Posted by Lenlo on 21 September 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Dr.STONE

Welcome to another good week of Dr.STONE, this time tackling a chapter I have been expectantly waiting for. As this week Senku and crew confront the dangerous side of science, Ginro finds his courage and we take another step towards our cure-all. Let’s get right to it!

First and foremost I want to talk about my personal favorite aspect this week, that being Sulfy-chan. It’s easy to see why she came in at #15 on the Dr.STONE character popularity poll. Despite the fact that she isn’t actually a real character. All that said though, Dr.STONE nailed her presentation this week. Really trying its best to harness the horror of the scene and the building dread of an enemy you can’t see. There are places of course that I think the manga did it better, but that is simply down to Boichi’s stellar art. I think that TMS translated it to motion well, foregoing some of the greater detail for slick animation. Such as her face melting, or her spinning into the bottle like a Proton Pack. So just as good, just in different ways. So credit to TMS there this week.

Moving on to the big theme of this week, lets about Dr.STONE and its presentation of fear. This natural feeling that all humans feel at some point or another, a survival instinct, that is often derided in society. I think Dr.STONE addressed it well, from multiple angles. The big part of that of course was showing how ever character had and dealt with their fear, showing that Ginro wasn’t alone. He was no worse than anyone else in that respect. He just had yet to find something to fight for, to push him through it when he need to most. It’s a classic kind of story, a classic parable, that bravery is not the absence of fear but overcoming it. That only a fool feels no fear and coward is only one who succumbs to it. In this respect, Ginro does well.

For you see, Ginro goes the full spectrum this week. Starting off as this sort of joker. Hiding his insecurities behind jokes at others expense and often avoiding topics through them. Yet behind that is a desire to be something more. Always idolizing Kinro and being willing to put in some work for it all. Then succumbing to his fear in the middle, before talking and working up his courage by the end. Effectively, this was Ginro’s episode to evolve as a character from the slightly scummy fool he started as and I think he did alright. There are minor nitpicks of course, as perhaps he turns it up a bit to much at times. And that spear should have snapped under Chrom’s weight. But he changed it enough to get by and Ginro was the bridge guard for a reason. So all in all its not a big deal.

Ginro’s arc is also helped and supported by how Dr.STONE handles the rest of its characters. Showing how each of them have and deal with fear. Such as Kinro facing Magma in spite of his eyes. Kohaku and her sister, or Chrome and Ruri. Even Kaseki going out of his way to identify with Ginro. In particular though the best one for me was Senku. As Dr.STONE gave us another example of “show don’t tell”. Instead of calling it out, speaking it at the audience, the series instead showed us. It was a rather obvious shot of course, but hey. I will gladly take pretty pictures over obvious speeches. With his hands shaking, yet eyes looking forward, doing his best to inspire those behind. Facing his fear for the sake of his dreams and others, just like Ginro ends up doing by the end. Simple, but effective.

Moving on from this topic, lets take a moment to look into the sulfuric lake itself. This is something I think Dr.STONE pulled off better than the manga. Making it even more beautiful. Taking the deep blues and greens and presenting them in full force, in a way a black and white manga couldn’t hope to. It really helped how beautiful yet dangerous science can be at times, especially in combination with Sulfy-chan. As far as the science goes, it’s seemingly true as well. This gas really is deadly, and really can kill you, with only ~800ppm being needed to knock you out and kill you. With the gas smelling like nothing after 100ppm. There was even a note in the original manga about the scientist with the shoe. Designating it as a true story, though one I was unable to verify.

Now I can’t speak for how useful this acid actually is. I’m a Programmer dangit, not a Chemist! But from a cursory google search it seems quite useful indeed. As the stuff is used in everything from fertilizers and batteries to dyes and pigments. With 40 million tons being produced in the US each year. So I don’t think what Senku intends to use it for is all that far fetched and it probably can be used to produce what he needs. The actual procurement of it was also difficult enough that whatever it results in was well earned. It’s not like the danger ends here either. As they still have to actually make use of the stuff. And I can speak from experience from my time working in a Forensics Lab, the slightest screw up can cause a lot of problems. I still miss that pair of pants…

So all in all, it was another good episode for Dr.STONE. I almost feel like a bit of a fanboy at this point to be honest. Like it’s my duty as some kind of “reviewer” to actually critique the show. And I inherently don’t believe in perfection. So it makes sense that I should be able to find issues with the show regardless of the content. But I am just enjoying Dr.STONE so much. It’s hitting so much of what I liked about anime. While at the same time nailing the actual adaptation side. Sure, the opening section was questionable at best. Perhaps that counts as my “negatives” for the series. But recently its just been nailing every episode with at least one great scene a week. All the while doing so with largely static images. Kudos to you Dr.STONE.

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