I was shocked by how fast the first round came for the Grand Bout came. In most cases they are quick to throw out the smaller fights and then work up to the big on, but Dr. Stone had no problem shaking things up to start with Magma versus Kinro. It was an awesome battle, and from the looks of it the winner was Kinro, but even then you know that this is not the kind of story where everything is as it seems. Not when Magma is more deceptive than he looks, and there are rules in place that might hinder someone who suddenly wins after putting on a helmet.
First off, I gotta say that I admire the new opener for the episodes. It’s sad to see the old song go already, but after fourteen episodes it only makes sense that it was time to move forward from it. This one was just as catchy, and had just as much of an exciting animation to it.
That said, this episode jumps right back into the big fight that was Magma versus Kinro. This one had my jaw on the floor because there was no way to explain the turn that this round took. I’m pretty sure that we all knew that it wasn’t going to be as easy as Kinro suddenly seeing right to beat Magma. We had to brace ourselves for some twist that would raise the stakes once more for the science kingdom. After, that round, it was anyone’s guess how things would progress from there. Especially when Kohaku had to make her way back to the tournament before her round began. Now this could have easily milked out some time from the tournament, but I was impressed with their choice of pacing getting to that point. When her time came, I wasn’t too heartbroken about the outcome. As I said above, this is one of those situations where you jump in ready for everything that is going to go wrong, and will.
Now credit where it is due, I’ve had my problems with Ginro up to this point. He just has to be that one character who is loud and obnoxious about everything. He can’t have a single thought running through his head without having to scream it. That isn’t to say he hasn’t also had his bright moments. He makes the most comedic faces alongside Senku, and keeps things lively when others are trying too hard to be serious. This week in particular they somehow managed to nail it when it was his turn to step up and do battle. I never laughed so loud at an episode of Dr. Stone. I hated that I did, but I loved it at the same time because his goofiness simply hits you like a ton of bricks. The stakes are still real, but having moments like this is something to cherish.
Getting back to the stakes of the Grand Bout, it was definitely troublesome knowing that it came down to the three weakest fighters in the science kingdom to win this. When I saw the image of Chrome beat up, I braced myself for the worst. I was only a bit disappointed that so much time went into his match specifically. The outcome at the very end was exciting, though the build-up I have to admit dragged on much longer than I thought it would.
Something I appreciated this week was also getting a visual of what goes through Senku’s mind when he does his deep thinking. Normally he just stumbles upon an answer or already has it worked out in his head. This was the first time where we could actually see him in the process of working out the math for something. Hopefully the start of seeing more of this, that is despite knowing that there is the challenge of making all of this sound and look believable. These days you do have viewers who will pick apart something that doesn’t make sense to them if they put the same thought into it.
Dr. Stone “Master of Flame” turned out to be a fun episode for all that was hanging on the line. It was always hard to say if I was looking forward to the Grand Bout, though when the time came they nailed the execution from start to finish. Nothing about this went the way that you imagined aside from the goofiness.