Keep it simple, stupid.
What They Say:
Season 2, Episode 5: “STEAM GORILLA”
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
I’m angry about the steam engine. I will be angry about this dumb plan for days.
Gen, at least, has my back on the problems with building a steam engine for transport and eventually assault. Big problem number one, there are no roads. This forces the group to stick to a predetermined path of mostly cleared and leveled ground, even with Senku’s NASA patented space-age woven bamboo tires. (I tried to look these up, but all I found at NASA was memory alloy tires. I did find a 3D printed bamboo-composite tire that looked like it was made out of woven material… I’m still not sure what Senku was referring to though.) Senku’s single-piston steam engine is also shit at hills so the team was forced to get out and push.
Before the journey begins, the village elders informed Senku that they would be staying behind, along with the youngest kids. Why in the world was Senku planning on taking them anyway? He thought they’d be safer making a dangerous, grueling journey into enemy territory? What the hell is wrong with you Senku?
Once they’re almost at their destination Senku realizes they need more power in their steam engine. Suika uses her melon camouflage to track down the location of the imprisoned Chrome, and thus the gorilla tank is built. Yes, a tank. Senku creates an armor plating from laminated paper which is actually pretty useful, as they can make lightweight shields out of it for defense. The tank’s main goal is basically a one-time use battering ram, which the enemy is certain to hear coming from a mile away.
Can you tell this is a terrible plan? Because it’s a terrible plan!
Tsukasa figures out that Senku will be attacking him with some sort of steam engine. At this point, I’m going to assume that Tsukasa just has psychic powers because there is absolutely no way that he would guess that. Would it have been so hard to have someone spot the army on the move? Surely the gymnast wasn’t his only spy and lookout. No, instead Tsukasa just says that it’s logical that’s what Senku would do. NO, IT ISN’T. Either way, Senku’s element of surprise is lost and the enemy has built pit traps to stop his tank.
Luckily Chrome realizes that if he escapes on his own he is no longer a liability and wouldn’t need a big, loud rescue attempt. The fact he spent probably weeks just sitting on his ass before thinking of that is rather pathetic. Come on Chrome, you’re a scientist, use some science and break out of there!
While the science behind making a steam engine might be sound, the logic driving the decision is not. Senku is truly lacking common sense in many areas. It takes a village to make the boy genius realize that his plan is full of holes. Both figuratively and literally as Tsukasa realizes via his ultimate antagonist powers what the hero is up to. I have to admit it’s more fun watching carefully laid plans come apart at the seems and watching how the heroes improvise to overcome challenges. I’m rooting for Chrome to save Senku from his really dumb plan.
Episode Grade: B –
Streamed by: Crunchyroll & Funimation