After six lackluster weeks of Dr. Stone, I was more than ready for some change, and it has finally come. This week’s episode marks the beginning of the ‘new village arc’, an arc many manga fans have hyped as the key quality turning point of the series. While I feel I’ve been burned one too many times by this show, I will admit this week’s episode did sow some interesting seeds. With that in mind, let’s see what happened in Stone World!
Japanese Original Episode Title: 200万年の在処
Koharu quickly clarifies her final line from last week’s episode: she just admires Senku as a person, there’s no way she’s in love with him. Senku is pretty thankful for this, viewing romance as troublesome (Shikamaru much?). Koharu takes Senku to her village, which is quite hostile to outsiders. There, Senku meets another ‘sorcerer’, a young boy named Chrome. The two have a science battle, which Senku wins. Senku takes Chrome under his wing, and the members of the nation of science grows!
Let someone else deal with it!: Probably the funniest line in the series so far. I laughed when one of the guards unleashed his special attack, let someone else deal with it! Especially with the animation of him running away.
Scary faces: Oh wow, the menacing faces of Koharu and Senku were incredible in this episode. Koharu went from being so cute to looking like she could kill you with one look. Senku’s ‘evil’ face really embraced his inner mad scientist. Loved it!
Chrome/ Senku: I have to admit, for a big majority of this episode I was pretty annoyed with Senku. He was pretty condescending to all the inhabitants of Stone World, especially Chrome. If Senku had been born into Stone World, with no knowledge of the modern world, I’m sure he couldn’t do as good as Chrome. After all, Chrome has both smarts and some physical capabilities. Senku giggling and making snide comments at all of Chrome’s ‘sorcery’ felt very ‘I am very smart’. It was only towards the end, when Senku decided to take Chrome under his wing and tell him about the modern world there was a bit of a shift. Senku took on more of a well-meaning mentor role as well as a fellow science bro. I’m sure Senku and Chrome will be unstoppable together!
Religion in Stone World: Perhaps the most interesting part of this week’s episode is the way religion has been developed in Stone World. The village is seen as a place of safety, the people there are ‘good’, everyone outside the village is ‘bad’. I assume the village assumes that all the stone statues are ‘bad’ people who have been punished. I’m intrigued by Koharu’s sister, who acts in the role of a head priestess. She seems to have to control her emotions and thoughts in front of the villages. Even though she sits so high up and is referred to with respect, I wonder how much power she actually has.
With the ‘new village’ arc we’ve been introduced to a new, and potentially far more intriguing part of Stone World. Senku is no longer the first man on Earth to escape depetrifcation, having met the descendants of ones who were depetrified hundreds of years ago. As beautiful as Stone World was, it was missing a real human element to its worldbuilding. Senku and Taiju were focused on creating a world they, and I, already knew. But, I was interested in a brand new world, to see how humans could adapt to a land reclaimed by nature. How would language, culture, religion, and social norms change? Finally, with this village my questions will be answered!
Ultimately, the success of this show will be dependent on how the village and the new characters are developed. The first six episodes were mostly filled with cheap jokes and cliché tropes. There was hardly anything to grasp onto with Senku and Taiju’s character. I want this series to get out of its childish mind frame and take a more mature approach to its subject matter. The characters of Ruri, Chrome, and Koharu will be the perfect test.
Where Twenty Minutes Have Gone…
Overall, this week’s episode has set up a really interesting premise for the new village arc. After six episodes, I’m actually feeling a bit invested in the series. However, this isn’t because of the main character. I tend to switch between finding Senku either inspiring or intolerable, and I’m sure that will continue right until Episode 24. For now, my focus is on the new characters, specifically, Koharu, Ruri, and Chrome. These three have a story to tell, and I’m ready to listen.
NEXT TIME: Stone Road
Summer 2019 | Anime Info | Simulcast