Sometimes science doesn’t have all the answers.
What They Say:
Episode #11: “PROLOGUE OF Dr. STONE”
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
This episode is mostly a solemn conclusion to the series as a whole. Senku and his team manage to put an end to the conflict by rounding up the final dissidents. The important bits of information taken away by team science is that, yes, the shattered can be resurrected if reassembled. That hopeful note is darkened by the fact that Tsukasa has a mortal wound, one that despite Senku’s best efforts, is slowly killing Tsukasa.
Senku forces a smile throughout the episode because he knows he doesn’t have the tools or technology to save Tsukasa. The one magical cure-all is the petrification weapon, and nobody is sure where that originated from or if it could be harnessed to use to save a life. That leaves Senku facing the impossible.
Senku and Tsukasa’s final conversation is one where Senku refuses to make eye contact with Tsukasa. Everyone else is out of the cave, and Senku rambles on about nonsense while putting the finishing touches on his refrigerator. It does harken back to the beginning of the series where the three teens lived alone in an uncertain world, eating what they could catch and trying to survive. Tsukasa has spent the better part of the series as the enemy, he even tried to kill Senku. But now the two boys act like old friends. Senku doesn’t hold a grudge, which is interesting for a lot of reasons because he always seems like the eccentric inventor who is fine on his own. We forget that his mask of courage is just that and that even our boy genius has a heart.
Weirdly, the conversation works to stir the heartstrings. It made me forget, momentarily, the crimes of Tsukasa. It’s strange that everyone else is so willing to overlook the fear and allow Senku to attempt to save him. (Well, except for Magma who really wants to kill Hyoga, and Magma is correct in my opinion.) What doesn’t work as well is the rest of the villagers messing around and resurrecting a manga-ka of all people just for some entertainment.
Senku has a new plan as this episode and season come to a close. He wants the petrification weapon. With it, he could use its powers for healing and food preservation. It could be an amazing tool rather than a weapon of mass destruction. He would have to build a ship and take to the open sea to find the location of the weapon, but a goal is a goal. If he can find it he can return and try to save Tsukasa. That’s all for later seasons though.
Dr. Stone remains a dumb, fun ride with some afterschool science project nonsense to prove the jocks don’t always win. This seasonal wrap-up provides a nice bookend moment for the series as a whole up until this point. It provides a clear view forward while tying up the main conflict which has been the driving focus for most of the series up until this point. If you had to end the series here it would be acceptable, but a third season has already been announced. Personally, I’m excited to see Senku and friends hit the road to get to the heart of the mystery MacGuffin petrification beam. Moreso for the whole hit-the-road part, because who doesn’t love a good road trip?
Episode Grade: B +
Streamed by: Crunchyroll & Funimation