Land of the Lustrous (Fall 2017) – An Underrated Gem

Over the past few years, anime has become more improved. Some studios have begun using CGI on their visual elements. But, they are failing in place. This is “Land of the Lustrous”. It’s the most stunning CGI yet beautiful anime if seen from every point of view. This show adapted from Haruko Ichikawa manga with the same name. On the other hand, Takahiko Kyōgoku direct this show. I think it’s from them they can make this anime back when “Love Live!” series using a mix between 2D and 3D. For the most part, “Land of the Lustrous” did 3D CGI effects for the movement of the characters. The 2D for the background. By far, “Land of the Lustrous” is one of the emotional anime. It has gorgeous visuals, an experience that will never be forgotten.

The story doesn’t have an in-depth explanation of where in the timeline neither the setting. In the future nor different timelines. The story takes a long way from a future which is still mysterious. A crystalline organism called Gems comes into the world. The six meteors destroyed them. Each of these Gems has their individual roles in order to fight against the Lunarian. It’s a species that attacks them in order to take their bodies and make as decorations.

The story will focus more on Phosphophyllite. She is a young fragile Gem that has a dream to be able to help her friends in the war. However, her vulnerability made her as a person who didn’t take much assistance so she felt alienated. The story isn’t much to interpret. The author gave us a lot of information where the world set took. Obviously, it takes when humans are extinct. The story doesn’t explain it clearly. The story will continue to focus on this Phos character and never to focus on other characters. Sure, there are many supporting characters who participate in the story but it never seems to have enrolled severely. So, there are no secondary characters in this anime and they are also important in creating the main character’s development.

As the story goes, you will see a beautiful choreographic aspect. The setting keeps you drawn until it continues questionable what really happened and what happened to the world. Who the Gems are, who is the real antagonist, and who they are. The more the story goes from beginning to end, there is no clear explanation of all. This is the counterpart.

The ending also doesn’t give any clear conclusion. Whether they will fight the enemy actually raises many questions. This series needs a second season or more into the manga. I know there are many offset things from this series. But, they make it interesting, exciting, and enjoyable in all aspects. From the story itself, the remarkable development of Phos character, the introduction of more minor characters. So many mysteries we can analyze in this anime.

This show seems to have an uplifting mood like a roller coaster that always changes its speed swiftly. Those things make it look as if you want to be serious. On the other side, we want something to enjoy without having to be serious. Yet, they do it without ruining the experience and mood in the aspect. The characters are an amazing variety of development it’s become something memorable. It keeps putting you in a strange world without knowing. The world is so beautiful you don’t want to know its mystery you live in. It’s such a mysterious and dark but emotional experience at the same time.

A lot of people say this show is a rip-off of “Steven Universe” which I find it’s so natural. I mean, I also adore the show and I love it. “Land of the Lustrous” want to give you a miserable experience as well as an emotional roller coaster. You can’t understand from any point of view including the visuals. It seems like people also have serious problems with this aspect. It’s just barely ridiculous because they are too focused on this aspect.

The most interesting thing I got with the CGI was the choreography which I always find it goosebump. It’s like a dancer that dancing in a world of the middle of nowhere, in an empty land without anyone watching it. The action is one of the best in this show but I’ll also not be too focused on the aspect. The cinematography is gorgeous, too ridiculous to imagine. The shooting begins with an environment that feels sync with the movement of the character is such a gorgeous. The characters’ movement looks casual and smooth in the usual scene. Probably, some of you will find it awkward for the first time watching anime like this but “Land of the Lustrous” is impressive and dynamic in that way.

The soundtrack like most used orchestra traditional Gamelan music I used to hear when watching a particular tribe culture. The use of the music in the score is in a good theme and can catch all the scenes including the action scene in which there is a magic touch that makes it seemed to fit the two things. The sound effects are incredible and so real like crystal sounds, the sounds of characters walking, running, and others. The opening and the songs aren’t too memorable but as I said already, it’s fitted with the visual and the song.

The voice actors have succeeded in showing all their ability in filling their character’s voice but Tomoyo Kurosawa I think is one of the best of all. She is the one that portrayed one character by enthralling her innocent, naive, and reckless personality into a cold, firm, and scattered a sharp light from her eyes. Her character seems to have two personalities that are combined into one character but success to describes it.

Apparently, such characters as “Sensei” and Lunarians represent as a Buddhist culture in it from their outfits and the way they perform rituals. This show also takes the concept of life, death, and reincarnation because you can notice all of the characters in this show are timeless but they can also vanish in different ways. They are not completely dead but they lose a memory when they are destroyed or there is a missing piece in their body. Notice that sometimes, the characters always face to the moon and always call the “moon” when talking about a concept of life and death.

There is a lot of things to say but we will not be too analyzed those. Because they used crystalline gems from their characters, they also have characteristics which also fit with their names such as Phosphophyllite the fragile, Cinnabar that restraining poison in her body, Diamonds the shiny and the strong, Bort the most powerful, and etc. This series also gives you a basic explanation of the knowledge of about gems which are also related to chemical details.

The concepts like this are already familiar and always seen in various anime, combining some interesting concepts of knowledge but binding them in an interesting way such as “Cells at Work!” which combines biology about blood cells but covers it up attractively. There are many such concepts in various anime besides it. Back on the characters, the characters in this anime also didn’t fully focus on any other characters except Phos which she is the one that has the greatest development in this anime. Yeah, some of the characters support Phos’s development and some of them didn’t have too many details in their role.

It feels like a show with a surprising experience because of the mystery. This is one of the shows that also need a big appreciation in the community because I see that this anime is so underrated at the season. It deserves a lot of appreciation because this anime leads to bringing various kinds of symbolism from the story, setting, visual, character, music, and others. This anime also doesn’t seem monotonous in any scene and it has a fast-paced even though this is just a 12 episodes typical modern anime. Everything in here feels strong for various reasons and you can analyze it from where or you just want to enjoy this gorgeous shows. It’s such a first experience in watching an amazing CGI anime with an ambiguity, abstract, and mystery stories that you make a lot of interpretation and meanings in this show.

“Land of the Lustrous” is an experience from a show that can bring a lot of emotion. You can laugh, cry, or anything. The story that seems ambiguity of the setting and the world in this anime continue to make you marvel. The visual is one of the interesting in this anime because this isn’t just any CGI anime with a cheap visual effect. Blending a 3D and 2D visuals are indeed a testament especially in the choreography which is so amazing. This is one of the never-ending shows to discuss and make you want to know about what it comes next.

5 out of 5 stars.

Salman Al Farisi

An Indonesian who loves to watch and read everything. A literary student who likes to write about reviews and essays on Crackdown Review. But, I just wannabe critics who love arthouse than anything.

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