Let Me Pitch You Land of the Lustrous (aka the Agender Rock-People Body Horror Hour)

lustrous 5

As of 2017, we now officially have two series about sentient queer rocks. But while there have been too many variants on “Land of the Lustrous is anime Steven Universe” to count, the similarities more or less end with the basic premise. LoL’s rocks are not small gems with manifested forms made of light, but actual bodies made out of rock whose ability to take a hit is influenced by the Moh’s Hardness Scale; and while both touch on the issues of societies mired in stasis, their worldbuilding is wholly different. And finally, both series were in production in 2012, making it a true coincidence at least on a conceptual level.

Land of the Lustrous’ story is a deceptively simple one: on some unknown planet that may or may not be a post-human Earth, 28 humanoid gem people—the titular lustrous—live together with their teacher, an enormous monk-like person named Kongo. Their lives are peaceful barring attacks from the Lunarians, who harvest gem bodies for jewelry. Every gem has an assigned role except for Phosphophyllite, whose easily-cracked body makes most work unsuitable for them.

Phos is charged with creating an encyclopedia of the gems’ world, and in (reluctantly) doing so runs across the self-exiled Cinnabar, whose body exudes a dangerous poison. Cinnabar saves Phos from the moon people, in the process revealing that their body is even more fragile than Phos’. Drawn to this fellow outsider, Phos swears they’ll think of a job that only Cinnabar can do.

Read the rest at The Mary Sue!

Categories: Analysis

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