Written By: Riichiro Inagaki
Age Rating: Teen
Format: Paperback, Digital
Published By: Viz Media
Release Date: Out Now
This is a big moment for high school student Taiju, as he is about to confess his love to his fellow classmate Yuzuriha. It will take thousands of years for him to finally say those all important words, as people across the World are suddenly turned to stone. Nature has reclaimed what was once 21st century civilisation, now Taiju and his scientifically brilliant friend Senku have reawakened. Their plan is not only to survive in this new World, but to fast track it back to what was once their reality. Welcome to the new Stone World!
Have you ever imagined what it was like to be back in the Stone Age, in a time where animals were the top of the food chain and the simplest inventions such as soap hadn’t even been invented? Surely most children have at least daydreamed about this scenario at least once in their lives. I know I have, but that was mostly during history lessons in school. This manga has actually managed to reawaken those childhood thoughts for me. I have never come across a manga such as this, where instead of going back in time, humanity has been put in stone for thousands of years. Cities have crumbled, borders have broken, ownership of land and countries have been lost, only nature has continued. It is a magnificent concept for a story, when one such human such as Senku reawakens and has retained all his memories from his previous life. By putting his knowledge to the test, he works hard to revive civilisation and get back to the level of scientific discovery they once had.
Although the volume begins with Taiju, it’s actually his buddy Senku that is the main focus for the series. This teenage genius seems to put all his faith in mathematical equations, probability and chemistry. That and he has a long standing friendship with the big oaf Taiju, as he seems to be able to predict his very behaviour before they end up being apart for thousands of years. Senku is an extremely logical person, more so than any person I have ever met. It is certainly a vital characteristic to have in this new world. Taiju is a simple person, he speaks whatever is on his mind, puts others first and will take any punch that is coming his way. He is built for hard labor and doesn’t mind the work as he has plenty of stamina. His skills massively help Senku in his work, as one could not survive long without the other, especially in this research. We also have the female member of the group, Yuzuriha. Although she doesn’t get much time in this volume, she certainly seems like a good match for Taiju in what we have seen. It will be interesting to see what she can bring to this trio of pioneers. We also have a fourth member, but I’ll leave them for you to discover when you pick up the series. I don’t want to spoil all your fun.
Although we haven’t discovered any clues as to what caused the entire human race to turn to stone, there is still plenty to ‘get excited’ about in this volume. From exploring the new landscape, to discovering so many poisonous mushrooms, the joy of pottery and trying to outrun a pack of lions. Yup the King of the Jungle makes his appearance and with no Joe Exotic in sight! (Has anyone else watched Tiger King on Netflix?! Just wow!!!)
Dr. Stone was created and written by the author of Eyeshield 21: Riichiro Inagaki. The illustrations for Dr. Stone were provided by South Korean artist: Boichi, who has also worked on Trigun: The Lost Plant and Terra Formers Gaiden: Ashimov. Dr. Stone began serialization in Weekly Shónen Jump magazine back in 2017 and is still on-going today. The manga series currently has 14 volumes available in Japan at present, 10 of which are currently available in English with thanks to Viz Media publishing. If you head over to their website through the link here, they have compiled a list of websites you can buy the physical and digital volumes from. https://www.viz.com/dr-stone
Dr. Stone was also adapted into an anime by TMS/8PAN studios. A studio that has been around for 55 years, best known for animating Moomin, Case Closed, Monster Rancher and the new Fruits Basket. Dr. Stone season 1 had 24 episodes and is currently available to watch on the FunimationNow app. There hasn’t been any release date set for when Season Two will be out, but ‘get excited!’ This is one franchise you won’t have to wait thousands of years for!
Overall: 10 /10