If anything, I want to see how this series develops overtime as vol. 1 gave us a taste of the jewel people and the daily dangers they must confront each day. But it will be interesting to see where Haruka Ichiwakawa takes the characters in upcoming stories and adventures. Overall, “Land of the Lustrous” is a manga series worth checking out!
Image courtesy of © 2013 Haruka Ichikawa. All Rights Reserved.
MANGA TITLE: Land of the Lustrous vol. 1
Story and Art by Haruka Ichikawa
FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: Kodansha Ltd.
PUBLISHED IN USA BY: Kodansha Comics
RATED: T for Teen
RELEASE DATE: June 27, 2017
In a world inhabited by crystalline lifeforms called The Lustrous, every unique gem must fight for their way of life against the threat of lunarians who would turn them into decorations. Phosphophyllite, the most fragile and brittle of gems, longs to join the battle. When Phos is instead assigned to complete a natural history of their world, it sounds like a dull and pointless task. But this new job brings Phos into contact with Cinnabar, a gem forced to live in isolation. Can Phos’s seemingly mundane assignment lead both Phos and Cinnabar to the fulfillment they desire?
In 2012, Haruko Ichikawa created her manga series “Houseki no Kuni” (which translates to “Country of Jewels”) and was published by Kodansha for “Monthly Afteroon” Magazine.
With a total of five graphic novel volumes published, the first volume will be released by Kodansha USA under the title “Land of the Lustrous”.
Set in a world where there are people made of jewels (of various different grades of jewels), some who are tough as diamond, some who are not as durable but have great fighting power, protecting their land from the Lunarians, who want to take the jewels and make them into decorations.
The main character is Phos (Phosphophylite) who is a female jewel that is trying to find her path in life.
She wants to find true meaning and each time she encounters the other jewels, they find her to be annoying and clumsy.
Unfortunately for Phos, who wants to fight, she is grade 3.5 and she is the most fragile of all jewels. So, she is given a job, to complete a natural history of their world.
While she finds the new job dull, she is told to talk to Cinnabar, a jewel who only fights during the nighttime and when Phos goes out to meet her, we learn that Cinnabar is quite bored with her life because she can only fight during the night and there are no Lunarian attacks at night.
But as Phos tries to explore for her studies on natural history, she talks with her fellow Lustrous and learns that they are also trying to find meaning in their lives.
But what happens when a huge slug comes out of nowhere?
Haruka Ichikawa’s manga “Land of the Lustrous” is an interesting concept. Taking the various types of jewels and making them people, but yet people with abilities and are defending themselves against the Lunarians who want to break them and take their jewels to make jewelry.
The story is somewhat banal that you have one clumsy and bumbling character that tends to annoy everyone (as they think the main character, Phos is useless) but yet somehow, her kind heart opens them up and challenges them to think about their path in life.
The manga series will probably show us how Phos will become stronger, despite being a fragile jewel but I would like to see how Haruka Ichikawa takes this story and make it different from similar storylines.
For the most part, the first volume is no doubt introductory to the various characters in the manga series and it does have issues where certain characters look too close to each other that you get confused who is who.
But the manga series does pickup as we start to see the various jewel people, some who are durable, some who are warriors and some who are not fighters.
The character designs are good and things are looking up for Haruka Ichikawa’s series as it is set for an anime adaptation for debut in October 2017. If anything, I want to see how this series develops overtime as vol. 1 gave us a taste of the jewel people and the daily dangers they must confront each day.
But it will be interesting to see where Haruka Ichiwakawa takes the characters in upcoming stories and adventures.
Overall, “Land of the Lustrous” is a manga series worth checking out!