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Dr. Stone: New World
Episode 21

by Richard Eisenbeis,

How would you rate episode 21 of
Dr. Stone: New World (TV 4) ?
Community score: 4.3

Byakuya and Senku each enjoying fireworks in their own way.
Last week, we ended on the big reveal: that the "Why Man" (and his petrification technology) is based not on Earth but on the moon. This has set the stage for everything to come. With the resources found in Japan, Senku and the others could barely make a single modern ship. And while they now have a fair bit of gold and platinum, that's only the start to make it to the moon.

But more than that, it's not just a rocket and space capsule they need to make. To back it up, they'll need to recreate all the logistics and technical support technology. The original space race needed two fully developed modern nations to happen. At the moment, Senku has only about 150 people.

Luckily, the denizens of Treasure Island are poised to double that number. However, as Gen and Senku note, what's important is that the island's people choose to work with the Kingdom of Science. They've just discovered that they were secretly ruled by a despot—that one greedy man caused all their suffering. They're unlikely to give their briefly-held freedom away to a largely unknown group of people who were their enemies just a few days before.

Thus, the majority of this episode is Senku and the others doing PR work. Rather than strong-arm tactics, the goal is to get the islanders to work together and build revolutionary things like a windmill. This promotes unity between the two groups and gives a tangible reason for the islanders to want to work with the Kingdom of Science—access to new technology. Add to that the fireworks show and festival, which are full of modern conveniences like electric lights and cotton candy, and it's hard for them not to want more.

It also helps that Soyuz pushes for good relations between the two groups. With this, his arc is finally at its end. He has gone from an unknown orphan to a nameless soldier to rebel to king. And while he lost a father and a childhood, in the end, he's gained a people primed to love him unconditionally. He truly wants what's best for his people and knows that they are all in danger as long as the "Why Man" exists.

The final important beat of this episode is the short talk between Senku and Kohaku. While Senku is incredibly goal-oriented and driven, he's not emotionless. Unlike the rest of humanity, still frozen in stone, his father and his father's friends will never be coming back. They all died to give him a single chance to save the world. This fact does hurt Senku, even though he'd never admit it—and even he needs some emotional support occasionally.

Luckily, Kohaku knows him well enough to see when he needs that support and how to give it to him. Kohaku has a unique understanding of science. To her, it's not simply a collection of human knowledge; it's a chain connecting humanity from the past to the future. Not only does it make it so that hopes and dreams beyond a single human life span can be accomplished, but it directly ties us personally to all those who added their links to the chain.

Thus, the knowledge Byakuya and the others left to Senku about the petrification device means that even though they and their spacecraft have long since turned to dust, they're still connected to Senku—and through him, to every other single person in the stone world. This is something that Senku needed to hear—something to steel him for the enormity of the task to come.


Random Thoughts:

• I'm glad Kirisame is joining the main cast. If any character deserves a chance to see the world, it's her.

• Kirisame looks so happy to be doing that radio call with Soyuz. I hope she gets to call him from time to time, even after our heroes set out.

• That little scene of Suika sharing her glasses with the islanders—she's so sweet.

• Both Gen and Francois are masters at working behind the scenes—and know how to seize the initiative on their own.

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

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