent a considerable part of her childhood getting stranded over and over with her hyper-competent survivalist father. This provided her with the knowledge and experience to keep herself and the other girls who are stranded with her on a deserted island alive through an otherwise harrowing situation. Every other girl with her is basically dead weight, but Homare has managed to provide substinance and shelter with relative ease, so she's already advanced from survival basics to quality-of-life considerations.

Look at how happy she is to have metal.

In this respect, there are some similarities with Dr. STONE in that both shows are about pursuing makeshift improvements in a primitive environment, and applying science and cunning against the various threats posed by nature. Dr. STONE is significantly more ambitious in this regard as it also involves threats posed by man, whereas Sounan desu ka? takes a more matter-of-fact approach toward its concerns, many of which are inspired by whining teenage girls. Lucky for them, Homare is a treasure, and incredibly patient and accommodating. It is abundantly clear to me that she would be perfectly happy being stranded apparently indefinitely. Really, if you are going to be lost in the middle of nowhere, being lost with Homare is basically your best-case scenario.

Dated 13 June 2023: Dr. STONE is still good

Being confident helps.

No one who has been following the previous installments of Dr.STONE NEW WORLD (Dr. Stone 3rd Season) should be surprised it's still entertaining for basically all the same reasons. If there are criticisms to levy against it, they'll probably relate to how fast science is advancing. Or, I suppose more accurately, how fast production is advancing. There are no quality control problems or time constraints in the story that prevent the characters from designing and constructing whatever marvel is necessary to overcome the latest predicament. Everything just works. And that's okay! This is not a series about the 99-percent perspiration part. It's also consistent with the other feats regularly displayed.

Kohaku knows what she's doing.

Frequent readers of this blog (and of my grousing on the Twitter) may recall I regularly complain about tropes and storytelling conventions that I broadly describe using the pejorative "shounen jive." I don't have strong opinions about this from a taxonomic perspective, but my general sense is I'm perfectly fine with it (if what Dr.STONE does even qualifies as being shounen jive) providing that it's done in this way. I guess what I'm saying is I'm unsure if I regard Dr. Stone as the exception to a style of anime that I typically don't like, or if I like it because it does not adopt the elements I disfavor. In any case, the anime is still good, and the story seems to moving along well, and you should start watching it (from the beginning!) if you ain't started already.

Dated 21 November 2023: The science in Dr. STONE is indistinguishable from magic

Probably the last person who should have a gun.

When the series began, the science-based exploits described in Dr. STONE seemed somewhat plausible, at least for a show where everyone on the planet was petrified by a mysterious force and our protagonist measured the passage of time by counting in his head for thousands of years. Now in its third season (specifically, the second part of its third season), basically everything requires a similar sort of acceptance. It's not that the scientific principles are unsound, it's more that the viewer is required to ignore the engineering demands necessary to realize these designs, and the amount of time it should take to get stuff built.

Now would be a good time to break out some of that Jedi Mind Shit, Gen.

It's fine, though. Heroic achievements and overcoming incredible odds are very much a part of Dr. STONE, so I'm not bothered that everything gets constructed on time and works perfectly as intended, just as the superhuman physical feats that characters casually perform don't bother me.

We're never going to find out how the thing on her head survived thousands of years.

I don't actually know how much of the series remains. I think there are only five episodes left in the season, but I don't know if that means there are only five episodes left overall. In any case, the anime is still entertaining, and knowing that there will be an actual ending goes a long way towards reassuring viewers that the time invested in a lengthy series is worthwhile.