Diamonds sparkle this week.
Sorry for that poor pun, but as we have two characters named after diamonds in this season, I couldn’t really resist.
This has been another rather remarkable season so far, a third of the way through now. This time last year, Anitwitter was screaming about Flip Flappers and Yuri on Ice pretty much every day…now those two shows have been replaced by Phos (or Diamond) from Land of the Lustrous, and Dia from Love Live! Sunshine!! 2. On to Dia later…in the mean time, let’s talk about Phos…and how much trouble it always seems to find itself in…
After its ‘resurrection’ last week, Phos discovered that it was able to understand the snail they had captured. The snail tells Phos that it is the leader of a kingdom in the sea, and asks to be returned there, where she hears of a theory that a group of people called humans once roamed the lands, but was turned to three separate species made of soul, flesh and bone. If the sea people are the flesh (can reproduce and die), and the jewel people are the bone (can break but not die), then it can only make sense that the Lunarians are the soul. Also, we learn that Master Kongo, the ‘parent’ of the jewel people, has a connection with the Lunarians.
As I have said before, I haven’t read the manga, so I don’t know what to expect next week.
(btw, I know the jewels are both genderless, and so now I have decided to not refer to them by any)
This week on The Aqours Show (Love Live! Sunshine!! 2), it’s time for the first character episode of this season: Dia’s one.
As the results of the prelim Love Live! performances come in, the girls discover they have qualified, and while happy, Dia finds it difficult to celebrate as jubilantly as the others. We soon learn that she lacks the social skills that the others have, because she’s never really had to use them. Ever since elementary school, she has been the introvert of her class, and someone who can exert command and order. It’s partly down to how she was raised too, in a traditional Japanese home with sister Ruby. Her laughable attempts to warm to the others (trying to make small talk, smiling more) gets the others spooked at a work session You puts together at the town aquarium so they can fund themselves for future Love Live performances.
Dia is there to keep order, and to keep the other 8 girls in check; without a figure like her, the clashing personalities would result in constant fallouts and arguments, plus they would lack any real discipline that not even the other, more mature, girls (Riko, Hanamaru and Kanan) can give. This was kind of reminiscent of Yoshiko’s introductory episode, where she attempts to shake off her chuunibyou in order to get her class to know her better (and failing miserably). Well with the girls all having their own separate personalities, Dia is no different, but being the strict, formal and disciplined one shouldn’t mean she should be side-lined. On the contrary…since season 2 started, Dia has gotten so many fans now; it’s like every 10 tweets in my feed is an appreciation message. Not complaining, of course…
Now on to Kino’s Journey, and I noticed in one review of this show that a lot of political messages have been subtly added in the three episodes that have been and gone. And while this week’s episode is really no different, it switches protagonist, from Kino to former prince Shizu, as he learns about the oppressive upper-class and the cursed lower-class, who seem to know that their ship has been slowly sinking over time, and yet refuse to do anything about it.
On the ship country, he is guided by young girl Ti, and he soon learns of the ship’s eventual doom. When he attempts to confront the rules, Tower Clan, he is met by Kino, who also happens to be on-board. Mysteriously, Tower Clan decide to make Shizu king of the country, and with this power, he runs the ship ashore, offering the population freedom. However, with no desire or need to leave, they remain onboard, leaving him, Ti, talking dog Riku, Kino and Hermes on dry land.
Firstly, it was a no-murder rule, then Kino implementing a battle royale, then Kino interfering in a moving country invading another. I can sort of see now what said critic was on about, in the subtle political messages this show is giving out.
No real political messages in my classic/out-of-season show, however. Episode 4 of The Woman Called Fujiko Mine sees her being sent to protect a jewelled mask from an Italian opera singer, who is not only the target of Lupin (who wants to steal the mask), but who appears to be cursed by the ‘ghost’ of the opera house. While the police, who make their first proper appearance this week, convinced that Lupin and the ghost are the same thing, Fujiko learns that the opera singer is, in fact, a stand-in, and the real singer lives underneath the stage.
This week was an especially stylish episode; the operatic theme most likely had something to do with that, though. This is also another episode where we see that Fujiko is more than just the moral-less con artist and thief she thinks she is. Of course I’m only a third of the way through the show, and so much more can happen.
Do I feel better after dropping a show? Oh yes, definitely. I’m enjoying Land of the Lustrous, Kino’s Journey, Love Live! Sunshine!! 2 and The Woman Called Fujiko Mine at a very leisurely pace. Also kind of handy that the 3 ‘current season’ shows all come out very close to each other (Kino’s Journey is Fridays, while Land of the Lustrous and Love Live! Sunshine!! 2 is Saturdays).