Speed – Week of the Lustrous Ep 6 – UNOTAKU Anime Blog

I was coming up to the last three minutes. I was almost about to praise this show for having some restraint not diving into dramatic moment after dramatic moment… but we can get into that later.

So Phos’ new legs come as a surprise to everyone. Apparently, the agate fusing into her body being stronger than her base material, Phosphorite, means that her potential combat ability is becoming closer to that of a gem with greater hardness. Her power is far from under control. She moves so fast that she has a hard time stopping as is seen with her encounter with Yellow Diamond (hardness 10). It makes sense that there would be some issue in controlling her newfound speed. However, even Yellow Diamond finds a way to stop her when she can prepare for her movements.

Going back to Yellow, we learn that she is the oldest of the current gems. Almost always partnering up with previous gems that have all been lost to the moon: Green Diamond, Ruby, Sapphire, and Pink Topaz. This is no different for Zircon who injured herself in an earlier battle to protect her. There must be something special that other gems see in Yellow Diamond when partnered up. Perhaps it’s similar to Dia and Bort’s relationship? Anyway, this says a lot about Yellow and how she’s used to it by now but definitely grows tired of having others sacrifice themselves for her sake.

Phos meets with Kongo again to plead with him for another chance but Kongo is still skeptical. Since her top half is still feeble she struggles with carrying the lightest/weakest of the swords that Obsidian prepares. We learn that when Phos lets the word humans slip out when trying to recall her lost memories he has a subtle angry reaction. I mostly expected him to have ties to this secret knowledge. Phos also lets slip her desire to fight comes from her loyal and loving desire to be useful to Kongo. Phos’ bluntness is met with silence, shock and nervous laughter from Yellow. It seemed to be enough to butter up Kongo to allow Phos to be on lookout duty with the Amethyst twins. It’s not much but a step closer.

Now Amethyst’s reveal as twins is quite fun. Their simultaneously spoken deadpan voice is cute. The combination of their grace combined with the awkwardness of their heads uncomfortably banging together as if to punctuate their dialogue is charming. However, as potential mentors, they don’t actually get to do much. I noticed this with Dia. When she was first about to show off her moves a convenient Lunarian attack commenced. Montages of them acting cute helping Phos dress and carry her sword to fooling around during lookout hours with nothing to do. I was expecting this to be an episode where we had some downtime to learn about a few characters. What makes them special? Where will they eventually fit into Phos’ story?

This is why Amethyst’s death this episode left me kind of bummed. Not because it was sad. Hearing their normal deadpan voices scream out of “sensei” was heart-wrenching. As was the manner in which they were torn apart. But I have to pause. Because if this show has taught me anything these gems are immortal. So I don’t really have the same ability to grieve for them the way I would a normal mortal character. The way Bort and Kongo come in to destroy the attacker and try to gather as many pieces of Amethyst as possible makes me wonder if she is really dead. I would hate to go on too long a rant here to only be proven wrong next episode.

Nonetheless, the effect of forcing this dramatic moment towards the end felt antiquated. I could have been just as satisfied with a “Phos hangs out with some new gems episode”. We could have gotten to know them long enough to like them. Until this episode, Amethyst just isn’t important and as soon as she is, she’s gone. Just some bullet point in Phos’ motivation to become stronger. I didn’t mind Yellow Diamonds quick introduction and backstory. What happened to Cinnabar? What about Dia and Bort? It feels like we still haven’t made good on the currently developed characters yet which makes me feel like Amethyst is even less important.

All I’m saying when Amethyst “died” all I could think about was “so what’s the story with Dia, Cinnabar, and Yellow… hope we get back to their stories soon!” That’s not necessarily a good thing. I’m sure regular old shock fatigue is a factor as well.

Another short point of contention. For as many thousands of years they’ve been living there sure are a lot of attacks on a day-to-day basis. Have they been getting stronger? That gem shredder is new to us, the audience, but is it to them? This is left rather vague. Now between Phos, Cinnabar, Dia, Zircon, and Amethyst, there’s been a lot of underestimating the opponent going on. They’ve been doing this for a while, right? I can’t help but also be upset at Amethyst’s cockiness.

Stray Thoughts:

  • This episode, Yellow was called “Nii-sama” which is masculine. While this isn’t the first time androgenous characters have been called this way I’ve been made aware of the concept that in this world characters turn from female to male as they get older. I’ll keep this in mind. Granted the show never delves into this idea in the subtext so until it’s confirmed in the show itself I will most like use “she/her/their/they”.
  • I got really into the whole Amethyst deal in this episode review. It kind of took up 90% of my thought space during and after watching so I don’t have much else to add.

Still really looking forward to which direction the show takes this plot point or how it will fit into the deeper story. I find it fascinating documenting shows where my opinion shifts so come back next week to find out what happens!

I’ve been writing for UNOTAKU for about 9 months but have been practicing writing (amateurly) for myself in my spare time for a few years. I normally enjoy both action or drama anime steeped in intrigue or mystery. As a graphic design artist I’ve also gained a more central appreciation of art direction and animation in my media. I love learning about the industry so I keep up with YouTube channels and other anime podcasts that have opinion pieces or video essays. While anime is a more recent passion I’ve also always loved video games (such as NieR:Automata) and fantasy shows (such as West World)

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