[Eleven] Material Loss

“I wish I hadn’t thrown the sword. I wish I’d reached out my hand”


This passing thought of Phos’ in episode nine of Land of the Lustrous kept playing back in my head last week as I sorted through the amalgam of junk laying around my temporary quarters. My family and I were moving back into our newly renovated apartment and I was tasked with cleaning out the stacks of random doodads and documents that were crammed into my room after we first moved out last month. That particular line of dialogue implied feelings and ideas far beyond that of a hesitation to discard, but at the time my preoccupations had me focused more on that idea.

For the lustrous and sensei, what does it mean to throw something away? We learned in an earlier episode that Phos’ hesitation to leave Ventricosus’ mighty wooden carriage behind was something the gems learned from sensei; they were taught to “take good care of things”. As immortal beings, it makes perfect sense as to why they’d be more inclined to conserve as they’d definitely live long enough to see the effects of careless littering. But asides from the potential environmental messages, the idea of keeping around and caring for inanimate everyday objects is something I, and I’m sure many others in the community, can understand.

These pieces of their everyday hold in them value far beyond the sum of their material parts. As beings that fight day in and day out to live just a little longer and as people who can, at any point, lose parts of themselves along with their memories, the minor constants in their lives represent pieces of them that can’t be so easily lost. Dia’s flowerpot – filled with their feelings for Bort, the wooden bowl – now empty after the departure of Ventricosus, sensei’s table – worn down and once broken, and of course Antarticite’s sword – the permanent reminder of a missing someone.

As tempted as I was to indiscriminately throw out the piles of old junk that crowded the room, I could empathize with the desire to hold on to these physical representations of happy moments, fond memories, and symbols of the past. These useless artifacts are reminders of who we once were, what we once loved, and how far we’ve come since then. Their value to us, just like for the lustrous extend beyond their immediate worth and for that alone, they’re worth keeping around.


…I said to myself, to keep some semblance of sanity.

Thanks for reading,



This is my second of twelve posts that I’ll be publishing as part of the 12 days of Anime event. Be sure to check out all other amazing writers that are participating in this year’s event here.

9 thoughts on “[Eleven] Material Loss

  1. We moved a lot when I was a kid… And happily I ended up something of an extrovert because of it. “A stranger is just an old friend you haven’t met yet”, rather than ending up introverted as many do.

    But the flip side of that is I also developed a verging-on-the-unhealthy fixation with keeping “stuff” because stuff was my continuity lifeline. This past summer, we had to downsize radically, and many days I quit early… Not because my back or shoulder problems were causing me pain, but from the mental exhaustion of having to get rid of so much “stuff”.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah, ah…
    My family and I owned a very big TV for 13 years. My dad won it at a contest. We just had to get rid of it because it broke down and was now unrepairable. It was just a TV, and now we have a better one, but we spent so much time with the old one, watched so many movies and shows, watched so many soccer matches, and laughed a lot around it that it was really sad when the charity came to pick it up.

    A very sad material loss, indeed.

    Thanks for writing this, Carriage.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I hadn’t thought of the potential environmental messages in Land of the Lustrous. That’s probably a super interesting line of though to go down. I’d volunteer myself, but I’ll see how I feel after the next week and a half of non-stop writing.

    Certainly the fact that the gems can lose memories along with physical belongings adds a dimension to the theme of loss that is hard to truly quantify. Since the earliest episodes, the show has been reminding me of the painful nature of dementia among the elderly, and how their situation is not so far apart from what we see the gems go through. I don’t feel entirely qualified to talk about the topic from that angle, but I’d love to see that comparison explored in further detail.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh go for it! Sounds like an interesting read 🙂
      The slow loss of memories with age (probably featuring yellow diamond) would be a really cool angle for the show to go on (as unlikely as it seems that it’ll go in this direction). I would like to see someone make that comparison though!

      Tangents are always welcome~

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ohhhhhh damn this is (imagine a lot of 100% emojis coming) some good shit.

    I personally (and perhaps logically) gravitate more toward the bowl as an example of the kind of thing you’re talking here—and what a delicate, unthinking (in a good way) moment that is from Phos—but it sure was delightful reading you go, “Hey, I know this isn’t exactly what the show was saying, but here’s what it made me think.”

    I have in a box in my closet a number of random odds and ends—shiny rocks I loved as a child, messages from high school friends—and find myself often possessed of a similar inability to discard.

    P.S. Your writing is charming, please keep it up!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m really happy to hear that you liked it!
      I was honestly surprised at the reception this, especially with all the personal responses – although I suppose sentimentality over little things is something common to all of us.
      This is very encouraging so thank you for that ^ ^

      Liked by 1 person

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