Land of the Lustrous Episode 12: Padparadscha gave Phos great advice
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Land of the Lustrous Episode 12 Review – Best In Show

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Land of the Lustrous Episode 12 Review – Quick Summary

In Land of the Lustrous episode 12, “New Work,” Padparadscha awakened for the first time 231 years, 11 months, and 1 day. Phosphophyllite (Phos), desperate for information about the Lunarians, goes on patrol with them. Padparadscha made no attempt to hide what they thought about Sensei Kongou, much to Phos’ surprise — and chagrin. Can Phos accept what they learn about their leader? Later, Phos has a wild idea about what Cinnabar can do– something only Cinnabar can do. How will Cinnabar react? And is Phos sure they’ve remembered all of the important parts of the promise they made to Cinnabar?

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

Favorite Quote from Land of the Lustrous Episode 12

Land of the Lustrous Episode 12: Cinnabar knows better than to let Phos corner them

Cinnabar proves once again they are one of the more perceptive gems. Capture from the HIDIVE stream.

Cinnabar was astonished one evening to find Phos waiting for them as they started their patrol. For a moment, they stared at each other — Cinnabar wide-eyed with shock, Phos poised in the act of speaking.

Cinnabar sprinted as hard as they could away from Phos. Phos gave chase.

As Phos kept pace, they called out, “Why are you running away?”

Cinnabar, demonstrating once again that they have exquisite perceptions, said (16:03), “Because of the terrible sense of foreboding I get from you!”

I think this is the text-book definition of one’s reputation preceding them.

Best in Show Moment for Land of the Lustrous Episode 12

Land of the Lustrous Episode 12: The Phos of now is very different than the Phos of episode 1

This scene was the culmination of the entire first season, in a single instant. Capture from the HIDIVE stream.

Setup: Phos Has Come a Long Way

Just in case we may have forgotten just how far Phos has come, we got to witness a remarkable conversation between Phos and Zircon that would have seemed ludicrous or sarcastic had it happened during the first couple of episodes.

Remember in the previous episode how Phos suggested that Bort take on the other gems as patrol partners? Well, in this episode, Bort teamed up with Zircon. By the end of the shift, Zircon was despondent. They felt like they could do nothing to keep up with Bort — to the point where they felt like Bort probably hated them.

Then, the conversation became surreal. Zircon mused that maybe the reason Bort’s standards were so high was because Phos has been their last partner. “I can’t live up to your standards,” Zircon said, their voice dejected (05:30).

Land of the Lustrous Episode 12: Zircon was almost desperate to improve

Zircon’s opinion of Phos would have been unimaginable 10 episodes ago. Capture from the HIDIVE stream.

Phos had a hard time accepting that perspective. Sure, Phos had been on the front line of the Lunarian war since Antarcticite had fallen. But I don’t think Phos had quite recognized just how strong they’d not only become — but also looked to others.

Zircon drove the point home by saying, “That’s why I’ve been thinking, maybe I should try losing my arms or legs or something to…”

Phos tried to laugh the words off, but they made a profound impact.

Delivery: Phos Paid the Price

Remember how Padparadscha’s answered Phos’ question about Sensei? They counseled Phos to be cautious, and it wasn’t a “don’t rock the boat” sort of cautious.

“A pure, unbridled truth might leave its own wounds,” Padparadscha said (02:48). “And it might change things in ways you’ve never imagined. So be sure to keep your composure. And be mindful of your actions.”

Those were Padparadscha’s last words, uttered right before they had collapsed.

Phos’ realization that they were strong; Padparadscha’s advice; everything that Phos had experienced up until now: All of that went into my favorite moment. It was a quick thing. Blink, and you might have missed it. But it’s a moment this anime framed and delivered beautifully.

Land of the Lustrous Episode 12: Younger Phos was carefree

Phos’ hairstyle was just the most obvious of the changes they’ve lived through. Capture from the HIDIVE stream.

Sensei had called Phos to give them a new assignment. As Phos headed for Kongou’s office, they remembered how they used to playfully gaze at their own reflection in the pond. The camera first showed Phos’ memory, then tilted to show the modern Phos. Their stride was unconsciously confident — the walk of someone who has nothing to prove because their achievements speak for themselves. The calm expression and the serious eyes showed a completely different character from the one who had thought their younger self looked cute and dignified.

It didn’t matter what Phos’ next assignment was. What mattered was that the show fulfilled its promise to show us Phos’ story. From start to finish, that’s exactly what this was, and I’ve rarely had the privilege to see such an affecting and beautiful series. I hope you’ve enjoyed looking at this series with me.

What did you think of Phos’ attempt to communicate with the Lunarians? What was your Best in Show moment? Let me know in the comments!

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3 thoughts on “Land of the Lustrous Episode 12 Review – Best In Show

    1. I keep hoping! This world is so complex and the characters so compelling that it’s almost physically painful for the anime to end here!

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