Dr Stone, Vol. 2

Dr. Stone Volume 2 by Riichiro Inagaki and Boichi

The second volume of Dr. Stone featured fewer scenes of crazy science action, but it did spend a more time on world building and setting up the conflict between the friends Senku and Taiju and newly revived but reactionary classmate Tsukasa. Senku is determined to push technology forward by manufacturing gunpowder, in order to give his group an advantage. The gunpowder sets off a plume of smoke which is answered by another smoke signal, indicating that the teenagers might not be alone in their post-apocalyptic world where everyone has been turned into stone.

Dr Stone 2

There was a flashback chapter showing Senku, Taiju, and Yuzuriha when they were young and pursuing Senku’s childhood dreams of rocketry. It was nice to see a glimpse of this mini friend group as little kids, and it played in well to how they work together to survive a hostile environment. Taiju and Yuzuriha have to figure out how to rescue their mad scientist friend, and we also get a glimpse of what Senku went through on his own, when he was the only human to wake up. There’s still plenty of dynamic science action in Boichi’s art, and while the second volume was a little less entertaining for me than the first simply because I was no longer as diverted by the initial premise of the manga, I’m curious to see how the conflict between Senku and Tsukasa is going to play out over the long term.

Female characters who exist mainly to be decorative and supportive is one of my shonen pet peeves, and at the end of this volume Dr. Stone seems to be heading in that direction. I’m not sure if all the genuinely enjoyable yelling about paleolithic science will be enough to offset those sort of plot developments, but I’ve liked the series so far.

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