With a strong 2nd episode that features the introduction of a potential antagonist, Dr. Stone has likely hooked a sizable audience for the summer season.
Summary [SPOILERS AHEAD]
After cracking the formula of how to remove the stone prisons mankind found themselves in 3700 years prior, Senku and Taiju get to work deciding who will be awoken first.
Taiju’s initial thought is to bring Yuzuriha out of her sleep. Right as they’re about to bring her back, Taiju realizes she would awaken naked! Insisting that she have clothes first, he picks up her statue as the pair makes their way back to camp. As he’s fleeing with the stone Yuzuriha overhead, they hear the roar of a lion! Senku realizes that in this stone world, lions have reclaimed their place at the top of the food chain. Even with their spears, victory is far from guaranteed.
During their retreat, Taiju tells Senku that he discovered the famed Primate High Schooler – known for his incredible strength and fitness. They decide to awaken him first instead as an asset against the lions. Despite his 3700 year sleep, he quickly asks for a situation update from Senku, and in no time at all succeeds in knocking out the leader of the lion pack. The others retreat in fear.
Shishio Tsukasa, or Tsukasa, as he’s called, promises to do the fighting going forward. Senku expresses concern that due to Shishio’s tremendous strength, he’s an unstoppable force in the stone world. Taiju imagines an impressed Yuzuriha falling for him before the primate high schooler requests butchering tools. He skins the lion and uses the hide as clothing.
In a series of comically ridiculous scenes, Tsukasa chases down a herd of wild boar, leaps from trees to capture birds, and fishes with a massive spear.
With a hearty diet of meat and greens, their “civilization” takes a significant step in the right direction.
Tsukasa takes to shattering a large boulder on the beach, revealing another petrified victim, before Senku reveals the next major upgrade that they need to progress towards a technological civilization – calcium carbonate (or lime).
After Taiju gathers a number of shells from the beach to pound into the calcium carbonate they need, Senku illustrates the numerous benefits of the substance – most notably the ability to create soap.
Tsukasa shares his admiration for Senku’s intelligence, but Senku is concerned about his ulterior motives.
Later, on the beach, Tsukasa recalls a story of a young boy who sought to create a seashell necklace for his ill sister. He was caught and beaten until he was unrecognizable. Of course, the little boy in the story was a young Tsukasa. He recognized his previous assailant as a petrified man on the beach, then strikes it and removes his head.
Senku comments that Tsukasa just murdered a man, at which point Tsukasa cautions Senku against reviving everyone. His argument is the adults whose hearts are tainted will surely enforce their taxes and corrupt worldview once again, robbing the youth of their future. As he’s about to kill another adult on the beach, Senku takes his shoulder and tells him he disagrees. He’s excited to bring every single person back with science.
The episode closes with Senku’s confrontational declaration.
Another strong entry from Dr. Stone, as Senku and Taiju awaken their first ally (?)
Story wise, it was good to see the acknowledgment of how life in the stone world is a lot more dangerous than it appears at first. The realization that things like wild beasts and illness now pose a serious threat to the continuation of mankind certainly ups the ante.
Senku and Taiju further cement their roles as complementary parts of a dynamic duo. They have some great comic moments as well as Taiju struggles to realize what modern society needs, much to Senku’s annoyance.
Tsukasa is a powerful and foreboding character, though the early sequences with him are almost laughably ridiculous. When he roundhouse kicked a wild boar I wasn’t sure I’d ever be able to take him seriously. However, the closing scene on the beach certainly helped to set up his arc and establish a foundation for his own vision of what he wants the world to be.
The animation is solid, though nothing spectacular. There are some moments of nuance in Senku’s facial expressions that the animation properly highlights, but it’s inconsistent. Besides that, there’s not a lot of flashy magic or action sequences that they are bringing to life just yet, so it’s understandable that the animation doesn’t stand out as much as say, Fire Force has.
Overall, Dr. Stone is living up to the hype as a summer hit. Don’t miss it!