REVIEW: ‘Dr. STONE,’ Volume 21

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Dr. STONE Volume 21 - But Why Tho

A sci-fi shonen manga following the revival, and survival, of humanity thousands of years after everyone was turned to stone, Dr. STONE Volume 21 contains chapters 179-187, written by Riichiro Inagaki, with art by Boichi. English translation is done by Caleb Cook, with touch-up art and lettering by Stephen Dutro. Dr. STONE is published by VIZ Media and was serialized in Shonen Jump

The clash between the Kingdom of Science and Stanley’s team is rapidly approaching. And the Kingdom of Science is hard at work fixing the broken Medusa devices despite their team being split by an entire continent. They believe fixing the devices is the key to not only understanding how humanity was petrified thousands of years ago but to winning the upcoming fight against Stanley and his soldiers. 

Before I discuss everything Dr. STONE Volume 21 did right, I do have one minor issue with this volume, and that’s the lettering. In places, bolded letters run together, making it hard to read the text. I believe this may be a printing error because I noticed this in the physical volume I read but not in the digital chapters on the Shonen Jump app. 

With that out of the way, Dr. STONE Volume 21 is a perfect example of what the series is. The Kingdom of Science has been running from Stanley and his crew for a fair amount of chapters now. But what helps keep Dr. STONE Volume 21 interesting is the way Inagaki balances continued scientific innovation with the forward momentum of the narrative and character development.

All of the inventions Senku, and the Kingdom as a whole create, build upon each other, as do their relationships. This volume also maintains the balance of explaining the science behind their inventions and moving the story forward. The relationships between the characters continue to be essential to the plot and to make readers care about them, and in the case of Senku and his allies, root for them. They, the Kingdom of Science, want to save everyone—including their current enemies. This is exemplified in Dr. STONE Volume 21 when Suika heals one of Stanley’s soldiers. Despite this blowing her and Francois’ cover, she can’t let someone suffer and die. 

Boichi’s artwork complements Inagaki’s masterful writing. Despite most of this volume being largely set up with no fighting until the end, there’s still a lot of action. This is accomplished by the way Boichi illustrates seemingly mundane activities like crafting.  The crafting process is a production. Characters make full-body movements. They make very distinct facial expressions. They aren’t just creating something useful, they’re putting on a show for the reader. And Senku presents his ideas and inventions with the dramatic flair such a show deserves.

Even if you’ve read the chapters as they were released, I highly recommend picking up this volume. It’s a fantastic story that feels even better when the chapters can be read one after the other without waiting a week between. Dr. STONE Volume 21 teases the final conflict between Stanley and the Kingdom of Science, leaving readers satisfied and wanting more.

Dr. STONE Volume 21 is available now wherever books are sold.


Dr. STONE Volume 21
5

TL;DR

Even if you’ve read the chapters as they were released, I highly recommend picking up this volume. It’s a fantastic story that feels even better when the chapters can be read one after the other without waiting a week between. Dr. STONE Volume 21 teases the final conflict between Stanley and the Kingdom of Science, leaving readers satisfied and wanting more.

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