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First Impressions: Dr. Stone

Dr. Stone is one of the most popular anime of the Summer 2019 season, and for good reason - it rocks! I may have built that sentence so that I could make a rock-based pun, but that doesn't make it untrue - Dr. Stone is a genuinely good show if the first episodes are any indicator. After a mysterious phenomenon leaves every human on earth encased in stone for 3,700 years, the first survivors begin to emerge from their rocky cocoons. One of them is Senku, a whip-smart teenage scientist who gets right to work establishing a home base for himself, and trying to figure out how to set the rest of humanity free. Next up is Taiju, his kind-hearted classmate who is strong and loyal enough to carry out Senku's plans.

After discovering a serum of bad guano that dissolves the stone, they begin the work to saving the world. First up is Tsukasa, a super strong hunter who can make their lives a million times easier - but who has some radical ideas about who should be revived, and who should not be. I absolutely love this show so far. Both protagonists are charming in their own way: Senku's sarcastic personality combined with his earnest desire to save the world through science is a great foil to Taiju's earnestness and physical strength. Tsukasa throws a fascinating wrench into the proceedings, giving the show an almost Death Note-like twist. The artwork is stunning - you really feel transported into a wild and overgrown world. Also, the whole thing is scientifically accurate and actually pretty educational - I wasn't expecting to learn what limestone is good for, but now I know!

There is one thing that I don't love about Dr. Stone, but with only two episodes out so far, I'm not yet ready to condemn it to anti-feminist hell. So far, there is only one female character, Yuzuriha, and her only role is to be Taiju's crush. She has no real personality or noteworthy skills of her own, and she's currently encased in stone. All the male characters contribute actively to the story, and have skills that are useful for building a new world.

They'll introduce new characters, and Yuzuriha's role will evolve when she breaks out of her rocky prison. Still, it's not hard to imagine things continuing along this trajectory. I hope not, because that would really put a damper on what is otherwise an excellent show. What are your thoughts on Dr. Stone? Let us know in the comments!

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