Dr. STONE is one of the more popular newer series in Weekly Shonen Jump, and it was perhaps inevitable that, because of this success, that it would end up receiving an anime. The announcement finally came in November of last year, and following multiple new trailers in recent months (including one just a few days ago) as we prepare for the show’s premiere during the Summer season in July, the voice actors convened on the AJ Rock Oasis Green Stage at Anime Japan to share their thoughts and experiences on the series and working on the upcoming anime adaptation.
Attending the event were Yusuke Kobayashi (the voice actor for Senku Ishigami, the protagonist), Makoto Furukawa (who plays Taiju Ooki), Kana Ichinose (the voice ofYuzuriha Ogawa) and Yuichi Nakamura (who takes on the role of Tsukasa Shishio, the main antagonist of the series). To start off the event we had the chance to rewatch the recently-released ‘Stone World’ PV which was made public just a few days ago on the massive screen that adorns the stage, introducing each of the characters and their voice actors for the upcoming adaptation. Not only was it a treat for myself and for the rest of the audience to have a chance to see the promotional video in such a venue, but it also allowed everyone, including the voice actors themselves, the chance to see these characters in full movement for the first time. The previous trailer shown off at Jump Festa consisted solely of still images, and the voice actors commented on how nice it was to see the show in movement at last.
Following that, the voice actors discussed the ways in which they first got involved with the animation project for the project itself. The actors first auditioned for a role in the show half a year ago. ‘At the time of the audition, I didn’t have much time to read the script or to prepare, and when I was doing the audition there were no images to match with the lines that I was performing, even though I was being told not to worry about the job I wanted to be able to portray the character’s emotions correctly, but without that preparation it was rather difficult,’ noted Nakamura.
Later on, after introducing a brief synopsis for the show and the staff behind its creation they each spoke about their own feelings for the series more broadly. Each of them really wanted to do the show justice and thought that, because the manga’s art is rather detailed, and this detail is now being translated into animation, these drawings are able to further impact the viewer in more ways. Ichinose added to this sentiment. ‘Because I like Jump manga a lot, when I heard about the audition I really wanted to participate in the audition, and when I read the script and the way the story takes place so many years in the future, I thought it was a very interesting series to be a part of.’
We got to see a second previously-released PV after this which previewed the show’s theme song, “CHEMICAL BOYS” by Yuki Kanesawa, before we were introduced to ‘Mecha-Senkuu’, a mechanical real-life Senkuu mascot who was full of energy to be making an appearance. In order to help promote the show, the character is taking part in a variety-style web series on TOHO Animation’s YouTube channel with the voice actor for Senkuu, who brought a brand new promotional video to introduce himself to the audience, in typical Tokusatsu style. It was confirmed alongside this that brand-new episodes of this show will be released daily on the show’s YouTube channel until March 31. If you’re excited for Dr. STONE, this daily fix of fun side content could be an enjoyable experience for you.
To close out the show, each of the voice actors on the stage gave their closing remarks to the audience. ‘The world of Stone World and the way that people approach living in this world are very different from the way we would approach life today and the way we would think about life as well. Because of this, many events happen throughout the show that arises from this,’ stated Nakamura in their closing remarks, before encouraging fans to read the manga if they had not already done so.
Finally, just as we were getting ready to leave, the actors confirmed that more promotional videos would be made available between now and the show’s premiere in July.
The aim of each of the stage shows taking place at AnimeJapan this weekend is to promote a product, and with a show such as this one for Dr. STONE, the goal is to make the audience excited for the upcoming series. The fun interactions between the voice actors and interesting anecdotes they shared definitely meant they succeeded in this role, and I, for one, will be looking forward to reading even more of the manga and seeing this new anime upon it’s July premiere.