LAND OF THE LUSTROUS (12-episode anime TV series)
Review by Dennis D. McDonald
LAND OF THE LUSTROUS breaks the anime "mold." Stylistically, visually, musically, character- and story-wise, it is unique.
What I found especially appealing was the development arc of the lead character and how characters are individualized. Add gorgeous artwork, a masterful integration of 2D and 3D CGI animation, and excellent music and sound effects, and you have an engrossing and entertaining time, especially if you are willing to set aside pre-existing anime expectations and stereotypes.
The story is, to be blunt, weird. A group of androgynous jewel-beings, each subtly human and vaguely female but imbued with the hardness and color features of individual jewel types, live in a giant seaside school lorded over by a stern but kindly monk. Periodically they are attacked out of the sky by "Lunarians," a spectacular apparition of eastern-myticism-inspired creatures that attempt to shatter and steal the jewel-creatures.
One particular jewel, Phos -- short for Phosphophyllite -- begins the series as soft, weak, and unable to fight. She is assigned by the monk to create an encyclopedia. The episodes follow her maturation as we learn more about the monk, her fellow "students," and the nature of the Lunarians.
Some of the artwork is breathtaking. Occasional fight and battle scenes are extremely well choreographed including the integration of 2D and 3D animation. Surprises emerge along the way and we are left at the end with unanswered questions. It's a fun ride especially if you are looking for something unusual and very colorful.
Review copyright (c) 2018 by Dennis D. McDonald