Hello new and old readers one and all! My name is Scott and I run this little blog named Mechanical Anime Reviews. It seems that I have a habit of talking about Gundam and other Mecha shows when writing my OWLS post because those are some of my favorite things to talk about, but I’m going to try my best to break out of that mold. Last month, I talked about JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure and stands. This time, I am going about one of my many favorite shows from 2017, Land of the Lustrous. A show that I should have watched when it was airing, but I didn’t because I let my own biases get to me. That is why Land of the Lustrous is a good show to break out of my only mecha and science fiction thing I have going on. Phos’ journey is something that needs to be talked about more as well. But first, lets talk about OWLS.
For those of you who haven’t heard of what OWLS is may be asking me and other people what that is. Well, that’s an easy question to answer. OWLS, also known as Otaku Warriors for Liberty and Self-Respect, is a group of otaku bloggers who promote the acceptance of all individuals. There will be no judgement of people based on gender, sexual orientation, religion, race, or disability here. All of this is about humanity for humanities sake and hopeful betterment. Each month, our members are given a topic to write about and each of us approaches that topic in our own way. If you want to know more, please click here to go to our OWLS Blog Page. Find us here and maybe you can join us! We are always looking for more people.
Our Month’s Topic
This month’s topic brought to you by our chief creative officer LynLyn is Metamorphosis. In full, it’s:
A brand new year means new beginnings and opportunities. We have a tendency to embrace the new year because it’s a time when we can start fresh. For this month’s topic, we will be exploring our favorite dynamic characters who undergo changes for better or for worse. We will analyze these characters and transformations and how these transformations benefited or minimized these characters’ potential in becoming “great people/beings.” We will also use these characters as a way for us to reflect on our own lives and who we want to become. Lastly, we would like to say “Happy New Year, everyone!”
The Definition of a Composite Material
In order to get everyone on the same page, an explanation of the title is necessary here so this post will make more sense. A composite material is what you get when you put two or more materials together in a mutually beneficial manner. Those benefits could be extra strength properties to handle larger loads for lesser weight or a simple, protective material coat over another material to protect the later from the elements. You know, rain, windstorms, chemical spills, and such.
I am saying this, because the Lustrous are made out of gemstones which from an engineering and material stand point, are materials. I mean, Mohs hardiness is something is used in the series and is also used in the material science and engineering realms as well. In Land of the Lustrous, a certain protagonist by the name of Phos, benefits from the addition of more materials to her body for positive and negative reasons.
The World of Land of the Lustrous
I’ve only watched the anime, so a lot of Land of the Lustrous’ world is still unknown to me. Here is what I do know. The race of people in this show are called the Lustrous. Each of them are mostly immortal, have no defined gender, and, as I said above, are built out of gemstones. Each one of them is built from a unique gemstone that has a different level of hardness on the Mohs scale. A Lustrous’ gemstones are also where their memories are. Each one of them can be broken and reformed and infinite amount of times, but if they ever lose parts of themselves, they can lose memories of who they are, who their friends are, and what they are even doing here. That can be a dangerous problem.
The lustrous’ master is the mysterious monk like figured called Master Kongo. At the moment of where the show ended, no one knows what his origin story is. There have been some hints though, but no solid answers. The Lustrous spend their times in specific jobs. All jobs are based on their hardness levels and their distinctive personalities. Some of them take combat roles in order to fight off the invaders, the moon race. The race of people that people that fly on their clouds in order to capture a Lustrous for decorations. Others Lustrous types are nurses and other support roles. Whatever it is, Land of the Lustrous has a dangerous and void filled world.
Phos’ Starting Point
Then there is that one gem by the name of Phosphophyllite or Phos for short. The gem that is incredibly goofy, is the youngest of the Lustrous at three hundred years old, is too brittle to be in a combat role, and causes endless amounts of trouble for themselves and everyone around them. I mean, the opening episodes usually end with them breaking apart and being put back together again. Phos should be lucky that their name isn’t humpty dumpty. Well, maybe I’ve said that too soon, but I think I spoiled that already.
So we have this goofy character that is incredibly lazy, right? Well, they do eventually get a job. Phos is tasked to make a natural history of the Lustrous people. Of course, Phos is slow and lazy on their updates with nothing to consider for this. All of that leads them to asking other people around for their opinions. Then Phos meets Cinnibar, a poisonous Lustrous that works the night shift away from everyone else and then decides it’s their job to find Cinnabar a better job. Of course, this also leads to Phos trying to learn more about the world. Phos’ two goals, be more useful in combat and help Cinnabar.
After Phos is turned into the inside of a shell of sea slug, which other people thought that Phos was a slug for a while, Phos is reconstructed yet again. This time though, they can talk to a slug. In Phos’ infinite curiosity, they follow the slug down to the bottom of the sea. I mean, what’s the problem here right? They can learn more about the world they are in by knowing what is in the water. Of course, that resulted in the slug turning in betrayal and Phos getting her legs ripped off, but left with Agate shards. Shards that eventually turn into herself.
By taking the initiative, Phos gained a new pair of legs that allows Phos to run faster. The cost this time was low, because Phos still remembered who they and everybody else was. A little paint and you can’t tell that they even lost their legs. Still, Phos lost only a little bit of themself by being too rash in wanting to be useful. Phos is the youngest kid in the room that wants to do what everyone else is doing. The thing is that their misadventures are going to cost them more.
New Combat Abilities
The saddest part of this show happens during the winter. Unlike most of the other gemstone folks, Phos is unable to sleep. They want to hang out with the winter duty Lustrous by the name of Antarctite and learn something about combat. Of course, big things happen, Antarctite gets captured in some of the most horrifying and sad moments that have ever happened with Land of the Lustrous. Phos comes out of the experience with no arms. Those get replaced with liquid gold, but there are some great costs.
Phos forgets about their deal with Cinnabar, loses their sense of goofiness for the most part because now they are more serious then anything, and they lost their memories of some of the other Lustrouses. Yes, Phos is more awesome at combat with liquid gold being able to do many things that other Lustrous can’t. Still, the question about whether or not it’s worth it is up in the wind here. I have a feeling that it isn’t. I wish Phos was patient with discovering who they were. Unfortunately, I wasn’t in Phos’ place and have only seen and not completely felt like what it was like to be left behind in importance.
What can be learned from Phos here is that everything has a cost. I mean, it’s one of the rules of thermodynamics. If you want to improve your life in one aspect, there is going to be a cost in some other way. Some costs are smaller then others those. Each day has only a limited amount of time to it, so a person can only do so much while they are awake. Getting less sleep can help a person at first, but can be incredibly hurtful in the end. On Phos’ end, was being impatient and becoming more a composite material worth it? I suppose that answer is up to them.
Thank you for reading, everyone! If you want some more OWLS posts, Naja posted something great yesterday and Crimson is posting something interesting tomorrow. Do you need more? Then here is our January Blogging Schedule!