Welcome all, to another week of Dr. STONE! This one begins our epilogue, our journey into the next arc. Not a whole lot happens, mostly just check-ins and resets, but we do get one major plot reveal: Why-Man returns. What does this mean? Well lets jump in and find out!
Starting off, like I said this was a rather slow week. Lots of preparation for the next arc, walking us through reviving everyone and surviving on the island, you know, dotting i’s and crossing t’s. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t decent though. It was like we were speed running the first few episodes of Dr. STONE all over again. Identifying problems, unpetrifying people as they were needed, slowly expanding and rebuilding. It was a nice reminder of what everyone does and just how far we’ve come. Plus it gave us a chance to spend time with some of our new characters, the islanders now turned allies with Ibara out of the picture. The big one of course being Kirisame, who quickly sided with them after hearing what happened.
As for the aforementioned goal? Well that’s simple: We’re going to the moon baby! This was a great reveal in the manga. It’s just such an out there idea for a series built around a slowly progressing tech tree. Space travel is so far away from where Dr. STONE currently is, it’s obvious this is a series long goal rather than our next immediate one. Getting to the moon, confronting Why-Man? That’s our endgame. Still, it’s nice to have it setup sooner rather than later. Now we know what everything is going to be building towards, and it won’t feel ridiculous like if we had busted out a lunar lander within a single season. Or well… As ridiculous, it’s still going to be a bit wild when we get there.
Speaking of Why-Man, this was probably my favorite reveal of the episode, mostly because as a concept Why-Man is great. This ominous, all encompassing voice perpetually transmitting on the radio-waves from the moon? Synthetically creating Senku’s voice while projecting a command for the Medusa to cover the Earth in petrification once again? Dropping more from space onto the island, petrifying all those on it at the time? It’s such a great concept, a villain they can’t fight physically but who is clearly far more advanced than them. Obviously I know where it goes, I’ve completed the manga and it’s great. But reliving it now, having not read it in a while? I’m glad to see that it still holds up, and that Dr. STONE as an anime understands the sort of… galactic or eldritch horror his existence gives the story.
Finally lets talk about a few of the small details this week, namely Matsukaze and Ginro as well as Kohaku and Senku. For the first pair, there isn’t to much to go on. Mostly Matsukaze is from the original inhabitants of the island who got petrified again only a few hundred years ago, with only a few surviving to become the islanders we know today. Apparently Ginro looks like his old master, Ginro returns to being a sleeze, there really isn’t much going on here just yet. As for Kohaku and Senku, I really like their relationship. It’s not romantic, it’s more about mutual respect and admiration, but it straddles the line and so easily could be. I love it anytime these two have these “romantic” moments. Plus Kirisame getting all flustered because she still thinks they are together from the kiss last season is hilarious.
So yeah, all in all a fine episode of Dr. STONE. The series continues to be solid and consistent, not terribly many highs but certainly no lows. It knows exactly what it wants to be, the production is stable if unexciting, and it’s sort of just… plodding along at a steady pace letting the story speak for itself. Maybe that isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, they want something that gives seasonal highs. And you know what, I don’t blame them. Dr. STONE is the kind of series that will probably be better binged once the whole thing is over and you can experience it all at once. Because it really is about this slow buildup of characters and the mystery of the Medusa. Personally though? I like it, it’s chill.