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Dr. Stone: New World
Episode 15

by Richard Eisenbeis,

How would you rate episode 15 of
Dr. Stone: New World (TV 4) ?
Community score: 4.2

The moment the world is forever changed (once again).
This episode marks a major turning point in Senku's technological journey. Until this point, weapons technology has been kept as low-tech as possible—with Senku's forces using mainly bows, spears, and swords. Even when forced to go beyond that for victory (like with the tank and the acoustic canon), things were kept as non-lethal as possible. And while the idea of Senku creating guns was used as a psychological weapon in the fight with Tsukasa, Senku never made one—until now.

The reinvention of the gun forever changes the balance of power in the stone world. At this point, science has overtaken physical prowess in the killing arts. It no longer matters who has the most strength. What matters is who holds the gun. This is a step Senku can't take back—and one that may ultimately damn him in the eyes of the very people he is fighting to restore to life.

Yet even beyond the moral implications, the existence of a gun has the power to upset even Senku's camp. While Yo is smart enough not to shoot the hand that feeds him, others are not—especially those with delusions of grandeur like Magma. A few guns in the wrong hands can easily prove to be the end of Senku's grand plan of restoring the modern world—especially if their tight-knit society grows in size any further.

But even with all that said, it's hard to see what other choice Senku has. There's no hope of talking peace with Ibara—he has too much to lose, given all they know. Meanwhile, Moz is sure to kill or enslave them all the first chance he gets once the petrification weapon is out of Kirisame's hands. The chances of ending this all bloodlessly are slim—and given that no one in Senku's crew can stand up to Moz, an equalizer is needed.

Sure, Senku may claim that his gun is too weak to kill people, but this just smacks of self-delusion—a way to separate himself morally and emotionally from what's likely to occur. Hit the lungs or heart—or even an artery—and even the weakest bullet can kill. Hell, in a world without modern medicine, even a flesh wound could get infected and prove fatal.

Of course, once Senku and the others have the petrification weapon in hand, things change. It is, for all rights and purposes, the ultimate non-lethal weapon—and can heal any wound to boot. Moz, Ibara, and those loyal to either could be imprisoned in stone indefinitely. It's just reaching that point that's the problem. And we'll have to see if, going forward, Senku has to live with blood on his hands or if he and his friends can manage to sidestep that outcome once again.


Random Thoughts:

• The episode title, "Battle in Three Dimensions," is an awesome one. It refers to not only the plan to capture the petrification weapon in mid-air but also the three-sided fight between Ibara, Moz, and Senku.

• Shooting a gun off inside a cave like that is insane. It would be so painful on the ears.

• Kinro is the star of this episode. Not only does he cut an intimidating figure in his new outfit, but the way he immediately volunteers for what is a suicide mission to save his best friend and Kohaku is some powerful stuff.

• Cute Suika moment of the week: Yuzuriha sewing the cloaks at high speed, including one with Suika already inside.

Dr. Stone: New World is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

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