Anime Best in Show

Review: Dr. Stone Episode 20 – Best in Show

Quick Summary

In Dr. Stone episode 20, “The Age of Energy,” Senkuu explained his smart phone plans to Kohaku, Gen, Chrome, and the others. Chrome followed some of its complexity; Kohaku got a bit lost. Gen, though, understood enough of it to know that they had a lot of hard work ahead of them. What he wasn’t prepared for, though, were Senkuu’s plans to make cotton candy. With Homura watching their every move and reporting back to Hyoga, do they really have time for a carnival treat? How will that help them make modern electronics? And what idea did Chrome come up with that made him rush off with a fired up Kaseki in tow (or vice versa)?

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

Best Moment in the Show

We all define modern civilization differently. For me? This is it. Reliable power, and everything that goes with it. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Do you know what really sets us modern humans apart from our pre-historic brethren? I found out twice in the last 15 years. The first was when a winter storm went through my city, plunging the temperatures into the single digits, and taking my family’s electricity with it — for five long days. We kept running water. The natural gas still worked, so I I could run the stove to keep the house from freezing solid. But in all other respects, I was in the stone age.

It happened again a few years ago in the summer when the dry remains of hurricane Ike raged through and took my electricity with it. Again. For five days. Again, I was in the stone age. That was in spite of running water and the ability to make fire. That’s why my Best in Show moment this week hit me so hard.

As Chrome watched Senkuu design a gear, he had a flash of inspiration. He pulled Kaseki aside, and when the older man heard what Chrome planned to do, he was so fired up the resulting blast wave front knocked everyone to the ground in a fifty meter radius. What could possibly get him so excited, especially after everything he’s made for Senkuu?

Well, somebody’s all fired up! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Senku put the villagers to work spinning gold for their electrical wires. They were all working themselves hard, but the spool of wire continued to grow. After three days, Chrome came literally crawling back. He was exhausted. But he was also proud. He asked Senkuu to come see his new invention.

They ran to the river, and Senkuu halted. There was complete shock on his face (20:28). Before him, spinning on wooden gears, was a working waterwheel. Both Chrome and Kaseki were seriously disappointed when Senkuu told them its name — they thought they’d come up with something new.

But in reality — from their perspective — they had. And Senkuu was amazed. Neither of them had ever seen a waterwheel before. So they did invent it. Senkuu camevout and told them how amazed he was.

Chrome and and Kaseki working together to come up with something new, inspired by the technology Senkuu had showed them along with their own expertise, is maybe the most hopeful think I’ve seen this week. That’s pure human ingenuity and creativity and its finest. And everyone present supported each other. There was a communal celebration of the accomplishment.

Everyone celebrated their accomplishment. Even Senkuu, despite his genius — or maybe because of it. And in doing so, they communally made future breakthroughs even more likely. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

What does that have to do with me being without power? Well, do you remember the generator that Senkuu created? The one that Kinrou and Ginrou operated? With Senkuu’s help, they upgraded the water wheel and connected it to the generator. The achievement said (22:18) “Hydroelectric power plan acquired!” For my money, that’s that foundation of human civilization. Electricity. The ability to generate power and convert it to any number of applications. That’s what sets us apart from the animals.

At least, after spending a combined 10 days without electricity in this “modern” age, that’s become my perspective.

What did you think about the villagers’ reactions to cotton candy? What was your Best in Show moment? Let me know in the comments!

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