Houseki no Kuni – Episode 8 [Antarcticite]
Having saved Phos from sinking, Antarcticite dives underwater to try to find the creature that bit off Phos’ arms but can’t find anything. At risk of being pulverized by submerged chunks of ice, Antarcticite surfaces and the two return home to report to Master Kongo.
Master Kongo comforts a distressed Antarcticite, and Phos tries (but fails) to cheer up her comrade. Master Kongo tells the two jewel people to search the Chord Shore for materials that could be used to make new arms for Phos.
When the two finally arrive at the Chord Shore, it’s very cold and blustery. They see a red thing resembling a person being “birthed” from the cliffside, but it doesn’t not take the full form of a jewel person and instead crashes to the ground below. Antarcticite clears the ground of snow to see if there are any useable materials, but all they find is gold and platinum. These metals are too heavy and malleable to be used as limbs, so Antarcticite initially passes on them.
But they change their mind, and they attempt to graft two new arms for Phos. As Antarcticite originally thought, the arms are too heavy to be useful. But suddenly Phos’ new makeshift arms start to grow and change on their own, branching outwards like coral! It slowly starts to swallow them up, and Phos is unable to do anything to stop it. To make matters worse, the sun clears and the Lunarians attack the two!
Not only are they after Phos and Antarcticite, but hundreds of Lunarians also try to slow down Master Kongo as he leaves to help the two jewel people. He casts a spell to get rid of them, but their vapor turns into confining shackles that inhibit his movement. Of course that isn’t strong enough to hold Master Kongo back, and he is eventually able to free himself.
But while that’s happening, Antarcticite is forced to fight the Lunarians by themselves as Phos is now encased in a gold cube filled with liquid gold. Antarcticite destroys the largest Lunarian, but as with the new type Amethyst faced, it doesn’t disperse upon its destruction. Instead stone lures on long strings emerge from the holes in its torso and fly out towards Antarcticite to restrain them. They manage to break the big Lunarian by pulling on the lures and strings, which causes the entire cloud to explode. Antarcticite manages to survive, but is very badly damaged.
They try to break Phos out of their golden cube by chipping away at it, and while the two are bickering Antarcticite is destroyed by a sneak Lunarian attack. Their final words to Phos are for Phos to look after Master Kongo and make sure he doesn’t get lonely, and to take care of winter in their stead. ;~;
The Lunarians come to collect the shards of Antarcticite, and take them away. Phos is unable to contain their rage from inside the cube and discovers that they can control the gold using their emotions as fuel, so to speak. Phos manages to fashion themselves some arms and uses them to try to attack the Lunarians, but can’t reach them in time.
Master Kongo arrives in time to catch Phos as they fall to the ground after their final attempt to attack the Lunarians. The gold has seeped through some of the cracks in their body and acted as a type of glue, but Phos is still dangerously close to breaking into pieces.
My thoughts: I thought it was a nice touch that there was a scene included where we got to see how the jewel people are “born”. We already knew the jewel people are super old, often having lifespans in the hundreds or even thousands of years. But if you think about it, technically the jewel people are much older than that if you include the time before they were born where they existed as raw materials embedded in a mountain.
Also, if the Lunarians know about the existence of the Chord Shore, why do they not take their precious metals and gemstones from the debris on the ground or the mountainside, instead of trying to kill the jewel people and harvest their fragments? Do they get some kind of sick enjoyment out of destroying a living creature?
Ahhh, poor Antarcticite. T___T And poor Phos. At this rate Phos will be some kind of hybrid or chimera, being made up of several different types of jewel/metals…