Anime title: Houseki no Kuni
-Land of the Lustrous
-Country of Jewels
Genres: Action, Mystery, Drama, Fantasy, Seinen
*I’ll refer to the Gems as “it” and “its” since they are genderless.
Crystalline, genderless, humanoid creatures known as Gems inhabit a world which has been struck by six meteors. Each Gem would be assigned a role in order to repel invasions from the Lunarians, a mysterious group of creatures residing on the Moon who capture the Gems and break down their bodies to use as decorations. Phosphophyllite, also called Phos, dreams of helping its friends fight the Lunarians. Instead, it is told to compile an encyclopaedia due to its fragility. Houseki no Kuni follows Phos’ journey to be able to protect its fellow Gems and be of use to them.
I was amazed by how the show used the properties of gemstones or minerals to create the Gems’ personalities and backgrounds. To give a better understanding of what I mean by the previous statement, I shall use Cinnabar as an example. Cinnabar has a hardness of 2.0 to 2.5 on the Mohs scale and is poisonous due to its mercury content. Houseki no Kuni made the character Cinnabar able to turn what it touches into ruin. In addition to this, its fragility resulted in it being unfit for combat and the only job suitable for it is night patrol, when the Lunarians don’t strike. Thus making it tantamount to being an outcast, resulting in it feeling inferior and useless, and like a monster which destroys whatever it comes across. This aspect, coupled with the bits of gem trivia that appear at the halfway mark of each episode, made the show educational and interesting. Another thing I was amazed by was how the show also managed to insert and link humans to the story. As the show progresses, more questions arise and accumulate, hooking me in deeper. Phos’ development was great, especially after Antarcticite’s introduction to the show. The action was rather intense, in my opinion, and satisfying despite the relatively small amount of action. Houseki no Kuni also had funny moments and little fanservice. I felt that the little it did have, though, did not get in the way of the show and made sense. For instance, that moment when Phos asked Ventricosus about “water jugs” (boobs) as Gems lacked sex characteristics. The opening theme was great, in my opinion. A drawback was that the anime was too short for me. However, I think I could overlook the length due to how much I felt the anime had brought to the table.
True to its name, the anime was indeed a Houseki for me. So, I would highly recommend Houseki no Kuni, especially if you’re a Fantasy and Mystery fan. If you’re mainly looking for Action, I’m not sure if Houseki no Kuni would satisfy you but I would still suggest to try it out. The show has 12 episodes, so if you’re looking for a nice, short watch, do add this show to the list. CGI is used, so viewers who dislike CGI could avoid it.