Visions of a Brighter Future [OWLS Jan. ’20 Blog Tour]

Dr Stone is the perfect series for this prompt, no?

Hiya again. By now you probably know the drill, but if you’re new around here, I’m commonly known as “Aria” (pseudonym) and this is the Animanga Spellbook. This month’s OWLS topic is “visions”, so while we’re at it, here’s the vision for OWLS: we promote acceptance of individuals, regardless of gender, race, religion, sexual orientation or disability. As for the month’s prompt:

Happy New Year! Since it is a new year, it’s a new you! This month we will be talking about various pop culture mediums that focus on envisioning “the future.” What type of future do we want for ourselves, our communities, and the world? Also, we will be sharing our goals and plans for the new year. Once again, happy new year!

Now, last month’s post was weird in that it was a lot more cynical than I was hoping to be – the fact I couldn’t think of a way to make it any more positive than it was says something about my mindset at the time. So I’m hoping to start 2020 a bit more positive with one of the more positive portrayals of a post-apocalyptic future – Dr Stone.

The future’s so bright, we’re gonna need shades! (Image source: Dr Stone ep. 9)

Most of this positivity comes from Senku and his various science-minded associates. By manipulating the probability of certain events (such as knowing one method of making a sulfa drug is a lot more probable than the other, but requires more hard work), they end up assuring themselves that no matter what predicament they’re in, they can get out of it fine. This mentality ends up even extending to his father Byakuya, who in the spinoff manga entrusts his robot Rei with upkeep of the International Space Station while he sets up clues for Senku to find years later.

In contrast to this, Tsukasa’s society with no adults and a “survival of the fittest from the previous world” mindset is portrayed to be not so positive. Although “survival of the fittest” is a lot more in line with the ruthlessness of Mother Nature (and would therefore seem to better align to Senku’s ideals as a guy of science and logic at first), Senku is a guy of modern science, hard work and teamwork, where if anyone can be saved, they should be.

However, not everything in this series is as black and white as these two sides – Gen, in particular, is a wild card in the series because he’s able to change his allegiance with the drop of a hat (not that anyone in the Stone Age would have any hats). As a so-called “mentalist”, he becomes an advantage to both sides because he knows how people think, even if he is a bit of a weakpuss strength-wise…although Senku has him beat in lack of physical strength.

As for my own plans, I’ve already announced the first one for 2020 and it’s currently underway – the Fate/Stay Project, where I attempt to catch up to where I want to be with that franchise by posting about 4 episodes twice a week (meaning it ends in April, but no biggie). Of course, the Scheduler is my friend – I intend to stay 2 posts ahead for as long as possible…but we’ll see about that when the new seasonals come in. ID: Invaded is already part of my lineup and I have 2 continuing series so I only need 3 new seasonals, but that’s still hard work only I can do for myself.

Lately, I haven’t been much of a resolutions maker, because I either focus way too much on them (like I did in 2018 and managed to finish most of them in September of that year) or don’t focus on them at all (like this one sheet of goals I was given from someone else to work towards about 3 quarters into 2019, which I never kept track of). So this year I’m going to use the ol’ KISS principle (meaning “keep it simple, stupid”):

1) stay positive

2) keep out of trouble (including “don’t burn out”)

…and 3) pt 1) ask for help if you need it, pt 2) take your time if you can.

Dr Stone was my choice not just because it depicts a very different future to the common apocalypse portrayal and not just because it’s a rather recent series in terms of anime airing, but also because it admits despite the fact there’s a lot of problems we still can’t solve with modern science, there may come a day where technological advancements and/or some hard work will be able to solve them. We just need to keep things in perspective and stay as positive as we can despite the odds – if we seem to have no control over the situation, we have to make the situation work for us with what we can control instead.

Funny sidebar: The formatting wouldn’t let me put a block quote under the header picture, but I deliberately chose the font because its name is “Urban Jungle” and that’s exactly what the font depicts, too. Ironic but also extremely fitting, no?

More OWLS content can be found with Takuto and Naja on the 14th and the 18th, respectively.

So, what’s your take on Dr Stone’s view of the future? Would you be more of a Senku, Tsukasa or Gen in the new stone age portrayed in the series?

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