Seriously though, why are humans and birds the only ones to get petrified? This is going to bug me so much. Also is it every bird or just sparrows. I haven’t seen any falcon statues or even crows or anything like that. If you’re going to make a huge deal about the science in your show, you can’t just leave a question like that hanging…
AM I just being nitpicky? Maybe it doesn’t matter… Let’s see what happened in episode 3 of Dr. Stone:
What I thought Would Happen
I thought there would be a tense allegiance of convenience between our three guys as Senku and Tsukasa try to out manoeuvre each other while Taiju plays an unwitting third wheel. I figured we would get more displays of just how manly Tsukasa is by randomly having him perform feats of strength and everything else would grind to a halt.
Basically the same as episode 2 while slowly making Tsukasa more and more menacing.
What Did Happen
Essentially what I thought would happen but much better. Senku and Tsukasa’s differences of vision came to a head almost immediately as in the process of waking Yuzuriha, the secret of revival was blurted out bu Taiju (you knew this would haooen). I thought they would have held out of bringing back Yuzuriha until much later, making her a character goal for Taiju so I was surprised by how smoothly her revival went. After that, the characters quickly split up, with Tsukasa going his own way, while the other three head out to create “weapons of science” that can protect them against the inevitable clash with Tsukasa.
I write Tsukasa a lot…
What About the Characters
Tsukasa… Just kidding! As I mentioned, I was surprised we actually got to meet up with Yuzuriha this early and I’m happy about it. She’s a good foil for Taiju and Senku. Already her presence has a calming effect which I much appreciated. Taiju is back to his one note lovable oaf character but it worked much better this week. Since Dr. Stone is indeed making Tsukasa more menacing, the two of them got squarely differentiated this week which made them feel less redundant.
And yeah, I guess we should speak about Tsukasa a bit. As an actual antagonist he is way more interesting. In effect, the character serves as a clock to the story. Before, Senku and Taiju could in theory just take their sweet time, lazing around and doing things at their own leisurely pace. As long as food held out and predators didn’t get too problematic we could have watched them hanging out and fishing for months. I guess surviving winter may have been a challenge but Senky would probably have invented central heating by then. On the other hand, they now have a viable reason to hurry up and get things moving along. That’s good.
This said, isn’t Tsukasa just a bit too good to be true. He’s got superhuman strength, he seems almost as smart as Senku, figuring out his plans within seconds based on just abut nothing, he’s got the most traditionally handsome character design and despite being of questionable morals, even our main characters keep calling him a good guy. It’s interesting to have him as our only visible villain.
What I Liked
The pacing is back on track. For a 24 episode season they are moving at a rather brisk pace which I find intriguing and keeps me interested in the story. The fact that Senku and co. are now essentially cut off from the cave, while Tsukasa doesn’t know the entire formulae for reviving people, means that we’re not just going to get a “revive a new guy” every episode formula.
Dr. Stone is mixing up the narrative which means that it still has to potential to go just about anywhere. They seem to have figured out an ensemble cast that works well and are still keeping track of everyone’s motivations.
What I Liked Less
I’m not sure how I feel about gunpowder being the next goal. It’s a bit cliché and firearms will set up a lot of narrative pitfalls.
There are a lot of flashbacks in this show. So far we’ve had some every episode and it feels a bit cheap. I know it’s a trope but still.
Although I do like Yuzuriha, she is the least developed character so far and I hope they give her a bit more meat. Moreover, unless they can tone down Tsukasa without the set up they’ve already created for the character, he’s only going to be defeated through Deus Ex Machina.
I have a feeling we’re going to get cheated out of a proper hot springs episode.
Although Dr. Stone followed the main lines of what I was expecting, it got there by a completely different road and added a lot of little surprises along the way. Overall episode 3 was not only better than I expected, but better than I could have imagined based on episode 2, so I really have no complaints.
I’m someone that has a particular appreciation for pacing and it was quite good. Once more, had another episode been available, I’m sure I would have just kept on watching.
Mood: Back to fully Optimistic