Dr. STONE Season 2 release date confirmed for Winter 2021: Stone Wars sequel trailer

Dr. STONE Season 2 will finish the Stone Wars story arc, which is the culmination of the war between Senku’s King of Science and Tsukasa’s Kingdom Of Might. Pic credit: TMS Entertainment

How long will it be before Dr. STONE Season 2 has all the shiny monkeys scrambling to find the remote so they can watch the latest episodes streaming on their favorite non-stone box (lightning not optional)?

Thankfully, Weekly Shonen Jump confirmed that the Dr. STONE Season 2 anime is coming out on January 14, 2021, the winter 2021 anime season! The second season is officially known as Dr. STONE: Stone Wars.

Crunchyroll will be streaming the Dr. STONE English subs everywhere except Asia as the episodes air in Japan. FUNimation will be streaming the Dr. STONE Season 2 English dub.

The number of episodes has not yet been announced. However, based on the pacing of the Dr. STONE manga’s story, it’s likely that the second season will be a single cour composed of 12 episodes.

A “cour” is a three-month TV broadcasting unit based on the physical seasons and animes usually have between 10 to 13 episodes per cour.

Dr. STONE Stone Wars
A Dr. STONE Season 2 key visual released in September 2020. Pic credit: TMS Entertainment

The major burning question is how the anime will adapt the remaining manga chapters in the Stone Wars Saga. Is it possible the second season could adapt the Dr. STONE reboot: Byakuya side story, as well?

Dr. STONE Stone Wars Release Date
In December 2020, the Dr. STONE Season 2 release date was confirmed by Weekly Shonen Jump. Pic credit: Spytrue

The anime series is already popular enough that there’s a 10 billion percent chance it could be regularly renewed similar to Attack On Titan or My Hero Academia. Plus, the anime was made on alcohol so it can’t be bad. No, seriously, that’s what the anime producers have claimed.

“The production team is very fond of alcohol,” series producer Shusuke Katagiri said during the Anime Expo 2019 premiere of Dr. STONE. “So we would get sloshed. While we were thinking about what we would do 3,700 years in the future, we would be getting totally plastered. Basically, the show is built on alcohol.”

Dr. STONE Season 2 anime Weekly Shonen Jump Issue 3 2020 Color Spread Announcement
The full color spread in Weekly Shonen Jump issue 3 of 2020 that announced Dr. STONE Season 2. The says that the “TV anime’s 2nd season has been decided for Stone Wars. The war is on!” It also asks, “What is the last thing they need to do in this primitive stone world?” Pic credit: Spytrue

Thankfully, anime fans probably won’t have to take too many drinks before watching Dr. STONE Season 2. The staff at TMS Entertainment are return for Dr. STONE: Stone War.

Director Shinya Lino (Made In Abyss) helmed the first season at animation studio TMS Entertainment, which is also working Netflix’s Grappler Baki Season 2 in 2020. They’re also working on Fruits Basket Season 2 (and Fruits Basket Season 3), and the upcoming Megalo Box Season 2.

Scriptwriter Yuichiro Kido (Blue Exorcist) handled series composition. Yuko Iwasa (Saint Seiya: The Lost Canva) was the character designer. Tatsuya Kato (WorldEnd), Hiroaki Tsutsumi (Children of the Whales), and Yuki Kanesaka (Blood Blockade Battlefront & Beyond) were the music composers.

The original Japanese voice actor cast is very likely to return. In addition, the new voice cast includes Kensho Uno as Ukyo Saionji, Yoshiki Nakajima as Yo Uei, and Atsumi Tanezaki as Nikki Hanada.

Dr. STONE Stone Wars
A key visual for the Dr. STONE Season 2 anime that was released in July 2020. Pic credit: TMS Entertainment

The Dr. Stone Season 2 OP (opening) theme song music is “Paradise” by Fujifabric, while the ED (ending) is “Voice?” by HATENA.

The Dr. STONE opening theme song for the first season’s part 1 was “Good Morning World!” by Burnout Syndromes. The ending theme song was “LIFE” by Rude-α.

The opening theme song for the second cour (Part 2) was “Three Primary Colors” by Pelican Fanclub. The Dr. STONE ending theme song changed to “Like A Dream” by Saeki YouthK.

The first season of Dr. STONE was two cours composed of 24 episodes. Dr. STONE Episode 18 began the Stone Wars story arc. The ending of the second cour, Dr. STONE Episode 24, aired on December 13, 2019.

The first 24 episodes were released in 2019/2020 as six Blu-Ray/DVD home video volumes in Japan. Unfortunately, the Oricon sales numbers in Japan didn’t even break 1,000 and 3,000 used to be considered a success just several years ago.

If anything, disc sales are no longer a reliable factor in determining popularity. To put the numbers in perspective, the first season of The Rising Of The Shield Hero anime also didn’t break 3,000 disc sales and it was quickly renewed for two more seasons. In fact, the Dr. STONE disc sales were almost exactly the same as Dropkick On My Devil! and that anime was renewed for a second season (the series author is already talking about Dropkick On My Devil! Season 3).

From a financial perspective, disc sales are no longer the biggest factor in determining an anime’s financial sucess, or lack thereof. Instead, the anime industry focuses on generating good streaming revenue by being popular on Crunchyroll, which is heavily pushing the TV show.

Dr. STONE Season 2 Anime Key Visual
The Dr. STONE: Stone Wars anime key visual released during Jump Festa 2020. Pic credit: TMS Entertainment
  • Updated December 7, 2020: Added Dr. STONE Season 2 trailer.
  • Updated December 4, 2020: Dr. STONE Season 2 release date confirmed!
  • Updated November 30, 2020: Added Dr. STONE Season 2 cast members.
  • Updated November 12, 2020: Added Dr. STONE Season 2 OP and ED info.
  • Updated October 12, 2020: Added Dr. STONE Season 2 trailer.
  • Updated September 4, 2020: Added Dr. STONE Season 2 Crunchyroll trailer and new key visual.
  • Updated July 9, 2020: Added Dr. STONE Season 2 anime character designs scan from Weekly Shonen Jump.

This article provides everything that is known about Dr. STONE Season 2 (Dr. STONE: Stone Wars) and all related news. As such, this article will be updated over time with news, rumors, and analysis. Meanwhile, let’s delve down into what is known for certain.

Dr. STONE manga compared to the anime

The Dr. STONE manga by writer Riichiro Inagaki (Eyeshield 21) and illustrator Boichi (Sun-Ken Rock). Artist-writer duos have become increasingly more common in Weekly Shonen Jump, but it’s still interesting how the two creators work together.

Boichi-San does not speak Japanese natively since he’s Korean and yet he decided to become a “foreign mangaka who can’t speak Japanese but a mangaka able to draw a manga that Japanese readers want to read.”

In spite of this language barrier, they manage to cooperate together while working in separate places. They rarely meet in person. Instead, they rely on faxing and online messages.

The manga debuted in March 2017 in Weekly Shonen Jump, which gives you an idea of how quickly the anime adaptation was greenlit for production since anime projects typically are scheduled years in advance.

Dr. STONE Season 2 Characters
The Dr. STONE Season 2 anime character designs for Nikky, Yo, and Ukyo. Pic credit: Weekly Shonen Jump Issue 32, 2020

New chapters are published weekly and the series is already up to Volume 16 as of July 3, 2020. Historically, a new volume is released every February, April, July, September, and December. Therefore, Dr. STONE Volume 17 should come out on September 4, 2020, Volume 18 in December 2020, and so on.

The official English Dr. STONE manga is being published in North America by Viz Media. As of September 1, 2020, the official English translation was already up to Volume 13.

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.

On October 28, 2019, Boichi launched a spinoff manga series in Weekly Shonen Jump called Dr. STONE reboot: Byakuya. The new side story will focus on Dr. Byakuya Ishigami, Senku’s adoptive father who was an astronaut at the International Space Station.

It’s unknown if this story will receive an English translation or if it could be adapted into a Dr. STONE OVA episode. Another possibility is that the side story could be used as filler to pad out Dr. STONE Season 2’s runtime (see below for more details).

Dr. Stone Donald Trump cameo had manga fans hoping Trump would 'get stoned' in new anime
U.S. President Donald Trump won’t be MAGA (Making Anime Great Again)? The Dr. Stone Trump cameo had manga fans hoping Trump would ‘get stoned’ in the new anime. Pic credit: Boichi

Like most adaptations of a manga series, the Dr. STONE anime does make some changes. The most notable is in manga Chapter 1 when current U.S. President Donald Trump is shown during a montage of various people turning to stone. Unfortunately, TMS Entertainment wimped out and did not include the scene, which is too bad since they would have cast an actual Donald Trump since the character would have had voiced lines.

Otherwise, the anime has been very faithful to the manga source material so far. At most, TMS Entertainment condensed the story by trimming out some dialogue along with some extra jokes. The anime’s art and character design also remain faithful to Boichi’s art style.

In the past, Inagaki has stated that the inspiration for Dr. STONE’s story came from the characters. Senku Ishigami was purposely designed as a “normal” main character in sharp contrast to most shonen protagonists who have superpowers or abilities.

Of course, what sets the anime apart from its peers is the focus on jumpstarting scientific evolution. As such, the manga creators have to doublecheck the science facts and Inagaki-San even went on a hot air balloon trip for research purposes.

TMS Entertainment even went out of their way to doublecheck the science when animating the story.

“One element that we’re trying to be faithful to the manga is the science and technology part because even in the manga we actually have a scientific advisor to make sure that everything is correct,” Shusuke Katagiri explained at Anime Expo 2019 during the premiere. “Once you turn [a manga] into anime you’re going to add color and you’re going to add movements and you’re going to add sounds. So, you’re going to be adding all sorts of elements and we have to make sure that everything is still scientifically correct. And they did a really good job of it.”

So far, the pacing of the anime has told the manga’s story without seeming slow-paced nor has it skipped content and reordered events. At least up through the first cour, the anime averaged about 2.5 chapters per episode.

One of the iconic moments where Senku creates the spark of light via electricity is contained in Episode 9: Let There Be the Light of Science, which is named after manga Chapter 25.

Midway through the first season, the anime hit the accelerator for the pacing, with the ending of Dr. STONE Episode 17 corresponding to manga Chapter 45 of Volume 6. Dr. STONE Episode 18 is a major turning point in the story since it’s the ending of Dr. STONE: Stone World and the beginning of the next story arc part, Dr. STONE: Stone Wars.

Running from chapter 46 through 82, the Stone Wars arc is 37 chapters in total. With only 7 episodes left in the first season, TMS Entertainment decided to end Dr. STONE Episode 24 in the middle of Stone Wars rather than double the pacing in a race to finish Stone Wars.

Some anime fans might have hoped that the studio would finish Stone Wars with a Dr. STONE movie. While a nice idea at first glance, that would mean adapting 22 manga chapters with a movie runtime equivalent to about four episodes.

That means Dr. STONE Season 2 will pick up the next major story arc with a manga chapter called Stone Wars Begin. Manga readers who wish to read ahead of the anime should start with Chapter 61 of Volume 7.

There are 22 manga chapters left for the Dr. STONE: Stone Wars anime to adapt in the Stone Wars saga. Since the pacing has been about 2.5 chapters per episode, it’s possible the anime could extend the story with original content since the remaining source material is only about nine episodes long if adapted in a straight-forward fashion.

Another option is to adapt the side story from the Dr. STONE reboot: Byakuya manga. It’d fit right in since Episode 24’s ending focused on Byakuya and thus the second season’s beginning could finish his story. The side story was also nine chapters long, which is perfect for providing three episodes, bringing the second season’s total to 12 episodes.

Dr. STONE Manga Characters
The Dr. STONE manga art by Korean artist Boichi is very distinctive. Pic credit: Boichi

Is Dr. STONE Season 3 possible already?

Hopefully, the Dr. STONE anime could receive The Rising Of The Shield Hero treatment and receive both a Season 2 and a Dr. STONE Season 3. After all, the manga had enough source material for DR. STONE Season 2 even before the first season’s second cour started airing.

Although Dr. STONE: Stone Wars will likely just be a single cour anime season if it’s two cours the second season could jump into the next major story arc of the Source of the Petrification Saga, which is Chapters 83 through 100. This scenario is unlikely since adapting 40 chapters would mean the second season would be 16 episodes (or 19 episodes, including the Byakuya side story), which is abnormal for a two-cour anime season.

The problem is that the next story arc after that is 38 chapters, and it finishes the third saga of the manga series. So, if Dr. STONE Season 2 were to jump into both the Stone Wars Saga and the Source of the Petrification Saga that would mean adapting 78 chapters, which is roughly 31 episodes.

Therefore, the anime studio’s writers will probably only adapt Stone Wars with a single cour. If Dr. STONE Season 2 is two cours, the anime would be forced to find a stopping point somewhere in the middle of the third saga, which is hardly optimal.

Most likely, Dr. STONE Season 3 will likely pick up the story again with the third saga, which is two story arcs with 56 chapters combined. Based on the anime’s previous pacing, that’s perfect for 23 episodes. By 2021 there will be over 200 chapters published which should be more than enough for creating Dr. STONE Season 4.

Dr. STONE Season 3 anime likely to come out quickly

Lately, it seems like there is a trend in the anime industry to announce the renewal of an anime series for a second season immediately following the finale episode. That trend continued with Episode 24 teasing the Dr. STONE: Stone Wars anime, but the teaser didn’t even hint at a release date or time frame for Dr. STONE Season 2.

Shortly before the official announcement in July 2020, anime news leakers Spytrue and AnimeTV were claiming that the “Dr. STONE Season 2 STONE WARS will be scheduled for January 2021”.

Anime projects are scheduled years in advance. It takes time to schedule the voice acting talent and hire good staff for the anime studios. Most anime makers are contractors who jump from studio to studio for each project.

However, the SARS-COV-2 coronavirus pandemic threw off the schedules of the entire anime industry. Considering how long it was before any announcement was made concerning the second season, it’s possible the Dr. STONE Season 2 release date was originally planned for some time in 2020.

If the anime’s schedule is planned out in advance based on its popularity, Dr. STONE Season 3 could then release in late 2021 or the following year in early 2022.

Keep in mind this is just an educated guess. We should receive more solid details in the coming year.

Dr. STONE Manga Volume 6 Cover Art English
The manga cover art for Dr. STONE Volume 6. Pic credit: Boichi

Dr. STONE: Stone Wars spoilers (plot summary/synopsis)

Note: These spoilers assume that Dr. STONE Season 2 anime will pick up the story with the second half of Chapter 60. However, as previously noted, it’s possible the anime could adapt the Byakuya side story or provide original content for filler episodes.

The last time we saw Senku and friends, audiences were left with Gen claiming that the “world’s strongest primate highschooler” Tsukasa Shishio and his army were coming to conquer the Ishigami village just in case Senku was still alive. Tsukasa has been the main antagonist for much of the manga and therefore the physical fight necessitated by the competing philosophies of Tsukasa’s Kingdom of Might and Senku’s Kingdom of Science will be the main conflict for the Dr. STONE Season 2 anime.

Writer Inagaki-San has previously stated Dr. STONE’s plot “will not be about man vs. nature or man vs. science. The reason is, because to me, both nature and science are the friends of man.”

The biggest threat in Tsukasa’s army is a man named Hyoga (or Hyouga). While he’s stronger than the toughest fighters in the village, that’s not what makes him truly deadly.

While Tsukasa is more of a reluctant warlord who still considers Senku a friend, Hyoga is a social Darwinist, believing that only the enlightened elite such as Senku and the strong should live while the “brainless incompetent masses” should die. Cruel, cunning, and manipulative, Hyoga has no problem murdering and using people as disposable tools to reach his end goals.

Dr. STONE Manga Characters Tsukasa Hyoga
Hyoga wields a hollow spear and wears a mask to hide facial scarring caused by the petrification process. Pic credit: Boichi

The impending invasion of the village is only stalled when Senku successfully bluffs by making Hyoga believe that he’d already developed guns. While Senku doesn’t really have guns, he has brought back strong, tempered Japanese swords back to this stone world.

Hyoga determines to return with a much larger force and conquer the village. While all might seem hopeless, Senku plans a preemptive and reveals humanity’s most powerful weapon.

No, it’s not nuclear weapons, it’s communication technology. The ability to communicate over long distances with electromagnetic radio waves can overturn an advantage in sheer numbers. Plus, they already have two double agents planted in Tsukasa’s Kingdom: Taiju Oki and Yuzuriha Ogawa!

With the re-creation of plastics, vacuum tubes, and several other components Senku eventually creates his own “phone” but, of course, having only one phone is useless so they need to make yet another. They also create a landline telephone.

The big discovery is when one of the villager’s stories lead to the gravestone of Senku’s father, Byakuya Ishigami. Inside a time capsule is encased an audio recording that Senku’s father left behind.

And this is where the Dr. STONE Season 2 anime will pick up the remaining story for Stone Wars.

Listening to the recording gives Gen an idea where he could fake out Tsukasa’s troops with a false recording claiming that America has already recovered from the petrification. The troops only follow Tsukasa because they think the old world has fallen into ruin, but if they believe America’s army is eventually coming Tsukasa could lose his supporters (of course, once they realize it’s a lie they’ll want Senku’s head).

They just need Chrome to deliver a second cell phone to Taiju’s spy team and set it up on the other side. So with Magma providing transport and Gen being the guide, Chrome’s team sets off to Tsukasa’s base in old Tokyo.

The problem is that Homura the surveillance woman is still watching their every move. They attempt to distract Homura by setting off several sound bombs and Senki even manages to momentarily catch Homura using a science trick. But Homura escapes his grasp, deduces where Chrome, Gen, and Magma have disappeared.

So then begins a chase where a team led by Senku pursues the pursuer. Senku had doused Homura with ultraviolet-sensitive powder and he communicates with Chrome’s team to arrange a pincer attack on Homura.

Chrome’s team manages to reach Tsukasa’s base and hide the radio equipment near Senku’s “grave” that Taiju and Yuzuriha had set up as a dropoff point. Finally, Taiju and Senku are reunited, even if it is over a phone call.

Next up is implementing Senku’s master plan to recruit Tsukasa’s army over to their side. While the initial effort doesn’t go as planned (does it ever?) they still manage to win people over.

The one hangup is that Chrome was captured. When Chrome is interrogated it turns out someone from the inside wants to help Senku’s side.

Meanwhile, Senku decides he needs to ride to the rescue on the Steam Gorilla, a steam-powered, front-wheel drive tank using an airless tire design developed by NASA and carbon fiber for armor.

Chrome also realizes that Tsukasa is trying to draw Senku into a trap using Chrome as bait so he decides to use science to make a jailbreak. Fortunately, the revived humans from the modern era don’t take his efforts seriously since they dismiss him as a savage. Chrome manages to escape but only with the help from someone inside.

The traitor in Tsukasa’s camp reveals himself as one of Tsukasa’s top men. His name is Ukyo, a former submariner with sensitive ears and a talent for archery. Ukyo will join Senku’s side but only under the condition that it’s a bloodless revolution where nobody dies.

Dr. STONE Anime Blu-Ray DVD Disc Volume 1 Cover Art
The cover art for Dr. STONE Blu-Ray/DVD Volume 1. Pic credit: TMS Entertainment

With all the pieces in place, it’s time for Senku and Tsukasa to fight it out. Will Senku’s plan go as expected or will there be a plot twist that throws things for a loop?

Unfortunately, audiences will have to wait until the Dr. STONE Season 2 release date to watch what happens next. Stay tuned!

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