Land of the Lustrous Episode 3: Diamond as brave as they are strong
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Land of the Lustrous Episode 3 Review – Best In Show

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Land of the Lustrous Episode 3 Review – Quick Summary

In Land of the Lustrous episode 3, “Metamorphose,” Diamond and Bort fought the giant shelled gastropod that had eaten Phosphophyllite (Phos). They barely managed to save their compound when the beast fell into their salt water pond and shriveled — leaving only a tiny gastropod in Diamond’s arms and the giant shell on the bottom of the pond. Phos was nowhere to be found, though Diamond insisted Phos had become the gastropod. Was Diamond right? Was almost everyone else right, and it didn’t matter — even if Phos was a little slimy creature, at least Phos was quiet now? Will Cinnabar be relieved that Phos is gone? Remorseful that a chance to rejoin society is now gone? Or is there something else going on?

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

Favorite Quote from Land of the Lustrous Episode 3

Land of the Lustrous Episode 3: At least Morganite tried to look on the bright side

Morganite and Goshenite were aghast at “Phos'” condition. But Morganite tried to make the best of it. Capture from the Amazon Prime stream.

Diamond was distraught. They thought Phos had become a slimy gastropod. Motivated partly by guilt, and driven partly by an innate goodness, Diamond went to the other gems in search of ideas to restore Phos.

Some tried to be supportive. Most were more honest than that. Take, for example, this quote from Morganite (09:03): “Hey, why not leave Phos like that? It might be gross, but at least it’s quiet.”

Funny? Yes? Cruel? Sure. But perfectly in tune with the plot — and Phos’ development as a character.

Best in Show Moment for Land of the Lustrous Episode 3

Land of the Lustrous Episode 3: Diamond's smile is as powerful as a strategic weapon

The only thing we’ve found so far that Bort is powerless against? Diamond’s smile. Capture from the Amazon Prime stream.

Setup: Cinnabar Sets

Couldn’t you just feel Diamond’s desperation to save Phos? They went to all the gems, asking for help. Some of the rejections were casual (oops, gotta keep working on this table!). Others were humorous (see my favorite quote, above). Some were cruel (basically, why bother trying to bring back Phos?).

In the end, though, they were all rejections. Diamond was left holding a squishy, slimy little beast in a bowl.

Diamond had gone so far afield looking for help that they fell asleep after sunset. That’s how Cinnabar found them, curled up in the grass in the middle of a shifting, blue-white haze.

At Diamond’s description of the problem, Cinnabar reacted like the others. They said that Phos didn’t contribute anything but would impose on others without a second thought. Cinnabar’s words were so heated that Diamond asked (15:38), “Did Phos confess some feelings for you or something?”

Land of the Lustrous Episode 3: Diamond always looks through a romantic prism

Cinnabar reacted, shall we say, passionately to Diamond’s question? Maybe too passionately? And check out Diamond’s knowing smile! Capture from the Amazon Prime stream.

There was a grain of truth in what Diamond said. Though reacting at first like all the others, Cinnabar nevertheless took one look at the gastropod and knew it wasn’t Phos.

So where was our green friend?

Delivery: Diamond Spikes

Cinnabar asked about the creature’s shell, then talked about how the other nearby snails lived. Diamond listened in growing comprehension as they realized that the critter had processed Phos’ crystal into repairs that had gone into the giant shell laying at the bottom of the pond.

All they had to do was chip out the green bits.

I don’t think I can describe the scene that followed. It’s my favorite of the episode. It’s my favorite of the series (well, almost). And you know what? It’s one of my all time favorite scenes not only in anime, but in the motion picture arts.

Diamond dashed back to their compound. Everything about the sequence was pure magic. The slowly zooming shot; a quick flashback to renew our connection to Diamond’s feelings; the slightly tilted angle to give Diamond’s elegant motion more energy; Diamond’s leaping from tree limb to tree limb; Diamond running so quickly at one point they were actually skying on the surface of the water. And the soundtrack… Watching this scene, I felt like I watching music.

Land of the Lustrous Episode 3: Diamond's return was literally poetry in motion

This scene was beauty in motion. Capture from the Amazon Prime stream.

The perfect cap to the scene was Diamond finally arriving at the compound. Bort met them. Diamond was radiant with the joy that they’d be able to save Phos. Their smile was so beautiful that Bort, defender of the gems, the one who was utterly fearless, had to look away, for a moment unable to breath.

If the series gave us nothing after this moment, I would still sing its praises. But this was only episode 3.

What did you think of Rutile’s enthusiasm to “babysit” the gastropod? What was your Best in Show moment? Let me know in the comments!

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

  1. Agreed! Dia’s desperate run back to the compound was pure magic… But she’s got another moment coming, and I can’t say more without massive spoilers.

    1. Thanks for holding back! If it’s the scene I think it is…

      This series has more exquisite moments than any other I can think of. Even Ancient Magus’ Bride had a lower density per episode than this one does!

      1. Ahhh… Magus Bride. Which had so many good scenes, but couldn’t quite manage (IMO) to string them into a compelling story. (My wife read the manga and didn’t think much of the anime.)

        1. I loved it. Decided to review it to try to expand my emotional vocabulary.

          BTW: Really liked the scene you Tweeted. That was really something.

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