Few anime capture the level of tonal whiplash and visual dissonance as TMS Entertainment’s Dr.STONE. Entering its third season following a special episode that introduced the character Ryusui who will be instrumental in the upcoming arc, Dr.Stone New World Season 3 Episode 1 brings us up to speed on Senku and co. as they plan to embark on their next adventure. Now that they’ve conquered air travel through hot air balloons and are on their way to building a ship to set sail with, their horizons have widened exponentially, making the grind all the more crucial.
Dr. STONE New World Season 3 Episode 1, “New World Map,” picks up where the special episode left off, Senku, Chrome, and Ryusui disembarking from their hot air balloon ride to the wonder of the islanders. With Ryusui’s abilities, Senku wants to solidify a plan to take to the sea to find the source of the light/petrification beam that turned them to stone all those centuries ago.
On paper, much of “New World Map” comes across as an extended catch-up as we speed through certain plot developments and greater societal advances as a means to move us to the next big part of the story. To sail, they’ll need a surplus of preservatives to travel with. In a moment of deeper understanding for the once-petrified, Ryusui learns that what’s kept the member’s islanders bound to their home for so long is the lack of lasting food storage, so dependent on fishing that any one bad year in the past, would lead to multiple deaths from starvation.
It’s where that fun dissonance comes in. Dr. STONE makes it easy to forget the severity of the characters’ situation because so much of the animation is drawn to be over-the-top and exaggerated, with some reaction shots and facial expressions deliberately ugly and off-putting. The animation goes big with the character designs, from the cracks that christen their faces once they’ve awoken from petrification to Senku’s, quite frankly, ridiculous hair and the heavy hand that goes into contrasting the linework.
But there is an element of racing against time here, as Senku tries to restore civilization to its once modern age while also trying to find the source of the light itself, as there’s no guarantee it can’t happen again. What eases viewers into this world so that there isn’t too much friction in the story versus the visuals is the scenery and background animation, the score from Tatsuya Katô, Hiroaki Tsutsumi, and Yuki Kanesaka, and these moments of introspection from the characters. The moments where the character’s reaction in broad strokes makes sense when we realize it comes from a place of enthusiasm.
It’s a show that takes itself seriously but is flexible with how much humor it packs into each episode. Dr. Stone Season 3 Episode 1 succeeds by bringing every faction together, characters working together to complete a shared goal, even if different members have varying levels of importance. Not everyone can be the mind behind the science that will take them out of the stone age like Senku. Still, it’s refreshing to see someone like Taiju be given a win, his wheat field growing due to his hard work and ability to listen to what Senku says and use what he recalls for greater achievement.
Due to the project they’re working on to grow wheat to make bread they can travel with, it makes sense that the episode breezes through the plot rather than dedicating an entire season to crops. Ryusui remains a fantastic addition to the cast, his greediness benefiting Senku and co., as he refuses to be stuck eating endless fish-based meals and uses their newly acquired ability for flight to track down other livestock. He and Senku share similarities in the glee that possesses them when discovering new opportunities. However, he’s still learning to be compassionate to this new world’s inhabitants, having just recently awoken.
Aside from the “previously on” feeling of the episode’s structure, Dr. STONE New World Season 3 Episode 1 is a lean, fast-paced, and often funny television episode. Fans of the series will just be thrilled that the show is back, period, but with a storyline that looks to expand the scope of the world coming up, Dr. STONE looks to be entering its most action-packed and adventure-inspired storyline yet.
Dr. STONE New World Season 3 Episode 1 is streaming now on Crunchyroll, with new episodes every Thursday.
Dr. STONE New World Season 3 Episode 1
Aside from the “previously on” feeling of the episode’s structure, Dr. STONE New World Season 3 Episode 1 is a lean, fast-paced, and often funny television episode.