Welcome all, to an incredibly late post! I had was traveling last weekend decided to just merge a few weeks of Dr. STONE together. It’s one of the harder shows to write for, especially with episodes like 2 weeks ago that are basically just one big scene, so its easier to just merge them. Anyways, without further ado lets dive into these episodes of Dr. STONE!
First up we have episode 3, “Deal Game, Test of Wit”, which centers largely around Moz. As it turns out, he knew, or suspected, Kohaku and co were intruders the entire time! So when Amaryllis fled after Ginro and Kohaku were petrified, he followed her all the way to their cave hideout. And of course, none of them really have the ability to actually beat Moz. So the question becomes: How the hell do they get out of this situation? Enter Gen. As far as episodes go, this was decent. While watching Gen talk someone down was fun, it’s not really what Dr. STONE is best at, you know? We got minimal science, lots of internal monologues and face zooms, it just wasn’t exciting. Everyone knew Moz wasn’t going to kill them, this isn’t the petrification beam, they can’t come back from that. So there wasn’t to much tension there.
Still even if there wasn’t a lot of tension, I do always enjoy Gen’s negotiation strategies. Maneuvering himself to be, physically, on the same side as Moz. Starting high then negotiating down knowing you’ll never get your first ask. Turning the conversation from “Why he shouldn’t kill them” to “Why should he help us”, recontextualizing the entire discussion from murder to assistance. These aren’t made up anime techniques, these are the sorts of things you learn in real life sales classes and situations. Sure Gen’s dramatic way of implementing them are anime, not everyone has rose petals, drones and an encyclopedic knowledge of everything on their side. But much like Dr. STONE’s science, the core of it all still works and applies. And that makes it fun to watch in my book.
As for Moz, he’s not stupid. He knows he’s being played. But he also knows, or is at least confident in, how strong he is and how little these people could do to stop him. After all, Kohaku was their best combatant as far as he knows, and he defeated her. But you know who he can’t defeat, because of her “sorcery”? Kirisame. And you know can maybe defeat her, and if they fail won’t implicate him at all? The small science people. So even knowing what’s going on, it makes sense for Moz to side with them, especially when we learn how he plans to simply kill them all once they retrieve the petrification device for him. So really, they aren’t allied or on the same side. It’s more of a stay of execution than anything else.
Looking at it, I think what makes this three-way power struggle work is the fact that our heroes are weaker than all of them. Moz has the raw strength to defeat everyone currently unpetrified, as well as Ibara, but can’t defeat Kirisame’s petrification. Meanwhile Kirisame can petrify Moz and our entire science kingdom, but is loyal to Ibara as the proxy for the island elder. And Ibara? He has weight of numbers and Kirisame on his side, but his hold on leadership is tenuous and based entirely on Kirisame not finding out about the petrified elder. It’s a big balancing act our heroes are not equipped to defeat on their own, but if they are careful can be nudged in a way to help them out. It’s not a traditional shounen “Beat the big bad because I’m stronger” sort of conflict.
Next up is episode 4, “Battle in Three Dimensions”. While the name might imply it’s about flying the drone and catching the petrification device, the third dimension is actually preparing to take down Moz. Kind of nice that our leads aren’t a bunch of idiots and are completely aware of Moz’s plan to backstab them. And you know how they plan to prevent that? Guns! This was always going to be a turning point for Dr. STONE, a tough topic to handle. It’s no exaggeration to say that the invention of the modern firearm changed humanity forever. Some will say it was the great equalizer, the thing that made all men the same on the battlefield. Others would say it is responsible for the most deaths in human history. Both would be correct! And Dr. STONE understands the gravity of this moment.
Senku knows exactly what he’s done, what he’s reintroduced into the world. He has both a reverence and a fear for it, and even questions if they want to bring it back at all. Eventually though he resolves himself to it, accepts that he’s going to hell and that they need it to defeat Moz. I’ve always liked this bit of Dr. STONE. It doesn’t shy away from how some of its inventions can be used for evil, it accepts that many of the things they create will one day be used in ways they don’t like. That they continue anyways will, to some, mark them as complicit. Personally though, I don’t believe the inventor is responsible for what the rest of humanity does with their work.
Beyond that, this episode also sets up the coming conflict. Yo starts to train with the gun, with Amaryllis buttering him up and everyone feeding into his need for validation to keep him controlled. Meanwhile everyone else are taking on their roles, Ryusui piloting the drone, Kinro heading their “army”, Chrom helping figure out ways to improve it, and Moz tricking/leading his fellow warriors into a trap. Of course Moz is a terrible actor, so it’s no surprise that Ibara notices something is up. He doesn’t do anything to stop them just yet though, which means that next episode will see the battle for the island begin in earnest!
Finally we come to episode 5, “Total War”. Unsurprisingly, this is the episode where the battle starts. But wouldn’t you know it? Ibara is actually a pretty smart dude! Turns out when Moz, the strongest guy on the island who really doesn’t give a shit about dressing up, starts wearing an earring suspiciously like the invaders you just captured, something might be up. So what does Ibara do? Takes the earring, overhears them, and tells Kirisame to use a fake petrification device to bait out whatever plan they had to steal it. I’ve always really liked this. Ibara is the first villain to fight Senku on an intellectual level. Sure he doesn’t have the same level of technology, but he’s by no means an idiot and is able to piece things together just as well as Senku and the others can. Furthermore, he’s able to make plans on plans.
I’m of course talking about his backup plan to just nuke the island. Yeah, turns out they can do that, and it’s a pretty good idea. If you funnel the entire island onto that boat you stole and sail out to sea, the only people left will be undesirables and the invaders. Then you can safely petrify the entire thing, ensuring your victory. This is a pretty good plan, I love it when villains use the tools available to them effectively. And it’s not like we/Senku know the limitations of the petrification device. Last we saw it petrified the entire planet over 3,000 years ago. So with this in mind, what are our heroes supposed to do? Well if the villains are leaving the island to nuke it… Than that means the petrified Elder is unprotected… right?
And that’s where we are now. Our heroes have to split up, one group to distract Ibara while the others rescue the Elder and bring him to the beach to show Kirisame how Ibara is lying to her. It’s become a race against time, a battle of wits with the fate of the island on the line. There are few other things in here I liked, such as Soyuz recognizing the feel of his fathers hand and the acceptance that he’s to damaged to bring back, or how quick everyone is to trust Senku the moment the plan goes awry. Dr. STONE has always done a good job with these character moments, and that holds true here as well.
So yeah, all in all these were some fine episodes. Dr. STONE has never been a chart topping highlight of the season, or any season to be frank. It just doesn’t reach those highs the same way shows like Frieren do. But it is one of the most consistent shows in a season every time it airs. The visuals are never ambitious but they are rock solid with very few errors or lows, it just sort of chugs along. And there’s something to be said for that kind of steady consistency I feel. Personally I still quite enjoy it. But that steady pacing, that consistent production, it makes it hard to write something interesting on, which leads to 3-week catch-ups like this. Still, I’m happy it’s here. My anchor of the season.
The post Dr. STONE New World P2 – 3/4/5 [Deal Game, Test of Wit/Battle in Three Dimensions/Total War] appeared first on Star Crossed Anime.