Update: The Dr. STONE Season 2 release time frame was confirmed for 2021. The remainder of this story remains as originally published. Please see the new article for more details and a video trailer.
A Dr. STONE Season 2 anime announcement is coming up soon! Weekly Shonen Jump is teasing anime fans by saying that more information about Dr. STONE Season 2 will be released in next week’s magazine.
It’s even possible the announcement could contain the time frame for the eventual Dr. STONE Season 2 release date.
What’s more, anime news leakers Spytrue and AnimeTV are claiming that the “Dr. STONE Season 2 STONE WARS will be scheduled for January 2021”. This information has not yet been verified by official sources.
The second season is officially known as Dr. STONE: Stone Wars. The anime series will be adapting the Stone Wars story arc from the Dr. STONE manga by writer Riichiro Inagaki (Eyeshield 21) and illustrator Boichi (Sun-Ken Rock).
Currently, the studio and staff for Dr. STONE Season 2 are unknown, although the cast is very likely to return. 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.
Crunchyroll is streaming the Dr. STONE English subs as the episodes air in Japan. FUNimation is streaming the Dr. STONE English dub. Presumably, a Dr. STONE Season 2 dub will be produced, as well.
Will Dr. STONE: Stone Wars be two cours?
The first season of Dr. STONE was two cours composed of 24 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.
Running from chapters 46 through 82, the Stone Wars arc is 37 chapters in total. Dr. STONE Episode 24 ended with the first half of Chapter 60 of Volume 7, which is in the middle of the Stone Wars story arc.
That means there are 22 manga chapters left for the Dr. STONE: Stone Wars anime to adapt. 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.
Otherwise, it’s also possible that Dr. STONE Season 2 could jump into the next major story arc, which is Chapters 83 through 100. But even with 40 chapters to adapt that’d mean the second season would be 16 episodes, which is abnormal for a single-cour anime season.
The problem is that the 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 Saga 3 that would mean adapting 78 chapters, which is roughly 31 episodes.
Therefore, the anime studio’s writers will either need to create filler episodes if the second season is only adapting Stone Wars with a single cour. If Dr. STONE Season 2 is two cours, the anime will probably find a stopping point somewhere in the middle of the third saga.
Was the Dr. STONE Season 2 release date quietly pushed back?
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’s been since any announcement has been made concerning the second season, it’s possible the Dr. STONE Season 2 release date was originally planned for some time in 2020.
With virus infections surging worldwide, it’s possible the industry will have to make internal changes to how production is handled over the long term. Insiders have claimed that animating is taking about twice as long as normal, and dubbing is about three times.
Still, things have begun to settle down a little in Japan and anime production companies have a chance to reevaluate their plans for the future. Hopefully, whatever time frame is announced for Dr. STONE Season 2 will stick and not be delayed.