Welcome all, to another late week of Dr. STONE! I’ll admit, I’ve not had much motivation, or energy, to write about it lately. Every time I think to I find something better to do. Still, the show must go on, so here we are! Lets dive into it.
First up we have episode 6, “Joker”. This one continues the conflict as our Kingdom of Science friends charge the boat. And if I’m being honest? Not a whole lot happened. So instead of boring you with a play by play, lets just hit the big ones, starting with Hyoga’s return. I had actually forgotten about this. Both that Hyoga was on the ship and that he returned in this arc at all. Despite that, I do quite like it. His return feels well done and makes sense. He really is the only person they have left who could go toe-to-toe with Moz, plus even as a villain his motivations don’t allow him to turn on them. He’s a man who does things properly, the right way. And Hyoga? He can’t deny, for all their differences, that Senku and the Kingdom of Science do things properly.
Of course this doesn’t stop Moz from trying to lie to him, trying to get him on his side. But if Hyoga can see through Gen’s bullshit he can definitely see through Moz’s. And you know what? I like his justification for refusing. Moz, for all his power, has no morals or guidepost. He has no rules, nothing he lives by except his own pleasure. For someone principled like Hyoga, that would never fly. Plus he can sense Moz will inevitably betray him. So? They fight! And for the most part it’s even, though by the end of the episode Hyoga is losing rather handily without his spear pipe. That’s fine, obviously Dr. STONE can’t finish the fight that quickly, we still have a few episodes to go. But at this point Moz is basically dealt with.
As for Ibara, he still wants to petrify the whole island. What makes this work is that Kirisame, even before seeing the statue of the master, all but refuses to do it. She’s listened to Ibara for so long because she believed his words to be the chiefs. But this? This is something he would never order, he has far to much respect for the Medusa and the island as a whole. Again, this is good. Villains thinking for themselves, things not going to plan but in good and helpful ways. Of course this doesn’t stop Ibara from betraying her, activating the Medusa himself and petrifying her before she falls to the bottom of the ocean. But it does cement her as a “reasonable” villain once the arc ends and she needs to be un-petrified.
Speaking of the Medusa, we finally learn how it works! Sort of! Just speak the radius you’d like it to cover and how long until it activates and boom, sphere of petrification! Of course there’s the question of how these people still have meters, or even know how far they are. But hey, it’s a modern analogue so we viewers can follow along, I’ll take it. Anyways, Ibara has the petrification device, Yoh shoots his hand and steals it, and now Dr. STONE has become a game of keep-away with the most dangerous weapon we’ve ever seen. We all know Ibara won’t take this sitting down, so it’s just a question of what he does next. Personally though? I do think this is a far better kind of conflict than Season 2’s more Shounen-ey “Battle it out” sort of thing.
This brings us to episode 7, “Flicker of Doom”. Of the 2 this is by far the more engaging episode. In fact it’s probably the closest to an “event” episode ala Jujutsu Kaisen that Dr. STONE will ever get. The first half finishes up with Hyoga, he gets his pipe and cleans up Moz. Fight aside, I really like this, we get to see how Hyoga’s philosophy really isn’t that different from the Kingdom of Science’s. He’s a supremacist sure, but he’s also a firm believer in generational knowledge. In the buildup and passing down of techniques from one individual to the next, perpetually refining and improving them. Is that not what science is all about? Building on what came before, improving on it to reach new heights for humanity? I think so. Hyoga just happens to be a darker side of it.
As for Ibara, this dude was terrifying this episode. Right from the get go he’s a monster, diving off the ship to whisper commands to the Medusa so that he can petrify Yoh. Then shoving it down Ooarashi’s throat, lying about how he can be safe to get him to the center of the island before it goes off. Mocking everyone he sees as he walks past their petrified bodies, admiring them while musing on who to save and who to leave. The guy has always been a villain, and a solid one at that if you ask me. But this was episode was really his “statement”, the one that makes him memorable. He almost won, using nothing but his wits and ruthlessness. Too bad for him that Senku survived.
That’s right, Senku lived! How we don’t yet know, though I’m looking forward to learning next week. Dr. STONE has given us a bunch of hints as to how, what with the line of statues, raised fingers and the knowledge that the petrification beam always moves at the same rate. Most likely it’s some kind of contraption to unpetrify himself after it the beam finishes up. Whatever he did though, now he has to face Ibara alone. And you know what? Odds aren’t good for Senku. He’s not a physical combatant at all, while we’ve already seen that Ibara is willing and able to kill someone himself. While these are probably the best odds he’s had since coming to the island, Senku is going to need to come up with something fast to win. Though I did like his microphone trick, that was cute.
So yeah, all in all these were two fine episodes of Dr. STONE. As I said above, I’ve been a bit unenthused with writing about it lately. This is mostly due to the fact that while Dr. STONE is solid, it’s not incredible. It’s not good enough to gush over like Undead Unluck or Migi & Dali, but it’s also not collapsing in any way that’s interesting like Jujutsu Kaisen. It’s sort of just… chugging along. And while as a fan that’s nice, as a blogger that’s not the most interesting thing to read. So, with how busy my schedule is, let this be a lesson not to work a 9-5 while also attending grad school kids these Machine Learning papers don’t write themselves, it’s naturally the first thing to get delayed. Still, I’ve been enjoying it. Hopefully this finale is just as consistent.
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