I have been enjoying my Friday evening anime lately. My fea. For those of you that were around last week, you might remember that Dr. Stone broke my heart in a pretty and delicate way that really upped both me appreciation and expectations for the show.
That’s a double edged sword (unlike katanas). Sure Dr. Stone has build up a lot of good will with me but now that I know what this show is capable of, I’m not going to be as forgiving either.
What I thought Would Happen
We already knew that the Kingdom of Might was coming. (By the way these Kingdom monikers are a little silly but I’m all for it, they make keeping who’s who straight in your mind, really easy). The way I was picturing it, is that Senku would take the news with the usual laugh of his, well he did last episode so I get no credit for that, and start devising a defence plan.
I figured this week would be another fetch quest and a new invention. Not sure what though. Landmines seems unreasonable and too gruesome. It would make the Kingdom of Science look like that bad guys. Giant mechas were too ambitious. I thought about it a lot. I was hesitating between some type of ancient stun gun, maybe even stun net? Or just a series of really good pit falls and booby traps. Non lethal stuff. Although holes aren’t the most impressive feat of science.
One thing’s for sure, I 100% thought they were going to go defensive rather than offensive. Or maybe even leave and discover some type of scientific mecca to settle in.. It wasn’t really that clear in my head but you know, more sciency stuff.
What Did Happen
Apparently Tsukasa’s side is not the procrastinating type. Gen was supposed to be an advanced unit but they got there about 5 minutes after he did. So much for elaborate defence plans and fetch quests. Of course, Senku is still very quick on his feet and manages to bluff his way out of an immediate assault by convincing the enemy they had working guns.
This didn’t last too long though as it turns out, these new enemies are led by another very strong opponent named Hyoga. Although not as brutishly powerful as Tsukasa, Hyoga seems quite smart and a very good judge of both characters and situations. As Gen is still playing triple agent (or is it quadruple now? I lose count) it seems like Hyoga did not fall into the trap Senku was setting. But acted as if he did nevertheless, by attacking during the first storm as Senku new he would.
The villagers were ready for the assault with the strongest warriors laying in wait, equipped with their new ace in the hole. Actual katanas. A weapon whose manoeuvrability and efficiency made quick work of the attackers’ spears until they run up against Hyoga wielding a special seemingly undefeatable weapon.
However Senku’s true ultimate weapon had not yet been revealed. Blades may manage to scratch you but betrayal is the deepest cut. That was so cheesy. Sorry guys….
What About the Characters
Hyoga really is an interesting new villain. He’s good humoured, obviously smart, he seems to like everything…By far the scariest guy we’ve seen so far. I don’t know what his motivation to be with Tsukasa is and I’m intrigued. Senku has his work cut out for him.
This said, between the violent golden boy Tsukasa, the social genius Gen and now this mastermind type Hyoga, how did Taiju even survive? Is he alive? Why would they leave him alive?
Anywho, I already liked Gen because I have an unhealthy love of well meaning trolls but man was he fun this week. It’s not that we got much development for him, in general most of the characters have been pretty static, but it was just such a fun character moment.
The thing about Gen, and about tricksters in general, is that their strength is both their vice and a reason to dislike them, and at the same time super useful and a great way to save the day in a large variety of situations.That’s why a well written trickster is probably never going to be a straight up hero but is also very difficult to hate.And I find them amusing to watch.
What I Liked
This episode flew by in the blink of an eye. Like I said I quite enjoyed Hyoga.
In the early scenes, there is a point where things look quite bad for Kinro and it seems like Ginro may need to sacrifice his brother in order to save the village. His reaction was actually very touching and I didn’t expect that from the character. Kudos for still surprising me after last week.
We finally got some .decent fanservice. Woohoo Kaseki! Not only that but it was accompanied by a pretty dirty double entendre. Oh my!
For some reason, I just noticed that Gen calls everyone “chan”. He’s always done it but I didn’t pick up on it until just now. It’s not translated and the implications of Gen calling Tsukasa “chan” are not brought up in any way. It’s such a Gen thing to do and now that I have noticed, it makes me happy.
Now that we know the origin story, you can really see the resemblance between the villagers and the space station crew. In fact, if I look through all the villagers, I bet I can figure out their origins. And everyone from the space station is represented… except for two. Byakuya is one. Everybody in the village looks like one of the crew members but no one really looks like Byakuya. Well maybe Kinro a bit. They have the same eyebrows. But not as much as his non-biological son Senku. And then there’s Chrome. Chrome actually looks quite a bit like Taiju but not much like anyone else. Including any of the other villagers. I wonder why that is? Oh it’s in the like section because I like that they bothered to create the family resemblances and I like that the exceptions make me think up conspiracy theories.
The mechanics of Gen’s betrayal and defection were very satisfying.
What I Liked Less
Well let’s see.
Tsukasa’s big thing is that adults are corrupt and he wants to recreate a pure world by only reviving young people. Under 18 I guess. That’s why he actively destroys statues of adults and has vowed to not let Senku revive any. So then why do Hyoga’s henchmen look like they’re all in their late 30s. The fight against the chief at some point (Kohaku’s dad) and they are definitely the same age, maybe older.
At some point Suika tracks down Gen through the flowers in the forest. But those are planted flowers growing our of the soil. How did that work? When did he plant them. Had they need waiting for that storm to come for months? I think I actually missed something there to be fair but I didn’t like that device. It feels a bit lacklustre for Gen
Of course Dr Stone could maintain the emotional resonance it built up in the last weeks. And frankly I wouldn’t have wanted it to. This was an amusing return to form. The quick paced action made it go by in a flash and left me wanting more.