Yuzuriha is finally released from her stone prison. The conflict between Senku and Tsukasa boils over, leading to them going their separate ways. Senku, Taiju, and Yuzuriha travel to Hakone where Senku reveals his plan for having traveled to that location – gunpowder. However, Tsukasa knows exactly what he’s up to and decides that he must stop Senku at all costs.
So, the most interesting thing about this episode is that a monument located in Kamakura, the Great Buddha, is still standing. It serves as a reminder that the world they once knew is truly gone. It is a small, but significant detail that I appreciate very much.
My feeling here is that this episode served a few purposes.
Firstly, it shows us that Tsukasa isn’t a one-dimensional antagonist. Sure, his motives are very simple; he wants to cull the world of those he deems unfit to live in this pure world. However, the previous episode portrayed him as little more than a wild beast with a singular goal. This episode, by contrast, shows us that Tsukasa is also quite intelligent as he is able to discern exactly what Senku is up to just by knowing where our protagonist went.
Secondly, it reiterates that Taiju does not fight. In a similar fashion to Yasutora Sado from Bleach, he uses his resilience in the defense of others. Could Taiju take Tsukasa in a fight? Doubtful, seeing as he was knocked out by the kick he received. But the fact that his body is tough enough to take the hit and remain standing at all is surprising to Tsukasa himself.
Thirdly, it introduces Yuzuriha. The significance of this depends on your opinion, but I think it’s very important for the show going forward. She is sort of an in-between character for Taiju and Senku. While Senku is incredibly smart and Taiju is incredibly dense, Yuzuriha is representative of someone with average intelligence who displays the emotions that the other two have not for whatever reason. This is good because if Senku says something that flies over our heads as viewers, Yuzuriha can be used to put the complex theory in layman’s terms.
In keeping with my thoughts so far, another good episode. The pacing is a tad quick, but it fits with the show itself because they are advancing through science and technology in leaps and bounds.