Dr. Stone had more of a thought provoking tone in Episode 17. The priestess Ruri shares two of the stories from the Hundred Stories that make sense in their entirety to Senku alone. After thousands of years separating Senku from his adoptive father Byakuya Ishigami, the Hundred Stories serve in part as a one way message to Senku. While one story focuses on the triumph of man with the survival of its astronauts, the very last story shared by Ruri focuses on tragedy of humanity losing everything to the stone world event. The Hundred Stories represent more than a collection of stories to advise the progeny of the surviving astronauts or a single message to one day Senku, they also represent hope in a future that has been stolen from humanity.
The Hundred Stories shed light from the past from the very people who survived the stone world event. While we get almost no real information about the event itself, there is a small clue dropped that the stone world event began somewhere in South America. Beyond that there is no more information given as to what caused the event or how it happened. Perhaps it is fitting given that a full explanation of the stone world event isn’t given, as it serves little value to the surviving members of humanity. Dealing with the reality of the stone world is already harsh enough. It is enough for Senku to know that because of humanity’s scientific triumphs that people survive to this day who can aid Senku in his role of rebuilding the world. The triumph of man in space allowed them to survive the stone world event.
The children of the Ishigami village are confused at the telling of the story of how humanity survived the stone world event. It’s no wonder, they have never seen a world filled with the scientific marvel that abounds as commonplace in today’s world. Senku is the only one in the room who really can appreciate the lengths his own adoptive father went to, ensuring the survival of humanity in the process. At this point in the process Ruri separates Senku and herself from the rest of the group.
When Ruri and Senku are alone she tells another story from the Hundred Stories, the last story. This last story is one of the suffering of the astronauts after they landed on earth. After managing to land successfully on earth the ultimate survival game begins. Byakuya keeps pushing forward as members from the surviving astronaut crew begin to die off. The story puts into grim perspective how difficult it actually is for humanity to survive the elements alone without the aid of science. Curable illness suddenly is incurable. There is a sense of loss at the culture that humanity had built. The surviving members either take impossible risks never to return, or simply just die because the world itself is indifferent to humanity’s plight. Tragedy takes its hold on the surviving members of the crew.
Byakuya creates the Hundred Stories, creating an oral history to be passed down generation to generation in order to aid in humanity’s survival. Byakuya also hopes, although there is no basis for his hope, that Senku will be able to survive and save humanity. Its perhaps that hope that keeps Byakuya Ishigami alive as the rest of the astronaut crew perishes before him. There is beauty in the hope that humanity can once again become what it was before the stone world event. After witnessing the downfall of humanity Byakuya gives humanity the greatest gift of all, the Hundred Stories. They represent a chance to survive the stone world. And the last story, should Senku have survived the stone world event, represented Byakuya’s faith that Senku could save everyone. The one way message in time sent to Senku was proof of Byakuya’s love for his adopted son and his hope that his son could achieve a restoration of humanity before the stone world event.