Crutch – Week of the Lustrous Ep 5

After last week’s cliffhanger, Phos finds herself in quite the predicament and the rest of the gems begin to search for their missing companion.

 What is it with this show having dangerous moments only to be unceremoniously resolved? This time far more Deus Ex Machina. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me! So Phos has been captured, her legs harvested and the remainder of her body taken. The Lunarians want more from King than she originally bargained, asking for more of the Lustrous’ bodies. King claims she likely won’t be able to fool any more of them. Her trick could only work once after (what I’m assuming was) a botched plan of attack. Not to mention she can’t communicate with any of the other gems.

I don’t mind when sinister characters switch back and forth between assuming a comic relief mode and serious mode. Here it’s made hazy as I can’t quite tell from the previous episode how much was an act and how much was her genuine personality leaking through. Phos insists King at least spare Cinnabar (wow Phos I mean I know you have a crush on her but none of the others?) and King respects her wishes, insisting she gets her brother back.

Aculeatus competing with Bort for edgiest character design.

Apparently, her brother, Aculeatus, was there the whole time. The landmass the Lunarians were perched on held Aculeatus’ Ventricosus shell form the whole time, disguised as armaments. It stirs awake and, apparently, the Lunarians didn’t have a contingency plan because he effortlessly mows down the fragile Lunarians guards. I suppose letting his sister get struck down due to her revolt wasn’t in the deal, but both parties seem equally bad at negotiations. Their feeble attempts at attacking it and doing no damage make them look sorely underprepared.

Phos honestly gets lucky here. She gets caught between a fight of her two enemies, the more sympathetic of the aggressors winning in the end. The siblings then talk about their next move now that they are refugees of the moon. They do consider using Phos’s legs as a bargaining chip to get the Lunarians back in their good graces… and I’m not entirely sure how that works.

However, being as selfless and self-pitying as she is. Phos agrees to help the two. Sacrificing a bit of her own that she now sees as useless to a greater cause. Hoping it can help them gain their freedom. “How am I supposed to be mad after hearing all that?” Phos asks when she learns King and Aculeatus’ plan to free their people. I mean… still plenty mad! It’s sad but, she is sapped of strength and all around helpless. Tired of being weak all the time it’s understandable she doesn’t have room left for rage.

Fortunately, King plays the if we did this we’d be no better than the Lunarians card, sparing Phos. They both return home, to the sea, but to give up on their people trapped on the moon so easily? Not sure what the two’s plan will be going forward. Who has Phos’s legs at this point was not made completely clear either. Not that negotiating down would help the siblings against the Lunarians.

something-something not worried about her or anything something-something baka!

Cinnabar finds Phos after being washed up, left with two pieces of Aculeatus’s shell as repayment for her legs. As we see later this could provide an unintentional power up. Showing up after all their searches into the sea had failed has wasted plenty of resources and manpower. Phos’s return seems to have given the gems some relief and joy as opposed to the usual spite. Even Cinnabar, those she still can’t admit it. Unfortunately, Kongo calls off her encyclopedic duties. More trouble arises when she starts to lose some memories of her fellow gems. This was hinted as a side effect of loss of body but will it effect her? None of the ones that the show has established as especially important relationships mind you.

The gems figure out how to use the calcified rock from the Ventricosus shell into Phos’s legs, Agate Quartz. Considering the minerals inside are harder than her they will have to break it down becoming crude and rock-like. This calls to question if the agate was formed the same way in Aculeatus’s shell as Phos did in King’s shell. But I may be burying the lede. Phos is back on her not own two feet and has a bit trouble adapting. Phos has been through many hardships so far but every time has come out stronger.

The Gem-peror’s new groove

First her ability to communicate with the Ventricosus and now what appears to be improved mobility. After Phos gets over her emotional slump, she remembers Cinnabar and finds her legs are miraculously back to normal and even better than ever. She has speed that belies her once demure disposition. I want to say this has something to do with it being part Ventricosus shell but I can’t quite make the connection. It’s the one ingredient that is a new resource to the Lustrous. Other than that this chapter is continuing to move the story along.

It keeps building up to moments that in any other anime might to the breaking off point for the show to move forward into its main story. However, we keep getting climaxes that only lead into the building up of seemingly smaller pieces. We’re approaching the halfway point so I’m hoping some of these characters and their stories will finally begin to build something.

Stray Thoughts:

  • I hope Cinnabar comes into her own in the story soon in a way that isn’t just adorable tsundere bait.
  • Maybe the memory loss is a hint to Phos having to lose more of her body later and how that will affect her relationships with other characters. What else will she be replaced with?
  • Aculeatus’s theme music is glorious. It has this sinister tribal-Egyptian sounding horn section and drum beat that’s gives off this god-like aura.

Thanks for reading this week’s review of Land of the Lustrous. As always be sure to check in next week for more!

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