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Dr. Stone Season 2 Episode 4 – Steam Powered

Quick Summary of Dr. Stone Season 2 Episode 4

In Dr. Stone Season 2 Episode 4, “Full Assault,” Ukyou Saionji continued to stalk Chrome and Magma. Unfortunately, Ukyou not only has exceptional hearing. He’s also ex-US military, so he knows how to stalk. Meanwhile, with Homura now safely under lock and key and enjoying freeze-dried ramen, Senkuu and Gen turn their attention to preparing for the assault. Nikki had whole-heartedly thrown her support to Senkuu in the previous episode, and as a Lillian super-fan, she offered — strongly — to refine their plan. But even if Gen can perfectly mimic Lillian’s singing, Nikki warned them of a major obstacle: Ukyou’s exception hearing again. Can Gen and Senkuu find a way to fool someone with perfect hearing, without having the singer there with them? 

Dr. Stone Season 2 Episode 4: My Turn to Host!

Welcome to our collaboration review of Dr. Stone Season 2, Episode 4. Irina from I Drink and Watch Anime and I have teamed up to give you play by play and color commentary on the latest episode. 

Before we get starting, do you have any opening thoughts, Irina?

I really sound like a broken record when it comes to Dr. Stone. I repeat myself a lot but particularly with this show. I can’t help it, every time I finish an episode I think to myself, man, I really like Dr. Stone.

You would think this would be old by now. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s a shonen jump adaptation or maybe because it had some rocky episodes early one and so many fans wrote it off, or maybe still because it is clearly an all audience anime with younger viewers in mind, but it feels like I shouldn’t like it as much I do or like there should be a caveat or something. But there isn’t. I genuinely enjoy the series and have very few criticisms of it, all of which are fairly inconsequential.

And you said all that without knowing what I’d ask you at the very end! 

Review of Dr. Stone Season 2 Episode 4

Introduction

There were three high-points that jumped out at me in this episode. First, Magma makes good on his promise in the previous episode — much to Chrome’s discomfort. Unfortunately, Chrome’s discomfort was pretty much a constant in this episode, because he wound up surrendering to Ukyou. In a very uncomfortable way. Second, after Magma made it back and told the village about Chrome, and after he restrained Kohaku from single-handedly challenging Tsukasa and his entire empire to get Chrome back, Senkuu surprises everyone. He announces that it’s time to march their army to Tsukasa’s territory! But first, Senkuu decides they need one more, last-minute, absolutely critical invention before they can leave. Good thing Ginrou, Kinrou, and Gen gathered all of those honeycombs during the last season! And finally, Ukyou presents Chrome to Tsukasa as a hostage. Given that it’s Chrome, it goes about as well as you could expect.

Magma and His Meat Shield

As we know from the last episode, Gen made it back to the village. It was mostly because of Chrome’s quick thinking. In this episode, we find out how that went for Chrome. Let’s just say that Gen got the better part of the deal. Ukyou could not only hear unnaturally well, he knew how to use it. 

Remember how Magma thought it’d be a good idea to use Chrome as a meat shield? Magma actually did it! But something odd happened. Chrome didn’t die. When Magma tried to use the directions the arrows came from to triangulate Ukyou’s position, Chrome took a moment to think scientifically. Bright lad that he is, he realized that there was no way Ukyou had accidentally missed all those times. Instead, he must want to capture them so he could interrogate them!

Dr. Stone Season 2 Episode 4: Chrome figured out Ukyou's plan

Chrome figured out what Ukyou’s goal really was. Pretty good thinking for a meat shield! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

So Chrome did a very brave thing. Well, maybe not brave strictly speaking, but it could not have been comfortable. He ripped out his underwear and made it into a surrender flag. Ukyou was on Chrome in seconds.

Magma saw what had happened and high-tailed it back to the village. I don’t think it was an act of cowardice. I think he knew he couldn’t rescue Chrome on his own, and he wanted to report back. For his part, Chrome tried to play it cool. When Ukyou decided to untie Chrome, then give him a bit of praise. “You did it to save the meathead and the other person who ran away.”

Chrome’s Fast Thinking in Dr. Stone Season 2 Episode 4

Chrome gets full points for recognizing the start of an interrogation. 

It was nice seeing Chrome think on his feet, even if it meant he had to be captured underwear-less. Irina, what did you think of his approach to the problem?

Chrome is an odd character in many ways. He shouldn’t work. He fills the same role as Senku in many ways, and is more or less the same character archetype, just more beige. Senku is a lot more fun. And because of his similarities, he’s not a great character foil. Or at least he shouldn’t be

And yet, Chrome works extremely well as part of the ensemble cast. Maybe it’s precisely because he is more or less a version of Senku that is much less cynical and sarcastic, you can kind of see how situations would play out if the main character was just a bit different. 

It helps that Dr. Stone has a pretty large cast also. That means there are a ton of personalities to play around with and two very similar characters aren’t as obviously redundant.

Dr. Stone Season 2 Episode 4: Dr. Stone has a great ensemble cast

Dr. Stone has a large cast, and they interact well. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

WWSD (What Would Senkuu Do)

I really don’t think Senky would have come up with the same solution. But only because I believe he would have had an extra ace up his sleeve, like maybe that rock behind him could produce sparks when struck by an arrow and he would have used that with a soaked piece of rag to create a distracting firework… look I don’t know, I’m not the genius here. However, if he were out of magic science options, then, I do in fact think that Senku would also have surrendered. He probably would have hesitated a bit more. Chrome is more selfless and kinder in general. But it really was the most logical solution.

I assume you’re going to talk about the ultimate outcome of this decision later on so I’ll leave it at that for now.

Oh, no pressure! I sure hope I talk about it later…

Magma made it back to the village and told everyone what had happened. I was glad to see no repercussions. Magma might be a “meathead,” but I’ve never seen him act like a coward. 

The instant Kohaku heard about Chrome, she took off at a sprint. Everyone except Senkuu panicked. They knew that she couldn’t take on Tsukasa’s empire all alone, but she was already way too far away for anyone to catch her.

Senkuu, The Man with a Plan

Well, Senkuu was calm because he had a plan. He adjusted the configuration of his cell phone to turn it into megaphone. He calmly announced, “Come back here, lioness.” She was so angry about being called a lioness that she stopped, much to everyone’s surprise.

Dr. Stone Season 2 Episode 4: Kohaku didn't like being called a lioness

Apparently, Kohaku doesn’t like the title “lioness.” I thought it was kind of cool… Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

But what caused even more surprise — for me, too! — was Senkuu’s calm announcement that it was time for the Kingdom of Science’s army to march on Tsukasa’s empire. 

It made perfect sense, though. They’d captured Homura. The cell phone was in place. Their rations were ready. The plan now wasn’t to launch the assault. Instead, their goal was to establish a forward base closer to the empire. They just needed one more invention: a steam-powered engine to pull all their science gear.

These are some of my favorite scenes in Dr. Stone. The way they describe the technology like a steam engine is about the most clear I’ve come across. Seeing how Senkuu compensates for a lack of an industrial base is so danged hopeful! I need more stories of positive human ingenuity in my life.

Senkuu and Kaseki were in the zone. They were creating and having a blast. Then Kohaku, who is like a lot more wise than Senkuu, asked if he wasn’t worried about Chrome in captivity.

Kohaku Speaks Truth in Dr. Stone Season 2 Episode 4

Senkuu waved her off, saying, “As long as he keeps his mouth shut, he’ll be fine.”

The wise Kohaku said, “We’re talking about Chrome.”

Dr. Stone Season 2 Episode 4: Kohaku has more common sense than the rest of the village combined

Kohaku made a good point. As usual! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

It was like she’d turned his world inside out. He agreed that yeah, it’d be a good idea to pick up the pace.

Irina, do you enjoy the crafting portions of Dr. Stone as much as I do?

I do like the crafting portions a lot. This one was a bit shortened, I actually wish they would have added a scene or two to the montage.

Did you notice how quick Kohaku was to go after Chrome? There was zero hesitation there. I had actually forgotten that awkward love triangle between Chrome, Ruri and Kohaku. I’m really glad it’s not an important part of the story and I do hope they never bring it back. This said, it was endearing to see her lose her cool when hearing her man is in danger. It was nice to see and it made me smile. Kohaku is a very good soldier and the Kingdom of science is lucky to have her. 

Should I make a joke about more women in STEM fields? Nah, that seems tacky.

Joke away! I mean, how cool would it be if Ruri had a scientific aptitude? Oh, well, there’s still hope for Suika.

Chrome, Man of Many Talents

The more I see Chrome, the more I like Chrome. The guy is brilliant, but at the same time, he can miss major details! The thing I like most about him, though, is that he is completely, totally, and utterly loyal. He is literally willing to die rather than betray the village and Senkuu, and he proved it again in this episode.

Remember how he can miss details? When he was brought before Tsukasa, Chrome gets points for not cowering. Instead, he vowed to teach Tsukasa science — like colored flames!

Dr. Stone Season 2 Episode 4: Chrome gets points for bravery

Chrome gets points for bravery. For execution? Not so much… Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Tsukasa was so unimpressed that he ordered Hyouga over a cliff. The threat was pretty clear: If he didn’t talk, he’d die. That didn’t work, so Tsukasa sweetened the deal. If Chrome brought him Senkuu’s head, Tsukasa would spare the village and let Chrome continue his experiments. 

Oh, and Tsukasa wasn’t against science. He was against the ills that science had brought on society. So apparently his world view had matured a bit.

Did Chrome agree to betray his people? Nope. In response, at Tsukasa’s gesture, Hyouga dropped Chrome off the cliff. Chrome didn’t scream or beg for mercy. He knew he’d done good. He got this really peaceful smile on his face. Dude was ready to meet his maker.

Ukyou Saves the Day

At another gesture from Tsukasa, Ukyou…

By the way, doesn’t that name sound like an insult? Ukyou… No, Ukyou! 

Anyway. At another gesture, Ukyou fired an arrow and pinned Chrome to a tree. Tskusa said, “He won’t turn, neither for carrot nor for stick.”

Talk about high praise! And the poor guy did it all without underwear!

What’d you think of his ordeal, Irina?

Chrome is a good egg.

One thing I will have to maybe fault the episode with is that this is the second time they build suspense by teasing mortal danger for Chrome. The first scene with the arrows and now with the mobster style dangled from a balcony variation. And it’s fine, but not very efficient. I didn’t believe for one second Chrome had been killed by the arrows and I didn’t believe for a second more that he would plummet to his death at the foot of that waterfall. 

Dr. Stone Season 2 Episode 4: And Chrome gets even more points for bravery

For an instant, Chrome was sure he was going to die. And he didn’t blink. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

As far as building suspense goes, it’s a pretty weak ploy so I’m guessing it was more of a character building moment for Chrome. And we already know that Chrome is very loyal and devoted so there wasn’t much information revealed there. Just from a practical standpoint, it’s not a great scene. 

But it was emotionally resonant if a little easy. I wanted to cheer for Chrome and rejoice in what a cool dude he is and the episode gave me a chance to do exactly that. So I really can’t complain.  

Ukyou, Wildcard

The last detail I’d like to mention is actually part of that last scene. Realizing Chrome was unbreakable, Tsukasa wondered how they could figure out what Chrome had been up to. Ukyou said that he’d found Chrome scouting the miracle cave. Ukyou mused that maybe Chrome had been looking for the nitric acid.

Chrome was as surprised as I was. Irina, what did you make of that?

That was a great twist. It’s not a big cliffhanger or anything but it’s so intriguing. We know next to nothing about Ukyou. Aside from the fact that he has good hearing, isn’t very bloodthirsty and used to work on a submarine. That’s it. This might be perfectly in character for him. He’s a pathological liar or just a rank opportunist like certain super lovable two tone haired guys we know. 

Or maybe there’s something more. There’s a reason he would want to defy Tsukasa, or maybe flee for him.

Dr. Stone Season 2 Episode 4: What is Ukyou up to?

What is Ukyou up to? He clearly has some kind of plan… Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

One thing I have noticed, so far, Tsukasa’s people are not that loyal at all. That plays against the trope of the mindless, brute but overwhelming strength of the evil side. We are at episode 4 and we already have 2 important enemy characters seemingly turned. I’m starting to feel a bit sorry for Tsukasa. His methods make him wrong regardless of his aim, but I can’t deny the kernel of truth in what he says.  

Closing Thoughts

This show just continues to reaffirm my faith in humanity. Between Senkuu’s evergreen optimism, Kohaku’s can-do attitude, and Chrome’s loyalty, the show just feels good to watch. 

Irina, back in our review of episode 2, you said there was something about the show that made you “enjoy it to bits.” Is that still the case for you?

Like I said above, I really love this show. In fact, I regularly see if the manga is back in stock anywhere that will deliver to me. I think I may need to go the digital route. That’s probably for the best, I’m running out of bookcase space again and I just got a new one. But physical manga is just so nice.

The trials of anime and manga fans. The pain is real!

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