It’s unfortunate that many people overlook and under rate CGI based series, me included. But after reading the synopsis and watching 4 episodes, I’m glad I made the decision to watch Land of the Lustrous. I guess you can say this is the…Hidden gem of the season \(\~_~)
Out of all the anime that aired this Fall, Houseki no Kuni caught my attention the most. With its oddly intriguing story along with the setting and characters. The characters of this series are gems. You know, Diamond, Jade, Alexandrite, and the other ones. Each gem has a certain hardness, how easy they can break. One of the
very weak gems are our main characters, Phos and Cinnabar. I did not do any research so I have no idea about how each gem acts and their exact information. But the anime does well to explain enough the characteristics of each one.
Basically the Gems or Jewels task is to fend off against like, Moon Dwellers? They constantly fight the gems to kidnap them for the purpose of decoration. Of course, being gems, it’s understandable. With this, Land of the Lustrous does well to present an action packed, scenic filled, colourful, atmospheric anime for us to enjoy.
Unfortunately for Phos, her task doesn't come with badass fighting scenes, her (I know they’re genderless, so i’m just gonna refer to these as girls cuz they're more feminine than anything else) job is to write down notes for an encyclopaedia and make history. Not so fun is it. Being an easily breakable gem, Phos had it coming.
The soundtrack is quite amazing with its catchy opening and insert songs. The sfx used as well is amazing and the overall music just fits perfectly.
The animation is definitely a strong point, despite the CGI that it has. It flows nicely and the action scenes and cinematography is spot on.
I am pretty tempted to read the original source to see how it differs, but I do hear that the adaptation is pretty well made, so no complaints there.
The voice acting performance of course is very good as well, each character has an appropriate voice for those characters. It fits and it makes me feel for them more.
My enjoyment for this series is beyond the roof. To the calm, SOL feeling situations, to the action packed and serious scenes as well. Although the tone shifts could make people see this series differently, I do believe it has a more positive impact than a negative one. I enjoy each character and the different types of jewels and the use of their “hardness” rank. I love how some gems are fragile and some aren't and they use that nicely in this anime.
Overall this anime needs more attention, just because something is cgi, does not mean it can’t present a good story driven anime with good characters within a good setting. Houseki no Kuni deserves a lot more. If you have time at all, I really do recommend watching this anime, because It won't be a waste of time.
At the time of writing this review, four episodes have aired.
I've finished catching up to the manga (60 chapters) and will be purchasing them shortly.
STORY: Gems in humanoid form fight unknown entities known as the "Moon-People", their hardness and gem type dictating their overall strength and ability to fight. The story has a very distinct feel to it, but I'm not surprised only about 20k people have this show currently listed. Although great in my opinion, it's rather niche. If you're into sci-fi type stories, this is for you. Don’t just write it off as some “Steven Universe” rip off, because 1) it was
made before S.U., 2) it’s a worthwhile view/read. Later on in the series it will get a but off the rails and the feel of everything is turned on its head. Needless to say, dark. Despite the drastic shift in tone, I still would highly recommend watching until the end. The pacing is about one or two chapters per episode, and I find it fitting. It doesn't seem drawn out or too fast, which is great, especially for a twelve episode series. The tone shift that will occur in later episodes will without a doubt ruin it for some viewers. It all feels very left field for some, which is understandable. Just a point I wanted to bring up.
ART: Similarly to the manga, it has a very cool, stylish, and clean-cut art style that is very appealing right off the bat. Although not extremely detailed like other manga in the current market, the style has such a unique atmosphere that others lack. I feel like a lot of people dislike the 3D, as they look back to the ONA's 2D animation and find it better than what we received. However, I find it rather fitting. The ONA showcased lackluster animation, which, though most likely would have stayed more true to the manga (and allowed for more expressive animation), looked relatively odd. In the new artstyle, the hair's shine and the facial expressions are actually gorgeous, and the character mannerisms are cute and energetic. I can't wait to see how they adapt the more..."exciting" parts of the manga.
SOUND: The sounds of clanking and cracking that the gems produce are VERY nice, as it, well, sounds like gems. The voice acting is very relaxing, smooth, and high quality. Phos' voice is rather irritating, but it's fitting for their character. I’m a native Japanese speaker and I have to say that the actors are really into their role, and their emphasis on certain phrases or lines just makes the character acting so much more effective in my opinion. Especially Phos, as they have a very childish way of speaking and the VA does an amazing job of portraying this. The others aren't as noteworthy, but are stellar performances nonetheless. In terms of music, gorgeous. The OP and ED weren't favorites at first, but now they've grown on me and I LOVE them both. The OST used in the series is really nice, especially the battle theme. I can't wait to hear what other songs come out of it.
CHARACTER: Staying true to the manga. Some characters' colors are being changed from the originals to better reflect the gem they're based off, and personally, I find these versions much more appealing. (Diamond, Morganite.)
ENJOYMENT/OVERALL: Recently, I finally got around to binge-reading the manga, as I had started a while ago but never finished. Of course, I can't say much on that (spoilers and such), but I can't wait to see how they adapt some characters and their designs, as well as more exciting action scenes later on. I love Phos, I love the story, I love the sound...But Houseki No Kuni will only be receiving a 8/10 for now, as it has yet to display to me the peak of what it can accomplish with this adaptation. I hope to see a season 2, as I'm sure the 12 episodes that will be airing cannot cover most of the manga as it is.
TLDR; If you don’t like the CG or aren’t intrigued by the plot so far, you might as well skip as it’s very niche.
The GRRM Reaper once posited the Furniture Rule: the idea that, at its core, literature is an exploration of the human condition; the rest is furniture.
Houseki no Kuni purports to be a story of immortal, genderless life forms with each individual based around a gemstone from which they take their physical characteristics. They are being hunted down by Lunarians for what seems to be collector’s fancy. But as the story moves on, a more intriguing aspect of the entire dynamic unravels and expands the story to one more conducive to philosophical discourse: the “bone”, the “soul”, and the “flesh”.
At its core however, underneath the trappings
of a fantastical concept, Houseki no Kuni is a thesis of how our place in our world is intricately intertwined with our perceived purpose. It does away with most of the sheer scope and details of the culture, society, and mythos genderless immortals entails. One should not expect a powerful, living breathing world that sweeps you with imagery, scenery, and grandeur. It instead delves into the human psyche.
It's Phos, aimless slacker, devoured and broken to bits and pieces, grim fate evoking nothing but cruelly nonchalant reactions from fellow gems.
It's Cinnabar, self-exiled, isolation poisoning the mind, bereft of a shoulder to lean on.
It's Dia, valued, vaunted, a tier above other gems, yet struggling to find a moment in the light under the vast, dark shadow of a peer better and stronger.
The series can be unsubtle with its cues and tells, especially to those well-versed in the intricacies of philosophy in motion pictures, yet it’s never to point where it beats you in the head with it. It is shaping up to be a gem (sue me) despite an abysmal first episode which focuses so much on assuring the viewers that it’s more than it looks like.
So far, the series has brought me great enjoyment. There are moments that I laugh, I cried a bit and cursing Phos for being so useless or so annoying. But slowly, I realised Phos character is so relatable.
A lot of us might not truly accomplish something even though we thought we had tried our best. Or there are moments we felt so helpless and just wish to hide and take cover, think that the pain will go away by itself, while in fact, the pain stayed.
It is common for people to dream an ambitious dream, while not realising how much effort and pain one
have to go through before one can achieve that dream, and eventually hit hard by the reality. It always starts off as "it's so cool, I want to be like that." to "I am not good enough." "I wish I could be that good." "why couldn't I become as good as 'that someone'."
I particularly like one of the headers the publisher used for the manga series:
"A beautiful story of the strong, yet fragile, Gems." 「宝石たちの強くてもろくて美しい物語。」
I find the CGI anime very fluid, compare to what I have seen previously in other anime (you know them), Land of the Lustrous (Houseki no Kuni) doesn't have that awkwardness that often, and the background are animated very lively. 'Such a lovely island' is what I first thought when seeing the bird view shot. The complex camera movement makes the fight scene looks luxurious and breathtaking as if you are one of the arrows approaching the Gems, or the sword in the Gems hand.
To be true, the music is the thing that kept me watching the series. I have like the music composer since his "Eccentric Family" days. Although I didn't know it was the same composer when I watch the first episode, but the music was so intense and bring the essence of the scene out, I felt like I must check out who is it, and came across a familiar name, which I am happy to see him in this project, because he did it well in "Eccentric Family". I love the tune in episode preview the most, and I believe it is also the main theme music of the series.
I have seen a lot of people say they hope the character or animation stayed the same as in their previous PV, but I personally like the 3D design better.
The CV did their job nicely, well, excellent job. Whether it is Phos's yelling, complaining, Diamond's caring and gentle voice, or Bort's harsh and fierce tone. I find them nicely blend together.
The most enjoyment I had for this season was from Land of the Lustrous. Some say the character development is a bit too slow, personally, I think the events are necessary for the character. Therefore the story should not go quicker than this. Drop the series simply because they spent time planting the hints here and there in the first two episode (what we call world building), is gonna make you lose the upcoming candies.
Overall, a hidden gem of the season! Definitely, recommend a watch, be patient with our main protagonist, Phosphophyllite. He/she, well they're all genderless. The story truly has a meaning, try at least 3 episode, you will then start to understand the theme.
This will be a short review since we are yet in episode 9, so I cannot give a final impression on the story or the overall enjoyment.
I will only say that as a "veteran" anime viewer I look for things that feel original and a departure from stories and devices that I have seen many times already. This is why I decided to check this and boy, I am enjoying it so much.
Intriguing so far. There is a central mystery to be solved and many other things we don't know. But the story so far is progressing at a good pace and giving
us new bits of information every episode. Also Phos, the main character, is going under certain development. I've read that there are surprises coming our way and I have my theories about it, so I am excited to see what will happen.
I love the use of CGI here (this is a 1st for me), I started watching only for the pretty. The show is visually stunning, some action scenes are plainly jaw-dropping. The sceneries are awesome and the gems are shiny and wonderful. I don't mind that they look a bit rigid being CGI, I would expect a crystal to be sort of stiff, so for me it works. The story and dialogs are more than enough to make me feel they are full of life.
All the gems have distinct personalities and I like Phos, the main character, she is weak but stubborn and desires to be a useful part of society, she struggles and is not there quite yet. It feels relatable.
It started as a light entertainment with lots of eye-candy. But now the story is getting more intriguing and I can say that I'm hooked.
Overall : 10
For now I will give it a 9. But the jury is still out until the story comes to a conclusion.
The truth is I'm sad that it will be only 12 episodes, I really like it.
Edit 9-12-17: now I'm on episode 9 an my enjoyment of this is through the roof. Everything keeps getting better and better and I'm turning a die-hard fan. We see how this season ends in order to give a final score.
Houseki no Kuni is a story set on an island in a post-apocalyptic world, where a collection of immortal gemstone-based people cluster around the mysterious Adamant-sensei, who keeps them occupied with jobs tailored to their interests and abilities - all except Phosphophyllite, a spoiled child who is too delicate to do the job he REALLY wants to do; fighting the celestial spirit-like Lunarians that are constantly trying to shatter the gems and use them as jewelry. Tasked with creating an encyclopedia to distract him, Phos meets the secluded Cinnabar for the first time, and begins to question what it means to have value.
The story, despite
its character-driven slice-of-life angle, is primarily written as a mystery. Each arc (the first one concluding in episode 5) is concluded with a drastic change in Phos, and that change is used to give Phos a new perspective on the world he lives in and the secrets Adamant-sensei is keeping.
Unfortunately, the first episode is a wobbly start, and the story doesn't do a good job of communicating that it's a worldbuilding mystery of the same class as Kemono Friends or Girl's Last Tour; in those shows, the mystery as at the forefront, constantly reminding you of the question through key references and the protagonist's own interest, but in Houseki no Kuni, Phos blithely goes on his merry way uncaring of the seemingly perfect world around him, buying into the status quo completely. Unless you're asking the questions it wants you to ask (or you've read the more ethereal and painfully lonely original manga), Houseki no Kuni comes off as tonally unstable, despite its straightforward setup.
Despite how badly it's communicated, the story itself is wonderful, and the slow unrolling of the lore with each consecutive episode and conflict is constantly entertaining.
The CG is designed to emulate mid-quality 2D animation, low frame-rate included, so it's a matter of taste whether you enjoy it or not. The cinematography and post-processing is gorgeous, with fantastic uses of colour and wild, chaotic action scenes, but I wish it better communicated the quiet emptiness of the island and the seas around it; I've seen a few people consider the lack of details 'lazy', but it's more like it's not featureless ENOUGH to get the idea across. The underwater segments probably do a better job of this.
Unfortunately, almost none of the beautiful, striking cinematography and sakuga is in episode 1 (barring MAYBE the very lovely scene of a broken Phos), and the Adamant-sensei 3D model is...not very pleasant close-up, but otherwise, the characters are all attractive, with gorgeous and expressive facial animation. Absolutely pinpoint perfect sound design combined with character animation communicates that these are extremely heavy gemstones, as light and human-like as they look when they're not in motion, and the way the lighting accentuates their gem traits is stunning. Overall the best-looking show this season, if only just based on personal taste.
Like most people, I was at first skeptical about this anime because of it's art style, but I'm not the type of person who doesn't give things a chance, so I decided to try it. I'm on episode 5 now and I've gotta say, the art only compliments the characters more.
It's extremely interesting and has many twists revolving around Phos and his/her friends. Sadly I'm still confused by Phos's gender, so I'm referring to him/her both ways. I always feel connected to Phos and the people he/she approaches, everything about it beams creativity and uniqueness.
In all, you should definitely watch this brilliant anime, look past
superficial things like art, and you just might get hooked like I have.
Time and time again, I could feel strong emotions on nearly every moment they made. It's not like story is getting unexpected, it's like you are having ripples in your tranquil heart. The world is exquisite, but also full of mystery.
For me, the most interesting plot I love to watch is the interaction between Cinnabar and Phos. Their conversation didn't tell much story, but their facial expressions and behaviors did. That's some great ways to make plots attractive.
The sea shore scene in episode 5 is epic.
This is an underrated anime that someone who likes world of beauty should watch.
I have to say... As of writing this review only 4 episodes have aired, but I'm confident enough to say that watching this anime is a very uncomfortable experience.
If you don't already know (like I did at first) this is a CGI based anime (think RWBY and the like). Now, I have no problem watching anime or shows created in this style, but there were a lot of issues with how this was executed, which really detracted from the show. But more on that later.
Story - 4
The main premise of this show is that there are these humanoid gems that are assigned specific jobs
based on their hardness and gem type. Our main character, Phos, is the weakest gem and is assigned the task of recording new information into an encyclopedia because she is too weak to fight. Meanwhile, the gems are being attacked by beings known as "Lunari" who want to use them because they're valuable or something.
The plot seems simple at first glance, but it actually is quite convoluted. I blame this on the fact that there are many characters and when there are many characters, it becomes difficult to focus on the big picture. I honestly still don't know what the main objective or plot of the story is.
The only redeeming part of the story is the fact that it sticks to the world building. I think it would be very easy to ignore the world the characters live in and pretend as if it doesn't matter, but it's refreshing to see each episode incorporate parts of the world and its volatile 'nature' into the story.
Art - 1
This is the biggest problem in the whole show. I know that art style is very rarely important enough to affect the quality of an anime, but this is one of the exceptions.
I will concede that SOME parts of the CGI animation are done really nicely, to an almost impressive degree, but unfortunately it does not make up for how often the CGI isn't that great.
You will begin noticing this from the very beginning of the first episode. The show is LAGGY. Characters will in one moment be flying across the screen, kicking bad guys in the face, and then in the next be struggling to move their arm 10 degrees. It's honestly really annoying and it happens A LOT. Even in some of the more important scenes.
The worst part is that it tends to lag on the character's facial expressions, making them look stagnant at places or just awkward. It kind of deprives the viewer from a part of the character experience because half the time a gem is trying oh so hard to move her lips before they cut to someone else.
Then there's the fact that some characters just look better than others. Not in terms of design, but in terms of quality. I mean, I don't understand why the gem master has to look better than our main character. It's like looking at one character without your glasses on and then looking at another with them on. That's the only way I know how to describe it.
I will admit that I'm the type of person who believes that CGI in general, in its current state, is not pleasant enough to look at. Live action movies can get away with it because for the most part, the scenes with CGI are brief enough that you don't notice the flaws or there is only one thing that needs to be animated. Making a show out of it is just... ugly. Making a show out of it and having it constantly lag is annoyingly ugly.
Sound - 4
I can't tell if this is a problem with the CGI or if the voice acting just isn't that great. The characters often sound lifeless, but it may just be because the CGI is so terrible at times that whatever the VAs are saying doesn't match up with what we're seeing.
The OP and ED are great though. I'm not sure if they fit the show in particular, but they're catchy.
Characters - 5
Like I said earlier, there's a ton of characters. They're all mostly tropes with a few things that distinguish themselves from each other. They're not bad, but not really memorable either. Overall it's pretty average.
Right now, I don't really enjoy this show. I blame it mostly on the CGI and I feel as though it were in a more traditional style, it would be easier to watch. I don't think it's a terrible show, but I do feel as though the CGI turns people off, as it should.
The fact of the matter is that the show is not strong enough on its own to hold up this new style. The plot is okay, but it's not memorable. No one is going to look through their watch list and remember the story in vivid detail. No one is going to be making highly analytical posts about this show. The CGI doesn't add anything to the show, but there are about a million little details a traditional style could add.
At best, the show will entice viewers to read the manga, which artistically represents what this show is about while still preserving the quirky designs of each character.
The CGI eye-candy of the season! But this series has more than just looks going for it! While it does take a few episodes to really get into things, there is a wonderful mystery to the world and a welcome depth to the main characters. At first it seemed liked the main character Phosphophyllite would be just another annoying lazy one-dimensional protagonist, but she at times shows a surprising complexity that one would not expect from such a lazy whiny freeloader. It wasn't until episode 3 that I really started to see this anime something other than eye-candy, and by the end of episode 4
I was so invested in the story that it had snuck up on me to become my most anticipated series. Definitely worth a watch!
This is my first review, and English isn't my primary language, so excuse some of the grammar mistakes.
To be honest, I feel like this anime's a bit underappreciated. While some of the things presented in this anime might not be suited for everyone's taste(such as the concept behind the gems and the 3DCG animation, which I'll discuss later on their respective parts), this anime has adapted the manga quite well and faithfully. The manga itself was quite good, and I'd recommend reading it after the anime finishes airing as it shows other things that might not be shown on the anime due to the limited
episodes(unless they decided to adapt a second season).
The main concept of the story revolves around immortal and genderless gem people fighting against the moon people who tries to take them away for decorations, which is quite the unique take on 'fighting against unknown forces' plot that's normally often used in other series(either anime or manga). However, when you look deeper upon it, the series also has a life and death symbolism embedded on it, making the series more interesting than it seems on the surface if you noticed them. I feel like the description is a bit misleading, as the encyclopedia part actually doesn't do much to the story itself, and the main story itself is best described as a 'coming-of-age' story, as the main character(Phos) develops as they go through various hardships(like a saying: misery builds character) while trying to help another character(Cinnabar/Shinsha). Being a manga adaptation, each episode represents 2-3 chapters of the manga, which is a fine pace for me(though I was initially a bit concerned on how far it'll adapt).
The characters are nice and expressive, and the scenery is very well made. The animation is also quite fluid as well, especially during the battle scenes. While 3DCG can be quite polarizing for some people, it can look great if done right, as this anime proves. Because of that, I don't think this anime deserves hate solely because it's CG.
One of the reasons I decided to watch the anime is how they would sound like, and when I saw the lineup of the voice actors, I had expectations, and they delivered. The voices suit them, and the soundtracks are quite nice as well; they fit the events going on the story.
The characters have distinctive appearances(with the gem people looking like the gems they're portraying, even having traits corresponding to them), as well as unique personalities to boot. Some of them can be quite prominent on one point but later aren't shown much, however the story revolving around them gives enough impression on how they look and act. Overall, each of them has their own charm which makes them likable, even though some of characters have more/less screentime than the others.
This show manages to be both refreshing and deep at the same time, and in a good way. With the previews, each episode will leave you wondering about what happens next. The show also has a good amount of humor despite not being a comedy, and what makes them great is that they don't seem out of place, which adds more to the enjoyment factor.
Like said above, while the premise might not be for everyone, I still highly recommend checking this anime. The story might seem a bit slow at first, but it eventually picks up.
I'd give this 9.5/10, since it's a great adaptation of a great manga, but MAL doesn't allow decimals here. I hope they'd adapt another season eventually, but I think it won't be revealed so soon, especially since the anime and the manga haven't been finished yet.
This show is now one of my favorite shows(or perhaps my favorite). It is honestly a gorgeous show that taught me how good CG CAN be. The story of this show is extremely unique and i have never seen anything quite like it. The only thing besides the CG that i think would turn people off is that all of the characters appear to look the same in body type. This is only true for the crystal characters, and there are other species in this show that look entirely different. This show is simply too good to pass up based on these two things, because
once you give it a try, you will realize that these two things actually make the show amazing because of how well its creators used these points to their advantage in the story and art. the first episode will capture you and not let you go. All of the characteristics of the crystals were chosen based on real life facts about crystlas, which they studied well and interpreted them beautifully to form the characters. Every episode just keeps getting better as i watch and learn about the different characteristics of the world and it's people. This show is so well done that i have already watched it more than once for the episodes so far and i know i will be watching it many more times. As of this review, Episode 10 has aired and i am eagerly awaiting the next episodes. I will also most definately be reading the manga.
I have decided to create an account just to add a rating on this anime case it's what it deserve. many have doubts becase of the pacing for the first episode or 2nd and 3rd which is necessary to explain the world of the gems. another is that this is not a normal anime for it is a CGI with 2d animation. we all know how cgi have affected anime to some which we know did not meet our expectation however, to houseki no kuni this is just perfect and the best example of a great work done using cgi. i'm not sure if there
will be one that can rival its fluidity in animation. (i remember the new gachaman for the mix of 2d and CGI)
okay, so what i like about this anime is everything about it! seriously. the minimalist design, the cinematography, the breaking and glimmers of the gem are executed gorgeously to show that what species they are suppose to be- a sentient gems/rock. after the 1st episode, i immediately read the manga and finish it in a day and i'm telling you ive read it 4x now and the anime? I lost count. i fell in love with antarc and the impact he have left to the story much more for our mc who never stop to evolve so fast its hard for us to watch. i dare you, you cant just love 1 gem. i want a harem of them :)
did i mention the amount of references the manga gives to Buddhism? god! the intricate amount of symbolism that fits perfectly to the story is one for you to find out!
if your reading this, don't miss the chance to experience what we have seen so far. (ep10atm)
fave ep so far 8(feels) & 10(oneshotcinematography!!)
and if your going to start it now. let me just say
"Brace for Winter" -it's coming
What a great show, out of everything I've seen lately I felt seriously inclined to write a review about this one in particular.
First off, the first and last glaring thing on anybodies mind checking this out initially is the CG animation and the immediate discounting that goes along with finding out a show is created in it. In another thousand or so anime I might agree that CG is an unfortunate or poor choice for artistic direction or a compromise to push out a show more inexpensively that otherwise might not have gotten made, In Houseki no Kuni this couldn't be more untrue.
is not only (for the most part) of incredible quality, but more than that really captures the "non-human" aspects of the shows' characters, the gems in particular. From the shine of their bodies, the faint glow cast by their hair, the 'stiffness' of their expressions, and when they get chipped or cracked the 3D aesthetic creates a wonderful effect that I believe wouldn't have looked as beautiful in traditional drawn animation. This is to say nothing of the great work done on the surrounding environment, the CG is far from off-putting apart from a small handful of scenes (We're all looking at you, Cinnabar).
Everything else in this show is lovely, from characters to music 'Land of the Lustrous' creates a wonderfully vivid world and a cast of dynamic characters that make it fun to watch and saddening to put down. If you're looking for something comfortable to watch with occasional action with only some of the shock and none of the gore present in a lot of other well-acclaimed shows in the past several seasons then I would strongly recommend giving this one at least a two-episode chance, you won't be disappointed.
So episode 9 released a few days ago, and it was too Lit! (I started from episode 1 btw). The visuals and character development will grow on you fast. It's also very unique and different from most anime ( and I have watched a lot of anime :p ). I really like the concept of how gems can be brought to life and the logical sense in which they are genderless.
story 8/10 (...can go to 10/10 as the story goes on and complexity increases)
music & sfx 9/10
The anticipation for new episodes got so painful that I am beginning to read the
A must watch for Fall 2017... heck, a must watch period.
It's time for a review one-third in the progress, and I've gotta say for a studio that always handles collaborated production (be it art, animation whatever), and coming out of their shell to own this show as their own, it is a job well done, and would be one of the best overlooked shows of the season.
Humans in the form of gems must fend their kind against the Lunarians (or Moon-People ) for decorations and for every gem based on their brittleness, are given a role each to fulfill their call.
The main character, Phosphophyllite is the youngest and weakest of the gems and Master Kongou
assigns her (coz genderless but looks feminine) to create an encyclopedia to preserve the history of the gems (I assume).
True to the manga source material (as in 100% replication), this show stands out in quite a few ways. It is for a very niche audience, and anyone who doesn't appreciate the simplicity of it won't find it appealing, but the transition to the big screen is what makes this show fulfilling in every single way (and more to come).
As mentioned, there's only one master (Kongou, or Adamantine) and the other gems, based on their hardness, and their personality reflects how they are aptly named, and rightfully so, there's that. Many characters, but also not so confusingly different at the same time, do appreciate that.
This is the main draw of the show: its beautifully animated CGI. Because the manga is quite lush on the surroundings, the anime adaptation has to replicate that otherwise the show will look generic, and points for being able to use CGI as it was intended to show throughout.
Orange, the production studio behind this show, did mostly collaborations of the visuals and animation and this is their first full production work on their own, and it really looks nice as compared to the manga. Both the art and animation tell the same story, and is really the "Land of the Lustrous" treatment with it's rich CG vibrancy.
The goodness of hearing the character VAs trying to replicate the gem counterparts, along with the sound of gems are satisfying to hear, as well as the OP and ED itself, like the show doesn't try to become overbearing on its own because the intensity isn't a lot to show through, so keep it simple is it's main strength.
Verdict (after Ep 4):
Things have got more interesting and as always, it keeps coming back for more (although the manga is a complete spoiler for those who want to read to know future episodes), as for the big screen, this is a visually impressive show and one that's not to miss for those who love to watch CGI done in justice.
It's gorgeous. It's both entertaining and interesting to watch. It's... perfect? Not quite, but it's still brilliant. And underrated.
I didn't read the manga and found out about this anime through some art. Even though it's CGI, I can't remember any anime which would look as beautiful as this one. All fights look absolutely outstanding. Every character "hair" is unbelievably charming. I just couldn't get enough of it.
It wasn't something as boring as I thought before but it doesn't seem that deep right now, I believe I won't get all the story that is unveiled with the last 2 episodes and it will remain
rather mysterious. Some scenes with Shinsha were also... questionable, but maybe I just missed something. Oh, well.
Not really a fan of judging soundtracks, just love when it doesn't leave some bad vibes after and doesn't seem out of place. So far so good, both OP and ending songs are beautiful.
Both Sensei and gems have their own personality and we can clearly see it throughout the series, although a lot of characters remained in background. Changes of Phos are definetily my favourite, it's always interesting to see stories such as this one.
I want to see as much as I can, give me more!
Being one of not so much CGI animes, Houseki No Kuni is probably the best of them. Directing, art, sound and everything else are amazing. If this series not going to get season 2, I don't want to live anymore.
The animation is absolutely fabulous, if you have read the manga then you will understand what a brilliant job the studio has done to illustrate the texture and color of Diamond's hair.
The music crew utilizes Kokyū (or Erhu maybe) when it comes to a lyric scene, which is very expressive.
The authoress of the original manga attended a Buddhist high school (as a Chinese I thought there were only Catholic high schools,lol) and got this spark of inspiration from the Buddhist version of the heaven, which is, according to the scriptures, decorated with gems. So she wondered where the gems come from, And
there it goes, the gem-hunt by the moon-people.
The setting might be a little bepuzzling to viewers without a relevant cultural background, so I'll just list a few concepts that might shed some light on it.
Shintoism. Japanese pagan religion, basically believes that everything has a spirit.
Vajra. The namesake of Kongo Sensei. Means diamond/thunderbolt. Kongo is a loanword from Chinese, 金剛, lit.metal+adamant. The corresponding scripture is called "Diamond Sutra", which is , according to Wikipedia, a part of the " 'Perfection of Wisdom' genre, and emphasizes the practice of non-abiding and non-attachment. The Diamond Sutra is one of the most influential Mahayana sutras in East Asia, and is a key object of devotion and study in Zen Buddhism."
Apsara. The most probable graphic archetype of the moon-people soldiers. You can google image "apsara Dunhuang" to see them. Wikipedia again:"a female spirit of the clouds and waters""In Indian mythology, apsaras are beautiful, supernatural female beings. They are youthful and elegant, and superb in the art of dancing. They are often wives of the Gandharvas, the court musicians of Indra. They dance to the music made by the Gandharvas, usually in the palaces of the gods, entertain and sometimes seduce gods and men."
Preta. Possible spiritual archetype of the moon-people soldiers. Hungry ghosts. Wikipedia:"Pretas are believed to have been false, corrupted, compulsive, deceitful, jealous or greedy people in a previous life. As a result of their karma, they are afflicted with an insatiable hunger for a particular substance or object. "
Karma. Cause and effect. Again wikipedia:"action, work or deed; it also refers to the spiritual principle of cause and effect where intent and actions of an individual (cause) influence the future of that individual (effect). Good intent and good deed contribute to good karma and future happiness, while bad intent and bad deed contribute to bad karma and future suffering."
Taṇhā. Greed, craving, source of Dukkha, which means suffering in Bhuddhism.
Whew, that was monolithic.
edit: apparently the imagery of phos being forged into an alloy of multiple substances also has an allusion to it.
Seven treasure of buddhism, are gold, silver, lapis lazuli, ruby, crystal, coral and emerald, which may be associated with the Seven Factors of Enlightenment.
THIS ANIME IS AMAZING. The beginning first few episodes are a bit on the boring side, but once you reach the climax of the anime (around episode 5), the anime will exceed all your expectations. The premise of this anime is really cool too; it's about a bunch of gems that are human-like and they have to fight off these things that are also human-like called "lunarians". It's super interesting because you don't really know how they originate so it's really mysterious and enjoyable. There's also many things that happen, so you'll never really be bored (well the first few episodes are a bit repetitive,
but you can't expect the anime to drop and be rolling right from the start). Yeah, the animation is CGI but the plot! It's so good and I can't wait for all the episodes to come out :D!