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Manga / Land of the Lustrous

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Beautiful and strong... they are the Lustrous.
Land of the Lustrous (Houseki no Kuni, or Country of Jewels) is an Action/Fantasy Seinen manga series created by Haruko Ichikawa in 2012 and published in Kodansha's Afternoon magazine. It has been released in the United States by Kodansha USA. A 12-episode CGI anime adaptation by Orange (with Graphinica aiding in 2D animation assistance) covering the first four volumes aired during the Fall 2017 season.

On the After the End Earth, a remote island is inhabited by androgynous people made of gems called the Lustrous. The only threat to their eternal tranquility are the mysterious invaders made of smoke called the Lunarians, who regularly make raids on the island. With the guidance of their teacher Kongo, the Lustrous generally manage to repel each attack with ease.

Enter Phosphophyllite, who on top of being The Klutz, is structurally weak and needs to be glued back together after breaking apart from a slightest injury. As they are useless for combat, they're tasked to write an encyclopedia instead, along with Cinnabar who is poisonous to other gems and lives in isolation. As Phosphophyllite tries to prove their worth, the island faces more and more trouble.

Tropes in this series include:

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  • Admiring the Abomination: Alex wants Bort and Phos to capture a new type of Moon dweller alive. Bort tells them off on this.
  • After the End: Takes place on an Earth that's been pummeled by meteors repeatedly. The gem people, the sea slug people, and the moon people are all distant evolutionary descendants of the remains of humanity, greatly changed to adapt to the new environment.
  • The Ageless: The gems don't age and don't have a lifespan. The oldest active Gem, Yellow Diamond, is over 3000 years old, and the youngest, Phosphophyllite is around 300 years old. They look about the same age.
  • All-CGI Cartoon: The animated series. The manga's PV was in 2D. However, it's done more in a similar fashion to Transformers: Robots in Disguise (2015) or Berserk (2016) by having 2D elements blended in.
  • Ambiguous Gender:
    • The gems, according to Word of God, lack gender. Most of them have androgynous appearances slightly edging toward feminine. In the Japanese script, they refer to themselves using male pronouns and to each other as "Brother", and speech patterns are anywhere on the masculine/feminine spectrum depending on the individual. Gender itself is never discussed in-universe, and in one scene, Phos expresses confusion over Ventricosus's "water bags".
    • Kodansha's English translation of the manga addresses this by wording each gems' dialogue so that no gendered pronouns are used, opting for "this/that gem/they/them/you" or simply referring to the other gems by name as a replacement when needed, likely to avoid the inevitable gender debates among the English speaking readers. The dub also mostly follows this pattern, but they also add "it" to the mix at points.
  • And I Must Scream: Gems can't die physically. Even if they are completely destroyed, they would still be alive. But they be unable to move until someone fix them. That even includes gems that are ground to dust. And the Moon is completely coated in the dust of gems.
  • And Then What?:
    • As soon as Phos tells Cinnabar their plan to investigate Kongou-Sensei, Cinnabar immediately shoots back that they need to have an idea of what to do after they find out the truth.
    • Amethyst 84 brings up one question even the fans had been considering: what happens to the Gems after Sensei finally prays the Lunarians away.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Happens fairly often, especially to the gems with a lower hardness rating; fortunately, limbs and other broken-off bits can be reattached easily. In cases where the broken-off bits are not recoverable, they can use materials similar in composition to replace them.
  • Anatomy of the Soul: The soul ("spirit") is treated as a separate element of particular properties. Along with the bone and the flesh, the three formed the Humans who inhabited the land before the Gems. Souls left behind by humans also conglomerate and form the Moon People.
  • Apocalypse How: According to Sensei and the history of the Admirabilis by Ventricosus, a very long time ago, the land "broke" five times before a meteor strike did it in for the sixth and final time. The humans and other life were forced to flee to the oceans, as only "a single beach" had remained—now known as the Beach of Beginnings—while six moons formed from the debris of the meteor crashing into the Earth. From there, the Admirabilis, the Gems, and the Lunarians were born, though so far, we only know how the Gems are formed: lifeforms that couldn't escape to the ocean in time when there was still one moon ended up dying, with their sinking corpses being decomposed to the bone and being crystallized over time before gaining sentience and rising from the Beach of Beginnings.
  • Arc Words: "If only [you/I] weren't here..."
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Peridot gets a good one in on Phos in the late parts of the manga:
    Phos: [Stopping Sensei] is for our own good.
    Peridot: By "our", do you mean us, or the Lunarians?
  • Armor-Piercing Response: Most of Cairngorm's scolding to Phos falls on deaf ears, but when they call Phos out on their constant projecting of lost partners on them, that's the one thing that prompts Phos to follow them.
    "At any rate, when you're hurting... Antarc or Ghost, call me what you want."
  • Artificial Limbs: Whenever a gem loses their body parts, they can use something similar to replace it. Materials similar to Phos are rare, but in exchange their body is very receptive to other materials.
    • When Phos' legs are lost, they're replaced with agate, which grants them Super-Speed.
    • When Phos' arms are lost, they're replaced with gold and platinum alloy, which they can shape at will.
    • Even later, Phos's head is lost, which is then later replaced by the head of Lapis Lazuli, another gem.
    • Phos gets a Pearl eye as a camera after deciding to work for the Lunarians. The remaining eye from Lapis is eventually replaced with Sensei's right eye.
    • After the battle with Cinnabar, Phos' crystal hair has been replaced with Cinnabar's mercury. It also serves as skin to cover up the worst of the cracks on Phos' face.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Implied to be Shiro and the Pieces' demise after Sensei deals with them. Later pretty much confirmed, and stated that this is the goal for every Lunarian still stuck in this world.
  • As Long as There Is Evil: Phos, being the only human-derived specimen left, worries about Humanity being infectious in a similar manner to Evil. They fear that as long as some trace of humanity is left, it could influence species into taking on their ideals and lifestyles, and eventually into recreating their mistakes.
  • As You Know: The entire introductory chapter is just various Lustrous and Kongou explaining to each other what their focus and purpose is. In context, they talk about how amazing their body structure is and why Phos can't land a job respectively.
  • Author Appeal: Just looking at Ichikawa's previous works makes one realize that Houseki is a combination on many of her favorite themes. Buddhist imagery, humanoid evolution, beings rising up from the sea, and the complexity of Man come unsurprisingly regularly here. There's also her fixation on bodies breaking apart, which has cropped up quite a bit in her previous works and happens to the gems fairly often.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: While many gems' relationships with one another are complicated in a very human-like way, thus leading some of them to come off crass, cold or severe (such as dismissive attitudes towards Phos, or Dia and Bort's Hidden Depths regard for the other), when push comes to shove they're constantly shown to go through great lengths to protect and save one another. They'll often express concern for each other, whether outright (say, Dia), or subtly (say, Cinna or Bort).
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Phos, for the longest time, wished to be useful and strong enough to fight instead of being incompetent. They get their wish in the most tragic way possible, with their old personality chipping away before getting alloy upgrades and people dear to them getting taken away to the Moon in the process of becoming stronger.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: Aechmea and Cairngorm end Chapter 75 doing so. Significant in that it establishes a Gem who is beginning to learn erotic love, and cementing a very blatantly romantic couple in a world that does not feel it in human standards.
  • A Birthday, Not a Break:
    • The day Phos turns three hundred years old is also the day the gem's legs get destroyed, and the day they learn about the three races and how they evolved from humans.
    • A metaphorical case. Sensei had a birthday, but the Gems decided to pick one out for him and hold a birthday party in the early spring. This party is held on the day Phos holds their much more destructive second Raid.
  • Birth-Death Juxtaposition: The shedding and kidnapping of Ghost Quartz is also simultaneously shown with the emergence of the Gem inside of them, who following this incident is reintroduced to Lustrous society under a new name and personality like a "just born" Gem would.
  • Bizarrchitecture: The Lunarians' base is probably made from bismuth. It also melts at night, creating an ocean of structures and transforming the buddhist imagery into more modern, western-like fancy imagery.
  • Blatant Lies: When Cinnabar begs Phos not to go to the Moon again, the latter says they couldn't hear the former over the sound of the wind, deflecting the plea completely.
  • Bloodless Carnage: On the virtue of being made from gemstones (The Lustrous) and clouds (The Lunarians) respectively, this series can get away with showing a lot of injuries that would have been incredibly graphic otherwise.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: There are quite a few hiccups in the official English release:
    • When Sensei tells the Gems to take down The Professor, he specifically orders them to just strike it down. The english translation changes the order to "kill it", which the Gems wouldn't understand since they don't have a real concept of death.
  • Blunt "Yes": Sensei gives a rather short, affirmative answer when asked if he was created by Humans, much to Phos' surprise.
  • Body Horror: When the gems break or crack, which happens quite frequently among the gems of lower hardness when the Lunarians attack. However, due to the gems being rocks, its less gory and hard to look at, as it is aesthetically pleasing. Outside of breaking due to the Lunarians, the gems are shown to crack and fall apart when feeling extreme (most likely negative) emotions.
  • Bookends:
    • The anime ends in a very similar way as it started, with Phos being told by Morganite that Sensei is calling them, and then meeting with Sensei. However, it plays on the changes that have happened during the series and the Phos who meets Sensei is very different and has completely different objectives in mind than the one from the first episode.
    • The beginning of Chapter 44 features a shot of Phos' head as they're being covered in powder. The end of that same chapter is a close up shot of Lapis Lazuli's head, to be given to Phos.
    • Chapter 75 begins and ends with a kiss between Aechmea and Cairngorm. The first time, it was an awkward face touching where neither party was really into it. The end of the chapter features the pair again, passionately embracing each other in a more involved kiss.
  • Broken Bird: Cinnabar. Due to being a Poisonous Person with uncontrollable powers, the gem lives alone apart from everyone else. Understandably, they are extremely gloomy most of the time.
  • Butt-Monkey: Phos starts the story like this. They are weak, clumsy, and generally bad at anything, ending up as the butt of jokes of other gems. They later Took a Level in Badass as the story goes on though.
    • Benito seems to fill this role once Phos starts becoming better at things.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: The case of Sensei: He will answer with a simple yes or no when asked a direct question but can't otherwise disclose information beyond that as when he admits to being created by humans to Phos, much to the latter's surprise. He claims he was created this way but that much is still in doubt.
  • Call-Back:
    • All the way back in Chapter 2, Phos tells Cinnabar that they'll find a job for the latter that only they can do, and one that's at least fun. When Phos remembers to give Cinnabar a job in Chapter 36 and tells them about it, all Cinnabar replies with at first is "You forgot fun."
    • Chapter 46's image of the gems running is a direct mirror of the first chapter's cover image, only with a different set of Gems and set one hundred two years later.
    • The last time the viewers see the original Morganite and Goshe in the manga is in the same poses they were in when we see them leave Phos in the first chapter.
    • The last sentence featured on the side of Chapter 86 in publication, "Give these feelings a name", references Dia and Bort's introductory chapter when Dia wants to place a name on the feeling of frustration and jealousy they have towards Bort despite admiring the other Gem.
    • Cinnabar makes a Phos out of mercury in the second chapter, which is replicated in Chapter 92.
    • In a major Cerebus Callback, and rather fittingly for a chapter called "Beginnings", the massive timeskip in between Phos going unconscious for millions of years and meeting the new lifeform is represented by blacked out panels resembling the first three pages of Chapter 1. The fourth page also has parallel panels, but where Phos went off to see Sensei after getting up, Phos was roused by the new lifeform and prepares to find it.
  • Chameleon Camouflage: It is eventually revealed that this is how the Lunarians approach the Land, as the vessels work like ships with a layer of camouflage on them. An arrow breaking the stealth shield is what creates the Sunspots the gems see when they are attacked. The multiple Sunspots are probably the result of more than one layer of camouflage shield.
  • Coming of Age Story: For Phos, as they learn about the world surrounding them and how to accept it.
  • Comes Great Responsibility: After becoming strong, Phos becomes somewhat insensitive to the feelings of others and tries to look out for themself. Rutile warns them against this after Jade becomes traumatized from punching Phos.
  • Complete Immortality:
    • The closest you can get to killing a gem is breaking them into pieces and not putting them back together. As long as the parts can be recovered, anyone can come back to life.
    • The Lunarians similarly cannot be killed by any means. When they're taken out, they simply return to the Moon.
  • Covers Always Lie: Volume 11's cover features Phos and Cinnabar in a one-on-one showdown. While the contents of Volume 11 do place a bit of emphasis on Phos and Cinnabar making eye contact during the second raid, the two never get to actually fight each other until Volume 12.
  • Crystalline Creature: When the Gems are formed their bodies are extremely rough and angular, and need to be polished and cut to achieve their "lustrous" appearances.
  • Custom Uniform: Whichever gem is serving as the Winter Guard (Antarctcite, and later, Cairngorm) wears an all-white uniform and black high-heeled boots. The diamond-class gemsnote  all wear thigh-high socks and opera gloves.
  • Dead Guy on Display: The Moon People grind captured gems down into a luminescent dust that gets spread across the moon's surface. They hope that the constant reminder of his pupils' fates will break Sensei's spirit and force them to send them to the afterlife.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Phos starts showing signs of this after the Winter arc and later on falls completely into this category as a result of fusing with Lapis Lazuli, who was noted to be this.
  • Death Seeker:
    • Padsparadscha is a non lethal version. They would prefer to be left sleeping forever as to not worry Rutile anymore.
    • Cinnabar is also a non lethal version, since they want to be taken to the moon.
    • Then we have the Lunarians. Technically, they're already dead, but they just wish to finally pass on to the afterlife and want their souls purified.
    • The entire cast outside of Phos becomes another level of this by the end, seeking full Cessation of Existence.
    • Once Phos becomes the last living being that contains human DNA, they beg the Machine to find a way to kill them in fear that humanity will recreate itself from it.
  • Debate and Switch: The Lunarians present Phos with the possibility of reviving all of the dusted Gems, but on the condition that Phos also commands the Admirabilis to die out so they can retrieve any stray pieces from their shells and bodies (which would have healthier inclusions due to being digested instead of ground to dust). While Phos does agonize about it, ultimately the conflict comes to nothing; the Gems wouldn't even be the same anymore due to UV rays bleaching their pieces and inclusions, meaning there wouldn't be any point to bringing them back. And when the Lunarians discover that they can just move all the inclusions to pure ice crystals they discovered on the moons and not harm anybody, the debate is put down for good.
  • Deep Sleep: The gems work on sunlight, so, during winter where the skies get cloudy they all go into hibernation. Sensei, Antarcticite and later Phos can however avoid that.
  • Despair Event Horizon:
    • Phos crosses it hard as they fail to save Antarcticite from being taken away. Their face as they are falling and realizing the depth of their failure is painful to behold. It all starts getting worse from there.
    • Phos again, upon discovering that the taken gems are ground into dust by the Lunarians and dispersed on the moon. They are well and truly gone, as dead as an immortal gem can get; and all this time, the pieces they were recovering from the lunarians were actually synthetic gems, designed to entice the other gems into taking unnecessary risks trying to recover them.
    • Most of the other gems as some of them, at the behest of Phos, decide to leave for the Moon. They spend the night looking underwater for them as they just can't process the fact that some of their comrades left them. Rutile upon discovering that Phos took Padparadscha with them stares in horror and just shatters where they stand.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: The ending theme of Episode 8 is done by Tomoyo Kurosawa, Phos' seiyuu.
  • Downer Ending: The end of the Winter Arc/Episode 8. After spending the episode being encouraged by Antarcticite, Antarcticite is killed by the Lunarians, causing Phos to attempt to avenge them, but fails miserably. A special ending theme plays, heavily implied to be Phos mourning Antarc's death.
  • Dramatic Irony: Everything Phos desires over the course of the series is eventually resolved, but nowhere Phos can see or enjoy it. The Lunarians stop attacking the Gems? Happens when Phos loses contact with both species for 220 years. Finding Cinnabar a fun job? Cinnabar assists Sensei and cheers the Gems on during Winter. Reviving all dusted Gems? All Gems taken by the Lunarians and revived as Lunarians while Phos has no idea of any of it. Phos being useful to anybody? They are, as a replacement prayer, but Phos is led to believe that every operation under Lunarian watch failed miserably in the process.
  • Driven to Suicide: Averted because of their immortality, but attempts at offing oneself are heavily associated with gaining humanity:
    • Phos attempts this in despair over losing both Antarc and Ghost. They are promptly stopped by Jade, who punches them apart.
    • Yellow Diamond begins to jump off high places after 220 years on the Moon. Their sanity is shaky at best by this point, and they only start doing so because they've nearly forgotten their Lustrous heritage, only getting depressed when that fact comes up again.

  • Easter Egg: As it turns out, every cover of the manga has Cinnabar hidden somewhere in it. They're usually featured on the inside flap.note  This is broken with the eleventh volume, where Cinnabar is finally front and center.
  • Evolutionary Stasis: It takes millions of years for a Gem to form, and yet after that they and their culture remain stagnant for thousands of years.
  • Fanservice: It's not very blatant, but they do have some scenes of the Gems in various sensual poses. Euclase also gets a nude scene in the story, with generous attention to their backside. In general, fanservice tends to be focused on the gems backsides, with Bort being a primary offender primarily in their summer uniform.
  • Fantastic Caste System: The Lustrous are all relatively equal and the Admirabilis don't have any notable hierarchies besides a monarchy, but the Lunarians used to have this. As Barbata dryly explains, Lunarians were divided into the most to least moral groups, as a way of determining who gets to be prayed away by Kongou-sensei in that order. The Lunarians the story focuses on are actually the lowest rung on the hierarchy, the degenerates and lowlives that were left on the Wretched Hive Kubera.
  • The Fashionista: Red Beryl. The gem insists on sewing new uniforms for everyone every time the season changes. They also tend to go on a rant about their pursuit of passion whenever asked.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: As Phos has their first real conversation with Aechmea, the shading on the Gem in that scene makes it look like their left eye is a different color. Not even one chapter later, Aechmea rips out that eye and replaces it with artificial pearl. The panel right before it happens also places great emphasis on that eye.
  • The Fog of Ages: Some Gems have been around for so long that they can't remember exactly what their original aspirations were or what their goals were, as Yellow Diamond shows us.
  • Foil: The Rock-Forms play this role for all of the humanity subspecies. They have no humanoid form, no obvious sexual characteristics, and couldn't be understood by anyone for eons. However, the first one Phos meets is the only lifeform that was intelligent enough to understand what it is and be completely satisfied with itself, never wishing for more or to become better, and its friends are just as content. This is especially in contrast with Phos, who when young was listless and wanted to be useful and as an aged deity figure realized too late that they did all they did because they just craved the affection of their peers.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • When Cairngorm is taken to Sensei to be given a new identity, Sensei stares strangely at them and examines them in order to give them their new name. Much attention is paid to Sensei's eye as this is happening, as it glints unlike the other Gems. A robot gathering information might do that as well.
  • There is a strange pause in the middle of Sensei's recap of the Vetricosus incident—he completely skips over Phos learning about the three races descending from humans. Later revelations show that Sensei cannot physically talk about humans beause any humanity-related information is classified without a person's permission.
  • Post-winter, Sensei tells Phos that the gem would have to become stronger than him, enough to handle a whole squad by themselves in order to overcome their handicaps. Phos not only became one of the strongest of the current Gems, but also became capable of fighting their former teammates singlehandedly.
  • Sensei's name itself is a dead giveaway. Kongou is the hardest substance in the world, but it is also mythical and, in other words, does not occur in nature.
  • While Sensei is standing at the cliff dropping shards into the sea, sound effects indicating mechanical whirring and movement can be seen, albeit small.
  • When Ventricosus is leading Phos to their home, they tell the latter to toss the bowl used to carry them, only for Phos to reply that they'd certainly get in trouble if they didn't bring it home. There's then a silent panel of Ventricosus smiling oddly, most likely in a pitying way, knowing that their plan doesn't involve Phos going home.
  • Rutile's early explanation of inclusions foreshadows big time to Phos' late game plans, as well as what happened to the captured gems:
If we shatter, as long as we can gather back the pieces, they can close the wounds and bring us back to life... Even if we're ground into powder, mixed with earth, or sunk to the bottom of the ocean...
  • After the failure of the first Night Raid, Cairngorm warns Phos to start taking others into consideration or else they were going to end up alone. Come the end of the second Night Raid, Phos has broken Sensei in a last minute selfish command, as well as had all the Lustrous broken just to get to Sensei in the first place. As a result, the Gem is left completely alone on Earth once the Lunarians come to collect everybody.
  • There is a lot of talk about becoming Lunarians coming from the side of the Moon Gems before the big reveal in Chapter 95. Cairngorm desired it because they wanted to be more intimate with Aechmea, Amethyst 84 considered working with inclusions to transform Gems into Lunarians, and during the final raid Aechmea brings up the ice crystals of the moon they're on and how Gem inclusions prefer pure crystals to house in. We later find out that Gem inclusions have gathered up in that exact hole, which they use as a basis for creating Lunarian bodies for the Gems.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare:
    • Phos in a sense. Each major body upgrade they obtain also coincides with a major event which changes the way the Gem views their world. Each of these changes either add significantly to their power, or to a developing agenda. Once they commit, it will be incredibly difficult for other characters to stop them.
    • The Prince of the Moon. A long time ago, he was just a small time reasearcher from one of the better regarded castes of Lunarians. He was the only one of his caste to remain with the inhabitants of Kubera and decided to work with them to allow them to pass on, making them so ingratiated to him that they made him their ruler. Cue him approving of the millenia-long hunting of the Lustrous and the enslavement of the Admirabilis.
  • Genocide Dilemma: The plan to revive all of the dusted Gems runs into a snag when Phos is told the Admirabilis play a crucial role in it—that is to say, since they absorb the dust into their bodies, it's not necessarily easy to obtain all of the missing gem pieces. The only way to get them back is to extract them after their deaths; Phos is obviously not wanting to do that, so the "humane" option is sterilizing them and waiting until their natural deaths to extract pieces.
    • It turns out Adamant has been experiencing a similar dilemma the whole series; he knows that due his malfunctioning hardware, fulfilling his duty to the Lunarians means he'll take out every other human-derived lifeform with them.
  • Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: Padparadscha flicks Phos's head clean off when the Gem has an episode in Chapter 65.
  • Heaven: The Other World. Its actually more similar to depictions of Nirvana, keeping up with the Buddhist motif the series has.
  • His Quirk Lives On: Phos shows signs of this after fusing with Lapis Lazuli's head, as noted by Cairngorm, making the latter wonder how much of the Gem is actually Phos and how much is now Lapis.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • Dia, a cheerful and bubbly gem who acts as an emotional crutch of sorts is actually struggling with peer pressure and the expectation everyone has that they should be a powerful fighter on par with Bortz given their hardness, to the point where they start resenting the latter for being the resident badass, leading their relationship to fall apart. That Bortz is prone to be quite brutal with them does not help.
    • Yellow, the dependable older sibling for the rest of the cast and the oldest gem is actually so scarred over losing many long time partners they can no longer stand the idea of forming attachements and keep everyone at arm's length. Add to this their tendency to make many worrying offhand remarks about being tired and wanting to go to sleep and later laugh it off and you have a highly unstable individual.
    • Bortz comes off as a brusque BloodKnight, being interested in little else aside from fighting. And yet their dialogue and actions show that they care deeply about the other gems and only gets so angry at them putting themselves in danger because they can't stand the idea of losing anyone else.
    • Padparadscha comes off as an aloof older gem, but later hints at Phos that they want to die so Rutile will stop obsessing over waking them up permanently. When Phos brings them to the moon they show even more depths, being very happy to be permanently awake and professing Undying Loyalty for Phos as a result, which extends to shattering Rutile and taking mercury to the face to protect Phos from harm.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • Antarcticite lets the Lunarians abduct them in order to save Phos. This hits Phos deeply.
    • Ghost lets themself get chipped away and taken by the Lunarians, leaving Cairngorm left to look out for Phos.
    • Following the trend of gems sacrificing themselves for Phos, Padparadscha takes a faceful of mercury in order to throw Phos away from the attack.
  • Hope Spot: A genuine one for the other gems and a brief and cruel one for Phos as they are told by Aechmea that the dispersed gems can be recovered, meaning everyone can reunite with their lost partners, only to specify later on that only those of hardness of more than 5 can thus be recovered, utterly crushing Pho's hope of reuniting with Antarc.
  • Hourglass Plot: When we first meet Phos, they are the youngest Gem in the group, listless and desperate to be useful to the Lustrous. By the time Phos discovers new, inorganic life, Phos is probably the oldest living being left on Earth and an extremely powerful godlike being who could very well do anything to assist this new lifeform, only to be told that it doesn't need the help.
  • Humans Are Bastards: Posthumously, Humanity is not given any kind words by its successor races, up to and including the woman who built Sensei. They were constantly described as getting into wars pre-extinction, their remains as the Ice Floes are both pitiful and can be malicious to otherwise innocent beings, and the story often portrays more overtly "human" behavior in a negative light. Sensei, despite being built to pray the remains of humanity away, also sees the race as pitiful and barbaric. Phos similarly comes to the opinion that any trace of humans left will start the vicious cycle over again, and wishes to elinimate themselves so that the Earth's next inheritors will live their lives free of what they consider a toxic influence.
  • Humanity's Wake: There are no humans left by the time the story starts, with the three humanoid races supposedly lifted from different aspects. Human technology without a human operator is a crucial part of the story, as that's what's making Kongou-sensei one of the major obstacles in ending the Lunarian conflict.
  • Immortal Immaturity: Phos is 300 years old, yet the gem's attitude is far from mature. Subverted in that the Gems are different from humans (who are explicitly stated to learn and pass knowledge) and in that Phos ends up maturing a lot after some difficult experiences.
    • Many of the Lunarians act carefree and childishly. This is because they are world-weary and have lost their moralities after an undisclosed period of life.
  • Important Haircut: Phosphophyllite cuts their hair after Antarcticite gets taken to the moon. After this, the gem began to act much more serious.
  • Insistent Terminology: Sensei doesn't take naps, the gem only meditates.
  • Immortals Fear Death: After listening about humanity and death Phos comments on this, and about how does death give life value or not.
  • Ironic Echo:
    • "Don't go to the Moon". First said by Phos to Cinnabar because they're desperate to feel wanted after years of being a danger and liability to their peers, and then vice-versa because Phos wants to seek the truth about the Lunarians and Cinnabar knows that anyone who's gone to the Moon doesn't return.
    • One for gestures instead of words; when Cairngorm first gets identified by Sensei and officially treated as their own separate person from Ghost, they're handled quite roughly by Sensei and looks uncomfortable under his grip. Contrast that with how Aechmea handles them in a similar situation; when he encourages Cairngorm to choose for themself, Cairngorm responds affectionately to his touch.
    • Sensei is so powerful that he can bring down any gem with a single shout, but most of the time it's out of concern. Phos finally becomes able to do the same to Sensei, once the latter recognizes the former as "human"—but rather than well-intentioned shouting, Phos ruefully commands Sensei to break himself for being unable to pray.
    • The Lustrous once surmise that the Lunarians are taking them because they want to break them down and use them as jewelry. The Party At the End shows the converted Lustrous doing this, to their own now lifeless bodies, albeit as a way to reclaim themselves.
  • It's All My Fault: Said word by word by Antarcticite after Phos' arms are lost, and before that by the Amethyst twins after they lose in battle and Phos is too scared to run away.
    • Phos blames themself for the loss of Antarc and Ghost.
    • Whenever a gem is taken Sensei insists that it is "his fault". We find out later that he is not so far off the mark, at least according to Aechmea.
  • Kick the Dog: The first Gem shard that Aechmea shows to Phos while explaining what happens to Gems taken to the Moon? Antarcticite. More specifically, their eye, which Aechmea proceeds to grind into powder in front of Phos' own eyes. And he knows that the Gem meant dear to them. Then he says it was a replica, meaning he had already ground the real parts long ago.
  • Killed Offscreen: To highlight the change more than a century can make, Morganite and Goshenite were taken to the Moon, replaced with a newer, younger set of the same material.
    • Regarding Ventricosus. Phos expects to talk to her when remembering their encounter. The problem is, over a hundred years had passed since, and the Admirabilis have a much shorter lifespan than the other two races, so Phos quickly learns that Ventricosus died long ago.
  • Know When to Fold Them: Bort's first lecture to Phos: a warrior that doesn't know when to quit is not useful to anyone.

  • Land, Sea, Sky: The three races follow this rule. The Gems, being landlocked and born from a cliff, represent Land; the aquatic and ever changing Admirabilis represent Sea; and the ghostly and form-changing Lunarians represent Sky, as they also live on the Moon.
  • Line in the Sand: Before going to the Moon a second time, Phos warns the other Lustrous with them that they (with the exception of Cairngorm) still have one last chance to object. None of them turn Phos down.
  • Lunarians: The bad guys. They're trying to take the gems to the moon and turn them into jewelry. Later they are stated to be another descendant of humanity, alongside the gems and the Admirabilis. Ventricosus ponders whether they want to reunite with the other two races to become humans again. They don't. They just want to pass on to the afterlife.
  • Lost in Translation: When the Prince looks over the Moon in the character's first serious conversation with Phos, they describe the world as "white" (shiro) which immediately makes Phos think of Shiro the Lunarian. The english release has that same character describe the Moon's surface as "immaculate" instead, making the connection to Shiro less apparent.
  • Mutual Disadvantage: Diamond vs. Bort ends up as this. They're both the same hardness, already making the fight even, but their respective weapons took out each other at the same time, ending the duel with both Gems shattered.
  • My Greatest Failure: Phos's failure to save Antarc is the main driving point of the rest of the series, as Phos comes to question everything they've always taken for granted. It gets to the point where Phos attempts suicide in despair over it.
  • Mysterious Woman: Lapis Lazuli is noted to have been this by Ghost, as they kept secrets for centuries, knew much more than they let on and dodged all inquiries with witty remarks.
  • Neglectful Precursors: Aechmea suggests the humans who built Sensei were this, given that they put special effort into assuring that he wouldn't damage on the outside but didn't account on him breaking on the inside. Ultimately according to his story this is what started the whole problem, since none of the Lunarians know how to fix him and cannot even attempt to since he is utterly indestructible.
  • New Content Countdown Clock: The anime's website had a countdown for a specific event in the series. By the time it ended, it revealed that it was for the start of the Winter arc and the first appearance of Antarcticite.
  • "No" Means "Yes": Unlike Cinnabar, who genuinely didn't want to go to the moon, Cairngorm was the most vocal protestor and even says they don't want to go, right before the next couple of panels show them reluctantly going.
  • No, Mr. Bond, I Expect You to Dine: Once Prince Aechmea shatters Phos on the Moon, he invites the Gem for a tour and later a fancy dinner, as he plans to negotiate with them.
  • Noodle People: The gems. Possibly justified, given that they evolved from the "bones" of humanity, depending on how literally you want to take that legend.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: In chapter 97, right before the final prayer, Phos mulls over the fact that they have become the god of a miserable species that tortured and shunned them for ten millennia, and would be within rights to deny them release and play with their suffering for an eternity... if not for the realization that, in the end, what made the Lunarians twisted was the same loneliness that Pho has suffered their entire life. Even after succumbing to their hedonistic natures, the Lunarians eventually realized how lonely and empty humanity has always been, allowing them to accept their mortality and face judgement. Pho obliges.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Kongou-sensei gives a real shocked expression when Phos mentions Humans. In general, anything connecting itself to that topic, such as Professor, will crack his facade. Phos getting taken to the Moon, or later, forcing him to pray gives off this reaction as well.
    • Gems will regularly have this reaction when a particularly unusual Lunarian enemy comes to fight.
    • Rutile is shocked when Padparadscha's case is taken to the moon, enough to start cracking themself in its mere absence.
    • After Benito and Dia point out that Phos hasn't asked the Lunarians about restoring Padparadscha and left the body with them, alone, Phos rushes as fast as they can. Luckily their fears were unfounded.
    • Another one for Phos when the Gems they find at Sensei's school jump down and escape, leaving Phos trapped inside and alone with an opponent.
    • Cairngorm has a major one when they learn what making Sensei pray will do to all the races.
  • Once a Season: Every cover has the same layout: A picture of a select few Gems important to the volume, them as their original forms without their powder, the antagonist of the volume featured on the back flap, and Cinnabar somewhere on the front flap.
  • One-Steve Limit: Broken. There's Diamond, Yellow Diamond and Green Diamond.
    • Then there are Amethyst 84 and 33, the twin crystals of the group.
    • During the Time Skip, Morganite and Goshenite were taken to the moon. Shortly after, a new Morganite and Goshenite were born.
  • Open Secret: Phos is surprised to find out that everyone knows Sensei is hiding things from them, and that in spite of that the gems have elected to follow him anyway because they know that whatever his secret may be, his love for them is genuine. Phos being the youngest was the only one left out of the loop.
  • Painted CGI: the animation uses flat colors, outlines and cel shading over 3D models, intended to look more like traditionally animated 2D anime. However, all the jewels and gem-like aspects are given fully rendered lighting and shine effects, which makes them stand out and look a bit more other-worldly.
  • Permafusion: The Gems in this universe can repair themselves by grabbing pieces of an existing copy of the Gem, inheritting their memories in the process. However, if the Gem happens to be a particularly rare Gem, like Phosphophyllite, then they have to grab pieces from other Gems. While Phos initially only has their arms and legs replaced, their entire head gets swapped for the head of Lapis Lazuli, and that begins their downward spiral into moral ambiguity. By the time the Moon Arc comes and Phos ends up shattered and reassembled, it's hard to tell how many gems are inside Phos, or if Phos is even a part of the gem anymore.
  • Pilot: The 64 page oneshot the series was based off of, which was also included with the 10th volume's special edition.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: Red Beryl makes the gems wear these during their hibernation. Cairngorm eventually gets one as well from the Lunarians.
  • Posthumous Character: Phos reminding Ghost of their taken partner,Lapis Lazuli is a driving factor behind the gem teaming up with Phos. Later Lapis's head is used to replace Phos's after Phos's get taken to the moon, bringing Lapis back in a superficial sense.
    • The various gems, Blue Zoisite, Topaz, Chrysoberyl, Green Diamond and etc. had been taken to the moon prior to the start of the Manga events and can be seen as this as it is likely that they're long gone.
  • Poisonous Person: Cinnabar emits a toxic substance (probably mercury) that's quite useful in fighting the moon people. Unfortunately, they can't control it, so they have to stay away from the other gems to avoid harming them.
  • Power Levels: Based on Mohs scale of mineral hardness. As expected, Diamond, Yellow Diamond and Bort are the hardest at 10, but Kongou-sensei, whose exact hardness is unknown, is apparently even harder than that.
  • Psychological Combat: Chapter 41 has the Lunarians' tactics evolve to include more personal attacks on the Gems. They bait in the Gems with shards of Gems they've already taken to the Moon, and once they're close enough they start chipping away at them. This is especially noticeable in that the shards they use to take advantage are of Gems with partners that were with Phos at the time.
  • Psychological Projection: The very few words Phos exchanges with Cinnabar before their showdown in Chapter 92 is taunting Cinnabar with insults that apply to themself as much as it applies to the other Gem:
    Phos: You know they're just using you to get rid of me.
    Cinnabar: I know.
    Phos: You don't have any real friends here.
    Cinnabar: Probably.
    Phos: You're unsightly and pathetic.
    Cinnabar: I know.
  • Pulling Themselves Together: The gems are able to do this, even with different materials.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: By the end of Volume 12, Phos got their revenge on the Earth Gems, crushed any remaining opposition, and made Sensei break like they said they would. In addition, they even got the apparatus that allows Sensei to pray. Immediately afterwards, all remaining Gems, including the dusted Sensei and the remains of Gems already captured, are taken to the Moon while Phos is left to wallow on Earth with their lone spoil. And if Aechmea's knowing grin is any indication, all of this fiasco went exactly as he thought it would.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Played with in multiple instances.
    • Ghost remarks that Phos's new serious demeanour reminds them of Lapis, transferring their devotion to Phos because they find the resemblance comforting.
    • Phos becomes increasingly unstable after losing Antarc and Ghost, culminating in a self-destructive mental and physical breakdown where they see Cairngorm as Antarc and imprison them to keep them safe. After Phos regains consciousness, Cairngorm (still known as Ghost at this point) tells them to call them Antarc whenever they need to. However, Phos is noticeably disturbed by this, and shortly afterwards asks Kongou to give Cairngorm a name to distinguish them from Ghost. Phos only slips up once after this and quickly corrects themself, but Cairngorm continues to believe that Phos sees them as a replacement for Antarc, eventually asking Aechmea for what amounts to cosmetic surgery to look like Antarc so Phos will be happy.
    • After Phos's head is replaced with Lapis's, Cairngorm is very disturbed by the dissonance between their memories of their calm mentor and the chaotic Phos now wearing their face. Phos offers themself as a replacement for Lapis, but Cairngorm dismisses the idea, telling Phos that the head is now theirs to do as they please with.
  • Revolving Door Casting: The main focus of certain arcs changes constantly in size and in characters, with Phos being at the center of it all.
  • Rule of Symbolism: A huge amount of it regarding Buddhist concepts and teachings.
    • The act of the innocent Gems getting taken to the Moon by the Lumarians invokes (and is played up as) death imagery, as the Moon or the lunar realm is often considered a haven for innocent souls to go when they die.
    • When cut down, Shiro divides into 108 smaller creatures. 108 is a very important number in Buddhism.
    • Phos' upgrades so far follow the Seven Treasures of Buddhism as found in the Diamond Sutra: crystal (body), gold, platinum (arms), agate (legs), lapis lazuli (head), pearl (left eye), and silver (Cinnabar's mercury). Time will tell if they will obtain carmelian and ruby.
      • Adamant's eye likely completes the set, filling in an alternative listing of the seventh treasure as amber.
    • Nirvana is mentioned and plays a role in the story. Essentially, the Moon People are revealed to be human souls, seeking for release from their earthly desires via achieving Nirvana, which explains their Bodhitsava-like attire.
    • Phos spends 49 days in the Moon. 49 is the number of days one spends in the afterlife before being reborn again. Given that the Lunarians are the souls of dead humans...
    • When Phos and the other Lustrous in their party prepare to go to the Moon, they sit in Cicada's lap in a manner reminiscent to a Buddha statue.
    • Some of the Moon people have names based off of insects. In Buddhist beliefs, the absolute lowest a person can be reincarnated into is a plant or an insect.
    • The Lustrous' culture does have a lot of death symbolism in it. Their uniforms are described as being based off of funeral attire, they sometimes carry each other in body bags when they're broken, Kongou is dressed as a Buddhist monk that ritually prays for the dead to pass on which is supposed to be his role for the Lunarians, and their Winter robes are tied with the frontmost lapel pointing towards the left, which usually is done for the dead.
    • When Phos is taken apart by the Gems and separated, the remains are put in boxes usually made for cremated ashes.
    • When Phos emerges from Cinnabar's mercury, the way they're covered in the alloy and the way they're carrying their weapon evokes a birth motif. Phos's elongated arm attached to the broken weapon looks quite a bit like an umbillical chord.
    • Phos emerging from Cinnabar's mercury has also been compared to a wedding dress, with a long train resembling a skirt and a veil of mercury covering their head and obscuring their face.
    • Gems cannot cry, seeing as that they weren't created with tear ducts. However, cracking by themselves is usually reserved for extreme distress. For example, when the Gems Phos brings to the Moon see the Moon dust made of their old comrades, a single shard cracks into the pile Yellow Diamond picks up, reminiscent of a tear, while Alex's shards fall as if they're crying in frustration. Phos and Cinnabar are the exceptions, as they have their gold/platinum and poison respectively to act as tear fluid.
    • Speaking of the viscous fluid Phos and Cinnabar have, they usually also substitute sweat, blood, or visually represent their emotional state.
  • Run or Die: The Amethysts warn Phos about this once a particularly strong group of Moon-People come down and make quick work of them in the beginning of Volume 3.

  • Sadistic Choice: When discussing the possibility of reviving all of the ground Gems, Barbata tells Phos there's one catch; in order to fully physically restore them, they need to kill all of the Admirabilis as some inclusions have been absorbed into their bodies rather than their shells. So now Phos has two equally terrible options; sacrifice the Admirabilis in exchange for the Gem's brethren, or allow them to live at the cost of betraying their goal and their still living teammates.
  • Sanity Slippage: After the Winter, Phos starts hallucinating about Antarcticite and starts growing suspicious of Sensei, to the point of trying to leave to contact the Moon People alone.
  • Secret-Keeper: Padparadscha knows about Sensei's relationship with the Moon People. Unfortunately for Phos, the gem falls asleep before revealing any relevant information.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: For all of Phos' post-decapitation smarts, the Gem overthinks the possibility of their brethren not being on board with recognizing Sensei as a machine and betraying him, and opts to sway them to the Moon by other, sneakier means so that they don't have time to disbelieve the Gem and consider them a traitor. By their second trip back down to Earth, all of Phos' planning has ensured that they will never see the Gem as anything but.
  • Ship Sinking: The Bort/Dia ship took a huge beating as of chapter 84, when Dia's resentment of Bort has grown into full blown hatred and Dia decides to go to Earth explicitly to grind Bort into dust. They aren't on murderous terms anymore after converting to Lunarians, but the ship is sunk for good in The Party After the End, which has Bort state that they've cut ties with Dia in the past 10 000 years.
  • Short Cuts Make Long Delays: In more than one way during Chapter 44, "A Short Path". Phos trying to take a shortcut via sliding over the frozen lake ends up with both them and Cairngorm crashing on the ice and being scolded by Rutile. Cairngorm themself acknowledges this trope. Later on the chapter, Cairngorm tries to take a "shortcut" towards waiting for Phos to recover their lost head, and they use Lapis' head instead. Then in the next chapter, we see that 100 years have passed and Phos still hasn't awakened, referencing the trope again.
  • Shout-Out: The Latin lyrics to "liquescimus", odi et amo, often translated as "I hate and I love.", is lifted from Catullus 85, one of Catullus's most well-known poems to his mistress, Lesbia. In this poem, Catullus details his conflicting feelings about his deteriorating relationship with Lesbia. When applied to "liquescimus", it is presumably referring to Phos' self-loathing for being unable to save someone who loved them like no one else did.
  • Shown Their Work: It's kinda amazing how much research Haruko did with the gems:
    • Cinnabar is an ore of mercury, the same metal that floats around the gem.
    • Watermelon Tourmaline has electricity powers and their gem is piezoelectric.
    • Antarcticite is a mineral that only forms in Antarctica, when it gets cold enough. The character is only solid during winter.
    • Alexandrite changes color based the amount of sunlight it gets and in the manga the character changes color too, albeit only when their alternate personality is brought out upon seeing a lunarian.
    • The Amethyst Twins are called sometimes called 84 and 33. The reason for the nicknames might be confusing until you realize that Japan Law Twinning, a crystal formation law, requires the two gems to meet at an angle of 84*33'.
    • Ghost Quartz forms over already created gems. Makes sense the character has another gem inside of them.
    • Obsidian is a stone used by blacksmiths in the production of weaponry.
    • A non-Gem example: The method Antarcticite uses to break apart the floes is very similar to how people harvest ice in real life via ice cutting (that is, using a pickaxe (the high heels) to mark how the ice will break apart, then using a saw (the serrated sword) to cleave the ice apart).
  • Single-Minded Twins: The Amethyst twins.
  • Solemn Ending Theme: The ending to Episode 8 plays "liquescimus", sung by Phos's voice actor. It is about Phos mourning Antarc's death.
  • Spoiler Opening: The very first scene of Phos waking up in fetus position while underwater hints at how gems are born.
  • Stepford Smiler:
    • Phos becomes both unstable and depressed after the loss of Antarcticite in the Winter Arc. They do get a little better after, once the others are awake.
    • The seemingly happy go lucky Dia is anything but all right as their relationship with Bortz is slowly crumbling away.
  • Suicide Mission: Phos' idea of going to the Moon to retrieve everyone who got captured is treated as this.
  • Super-Speed: Yellow Diamond, the oldest of the gems. Later Phos manages to be as fast as them, if only for a while.

  • Take Up My Sword: In the last few hundred years, the Winter duties keep getting passed around. Antarcticite had them originally, but following them being taken to the Moon the duty gets pushed to Phos. Then, Cairngorm gets the job from Phos after Phos gets their head torn off, and eventually all the Gems end up sharing the duty.
  • Tell Me Again: In the beginning of the story, Kongou-sensei asks Phos to recite the Lustrous' origin tale, which also tells the audience about how the land came to be and how they were formed.
  • Time Skip:
    • After Antarcticite is taken, we cut to Phos dealing with everything one year later.
    • One happens after Phos' head is lost. A hundred and two years pass before Phos finally wakes up.
    • After Phos is shattered and buried by the Earth Gems, we skip 220 years into the future where both Lunarian and Earth society have changed.
    • 10,000 years pass after Phos fully absorbs Sensei's memories and powers while the former Gems adjust to being Lunarians.
    • And even after all that, there's still a big time skip. Phos completes the prayer that wipes away all of the Lunarians and converted species, and almost immediately falls into a deep coma that lasts for eons. They wake up around the time the Sun around Earth has become a white dwarf.
  • That Was Not a Dream: After Ghost gets taken away, Phos wakes up, approaches a recently-freed Cairngorm in the distance, and promptly gets a fist in the face for being responsible for Ghost's demise. Phos wakes up believing its a dream, since Rutile and Jade cant find words to explain to Phos what's happening, and the scene repeats again. Then its about to repeat a third time, but Sensei stops Cairngorm before Phos gets punched again.
  • Theseus' Ship Paradox: Discussed by Rutile when thinking of replacing Phos' head; Rutile wonders if by that point would it even possible to call the gem Phos, since about half of the gem's body is replaced by other materials. It's for this reason that Phos is referred to as "Used-to-be Phos" by Sensei after they leave a second time.
  • They Would Cut You Up: Kongou's "sibling" spooks the Rock-Forms with this when it describes humanity. As a whole, humans are depicted as monstrous, selfish aliens who would rather satisfy their curiosity with other species by takeing them, dissecting them, and running experiments on them.
  • The Mourning After: The series can be summed up as such after the Winter Arc, as the loss of Antarc leaves Phos grieving and inconsolable.
  • Token Aquatic Race: The Admirabilis are a race of slugs and snails that can also transform into merfolk underwater. They are one of three major humanoid races that exist on and around Earth, with the other two being Silicon-Based Life and Lunarians. Unlike the other two, the Admirabilis have much shorter lifespans and are subjected to all the banalties of mortal life, such as hunger, generational turnover, and eventually their population nearly going extinct had it not been for protagonist Phosphophyllite.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Phos gets a huge upgrade in fighting ability whenever they get new Artificial Limbs.
    • First Phos gets a pair of agate legs, which grant them Super-Speed that Phos at first can't control.
    • Secondly, Phos gets gold and platinum alloys for arms, which Phos can shapeshift at will.
    • Thirdly, Phos gets Lapis Lazuli's head after the gem lost theirs, giving Phos higher observational skill.
  • Truth in Television: According to Sensei and Ventricosus in regards to the creation of Gems, it's a rare occurrence; a corpse decomposes (underwater, no less) and its bones are crystallized over time for "ages", and the result may be a sentient being made of a gemstone. In real life, there is such thing as crystallized fossils, though Houseki no Kuni seems to take some artistic liberty (or or something else) with it since Sensei is at least 10,000 years old and seems to have been made by humans, which may put into perspective how long ago the apocalypse was while fossils are typically millions of years old.
  • Two Beings, One Body: Ghost Quartz has another gem living inside them. Then they got taken to the moon, leaving the other gem alone. The other Ghost is later given the name Cairngorm.
  • We Can Rebuild Him: Happens everytime Phos loses a body part. It's noted that Phos's body is much more receptive to different materials as replacements compared to other gems. In fact, Phos actually recommends this in case they get broken into pieces after planning to go to the moon.
  • Wham Episode:
    • The Winter episodes, where Phos changes and the first gem gets taken. Its also where the plot starts to kick in.
    • And of course the Moon episodes, when Phos finally goes to the Moon to face the Lunarians in their base.
    • Chapter 65 and 66. Sensei comes down to the Gems' level and steps down as leader, while Aechmea tells the Moon group that Gems lower than 4 Hardness can't be put back together. This means everyone but Phos can get their old partners back.
    • Chapter 95: Enma was lying about the gems being unable to be remade. All the gems' inclusions are put into Lunarian bodies (minus Phosphophyllite and Padparadscha). Kongou is also placed into a Lunarian body and calls Enma his old friend, making it clear he was going along with Enma's plans the whole time. Phos is trapped on Earth alone recalling 10 000 years of suffering, and the rest of the gems will party until Phos is ready to pass them on to the afterlife.
  • Wham Line: When Ventricosus and Phos finally reach the home of the Admirabilis:
    Ventricosus: Just as you care about Cinnabar... I, too, have someone I care about. Forgive me.
    • Phos arriving on the moon and discovering what became of the other captured gems:
    Prince Aechmea: By decorating it with all of you, we make our world beautiful.
    • Cairngorm being convinced to go on a night raid sparks a very peculiar line for someone who felt so guilty over Lapis:
    [after being told by Phos that they will give up Lapis's head so that Cairngorm can properly revive the Gem] Well, I guess, but it's not like it's mine anyway.
    Phos: Please, won't you pray for them again? Not for anyone else, but for me. Grant me mercy, I cannot... find the will to go on.
    • The main reason why Adamant refuses to pray is revealed in Chapter 80:
    Prince Aechmea: Due to Adamant's internal damage, and his inability to control his own power because of it, everything that originated from man will return to nothing if he prays. Lunarians, Gems, Admirabilis, they will all, without doubt, die at the same time.
    • Aechmea explaining what he means by something "better than a human" in Chapter 95:
    Prince Aechmea: Until the New Divine completes their path, have a pleasant 10,000 years.
    • When Euclase, Sensei and Enma speak of Phos in Chapter 96:
    Euclase: Phos is the only one left. Isn't there anything we can do for him?
    Enma and Sensei: There is.
  • Wham Shot:
    • Cairngorm's left arm getting regifted to them, supposedly centuries after they had it torn off. Then they chuck it in a grinder.
    • In Chapter 95, Antarc finally reappears.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: The Lunarians, as we see on their base of operations, see Sensei as nothing more than a tool that malfunctioned and won't fulfill his duty to pass them on. Sensei on the other hand acknowledges his origin is different from everyone else, but at the same time considers himself sentient. Unfortunately, Phos eventually falls into the Lunarians' mindset:
  • World of Technicolor Hair: Everyone's hair corresponds with the color of their skin underneath the white makeup they wear.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: The rare three-Lunarian attack formation is this. Once one of them has been defeated, the other two begin to retreat and a Lustrous usually goes after them. They then take this opportunity to steal the Lustrous away. The method they capture Ghost with is similar; the remaining two vessels close up into a sticky ball with a hole above it. If a gem gets too close, they take it through the hole.
    • Phos lets themself get taken to the moon this way, being broken but possessing Combat Tentacles that can attack and pull his shards back together.
  • You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry!: Alexandrite goes completely nuts when looking at a Lunarian. Because of this Sensei has forbidden them to participate in battles.

Alternative Title(s): Houseki No Kuni, Land Of The Lustrous