Ohayo Sekkai, Good Morning World! Josh here, batting cleanup for the First Impressions of the Winter 2020/2021 anime season and my friends, I am VERY excited about this one. Talk about saving one of the best for last!
Dr. Stone has returned to us with it’s second season covering the Stone Wars arc in which Senku and the members of the Kingdom of Science wage war against the idealistic Tsukasa Empire under the command of…well…Tsukasa. At stake is access to the cave which contains the secret ingredient for the fluid which can revive people who have been turned to stone. Will Senku and the Kingdom of Science be able to engineer their way to a victory without spilling a drop of blood, or will Tsukasa and his group of prodigiously strong warriors snuff out the Kingdom and their leader, in order to bring about their dream of a 2nd Eden without corrupt adults? And how in the world will Cup Noodles help in this endeavor? And whatever happened to Taiju and Yuzuriha, Senku’s best friends and spies within the Tsukasa Empire? All this and more will be answered in this, the second season of Dr. Stone.
Okay, so lets get this out of the way; I am a BIG Dr. Stone fan. Dawg gone it, I have a gigantic wall scroll right behind me as I type this, the citizens of Ishigami Village looking over my shoulder as I type about them. Somewhat creepy, but hey, these are creepy times. Anyway, I’ve been following the manga for a long time now, probably longer than I’ve followed any manga series, and I’ve been waiting with prodigious anticipation to see those black and white pages spring to life in full motion and color. And I can honestly say, with this first episode, I was NOT disappointed.
This first episode of the new season is awesome. It doesn’t skip a beat from where the last season ended, yet it does a great job giving the viewer a CliffsNotes version of the last 24 episodes, while setting everything up for the “War” that’s to come. I find that, when you have a show with a long gap between the seasons, the first episode back feels boring—like we have to go through all the character introductions again, we have to find out their motivations, we have to get reminded of all this information that most of the viewing audience already knows. I know why it’s done, but few shows do it RIGHT. Dr. Stone does it perfectly, giving us a reminder of the past, but continuing on with the story proper. No time is wasted.
As I mentioned earlier, I am up to date with the manga, which has already passed through the Stone Wars arc, so I know exactly what is going to happen and how this story resolves. Of course, no spoilers here, but trust me when I say that, by the time this arc ends, you might feel differently about some characters and certain situations that happened in the first season. In fact, at some point, there might even be some biblical parallels you can draw between certain characters and situations. I would go on, but then I would be getting into spoiler territory, and in the words of Forrest Gump, that’s all I got to say about that.
Finally, can we talk about the new opening? “Rakuen (Paradise)” by Fujifabric is just so freaking SMOOTH. It’s not quite the jump up and dance your freaking head off bop like the previous two OP’s, but this one is in its own world! I love the little bit of funk flavor we get and then it goes into the vocals which just sound so…SMOOTH. I can’t describe it any other way, really.
So where does that leave us? Simple. Dr. Stone is back, baby, and if this first episode is anything to gauge by, it’s gonna be the same fun, action packed, intelligent ride that we’ve come to expect, know and love. Senku’s favorite expression is “Get Excited.”
My animated friend, I’m already there.
Dr. Stone can be streamed (subbed) through Crunchyroll. The 1st Season is available in Sub and Dub formats on Funimation. The Manga is available on Viz Media. We can be found on Twitter. Read our thoughts on all the new winter anime series, in addition to comments from our other writers, on our winter 2020 anime first impression master post.