HomeComics/MangaMANGA REVIEW | "Dr. STONE" - Vols. 19 & 20

MANGA REVIEW | "Dr. STONE" - Vols. 19 & 20

MANGA REVIEW | "Dr. STONE" - Vols. 19 & 20

A good shonen manga knows how to build up anticipation for a big battle. Whether it’s a showcase of brawn or brains, how the fighters plan to duke it out can be demonstrated with great flare and plenty of smarts. Dr. STONE has done this many times over, be it with the Stone Wars or the Petrification Arc. In its nineteenth volume, both the smartest and the strongest face off in the battle between two Kingdoms of Sciences.

While Senku recovers from his bullet wound, it’s up to Chrome to come up with a satisfactory plan. One literally drills into his brain, with the rest of Japan’s science kingdom hanging on to every word & idea he has. Meanwhile, on the American side, Dr. Xeno sets to take on Japan with his own crew and scientific breakthrough. But with Gen’s ways with truth-bending, there may still be hope for Senku’s team to come out on top.

The most fun aspect of Dr. STONE is the way modern technology is reinvented. It starts with the tiny glimmering of the idea light bulb, only for it to steamroll into a crazy-yet-brilliant breakthrough. Chrome has his moment in the spotlight this time with his reinvention of the drill, with the crew from the past and present all in for the kind of plan they’re crafting to win the battle. Yet on the other side, the American Kingdom of Science is already stepping up their game for this big fight.

I’d be lying if I said the whole dogfighting scene wasn’t borderline ridiculous. Watching as Ryusei and Senku take to the sky for an epic plane battle would make even the longest-time fan of the series raise an eyebrow. But one can commend them for making it all the more entertaining, especially with the apparatus Senku uses to get the enemy plane to crash. (It’s even funnier seeing it bite Senku in the butt in a certain way.)

However, how the fight ends is where Dr. STONE shows its merits. Without spoiling anything, Senku comes up with an idea that benefits both the Japanese and American side. In its own special way, Senku reinvents the concept of diplomacy, bringing the smart man’s quest towards a world without war or conflict closer to reality. Sure it sounds a little far-fetched, but for a story about reawakening the entire world from a stone slumber, one needs to toss in a couple of ideal concepts that’d be wonderful to see come to fruition in the real world.

The nineteenth volume of Dr. STONE ends with a bit of hope for the future of the world. As Senku and the gang set off towards their next destination, one cannot guess what writer Riichiro Inagaki and artist BOICHI might be conjuring up next. However, with their next location being the source of the original petrification event, Dr. STONE may be sailing into their most dangerous territory yet!



It’s nearing his grasp.

As we’ve found out in the last volume of Dr. STONE, the location of the original petrification event has been realized. Now with two of the smartest people in the world on the same side, the quest to awaken the rest of the world could now very well be successful. But now comes the hard part: the exact location of the petri-beam. Fortunately, as we discover in Volume Twenty, there’s some fun to be had when seeking the solution.

Senku and Dr. Xeno appear to be now working for the common goal to reawaken humanity. The two — alongside Chrome — put their heads together to figure out where the petrification began, how long it took for the world to be trapped in stone, and the exact speed of the mechanism. To do this, Senku and Dr. Xeno…have some bubble fun. But a realization from Chrome gets the main two scientists’ gears turning, in ways that create more answers than questions.

Meanwhile, Stanley is hot on their trail, as poor Ginro is forced to be his hostage. The clock starts ticking down till the assassin gets close to Senku and the gang, which means they need a big plan to get away from the incoming aircraft carrier. But the discovery of Dr. Chelsea on their way gives Senku and Dr. Xeno an extra dose of luck towards their goal. It’s when they reach their destination when another reinvention starts to come to fruition, one requiring some rubber, engines, and, well, a little Steppenwolf.

This volume of Dr. STONE showcases two different kinds of thrills. First is the thrill of discovery, as Senku, Dr. Xeno, and Chrome attempt to figure out the petri-beam location. Reading as they whittle down the possibilities to an extra spot on the map showcases the true excitement of when writer Riichiro Inagaki goes into Big Brain Mode. The way the three smartest men in the series go through the scientific method to figure out the how’s and where’s of the petrification event is not just delightful, but also truly insightful.

Artist BOICHI then takes to task the other sort of thrill this volume presents: the thrill of a chase. Throughout the volume, Stanley is hot on Senku & the gang’s trail, with him almost getting close to taking everyone out. But as soon as the chase hits land, it evolves into an insanely action-packed race towards the truth. It’s hard not seeing what happens here, and thinking BOICHI got the idea from Mad Max: Fury Road, but the end result nevertheless delights on every page.

With new friends, new inventions, and old habits in full swing, Volume Twenty of Dr. STONE delivers pure excitement both for the brain and the heart. It takes a great writer and artist to bring something both intelligent and badass in one package, and both Inagaki and BOICHI continue to deliver! Now with the location close at hand, the time to reawaken the world in Dr. STONE ticks towards inevitability. But first, Senku’s got one more crazy plan up his sleeve…


Promotional consideration provided by Chantelle Sturt of VIZ Media

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The J-POP king of America, Evan has been bringing the hottest sounds of the Land of the Rising Sun to the English-speaking public since his college radio days. He's also an expert in the gaming, anime, & manga realms, never afraid to get critical when the times call for it. Born & bred in Boston, he achieved his biggest dream yet by making the big move to Tokyo, Japan in Summer 2023! For personal inquiries, contact Evan at evan@b3crew.com. For press/band inquiries, write to us at thebastards@bostonbastardbrigade.com. (Drawing by AFLM of Wicked Anime)