After it took a few months to watch Revolutionary Girl Utena – I was done with the series within a week. Being off for Christmas helps here as I typically get up before my husband, but the bigger help is that Land of the Lustrous could very well be the most beautifully animated anime series I have ever seen. Also, more importantly, the most consistently beautiful series I have ever seen.
What made it so beautiful was the 3D animation. I don’t think that I have ever seen an anime series where they used 3D character models within a 2D world – especially one where the backgrounds are gorgeous and the characters are never static. Like in a regular anime, you are used to some time savings where the characters only move when they have to – but in Land of the Lustrous they feel close to alive. This style of animation also did the job of bringing to life the coloured translucent hair for the jewel race of characters.
After all, this is a world many millennia in the future where Earth – after six separate bombardments from celestial bodies – has seen mass extinction to the point where now the only creatures that roam the earth are simple ones and a small number of humanoids who are sentient gemstones.
Gemstones that, thankfully, once smashed can be put together and be brought back to life. However, they are also in constant conflict with beings from the Moon (who look a lot like Buddist figures) who wish to smash them to pieces and use them for jewelry. Makes for some stunning fight sequences, with both lethal and non-lethal casualties.
As well as great visuals and a unique storyline, the music is amazing. The OP is great, but the real magic is the incidental music. This is one of the very few anime series where I have found myself actually listening to the whole soundtrack on Spotify. Really, this all does make me wonder why more people haven’t seen this.
The series, sadly, ended on a cliffhanger with more questions left than answers. I adored these 12 episodes and the time that I spent in their world, but man knowing there are no concrete plans for further adaptations of the manga is just sad. So, I’ve added them to my wish list so I can just get them whenever I have a tenner to spare.