Land of the Lustrous
Titles receiving my highest recommendation are often the most difficult to put into words why they're so good. That's especially hard when one of the best features is the incredible amount of imagination involved. The lore of Land of the Lustrous is incredible, becoming one of those titles you can lose yourself in by feeling like you're exploring something just by watching it. It's not just a matter of a good back story, it's more like this anime lives out a complex mythology.
Each of the characters is a type of jewel stone. While human in appearance, this is mostly an odd tradition, as each of the characters paint themselves in a flesh tone to appear human; something which no longer exists in the world. They don't have any sex either, although most appear and act somewhat girlish. They lack breasts for instance. Characters are affected by their skill and personality, but their gem type also affects how they fair in combat. Generally harder stones do better, which is a problem for Phos who is among the most frail. If broken they can be glued back together and eventually become whole again, however losing any part forever means losing a part of who they are (like memories for instance).
This becomes an odd method of character development, as Phos starts the show as a flaky free spirit, but over the course of her many adventures loses parts of herself. This leads to Phos receiving "parts" to replace what she's lost which are no longer even Phosphophyllite. And during the winter, she undergoes a huge transformation in personality due to event trauma and what is replaced. She's among the most interestingly developed characters I've watched in anime.
The other characters are great. Many of them don't have a back story per say, but they are an intricate part of the world itself. Aside from great drama, Land of the Lustrous has good comedy moments too. Its worth mentioning that this anime doesn't use any traditional cell animation. In this case CG was probably the better choice anyway since it does a lot of things which I'm not sure could be done with traditional methods with a sane budget.
As it stands now it's still in the middle of the story, with so many mysterious and story points yet to be revealed. Normally I'd hold back on my scoring for that reason, but the story accomplishes a hell of a lot. Not to mention the amazing development of characters thus far. It's rare for anime to come together with the level of imagination and story telling that Land of the Lustrous does, so it easily gets my highest recommendation.
Ventricousus: Rigorous meaningful work is the best medicine against questioning one's place in the world.
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