WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Season 1, Episode 2 of Dr. Stone, "King of the Stone World."
3,700 years in the future, former high school students Senku and Taiju -- brains and brawn, respectively -- find that the continuation of the stunted human race isn't quite as straightforward as they initially thought it would be, with their first revival quickly turning from grateful partner to ... well, full-on supervillain-in-the-making. Oops. As the then sole survivors of a mysterious event that encased everyone on Earth in stone, the duo put Senku's mind and Taiju's muscle to work synthesizing a remedy to petrification. The basis of this is nitric acid, derived from some crudely-made wine, and bat droppings.
In the debut episode of Dr. Stone, the pair successfully freed a petrified bird from its stony shell. Now, they're ready to try it on a human candidate. Naturally, the lovesick Taiju is eager for that person to be his teenage crush, Yuzuriha, who he was halfway through confessing his true feelings to when the catastrophic event happened all those millennia ago.
They're waylaid, however, by -- what else? -- a roaming pack of hungry lions. Senku, quick-thinking as ever, deduces that the animals probably escaped from a zoo and, with no humans around, ascended to become apex predators.
Realizing they'll never escape the slathering creatures, Taiju and Senku are forced to put their own immediate survival over their long-term plan for it. They lead the pack to a discovery Taiju made in the last episode: the frozen form of Tsukasa Shishio, aka the "strongest high school primate."
A great deal more suspension of disbelief is required for what follows, as the revived teenager -- who, according to the show's Wiki, stands at a towering 6'8" -- is somehow able to convert a background in MMA fighting into knocking out lions with a single punch, no questions asked. Remaining unfazed by the wild world of the future he's been reborn into, Tsukasa then pledges to become Senku and Taiju's own personal hunter.
Taiju, a dreamy-eyed romantic, is thoroughly enamored with Tsukasa's Tarzan-esque abilities but Senku, a discerning realist, ponders on whether or not the hunter -- now cemented as the new King of the Jungle -- could prove to be more of a liability than an asset given that he's nigh impossible to physically take down.
The scientist's suspicions are confirmed when Tsukasa angrily destroys the stone body of a middle-aged man on the beach while gathering seaside supplies. (This effectively kills the human inside.) He explains to Senku that the man once claimed to be the owner of the beach and, when Tsukasa was younger, he mercilessly beat Tsukasa for gathering sea shells to make a necklace for his ill sister.
It seems that the respect the abnormally strong teenager has for nature doesn't extend to his own species. Or at least, certain members of it. While Senku is firm in his belief that every single person should be revived regardless of who they are, Tsukasa thinks the repopulation process should be much more selective. In other words, the creation of the Stone World is a chance to rid the planet of "evil adults," leaving it free for the young to create a better, fairer society.
This ethical clash not only establishes an ongoing, interpersonal conflict for Dr. Stone, it also strengthens the show's sci-fi credentials; a genre defined and culturally weighted by its "whys" and "what ifs..?" Tsukasa's intent to build a better world is noble but, like most noble but misguided antagonists, his motivation is far too small-minded, and his method is nothing short of murderous.
New episodes of Dr. Stone air every Saturday night as part of Cartoon Network's Toonami block, and every Friday on Crunchyroll.