Land of the Lustrous Anime Review
While this anime is disappointingly short, with just 13 episodes, it is packed with awesome animation, characters, and sparkling storytelling. Land of the Lustrous or Hoseki no Kuni has all the right things except an underwhelming runtime.
I truly believe this anime deserves to have a second season fast.
Land of the Lustrous is set in a far future in a land inhabited by immortal beings called the Lustrous. They are the embodiment of gemstones that have the same properties as them. Twenty-eight Lustrous are led by their teacher Kongo to defend and fight against Lunarians, beings who appear once every few days and seek to harvest the Lustrous for decoration. The youngest of the gemstones, Phosphophyllite or Phos, is 300 years old. They feel useless because they cannot fight, so they are tasked with compiling a history book for Kongo. While gathering information, Phos meets the night watch Lustrous Cinnabar, who has poisonous properties, so they are isolated. Phos decides to find a suitable job for Cinnabar.
Phos discovers they can merge with different alloys as the series progresses and seeks the truth about Kongo and the Lunarians.
Phosphophyllite/Phos - They were introduced as naive, playful, gentle, and Lustrous who wanted to join their other friends to fight with the Lunarians. They maintain a close relationship with Kongo, but their curiosity sometimes leads them to danger. They wanted the attention of Cinnabar, who always wandered around alone at night. They have a hardness level of 3.5, one of the lowest. They lose some of their memories as they gain abilities by replacing their limbs with different materials.
Cinnabar - They have a hardness level of 2, but because of their poisonous properties, they cannot live alongside other Lustrous gems. Cinnabar was assigned as night watch but yearned to escape it.
Kongo - The Lustrous' teacher and protector. He is very strict and scolds them when they fail with their missions. He always spends his time meditating and sleeping. That's why the Lustrous are fighting in his stead. However, he is shown to be a powerful monk who can defeat top-tier Lunarians. He is a very mysterious character.
Diamond - The toughest among all gems, but their contradicting gentle nature makes them vulnerable to attacks. They are paired with Bort, one of the top fighters.
Bort - One of the top fighters and Diamond's pair. They are one of the most durable among the Lustrous. Bort initially hates Phos because of their brittleness and clumsiness, but they earn their respect as the series progresses.
Land of the Lustrous is one of those hidden gems (no pun intended) that you should watch. Although it feels incomplete, it makes it up with its unique action sequences and gritty characters mixed with CGI animation.
The world-building is magnificent. The vast grasslands and hills where the Lustrous and Kongo reside are great and feel empty. The character designs are also beautiful. The Lustrous reflects the colors and properties of their respective gemstones. The Lunarians feel like some Buddhist entity came down from the heavens to torment the protagonists.
It's my first time watching a CGI-heavy anime, and I am glad this series was delivered. The character movements perfectly reflect the roughness of the characters, and it's wonderful to see. The vibrant color patterns of the wild surroundings and their hair colors are neatly drenched. You can easily pick your favorite character based on their unique designs. My favorite is Morganite.
Land of the Lustrous is something that you need to watch. It's very action-packed with a good storyline and makes you crave more. I hope there will be a second season because it ends on a bitter note.
A good 4.5 out of 5 stars.