Heart of stone.
What They Say:
Episode #17: “A Hundred Nights and a Thousand Skies”
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Dr. Stone picks up in the middle of the story of how humanity survived the fall. In this case, a literal fall as the ISS scientists had to return to earth in two separate landing craft. The group divides into two, with Connie, Shamil and Lillian landing first.
The group decides to land at a safe distance from the place they determine the petrification ray originated from. They aren’t certain if the effect is still happening. The first water landing goes sideways, landing the astronauts upsidedown and miles from land. Trapped, they can only wait to die. The other three abandon ISS and have a more successful landing, with Byakuya rowing out to rescue the others. Yes, row.
In the survivor’s move to be cautious about the petrification ray, they made their survival exponentially more difficult. Landing in a remote location rather than one close to civilization meant that they were far away from materials that would have made living easier, and healthier. Two doctors can only do so much with what they were given, which wasn’t much. When illness strikes they have no way to combat it.
While the tale of survival might have been passed down on a larger scale, the more personal story of the fate of those survivors hits home hard for Senku. I went over the problems of such a small genetic sample carrying forward, and the situation is made even worse by the fact that some of those survivors only produced a couple of children each. Some of which apparently had a predisposition to complications from bacteria and viruses that cause pneumonia.
It’s hard watching the ISS crew gradually succumb to illness. Even the ISS doesn’t last long after there’s no one left to man it and maintain its orbit. It falls back to earth and breaks upon reentry. It appears that it may have even been less than ten years before Byakuya was the last one left to pass on knowledge to the children. Life expectancy probably plummeted for their descendants. Who knows how many generations passed before the survivors left the island. Did Darya and Yakov survive and leave descendants on the mainland? We don’t know. Not exactly the happy fairytale part of the story.
Even if Senku is able to unpetrify the intact humans that he used to know, one man won’t be among them. He might be able to locate his friend’s families, but his father is long gone. Byakuya entrusted his biological children to bring humanity back from the brink of extinction and entrusted his original son with bringing the light of knowledge back to humanity. Senku takes comfort in the fact that he had the best anime dad.
We learn the history of mankind following the disaster which ended humanity’s reign on Earth. Tenacity and science may increase one’s chances of survival, but life without modern technology is brutal and short. That any message could survive thousands of years to reach Senku is a miracle of fate, not science. Senku shows a rare moment of vulnerability at learning the fate of his father, but the pride and love push him through. He doesn’t really have time to contemplate the past. Tsukasa is about to mount an offensive on the village!
Episode Grade: B +
Streamed by: Crunchyroll, Funimation, Toonami!