Dr. Stone
Episode 23

by Andy Pfeiffer,

How would you rate episode 23 of
Dr. Stone ?

Welcome to Dr. Stone's science fair week! There's not much going on this episode plot wise, but it's time for the culmination of previous episodes, Characterization is pretty light episode. We get a bunch of small callbacks to remember each person's quirks but no real further progression for anyone. Magma is now on the helpful side of things, Kaiseki likes having other forward thinking people, Suika wishes to be helpful, and Ginro continues to be a little shit. It's nice alongside their respective tasks and helps deviate from the pure deluge of science that we're faced with this episode.

Now don't get me wrong, I really love how the show presents science and this episode is great for seeing it all come together. My only, and minor, gripe is the direction of it is very stale. The only thing that looks any different to put together than something we've already seen are the vacuum tubes and their construction takes place entirely off screen! Instead we're asked to settle for the children making wire, Senku pouring liquid, and Chrome holding a piece of glass. At the very least Gen livens things up with a little song, but I'm also biased as part of my everyday life is being handed something to repeatedly do about six to eight hundred times while struggling to stay sane so good on him for finding a way for about three of 'em.

The payoff for all of this is pretty impressive though! While not exactly what anyone in our time would describe as a “cell phone” Senku has managed to create a sort of crude radio tower. Which I assume will begin broadcasting Kinro and Ginro in The Morning every weekday at 6 am to the Tsukasa camp in no time. What hasn't been addressed is how anyone will receive these signals. Part of the established plan was to use Yuzuhira and Taijuu to relay information but they're currently completely in the dark not just for receiving any information, but having their own cell tower to reply. I'm sure this will be immediately addressed next episode as Senku has a habit of going one step at a time to a fault, but it would've been nice to have some idea before then.

The last important note of this episode is the nod to general scientific improvement and quality of life. While building stoves certainly isn't a required part of the current experiments it sure was the most helpful way to accomplish burning coal. By giving a way for the villagers to stay warm Senku not only managed to speed up his child labor force, but also gave the village a valuable way to survive the winter. This kind of symbiotic science is incredibly important. The pursuit of science isn't solely for a single cause. The processes and results of each attempt are bound to be useful in more ways than originally planned, and this kind of constant progress is incredibly valuable for building healthy and growing communities. Ignoring the fact the village chief didn't exactly choose Senku as much as Senku earned his place, it's still a very nice message to see him not truly understanding each nuance of all the different experiments going on, but fully recognizing the good it is doing for the people he cares about.

Rating:

Dr. Stone is currently streaming on Crunchyroll and Funimation.


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