Land of the Lustrous Episode 11: Cinnabar knows or suspects more than they will say
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Land of the Lustrous Episode 11 Review – Best In Show

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Land of the Lustrous Episode 11 Review – Quick Summary

In Land of the Lustrous episode 11, “Secrets,” Bort, filled with a cold rage at what the Lunarian creature did to Diamond, attacked with icy precision. Bort’s sword-strokes were perfect and sliced clean through the creature. Which then became two creatures. Once of those creature fled, only to run into Phosphophyllite (Phos) and Alexandrite. Phos tried to engage the enemy, but it was brutally powerful and forced them back. Phos asked Alexandrite to attack, but Alexandrite couldn’t even bear to look at the Lunarian, much less attack it. How can the gems deal with a multiplying enemy that can overwhelm every their most accomplished fighters?

Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.

Favorite Quote from Land of the Lustrous Episode 11

Land of the Lustrous Episode 11: Shiro is magnificently fluffy

Apparently, Shiro’s fur is “magnificently fluffy.” Capture from the Amazon Prime stream.

Growing up on a farm, I actually got to use a monkey wrench. I’m most familiar with the larger pipe wrenches, because we did a lot of maintenance on the farm, and that included working on near-industrial-sized plumbing. So, when one says “that threw a monkey wrench into the works,” I have a clear mental image of a tough steel wrench playing havoc gears.

And boy, this episode tossed in a massive monkey wrench into the works.

Phos could not believe their ears. Had they really heard Kongou call that creature “Shiro?” In an affection tone? Phos tried to get clarification from Sensei as he leaned back into Shiro’s fur. Even as Phos spoke, Kongou began to drift to sleep.

Phos’ objection woke him. He apologized, saying (10:44), “The fluffiness is just so inviting. It’s magnificent. Magnificently fluffy.”

The image and statement were delightfully incongruous with the battle that had just taken place.

Best in Show Moment for Land of the Lustrous Episode 11

Land of the Lustrous Episode 11: Phos has grown wise

Phos could calmly analyze Kongou’s question — despite everything that had and was happening. Capture from the Amazon Prime stream.

Setup: Experience Can Shatter a Person

I chose to review Land of the Lustrous as my throw-back series this season for two reasons. I really enjoyed the series when it first aired, and in retrospect, I regretted not sharing that experience with you. The second reason is the same that drove me to pick The Ancient Magus’ Bride: I wanted to improve my emotional vocabulary. As the prototypical guy, I can describe a dozen ways a starship’s reactor can go critical. I can describe the same number of ways to draw a sidearm or aim a rifle. But describing emotional stuff is a lot harder.

I expected to struggle, but I didn’t expect to get so involved in this series. The harder I tried to authentically describe my feelings towards my favorite quote or scene, the more the story and characters seemed to invade my mind. In the Best of Show reviews for most episodes of other series, I’ll have 4 or 5 screen captures — one for the quote, one for the setup, one for the delivery, one for the featured image, and sometimes another for the delivery if it’s longer.

Land of the Lustrous Episode 11: This series is so beautiful

There is so much beauty packaged into each episode, it’s almost exhausting. Capture from the Amazon Prime stream.

For the last couple of these reviews, I’ve had 25 screen captures. That’s before I wrote the post! Phos has been on an emotional roller coaster, and I’ve right there with them. I feel like I’m emotionally exhausted on Phos’ behalf!

That’s why Phos’ reaction to Sensei speaking affectionately to Shiro struck me so hard. Standing there with gold/platinum arms and agate-striped legs as physical reminders of their experiences, Phos felt the shock of their life.

Experience can shatter a person. It can uplift a person. It can do anything inbetween. How did it affect Phos?

Delivery: Experience Taught Phos Wisdom

Big Shocks and Little Shocks

After learning from Cinnabar that everyone else knew or suspected that Kongou had some tie to the Lunarians, Phos determined to confront him. As Phos entered the room, a phantasm of Antarcticite made the “shushing” gesture, then vanished in sparkling shards.

Phos, shaken, got another shock. Shiro, a look of adoration on its face, slowly curled affectionately around Kongou. Sensei gently caressed its face as it discorporated. Trying to get a handle on what they were seeing, Phos asked if Shiro were returning to the moon. Sensei answered no, that it had found peace. Phos could only stand and stare as the light of the transformation faded.

Land of the Lustrous Episode 11: Kongou is a mysterious man

Kongou looked as if he was well-acquainted with events like this. Who is this man? Capture from the Amazon Prime stream.

As if nothing had happened, Kongou asked Phos how it had been working beside Bort.

How Will Phos Answer?

This was a critical moment for Phos. How would they frame the experience? Would they complain about the amount of work? Lament the danger? Try to talk up their own part in the battles? Ignore the question and demand to know more about his relationship to Shiro?

No. Phos gave a calm, precise, and mature response. Phos said (17:21), “Bort is far wiser and more prudent than I imagined. Above all else, it is that quick-wittedness and precision that we could all stand to learn from. I believe each of us should team up with Bort at least once.”

Phos not only gave a lucid analysis of Bort’s behavior. Phos made a great suggestion for the good of gem-kind.

This is not the same Phos we met in episode 1. This is a Phos who went through some seriously intense experiences. Forgive the gem-pun, but far from the experiencing shattering them, it taught them wisdom. Or maybe I should put it more accurately: Phos chose to learn wisdom from those experiences.

Land of the Lustrous Episode 11: Phos has grown a lot so far

The Phos of this episode has grown so, so much since the Phos of episode 1. Capture from the Amazon Prime stream.

The Limitations of Language — Mine, Anyway!

I still don’t have the vocabulary to explain why this show is so powerful and affecting. I feel like I’m not giving you the experience you deserve on a site dedicated to amazing moments in anime. But maybe directing your attention to these scenes is enough until I become a better writer. At the very least, we can celebrate these moments even if the best I can do is point and say, “There! There’s some of those moments!”

What did you think Diamond’s reaction to learning she’d missed the cute little floofs? What was your Best in Show moment? Let me know in the comments!

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7 thoughts on “Land of the Lustrous Episode 11 Review – Best In Show

  1. Not one of my favorites episodes of this or any other anime… Knowing the finale would be drawing near, it raised a TON of questions. One the perils of adapting an ongoing manga (or LN or whatever) series.

    1. It _did_ seem like a last-minute introduction of ideas. I see where it was going for Phos’ growth — it gave them sometime to question about Kongou. But it seemed pretty major to introduce in episode 11.

      I guess the manga’s still going on. Maybe we’ll get another season?

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