Title: Dr. Stone reboot: Byakuya
Release Date: March 2, 2021
Publisher: VIZ Media
To enjoy Dr. Stone reboot: Byakuya, I don’t think you need any prior knowledge of the series. Instead, I believe it is for any who have a general interest in space and science. Further than that, author Boichi really takes a chance by having a single robot carry the second half of the volume. This release is a creative and daring manga that pushes engineering and realistic imagination to the corners of the universe.
Dr. Stone reboot: Byakuya begins with Byakuya Ishigami introducing his robot creation Rei to his adopted son Senku Ishigami. Fans have become used to flashback style panels of the two characters interacting, but this takes place in the present time during this spin-off. After space training, Byakuya makes his way to space with a crew of astronauts. While they are in orbit, the petrification event occurs, and they must plan out their next steps.
The first half of the manga is dedicated to the crew pretty much rolling with the punches. Whatever could go wrong goes wrong, but they still push forward. This gives us an idea of the kind of man that Byakuya is when he’s not being projected to us through a flashback. He’s witty and caring and carries some of the best moments of character interaction during these conversations.
Byakuya makes it clear how much he respects his son and knows that somehow he’ll make it out alive. However, he still plots a trip back to Earth. These moments of scientific jargon and fed the reader with clear delivery so that even those who don’t have a firm grasp of these themes could understand. When all was said and done, I felt a little smarter.
The second half of the manga is all about Rei’s adventure in space. This had me a little scared, given that this is one non-human character carrying the last few chapters. However, not an ounce of charm and imagination is lost in these chapters. Instead, they are probably the best thing that happened to this spin-off. I didn’t feel emotionally attached to any of the crew members besides Byakuya, which had me wishing that the crew size was downscaled to Three.
Rei is full of imagination when it comes to keeping up with the ship’s operations. These creative scenes show an impulsive robot acting as her creator would act, and it creates some wonderful moments of storytelling. Although it’s akin to a Magic the Schoolbus episode’s believability, the things Rei accomplishes could technically be done, I think.
The illustrations depict all the scenes brilliantly. There’s even a beautiful moment shared between the crew before their mission back home where a song takes place. The spotlight on Rei is also well documented in the panels, as the humor plays with your emotions as you witness what the robot has to deal with.
Dr. Stone reboot: Byakuya is an amazing spin-off and a most own for any fan of the Dr. Stone series. It may not be technically canon, but it really gives fans a sense of what some people had to go through to ensure the survival of the human race. It’s a manga full of emotion and moments of humor that makes it an easy read, even with the scientific jargon on every page.
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