Illustrated by Boichi
One day, all of humanity, and some animals, turn to stone, right as Taiju was confessing his love for Yuzuriha. Time ticked on, and now it’s thousands of years into the future. Senku has been awake for six months, after counting all the seconds while conscious in his stone body. Taiju wakes after holding on to his love for Yuzuriha while he was stone. The two work on a formula for breaking down the stone of others when they are beset by a pack of lions. They use their liquid to de-stone Tsukasa, the strongest and most primitive of their high school class. Tsukasa wins against the lions but has some funny notions about restarting the world with only pure souls and no adults. He smashes several stone people, effectively murdering them. Senku and Taiju decide they need to create a weapon to stop the super-strong Tsukasa.
As a library person, I appreciate that the mangaka's sources are cited in the front of the book. There are lots of science references throughout as Senku explains his process, but the science isn't so over-the-top or in-your-face as to be annoying -- it's simply part of the story. Taiju acts as the audience surrogate by asking all the questions and giving Senku a chance to explain what he's working on. The only bothersome thing is the “big oaf” nickname Senku calls Taiju all the time, which is probably something lost in translation. This story is very fast pace and intriguing. Boichi's art style has a lot of think black lines, which is more reminiscent of comic art than manga. Nevertheless, the art style is beautiful, and action sequences are very clear and wonderful. The change in illustrated faces from normal to freak out is comical and very enjoyable.
VIZ's rating is Teen, and this is appropriate. When the people come out of their stone form, their clothing has not survived, but Boichi uses very clever ways to make sure bits are covered - through scenery, vegetation, even the occasional limb (like someone's leg when they're running). There is some violence, but so far, there isn't any gore at all. Tsukara's battle with the lions did not yield any blood.
Sara's Rating: 10/10
Suitability Level: Grades 7-12
Tags: Rating: 10/10, Suitability: Middle School, Suitability: High School, Manga, Science
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