Land of the Lustrous, vol. 5

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This volume, unlike past ones, is relatively light on action sequences. Instead, we’re treated to some new character introductions.

First up, we meet Padparadscha, a gem who’s been in slumber for several hundred years. They have empty holes in their body that must be filled before they can awaken. Rutile finds some material they can use to fill in the gaps, and so Pad awakens. The caveat is that Pad may still fall back asleep at any moment, without warning. Phos wants to ask Pad some questions about the olden days of gems, but alas, they fall asleep in the grass before Phos can get around to it. Continue reading

Land of the Lustrous, vol. 4

9781632365293_manga-land-of-the-lustrous-volume-4-primary.jpgAfter the high drama of the previous volume, this one is just slightly more pensive, with a healthy dose of action. Not only that, but the battles here lead to a new twist in the story.

Spring has dawned in the land of the Lustrous, and as they awake, they learn not only of Antarcticite’s demise, but also of Phos’ new limbs and demeanor. Phos seems to struggle with the newfound attention, perhaps in part due to the enormity of the events in winter and in part due to their memory loss. Continue reading

Land of the Lustrous, vol. 3

9781632365286_manga-land-of-the-lustrous-volume-3-primaryJust taking a look at the cover and seeing that Phos has new limbs with the mysterious new gem was enough to make my stomach churn. I love this series, but that aspect of it makes it difficult to read. Being excited about it means being excited that these characters lose so much of themselves. It’s not a fun feeling.

The ending of the last volume paired Phos up with some Amethyst warriors, who engage in battle pretty much immediately after. This volume opens with that battle, which… doesn’t end well for the Amethysts. The way they get overtaken by the Lunarians was incredibly scary. The good news is that they are saved by the other gems and are completely salvaged. Continue reading

Land of the Lustrous, vol. 2

9781632364982_manga-land-of-the-lustrous-2-primaryNow that volume 1 has established the world and taken some time to build it, it seems volume 2 gives us hints of where the series is going from there. A lot seems to happen here.

In the last volume, Phos got swallowed whole by a sea slug-like creature that attacked the gems’ home. Cinnabar and co. went through a great effort to piece Phos back together, and afterwards, Phos starts communicating with the slug. Continue reading

Land of the Lustrous, vol. 1

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The back cover of this book describes Land of the Lustrous as an “elegant action manga for fans of Steven Universe!” I always dwell on that when I see it. Someone I used to know jokingly called Steven Universe the “shiny rock gijinka anime.” Little did we know that Land of the Lustrous, which started serializing less than a year before Steven would first air, would later give us an actual shiny rock gijinka anime. I was intrigued by the prospect, so I decided to read the manga.

In Land of the Lustrous, humanoid gems inhabit an Earthlike planet and spend their days fending off the Lunarians, fellow humanoid creatures that inhabit the moon and seek to capture the gems and use them to decorate their homes. Continue reading

Under the Air

Note: I have opted not to include the cover art of this volume due to its NSFW-nature.

As I’ve stated on this blog before, my first experience knowingly reading a manga was through Tezuka Osamu; Astro Boy, though not the greatest manga, was my first experience of the medium, and it holds a special place in my heart. I’ve read more volumes of Tezuka manga than probably any other author, and as I encountered so much of it when I was a teen and younger adult, reading his books make me nostalgic. It also doesn’t help that there have been considerably fewer Tezuka releases in the States since Digital Manga was granted exclusive rights to his back catalogue.

My thing with Tezuka is that I’ve always preferred his work for children over his work for adults. Tezuka’s love of moon logic as a narrative tool is easier to swallow when he’s writing for a younger audience, whereas in his adult-oriented work, it kind of takes me out of the experience. The issue is that the bulk of Tezuka’s English releases are his adult work. A lot of it is still worth reading if you’re a fan of his, but to me, it feels like we miss out on true classics in favor of his wackier, more experimental work.

Such is the case with Under the Air, the headliner of Digital Manga’s most recently fulfilled, and, if the rumors are to be believed, second-to-last, Tezuka-centric Kickstarter.  Continue reading