In the distant future, a new life form called Houseki is born. The 28 Houseki must fight against the Tsukijin who want to attack them and turn them into decorations, thus each gem is assigned a role such as a fighter or a medic. Though they hope to fight the moon people, Phos is a gem who is given no assignment until the gems' manager Kongou asks them to edit a natural history magazine.
This is one of my top manga series of all time.It's going to be getting an official English release this year and despite the series not being finished yet, i thought it'd be a good time to write a review of it for anyone who's curious about it.
The story is very interesting and contains a lot of mysteries. It presents many questions about this world and it's characters. Like, who and what are the moon people? What is the managers goal? Where do these gems come from? and is there anyone else on this world?The series is not all dark and depressing either,as there is
a lot of comedy here too which i enjoy.
The most intriguing part of this series for me were the gems themselves. All the characters aren't just named after gems, they literally are that gemstone and take on their real world properties.For example, Cinnabar is toxic and keeps himself away from everyone, whilst Diamond is one of the strongest fighters due to his hardness level which prevents him from breaking easily.
I really enjoy all the characters in this series,while some get more time in the spotlight than others, their personalities were distinct enough that i remember them well. Phosphophyllite is an amazing main character,without spoiling anything, lets just say he gets a LOT of character development.
Also an interesting thing to note is that all the characters are androgynous and refer to each other using male pronouns. Just another element that makes this series so unique.
Very stylish. I love how the art shows how shiny these gems are,like how their hair refracts the light onto their shoulders. Although it is a little morbid seeing a character broken into pieces sometimes.
The character designs are great too, despite how most of the characters wear the same uniform, their hair styles are unique enough to tell them apart. Backgrounds art is also great, and it really sets the mood in some scenes.I like the use of solid black.
Since it's not finished yet and i don't know when it will i'm giving the series a 9 overall for now. If it keeps being this amazing and answers all the questions i have,when it's finished i could easily give it a 10.That's how good this manga is.
Please give this manga a go if you're looking for something different from the norm!
(I also recommend watching the beautiful anime style trailer too, so you can join me in wishing it gets an anime series someday.)
One of my top rated manga, it has an uncommon and interesting story, due to the mysterious vibes it gives off mostly because of the lack of background information. (There are many clues around the series which i personally think that they are currently in a post apocalyptic earth whose humans 'dissapeared')
Although, the change of personality because of a traumatic experience is similar to other mangas such as Tokyo Ghoul. The main character of Houseki no Kuni whose name is Phos has a particular character development that differs from them. Maybe it is probably because of her/his lack of perception and the ways she/he tries
to achieve her goals.
Aside from the character development and the unique story, I think this manga also provides a nice food for thought because of the philosophical chats about relationship, growth and others which I appreciate.
However, a negative aspect of this manga is the amount of time it takes to release a new chapter.[T_T]
Houseki no Kuni tells a strange story standing somewhere between fantasy and sci-fi, good and bad, strange and yet addicting. It is something with the overall feeling of intertwining sorrow, nostalgia, anger and hope that makes this manga enjoyable, rather than the plot and the characters.
Phos, our main character, is like the ugly duckling of the Gem Kingdom - energetic, nice and loving, but still weak and clumsy, among a nation of fighters. And the plot is straightforward - about the growing of Phos in a strange desert-like world. I would say that the manga indeed lacks something in the development of the
characters - it is somehow missing, too slow or too sudden, which could be a plus in some cases and it does not affect how lovable Phos is, but nevertheless it somehow makes the story static.
The Art is fine, but it does look a lot like shoujo (the long limps somehow remind me of CLAMP art, I wonder why), although I would say this manga has nothing to do with the genre. It does fit seinen more and I would say the contrast between the art of the Gems and the devoid of life world is refreshing. The plot is also fine, but could be too slow or predictable from time to time, taking into consideration that most of what I've read so far was..let's say fighting.
Even though I said all of this, I would recommend this manga and I do hope they would make at least an OVA out of it. It has its bad sides, but it's enjoyable and indeed refreshing, more like your Sunday afternoon reading, than anything else. I find it addicting and I would continue to follow it, despite its downsides and I hope helped you consider reading it. It's worth for the feeling. :)
I really do like Houseki no Kuni's wonderful characters and whimsical fantasy tone -- until it loses it along with most of its charm and Phosphophyllite's sanity. From chapter 19 onward, Houseki no Kuni's tone and pacing suffer bouts of schizophrenia. Excessive and often repetitive action scenes drag out the midsection of the currently released chapters, littered with gratuitous "deaths". The most interesting and nuanced characters are sidelined until all that's really left to focus on is Phos, Cairngorm, and Adamant -- and maybe Cinnabar, too, since the mangaka really likes to remind you that Cinnabar exists just as you're about to forget.
Houseki no Kuni's
greatest sin is wasting your time, which comes to a head when Phos is forced to learn about the existence of humans again despite already learning the information some 40 chapters earlier. After 40 months (this is a monthly series, so storytelling time is precious), Phos finally learned information they had already learned and then forgotten. No new information is gained, so for the reader this is a colossal waste of storytelling time. The long stretch of fights in the midsection of the 61 chapters play like a groundhog day loop of Phos's failures, wearing down your energy to continue reading.
The art is simplistic and rough, with Clamp-like spaghetti limbs. Each of the gems wear the same clothes and have roughly the same face, making them hard to distinguish save for their distinct hairstyles. The roughness of the art begins to take its toll the more Phos's design changes with each "upgrade" they receive. These upgrades come in the form of new materials to replace Phos's lost body parts, roughly corresponding to the Seven Treasures of Buddhism and meaning to date there are likely 2 more upgrades left. This gives Phos a Frankenstein's monster appearance of mixed colours and a messy design that doesn't do the art any favours.
I really do want to like Houseki no Kuni more. A lot more. But I'll keep reading it anyway.