Ok this time for realsies! It’s late – I’ve had a bear of a week (but I’m happy) and I am going straight back to an anime convention tomorrow. I can’t spend all night on this post! So this week, we’re staying on track and keeping it at a reasonable word count.
Oh do you guys want to hear about the convention? Well you won’t in this post! But I might write up some diaries if you’re interested.
What I thought Would Happen
I thought Senku would save the blonde chick and she would follow him around like a love sick puppy. Then she would bring him to her village and they would worship him as a god after trying to burn him at the stake or something.
Maybe we would see some hints of an early island of Dr. Moreau scenario. I have a pretty grim imagination. Like not the genetic manipulation bit, just the mad scientist with the primitive island dwellers part…
What Did Happen
Well it was looking that way, Senku did save the girl who turns out is called Kohaku and I just fund out this week that it means amber in Japanese. Coincidence? Definitely! But she quickly turns out to be much more spirited than I anticipated and although still impressed by Senku’s efficiency, she’s much less enthused by his personality and has no difficulty showing it.
They do go to the village but outsiders aren’t allowed in so instead Senku stays just outside where he meets the village “sorcerer” called Chrome. A budding if naive scientist and after a few shenanigans the two hit it off. Senku finds out that Kohaku’s sister, who also happens to be Chrome’s love interest is quite sick and decides that his next task will be to cure her. I assume in a bid to win over the loyalty of the village which gives him a sudden big advantage over Tsukasa and a huge step towards rebuilding civilization as well.
What About the Characters
At first I found Kohaku a little grating. Yet another loud and genki character with a touch of tsundere. But she grew on me quite a bit. She’s neither a pushover or an overbearing explosion of energy. When alone with Senku her personality is hyped up a bit, possibly to not get too overshadowed by his, but when other characters are around they even her out a bit and she becomes a fairly pleasant character.
I also enjoyed Chrome. Taiju and Senku have an adorkable odd couple BBF dynamic but ultimately their relationship is very stilted. Since they are so different, when they’re together they often end up as caricatures of themselves. Chrome is in many ways similar to Senku but with a completely different set of circumstances. As such, their dialogue feels much more like an actual conversation instead of a series of monologues.
I was really ready to pooh pooh on this episode but by the end, I realized that I had a good time watching it and all the new characters introduced were either interesting enough to make me want to know more or amusing enough for me to be glad they were there in the moment. I also found that the personalities of everyone there balanced out better than what we’ve seen so far in the show. Honestly I did not expect that at all.
What I Liked
Surprisingly, I liked the addition of new characters. I think I’ve already explained why. I like that both Chrome and Kohaku could potentially challenge Senku. Tsukasa is an antagonist but even he generally does not intellectually oppose Senku. They have drastically differing ideology but otherwise they actually respect each other. As such, so far, no one has ever really told Senku he was wrong or that he should do things differently. That could potentially happen now and I hope it will!
the “special technique” someone else handle it, is my new favourite super power.
Watching Senku and Chrome nerd out together as everyone else looked varying degrees of bored and exasperated was one of the best moments so far. Moreover, seeing Chrome react to the news that humans had once been a great technologically advanced civilization but had lost it all in the event, was very interesting. Like eveyone else in this show, he adapted to the news super quickly but they still gave us a moment of his reaction and I really enjoyed that.
The fact that Senku’s next mission is to find a way to produce antibiotics for Ruri is great in my opinion. It gives Senku an immediate goal that still has a purpose within his grand plan, which I think will focus and frame the narrative. Overall, I think this will benefit the show.
I think everyone in the village is named after a mineral. That’s not great or anything but I was really happy I knew enough Japanese to pick some of those names out.
What I Liked Less
The frequent hunting and skinning scenes are really starting to get to me. They are really minor but I’m sensitive.
So far it hasn’t been the case but Ruri, or rather the impact of Ruri’s character on others may bring on a dramatic element and I don’t think Dr. Stone will be able to handle that so well based on what we’ve seen so far.
Although I did enjoy Chrome’s character this week. Quite a bit in fact. He does seem a bit like a gimmick. I’m not sure if there’s much room for him to evolve and he may get a bit redundant once Taiju gets back in the picture.
A lot of plot threads are still pointing towards a fairly prominent romantic subplot and bah humbug to that.
I think this was one of the more enjoyable episodes of Dr. Stone we’ve had in a while. The little video game acquired screen gag even made a comeback and I’m a sucker for it.
I’m not overly comfortable with what it’s setting up and the foundations being laid down seem a little shaky but there was also a lot of interesting stuff. I’m cautious since this show has disappointed me before but honestly, if it stays at this level, I’ll be fine with it!
Mood: Waiting for the other shoe to drop