Dr. Stone Episode 18

Dr. Stone Episode 18

Stone Wars

The Tsukasa Empire has finally attacked Ishigami village, and it happened for the exact reason that I mentioned two months ago. After Gen reported back to Tsukasa that Senku was “definitely” dead despite not finding a body, Tsukasa determined that he couldn’t take the risk of Senku still being alive.

This was an obvious development that was pretty necessary for the story to progress. At some point Tsukasa was going to have to learn of Senku’s survival. After all, he’s the antagonist and Senku is the protagonist, so they need to confront each other eventually.

But before I get into the rest of this week’s episode, I want to pose the question: what happens after Tsukasa is defeated? I haven’t read the manga, so as far as I know he already has been defeated. But let’s think about this from the perspective of where the anime is currently.

Ishigami villagers wielding katana from the anime series Dr. Stone
Ishigami villagers wielding katana

Tsukasa and his followers, mainly the newly introduced Hyoga, are the only antagonists in the series so far. You could argue that surviving against nature works in an antagonistic way, but the villagers of Ishigami village are a bit beyond nature giving them any trouble.

So if Tsukasa is defeated, would the series end? Is he the one and only big, bad villain? Would Hyoga take over as the next main antagonist? It’s possible, but I see him more as the antagonist of this next arc. Or, would an entirely new antagonist be introduced?

My guess is either the first or third option, and I’d prefer if the first was the case. Based on the premise of this series, it’s not one that can really go on forever. At the same time, introducing new antagonists after the previous one has been defeated causes a disconnect in the story.

Hyoga-chan

But what about the remaining option? What if Hyoga became the next antagonist of the series after Tsukasa was defeated?

Hyoga wouldn’t be the same exact antagonist as Tsukasa — we’ve already seen that. He may have some of the same ideals as Tsukasa, such as not wanting to revive any of the former adults, but his methods of going about accomplishing this task would be different.

Despite not having a real reason to be this way, Tsukasa is anti-science. The most advanced piece of technology we ever actually see him use is a spear, and that’s not all that advanced considering the technology of Ishigami village before Senku arrived.

Hyoga, however, embraces the technological advancements of science. This is evident by his construction and use of a Kuda Yari, which is a more advanced type of spear. I’ll be discussing the Kuda Yari in more detail later on in this review.

The other major difference between Tsukasa and Hyoga is how they use their brains. It’s already been established that Tsukasa is extremely smart. But his smarts aren’t quite the same as Senku’s book smarts. Instead, Tsukasa is a smart fighter who’s able to figure out what his opponent is likely to do next.

However, while Hyoga is certainly a good fighter, his real skill lies in tactics. He’s able to accurately asses match-ups between two sides, and isn’t afraid to retreat if it means victory later on. He also has an appreciation for those who are able to outmaneuver or outsmart him.

Fake Guns

At one point in the episode Senku fakes having a gun. He loads gunpowder into a container and ignites it at the same time that Magma throws a rock in the direction of their enemies. This, along with Gen’s acting, was enough to convince the Tsukasa Empire warriors that guns had been invented in Ishigami village.

Specifically, these would have been matchlock guns, which as Gen mentioned, aren’t exactly the most reliable during a storm. However, Senku also refers to these imaginary guns as rifles — and states that he has ten billion of them. Those are two lies which kind of give away his bluff.

I don’t think I need to explain why saying he has 10 billion of them are suspicious. But as for the rifle aspect, rifles, especially considering the technology at hand, refers to guns with rifled barrels. Riffling is a set of spiraled grooves in the barrel which causes the projectile to fly farther and straighter.

I’m not saying that it’s impossible for Senku to have invented rifling, but that’s an extremely significant step up as far as technology is concerned. It’s simply less believable that Senku would have rifles compared to standard guns at this point.

But why doesn’t Ishigami Village have matchlock guns (with or without rifling)?

As far as I can tell, Senku does have all the material he needs in order to build a gun. Most importantly, he has gunpowder and material strong enough to be the barrel of said gun. So why not actually make one? The only reason I can think of is because it would quickly end the series.

There would still be technological advancements to achieve, but there would be no more conflict unless an enemy acquired some guns as well.

Katana vs. Kuda Yari

And now comes the part some of you may have been waiting for, the discussion of Hyoga’s weapon, the Kuda Yari. Interestingly, this will be my second review which takes a look at weaponry in as many days.

So I think we all know that the katana is basically the pinnacle of sword technology. That’s not exactly true because there are different kinds of swords meant for different forms of combat, but whatever, let’s pretend it is. So how would a katana match up against a Kuda Yari?

The short answer is that it likely wouldn’t end well for the Katana user — sorry. The only real reason Hyoga lost the fight was because his weapon was sabotaged by Gen and broke as a result.

Chrome and Senku wielding katana from the anime series Dr. Stone
Chrome and Senku wielding katana

The Kuda Yari is an advanced take on a spear in which the shaft sits within another, hollowed out pole. This has a number of benefits over the traditional spear, which were actually featured — though to an unrealistic extent — in Hyoga’s fight against the Ishigami villagers.

Of the two main benefits, the first is that the Kuda Yari can thrust farther and with more force than a regular spear. We see this depicted when Kinro is stabbed in the stomach by it (which he definitely would have been more injured from).

The other benefit is the spinning of the tip. This was extremely exaggerated when it was depicted in the anime, but the idea is sort of still there. Really the circular motion would only have a diameter of a few inches, but this causes the wounds inflicted to be much more severe.

Conclusion

Overall, this wasn’t the worst episode of Dr. Stone. Aside from the fact that Senku said his “ten billion” catchphrase, I don’t really have any complaints. It also wasn’t the best episode, but it doesn’t have to be.

So what did you think of Dr. Stone episode 18? Do you think Tsukasa is going to be the final antagonist of the series, or will there be others after him? Do you like Hyoga as the antagonist of this arc? And, what are your thoughts for why Senku hasn’t invented guns yet despite having everything he needs? Let me know in the comments.

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My review of the next episode is available here.

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