So this is the last day of my vacation and I’m writing an episode recap. Not sure if that’s gonna play in Dr. Stone’s favour or not. Wait what am I saying.. it will make no difference, I am a consummate professional!
Without further ado, here’s a completely unbiased and super duper fair episode review of this week’s Dr. Stone. Here we go!
What I thought Would Happen
I honestly wasn’t sure this time. Not that I’m ever sure but the mystery of Senku’s relation to the village was always a point of great interest to me because I couldn’t quite figure it out.
The closest I got to a theory was dad Senku’s dad had somehow already awakened and passed by this village at some point which is where they know the name from. Maybe the two even looked enough alike to make the connection. I did call the dad bit because I’m a genius at predicting obvious and heavily foreshadowed story lines. Thankfully though, the authors had a much more fleshed out story fro Senku’s dad (Byakuya) than I did.
What Did Happen
They didn’t tease us too long and picking up from the cliffhanger of last episode, Ruri explained that Senku had always been part of the 100 legends that from the villages spiritual dogma and from there we were thrown into a flashback.
We had already seen how little Senku developed his love of science and we saw him at that age again acting very much like himself. This time around, we also meed his dad who had just failed astronaut selection due to failing one of the physical exams. Despite pretending not to care, little Senku devotes the following years to creating a smart suit to help his dad train. A suit that (like most of Senku’s first tries) fails completely at it’s purpose but his son’s dedication to helping him inspires Byakuya to work extra hard on his own and actually manage to land a spot on the next Soyuz space mission.
After another 5 years of training he goes up to space to meet up with the motley crew of the international space station and begin his stay. By this time, Senku is in high school and notice an interesting phenomena of sparrows turning to stone. A few days after the phenomena happens and everyone on earth is turned to stone.
Those not on earth though are unaffected and now have to figure out hoe to save everyone. That is if they can even get back to earth first.
What About the Characters
Its not like Dr Stone needs more characters. I love large ensemble casts and true ensemble shows (which are rather rare) but it’s difficult to properly develop that many characters while letting the plot grow in a limited number of episodes. This is one of the aspects that trickiest when adapting written medium to the screen. Even in a long running series, time is not going to be on your side. You need to make choices. So the fact that we are past the midway mark and Dr. Stone has just spent an entire episode introducing us to a whole new cast could be a misstep, except I don’t think it was.
To be fair, only Byakuya gets any type of true development this week. The rest of the space station crew remain superficial but pleasant enough. No one is obnoxiously loud, needlessly mean or annoyingly know it all. In fact, they seem fairly down to earth! I’m so proud. But seriously, Dr Stone has had problems with making its characters a little too extra so these fairly understated lot were a welcome change.
As for Byakuya himself, well he really is just like Senku. A little softer and more mature but otherwise, the apple fell right next to the tree this time. And I have no complaints. Byakuya seems easy going but he’s still a man that has trained for and eventually passed astronaut qualification and is a university professor otherwise. He’s someone that has raised Senku and maintains a very healthy and close relationship with him. That’s not someone who’s lacking in drive.
We haven’t had the chance to see his genius at work yet but I wholeheartedly hope we see the astronauts’ return to earth and that aftermath where Byakuya will have a better chance to show his skills.
What I Liked
OK, the space bit was perfect! I mean perfect. We already knew Senku’s dad was in the science field which makes perfect sense with his son’s interests and access to equipment. It’s really not a stretch to imagine the man would want to be an astronaut. Who doesn’t? I wanted to be an astronaut when I was a kid and although everything I’ve read about it makes it sound like an awful and tedious experience, and I have grown out of that ambition, if I was magically offered the chance tomorrow, I would totally go! I’m saying this goal resonated with me.
So it wasn’t that far fetched t make Senku’s dad an astronaut and his journey to make it, as well as Senku’s admiration and dedication for his dad was heartwarming. Just as Byakuya’s appreciation for his son. Their entire relationship managed to sweet without getting saccharine.
Moreover, this put’s Byakuya in space during the event which is brilliant on so many levels. I’m still annoyed that we don’t know how Senku got freed from the stone, but I can readily understand that the people on the space station would have avoided it. That’s logical. And we get the added bonus of seeing the event from space which was awesome.
The sort of ouroboros notion that humanity is it’s own ancestors might not appeal to all but I really like it. I want to see more. This is my favourite setup of the series so far and Dr. Stone has some really good set ups (execution is where it wavers usually).
What I Liked Less
Like I said the crew of the space station are fairly generic. We can see that they are genetic ancestors of the present village characters but beyond that, we aren’t given much to work with.
The blonde guy who’s name I forget has the hilarious serious guy/villain guy line: Humans do not need fun to survive. Not only is it super cheesy sounding and not something I can imagine an actual human say but it’s also super false. There have been tons of research to prove that humans absolutely need fun to survive and an astronaut should know that.
You know what humans don’t necessarily need to survive? Space travel…. But since space travel sounds kind of fun, we should do it!
The flashback is sort of impossible. As in no one in the present (Senku and co.) could have known these events so either the narrative actually did bring us back and we can’t expect the characters to know what the audience knows or we’re missing s9ome information here.
Ok, we’re starting a whole new plot thread without having resolved most of the previous ones and I don’t even care. This just looks like sooo much fun. I’m not sure why I feel compelled to justify my enjoyment of this show. I just like it is all.