Book Manga Review

Dr Stone Reboot:Byakuya – Manga Review

Dr Stone Reboot:Byakuya takes a look at the events leading up to the Dr Stone series. This nine-chapter manga is an alternate universe prequel. While there has been some debate online, it has been confirmed that this is not canon.

Interestingly this manga isn’t written by Riichiro Inagaki, the writer of the Dr Stone series and other titles, including Eyeshield 21 – a personal favorite. He does supervise the character dialogue and his name does appear on the cover. Instead, it’s written by Boichi, who illustrates the series. While Bochi is mostly known as an illustrator, he also wrote Sun-Ken Rock.

Dr Stone Reboot:Byakuya - Space

Story – Byakuya

The story opens with Byakuya Ishigami, Senku’s adoptive father showing a robot that he had built and setting the scene. It shows how Senku encouraged him to become an astronaut and go up to the space station, then soon skips to when that happens.

The first few chapters introduce the astronauts and cover their perspective of the petrification event happening on Earth. It doesn’t really explain much of what happened on Earth, but as this manga is targeted at people who are already familiar with the main series. I didn’t find this to be an issue.

It kept the tension high by throwing problem after problem for the astronauts to solve. It made it clear that the task was near impossible. This was effective, but perhaps not as much as it could have been. Anyone familiar with the series will know what happened. Still, I certainly appreciated the expanded story of the challenges faced.

I thought it did quite a good job at showing the personality of Byakuya here. He shows an obvious similarity to Senku’s love of science and discovery. You can see where Senku has picked up some of his famous catchphrases and some of his riskier behavior too. It’s summed up by a line he says: “Moving forward, even in the face of danger is what defines humanity”.

The dialogue between the astronauts was used well to add in humorous moments. Despite the dire situation that they found themselves in, it was kept fairly light due to this.

I did think it was a pity that we didn’t see more of the other astronauts. Particularly Lilian who becomes so important in the main Dr Stone series. This section of the story was quite short, so I can understand that there was only so much they could do though.

Dr Stone Reboot:Byakuya - Rei 1

Story – Rei

After a certain event happens, the perspective switches to Rei. This is a version of the robot that Byakuya had built. Rei ends up waiting alone for Byakuya to return. Dr Stone Reboot:Byakuya feels like it’s split into two parts despite being contained within a single book and this is where the second part starts.

I actually found this part more interesting, which I found surprising. It’s all new from here, where in the previous part I already knew what was going to happen for the most part. Still, this is primarily a one-character story from this point, so the interaction between characters and the dialogue where they play off each other was missing.

Similar to in the first part of the story, several problems came up for Rei to solve with high risks. It was perhaps more effective since we hadn’t already seen how it turned out, at least not completely. This section follows a similar theme to Dr Stone, in which a problem occurs and then needs to be solved through several crafting tasks that all connect together. It even had one of the charts flash up, similar to the main series.

Dr Stone Reboot:Byakuya - Rei 2

Despite being a robot, Rei seemed very human. It shows them waiting endlessly for Byakuya’s return and despite knowing what would happen, it made me sympathize with the character. It even had little humorous moments like taking a small act of revenge on one of the scientists who slighted Byakuya in the past. Things like this helped to show Rei’s connection to Byakuya.

While I won’t spoil the ending, I’ll just say that I enjoyed the events that led up to it. It concluded in quite an emotional way and I certainly enjoyed it.


The art style of Dr Stone Reboot:Byakuya is unusual in some ways, much like in Dr Stone. The way certain characters are drawn won’t be to everyone’s taste. When I first came to this series, it felt a bit offputting, but it’s certainly not low quality. It’s just a stylistic preference against aspects such as the eyes being very wide apart or lips jutting out for some characters.

Switches between more realistic and detailed panels to simplified and stylized ones are used to help denote when a scene is serious or comedic. It adds in quite a few visual gags, such as the robot Rei using little robotic arms to hold a book as a human would. There are also a fair few Dragon Ball reference jokes, like a little person with a scouter saying how high Rei’s computational power is. These little jokes worked well, especially in the Rei section, where they can only talk to themselves.

Overall I liked the art, despite feeling that a few details were odd. It was certainly used well to set the scene.


Dr Stone Reboot:Byakuya was a bit of a surprise to me. From the title alone, I would’ve thought it mostly focused on Byakuya himself. Instead, I found it to mostly follow Rei, though Byakuya was certainly where Rei’s focus was. It was a story that I already knew, but it was an interesting read on how it might’ve happened.

I enjoyed it quite a bit and found that it made a good companion to the Dr Stone series. While it is a prequel, I’d suggest that people do watch the first season of the anime or read up to chapter 60 of the Dr Stone manga first. It’s more of an expansion than a standalone story.


Purchase: Viz Media, Amazon (Physical or eBook)

At the time of writing, you can read the first three chapters for free on Viz Media’s website.

Looking for some more reading? How about checking out our visual novel reviews?

Many thanks go to Viz Media who provided an early review copy of this title.

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