Have you met Dr. Stone?
His name is Senku Ishigami, and he’s in a bit of a bind, petrified for almost four thousand years and waking up in a future that has reverted back to near-prehistoric sensibilities. No vehicles, no internet, no AnimeLab?!
Ahh, it’s too dreadful to even imagine, but luckily he’s got more than a few tricks up his sleeve, rebuilding society one step at a time with his genius intellect. This anime combines action with real-life science, and you’d be amazed how much you can get done with just the natural resources around you.
And so, I thought I would take a crack at it myself, rolling up my sleeves and undertaking a few of Senku’s schemes here. Though I may not be a brilliant inventor, a talented chemist or a cunning engineer, I’m hopeful I can make up for it with sheer optimism and occasional glib remarks.
The main criteria and the most important one of all, is that the only experiments ventured here are those which came with the disclaimer that we could try it at home. No matter how innocuous it may have seemed, if Mecha Senku didn’t spring into action to give us the okay, it was not attempted for this list.
And of course, the same goes for you, aspiring scientists! Feel free to try out any of the below projects yourself, but leave the rest of the heavy duty fieldwork to the professionals. Seriously, if you go to jail after foraging for wild mushrooms on private property, we are not going to bail you out.
A minor spoiler warning is in effect, of course, because this is a show about science and we’re bringing you some serious science…ing?
Paper (Season 2, Episode 5)
What you’ll need… Grass and baking soda.
The first creation we’re attempting is the most recent one; where Senku plucks grass from the ground, washes it and dries it out to make paper. Any true scribe worth their salt should be able to manage this.
Fortunately, I’m a mediocre gardener, so there was an ample selection of weeds at my disposal for such a task. A chance to declutter the backyard, culminating in a medium upon which to write about how much I enjoyed said decluttering? It’s win/win, though my kitchen now smells like a field of bindii.
Into the pot they went, and I eagerly waited for it to reach boiling point. This took quite a while, as I was somewhat overzealous with my gathering skills. It did afford me the opportunity to consider how strange it was that I was spending my weekend cooking grass.
Following a period that felt equivalent to centuries of petrification, I added the bi-carb soda. Apparently this helps break down impurities, so I figured I should pour the whole box in. Nobody likes impurities, after all. Now it was science’s turn to fight back.
It was as though fate was conspiring to rob me of my paper. But I pressed on — an excellent pun, thank you for noticing — and left it for a week. When I returned, the sheer enormity of my ineptitude had at last dawned upon me.
It’s not quite paper, but I could draw a smiley face on it with a marker if I so desired. In hindsight, I had neglected to break down the grass fibres enough for them to take more of a malleable form, but those bubbles got me well spooked, and corners were cut. In the end, it has more of the makings of a wicker basket, which is also kind of neat. I’m sure a bird will pinch it when I’m not looking to fashion into a nest of some kind.
Unrelated, but here’s some fun Japanese wordplay for you: ‘hair of the paper god’ is ‘kami no kami no kami’. You’ll rarely ever get a chance to use such an obtuse phrase, obviously.
RESULT: A tragic failure, unless you’re a nearby bird — in which case, get your own pseudo-paper, you thief!
Syphon (Season 1, Episode 22)
What you’ll need… Tube and water.
Having botched the paper operation, I pivoted towards a much simpler project as my sophomore effort. When a spelunking mission looks grim, Senku uses a syphon to allow water to travel from one point to another. For this, I only needed a bathtub, some form of tube and a whole lot of H2whooaaaaa (the identical albeit much more thrilling equivalent to regular water).
Oddly enough, pipes aren’t something I have lying around in abundance, so I elected to retire as a botanist forevermore by hacking my garden hose down to size. A large spider leapt out from the recesses of the hose, though I’m not sure whether it has much scientific significance at this time.
Once the bathtub was full, I submerged my tube in the water. This part is critical, for without this, the magic will not occur. When it was completely filled, I lowered one end from the tub, and…
Cola (Season 1, Episode 15)
What you’ll need… Carbonated water, coriander, lime and honey.
Dr. Stone’s most famous experiment, and the one you’ve all been waiting for — hence why we saved it until last, like the devious little whelps we are. At the request of Gen, Senku whips up a batch of cola using some unlikely ingredients, managing to quench a thirst that had lasted over three millennia.
Mecha Senku gladly offers the recipe, but to keep the story flowing in this critical moment, he doesn’t go into great detail about how to make these elements work. My abysmal culinary awareness led me to assume that if I threw all of the items into a blender, they would miraculously cultivate into the final product, akin to cooking in a video game. XP get!!
The time had come to mix these ingredients with a mortar and pestle. Alas, I presently realised that I don’t own a mortar and/or pestle, however I did find that a combination of a meat tenderiser, a potato masher and a daring sense of whimsy would prove an effective alternative.
Stepping away from the suspicious green goop, it was over to the hotplates to caramelise the honey. To be honest, I’d never cooked honey before, and I was excited to see what the reaction to the stovetop heat would be. To my delight, it began to bubble like some kind of witch’s brew.
Though this made it hard to ascertain whether it was actually caramelising underneath, the mere aesthetics made the whole endeavour worthwhile. I cackled with glee, withholding the urge to add some eye of newt to the mix, and allowed it time to cool.
Had I made honey caramel, or just very hot, angry honey? We would find out soon enough. Let’s throw all of this in a bowl and see how it looks.
It was at this point where some concerns began mounting. Whatever I had created, it didn’t appear to be something I should be consuming. Had I inadvertently concocted a lethal poison, the likes of which could wipe out the entire stone world? In a panic, I shoved it into the fridge, reasoning that I could chill out whatever evil was dwelling within.
After giving it a few minutes to stew and sending a quick prayer to the hair of the paper god, I was ready at last to decant this concoction into the carbonated water, and revel in the bubbling beast before me.
It didn’t turn out very pretty, however looks can be deceiving, and it tastes kind of fun. Ultimately, I think I had somehow added too much of everything, resulting in a mixture of flavours competing with each other for tastebud supremacy.
The fact that I lacked several key elements (mortar and pestle, sufficient peeler, patience) surely also had an effect, but if Dr. Stone has taught me anything, it’s that being flexible in the face of a challenge is the key to survival.
I’m… doubtful that this glass of cola I made will also help me survive, or that it would prove a suitable bargaining chip when trying to woo a fickle mentalist. At the very least, it will be there in my fridge should I ever need it. Get excited, fridge.
RESULT: A resounding success, using the words ‘resounding’ and ‘success’ in the broadest possible sense.
At the end of the day, this was definitely a fun little project, and I highly encourage anyone feeling curious to try the above experiments for themselves. Remember to follow the instructions closely to avoid the pitfalls that befell me, and without Mecha Senku’s explicit permission, don’t try anything else at home!!
AnimeLab is your home for all kinds of Ishigami madness, with creations that dwarf what you’ve seen here so far. Want to discover what these investigations look like when conducted by a proper scientist? Dr. Stone has got you covered!