Posted by SuperMario on 6 November 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Houseki no Kuni

So… Phos got new pair of legs. Not only that, they make a Forest-Gump leap that not only they can walk properly with the new legs, they can run like a wind. Although we’re still at the introduction phase of Houseki, it becomes apparent that Phos’ starting to move away from an ordinary Gems, first learning the Admirabilis’s language, now literally fuse with their hard shell into Phos’ own body. One main underlying theme Houseki has explored so far is the role struggling of these Jewel people. Cinnabar sees themselves as a step child that no one wanted, even the enemy. Dia feels weak and useless amongst Diamond rank, and especially our protagonist Phos keeps finding themselves to one trouble to the next. Now, in this episode, Phos ends up as a bait for Ventri to trade her bother back from the Moon people, then nearly get kidnapped again before gets sent back ashore, with a barely functional body. Phos’s losing an eye and their legs speak volume how pathetic and weak Phos’ current situation is, and yet Phos can’t bring themselves to hate Ventri for betraying them.

This first half centres around Phos and Ventri in a dark cloud of the Lunarians. I have to admit that it was a sloppy job from the Moon people who want more than they agreed on, then breaking the deal, attacking Ventri, releasing Ventri’s brother Aculeatus, managing to break him free and getting themselves all killed. What? It makes no sense at all and it was a mess of writing if I ever see one. I agree with Phos that Acule’s admirabilis form is kawaii, even if he finds Phos is nothing but… delicious food. His humanoid form is a great contrast to his sister’s in term of design and somehow they really complement each other, but I can’t get behind his stupid pride. At the same time at land, all the Gems prepare themselves to go under the sea to find the trouble gem. As much as they don’t really care for the good-for-nothing gem, the extend they go in order to search for Phos, at the expense of their own exhausting bodies (it’s at night so they can’t absorb any light), and their willingness to help Phos to get used to the new legs, are something to behold.

Cinnabar again has a very solid development despite always lurking in the background. When you think about that, Cinnabar is a pretty miserable character, in a sense that they despite themselves to the point that a single promise from someone else could mean a lot to them; and Phos does take the promise seriously. I like the newfound chemistry between Dia and Cinnabar, arguably the only two gems who care deeply for Phos, in their own different ways. Cinnabar also has a great moment with Phos, when the latter washed ashore, felt beaten and lost all purposes. Phos apologizes to Cinnabar that once again they fail to find the new job for the Toxic Gem, even out at sea and experienced the backstab from their talking snail friend (but it was true, Phos went out the sea to look for Cinnabar’s new job). Another solid development is when Ventri decided to bring Phos back because she says she wanted to be different from the Lunarians, but in truth because she also comes to care to Phos.

While this episode is obviously in the early stage of Houseki, I’m glad that Houseki’s successful at  providing many well-grounded chemistries and developments from the cast, and I also have to give the attention to the gorgeous score of Houseki that fit the show like a glove. My only concern is the same with Mahoutsukai no Yume in that those shows nearly reach half of the cour and they’re still in an introduction stage. Mahoutsukai will have 24 episodes, so that’s not really its problem, but the same can’t be said to Houseki since they might never receive a second season, meaning that this intro chapter might be the only adaptation we’ll ever get, and honestly it would be a crying shame. For next week with the title of “the First Battle”, along with Phos’ newfound ability, let’s hope everything going alright for our protagonist this time. But whatever situation Phos find themselves into, just remember: “Run, Forest Gump Phos, run”.

6 Responses

  1. Avatar Alhazred23 says:

    Actually, i’m pretty sure the major mistake the Lunarians made was burning off Ventricosus’s arm. The scent of cooked meat is what woke up Aculeatus- which is kind of cannibalistic and gross, but i guess it’s hard to criticize such weird creatures by human standards.

    • Avatar Destynova says:

      Indeed, the Lunarians could have handled this better but given their lack of concern for their own safety and the fact that they had probably never carried something as big and heavy as Aculeatus before it was not really that surprising that things got out of hand when he started to rampage. It’s only on the Moon where the admirabilis can grow so big, so when the admirabilis where originally captured they where probably a lot smaller and easier to carry.

    • Avatar Niello says:

      Actually, it’s Phos’ yelling and the smell

  2. Avatar Niello says:

    You can’t be sure if the moon people (aka the spirit) can die or not. Being a spirit seems to imply that death is not a thing. If they could die, then they have to find a way to repopulate themselves, but that would take away the Admirabilis uniqueness of being capable of reproduction.

    I think them attacking Vetri is suppposed to solidify her testament that the moon people are restless and war loving.

    Also! There’s a 2D sakuga scene this week, I’m impress.

    • SuperMario SuperMario says:

      My take is that the Lunarians have different kind of “reproduction”, in that they just multiply into thousands indentical selves. What they lack, ultimately, is “individuality”. It’s really telling when you see the character designs of the three kinds: while Admirabilis being has different and unique designs, (albeit we only see 2 of them so far), Jewel people have their lower body almost the same (something that Haruko Ichikawa herself noted to the director of the anime), to the Moon people have exactly identical appearances. There’s so much to talk about Houseki just by looking at the art, the design and background alone.

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