Is it possible to make a mobile phone in such a primitive setting? Senku thinks so. Welcome to Anime Rants, and here are my recaps and thoughts on Dr. Stone episodes 20, 21, and 22. Enjoy~
Episode 20: The Age of Energy
Senku and company begin the long process of making a cell phone. First Senku describes how a cellphone works, which was educational for me. I never took any classes or did much reading about how phones or computers work. To make a phone, they need wires, which means they need a way to turn gold into “thread.” For this purpose they craft a cotton candy machine. All the villagers are amazed by the fluffy candy.
Senku also leaves some cotton candy out for Homura, who is spying on the village. She enjoys it.
To get the machine to run smoother, Senku introduces the gear and wheel. Chrome is amazed by this idea and goes off with Kaseki to work on something on his own. He works on the project for three days without rest. Meanwhile, the villagers work on twisting the tiny gold threads into wires.
When it’s done, Chrome shows off what he and Kaseki made: a waterwheel. Senku is delighted and takes the opportunity to make a mini hydro-electric power plant. They now have an unending supply of electricity. They’ve entered the age of energy.
Episode 21: Spartan Crafting Club
Thanks to the master craftsman Kaseki, Senku is able to build a generator for the waterwheel which can be hooked up to a furnace. The next step is making electric light-bulbs. This takes most of autumn to accomplish. In the meantime, the villagers work hard to prepare for winter and the main fighters (Kohaku, Ginro, and Kinro) work on training with their katanas.
By the first frost, many light-bulbs have been completed. Senku uses many of them for decorative lighting on a large tree just outside town. Naturally, it’s Christmas on the day of the illumination. Everyone gathers to see the beautiful electric lights.
Chrome goes exploring in the caves now that he has a headlamp and flashlight. Senku asks Kaseki to craft the glass-work needed for vacuum tubes. Like Gen, I didn’t really know what a vacuum tube is for or what it does. Senku explained, “It emits electrons at high temperatures, letting us control the flow of the current and make it stronger. It will give a power-up. Just think of it like the gears of the electricity world.” It takes a lot of trial and error, but finally the crafting and mechanics of the vacuum tube are complete.
There’s only problem. The filament they have been using (bamboo) is too weak, and burns up immediately. There is nothing stronger available that would work. This is the first time we’ve seen Senku so defeated. He doesn’t want to give up, but can’t think of anything else. To take his mind off things, Senku goes to see the New Year’s sunrise with his companions. Suika came along and was carrying with her a rock that she got from Chrome’s supply of rocks from cave-raiding.
Here we have one of the many absurd miracles in Dr. Stone. That rock just happens to be Scheelite which contains the mineral Tungsten, which glows blue in response to ultraviolet light. Tungsten can be made into a filament that is stronger than any other in existence. It’s the strongest metal in the world. It’s an “ultra rare” gem. And they just happened to find it. Anyway, on that note, it’s time to find more of it. That means cave exploration!
Episode 22: Treasure
To everyone’s surprise, Senku picks Magma to go with him and Chrome into the caves. Magma agrees and stays quiet. But Magma is the best in the village in terms of raw brawn, so Senku needs him. While in the caves, the group comes across a treacherous area rich in Micah, which breaks apart very easily. Magma charged toward Senku but the floor caved in and he nearly fell in. Chrome accuses Magma of a murder attempt, and then both Magma and Senku fall into the hole.
They escape the hole with help from Chrome, who makes a siphon and directs water into the hole until it’s full. Senku was close to hypothermia, but Magma shoved him out of the water so he could get safely on land. He waited his turn, saying he doesn’t mind anymore if Senku is the boss of the village. This apparent change is a result of Senku explaining that brawn is needed just as much brains, even in the world of the past.
After camping and drying off, the group continues. Soon they reach what’s called a skarn deposit, a rock face with many colors and types of rock and mineral in it. It’s what happens with magma deposits chemicals into the rock over the course of many years. It’s a mountain of treasure.
Once he is armed with a pickax, Magma throws it close to Senku, and confesses that he had planned to kill him here. But now he longer feels the need to do the deed. Again, it’s thanks to him spending time with Senku, and being told that physical power is still key the survival of the village. Thanks to this strong man, more scheelite and tungsten are acquired. The group heads back to the village.
Senku comes home to quite a surprise. In his absence, the villagers made a telescope and observatory for him. It’s because that day is January 4th, Senku’s birthday. (At first, they had blindfolded Senku and pretended to be serious, causing Senku to believe that he’d really been betrayed. It would make sense for the village to kill him or hand him over to Tsukasa in order to avoid being in a war.) Gen planned the entire thing. The mentalist later says that he’s quite fond of Senku.
A Few Thoughts
I’ve made this observation before, but in Dr. Stone, the visuals are sometimes lacking. The scenery and nature stuff always looks good, though. There are a lot of cartoon-ish, over-the-top animated reactions, and sometimes it sort of gets on my nerves. So the random and often unexplained animations of things like Santa flying by, or tungsten winning against a godzilla monster in episode 21.
The only other thing I want to note is this show’s immense educational/informative value. I learned so much in the last three episodes alone. Of course I’m sure I won’t retain even half of it, but hey, I still know much more than I did before. This is a big plus for someone who values knowledge for its own sake.
That concludes my episode reviews for this week. I’m very grateful for your visit to Anime Rants. Have a wonderful day, and appreciate all the luxuries and useful technologies brought to you by science! Till next time.