by Andy Pfeiffer,
How would you rate episode 13 of
Dr. Stone ?
Remember that time Senku had Kaseki make him a bong? No? Well, it was a hell of a way to open the episode, even if I nearly forgot about it by the end. There sure was a lot going on this week. I even got my wish for more acid science, but I did not realize my wish would also include Senku and Chrome pissing into a jar like a pair of Calvin bumper stickers, so you got me there Dr. Stone!
The majority of the episode is buildup to the Grand Bout, and while some time is spent getting the final preparation in order, like drawing up a plan of sacrificial match-ups to guarantee a non-Magma win, the action doesn't really get started until the last third. Until that moment, we get the requisite science lessons, but what's really intriguing is Senku finally picking up on the Ruri mystery face-to-face. We learned last week that the main job of the priestess is remembering and reciting the hundred stories, which are all weird retellings of things we know from the modern day. How they survived into the Stone World, and why she recognizes Senku, remains to be seen, but we know there's a connection between all these threads now. It sure is a shame that Ruri's disease has the side-effect of interrupting important plot details. I guess that's why it's so important to win this tournament and cure her! Or at the very least keep her away from the dude who yet again loudly declared that he'd murder her if he wins, yet he's still allowed to compete for some reason. Magma is still an incredibly broad anime villain, and I hate him and his weird tiny sycophant man.
On that front, we get another rare fight scene in this science show. Kinro's dodges and pokes and Magma's heavy swings are serviceable for some light shonen action, but the real fun kicks in thanks to Suika. Still operating under her own laws of cartoon logic, she manages to unlock the true power of Kinro by upgrading him with her cool hat. One anime explosion later and the dumb strong spear boy who was too proud to admit he couldn't see good drops Magma to the ground. It's a fun and effective moment, which is usually the case whenever Suika is involved, and it is nice to see the villain felled in such a way. Granted, this means all of Chrome's training to enact the great plan of "hit Magma in the dick" may never come to fruition, but that seems a small price to pay for a rigged bracket from that point on.
This episode is a true encapsulation of all things Dr. Stone. There's science, some action, hints at greater mystery and intrigue, and a fun sense of humor and tension throughout. I can't wait to see how this tournament wraps up.
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