Dr. Stone: Why Senku’s Stance on Violence Is So Vital in The Stone Wars

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Season 2, Episode 2 of Dr. Stone, "Hot Line," now streaming on Crunchyroll.

Since he was confronted with the ideology and actions of Tsukasa Shishio, Senku has been preparing for a battle that will determine the future of the Stone World, one between science and strength. After faking his death, finding new allies in Ishigami Village and building multiple inventions, Season 2, entitled Dr. Stone: Stone Wars, has promised that the struggle between the smartest high-schooler in the world and "The Strongest High School Primate" will finally reach its conclusion. Yet, after the first two episodes, it has become evident that Senku's greatest weapon in this war may not be science, but rather his own sense of pacifism in the face of such odds.

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As has been made clear on multiple occasions in Dr. Stone, this natural world, following the collapse of civilization and its return to its primordial roots, is one dominated by the strong who stand above the rest and crush any who challenge their potential rule. In most settings like these, any hero would have to become equally strong and, perhaps, just as brutal. For Senku, who has always been guided by logic, one could imagine him using his intellect to destroy his enemies and overcome their power. However, going into this war, Senku has no plans to kill anyone.

This way of thinking was highlighted at the start of Season 2, when Ruri expressed concerns over the potential loss of life during the Stone Wars, to which Senku promised a bloodless battle. This has been proven with the village's capture of Homura in Episode 2. Tracking the gymnast through the forest, Kohaku admits that it would be nearly impossible for her to capture Tsukasa's spy alive. Due to her hesitation, she asked Senku to give her permission to kill their target if it came to it. As it turns out, there was never any need for that option, as Senku brings out his usual weapon of choice (science) instead -- utilizing their recently-built phone to create a trap that allows them to safely capture Homura and return her to the village. He also sagely asks Kohaku to think about what it really means to take a life, which weighs heavily on her.

This sense of pacifism isn't held by Senku alone. When confronted with stone people near the Kingdom of Might that could one day be revitalized, Magma decides the obvious course of action is to destroy them before they become a potential threat. As Chrome stands in shock, Gen Asagiri appears to be in agreement with Magma's assessment. Like Senku, Gen, in the past, has done devious things in the pursuit of his own goals. He's one of the smartest minds around and has never been afraid to use others. Yet, as he imagines the life of this stranger in the episode, Gen steps in front of Magma's attack and stops it. While both he and Senku are driven by logic and their own objectives, there are some lines that they refuse to cross.

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Senku's stance on violence has been one that has been clear from the beginning of Dr. Stone. In his school days, he was once asked whether he would sacrifice his friend, his love or himself to save the other two. This moment was used in parallel to Tsukasa's use of Yuzuriha as a hostage in Season 1. Senku, never being one to allow circumstances to hold him back, responded that he would merely find a way to save everyone, which he accomplished in that instance. Just as Senku would never sacrifice his allies, his goal to save everyone also applies to his enemies. He will not kill his enemies, because he can always find another way to get through to them with the use of science.

This is clearly distinct from Tsukasa and the Kingdom of Might's way of doing things. From the very beginning, Tsukasa saw the older people of the original world as expendable and worthless to his new future, allowing him to destroy as many statues as he thought necessary. At the same time, his second-in-command, Hyoga, was completely fine with throwing the lives of his subordinates away in order to test the validity of Senku's threat of poison gas. In this Stone World, these members feel that the only justification for their actions is in their own might. If one cannot survive, then the blame lies solely on their weakness.

Regardless of his logic-driven ways, Senku's pacifism speaks to his entire being as a scientist. When humanity lost everything, Senku was determined to rebuild civilization. Aside from its mere wonders, Senku has always seen science as the great equalizer that can bring people together and allow for a better and brighter future. Continuing into this war, Senku's pacifism may be the key to winning this battle. Instead of tricking others to join him, it may be his attitude that will win them over, giving them the chance to see the same future that he envisions.

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