Dr. Stone Chapter 78 Review by Belserion
Last chapter ended on a bit of a cliffhanger. Senkuu managed to create Nitroglycerin aka Dynamite. As a warning he fired off a paper airplane coated in the formula that ended the chapter with a literal bang.
This week we pick up from there. Tsukasa and his empire are in awe of what Senkuu has created. We see Chrome, Gen and Senkuu holding more paper airplanes coated in Nitroglycerin, a clear threat to Tsukasa and those around him. While some of his henchmen question whether paper airplanes could even reach them, Ukyo, who was injured in a previous chapter, suddenly appears with an arrow coated in Nitroglycerin ready to fire. Seeing this, Gen proclaims it The Empire of Science victory and Tsukasa’s men start laying down their weapons. Hyouga is very impressed by this. Now whether this is a good thing isn’t clear as yet. We know Hyouga is a sinister character, more sinister in my opinion than Tsukasa is. The fact that he’s proclaimed the Nitroglycerin and the minor destruction it caused as “Marvelous” will be a situation to watch.
There was some debate after the last chapter as to who would be victorious after the Nitroglycerin was introduced. Under normal circumstances it would be a resounding victory for Senkuu and his allies; however there was one glaring weakness. Senkuu has promised both Ukyo and Taiju to spill as little blood as possible, in Ukyo’s case no deaths at all. If Senkuu was to use the Nitroglycerin against Tsukasa’s army then numerous persons would die, a fact Tsukasa points out. Knowing Senkuu as well as he does, he knows that’s the last thing Senkuu would want. It becomes clear to Tsukasa that Senkuu created this entire situation in order to negotiate an exchange of some sort.
Senkuu recalls Tsukasa as he was before in contrast to what he is now. Tsukasa could have anything in the world he wants now, yet he tries to purge it of those he considers corrupt, selfish people. Whereas before, he would appear on television to fight in matches that would earn him not only popularity, but large sums of prize money. This can be seen as him wanting fame and personal glory. Senkuu and Gen put it together that the man they see now is the real Tsukasa. So why did he do all that before? The answer was clearly that Tsukasa was not fighting for himself, but for someone else more important. His little sister.
In the first few chapters of the manga we were given small insights into Tsukasa’s life before the events of the Stone world, and we know he had a sister. To recap, she apparently had to undergo some sort of surgery and Tsukasa was only a little boy back then. He was trying to make a seashell necklace for her because she loved mermaids, but an old man saw him and accused him of stealing the shells and beat him for it. According to Tsukasa, even in the end he could not make her the necklace. This is what led me, and I believe others as well, to think his sister had died because in a way it explained his hatred of old people. But we learn this chapter that this was not the case. Tsukasa’s sister is indeed alive. To be precise, she was brain dead before but her body was kept alive by the hospital as long as Tsukasa kept paying them to keep her that way, hence the need for him to make so much money.
Senkuu tells Tsukasa it might be possible to heal his little sister with the restorative power that happens when being revived from petrification. Taiju reinforces this by reminding Tsukasa that Senkuu managed to come back after suffering a broken neck. Tsukasa is shocked by this but immediately asks Senkuu for the terms of his offer. Senkuu proposes in exchange for reviving his sister, they call a ceasefire. Tsukasa asks on what basis he should trust something that’s so hard to believe. Senkuu says he only has his word and that the power of science doesn’t lie. Tsukasa says Senkuu’s word is more than enough.
Tsukasa leads Senkuu’s group to the area where the hospital was. Gen mentions how deep everyone is buried and Senkuu proposes excavating the site with dynamite, reasoning that if any statues are accidentally destroyed they, meaning poor Yuzuriha, would simply put them back together. As everyone digs around the area, Tsukasa at last finds his little sister’s statue. This part was a very emotional moment because Tsukasa shows more emotion here than at any other time we’ve seen him. His love for his sister is so deep I actually empathized with him in this moment. The chapter ends with them pouring the restorative formula unto her statue.
Personal ThoughtsI’d give this chapter 8/10.
The creation of Nitroglycerin gave Senkuu and his science empire the means for a complete victory but instead Senkuu’s morals (what little he has) stopped him from finishing it. Instead he offered not only a ceasefire but also to give Tsukasa something precious in return. If we put it into context, Senkuu has the ammunition behind him to completely wipe out Tsukasa’s empire with Tsukasa being unable to counter in any way. Yet he met Tsukasa in the middle, putting them on equal footing. Whether this restorative miracle happens is something else entirely. I personally don’t think Senkuu’s broken neck is a good comparison to someone who’s brain dead. I know it was more the situation, the fact that a broken neck is usually irreversible, than a like for like comparison, but the brain is a completely different thing. It's not bone that can be glued back together. It's an organ that had stopped working completely, long before the world was petrified. Senkuu already said it was a slim chance so there’s that. I do hope it works though.
Then there’s the Hyouga aspect. I saw members of Tsukasa’s empire helping them excavate the area so it seems some of them won’t mind the new developments happening, but I can see Hyouga being the next villain in line. There were some statues we saw before of more soldiers Tsukasa planned on reviving. Perhaps Hyouga revives them. Ukyo was injured, and Kohaku has already proven to be no match for Hyouga, so while Senkuu, Tsukasa and co. are trying to revive his sister I wouldn’t put it past Hyouga to stage a coup. However, the war angle might be a bit repetitive so we’ll see.