Dr. Stone is unlike any other anime. The 2019 anime series debuted with some new subject matter and many more brains.
The anime centers on Senku, a high school prodigy who dedicates himself to re-establishing human civilization following a strange catastrophe that turns all humans into stone for hundreds of years.
When he regains consciousness, he discovers that the few remaining people have been reduced to a Stone Age existence.
This is when Dr. Stone’s intelligence comes in handy. Senku, being a genius, possesses the scientific knowledge necessary to catapult the vestiges of humanity from Stone Age technology to industrial-age machinery in an unusually short period.
However, it is still an anime, and one cannot be faulted for doubting Senku’s science. Fortunately, a renowned scientific expert agreed to sit down and discuss Dr. Stone’s scientific approach.
Is Dr. Stone’s science accurate?
Kari Byron, a former MythBusters star, recently sat down with Crunchyroll Extras to discuss the feasibility of Dr. Stone’s scientific endeavors. As it turns out, the program is quite realistic, except for occasional hyperbole for comedy and storyline.
All of Senku’s creations, from his handmade gunpowder formula to his Stone Age cotton candy, are based on sound theory. It is also, for the most part, accomplished accurately.
“It’s similar to the anime MythBusters,” Byron explained. “I believe that Senku would be the greatest MythBuster since he embodies the best qualities of everyone on my team.”
For example, on one of their travels, Senku and his companions come across some honeycomb. They utilize this to generate wax molds for metal casting. By the time their experiments are complete, the gang has created a perfectly functional steam engine.
Though it would be a significant burden given their outmoded equipment, Byron believes they could carry off such a prank in the real world. The show, however, is not entirely factual.
The things Dr. Stone gets wrong
It is not that Dr. Stone consistently gets things wrong. Even at its most implausible, there is a sound scientific foundation. The show exaggerates some details for the sake of humor or plot advancement.
When Senku and others are working with electricity, these exaggerations often occur. For example, the program dabbles in probability when the crew develops a lightning rod that quickly attracts a bolt of lightning to its precise location.
“Lightning does not always strike precisely where you intend,” Byron explained. “Particularly in nature. However, as you know, this is a case of creative license. I’m going to let it go.”
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Additionally, the program exaggerates the amount of energy stored in one of Senku’s DIY batteries.
When a character unintentionally touches one of the batteries, he receives a powerful jolt to propel him into the air. While the battery’s architecture is right, Byron is convinced that it could not possibly contain enough charge to have that impact on a human.
Byron’s assessment of Dr. Stone’s science was quite accurate. “I believe that all of these things are more appealing on paper than reality.” Thus, while the theory underlying Dr. Stone’s science is valid, it may not produce the same findings if replicated in the actual world.