This is my favorite freeze frame of the series so far.
©Kome Studio, Boichi-Shueisha, Dr. STONE Project
This is one of the more action-packed episodes of the season—it’s one long fight scene as our heroes try to buy time. However, there’s also a pretty strong theme running through the episode—the theme of fanatics and the dangers of trying to manipulate them.
By fanatics, I am talking about people who devote themselves entirely to one person or another. idealism—willing to live, die, and kill for one’s beliefs. More than a few of the island’s natives fall into this category—though most outside the military seem to have less genuine convictions and more “people who don’t want to be turned to stone.”
Kirisame was definitely the first. She believes that the Great Spirit is a divine and wise father. If she were asked to petrify someone—kill them to the best of her knowledge—she would do so without hesitation. Her blind spot is that she cannot believe that others supposedly loyal to the Great God could or would betray him. Despite not having heard the Great Master’s voice in over a decade at this point, she still obeys Ibara’s orders without hesitation—believing Ibara to be a loyal servant like her.
Ibara’s weakness is that he is too used to her fanaticism—and takes it for granted. He’s also on the ropes. He just saw that Senku can undo the petrification process—and who knows what else that strange “magic man” can do. So he doubles down on his pragmatic plan—petrify it all and arrange the rest later. However, Ibara never thought that this was an action that went beyond what the idealized Great Master Kirisame would do in her head and it completely broke her trust in Ibara. So he had no choice but to turn her to stone—breaking the deadlock between him and Moz and leaving him more vulnerable than ever. Luckily for Ibara, Moz is also facing a failed attempt to attract a fanatic.
Simply put, Hyoga was a firm believer in Eugenics. He sees the petrification of the world as a way to separate the wheat from the chaff. He only wants to bring in the smartest and strongest people—people he thinks will enrich society. His only problem with Senku is their conflicting philosophies. The thing about Hyoga—what Moz doesn’t realize—is that Hyoga’s philosophy isn’t designed to serve the self like Moz’s. Hyoga isn’t trying to build a harem, he’s trying to save humanity. For Hyoga, the idea of eliminating a strong woman like Nikki simply because she was not attractive in the conventional sense—dismissing his values for the sake of sexual gratification—was enough to make Hyoga firmly against Moz. Although Hyoga believes that humanity needs to be destroyed, destroying them the wrong way is worse than not destroying them at all.
And in the chaos caused by the two overconfident men, Senku and the others gained the upper hand for the first time. Ibara is injured and Moz is occupied. Our heroes have escaped and most importantly they are now in possession of the petrification device.
Last episode, I wonder who will win, Magma or Nikki. Now I realize it doesn’t matter. The important thing is that Magma believes Nikki will win—he lost before any battle began.
→ Now we know how the petrification device works: it’s voice-activated—and it’s in English, which is pretty cool.
→ Why did Senku drag Kaseki into this war? Surely it would have been better to have him wait on shore. In the end, all he did was get his cardio up by running across the deck and up and down the stairs.
I wonder how effective the reveal that the boss has been turned to stone will be on the general population. I’m sure it added to the chaos if nothing else.
Dr. Stone: New World is now streaming on Crunchyroll.