I will admit that I was getting a little worried about Dr. STONE after its thirteenth volume. While it was good, it lacked the smarts that has made Riichiro Inagaki and BOICHI’s work the unique series in the Shonen Jump realm. Fortunately, things get right back on track with Volume Fourteen, as Senku and the Kingdom of Science have some rescuing to do.
Senku is inching closer to creating infinite revival fluid, but the hard work continues. With the majority of his crew still petrified, it’s up to the smartest man in the world to bring them back before they can strike against the Petrification Kingdom. Meanwhile, the jig is up for Kohaku, as her cover is blown. What’s worst: Ginro, still disguised as a lady, is put into a promiscuous situation. Fortunately, he’s able to find a key fact about the mysterious ruler.
The excitement of discovery takes center stage, as Senku brings back his re-invention of oxygen tanks. But it’s how he plans to bring drones into the Stone World where the genius of Senku’s mind goes into full gear. However, it’s Gen’s way of convincing a Petrification Kingdom head to switch sides where the true brains of Dr. STONE comes into focus. Not only does its end result deliver a nice twist, but the way it all fits into Senku’s plan is also quite rewarding!
Two things about this volume of Dr. STONE shine even brighter than its smarts. For starters, the visual humor is appealing to both the eyes and the funny bone. A great moment involves Kohaku attempting to prove that she’s not a spy, resulting in her delivering a sort of action that would make anyone from the Kingdom of Science faint from its brutality. Though it comes at the end, Yo’s reaction to Senku’s latest invention brings to mind a certain trigger-happy cop from Tensai Bakabon.
One of the other shining beacons of this volume is its action. BOICHI’s way of showcasing Kohaku’s warrior skills is a beaut to behold! How he draws her kicking loads of ass while trying to protect Ginro is some of the most gorgeous action artwork anyone can find in a manga. Though he doesn’t reach the realistic levels that someone like Oh!Great (Bakemonogatari, Air Gear) has, BOICHI’s attention to detail in these moments can be very breathtaking.
Volume Fourteen of Dr. STONE brings back the excitement of science and discovery, something that the previous volume was lacking. At the same time, BOICHI’s art in the realm of action has hit a new peak of greatness. With new allies in the corner — as well as the prize close to their eyes — the Petrification Kingdom arc of Dr. STONE is aiming to end on an explosive note!
Promotional consideration provided by Gabrielle Dyer of VIZ Media