Houseki no Kuni First Impressions (1-2): Very shiny

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I didn’t get a chance to write about this series last week, but that’s really not a comment on the show itself. I had no idea what this show was going to be, but I’ve been finding it pretty enjoyable so far. I’m still lost on the story overall, but I’ve found the characters to be particularly entertaining. The world that’s being presented is also interesting (and I swear I’m not just saying that because my dad is a geologist).

Probably the most noticeable aspect of the show is the heavy CG. I’m not really an expert, but I think it’s been fine so far. I’d also add that the fact that characters are all anthropomorphized minerals also helps make it feel more appropriate. I also wanted to make a quick comment about sound too. I definitely noticed some familiar sound effects during the battle scenes from Seikaisuru Kado…it hasn’t been a problem yet, though.

Getting into the episodes themselves, the first episode felt way lighter in tone than the second episode. Sure, the danger and fighting were mentioned, but the overall feel from the episode was that the show might just explore these characters. The second episode, on the other hand, gets a lot more aggressive, even ending with a fake cliffhanger putting Phos, the main character, in danger.

Focusing in a bit more on the second episode, I thought the idea brought up with the character Diamond was an interesting flipping of the script. Diamond, similar to her namesake stone, is very popular and brilliant among the gems, but she’s constantly outshined by Bort, normally the most undesirable of diamonds. The idea that “hardness isn’t everything” is pretty standard, though.

I still have my complaints with the series, though. The explanations so far have felt lackluster for the most part. In some situations, they’ve felt completely lacking. For example, take this scene from the first episode when it’s revealed that the gems can be “repaired”. The doctor explains that the gems are composed of microscopic organisms, but doesn’t really explain why that allows them to be repaired. But being composed of microscopic organisms is pretty common for multicellular organisms…

Anyway, I’m honestly curious to see where this series goes. I certainly want to know more about this world.

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