Dr. Stone has earned a name for itself for its educational premise and passionate attitude towards science.
How often do we get an anime that sheds its absurdity to help us gain accurate knowledge about a real discipline? And as the fate for any science fiction goes, debates on Dr. Stone’s scientific accuracy sprouted all over the internet.
We’re here to establish whether Dr. Stone is selling us a scientifically accurate story.
Regardless, if Dr. Stone had released during my school days, I’d be more than enthused about learning science through anime. Nothing beats the ultimate combination of passion and education!
Dr. Stone is scientifically accurate in principle however, in practice, it does not always uphold the science in real world applications.
If it were 100% scientifically accurate, that itself would serve as a huge hindrance to the plot’s progression. However, it is as accurate as a fictional premise allows.
Is Dr. Stone Scientifically Accurate?
Dr. Stone revitalizes the power of any science nerd with its central theme of saving the world through science.
Not only is it fascinating to watch Senku Ishigami’s fantastical determination and ardent belief in science but it’s also a joyride for anyone who is unaware of the scientific discoveries that revolutionized our real world.
But I, like many wondered, as a flagbearer of science, does Dr. Stone fail to live up to its own theme?
Is it scientifically accurate or does it fall under the abyss of plot armors, contradictions and exaggerations like many of its counterparts?
I think it’s best to say that Dr. Stone is scientifically accurate in principle however, it is not always accurate in practice.
In principle, Dr. Stone is exemplary in educating its audience about the inventions that now have become part of our daily lives.
The writer, Riichiro Inagaki, has proven that the science that the story embellishes is one that is well thought out and is not incomprehensible knowledge.
Much of Dr. Stone’s handle on science wishes to educate people and motivate them to understand the beauty and strength of science – through which we built our world.
Our unconventional protagonist, Senku, serves as the mouthpiece for this thought.
Several of Senku’s inventions such as soap (lime), light bulbs, electrical wires, food seasoning are all essentials that he builds from scratch all the while reimagining these inventions by their original creators.
Senku is shown to even credit the original creators. Several of his inventions even come with a disclaimer – such as the gunpowder.
This evidently shows that the aim of the writer is to provide accurate information regarding the inventions and inculcate an appreciation within the audience for human ingenuity.
Apparently, Riichiro Inagaki also has a scientist consultant Kurare to help provide greater understanding to the inventions he’s addressing in the story.
Mhmm…Just how accurate is it?
As I mentioned earlier, Dr. Stone is accurate in principle. It does a great job in educating people about the underlying rules of nature and the physical objects that we use without a second thought.
Its fresh perspective on science is also very honest and does not gloss over the disheartening incidents of failure that comes with science.
The trial and error process of science is what brings the inventors closer to their inventions.
While Senku does have the advantage of episteme on his side, he does go through his own set of trials and tribulations in replicating these inventions in the stone age era.
Dr. Stone is the kind of show you can introduce to a child in hopes to igniting their passion for science without misleading them on the major principles of science.
The major aim of the story is that itself – to ignite the passion for science in everyone.
This is exactly why Senku’s explanations do not resemble the drone of your science teacher’s lectures (if your science teacher was great, then my apologies) but of an enthusiastic learner that harbours great respect for it.
He approaches you like a friend and introduces you to science like someone would introduce you to a Pokemon card game.
The anime also nails the intricate connections between the inventions and the ‘accidental’ inventions that have helped progress society.
How is one to make vacuum tubes for their circuits without inventing glass?
Additionally, glass isn’t just useful for vacuum tubes but is crucial in the creation of lenses as well. The web of inventions is portrayed well in the anime.
What are the inaccuracies then?
Where it fails to sell you on its accuracy, is the science behind certain inventions such as the nitric acid fluid (the Stone formula), the creation of transistors, and even the use of lime to create saltpeter.
It also glosses over the availability of resources and the actual time taken to create these inventions for reasons of plot progression, of course.
Many use the fact that they have a scientist consultant on the team to shift the scrutiny from these aspects however, to err is human.
Even Nolan’s films such as Interstellar who had their own set of consultants was subject to scrutiny in terms of the astrophysics it was selling.
While the actual science or methods behind the inventions are usually accurately described, the crafting process is definitely exaggerated and simplified in the story.
The Stone formula for de-petrification is obviously simplified and is specific to the story’s conditions.
However, the creation of transistors is way too complex for the resources available during the stone age despite Senku’s knowledge.
The reason why inventions are more frequent during the Industrial Age is due to the abundant resources available during that time.
It is difficult to grasp the fact that chemical materials were that easily available in the Stone Age if you take geographical factors into account.
Several inventions in the manga such as the automobile and the hot air balloon do not take such less time and require a lot of manpower.
However, Riichiro Inagaki was wise in his judgement to fast track the process and provide Senku easy availability because watching them trying to procure resources and waiting for one invention to be created over several chapters or episodes would be more tedious than entertaining.
He fast tracks these processes quite cleverly through the character of Kaseki who is the artisan of Ishigami Village. He is introduced as the genius craftsman who takes little time and effort to pick up complex techniques.
No matter how much fun it is to get into the nitty-gritty details of science in any science fiction, I believe, that Dr. Stone does an excellent job of motivating people to engage in science.
It has people debating over its accuracy, researching over the history of inventions and even attempting the simple experiments. It fulfils its aim and that is its badge of honour.
How Smart Is Senku?
Senku carries the weight of all the scientific knowledge doled out in the story.
His genius intelligence in the field of physics, engineering, biology, geology and mathematics has people drawn towards STEM fields.
His intelligence is not limited to the immense knowledge he stores but also in his ability to apply it in difficult situations (such as creating a civilization in the Stone Age, ha!).
Senku Ishigami’s IQ can be estimated to be over 200, which makes him a supergenius and scientific prodigy.
Interestingly, Senku’s intelligence is another example of the unrealistic aspects in the story because it isn’t possible to hold such vast amount of knowledge to the detail because of memory limitations. But then what is anime without some crazy exaggeration?
Is Dr. Stone Realistic?
Dr. Stone is a balance of realistic and unrealistic aspects. It strives to be as accurate as possible in science theory but it also employs unrealistic aspects in terms of the practice and the premise to propel its story forward.
I’d say that Dr. Stone is one of the most scientifically accurate anime out there and can be compared to real world television in terms of the accuracy it portrays.
About Dr. Stone
Dr. Stone is a Japanese manga series written by Riichiro Inagaki and illustrated by Boichi.
It serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump since 6th March 2017, with the individual chapters collected and published by Shueisha into thirteen tankōbon volumes as of November 2019.
Every human on the planet was turned into Stone after a mysterious flash of light hit Earth. Four thousand years after Senku, a student is confronted with a brand new world, an Earth without Humanity.
Now animals rule the world, and nature has reclaimed the planet. Senku and his friend Taiju begin trying to find a way to restore humanity.