That has to be one of the subtlest gifs I’ve ever made. I hope you guys noticed it wasn’t a still.
At the speed at which Dr. Stone is cranking out the episodes I started to think it was going for a full 60 episode run or something. Turns out it’s just the average 24. I’m not sure why I’m impressed by this. Maybe it’s because all the other shows seem to be taking it easy at the moment.
In any case, we’re already at episode 15 which means solidly past the halfway mark and a good time to take stock.
What I thought Would Happen
Karandi and I discussed it a bit in the comments of the last episode. I thought they had left the end of the Grand Bout open because they were going to throw a complication in the final rounds. In fact, I thought that we were going to get a second tournament episode.
I did think that Senku might end up winning somehow and that we would have this drawn out comedic interlude with Chrome being all jealous and Kohaku being both jealous and exasperated but it would work out in the long run with each science guy getting the right sister or something.
What Did Happen
Senku did win. Like in the first few minutes. But that’s not really what the episode was about. As soon as the bout was over, our heroes got straight back to making the sulfa drug as Ruri’s condition was deteriorating by the minute. After a failed attempt that did manage to make a decent batch and give it to the princess.
Unfortunately, it actually seemed to make matters worse at firs. After further investigation and rodent autopsies, Ruri was finally diagnosed with pneumonia. A deadly disease but one vulnerable to sulfa based drugs and after a few more days on bed rest and medication, Ruri is finally cured.
And that’s when Senku finds out for the first time that the village is named after him and that his arrival was prophesied. Dun dun DUN!
What About the Characters
Gen is slowly turning out to be a lot more soft hearted then he lets on. His pride drove him to demand a coke and hide behind a pretense to help Senku and the gang but in the end, he worked pretty hard and didn’t actually expect anything in return. Even Suika noticed. And in the end, Senku still made it for him cause he’s also way more of a softy then he likes to admit.
In fact everyone showed their tender side this week. From Kohaku breaking into tears, to Ruri’s father breaking down when he realizes his daughter is finally healthy, to Chrome passing out as soon as he knows Ruri is safe because his love for her is selfless and it doesn’t matter who she ends up with to Ruri herself openly admitting that the feelings are mutual.
With all this, the episode did get cheesy at times but in a fun way. I may have sniffled.
What I Liked
I really enjoyed how smoothly they managed the bait and switch to make Senku the winner. It was actually set up quite well and ended up seeming like a completely logical turn out which I didn’t expect at all.
Of all the technological victories we’ve seen in Dr. Stone so far, none has been present quite as grand and impressive as this medication and that rocks. The idea of portraying medical research as dynamic and glorious as giant robots is just plain cool to me.
Like I said all the characters were in fact quite sweet this week, almost to the point of saccharine, but when you think that they have been working together day and night towards a singular goal, training and even risking their lives together, their closeness and dedication to each other starts to seem well earned. That was one heck of a run on sentence. Anyways, the relationships are evolving in a lovely way.
I’m really interested in this prophecy cliffhanger. They’ve in fact mentioned it a few times before and I was super curious then as well. It seems that we’re finally going to get some answers on that front and I can’t wait. Maybe Senku’s dad really did make it to this new age and passed before (possibly way before him) leaving breadcrumbs behind. OR maybe the village priestess really is capable of some form of foresight and we are about to see some science vs magic clash. Either option is intriguing.
What I Liked Less
You know, it says something that every week I’m straining to find something to put in this section. Fact is, I really enjoyed this episode and it made me happy in many ways.
One think I can say is that the sexy sexy medicine taking scene was silly and out of place. Especially in a show that has kept the fanservice pretty minimal and well integrated, this scene just sort of stuck out and ended up a little awkward.
The only other thing I can come up with is this. Although I really do like the fact that Senku won the grand bout and I really like how he got there and that they didn’t need to resort to some super convoluted story, it was a largely useless narrative beat.
I mean if Senku had not won and Chrome had taken it all as planned, there really wouldn’t have been any impact on the story at all. Maybe the fact that Senku is village chief (wihtout being Ruri’s husband) will become important later but I really don’t see what difference it would make if Chrome was chief. Also Chrome could use the ego boost.
Look, I’m not saying Dr Stone is a masterpiece but it’s just fun. Entertaining, well made, often pretty if unpretentious. The science is superficial but decently accurate. The tone is lighthearted and the action brisk. Tsukasa works very well as an unseen threat too.
I also have to say, the series has surprised me a lot. It’s one of the few shows I really never got a good handle on and now I find it useless to try to figure out where it’s going.
Mood: Bring me wine! (Thanks Jonah)