WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Dr. Stone Chapter 224, by Boichi, Riichiro Inagaki, Caleb Cook and Steve Dutre.
Ishigami Senku awoke 3,700 years ago in a brand-new stone age and set one goal for himself: to revive all of humanity and help lead everyone on Earth into a new age of civilization. Ever since then, Senku has invented all sorts of machines and gadgets and has slowly been constructing an actual working space rocket. Even with Dr. Xeno's aid, however, it hasn't come easy.
In Chapter 223 of Dr. Stone, Senku had a rare sentimental moment as he reflected on how all his inventions led up to this point, and now in Chapter 224, he, Kohaku and Stanley blast off into space to confront Why-Man, where Senku has yet another stunning reunion -- and it's his most emotional one yet.
Senku's journey to building a functional, space-worthy rocket was highly educational for everyone involved, while Kohaku enters a whole new world and becomes the first stone age native to leave Earth's atmosphere. While she marvels at microgravity, Senku falls quiet -- but not because he's running advanced calculations in his head.
To him, the journey into space is more than just the quest to visit Why-Man on the moon -- it's personal. Senku's long-lost foster father, Byakuya, was once up here aboard the ISS with five fellow astronauts, and it was from this vantage point that he and his fellow survivors began their mission to help humanity back on Earth.
Now Senku is making the reverse journey, and in spirit, it's as though he and Byakuya's ghost cross paths, finally reunited in the vast frontier of outer space. They are 3,700 years apart but the cold vacuum of space is the same, and their familial bond makes it the warmest place Senku could ever visit. Then he makes a simple but meaningful gesture to his foster father's memory by opening three sealed ramen packets to eat, one each for himself, Kohaku and Stanley. As Kohaku kindly notes, this is the same meal Byakuya had once eaten in the same outer space, which helps Senku connect with Byakuya even more acutely.
Not long after this sentimental moment in Earth's orbit, Senku gets back into business mode -- his spacefaring civilization can now launch modules into space to assemble larger stations, just like the ISS and its kin in the 21st century. For the mission's sake, Senku is once again his cool and calculating self, but not even he can deny the symbolism and weight of what he does in Chapter 224.
Byakuya put all his faith in his son to get the job done, and as expected, Senku did the impossible and built a space-worthy rocket in an age of stone spears and clay pots. Many shonen protagonists such as Senku face seemingly impossible odds during their quests but achieve them anyway, often with the aid of beloved friends and family. Naruto's dream to become Hokage seemed impossible until he did it, and he had all his friends to thank for their support. Senku knows that feeling all too well.
He can do a lot under his own power, but he also owes it to Byakuya, Chrome, Kohaku, Dr. Xeno and the others in Dr. Stone, and his touching reunion with his father's memory in space reaffirms those classic shonen values. Everyone, alive and dead, is backing Senku with all their might. Now it's up to the boy genius to finish the job on the moon at last.