Anime Best in Show

Review: Dr. Stone Episode 17 – Best in Show

Quick Summary

In Dr. Stone episode 17, “A Hundred Nights and a Thousand Skies,” Byakuya Ishigami was determined to return to the surface and find a way to save all seven billion humans. Shamil Volkov, however, made a compelling argument, punctuated with a punch to Byakuya’s gut, that the astronauts without family should try it first. After all, what if they land, only to become petrified? Shamil used a capsule to return to Earth with Lillian Weinberg and Connie Lee. Without any ground support, their landed off course, in the water, upside down. Can Byakuya figure out a way to save them? If he does, can they survive on a deserted island without any modern infrastructure — or medicine?

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

Best Moment in the Show

Byakuya’s faith in his son gave Lillian hope that humanity’s culture would not die. His faith in this son was nothing short of amazing — and well earned. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

I’m not sure how long it’ll take me to recover from watching this episode. As I write this, it’s been 5 or 6 hours, and I’m still not right. A very tiny part of me wishes the writers had botched the delivery. Wish they had devolved into melodrama. Wish they had relied on cliche. Something, anything, to lessen the emotional impact. But, no, they nailed it.

Irina, in her post on I Drink and Watch Anime, captured the heart of this episode. Since in this post I can only share my Best in Show moment, I encourage you to read her review. This episode was really something special.

You’ve probably guessed it’s hard for me to pick a single moment, but after a lot of thought, I have a choice. Remember how at the end of the previous episode, Byakuya declared he was going to save all seven billion people? He was serious about it, too. He fully intended to save them.

But after they landed, and after they’d begun to build families, the reality of the situation became apparent. They had no idea how to reverse petrification. Common ailments like pneumonia began to claim people like Connie and Shamil. It finally dawned on Byakuya that the salvation of humanity was beyond him.

Have any doubt that modern medicine is useful? Try living without it. Connie couldn’t. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

But he wasn’t about to give up. He had promised to Lillian that humanity would not go gentle in the good night (and, BTW, I dare you to watch this episode, go read that poem, and not tear up at the end — seriously, I dare you!). So he did something that is among most amazing expressions of faith and hope I have ever seen.

He told Lillian that Senku would “be like, ‘Giving up is the least logical course of action. So he wouldn’t die, even if he was petrified” (11:28). “He’ll save all seven billion people.”

Then he added, “Someday, when Senku is revived, he’s going to need friends. We’re going to pass along the baton. Thousands of years into the future.” 

Byakuya faced a lot of challenges in his life. All of them prepared him for this moment, when he confronted his own mortality and the death of everything he knew. In that instant, he still put his faith in his son and did what he could to help him — across thousands of years. That’d the kind of dad I’d like to be, if I could.

What struck you about this episode? What was your best in show moment? Let me know in the comments!

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