by Andy Pfeiffer,
How would you rate episode 9 of
Dr. Stone ?
Remember back when Senku trash-talked the author of some crappy self-help books? Well, Gen Asagiri has arrived, and he's even worse in person, so now Senku gets to insult him to his face!
First of all, if Tsukasa is building an empire based on the values of primitive strength, it sure was a strange choice for him to revive this dude. Perhaps Tsukasa does see the value of different types of strength, as long as they aren't based on the restoration of modern society? In that case, Gen fits the mold as one who was able to masterfully deceive in a more advanced age, giving him an even greater advantage on the unequal playing field of the Stone World. However, that's only if his strength is committed to your cause, and the man known as Asagiri Gen is loyal only to himself. The smirking creep is perfect for this story, as the act of winning him over solidifies Senku's edge in the competition with Tsukasa.
Winning him over, however, will require far more than it takes to convince the villagers. While science is still Senku's most reliable weapon, impressing Gen is more about the audacity and scale of Senku's achievements than the science itself. While Gen can be impressed by cooking ramen or making magnets, he's more drawn in by the grandiose end goals that Senku seems confident he can reach. While Gen is content to take the easiest route to his own survival and happiness, Senku constantly pursues the tougher path, and the results of his hard work are far beyond what Gen expected to ever see again.
The culmination of this effort is finally defeating the night. After all of the different experiments and tons of manpower in this episode, the result is a single filament lighting atop Chrome's shack. In a world with only natural light, the bright unnatural light shining upon the village in the dark of night illuminates its future, and just how far Senku and his friends will go from here. It's a wonderful and highly effective visual, as any doubt that Senku would be able to win over the village is completely swept away with the darkness. The one remaining doubt is still Gen; while he's obviously impressed, he still doesn't give a definite promise of allegiance by the end of the episode. Due to his nature, I don't feel comfortable assuming anything until then, as even the grandest displays or greatest breakthroughs may not mean much to him if he doesn't see himself as benefiting directly.
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