Land of the Lustrous Episode 9 Review – Quick Summary
In Land of the Lustrous episode 9, “Spring,” Phosphophyllite (Phos) had picked up the mantle of responsible left by Antarcticite’s capture. Now Phos went on patrols and defended the sleeping gems from the Lunarians. The cost, however, was enormous. Kongou watched with growing unease as that cost became clear, though it was not without benefits. What did the loss of their arms mean to Phos’ memory? What new abilities did Phos’ new gold/platinum arms provide? Will the other gems accept Phos when they awake in the Spring? Or will Phos have to go the same route as Cinnabar?
Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.
Favorite Quote from Land of the Lustrous Episode 9
Phos hurt so much they couldn’t process it. Capture from the Amazon stream.
Phos fought to fill the void that the fall of Antarcticite left. But the emotional toll was enormous. In one scene, Phos, at the end of a long day of patrols, brought a wilting flower back to the compound. They laid it on the edge of a bowl that held Antarcticite’s few remaining shards.
Phos carried on a one-side conversation, saying they could no longer sleep for fear of seeing Antarcticite’s last moments enacted, again, and again.
Kongou found that Phos had fallen asleep beside the bowl. Awakening from a nightmare, Phos moved to the window, gazing into the rising son. Phos found liquid gold leaking from their eyes.
They were gold tears.
In a tired voice, Phos said (09:38), “No matter how hard I try I can’t seem to stop the alloy from leaking like this.”
Sensei wiped the metallic tears away.
Best in Show Moment for Land of the Lustrous Episode 9
I’m pretty sure I had the same expression the first time I watched this episode. Capture from the Amazon stream.
Setup: The Union of Goals and World Building
Damn, this show… After the emotional hammerblow of the previous episode, I thought we might get a reprieve this week. We did, sort of. I mean, there was a lot of uplifting and delightful gem humor. Who knew Phos’ arms would stretch that far?
But before we got there, the show delivered a moment that literally brought me out of my seat. The first time I watched it, I had to pause the episode and digest what I’d seen and heard. The instant contained an enormous amount pain and tragedy and despair. Best of all, the narrative meticulously prepared us for maximum emotional impact.
The series has not been gentle to Phos. But in a way, their drive to help Cinnabar sustained them. Capture from the Amazon stream.
One of the ideas driving the story is that the ever-fumbling Phos, in a moment of sympathy and affection, blurted out that they wanted to find a job for Cinnabar. Why? So Cinnabar would no longer have to prowl the nights alone. Cinnabar is torn between hope and cynical rejection. We saw this when Diamond pestered Cinnabar for ideas to save Phos, who the snail had just eaten. Or more recently, when Ventricosus and Aculeatus deposited Phos on the shore near Cinnabar.
No matter what trouble Phos got into, no matter what damage they endured, the desire to help Cinnabar was ever-present. I couldn’t imagine what would change that.
Shows like this remind me just how limited my imagination can be.
Delivery: Tragedy Summarized in a Single Sentence
Spring had arrived. Phos, having taken over Antarcticite’s responsibilities, went to wake the slumbering gems. The gems sounded liked a bunch of kids as they woke up. “Is it Spring already?” Diamond said, her voice blurry.
Rutile, nearest the door, likewise suffered from morning blues. They couldn’t understand why Phos was in the doorway and not Antarcticite. Phos’ news that Antarcticite had fallen banished their drowsiness.
Gazing at Phos, Rutile noticed that Phos’ arms were no longer gemstone — they were a gold platinum alloy. That’s a critical piece of what’s coming, it turns out. Remember that when the gems loose a part of themselves, whatever memories were in the lost part goes with that part?
I admire how deeply the gems can sleep! They all looked super comfortable. Capture from the Amazon stream.
Rutile has a sharp mind. They didn’t stay astonished long. They said they needed to all meet. Then, Rutile asked (11:18), “Could you go check on Cinnabar for me, then? And mention that, if possible, attendance at the meeting would be preferred.”
When Phos just repeated Cinnabar’s name, Rutile thought Phos didn’t want to go because the conversation might be awkward. Rutile offered to go instead.
“No, I’ll go,” Phos said (11:31). “But Cinnabar… Is who, exactly?”
All of the preparation, all of the tragedy, snapped into focus in that instant. I kid you not: I had to stop the video the first time I watched this episode. After watching it a dozen or more time, the moment still hasn’t lost its impact.
What did you think of the other gems’ reactions to Phos’ arms? What was your Best in Show moment? Let me know in the comments!
Land of the Lustrous Episode 9: Other Posts
Other Anime Sites
- Reddit: [Spoilers] Houseki no Kuni – Episode 9 discussion
- A Piece of Anime: Land of the Lustrous Episode 9 Review
- Mori Mole’s Star Wars and other Geek Stuff: Land of the Lustrous episode 9 recap and review — an older, more somber Phos
This Site (Crow’s World of Anime!)
- Land of the Lustrous Episode 1 Review: Phosphophyllite
- Land of the Lustrous Episode 2 Review: Diamond
- Land of the Lustrous Episode 3 Review: Metamorphose
- Land of the Lustrous Episode 4 Review: Soul – Flesh – Bone
- Land of the Lustrous Episode 5 Review: Return
- Land of the Lustrous Episode 6 Review: First Battle
- Land of the Lustrous Episode 7 Review: Hibernation
- Land of the Lustrous Episode 8 Review: Antarcticite
- Land of the Lustrous Episode 9 Review: Spring
- Land of the Lustrous Episode 10 Review: Shiro
- Land of the Lustrous Episode 11 Review: Secrets
- Land of the Lustrous Episode 12 Review: New Work