Funny. Heartwarming. Educational. And more!
I had a hard time deciding whether this should be in the "Land of Geeks" category or in the "Five Star Features" category. In the end, I've included it in both. It's just that good!
Even if you're not an anime fan, you should give this a watch or, at least, recommend it to someone else who is into anime. Though, chances are, if they like anime, they already know about this shining gem.
Let's talk about why it's worth a five star review and see if it's the right fit for you.
Hilarious yet Dramatic
Let's go ahead and put this out there. Like most classic anime, this show doesn't take itself too seriously, most of the time. The characters can be over the top and ridiculous. They can also be very grounded and realistic. This show does an amazing job at walking the tightrope between humor and drama.
Then there is the plot. It is simple yet intriguing and epic in every sense of the word. On the other hand, the decisions that the characters make are believable. If something as wild as this actually happened in real life, I could totally see everything playing out just as shown.
Of course, being an anime and all, there are times where the characters do things beyond the realm of possibility. However, compared to other anime, these moments aren't over the top at all. They are small stretches of the imagination, slight exaggerations meant to awe and inspire or make you smile at their ridiculousness.
Another theme that is typical in most animation, eastern or western, are the personalities and motivations of each character. They are easily definable. Even their appearances are there to support this. Heck, any show under thirty minutes tends to do this. It saves time. What Dr. Stone does differently than most shows is make its characters evolve. Not just the protagonist, but even the side characters. Just when you think you know a character, they transform and show you a new side of themselves.
Finally, we have the signature ending. Almost all anime and TV shows have a way of ending things that makes you want to watch the next episode as soon as possible. Dr. Stone does not fail in this respect one bit. It's hard not to binge!
Again, without delving into any spoilers, there is one central theme in this anime that is incredibly refreshing and unique. Instead of magic or other fantasy elements, science is the driving force behind Dr. Stone.
Every episode, Senku (the main character) must use his incredibly vast knowledge of science to solve difficult problems. And we're not talking about baking soda and vinegar volcanoes here either. We're talking about almost every major technological advancement humans have made in our short time on this planet.
Sound impossible? Maybe it is, but maybe it isn't...
There is no doubt that Senku is leagues beyond the average person in terms of smarts, and the team behind making this show must have been as well. As Senku works on his projects, he explains every step in meticulous detail. He does this so quickly and enthusiastically, it's hard to keep up, but it's a blast to watch. Don't feel bad if you find yourself scratching your head in confusion; the other characters in this show are doing the same thing!
Then, of course, you have the life lessons typical of most anime: friendship, patience, perseverance. You can all find all these and more in every episode. I mean, you can't get through one episode without something going wrong, without some kind of failure or miscalculation. It's actually refreshing, to watch the protagonist struggle, even if we all know things will turn out alright in the end. That's just good storytelling folks!
It's time to put a grade on this show.
Up until now, I've only spoke on Dr. Stone's good qualities, of which it has an abundance. Finding flaws in this show, for me at least, is difficult, but if I had to search for one, it would be a common one among most anime.
Some of the villains are too one dimensional, not that every villain needs a redemption arc. I've already touched this, but this is usually due to the time constraints in making a show. They have to make cuts somewhere after all.
Then, there are the inherit pitfalls of this genre of animation: flamboyant characters and a little something called fan service (obviously sexual animation). Everyone has an opinion, and I understand if you would dock points for these... not me though!
I give Dr. Stone a 99/100!