Unlike the last time Phos disappeared, the other gems are actually worried and organize a search party after they realize that Phos went into the ocean. It’s physically exhausting for the gems so they can’t go too far, and even after searching for hours they come up short.
Meanwhile Phos has been handed over to the Lunarians, and Ventricosus waits for them to uphold their side of the deal – to give back her brother, Aculeatus. Unfortunately the Lunarians don’t play fair, and want her to use Phos as bait to capture more of the gems for them. V refuses and they turn on her…. but Aculeatus suddenly wakes up and goes berserk, destroying them in the process, and both he and his sister – with Phos – manage to escape. Phos seems to have taken the betrayal rather well, understanding that Ventricosus had he reasons, and out of sympathy and guilt the two Admirabilis bring them back home – along with a special gift: parts of Aculeatus’s shell.
Because Phos lost their legs when the Lunarians attacked them, things are looking pretty grim – they obviously cant walk, and to make matters worst, a gem’s memories are contained within its body and so losing part of it results in considerable memory loss, and two legs is a lot. However Phos is able to have new legs constructed by the parts of Aculeatus’s shell – which contain Argite. Because the Argite is a much higher hardness than Phosphophyllite, the new legs are stronger – although Phos requires considerable rehabilitation to learn to use them.
Parts of this episode were absolutely visually stunning – there was some wonderful, brilliant use of colour in the beginning with Phos, the Admirabilis and the Lunarians. That entire scene was one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen in this show so far, although it still managed to have an atmosphere that was thoroughly frightening. However, now that I’m catching up on the manga, I dont really think Phos looked scared enough. In the manga they’re dwarfed by the one giant Lunarian and shaking, but anime-Phos just seems a little stunned.
Although he sadly doesn’t get to do a great deal (although giving Phos parts of his shell are a big deal I suppose), I really love Aculeatus’s design. He doesn’t look remotely like Ventricosus though, especially in ‘snail form’ (which looks more like some kind of gummy dog), so the Admirabilis species continues to confuse me. I kinda wanna see his small cutesy form, if he has one.
I’d heard long before about Phos getting new legs so I’d always been interested in how that came to be – and to be honest I didn’t expect it was something that happened so early in the story. I had been wondering how Phos was going to get over their obvious handicap of their almost uselessly low hardness level, and this is certainly one method. I also just really liked the general warm fuzzies of Phos realizing they are now able to do something really well for a change – that is, run ridiculously fast.
Out of 5, 1/2
This episode introduces us to a few new gems – two of which we have seen briefly before. Yellow Diamond and Zircon are partners, but unfortunately Zircon is not Yellow’s first, and possibly not their last. Since Yellow is so valuable – they’re the eldest of the gems as well as the fastest, their partners always always end up putting themselves in danger in order to protect them – a fate that has apparently already claimed the likes of Green Diamond, Ruby, Saphire and Pink Topaz. Zircon also gets decapitated by the Lunarians – but luckily their pieces are able to be taken back and repaired. Despite this apparent complex, Yellow is relatively cheerful, and their speed ends up coming in handy as the only one who can catch Phos – because Phos’s fancy new legs have granted them a speed so fast and ridiculous they can’t even control it.
Yellow also takes it apon themselves to help find Phos a partner – because Phos is determined to use their new legs to help fight alongside the other gems. Kongo seems against it, but eventually decides to allow Phos to team up with Amethyst – a wise choice, as Amethyst is actually two gems in one, so there would be less chance of Phos weighing anyone down. The new teams first assignment is to patrol the western plateau, which ends up being far more uneventful than Phos originally assumed. Gradually, they start to get used to the somewhat boring, mundane work of patrolling – perhaps a little too used to it, because eventually the Lunarians do attack. This time, they have a new type of weapon and poor Phos can only watch in horror as both Amethysts are taken by it.
This was a really good episode for quite a few reasons – I’d been wanting to see more of Yellow Diamond and Zircon, although their part in the episode is shorter than Amethysts’s. They’re two of the more masculine gems – everyone also calls Yellow ‘niisan’, and I was glad to notice their more masculine/androgynous voice. I really like Yellow, but I:m actually more interested in Zircon. I was hoping we’d get to learn more about them, but unfortunately all they really do is get themselves decapitated. (It’s okay, it’s just a flesh wound! …a rock wound?) I remember when the first few episodes had aired a few people were asking why more common gems like saphire and ruby weren’t ‘canon’ – well there’s your answer, they always have been, but they’re presumably kidnapped or otherwise destroyed. (To be honest, I’d never even heard of a green diamond, so I am now wondering exactly how many Diamonds there are)
I also really like the Amethysts – they’re cute in the manga, but I think I prefer them in the anime. They’re movements and lazy, cute voices add a lot to their characterisation. Having them react to every mundane thing they saw and freak Phos out every time actually made me laugh, and seeing them get hurt was actually pretty frightening. The entire scene of the patrol was done in such a way that it actually felt like I was lazing around with them, so having that moment suddenly interrupted in such a jarring way was pretty striking.
Reading other peoples reactions to the end of the episode, I’m kind of annoyed how many people are blaming Phos for the Amethysts getting injured and almost kidnapped. It’s true that Phos could have run for help, especially with those new legs, but they were paralyzed with fear – something incredibly bizarre and unexpected had just happened – and very quickly, too. (pro-tip: just because something happens in slowmotion, it doesn’t mean thats the actual speed of whats happening. It’s cinematic effect.) On top of that…had Phos not been there, the same thing would have happened? I’m really surprised and to be honest kind of annoyed how much hate Phos seems to be getting from the western viewers, because Phos is absolutely precious and still my favourite character. (Just an observation, but I’ve noticed the bulk of this hate comes from people who still insist on calling them ‘she’, and I’m beginning to wonder if this is just another character flaw that people judge (perceived) female characters for way harsher than they would other characters.)