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Dr. Stone Volume 1 Manga Review

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“Dr. Stone” is a manga series well worth diving into.

Written by Riichiro Inagaki, “Dr. Stone” is a manga series that is refreshingly different from the norm. The series begins by introducing the two main characters. There’s Senku (a brainy science nerd) and his “big oaf” of a pal- the kind hearted big guy Taiju. Taiju is in love with Yuzuhira and, after 5 years, he finally plans on telling her how he feels. Alas, he doesn’t get the chance to as the inhabitants of Earth are all turned into stone. The story doesn’t end there, however, as Taiju and Senku awaken and manage to break out of their stone exteriors…in the year 5738. Since the two are seemingly the only people not in stone at the moment, they are determined to restart civilization and find a cure. Miraculously, they find a way to awaken people (and animals), but this proves to be problematic as the first person they do awaken (Tsukasa) turns out to be a crazed, murderous fighter who wants to remake the world with youthful people only. There’s more that happens after that, but I’ve probably said too much already.

Having read far too many manga series involving super powered fighters and mechs, “Dr. Stone” is a breath of fresh air. Right off the bat, I was drawn into this post-apocalyptic tale that raises plenty of intriguing questions and, more importantly, contains characters who are using brains (and brawn) to try and save civilization. The conflicts that begin to take form in the third half of the manga are also full of possibility as it’s becoming a sort of sci-fi “Lord of the Flies” to a certain degree. Above all else though, I love the world building here. The creepy moments and imagery involving people being turned to stone is really effective. The notion of being trapped with your thoughts for countless years and being helpless to outside forces while you’re in this state (imagine being in a flood or on a flight!) is an unsettling, but riveting concept. Granted, there are some holes in this concept (how would they all not go insane after being alone with their thoughts for thousands of years?), but hey, it is fiction after all.

As much as I admired the writing, it is the artist Boichi who makes the whole story even more captivating. I absolutely loved the big bold, vivid art pieces here. He doesn’t cram them into small panels and is actually able to convey the story through large panels filled with striking visuals. This is seriously some of my favorite manga art that I have seen in quite awhile. Sure, you still have to see some of the exaggerated character emotions which is an anime trope I’m not big on, but it doesn’t ruin the artistry on display here.

It should be noted that there is also a brief side story about pottery here. It’s basically just a throwaway sight gag.

Overall Thoughts: Check out “Dr. Stone.”

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September 12, 2018 - Posted by | Book review | ,

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