Dr. Stone is one of the more unique mangas on the stands thanks to its premise. The entire world was frozen in stone for 3,700 years setting all technology back and bringing scientific progress to a halt. It’s a series that is particularly interesting thanks to the lead character, appropriately dubbed Dr. Stone, who finds ways to use science to solve problems. This usually means reinventing a technology from scratch thanks to his advanced intelligence. This leads to some interesting how-to scenes that end up being rather helpful in understanding how chemistry and physics come into play with rather ordinary technology. In the latest volume, the characters are attempting to hide a cellphone so as to wage information warfare.
This volume features a lot of science advancement when compared to earlier volumes. Not only is a cellphone utilized, but Dr. Stone also reinvents the car, explains how to make flash bombs (see below), and takes things a step further with a tank. Riichiro Inagaki continues to impress with his research which is cleanly and understandably drawn by Boichi. Together they make science fun, interesting, and understandable. It’s in these scenes of genius that the manga truly excels and it’s fun to see Dr. Stone go mad with joy as he explains things.
This volume is a key chapter thanks to it Dr. Stone being reunited with an old friend and the band of characters getting organized and ready to break Chrome out from prison. It’s starting to become clear this series is on a crash course with bringing society back to where we left off. Via small battles, the threat of conquest, and other acts of conflict Dr. Stone is basically being forced to give society the technologies they lost. It’s quite clear Dr. Stone, who loves science and just loves pulling things together, is capable of giving the world all its technologies back, but any new tech only further complicates the battlefield. That adds a layer of strategy to the story.
Unfortunately, Tsukasa doesn’t play much of a part in this volume. He’s the main villain of the series, but we only see him when characters think of him. We do get to see how much his army has grown, but much of this book is focused on getting Chrome out of prison. The bigger conflict is put on hold so as to add new technology to the playing field, it appears.
Visually this story is quite energetic much like Scott Pilgrim was with its side jokes and energy. The characters are animated beyond belief creating a sense of cartoon fun to the entire thing. As I mentioned above, Boichi does a great job with scientific explanations. Showing how a neck-swing engine works is no easy feat!
This series always excels when it reveals the science behind things as simple as gunpowder and this volume has that in droves. A lot of the plotting can feel circular as characters get chased, caught, and chased again, but it’s quite clear the development of science takes a big leap this volume.