Houseki no Kuni – Episode 9 [Spring]
Spring has finally arrived, and the jewel people are finally starting to awaken. However a surprise awaits them: Antarcticite has been stolen, and Phos has been slicing up the ice floes in their place. But is this really Phos?? They don’t look anything like they used to prior to hibernation…
It is indeed Phos, as the other jewel people learn. Though in their grief, Phos has modeled themselves after Antarcticite. Their hair is now cut cropped close to their head, and they have a perpetual cold, distant look on their face. Sometimes, as shown during a quiet, almost parental moment between Phos and Master Kongo, Phos’ eyes will cry tears of gold (although they both perceive the tears to be a “defect” and not a sign of grief).
At the morning meeting with Phos and the rest of the jewel people, Master Kongo fills the sleepy jewels in on the loss of Antarcticite during the winter, and Phos provide details behind Antarcticite’s capture. Phos uses their arms like tentacles during this presentation, and it freaks the other jewel people out. Phos tries to reassure them but to no avail.
Later when Rutile is reapplying “skin powder” to make Phos look human again, some of the jewel people get over their newfound fear of Phos’ arms and approach Phos to ask certain things. They want to try to stretch Phos’ arms while Red Beryl is upset about having to make Phos new clothes, and Rutile wants to test how Phos’ new arms will break. Phos hides up in the rafters but is spotted by Bort and Diamond, who want to fight Phos and test how Phos’ body holds up in a fight.
All of this new fame and attention is overwhelming for Phos, and they reach out to Master Kongo for help. He makes the jewels line up and Phos uses the distraction to run free. Out near the cliffs Phos runs into Cinnabar and tries to lie about making progress on finding a job for them, but Cinnabar sees right through the lie and is not impressed.
Back at home Master Kongo finally passes out, so Jade assigns Phos to a patrol. While on said patrol Phos bumps into Amethyst in twin form, and sure enough the Lunarians show up. Phos wastes no time demonstrating their alloy’s new abilities and easily defeats the Lunarians without even breaking a sweat. Diamond and Bort watch (from afar) the purple-haired jewels go crazy over Phos, and for some reason Bort is upset…
My thoughts: That’s an interesting thought: with only jewel people for companionship, is Master Kongo lonely? Assuming he’s human, how can he live knowing he’ll never see another of his kind in his lifetime?
The only other comments I really have about this episode are about Phos’ depressing transformation. I mean WOW! To feel that much grief and guilt over a lost comrade that you change your appearance to match theirs? That you change your general attitude and behaviour towards others? I imagine that grief or guilt is the reason why Phos couldn’t sleep after Antarcticite’s abduction and chose to stay up (leaving to a very tired Master Kongo, poor guy).
In a sense, to me Antarcticite’s death is the catalyst for Phos’ maturity. Up until this point in the series they’ve still been rather carefree and responsibility-less, even after Amethyst’s near death. However to actually lose someone for the first time in their life is a scary event, especially if someone feels like they are to blame for it happening. I can see why Phos underwent such a radical translation, honestly (but I still hate their new haircut!!).
I’m curious about why Bort still seems to dislike Phos so much, and it looks like this grudge will be explored in the next episode. See you guys next week!