In terms of popularity, the manga series Dr. Stone was propelled into the stratosphere quite early on, as Weekly Shonen Jump seems to be more popular than its been in ages. Though the series only began in early 2017, it has already managed to earn an anime adaptation, making anime lovers everywhere into new fans of this world that’s simultaneously set in the far future and the Stone Age.
A major reason for this series’ popularity is the lead character, Senku Ishigami. A teenaged genius whose goal is to help restore the world to the way it was 3700 years ago. Here are ten facts you didn’t know about Dr. Stone’s self-assured protagonist. Warning: there are some spoilers for the first couple of episodes.
10 HAS DIED ONCE
In the early days of Dr. Stone, Senku and Taiju were unable to rely on anyone other than each other. But when their backs were against the wall, they were forced to awaken a new person: Tsukasa Shishio, a powerful martial artist. Tsukasa turned out to be someone who despised the former world and thus conflicted with Senku’s desire to restore it.
Eventually realizing Senku would not back down from further advancing science, Tsukasa killed Senku with a quick blow from his stone spear. Fortunately for Senku, part of his neck was still petrified, and the anti-petrification liquid healed the bone and revived him.
9 HIS VOICE ACTOR ALSO WORKS ON FIRE FORCE
Being a voice actor with a long career often means voicing numerous well-known characters. But it’s always funny to see someone voice a character from the “competition.” Senku’s Japanese voice actor Yusuke Kobayashi voices Arthur Boyle, the lead character’s rival on Fire Force.
Fire Force is not only another shonen series from a different animation studio, but their manga source material comes from two different shonen magazines: Fire Force is from Weekly Shonen Magazine while Dr. Stone is from the classic Weekly Shonen Jump. Senku’s English voice actor, Aaron Dismuke, is also known for voicing Alphonse Elric from the original Fullmetal Alchemist.
8 REMAINED AWAKE THE ENTIRE TIME HE WAS IN STONE
Several characters have been brought out of their stone forms at this point in the series, and most of them literally have no clue what happened. For the majority, it seems they were sleeping, but Senku was different.
Throughout those nearly 4000 years, Senku managed to remain conscious. Whether it was impossible or not, Senku counted the seconds of every day, keeping time for 3700 years to make sure that when he woke up he’d know exactly what had changed around him.
7 HAS SEEMINGLY UNLIMITED KNOWLEDGE OF SCIENCE
This seems obvious, but it’s worth going into depth on just how ridiculous Senku is. Most people are generally experts in a particular field, maybe two. But Senku seems to be an expert in “science” as a whole. Mark that down as writer Riichiro Inagaki wanting to make things more fantastical, but Senku isn’t merely a walking textbook, he’s a walking computer.
Spending a decade devoting his life to science makes him aware of everything, from the most advanced technology of his era to the workings of the stone age, iron age, and even steam revolution technology. Chemistry, math, engineering, and geology - Senku has shown mastery over all of these fields and more.
6 HIS NAME MEANS STONE GOD
In fiction, names of lead characters can often have some sort of meaning that leans into the concept of the story. Dr. Stone’s Senku Ishigami is no exception. His last name, Ishigami, is written in kanji and means Stone (Ishi) and God (Kami).
A fitting name for his character, as in this world where all of society is petrified and no one else seems to have any scientific skill, he’s the only one with the hope of rebuilding society quickly rather than having to wait potentially millions of years.
5 SENKU IS A VIDEO GAME FAN
Unsurprisingly, for a kid Senku’s age and chosen proclivities, he’s a video game fan. He makes pretty frequent references to video games from a number of different eras. In episode 7, Senku points out that some of Chrome’s collection of rocks and minerals were found in Dragon Quest, and that Chrome seems like the type of person who would’ve hoarded materials if he’d ever played Monster Hunter.
Unfortunately for Senku, they’re quite a long way from being able to create another video game.
4 DISCOVERED THE CURE FOR PETRIFACTION
Senku becoming un-petrified was more luck than anything else. However, he was smart enough to have some theories about how it might have happened. While it took several months, Senku managed to replicate the process and revive Taiju.
Afterward, the two experimented constantly until Senku figured out the exact mixture necessary to revive humans. With this information, he should be capable of bringing back everyone in Japan if he wished...though most of the time he’s busy dealing with the problems of what’s left of humanity and fending off Tsukasa’s Empire of Might.
3 IS ALLERGIC TO LACQUER
Every hero must have some kind of weakness. Superman has kryptonite, Edward Elric has short jokes, and Senku has...lacquer? Yes, that’s hilariously correct. The same material used to offer your wooden floors their protective finish is something Senku can’t actually be near.
During an episode where they were working to create a magnet, Senku was forced to get close to some, causing his face to swell up. Though they used it to make a joke about Anpanman, Senku would reveal the actual problem is his allergies. There are worse problems to have in a stone world.
2 WANTED TO GO INTO SPACE
Senku’s initial reasoning for getting into science was a desire to travel into outer space. He admitted this to a teacher when he was young, and claimed he would be going “immediately” rather than wait until he grew up.
As a result, he spent the next several years studying how to build a rocket that could manage to make it into space. Though he began as a child, by the time he hit his teens, Senku created a prototype rocket that exploded at a high altitude...but still got doll versions of him, Taiju, and Yuzuriha into space. He’ll have to spend a lot of time to reach this goal again though.
1 IS HORRIBLE WITH WOMEN
Thus far, Senku’s been surprisingly decent about interacting with other people. Generally, smart characters have a habit of being condescending, but Senku never looks down on anyone. Never underestimating anyone makes him even more dangerous, but the trade-off is he’s absolutely terrible with women.
When Kohaku mentions liking him, he becomes concerned she has feelings for him and is relieved when she doesn’t. To him, romantic relationships tend to overcomplicate things and make little logical sense.