by Andy Pfeiffer,
How would you rate episode 8 of
Dr. Stone ?
Any concerns that moving Senku to a new setting and supporting cast would hamper the story should be completely gone after this week. This episode solidifies the goals and expectations of the village arc, while drip-feeding in some of the new characters we can expect to meet during Senku's stay.
First and foremost, this is an episode full of science. While other science episodes have mostly focused on a single experiment to solve a current problem, this time Senku's goals are too manifold for that. He needs to win over the village, and he's decided on curing Ruri for the most direct route, but the process required to do so will take several more steps and far more science than anything before. Each phase in the medicine's development has its own share of requirements, each sounding more and more improbable to create in the Stone World. Watching Senku try to compensate for the lack of modern tech is the main draw as he tries to speed-run straight to the iron age.
The key resource for this is obviously manpower! To that end, the science required in this episode isn't so much directly tied to the problem of making medicine, but science as a recruitment method for uniting a work force. We've seen Senku gild a spear to appease Kinro, but not surprisingly, handing out gold-tipped spears isn't the most effective persuasion method. Instead, we are treated to a cool explanation of primitive flour and how to make not-so-great ramen. Thankfully, the villages have nothing to compare its unimpressive flavor to, so everything works out in the end!
Meanwhile, there are a few important hints tossed off about the nature of the Stone World and the village itself. First of all, the North Star is now the Mostly-North Star, due to how much time has passed and the slight tilting of the Earth's axis. Second and more mysterious is how the goal of saving Ruri is amplified by learning her stories, which have the same names and themes as those that existed before the Stone World. It seems extremely unlikely that this could happen by chance, so I'm looking forward to that explanation.
Lastly, while we are introduced to several new characters, most of them with no names yet, I want to take special notice of Suika. Suika is a precious child and a valuable member of the Kingdom of Science. May the story protect her above all others, because her presence on screen is a delight. Whether somehow existing as a morph-ball melon or in full Sherlock Holmes mode, both the animation and sound design are kicked up a notch for her scenes, which is quite a treat. I can only assume that with her around, everything will go smoothly, and no one else will be quickly introduced to throw a wrench into Senku's plans.
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