Ohayou sekai, good morning world! I’ve returned from my slumber to break into the popular Dr. Stone spin-off series, Dr. STONE Reboot Byakuya! Let’s start off with some backstory: Dr. Stone captured my attention when it first debuted in the Summer 2019 Simulcast and has continued to amaze me. With the Dr. Stone: Stone Wars finally over, it’s a good time to look into humanity’s past to when the green flash of light first petrified the world into a solid state. So grab your lab coats and get ready because this spin-off series will ten billion percent capture your heart!
As a quick recap, one day a green flash of light covered the Earth and turned everyone into stone statues. Luckily, not all of humanity was caught in the flash. A small group of astronauts happened to be on a voyage in space and watched the event take place. Part of this small group is Senku’s father, Byakuya. Feeling helpless and worried about Senku’s safety, Byakuya devises a plan to eject a shuttle near Japan so they can investigate the flash and gather resources. Helping with these intense calculations and narrowing down the margin of error is a new character that sparks joy in my heart, Rei! Rei is a little robot built by Byakuya that can work while in space and becomes an anchor for team Byakuya’s return to Earth.
Once the gang is ready to leave the space station, Rei asks Byakuya a gut-punching question, “Will you come back to see me?” Barely stomaching the white lie, Byakuya answers with “Yea, I’ll be back.” With that promise wired into Rei’s mind as it watches its master fall back to Earth’s surface, Rei does what any robot waiting on its master’s return would do, wait. Easily my favorite part of this spin-off manga is seeing Rei take the spotlight and devise countless methods to rescue the deteriorating space station similar to how Senku would in the series. In a way, Rei acts like Byakuya’s child by way of its personality and how it reacts to the depleting resources, which is fascinating. The easy-to-read diagrams really illustrate all the research and thoughts that went into making this series as practical and accurate as they can, which you have to respect.
My one nitpick of the manga is Rei being stuck in space. As a huge Steven Universe fan, it gave me MAJOR flashbacks to Steven Universe: The Movie with the idea of waiting obediently for someone’s return. It's something that has become a popular plot point, and it’s impact can be diminished if overused. Luckily for writer/artist Boichi, this theme isn’t fossilized by overuse, so it still sparked a cord in me.
Overall, this spin-off series was exactly what the doctor ordered. It treated my curiosity about the astronauts’ actions after surviving the petrification while introducing a character that I REALLY hope to see more of in the anime and manga! I will tease that the final pages really leave you wanting certain characters to meet up, but we will have to see if that will happen in the main series. For now, I’m going to listen to Lillian’s hidden soundtrack on repeat.
Learn what happened when the world turned to stone in this special side story to Dr. Stone. As Senku and his friends are being turned to stone, his father Byakuya is on the International Space Station. This is the story of the crew as they try to survive as the only humans left unpetrified!Add to CartLearn More