After last week’s Dr. Stone episode, I thought that I was warming up to the series. I’d started to enjoy the characters, I didn’t get annoyed (too much) by the show’s logic, and heck, Senku’s constant ‘10 billion’ catch phrase didn’t make me want to throw something at my TV. Seriously? What kind of catch-phrase is that? But, perhaps, coming off the (moderate) high of last week’s episode was not the best way to go into this episode.
Japanese Original Episode Title: 石の世界の二つの国
The first half of this week’s episode continues with Senku’s flashback. We see his trial-and-error process on working out the de-petrification with nitric acid, which seems at odds to his reactions to it in Episode 1, but we’re trying not to be nitpicky here! In the present day, Senku is revived and devises a new plan with Taiju and Yuzuriha. Senku will seek out the other people living in Stone World while the other two will pretend to join Tsukasa and act as spies. As they initiate their plan, a new face has other plans.
Bros across time: While I did find the opening of this week’s episode redundant. I did enjoy the parallel scenes of Taiju and Senku trying to wake the other up. If previous episodes had done a better job in cementing their friendship rather than making it seem superficial through jokes it could have been quite an emotional scene. It was still a good moment, but still felt like a missed opportunity.
Old man Einstein: I can’t be the only one who kind of cackled at Senku’s way of referring to Einstein and Archimedes. There’s a sense of familiarity (outside of knowing who they are) in the way he talks about them, as though they are equals. I guess it just is another way that Senku expresses his love and passion for science.
It’s in the name: As much as I’ve not been enjoying this series, I did get a little excited hearing them use the phrase ‘doctor stone’ in this episode.
This space for rent: One of the first anime memes I ever came across, ‘this space for rent’, popped up in the mid to late 2000s. A number of anime during this time featured heroines with massive spaces between their eyes, notable examples include Air and Clannad. Seeing our newest cast member to Dr. Stone, Kohaku, immediately reminded me of this old meme. For some reason her eyes are pretty proportional in the manga, but in the anime they are a mess. I suppose the animators spent more time making sure her boobs were bouncing during her fight with Tsukasa…
To cut a long complaint short, everything that happened in this episode could have been summarized in about ten minutes. There was no need to spend (a bit under) half the episode continuing the flashback from last week. It has served its purpose. We know Senku is not only smart but also innovative and determined. The episode probably started off with this to lead into the parallel shots of Senku/Taiju in the past and present. But the pay-off was not worth going back over old ground. Following on from that, the plans between Senku, Taiju, and Yuzuriha could have been done in a couple of sentences. There’s one scene in particular with Taiju physically shaking Yuzuriha which just seemed to go on for a few minutes too long. I also found it a bit out of character to see him shaking her so intensely!
However, the introduction of Kohaku is an opportunity for the show to add some intrigue, and I think this time they might actually develop it well. This episode has not taken the usual heavy-handed approach to setting us up for a new conflict. Kohaku’s background and life in Stone World is expressed through her words, her physical stamina and her reaction to things around her. From all the characters we’ve seen so far in Dr. Stone, Kohaku is the one who I’m most invested in. I can’t wait to learn more about her, and see what character she develops into. Just please, TMS Entertainment, let’s chill with the boob animations?
What an absolute mess!
As I said in last week’s review, on social media and forums manga fans have been promising that the series will get better. This week they’ve said that with the introduction of Koharu we’re finally there. As good as the coming episodes may be, it will never negate the fact that we had to go through six subpar ones to get there. The set up has, and surely will be, important but I can’t help but feel there was a smarter way to make use of the time. If we really look back at the last six episodes all the actual interesting content could be condensed into two to three fantastic episodes. We have a real mixed bag of an interesting story and characters being overshadowed by painful gags, mundane storytelling, and general pacing issues. So far the only thing that has been done well is the music and the scenery art. We’re a quarter of the way into the series and I think I’ll need some miracle water to get through the rest.
NEXT TIME: Where Two Million Years Have Gone
Summer 2019 | Anime Info | Simulcast