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Dr. Stone: New World
Episode 8

by Richard Eisenbeis,

How would you rate episode 8 of
Dr. Stone: New World (TV 3) ?
Community score: 4.0

'She's hideous! No man in their right mind would want to look at her much less add her to their harem!'
I have to admit, I find the driving impetus for this episode to be silly at best. Senku and the others need access to the mobile science lab on the ship. Oh, but it's not to build a weapon or device to help them unpetrify their friends. Rather they need it to create modern cosmetics—because Kohaku is just so darn hideous that she'll never be chosen as an elderly pervert's sex slave without them!

Maybe this is an art style problem. I've always been under the impression that Kohaku was one of the most physically attractive characters in the show. After all, except for her hairstyle, she is drawn almost identically to her sister who is considered the most attractive woman among the native humans. The “unattractive” part of Kohaku (to the men in the series, anyway) is her personality. She is blunt, quick to anger, and self-assured (i.e., she knows she's the physically stronger one). In other words, the majority of men in the series find her intimidating because she doesn't fit into the established gender roles. In this episode, however, her friends treat her as if she is ugly inside and out—and I just don't see it.

Luckily, as much as she is the butt of the jokes in this episode, she also proves that she has the brains to match her brawn. Even though she lets her hot-blooded nature get the better of her when she sees Chrome (i.e., her friend and the person her sister is in love with) get shattered, she is able to turn that to her advantage. While fighting with Kirisame, she realizes that if anyone on the boat is still alive, she can get their help by talking in code. She specifically yells that she “wants the lab” because she knows these natives won't know the word “lab.” Thus, when Senku arrives, he pretends to be a boy named Lab—i.e., her lover—and that they just happened to use this spot as their secret rendezvous. Honestly, it's a clever bit of subterfuge and one that shows she can be as crafty as Gen from time to time—even if she's not the best actor.

And from her act, we learn that there is one other survivor from the ship besides Senku's group and Suika. Unfortunately, it's Ginro. While willing to give his all when the chips are down, he's a natural coward—and not the person you'd want on a stealth mission. In fact, despite hearing Kohaku's message, he's more focused on getting them to help him than on what Kohaku wanted him to do.

Luckily, Suika is also on board and is able to cover for him. While Ginro has been hiding in a barrel since the beam hit, Suika quickly hid the Senku's small motorboat, returned to the ship, and then infiltrated it without being seen. With the youngest member of the team in her element, we're set up to see her and Ginro get the science lab to Senku next episode. It sounds like a fun time with two of our most underutilized characters.


Random Thoughts:

• I wonder, is Senku asexual or is he just so driven that he refuses to think about any personal wants till he has saved mankind?

• Senku deciding that the petrification device is a thing of science and not magic because it follows rules is a bit odd to me. After all, many magic systems (termed “hard magic systems” by fantasy authors and fans alike), are built entirely around strict rules.

• You know, if the bad guy is so observant he can notice a barrel moved a few millimeters, you think he'd notice the sweating watermelon.

• The more I think about it, the more I wish that Yuzuriha had been left unpetrified as well. It would be a cool addition to her arc to have her focused on bringing Taiju back just as he had been when she was petrified the first time.

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

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