Dr. STONE manga ending in March 2022: Final story arc finished with Chapter 232

Dr. STONE Final Arc
Let’s just hope the Dr. STONE manga’s ending exceeds our expectations and shoots for the moon! Pic credit: TMS Entertainment

The Dr. STONE manga’s ending is here! The final chapter, Dr. STONE Chapter 232, was released in Weekly Shonen Jump Issue 14, 2022 on March 7, 2022, which is five years after the series first began.

While the main story is over the manga series isn’t quite over yet. The final page declared, “Thanks for the support over the past five years! However, Dr. Stone isn’t over quite yet?! Check the next page for more details!”

It turns out that the Dr. STONE manga’s ending will be celebrated with a special chapter about the Dr. STONE: Ryusui TV Anime Special that will release right before the anime airs in Summer 2022.

Dr. STONE 232
Referring back to the final page of Chapter 1, the final page of Dr. STONE 232 has Senku exclaiming, “This is exhilarating!” Pic credit: Boichi and Riichirou Inagaki

By February 21, 2022, it became obvious that the final chapter would be released in just several chapters. Weekly Shonen Jump Issue 12, 2022 announced that the Dr. STONE manga’s climax would be released in two chapters on March 7, 2022. (Reportedly, the latest info on the Dr. STONE Season 3 anime TV series will be announced by that issue.)

In Japanese narratives, there is a four-act structure known as Kishōtenketsu.

  • Ki : Introduction
  • Shō : Development
  • Ten : Twist (complication)
  • Ketsu : Conclusion (reconciliation)

During the Twist phase, the story turns toward an unexpected development, and it contains the yama, or climax, of the story.

Previously, Weekly Shonen Jump Issue 43, 2021 had announced Dr. STONE’s final arc just as Senku and friends began completing their globetrotting journey. At the time, the magazine also announced that there will be a brief Dr. STONE hiatus so creators Boichi and Riichirou Inagaki could research. They also took a break for the 44th issue and then returned with Dr. STONE Chapter 213 for the 45th issue on October 11, 2021.

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By September 2021, the development phase seemed to have come to fruition since Senku has reached many of his science goals, plus there was a major plot twist in the recent story arcs.

In the first week of February 2022, the full nature, identity, and motivation of the main villain Why-Man were finally revealed in Dr. Stone Chapter 228. Without getting into spoilers, this main antagonist will debut in the anime in Dr. STONE Season 3 when the villain is first named.

TVアニメ「Dr.STONE」続編決定スペシャルPV

Without spoiling those who are only watching the anime, Senku is setting his sights much, much higher than simply traveling the world. The Kingdom of Science has been traveling the globe in order to complete a secret mission and it’ll take a lot of time, and many more chapters, to reach Senku’s ultimate goal.

  • Updated March 8, 2022: Dr. STONE special chapter confirmed to be releated to the Ryusui TV Anime Special.
  • Updated March 3, 2022: Dr. STONE 232 confirmed to be the ending.
  • Updated February 23, 2022: Dr. STONE climax announced!

Dr. STONE’s final chapter came out earlier than expected

Started in Weekly Shonen Jump in March 2017, the series is already up to Volume 25 as of March 4, 2022. As of February 25, 2022, the manga series had 12 million copies in circulation.

The official English Dr. STONE manga is being published in North America by Viz Media. As of February 1, 2022, the official English translation was already up to Volume 20, while Volume 21 is scheduled for May 3, 2022.

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English-only manga readers can jump straight over to the Viz Media website. They provide the first three chapters and the three newest chapters to read for free for all of their translated series.

Fans of the series might be asking, “When is the Dr. STONE manga ending?” Back in November 2019, the manga creators discussed their plans for the Dr. STONE manga’s ending.

At first, Inagaki told Anime News Network that he wasn’t sure exactly how long he’d like Dr. STONE to run.

“So as far as the end, I’m not sure and that’s not necessarily about the story. We have a general idea of how the story will end itself but as we’ve gone along this journey, sometimes it’s three steps forward, two steps back,” Inagaki said. “I would be writing one storyline and I think it’ll just be one storyline but it ends up taking ten, and then something I think is going to take five will only take one. It’s a moving target and it’s hard to tell.”

Boichi said he’d “love to have Dr. STONE just run as long as possible”. He even jokingly claimed he wants the Weekly Shonen Jump editors to pressure Inagaki to keep it going.

Getting serious, Inagaki said he doesn’t want to get “greedy” and he promises to “never stretch it out just for the sake of business”.

“I’m making a statement about making it longer than it needs to be due to business reasons because of my previous work, Eyeshield 21. Online, a lot of people were saying that maybe the editors had made it longer than necessary but in actuality, that is exactly how I wanted to tell the story,” Inagaki explained. “There was also Murata-sensei’s wish in there, too. That’s why I wanted to double down on the guarantee that I would never overstay a story, so to speak.”

At the time, Inagaki hoped for ending Dr. STONE in three years, which would have been in Fall 2022. However, the series wrapped up everything in March 2022 so it’s possible they cut back on their plans or simply overestimated how long it would take to reach a good stopping point in the story.

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Dr. STONE’s final story arc spoilers: Senku travels the globe and beyond

The creators have discussed their story arc plans in the past. During Anime NYC 2019, a fan asked if Senku would ever visit New York City. Inagaki reportedly replied, “[Senku is] caught up in this island business now, but still aiming for South America, if he had a good reason.”

To put Inagaki’s comment in perspective, at the time the manga was still in the Treasure Island arc, which will be the focus of Dr. STONE Season 3. In 2020 and 2021, the manga did indeed have Senku’s crew in the Kingdom of Science traveling to both North and South America, and also Europe, but those chapters will likely be adapted by Dr. STONE Season 4 and beyond.

Warning: The following contains major spoilers for Dr. STONE’s ending.

Manga readers who have kept up with Dr. STONE’s latest chapters know where Senku is ultimately headed. Ever since the Treasure Island arc Senku has known that Why-man is the enemy who wants to see all of humanity petrified and then shortly later the signal was traced back to the moon.

But reaching the moon has required traveling the entire globe on the Perseus in a journey that’s spanned years. First, the Kingdom of Science traveled to North America and established Corn City, but not without running into some trouble caused by a certain Dr. Xeno.

Then, Senku and company traveled to South America to uncover the truth behind the original petrification. The plot twist was when the world was struck by another global petrification wave that took out everyone including Senku!

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By happenstance, a bottle holding the revival formula cracks from the sound of a lightning strike and revives Suika. It takes many years, but little Suika mimics her leader and manages to successfully revive Senku 236,109,753 seconds later.

Working together, Senku and Suika begin reviving many people to rebuild the Kingdom of Science in this new stone world. They even revive one of their foes, Dr. Xeno, since he realizes that Why-man is their common enemy that must be defeated for the sake of all humanity.

To that end, the plan is to build a rocket and take the fight to the moon. The Kingdom of Science travels to Europe to begin gathering materials for space travel and that’s when Why-man broadcasts a message stating, “Do you wanna die?”

Having finished traveling through Europe the Kingdom of Science returns to Treasure Island and revives their old friends. It turns out that Senku’s allies had been secretly completing a special mission: constructing a rocket launch site!

The Dr. STONE manga’s ending will finally provide an answer to the identity of Why-man. Let’s just hope that these answers provide a fitting conclusion to the story. Stay tuned!

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