Dr. Stone: Stone Wars
Episode 6

by Richard Eisenbeis,

How would you rate episode 6 of
Dr. Stone: Stone Wars ?

“In which Chrome sciences the shit out of it.”

So here we are with our second Chrome episode of the season. However, while the previous one demonstrated Chrome's loyalty to his friends in the face of certain death, this episode is all about his ability to MacGyver himself a jailbreak while taking advantage of the psychology of his captors.

This is the first time in a long while we've seen Chrome completely without support from anyone else. But what really puts Chrome in a pickle is his lack of things to work with. Long before he met Senku, Chrome had amassed a collection of rare raw materials, and if he ever needed more, he knew exactly where to get them. Now he has nothing beyond what's in his cell itself—and whatever he is able to shove down his pants on a visit to the bushes they call a bathroom.

However, once a mysterious benefactor gives him the battery he used as a smokescreen when fighting Ukyo, he is able to come up with a plan to escape: using his sweat and the battery to create a substance that can silently eat through the ropes of his bamboo cage

Yet, while this is a cool means of breaking out, what really allows Chrome to escape isn't his knowledge of science, but rather the psychology of his enemies. As “modern-day” men, his captors don't even question the idea that they know more about science than some caveman. If they would have watched him as closely as any prisoner from the modern era, he would have never had any possibility of escape.

But as foolish as their attitude is, what's truly important is that Chrome was able to recognize it and use it. As a true believer, it is in Chrome's very nature to want to teach others how cool science is, and to share his knowledge with everyone he meets. However, this time, to escape and save his friends, he has to swallow his pride and act like science—well, the science he knows, at least—is garbage. You can tell it's hard for him to play the clown, but he's able to control his emotions in a way we haven't seen before.

Even after Chrome's out of his cell and on the run, it's his continued exploitation of his enemies' psychology that lets him escape. He knows the guards are too afraid of Yo's punishment to recklessly chase him (and possibly disturb the tiger pits near Chrome's cell) and so is able to easily outrun them. Of course, that doesn't apply to Yo himself.

But when Yo corners Chrome, Chrome plays his last psychological card: he coughs up blood all over Yo. While the natives of the stone world don't really understand disease and how it spreads, anyone from the modern-day absolutely does. And in a world without antibiotics, getting your face covered by a sick person's blood is one step away from a death sentence. It really is the perfect way to distract a physically superior opponent for long enough to hit them in the balls with a stick.

So in the end, Chrome has saved the day twice: once in getting captured to allow Gen and Magma's escape and once in breaking out so he won't be used as bait to lure Senku's tank into a trap. In the process, we've learned more about the man—what drives him and what his priorities are. But even more importantly, we've seen him grow through adversity to heights far surpassing what even those close to him thought him capable of.

Rating:

Random Thoughts:

• For as smart as Chrome is this episode, he makes one huge miscalculation. There's no way that Taiju and Yuzuriha got him the battery. They had no way to know it even existed. The only person in Tsukasa's tribe who has that knowledge is Ukyo.

• With his super hearing, Ukyo surely knows about the army on their doorstep. The question is, has he told anyone?

• I question why Tsukasa would think a disgraced cop whose philosophy towards criminals is “kill 'em all and let god sort 'em out” would be a good fit for his new society.

• Also, how in the world did a person with Yo's personality manage to become a cop in the first place?

• On a similar note, are Ukyo and Yo supposed to be far older than Tsukasa, Gen, Nikki, Senku, etc.? I mean, while they may look like high schoolers, they both had jobs that require years of experience to get into.

Dr. Stone: Stone Wars is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

Richard is an anime and video game journalist with over a decade of experience living and working in Japan. For more of his writings, check out his Twitter and blog.


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