Cinnabar (シンシャ, Shinsha) is the only Gem who goes on night patrol. Due to their body producing a poison (Mercury) which is harmful to Gems and living things, they are isolated and ashamed of themselves. They hate fighting and hate to be seen.
According to Rutile, Cinnabar has an extraordinary amount of talent and combat ability, but is too much to handle due to their uncontrollable poison that ruins everything it touches. Cinnabar's silver poison gathers faint light at night, which keeps them awake and aware while night patrolling. According to Kongo-sensei, the night patrol is something Cinnabar came up with by themselves.
They used to spend their time during the day in Hollow Cape waiting for the Lunarians to take them since they thought they may at least be of use to them. They are knowledgeable about things other Gems don't know and was recommended by the Gems for Phosphophyllite's work on the encyclopedia.
After accidentally hearing their secret and wish, Phos promises to help Cinnabar find a job more suited to them than night patrol, "a fun job only they can do".
From the Official Website :
- They have a hardness of 2. Because of the unique form in which poison emits from their body inexhaustibly. They are in charge of patrolling at night— though Lunarians do not appear—to be at a safe distance from the other Gems. They are wise and thoughtful.
They have a red color scheme and wear the winter uniform year-round. They wear black oxfords and sometimes black gloves when touching something, but no socks. They have a medium length, asymmetrical haircut with a longer section that hangs in front of their face. They have a cowlick in the anime.
Cinnabar is gloomy and hates themself for dirtying the things around them with their poison, though they are outwardly aggressive and dispassionate towards others. According to Kongo-sensei, Cinnabar is far too wise and too kind to be alone. Although they try not to show it, they have a tiny sliver of hope that Phos will be able to fulfill their promise. They are depicted as being intelligent and mindful of things, able to provide Phos with some information they needed for their encyclopedia.
Cinnabar also seems to have a form of social anxiety, as in Chapter 65, they have a hard time talking to Kongo-sensei as well as their fellow gems.
When encountering Phos each time, they seem doubtful of their words and outwardly annoyed with them, even going so far as to run away at one point. But they are the only gem they regularly speak to, with even Diamond only coming by sporadically.
After the 220-year time skip, Cinnabar is shown to be much happier and returned to live at the school, though they still find it difficult to talk with others. They seem to have a close bond with Bort.
Cinnabar is able to pull out mercury from them to use for different reasons, mainly for battle. The mercury seems to be abundant and a constant supply of it is available to them. They are able to manipulate it in the air and from a distance, and some small droplets of it constantly hover around Cinnabar. They seem to not be in complete control of the mercury, and sometimes release it without wanting to. The mercury also allows them to stay up during the night due to its reflective properties shining light.
The mercury is called "liquid poison" by the other characters within the series. It's known to damage both organic life and the Gems. Often with spills, the area becomes inhabitable for a long time afterwards, often looking dead after later observation. In terms of the Gems, the mercury is known to damage surfaces it is exposed to and causes light to be blocked from reaching those parts, requiring the pieces to be removed. Current known Gems who have been damaged by their mercury are: Phosphophyllite, Bort, and Padparadscha.
- Lives in isolation so as not to infect others with venom.
- As solitary and isolated as ever. Dark and angry no matter what.
- The night watcher. As solitary and isolated as ever. Opts not to wear the summer uniform to avoid getting dirty.
- Being clever sometimes makes it impossible to take action.
- Living as solitary as ever, and excreting venom as usual.
- Likes to overthink things.
- Doesn't want to see the snow defiled by venom, and so does not want to patrol during the winter.
- Understands Kongo's loneliness better than anyone.
- Made a friend.
- Cinnabar is a talented fighter but their body's poisons cause life around them to die. A long time ago, Kongo-sensei wanted them to accept their condition and simply be content with living, but Cinnabar insisted on contributing and doing a job. They came up with the idea of patrolling the land at night where they would not disturb anyone else. Not wanting to reject Cinnabar's own idea, Kongo-sensei agreed to the plan. He once explained this situation to Phos and apologized for still being unable to find a solution to Cinnabar's condition.
- Cinnabar plays a major part in the story as a driving force for Phosphophyllite's actions. They both meet directly for the first time when Cinnabar protects Phos from a surprise attack by the Lunarians. During this time, Cinnabar reveals the shame they feel at their body and wishes the Lunarians would take them away. Phos promises to find them a fun job that only they can do. While Cinnabar does not usually play a direct role in the events of the story afterward, they do act as an insightful advisor and consultant for Phos as well as the other Gems.
- When Phos was believed to have turned into a slug, Diamond seeks Cinnabar's advice on how to turn them back. Cinnabar did not believe Diamond and says that the slug they carry is just an ordinary slug. They further explain that those types of animals eat rocks and minerals to build their own shells, thus indirectly helping Diamond realize that Phos was in fact incorporated into the slug's shell.
- After Phos was brought back from the sea, they washed up on shore close to Cinnabar's cave and they took Phos back to the school.
- When Shiro attacked the school and was split into copies, one of them was found along with Bort's shoes by Cinnabar. Phos took them back, as well as told Cinnabar about their suspicions that Kongo-sensei is somehow related to the Lunarians. Cinnabar reveals that they were already aware of that and everyone else was also aware. While the other Gems have chosen to believe in Kongo no matter what, Cinnabar has not quite made up their mind yet.
- Later, Phos claims to have found Cinnabar a new job helping them find out the truth about Kongo. Cinnabar berates Phos because they promised a fun job that they would like. Phos admits this job is not fun at all, but would still like Cinnabar to help because it is a job that only they can do. Cinnabar asks what Phos would do if they found out a horrible truth about Kongo, to which Phos cannot answer, causing Cinnabar to doubt the other Gem. Phos praises them for their judgment and says that that is the quality that makes them suitable for the job. They leave but promise to come back again to once more attempt to recruit Cinnabar.
The following article contain spoilers for non manga readers
- After Phos loses their head and gains Lapis's, they eventually approach Cinnabar once again to ask about the Admirabilis and memories they lost. Cinnabar informs them that Cinna only found Phos on the beach, and only informed Sensei as to what happened in the sea. Cinnabar notices differences in Phos's personality, connecting it to Lapis.
- Cinnabar doesn't go to the Moon with Phos and remains behind with the other Gems.
- They protect the School beside Bort during Phos's second return, and end up being damaged by Padparadscha during the fight. However, their mercury ends up on Bort and Padparadscha. This causes Bort to lose most of their hair, which Cinnabar apologizes for. Bort and Cinnabar are partners from this point.
- Cinnabar is present when Bort attacks Phos upon Phos's third return to Earth, remarking that they should keep Phos's pieces far away enough that Phos will be unable to get them. They suggest this again when Phos is shattered a second time in front of all the Gems and Sensei, and to be hidden and scattered by different Gems so that the Lunarians are unable to retrieve Phos. This goes against Euclase's wishes, who wants Phos to be able to speak and explain what's happening, which ultimately gets ignored as the other Gems agree to Cinnabar's plan.
- Although Cinnabar doesn't participate in attacking Phos when they are reassembled 220 years later, it's revealed in Phos's escape that Cinnabar had kept the writing pad that Phos was supposed to use for the encyclopedia all this time.
- Cinnabar is asked if they think Diamond is alright, since they are around the same age, to which Cinna remarks that Dia is probably doing better than they should be.
- Cinnabar joins the team to assist with the ice floes, but doesn't break them. New Morganite remarks that Cinnabar should cheer the other Gems on if they don't want to just stand there. Cinnabar shows hesitance before shouting encouragement to the others, to which the other Gems cheer back. Cinnabar is shown smiling and Sensei remarks that is a blessing to see Cinna happy for once. Cinna quickly falls back into their pessimism at his statement, stating that they wished Antarcticite was still around.
- Cinnabar sleeps for the first time in centuries within the School. They are given a box to sleep in that would allow them to as well as control their poison.
- After celebrating Sensei's "birthday", Cinna witnesses the arrival of Lunarians and Phos. They quickly change into their winter uniform along with the other Gems and are told to protect Sensei, although they attempt to help Bort.
- They are tasked with guarding Sensei, and eventually face off against Phos as Phos beats Jade. Cinnabar ends up the last wall of defense before Phos can reach Sensei. Phos attempts to manipulate Cinnabar's self esteem in order to win, which proves to be useless. They both fight using their liquid metal, resulting in them both shattering but ultimately Phos defeats Cinnabar. Cinnabar thanks Phos for following through with Phos' promise of getting them to be with the other Gems. Cinnabar is then shattered.
Whose room is beside theirs, says they can't relax near them. Generally, the Gems all know that they tend to not bother others, but their own existence itself is harmful so they can't help but avoid them.
Dia is friendly to Cinnabar as they were born in the same year and also because of their personality; they can see what Cinnabar means between words, much to their annoyance. Diamond says that Cinnabar's comment about Phos is more than what they said in the last century. To Cinnabar, Diamond is kind of weird.
Cinnabar first said they envied Phosphophyllite since the latter is wanted by the Lunarians. They want to leave the night duty so when Phos promised they will find Cinnabar a job suited for them, they can't help but feel a little hopeful. Cinnabar saves Phos multiple times, making Phos determined to help them back. They picked up Phos' notepad, but did not give it back to them yet. Though they agreed that Phos is useless and a disappointment, they always remember Phos promise and has held off on labeling them as a liar. Phos themselves is kind of happy to be depended on, as both actually are weak and not useful for their society.
When asked by Phos whether they trust sensei or not, Cinnabar replies that they are still observing. On the contrary, Kongo-sensei cares for them, telling them that they're worth something just by being alive, though they still can't find the best solution for them. Due to recent developments, Cinnabar is less reliant on Phos getting them a job, but reveals to Phos that it is ultimately because of Phos that they were able to be with the other Gems and they are thankful for it.
- Mineral: Sulfide
- Chemistry: HgS
- Color: Red, brownish-red
Cinnabar and cinnabarite, likely deriving from the Greek κινναβαρι (kinnabari), refer to the common bright scarlet to brick-red form of mercury(II) sulfide, that is the most common source ore for refining elemental mercury, and is the historical source for the brilliant red or scarlet pigment termed vermilion and associated red mercury pigments.
Cinnabar has been used for its color since antiquity in the Near East, including as a rouge-type cosmetic, in the New World since the Olmec culture, and in China since as early as the Song dynasty, where it was used in coloring lacquer-ware. Associated modern precautions for use and handling of cinnabar arise from the toxicity of the mercury component, which was recognized as early as ancient Rome.
"To think they'd be on higher level than me, a gem useless since birth. How impressive..!" - Phosphophyllite, about Cinnabar.
"I don't want to dirty anything more than I already have. I don't want to be seen. It's so shameful.. I don't want to fight." - Cinnabar, in Chapter Two.
"Someone like you, who is beloved even on the moon.. couldn't understand what it feels like to be lonely." - Cinnabar, to Phos
- Cinnabar in Japanese originally written as '辰砂/shinsha' in kanji (roughly means "dragon sand"), but in the series written as シンシャ/Shinsha in katakana.
- Kongō-sensei and Cinnabar/Shinsa are the only Gems who use Japanese names instead of English in the original Japanese version.
- Cinnabar's poison doesn't have a name, only called "poison" or "venom", but it is most likely mercury.
- Their hair is red, but it is more purplish in the animation PV.
- Despite the rest of the Gems getting a necklace in the collaboration with TASAKI, Cinnabar did not. This is due to the fact that Cinnabar in real life is toxic.
- Cinnabar is the first character to appear and speak in the anime adaptation.
- Unlike in the manga where it was the Amethyst Twins, Cinnabar is the one to save Phos from the lunarians the second time.
- They seem to not care about getting shattered, as they are okay with possibly being shattered beyond repair in Chapter Two.