As soon as I heard all the praises that were being sung about Land of the Lustrous, I was jumping higher than Tigger The Tiger. 3D animated series is always something i’m rooting for to gain better reputation. Upon watching the promotional video for Lust (which is what I will be calling this show from now on), I was… Skeptical. 3D anime’s problem is generally that the animation is real jaggedy and the artstyle looks plain; almost like no effort was put into making it look pleasing at all.
To claim Lust suffers from the same faults; i’m sure surprises a lot of you. But here I am saying exactly that. I’ll give the animation some credit, it isn’t quite as jaggedy as a lot of other 3D anime I’ve seen before. They’ve improved the frame rate somewhat but, for some reason, still manage to go under 30 and anyone who’s watched 3D animation for as long as I have could easily tell. Characters are as pale as a dry wall and the background is a boring repetition of open grass fields and in-door columns. Granted, the one time Phosphophyllite decides to travel with King into the depths of the ocean it became a breath of fresh air, ironically. Even though it was easily the most frustrating part of the narrative, at that point. But we’ll talk about that later. Despite there being very little to Lust’s aesthetic, I don’t feel much time was put into making it look good, either. A lot of the background could’ve easily been drawn on paper and, so far, I am convinced that it was. Meaning that they’ve wasted the opportunity of creating more appealing and dynamic backgrounds that could’ve truly made an anime worth looking at without suffering from the jarring, out-of-place 2D characters that typically disallows the majority of 2D anime from taking advantage of such a strength 3D presents.
In fact, Lust’s characters themselves don’t even take advantage of it at all. It’s much easier for 3D characters to move since it doesn’t take that much effort to move a bunch of body parts around. Regardless of this, I’ve seen 2D characters with more movement than this. Lust sometimes resorts to still images with its characters in the background; not even moving an inch. Like, you couldn’t possibly made more effort into making these ‘things’ feel alive? I feel like more work was put into animating Cinnabar‘s poison blobs of death. If you take a look at the first episode of RWBY volume 5, the characters are a lot more expressive. the way they use hand gestures and body movement helps identify their personalities and gives their expressions eccentricity. While Lust’s characters are stuck with generic anime expressions; at times, even just blank faces seem to be acceptable for them.
Speaking of the characters, most of them feel extremely replaceable, if not all. The only ones that matter only matter because they seem to be the only one who can do their jobs. Rutile is their doctor and since Phos can’t seem to go an episode without breaking herself; you can bet we see it a lot. But I do not understand WHY there isn’t another doctor. Rutile must’ve learned somehow and I am sure she can pass on that knowledge to other gems and if there’s one thing this show has taught me, it’s that Rutile has its work cut out for them. So, teaching other gems how to put themselves together should probably be their main priority. Of course, they don’t do that. The only other gems that have a fraction of importance in them are Bort and Diamond. Only because they are some of the hardest gems, so, they are part of the combat team. Although, they seem to be the only ones that matter. I am guessing because their relationship is supposed to mirror Phos and Cinnabar’s relationship. Bort is, like, the only understandable character because it is mainly concerned with doing its job; as it should be. It isn’t susceptible to forced melodrama and while their personality is very typical, It is much more bearable than Diamond’s personality. Who is just an annoyance. There’s also Red Beryl who does the tailoring and designing of the clothes for every gem. But since it clearly does a very poor job, it is a wonder to me how it hasn’t gotten the hammer yet. And yes, Phos and Cinnabar exist… But they’re the most frustrating of the bunch. Phos is just an aggravating child that oddly reminds me of Max from Pokemon Advanced who makes all these weird promises and feels like it has to do things that it doesn’t need to do at all and ultimately it fails which gets it broken thus gives Rutile more screen time, so, good thing for Rutile, I guess.
But if there’s someone who really clenches the spot for worst character in the show: It is Cinnabar. Cinnabar is the biggest drama queen since the release of Confessions of a teenage Drama Queen back in 2004! So, phos wants to get this bitch out of night watch because it’s… Depressing? Like, this is arguably the 2nd most important job you could get! The Lunarians do not come out at night but who’s to say they never will? Having someone who could report a possible sneak attack would be essential in maintaining the safety of the other gems. Especially someone who doesn’t require resources. As for her loneliness, that’s the gems fault for not wanting to talk to her and equally her own for not attempting to connect with them, either. The poison shouldn’t be a big deal so long as they keep their distance. I just don’t understand how this is the plot we’re supposed to care about when the most interesting thing about this anime is that the characters are GEMS! Fucking gems! Why is it not explained how they’re made and who made them right from the get-go?
After Phos gets inevitably backstabbed by the snail that ate it in the first place and gets lost at sea, Master Kongou and the other gems all stop what they’re doing and search for it. But before the search party even started, Cinnabar was watching them from behind when suddenly Phos washes up into shore behind her. You’d think her immediate response to that would be to inform Kongou and everyone else exactly where she is so that they won’t have to waste more of their time looking for someone that is already found. Nope! Without their knowledge, Cinnabar takes Phos into the temple and leaves her there in Rutile’s office. Officially making Cinnabar the most disgusting piece of shit I’ve ever seen. Imagine calling a search party of several different police officers for a missing child, only to find that child was playing hide-and-seek under the table back at home. God! I want her to get hammered!
By the way, I kind of lied when I said Rutile is the only one with medical experience. During Winter, the gems hibernate because Winter air blocks out sunlight; a crucial resource in giving the gems energy. So, Antarcticite, a liquidated gem that hardens during winter, is left in charge. Conveniently, Antarcticite can also fix Phos for when she inevitably breaks herself again. This conflicts me. Because while I understand that Antarcticite is the only woken gem during Winter and, therefore, requires some medical aptitude. I struggle to believe other gems aren’t capable of learning how to do the same. Then again, maybe I am misunderstanding something.
Because I recently learned that this anime isn’t very clear about how everything works, exactly. Context: I got confused regarding a scene in episode 9 where Rutile was powdering Phos’ legs. I didn’t understand the use of the resin powder until someone who reads the manga on Twitter graciously explained it to me. Detailing how they are required to wear resin powder all the time because there’s no telling when they’ll need it. Even stating that it’ll come in handy for accidents such as falling into the pond. In hindsight, why do they have a pond? If it’s so dangerous… Why is it a necessity? If they need water, they could just get it from the ocean. Maybe I shouldn’t go down that road. Anyways, resin powder; useful at all times! I just would never be able to get that from just watching the anime which is a crucial flaw when the main appeal of your show is not just of how it looks but is also dependent on how intricate the world could be.
I really wanted to like this. It just didn’t work out.