Anime Best in Show

Review: Dr. Stone Episode 08 – Best In Show

Quick Summary

In Dr. Stone episode 08, "Stone Road," Senkuu creates an elaborate flow chart to explain to Chrome and Kohaku how they're going to create penicillin. It's overwhelming to them, but they set out to gather the materials they need -- including magnets and iron sand. With the help of their new recruit, Suika, they make great progress. However, getting their furnace hot enough to make iron proves beyond their current capabilities. How can they recruit more people, especially since the village leaders want to keep strangers -- strangers like Senkuu -- out? How much longer does Kohaku's sister, Ruri, have without penicillin? And is there anything Kohaku can do to make Senkuu and Chrome carry their weight when gathering materials?

Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.

Best Moment in the Show

Kohaku and Chrome are both ready to make medicine! We'll have to wait and see how long their enthusiasm lasts. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream

My Best in Show moment in this episode of Dr. Stone is bittersweet for me. Not because of its place in the show or for what it says, because both really cool. It's bittersweet because of what it forced me to confront. Again.

I used to believe that the United States was founded on the idea of equality. I really bought into the idea that "We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal..." I really believed that the country stood for ideas like "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses longing to be free..."

To me, those weren't just words. They were ideas that resonated deep in my soul. I believed that recognizing the innate worth of every human being -- just because they were human -- was noble and good and right. And I thought my country got it. I thought my country understood these basic things.

I believed that our history had made one fact stunningly clear: That immigrants hadn't only founded the country -- which they did -- but that a continued influx of new ideas and aspirations in the form of immigrants is vital to the country's healthy future.

Who would have thought that a little girl with a watermelon on her head would trigger such a profound reaction? Capture from the Crunchyroll stream

And then the current administration happened. The people currently in charge aren't the problem, though. They're the symptom. They couldn't get away with destroying families (including children dying while enjoying our "hospitality") if too many of the people didn't support them. 

To gain that support, all the administration had to do was invoke age-old boogeymen. Every despot needs his scapegoat. In one venue, it's members of the immigrant community. In another, it's members of the LGBTQ community. 

The older I get, the more I have to come to terms with the realization that all of the ground gained during the late 1960s and beyond is under constant attack. Basic human dignity is under attack. And every time I have to face that, it's painful.

At this point, you might reasonably ask, "What the heck does this have to do with Dr. Stone?"

Everything.

Senkuu proved it with a single statement.

Remember when they were using magnets to pull iron sand out of the stream? Remember when little Suika showed up? She was shy and lacked confidence. She was desparate just to be useful to them (09:36). She had tried to help them without even being asked. Sound familiar? 

Senkuu uttered the words that -- I honestly kid you not -- gave me hope.

"The kingdom of science doesn't turn anyone away" (09:44). "We need all the help we can get."

"We need all the help we can get," Senkuu said. Practicality as a tool of state? Yes, please! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream

Everyone is welcome. Everyone will have a chance to contribute to the best of their abilities. Everyone will belong. 

That's the most hopeful thing I've heard in years. It's also one of the most human thing I've heard in years.

What did you think of Senkuu's flow-chart describing how to make penicillin? What was your Best in Show moment? Let me know in the comments!

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