Dr. Stone Episode 17

Dr. Stone Episode 17

A Hundred Nights and a Thousand Skies

I’m sorry in advance to any die hard fans of Dr. Stone, but this is going to be a rough review for you. There are a lot of problems with this episode, as well as a fair amount of things I just personally took issue with. So let’s get some of my personal grievances out of the way up front.

The big one has to do with the idol character. I don’t know any of their names other than Byakuya, so I’ll just be describing them — I hope that’s good enough for you. So what’s the problem with her? She breaks out into song too often. And by too often I mean the fact that she does it at all.

This isn’t an issue I have specifically with Dr. Stone. If you’ve read my series reviews before you may have come across this complaint in the past. I know for a fact that I brought it up in my Children of the Whales review, and I’m sure there are others. Characters breaking out into song is just one of those things I hate.

The other part of this issue is that when she breaks out into song, it’s in English.

I get that she’s supposed to be an American (if I remember correctly), but she normally speaks in Japanese, so only having her singing be in English is a bit conflicting. It’s similar to how in Vinland Saga we get Danes and Englishmen both speaking in Japanese, but neither of them understands the other.

There are a lot of bad ways to represent multiple languages, and this is one of them.

The Beginning of the End

Let’s take a break from my complaining and get into some of the specifics of this episode which I want to discuss. Namely, the origin of the petrification event and then the eventual downfall of the founding generation.

Last week I mentioned that the petrification event appeared to have originated in North America, specifically the Southwestern United States. But it turns out that’s not actually the case. Byakuya uses social media posts to determine the area initially affected was located in South America.

Now, from the image we got of the petrification expanding across the globe, it still looks like it’s coming from farther North than that to me. But let’s assume Byakuya is correct. That means it originated south of Panama, so maybe Venezuela or Colombia.

That’s potentially important information. Remember, when I originally thought the event started in the United States, my thoughts were on weapons or even aliens as the cause. Those are both still possible, but what if it has something to do with an ancient civilization?

From what we’re told, it wouldn’t be the Aztecs or Maya. And from what we see, it wouldn’t be the Inca either. But there were many civilizations in ancient Latin America. Could this petrification event be connected to a prophecy or something else related to one of them?

After all, stone technology prevailed in South America for far longer than other parts of the world. And we know how this series is all about stones. I just figured I’d bring that possibility up and you can decide for yourself whether or not it’s plausible.

The Founding Generation

The founding generation has some interesting things about it. But first, let’s just appreciate the fact that the men and women who made it up paired together just as I predicted last week — not that what I predicted was that all that hard to guess based on appearances.

But what I really want to talk about here are their fates. And to do so, let’s go backwards starting with the longest lived, Byakuya. He was the final survivor and the one who passed down the 100 tales, or whatever the history lessons were called. We don’t know when he died, but that doesn’t matter.

The idol was the second to last one to die, and she died at a surprisingly young age considering how healthy she appeared. We don’t know the cause of her death, but considering she didn’t look as bad as the two to die before her, I assume it wasn’t from pneumonia.

The six survivors of the petrification event from the anime series Dr. Stone
The six survivors of the petrification event

The young blonde guy died shortly after his wife, the brunette girl. We know the brunette died of pneumonia, and we can assume he died of the same thing considering the similarities in their illnesses. They did have children before dying though, with Kinro and Ginro being their descendants.

The final pair are very interesting. This is the older couple who were married before they even went into space. They leave the island in search of medicine for the brunette while she’s sick. However, they never return. It’s implied that they died before they could make it back, but what if that’s not the case?

What if they simply couldn’t get back for whatever reason? Like if they got lost. Could they have started another village somewhere else? I want to say no, but it’s possible.

Geography Doesn’t Work Like That

If I had to pick one thing that bothered me the most about this episode, it’s the blatant disregard for how geography works. It’s heavily implied that Ishigami Village is currently in roughly the same location it was when it was originally founded. However, the geography is vastly different.

And I might not have to mention this, but 3,700 years is not a long time as far as geography is concerned.

The village was founded on a relatively small island and the cemetery was along a sheer cliff which dropped off into the ocean. But in the current story, the village, while still on an island, is extremely close to mainland Japan — like 50 meters close. And the cemetery is now in the middle of a forest nowhere near a cliff or the ocean.

The Ishigami Village cemetery from the anime series Dr. Stone
The Ishigami Village cemetery

How is all of this possible?

There are two explanations. One is that the current Ishigami village is actually far from its original location. The other is that it simply isn’t possible and geography was thrown in the trash. Sadly, I think it’s the latter which is the case here. Unless Senku finds something within the cemetery to prove otherwise next episode, that’ the conclusion.

Now, there are some other explanations for this. For one, volcanic eruptions can drastically expand land masses. But how plausible is that considering the fact that the village is still there? It would have been wiped out if the amount of volcanic activity needed to change the landscape this much actually occurred.

So, like I said, I’m hoping the village isn’t in the same exact spot, but I think it’s going to turn out that it is.

The Greatest Anime Trope of the Past 3,700 Years

The last thing I want to bring up regarding this episode is the inclusion of one of the most iconic tropes in all of ecchi anime. And of course I’m talking about the “not related by blood” trope.

It was revealed that Senku isn’t the biological son of Byakuya, and therefore isn’t directly related to anyone currently living in Ishigami Village. This would normally mean there’s no taboo against him ending up with any of the women, such as Kohaku. But, technically this trope has no real effect this time around.

Senku says that because they’re hundreds of generations apart, they aren’t closely enough related for it to matter in the first place. He’s right that they’re so distantly related that it doesn’t matter, but he’s a bit off with his estimation of the generations. It’s more like 150 – 175 generations.

However, the big question for me then is, why was this brought up to begin with? Setting aside the fact that Senku and Byakuya look extremely similar and so it’s suspect for them not to be related, why would this be included in the story?

If it doesn’t matter from a procreation perspective, the only reason I can think of is because we’re going to meet someone else who makes this fact matter. Perhaps we’ll meet the biological son/daughter of Byakuya. Or maybe we’ll even meet a biological sibling Senku never knew he had.

Honestly though, regardless of why we were given this piece of information, I don’t see anything good coming of it. Best case scenario is that it doesn’t matter. Worst case scenario is it transitions into the evil, long lost sibling trope.

Conclusion

I think that’s everything I wanted to discuss about this episode, so let me know what your thoughts are in the comments. What do you think caused the petrification event? What happened to the missing members of the founding generation? And why does it matter that Senku and Byakuya aren’t related by blood?

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My review of the next episode is available here.

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