Dr. Stone
Episode 12

by Andy Pfeiffer,

How would you rate episode 12 of
Dr. Stone ?

This episode presents the greatest challenge of the series so far: what if Death was an anime girl?

Thankfully, the reasoning behind this in Dr. Stone makes more sense than any of the countless entire anime series based on that concept. Sulfuric acid is pretty damn scary when encountered in the wild, and the show pulls no punches illustrating that. Between Senku's tales of dead professors and the visual of melting birds, there's more than enough danger in this scenario to be given the weight it deserves. In the end, the odd hallucinatory spring faerie turned corpse bride makes for a clever representation of how close a member of the group is from death at any moment. I think Ginro personally acknowledging the hallucination is a slight stretch that ultimately distracts from the image's impact, but thankfully it's one small moment among many better ones.

As for Ginro himself, this was definitely his episode, and I'm torn on whether that's a good or bad use of the show's time. We already know well enough that he's a pretty greedy and lazy gremlin. The way he and Kinro have already helped establishes that they're firmly on the right side, but I guess we needed to hammer down that Ginro may be a coward but he's not a selfish asshole. The old man re-explaining the visual language of the episode directly also felt more like padding than actual development, as the big scene of Chrome confronting Senku or even Senku shaking in the moment both delivered far more impact. I'd have been happier had the old man simply left the extra gas mask and walked away, because having to spell it out does a disservice to Ginro's character, even if the result is satisfying either way.

Overall, the episode is a mix of interesting science knowledge and solid characterization with too much loose setup for the already established stakes. I honestly would've preferred more time spent on the gas masks or some specific uses of sulfuric acid than trying to split the focus. Maybe the pace of the next episode will help clarify why this one felt more uneven, but in the end, at least its visuals are probably among the best of the show so far.

Rating:

Dr. Stone is currently streaming on Crunchyroll and Funimation.


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