Senku getting emotional in episode 19 of Dr. Stone: New World was something that surprised even me, despite knowing what would happen. In an episode where death was knocking on his door with every changing second, Senku’s final victory lap was a testament to his character in every possible way, all of which is thanks to Yusuke Kobayashi’s performance.
Dr. Stone: New World Episode 19 – What I Loved
In short — everything. Where to begin? Dr. Stone has done such a wonderful job with its side characters at this point in the story that it’s hard to picture an episode without any of them involved (for the most part). But when Senku has the spotlight on him for an entire episode facing the most threatening villain yet, we get a clear glimpse at just how much of a force he really is.
Episode 19 was a battle of smarts and wit. No barrage of punches and power beams. There are no flaming swords or over-the-top power-ups that blow up entire cities. Yet, the battle between Senku and Ibara still managed to be one of my favorites from this Fall 2022 season and had me on the edge of my seat. When I think one has the upper hand, the other takes it. Then the tables turn in an instant again creating a constant state of adrenaline wondering who’s going to come out on top.
From Senku wakening Ryusui, to Ryusui sacrificing himself to save Senku, only to have Ibara come within seconds of killing both of them, there’s nothing to hate about this intense showdown. It’s even crazier when you realize Senku is calculating everything within fractions of a second while Ibara is just throwing his hat around and stabbing Senku with Bugles.
Senku’s sarcastic genius is a reason why so many of the characters gravitate toward him, including myself. He provides a certain leadership that’s not wrapped up in saying he wants to be the greatest scientist every three seconds. He’s got a knack for cussing and he has no romantic interest. But that doesn’t mean he still isn’t human, let alone a teenager.
At the beginning of the story, one of the first things Senku wanted to accomplish was finding Taiju and bringing him back to life. Having those flashbacks of when he thought he was the only human on Earth shows that even Senku is dealing with his own level of PTSD in silence. This was the first time that Senku truly feared for his life more than any other. So, to hear his scream in the anime just hits way harder than the manga ever did.
Yusuke Kobayashi’s Performance
Kobayashi is one of the best male voice actors in the anime industry today and it was on full display for episode 19. It’s no wonder he won a Best Voice Actor award for his role as Subaru in Re: Zero Season 2 and Best New Actor at the 11th Seiyuu Awards. I’d go as far as to say this was the most range he’s shown for Dr. Stone since beginning his journey as Senku.
The sarcastic, confident tone at the beginning switching up to a panic, then to quick calculations with a wonderful preciseness in his voice to finishing it off with a heartwarming ending, even a comedic surprise, was one of the best performances of the entire Fall 2023 season. Kobayashi was tasked to convey a boat-load of emotions in one episode and he nailed every single one of them. That scream he let out is undoubtedly on par with Enoki’s as Yuji Itadori in Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2 and it was something we’ve never heard from Senku before.
Senku sitting in utter quiet at the end of the episode after defeating Ibara reflecting on how he thought he was alone again hit home hard and that’s in part due to Kobayashi’s performance. To voice a character that rarely gets emotional, it’s difficult to find the correct way to convey such passionate emotion when said character does reach that point in the story. Kobayashi proves once again why he is the perfect voice actor to play Senku.
Senku’s charm, which led to being surrounded by friends, is the reason he was able to defeat Ibara. Without Ryusui, Senku isn’t winning this fight. And without Senku, Ryusui wouldn’t have a drone to fly or even be alive in the first place. An atom isn’t an atom without electrons, the same goes for Senku.
Knowing the moment he started running from Ibara that he would need Ryusui to pilot the drone to take away the Medusa is something similar to what Shikamaru did to defeat Hidan in Naruto Shippuden. Not as complex, but that level of planning ahead and adapting to the situation within seconds is a level of genius unparalleled to so many characters in anime and manga.
Meanwhile, Ibara was the opposite of Senku. He physically crushed those he surrounded himself with out of fear and broke all of their trust. And, in the end, he had nobody to help him but himself which became his downfall. It was a classic battle between good and evil that led to good standing on top once again in the closest way possible. We know good prevails in shonen most of the time in the end. So when the writing for a fight can cover that cliche, even for a split second to make the viewer worry just a little, it makes everything much more exciting.
What’s easy to overlook is that this also ties into Senku’s relationship with Byakuya. It’s not flat-out stated, but it’s implied that Senku has realized how alone his father must’ve felt when humanity was petrified. While we know that he had the kids and his co-workers from the space station with him, Senku can only guess that’s the case but also knows what it feels like — it’s a scary feeling. That quick switch up from screaming in victory and that he’s alive to suddenly feeling sad and alone is the most emotion we’ve seen from Senku since he was standing on Byakuya’s grave and looking up at the sky.
Dr. Stone: New World Episode 19 Wrap-Up
Episode 19 of Dr. Stone: New World is arguably the best of the season for more reasons than one. I couldn’t have asked for a better adaptation to the climax of what some may consider the best arc of the series and it ended on a beautiful note.
Episode 19 rating: 10/10
If you enjoyed episode 19 of Dr. Stone: New World, then make sure to vote for it in our weekly poll! Episode 20 of Dr. Stone: New World will air on Thursday, December 7. Crunchyroll is steaming Dr. Stone: New World with English subtitles.
Screenshots via Crunchyroll
©Richiro Inagaki, Boichi/Shueisha, Dr. STONE Production Committee