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Dr. Stone: New World
Episodes 1-3

by Richard Eisenbeis,

How would you rate episode 1 of
Dr. Stone: New World (TV 3) ?
Community score: 4.3

How would you rate episode 2 of
Dr. Stone: New World (TV 3) ?
Community score: 4.3

How would you rate episode 3 of
Dr. Stone: New World (TV 3) ?
Community score: 4.4

I mean, the E = mc² is right there on his collar.
Continuing on from last year's Ryusui special, these first three episodes of Dr. Stone are centered around the search for oil—the oil that our heroes need in order to travel across the pacific in search of what caused the petrification of all human life on the planet. But while this is the driving force of the narrative, it's not really what the arc is about. Rather, it's about all the other things discovered along the way to that final goal. We get mirrors, cameras, an improved drive train, a radio tower, and GPS—not to mention the rediscovery of agriculture.

Honestly, these first three episodes are Dr. Stone in a nutshell. Nearly every beat of the story is practically screaming about just how amazing humans are—showing item after item we've created and all the other things we've invented as a byproduct. It's easy to see why Senku is the fanatic he is—and why he believes he can restore the modern age in a single generation despite the seeming insurmountability of such a task. Senku is standing on the shoulders of every scientist who came before. He already has the roadmap—all he has to do is walk it.

But science is only half of what makes Dr. Stone so great. The other half is the human moments. The first episode forces Senku and Ryusui to confront the fact that the lack of agriculture has led to massive suffering among the local human population—with feast or famine completely reliant on fishing each season. The same episode is also a deep look into Taiju. We see that while he does have superhuman stamina, that's not what makes him great. Of all the people we've met, he is the one with the most humanity—the most empathy for the people around him. If Senku is the brain of the new human society, Taiju is the heart. This is why Senku chose him as his first companion.

But, of course, it's the end of the third episode that radically alters the status quo and brings this particular arc to a close. In testing a rudimentary GPS, Senku and the others receive a simple morse code message: the word “why” over and over. Given that 3,700 years have passed, there is no chance of an operational radio tower remaining intact from the modern age. That means that the humans of Ishigami Village and the Kingdom of Science aren't the only ones on the planet. Just as important is the fact that, whoever these humans are, they have equal or superior technology to Senku and his companions. And lastly, we are left trying to decipher the one-word message. Is it a question asking why the petrification happened or is it a message—an invitation for those capable of detecting the signal to follow it and learn the truth behind the stone world? We'll just have to keep tuning in to find out.

Episode 1 Rating:
Episode 2 Rating:
Episode 3 Rating:

Random Thoughts:

• I enjoyed all the comments on how spoiled modern humans are when it comes to food—that even the chard bread husks Senku makes are delicious to the people of Ishigami Village.

• I wonder if you could actually use a daguerreotype camera to take aerial photos. No matter how steady the balloon, wouldn't the picture be nothing but a blur if there was even the slightest movement over the course of minutes?

• Francois is an interesting addition to the cast. I mean, after making instant ramen and cola from scratch, I'm surprised Senku didn't already know how to make long-lasting delicious bread.

• Senku being the first photograph of the new age hit me way harder than I would have expected—though it was probably due to the pose and what it would mean to Senku.

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

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