In Episode 3 of Dr. Stone, the battle lines have been drawn. Senku, Taiju, and the newly-revived Yuzuriha set out to even the odds against Tsukasa by developing “weapons of science.”
The episode begins right where the last one left off with Senku and Tsukasa facing each other down. Right as Senku starts going over his strategy to keep the secret of revival out of Tsukasa’s hands, though, Taiju shows up and inadvertently spills the beans. With Tsukasa now aware of the revival fluid, Senku’s plans need to change. Senku tricks Tsukasa into going to the cave with the revival fluid while he and Taiju revive Yuzuriha and plan their next move. This plan doesn’t buy them much time. Tsukasa returns in the middle of their planning and makes his intentions clear to the whole group. Taiju tries to offer himself up as a target in place of the petrified people. As he is doing this, Senku takes a shot at Tsukasa with a crossbow he’d designed. Tsukasa catches the arrow mid-air, to Senku’s surprise.
The next day, Senku, Taiju, and Yuzuriha gather the essentials and make a run for it while Tsukasa’s away. Since the crossbow failed and melee combat against Tsukasa is suicide at best (even Taiju, the sturdiest of the three, only managed to remain standing and refused to actually fight), the trio needs a more advanced weapon of science to even the odds. They manage to find one of the few surviving landmarks, the Buddha of Kamakura, to get their bearings. They manage to make their way to the hot springs at Hakone. Their goal: sulfur, the first component of gunpowder. Tsukasa, proving himself nobody’s fool, quickly realized what they’re up and begins pursuit.
This was another very strong episode of Dr. Stone. Tsukasa, realizing the strength of his current position, wastes no time in establishing himself both as a serious threat and as the one calling the shots. He comes across quite threatening this episode because we know that, at this point, there’s pretty much nothing that any of the other characters can do to stop him. Even Senku’s best weapon is useless against him. At the same time, Tsukasa shows he’s also quite sharp. He deduces what the revival fluid is from a quick trip to the cave. He doesn’t fall for Senku’s deception for very long at all. He’s not arrogant enough to believe he’ll be able to retain his position once firearms are in play. Though we’ve only seen him for a few episodes, he’s done a good job of establishing himself as a legitimate threat to our heroes.
At the same time, this is our first time to really spend time with Yuzuriha. It’s nice to see her very grounded reactions to the new stone world. Seeing such a famous landmark in her life so far decomposed and having to accept what has happened to the world since then. It’s a very real, very relatable moment. Taiju and Tsukasa both woke up and accepted the new stone world and the jobs they needed to do quite quickly. Having a counterpoint of someone who wakes up and has to come to terms with the new reality is nice and adds some contrast to how the other two have acted.
Visuals-wise, I still love the vibrant colors that the show is using to bring the stone world to life. The animation is still very nice as well. Knowing what is to come later, I am very much looking forward to how the show will depict certain new characters and elements in the show.
All in all, another good episode that is keeping the pace and the excitement for the show high!