The first thing I remember about this volume is that we took it to the Disneyland Office. We found a bench in what used to be a smoking area (the smoking areas were some of the prettiest spots in the park, so we're super happy that the park is all smoke free now), by the Matterhorn, on the border between Fantasyland and Tomorrowland. Our main reason for thinking of it was that we knew it was available now, but it did turn out to be the perfect spot for Land of the Lustrous, since it's a fantasy set in the distant future.
The second thing I remember about this volume is Red Diamond, and the third thing I remember is oh my goodness Cairngorm! Aaaaaahhhhh!!!! But let's not get too far ahead of ourselves. Let's see if I can remember anything more specific.
First, Phos and a bunch of other gems are getting ready to leave for the moon. Cairngorm doesn't really want to go, but Phos uses her usual charms and Cairngorm ends up going anyway. And there's a sort of sad feeling as they say goodbye to their homes and loved ones. Awwww. ...Then what happened? Um...they went to the moon, and Phos showed them what happened to all the other gems, and the shock of it literally caused the gems to fall apart. That was kind of an interesting concept. When we did a bit of research on toughness back in volume one, we learned that stress can break a gem. Of course, in this case, "stress" means the physical kind of stress, where something is literally putting pressure on something else, but it kind of makes sense to apply it in a mental sense, too, I think?
But anyway, all of this reminds me of the other main thing about this volume! Padparadscha! Whoa! I mean, of course we're not surprised that the lunarians were able to fix him up without any trouble at all, but dang, he was super intense at the end there. But I'm getting ahead of myself again. The important thing right now is that the lunarians fixed Padparadscha, who is now feeling better than ever, and that helps prove to all of them that maybe allying themselves with the moon isn't such a bad idea after all.
And then we get a bunch of exposition, like about how Kongo has this "armor of love" or whatever it is... That's kind of an interesting concept, using some kind of chemical to make sure people can't hate the robot. I wonder how powerful it would have to be to affect everyone on the planet. Like, when I think about the Earth today, I think sure, they could have him emit this pheromone or whatever so that people don't see him and fly into a rage...if they're in the same area. But if I saw him on TV, or an article about him on the internet, I'm pretty sure I'd still be capable of disliking him, if I decided I wanted to. The Lustrous all spend most of their time in close contact with him, so it makes sense that they'd be affected, but suddenly I'm wondering if that's the real reason the lunarians don't want to breathe when they're on Earth... Hmmm...
Anyway, the important thing is that Aechmea promises to put all the sand back together into gemstones, but only for gems that have a hardness of five or higher. I imagine that would have been pretty bad news for everybody with a loved one who was softer than that. I mean, technically, we should all have some affinity for Antarcticite, so we should care about her, but he showed up so long ago that I've kind of forgotten all about her, despite Cairngorm's resemblance to him. So for me personally, the scarier thing is that they won't be able to get Phos's head back. But on the other hand, the lunarians could probably make synthetic phosphophyllite, so that's probably not really a big deal. It also reminds me that Phos's arms aren't on the moon--they're in the ocean with the ice floes, so now I'm all curious about what that's about and if/when it's going to come up again. Anyway, I do feel bad for the gems whose particles will be floating out in space for eternity. What a way to go.
Meanwhile, back on Earth, the Lustrous have a minor panic attack when they realize that several of the gems have abandoned them. Rutile has it the worst; I'm guessing she feels bad for not stopping them. So she goes all wild child on us, and now she's like a whole other character. The montage where Kongo went around picking up all the gems who had worn themselves out searching was pretty poignant.
And so he finally decides it's time to tell them what's what! Only he literally does not have the ability. He does his best though, and my goodness, it's a good thing we got the story from Aechmea, because otherwise we would have had a much harder time translating Kongo's redacted story. As it was, though, it was kind of fun. And of course, he is able to tell about everything that happened once the humans were wiped out, and that's where Red Diamond comes in. It's pretty much exactly what you'd expect--he finds the first gem, he takes her in and raises her, and it keeps happening until we have the Lustrous society we all know and love today. I think a very interesting scene is the one where Red Diamond asked why they were different colors. Kongo starts to explain that red diamonds are very rare and beautiful and valuable, but she's all, "I wanna be the same!" So Kongo puts white powder on her, and now they're the same. We learned earlier that he also deliberately carves each of them to make sure they don't look too different from each other. I think it is human nature to want to conform and hide what makes us unique, and as was the case with Red Diamond, it probably isn't even necessarily because we're embarrassed or think people will mock us. We just like to conform. And I think some people will be like, "Oh, that's just Japan and its collectivist society," but I have seen it here in the States, too. And I also know that it's easier to get along with people who are more similar, but the fact is we are all different, and that's what makes life more interesting. So I hope that one of the things the gems learn is how to be unified but also individually unique.
After telling them his story, Kongo tells the gems that they'd be better off without him, and they should go join Phos, and this is where Euclase becomes one of my favorite characters. She thinks they can find a way to solve the problem without having to abandon Kongo, and I think she's probably interested in rescuing all the pulverized gems on the moon, too, so I don't think it's just a matter of not wanting to lose anyone else. In fact, she's definitely not just thinking about maintaining the status quo--her main thing is okay, if doing things the same way all these years hasn't worked, why don't we try something different? ...And all the details on that were kind of philosophical and/or vague, so I don't remember them anymore, but the point is, they're going to move forward and still be friends.
Back on the moon, Cairngorm is having some serious identity issues. Maybe I mentioned the "putting gems back together" thing a little early, now that I think of it. But! the main thing is, they won't be able to get Antarcticite back, and that was Cairngorm's one hope of helping Phos be stable again. So Cairngorm goes to Aechmea and...I mean, I could just summarize the whole thing, but what would be the point in reading it then? I'll get to the main point. Aechmea realizes that there's still a part of Ghost Quartz inside Cairngorm, and that's the real reason Cairngorm has basically been a slave to Phos--Ghost wants to do everything she can to help Phos, and Cairngorm literally can't disobey Ghost. So Aechmea offers to remove Ghost, and oh my goodness, the next scene is so creepy and dramatic and aaaaaahhhh!! You have to read it.
Then Cairngorm is free and is now Aechmea's girlfriend? Well, it makes sense that Cairngorm would have some codependency issues. Aechmea thinks the same thing, so he lets Cairngorm practice making her own decisions. He was all, "Here's my personal designer, have her make you an outfit. You can pick from any of these designs." And Cairngorm's all, "Uh...I don't know, you pick!" and Aechmea's all, "Okay, I want the one I know you'll hate the most." Well played, Aechmea.
...And then Phos takes Yellow Diamond and Padparadscha back to Earth to try to convince the gems that lunarians are friends, but they're ambushed! Oh no! And then Padparadscha just basically kills everybody (not really; they don't die), and Euclase tries to reason with them and even wants Phos's help with everything, but they can't really talk, because now Cairngorm is full-on lunarian and she comes to collect everybody. I don't even know what's going on anymore! I mean, I'm not really confused; I think I mostly just forgot the details. That, and there are so many different wills at work here that it's kind of impossible to know how things will go. All we can do is wait for the next volume! Dun dun DUN!
Whew, what a good recap! The next volume of Land of the Lustrous is on our list for this month, so this really helped us get back up to speed! It's a really good series, you guys.
Anyway, I don't even really know what's going on with releases anymore. I don't know what's going on with reviews anymore. We just went to Kodansha's website to see if we had a new release date for Fire Force, and we didn't find one, but we did find a release date for AICO Incarnation 2, which we haven't written a review of. But we didn't write a review of volume 1, either...but that was because when we translated it, we weren't sure if it was going to be a simulpub or what. So we don't know what's going on. But the important thing for today is that there are no new releases. Sad face.
But tune in next week for our review of the final volume of Missions of Love!
Today I'm thankful for getting to post a review, getting up to speed on Land of the Lustrous, being on schedule to finish Saiyuki on time, having time to do stuff like read after work today, and also getting to watch Miraculous some more.