Land of the Lustrous: More than just a pretty face?
I don’t think anyone out there will dispute me when I say that there are a very large number of beautiful shows this Fall season. The visual fidelity of the shows this airing season are incredibly high, giving us a season that might be the best-looking one of all time. However, in my estimation, there is one show that stands above the rest, as far as looks go, and that’s Land of the Lustrous. But are beautiful visuals all it has to offer?
In a land where most people are the embodiment of gemstones, Phos (short for Phosphophyllite) is not well-suited for anything. Not only are they clumsy, but with a Mohs hardness scale rating of only 3.5, they’re fragile enough that they shatter easily. To give them something to do, the monkish Master Kongo assigns them to create an encyclopedia, though Phos would much rather be joining others in fighting off the Lunarians who attack them to harvest their bodies for their stones. As Phos reluctantly starts their research, they discovers that another of their kind – Cinnabar – may have it even worse, since they poison everything they breath or touch, and Cinnabar is even more fragile than Phos.
What exactly makes it look so good?
Now, i’ll be honest. I didn’t have the highest of hopes, at first, when seeing the previews and such of the show. After all, it’s rendered almost entirely in 3DCG, which is usually somewhat awkward even when used sparingly. Shows that have used it extensively, such as Berserk 2016, Hand Shakers, and more, have been met with a violently negative response. However, let me be the first to say: Land of the Lustrous does not suffer from whatever disease the aforementioned shows did.
If you’re looking for smooth, fluid animation, you need look no further. The movement of the characters, objects, and even grass, modeled and rendered in CG, look utterly amazing, and move with a smooth, fluid grace that’s hard to find even in very high-budget Anime. Not only that, but everything has been modeled with such obvious love and care, nothing seems clunky or out-of-place, like they do in Berserk.
True to its name, Land of the Lustrous is absolutely awash with color, and nearly every scene is just utterly gorgeous to look at. If you like scenes of sky, grass, mountains, or ocean, you’re going to adore this show, because it’s chock-full of incredible, detailed landcapes filled with vibrant colors and subtle shading, enough to actually elicit emotion, just on sight.
While i’m certainly not an expert in any of these fields, I do know that Studio Orange, a studio that hasn’t really made much, has come out of nowhere and created an absolutely magical combination of high-quality CG and beautiful landscape art to make one of the most visually stunning shows I have ever seen.
What about the story?
To be honest, while I found myself falling in love with the visuals during the first episode, I wasn’t nearly as invested in the story as I maybe could have been. The story concept is interesting, sure, and I could sense a nice amount of potential in there, but the first episode was relatively tame and average.
Thankfully, though, that’s just Episode 1. As the show has progressed, the story has grown and flourished, and it’s now quite a touching tale. The characters are extremely interesting and unique, especially the main character, Phos. Phos might just be my favorite character of the whole Fall season. She’s funny, interesting, and adorable, but most of all, she feels very real, her motivations are distinct, and she has had plenty of character growth and development already.
The world that they live in is a world in which humans, as we know them, have existed, but don’t, anymore. Instead, the main characters are crystal people, made of varying hardness, but above all, totally ageless, and essentially immortal. If broken, they can be reassembled and return to being as good as new… but they rarely grow, or change, and there are only a few of them left. The concept is interesting, and the execution is excellently done.
Not just that, though. The show has some elements in it that really make you think. For example, the growth and evolution of Phos’s character are directly related to the way her body is changing, being replaced, in a way that none of the other gems ever have. Unexpected change after a long period of little-to-no growth… Whatever could that symbolize?
Is there anything else to the show?
Land of the Lustrous isn’t all just good looks and interesting characters. With a fantastic soundtrack, including one of the best OPs of the season, as well as some stunning action sequences, and an immense amount of auditory fidelity, the show not only looks great, it sounds great too, and has some incredible, heart-pounding scenes of super intense action, emotion, and more.
Land of the Lustrous is truly, dare I say, a gem. It’s one of those shows that has gone far above and beyond what anyone expected it to, and i’m very happy to recommend it to anyone looking for a new show to watch. If you are a fan of quality Anime, with great characters, an interesting plot, and very high production value, then Land of the Lustrous is a great show to watch!
So, are you interested in watching the show, yet? If you haven’t seen it yet, go watch it! if you’ve already seen it, please, share your thoughts on it with us! We’d love to hear what you have to say!
Thank you all so much for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful day!