Episode 15 of Dr. Stone: New World is another scientific thrill ride. It’s been a while since the season ended its final episode, so what’s not to do with humor, bizarre facial expressions, Senku showing off his mad scientist side, and the return of several characters? Our favorite sub? On top of that, Senku faces an internal conflict after recreating what he considers one of humanity’s greatest inventions, but also possibly its worst—the gun.
Senku usually doesn’t happen to be a person who ponders things. He put his trust in his scientific knowledge and let it do the rest. But every once in a while, he has moments of reflection, and we saw glimpses of that in this episode. Only this time it’s different. It’s one of Senku’s traits that gives depth to his character, so he doesn’t just do anything other than make stuff and teach science. What Senku reflects, however, is one of the most common thoughts of any great scientist—is this going too far?
It’s gotten to the point where Senku has now created modern weapons, and in this episode, he creates nothing more than the first shotgun of the Neolithic Age. This is where Dr. Stone’s writing shines and let me tell you why without adding exclamation points at the end of every sentence because I’m so excited to talk about this.
One problem with a lot of anime and manga these days is that they bring up issues and dismiss them without giving any thought or moral perspective. Some shows treat problems as jokes, others treat it as no big deal, etc. But here in this episode, people from the modern world in the Kingdom of Science, including Senku , realized what the introduction of guns into this new film world could bring.
This also creates a dynamic between them and the people growing up in this new age, who think it’s just another of his cool inventions. They couldn’t fully grasp what Senku had just invented. Then, at that moment, Senku even said to himself: “I will definitely go to hell.” Close-ups, shadows, angles, gentle smirks with gentle eyes, and Yuusuke Kobayashi’s wonderful voiceover. That entire moment was captured perfectly. It’s hard not to feel a little choked up.
Although humanity may not remember Senku as the man who revived guns in the world, he always will be. That is a heavy burden of guilt for someone who would never use his science to cause permanent harm to humans. And even though he was sure that this gun was nothing more than “the tranquilizer of the new world,” the reality was that thought still weighed heavily on him and what he had just created. That pressure even made him nervous for a split second, who was always at the forefront of science. As someone who even fought Tsukasa for his belief in being able to save all human lives, creating a weapon that has claimed so many lives throughout history is an internal conflict for him that I can’t even understand. That’s a huge burden that I think could easily be overlooked in this episode.
But see, these moments for Senku are necessary, not only for his character but also because he is a scientist. I seriously doubt that there has ever been a scientist in the history of humanity with a stable moral compass who has not once fearfully thought “What have I created?” Hell, we just had a box office hit in Oppenheimer that tackles exactly this moral issue. Above all, Senku’s attitude toward bringing guns to the new world shows that his heart will always be in the right place—one of the core roots of all great shounen protagonists.
This episode shows that even the greatest mind in human history has moments where even he doesn’t know how things will turn out. Last week we saw how scared he was that Moz could end them all in their current position. This week he feared for his life again when he had to fight the villagers. But I think the one thing I respect the most about Senku, especially as a shounen MC, is that he doesn’t get beaten up, gets angry, and acts strong.
He realizes he doesn’t stand a chance in physical combat, or labor for that matter, but still smiles at the problem right in front of him and tries to come up with quick, scientific solutions to not just living but also prevents others from being seriously injured. Instead of just running into the village and shooting everyone with a gun, he takes the most nonviolent approach possible to revive Kohaku and Ginro along with Medusa. That required an incredible intelligence, especially in the Neolithic period.
I think Kinro’s resurrection in the manga wasn’t as impressive as it was in the anime, and I give credit to the staff and casting of that character. His resurrection depends on the anime production team to make it a little more epic. So, I can say, I loved this moment in the series. Just seconds after being revived, Kinro knew something bad had happened to Ginro. That serious brotherly bond that we don’t see much of in the series really comes to life in this episode. It’s hard not to appreciate it no matter what we think of Ginro as a character. Most of the time they have typical goofy bro moments. But this one brings out their serious sides and I really like it.
His return, with his golden spear, and leading Senku’s group against everyone without a moment’s hesitation is one of the more bad moments of the series so far. They usually don’t come often unless Kohaku is involved in something or Senku concocts something extraordinary in a pinch. So the fact that Kinro jumps right into action without asking anything other than how Ginro is doing just goes to show that so many of the supporting characters in this series are well-written and easy to like.
Dr. Stone: New World Episode 15 Recap
I think there’s nothing particularly special about this episode in terms of animation, that’ll be saved for the next episode onwards. But the comedic timing and stellar voice cast still prove that even in contrived episodes, the series can be as enjoyable as any other type of episode in shounen anime. Dr. Stone: New World doesn’t overcomplicate the experiments, and episode 15 even offers up ethical dilemmas, emotionally charged reasoning, and a solid cliffhanger to keep fans interested. Excitedly waiting for the real battle to begin.
The series just knows how to entertain viewers with laughter, science, and both great story and character development. If episodes like these are what propel the show into the top 10 in our weekly polls, then I can’t wait to see where the show ends up after this next episode.
Episode 15 rating: 8.5/10
If you liked episode 15 of Dr. Stone: New World then be sure to vote for that episode in our weekly poll! Episode 16 of Dr. Stone: New World will air on Thursday, November 9. Crunchyroll is streaming Dr. Stone: New World with English subtitles.
Screenshot via Crunchyroll
©Richiro Inagaki, Boichi/Shueisha , PhD STONE Production Committee