ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘Dr. STONE,’ Volume 12

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Dr. Stone

 Imagine being frozen in stone for 4000 years and wake up to find that every last human on earth was also turned to stone.  Now it’s up to you to rebuild and bring back civilization from scratch. This precisely the case for Senku and his friends in Dr. STONE. The Shonen Jump series published in English by VIZ Media, Dr. STONE  is an action-adventure science fiction manga written by Riichiro Inagaki and illustrated by Boichi.

On a day that seemed like any other, all of humanity was suddenly petrified into solid stone. Millennia later, a genius teenager Senku and his best friend Taiju free themselves from their prettification and discover that they are surrounded by statues. Now awaken from their 4000 years of stone slumber they appear to be the only living humans on the planet. While their situation looks grim Senku is determined to restart civilization with the power of science.

Dr. STONE Volume 12 includes chapters 98 through 106. The Kingdom of Science ventures into uncharted waters. Motivated to find out the meaning behind the cryptic message they intercepted, Senku, and a select few prepare for a long overseas voyage. What they find on the first stop on their journey might provide a clue to the mysterious petrification that ended civilization 4000 years ago.

Inagaki and Boichi, make an awesome storytelling duo. The art compliments the story in a perfectly balanced way. Boichi art style provides a beautiful background and character illustrations. While Inagaki’s writing helps breathe life and personality into the character. For example, I especially like how the characters come off looking like carbon copies of one another. Each one is drawn and written in individualistic ways that contribute to this manga’s storytelling.

I also found Dr. STONE’s premise to be very interesting. The story of trying to bring back civilization to its former glory through the power of science grabbed my attention. A big part of that is, in my opinion, is due to the main character, Senku. Senku has an inspirational view of science, he believes in it as if it were a religion. No matter how dire situations may seem or challenges he and his friends he puts his faith in science to find a solution. That’s what makes the story so entertaining and interesting.

Throughout this volume, you wonder how Senku and his friends will accomplish daunting tasks without modern-day technology. For example, in this volume, Senku and his friends are building a boat that can withstand a journey from Japan to South America in order to investigate the source that caused humanity to turn into stone. Keep in mind they didn’t have the tools or equipment to build a ship that size like they would have with modern technology 4000 years ago. However, through science and teamwork, they manage to complete their task, built the ship in one year, and set out for their journey.

I also found the over-arching mystery of the Petrification something I enjoyed most of all about this volume. Petrification is referred to as both the event and the process of turning living things into stone. It is the catalyst of the events of the Dr. STONE and is the key conflict if the series. I liked that this volume put more focus on discovering the root cause of the Petrification. That’s not to say this mystery hasn’t had attention in previous volumes. However, it is a mystery that continually hangs over Senku and his friends’ heads like an impending threat throughout the series.

If they can’t figure out what or who caused the Petrification who’s to say that it won’t happen again. If it did happen again it could not only negate all of their progress but wipe them out for good this time. You can’t help but feel curious and excited to know who or what was the cause of turning all of the humans to stone. Now in Dr. STONE Volume 12 we finally get a step closer to knowing the truth behind the biggest mystery of the series.

We’re especially close now that Senku and his friends are being introduced to a new island with other people that are possible descendants of other modern humans that survived the petrification. Or are they descendants of the people that caused the petrification 4000 years ago? Either way, I’m eager to see what other clues and truths will be revealed in the next volume.

Overall, Dr. STONE Volume 12 is a great read and I highly recommend picking it up. If you are a fan of action-adventure or science fiction then this is a manga series worth checking out. This is a manga that just keeps getting better and better as it continues. The author and illustrator, Inagaki and Boichi, make a terrific storytelling duo whose work complements one another perfectly. Lastly, Volume 12 has some great payoff for longtime fans that are eager to learn more about the overarching mystery of the series. 


Dr. STONE Volume 12
4.5

TL;DR

Overall, Dr. STONE Volume 12 is a great read and I highly recommend picking it up. If you are a fan of action-adventure or science fiction then this is a manga series worth checking out. This is a manga that just keeps getting better and better as it continues. The author and illustrator, Inagaki and Boichi, make a terrific storytelling duo whose work complements one another perfectly. Lastly, Volume 12 has some great payoff for longtime fans that are eager to learn more about the overarching mystery of the series.