The first season of Dr. Stone was one of my favorites the year it came out. It's one of those times I found myself agreeing with the larger audience of anime fans, it seemed pretty universal that Dr. Stone was a great show. That said it will be a bit of a short review. What I'm going to start doing with 'Season 2 of X anime' reviews is briefly discuss how worth it is going to be to continue the show past the first season. Furthermore, there will be no review of the next season whenever it comes out, if you are hooked by the time season two ends you're not going to need me telling you if it's worth watching or not. If you are interested in my original review of Season one of this show, here you go:
If you've not seen the first season, there will be some minor spoilers for it here.
That said, the first season ended just before the start of The Stone War. The newfound Kingdom of Science is getting ready to go head to head with the Kingdom of Might. Senku and friends are trying to overcome the odds and advance their technical capabilities to allow them to deal with a group of enemies that physically outclass them as well as surpassing them in terms of numbers.
The show sells Senku's strengths and weaknesses. If there is one obvious thing, Senku is not a con man. There are things that he simply isn't able to efficiently do or devious plans he isn't able to concoct on his own despite his great intelligence. Gen does wonders at helping to fill the holes in Senku's abilities with his unique set of skills, being a silver-tongued con man. This continues to be one of the show's biggest strengths, despite his overwhelming intellect and position as the main character, Senku is far from feeling like he is a one-man show. It's clear without the specialties of those around him Senku would be out of his depth to deal with Tsukasa and his Kingdom of Might.
While there is a big focus on the wonders of science, there is a theme to this show I think is even stronger. That theme is looking at the goodness inside of people. The show delves more into why Tsukasa acts the way he does, but even he is acting to try to create a better world for the future in his way. It may be framed on the surface as 'Science vs. Might', but I think the actual point is 'Idealism vs. Pragmatism'. And, despite the more clique way going about the story, the scientist in this story isn't the one fighting for pragmatism.
There are times I find myself cringing a little bit, like the bizarre moment with the 'Sound cannon' after one of their shots for it break and they find an alternative method of using it, but moments like that are fairly far between. The logic the show uses still holds an internal consistency I appreciate.
Things seeming to happen purely by coincidence still seems to be a thing though, and one that happens a bit more than I would like. Fairly minor spoiler, but they try to convince a few people from The Empire of Might to defect, and just so happen to get the worst possible person to try to convince the very first time. It's not that something like this happening is really a bad thing, it's that something like this seems to happen every time they try to do something. The show seems to have an overreliance on Senku just having the absolute worst luck possible. It's not a huge flaw, but it's hard not to see once you take notice.
Beyond that, it's just a great show. The few action scenes are great, the characters are as fantastic as ever, and the show is incredibly clever. Stone Wars has a real shot at being one of the best anime of the year, it's one that I am almost going to guarantee will make my top five, and is more than a worthy follow-up to the first season.