NOTE: This article contains spoilers! Read with caution.
|Moon People / 月人|
|First appearance||Vol. 1, Ch. 1|
|Also known as||The Spirit|
The Moon People (月人, tsukijin, Literally meaning "Moon People"), sometimes translated as Lunarians, are a species that inhabits the Moon. They are the main antagonists of the series and constantly attack the Gems in order to collect their gemstone bodies to be used as weapons and decorations. They have also defeated and captured the Admirabilis to use them as cattle. Their leader is Prince Aechmea.
The Moon People that come to the Land are various types of humanoid beings with a Buddhist motif. They appear as pale, smooth genderless beings with blank eyes and flowing clothes adorned with bands and beads. In the various animated versions, they are portrayed with white skin and yellow or pink shades on their clothing and accessories.
When they attack the Gems, they appear far in the sky from a black portal-like apparition called a "sunspot". According to Euclase, sunspots appear approximately once every three days for any season except winter. They only appear during sunny days, never at night or on rainy days, and only rarely during the winter as the sky is often cloudy.
From this sunspot, a cloud-like platform comes forth, carrying the Moon People in a parade with one large Moon Person at the center surrounded by many normal-sized Moon People. The appearance of the large central Moon Person varies each time but always has fancier clothing and headgear. They always carry a large bowl meant to hold captured Gems, and have a shining halo around their head. The normal-sized Moon People act as the entourage for this central figure, playing instruments, waving poles and banners, or drawing their weapons. They are the ones who battle with the Gems and collect them if victorious. They have only been shown using ranged weapons such as bows and javelins. If the center figure is destroyed, the cloud and all the other Moon People will melt and disperse. Their bodies and weapon are solid, but when destroyed will disperse without any remains. The Gems usually disperse them by cutting them with their swords, or even sharp parts of their own bodies that have been broken.
The Gems usually cut the central figure horizontally, splitting the top from the bottom. When sliced like this, the inside of the center figure can be seen. It is often hollow with multiple petal-shaped holes, much like the inside of a lotus root. Normally, the Moon People will disappear once the center figure is cut like this, but more powerful Moon People have appeared as well. Instead of dispersing when the central figure is cut, these new types will release another weapon from its holes. These weapons are forged from captured Gems and can range from anything like gem-tipped arrows, gem-tipped crushing devices, and even explosive gem bombs. Once the special weapon is defeated, or the lower half of the central figure destroyed, the Moon People will disappear.
The most common way the Gems defeat the Moon People is by cutting them down with their swords. Other techniques include deflecting their own arrows or javelins back at them. Kongo-sensei is able to disperse them by using his hand to flick small specks of gems at them, causing them to explode. Cinnabar also has a different method of fighting them by covering them with a torrent of the poison produced by their body.
On the Land, the Moon People do not seem to communicate by talking, though they do behave in an organized fashion, attacking and moving in unison almost like a hivemind. Despite that, Ventricosus was shown to be able to communicate with them when they were negotiating. The Gems are not known to have tried to communicate with them in the past, although Phosphophyllite tried once by capturing a Moon Person during an attack and asking it if it understood them. The Moon Person only made a few unclear sounds before it was destroyed by the Amethyst twins (In the anime, it was destroyed by Cinnabar).
When on the Moon, they drop their emotionless facade, talking and acting in a human fashion like the Gems or Admirabilis. It is revealed that they do not talk or breathe on the Land as the thick air is reminiscent of unpleasant things from their past. Their appearance also changes - they have visible pupils and irises, wear their hair down, and also have parts resembling small rabbit ears on the top of their heads.
Like the Gems, the Moon People are immortal and ageless. They are able to recover after being dispersed, though they do so at a much faster rate on the Moon, being able to do so in mere seconds. They seem to be even more resilient than the Gems as they do not require physical reassembling to regenerate. They have been shown eating food and drinking, though it is not clear if they do so for nourishment and energy or if it is just for show and pleasure.
As told by Ventricosus
When Phosphophyllite journeyed into the sea with Ventricosus, ruler of the Admirabilis, she told the Gem about a legend their people had about themselves. Their legend said once there lived animals called humans who lived and preserved the land until it was broken five times. When it broke the sixth time, they entered the seas. It's said that there, they split into three parts; the spirit, flesh, and bone. In other words, humans evolved into three different species and lived on. The Admirabilis are said to be the Flesh, inheriting the ability to reproduce, expand, and pass down knowledge; The Bone are said to have made a contract with other living creatures, gained the ability to live through ages, and returned to the land; and the Spirit are said to be wandering, attempting to regain its flesh and bone. The last one is believed to be the Moon People.
As told by Aechmea
After Phosphophyllite infiltrates the Moon, they meet Aechmea, the Prince of the Moon People, who disputes Ventricosus' idea that they want to become human again. He explains that when humans die, the flesh and bones return to the earth, but the existence of a soul was discovered towards the end of human civilization, . This soul is meant to leave and pass on to the next world, a place of serene nothingness. However, only purified souls can do so, and only through the prayer of living humans can souls be purified. Aechmea explains that they are a conglomeration of unpurified human souls who have become stuck on the Moon, forced to continue existing and experiencing the suffering of life.
Kongo-sensei was a prayer machine created by humans and intended to pray for these souls after all humans had vanished, but for an unknown reason this machine broke down after some time and stopped doing its job. Aechmea explains that they know Kongo cherishes the Gems so the reason for abducting them is to provoke a reaction, "restarting" the machine so that he will once more pray for their souls.
The Moon People are the remnants of unpurified human souls trapped on the Moon and have played an antagonistic role throughout the story. Prince Aechmea describes themselves as "ghosts of garbage", souls who did not even deserve prayer when humans still lived. He says that despite the cheery appearance of his people, they are extremely tired of the eternal life they have with the restless nature of humans. It is perhaps due to this condition that they have become desperate to seek relief, even going so far as to use other species inhumanely.
The Moon People travel to the Land to attack and kidnap the Gems, though there have been times when they went to Kongo directly. They often behave differently towards him, surrounding him with glee, bowing down and reaching out to him as if to plead or beg. Kongo in turn acts quite indifferent to them, dispersing them as promptly as he can and occasionally calling them poor or pitiful things. He has from time to time referred to humans in a negative manner, perhaps implying that he views the Moon People, who are the souls of humans, in the same way.
Aechmea explains that for tens of thousands of years, they have exhausted all methods of getting Kongo to cooperate with them, including pleading, arguing, persuading, demanding, and showing obedience. Their current medium-term plan is to display themselves in the same clothing worn by the humans who Kongo was made to obey. Their long-term plan is to grind up the abducted Gems into powder until the Moon shines with their shards, hoping the sight of it will finally persuade Kongo to act.
The Moon People have been attacking and kidnapping the Gems for thousands of years. They seem to treat the Gems without concern as mere objects to be used for their own purposes, whether using them as decorations or grinding them into dust to be spread over the Moon. When Phos was on the Moon, they encountered several Moon People who wanted to break them for the fun of it.
They have experimented with the Gems in the past. At first, they tried to get the cooperation of the Gems they abducted, but the Gems would destroy themselves or behave abnormally. They have also created synthetic Gems, but these could not move or act without genuine inclusions. They then tried to mix the real Gems with the synthetic ones and release them back. But no results were shown so these Gems were recaptured again. Their current long-term plan is to cover the Moon until it shines with their shards, implying that they intend to kidnap many, many more Gems and grind them to dust to do so.
Phosphophyllite was the first Gem to successfully infiltrate the Moon as well as agree to cooperate with the Moon People. Though Aechmea places a lot of hope in Phos, there is still a level of distrust between the two. Aechmea places a fake eye in Phos in order to track everything they do, while Phos cannot be sure how much of what Aechmea tells them is true.
The Moon People have also kidnapped the Admirabilis for their beautiful shells and to use them as cattle. Ventricosus stated that the Moon People captured them all, stole everything in the ocean, and destroyed their homeland. The Admirabilis become their hostage where they were fed with sweet water and moon sand which made them bigger and lose their minds.
Ventricosus believes that the Moon People are illogical beings who love war and are never satisfied with what they have, and since they descended from human souls, this indicates what humans may have been like. Although initially she was willing to lure and sacrifice Phosphophyllite in order to free her brother, she changed her mind as she felt that would make her no better than the Moon People. A hundred years later, her successor Variegatus stated that she wanted to go to the Moon to free the rest of her people, though it is unclear how she intends to do so, whether by force or diplomacy.
For more details, see the full article on The Moon.
The Moon is the Moon People live, containing not only their homes, but also various factories and facilities. Presumably it is the planet's original moon as there are known to be six other moons as well. The Moon People live in a large town-like structure made of special metals and mineral oils that rise from the depths of the Moon. The oils melt at night and resolidify by day so the structure constantly changes. Among the facilities on the Moon are factories for producing synthetic gems, manufacturing weapons, and even a synthetic human factory.
The rest of the Moon is bare and covered in gray dust or sand mixed with the ground shards of abducted Gems. Large Admirabilis can be seen grazing out here.
Special Sunspots and Moon People
The Gems, or more specifically Alexandrite, categorize the Moon People as "new" or "old" types. The old types are the usual sunspots with Moon People that disappear once the central figure is cut down, while the new type refers to all other sunspots whose central figure holds weapons or have other unique phenomenon. The normal human-sized Moon People are called "sundry". The approximate size of a Moon People force can be determined by the number of spokes a sunspot has when it appears.
The Old Type
The normal Moon People attack comes with one larger central figure and a few dozen sundries, usually with bows and arrows or other ranged weapons. This type of sunspots is fairly ordinary and easy to dispatch. Four holes can be seen in the central figure when it is cut horizontally.
The New Type
The new type may look the same as the old one, but not always. Sometimes they have different formation, but still have the bigger figure on the center of cloud. The main differences are: their arrival type and, if the bigger figure sliced, it will release a different weapon from more than four holes and the cloud will be intact. These weapons are usually made from captured gem’s shards.
The Gems await the arrival of the new types, as they often drop shards of gems previously captured by the moon people.
- Chapter 1. When sliced horizontally, it has nine 'petal' holes where additional arrows arise. Heliodor's fragments were used as its arrowheads. Destroyed by Kongo-sensei.
- Chapter 14. The bigger figure has a mirror on its forehead. When sliced horizontally, a thorn-like star comes out. It's assumed that the thorns are made from unknown captured Gems. Destroyed by Bort.
- Chapter 18. The bigger figure has a halo on its head. When sliced horizontally, threads with hooks made of Pink Fluorite come out. Destroyed by Antarcticite.
- Chapter 19. It did not use captured Gems' fragments. It's like the old type, but while it still havs one bigger figure on the center, it also has around eight others the same size, sitting on the lotus flower and circling the figure center. It captured Antarcticite.
- Chapter 33. 'Transport' type. After a while the cloud 'closed' and formed a ball. A black star shape appeared on top of it, where it 'opened’ a gate. Destroyed by Kongo-sensei (and it was assumed also by Bort).
- ch 36: Phos and Ghost engaged with an unusually large unit. Presumably a Transport type. Ghost was captured and Phos was heavily damaged in battle.
- ch39: Another moon person unit attacked. It looked like another Transport type. Presumably finished off by Kongo Sensei.
- ch44: A rather small unit appears. Due to unforeseen circumstances, Ghost ended up losing his arm, and Phos ended up losing his head. Surprisingly, the unit immediately closed up and started to flee even though it was able to destroy Cairngorm into multiple bits immediately afterwards.
- ch48: A medium sized old type unit appears. It was engaged by Phos, Cairngorm, Morganite, and Goshe. Later finished off by Sensei. Phos ended up getting a new hair cut.
Double Sunspots are rare events where two sunspots appear superimposed upon each other. The two enemies brought so far both seem to be related to Kongo and manage to be far more problematic for the Gems than the usual Moon People attacks.
Shiro is the first entity to appear using double sunspots. One sunspot let out a lily-pad platform similar to the one the Moon People usually stand on, while the other let out Shiro himself. At first, the second sunspot was too small to let out Shiro's entire body as he was too large, so Shiro opened even more sunspots to let out his arms and stretch the second sunspot until he could fit through. Shiro battled Bort and Phos shortly before they retreated back to the school, toward which Shiro flew at upon his lily-pad platform.
When cut down, Shiro splits and creates copies of itself rather than vanishing like normal. Each copy gets progressively smaller until the copies all resemble small puppies. When grouped together, the puppies will reform the full-size Shiro. It turns out that Shiro was searching for Kongo-sensei, both of whom seem to know each other. After spending a short time together, Shiro disperses by himself. Kongo hits that it has not returned to the Moon like usual, but has found peace. It is possible that Kongo prayed for Shiro and allowed him to pass on, as was his original purpose, which brings into question why they are not doing the same for the Moon People.
A double sunspot appears at the Yellow Forest. Phosphophyllite, Cairngorm, Peridot, Sphene, Watermelon Tourmaline, and Hemimorphite immediately engage it, though Hemimor and Melon left early to get Sensei and Bort. ch42: While Phos and his allies fought the double sunspot unit, the unit that appeared in ch19 and captured Antarcticite appears. Shown to possess special arrows capable of piercing through gems and swords. Was able to easily crush Phos, Cairngorm, Sphene, and Peridot simultaneously. Phos and his friends were saved by Bort, Zircon, and Melon. Both enemy units were finished off by Bort.
The pieces are later revealed to have been part of a game which was near and dear to Kongo.
Triple Sunspots are even rarer events and have only occurred twice in the story.
A woman clad in white, adorned with a flowery motif. She fell from the triple sunspot in front of Zircon and Bort, where it stood up and waited without answering any questions. It was eventually sliced in two by Phos.
It was eventually revealed to be a forgery imitating the human woman who created Kongo.
A second Triple Sunspot appeared during Phosphophyllite's nighttime raid of the School. The Gems fought amongst themselves to a draw, at which point a Triple Sunspot appeared, revealing a large party of Moon People with Cairngorm at the head. The Moon People finished off the worn out Gems and collected them before heading back to the Moon.
- Like Kongo-sensei, the Moon People have a Buddhist theme.
- The rabbit ears that the Moon People possess when on the moon is likely a reference to the Moon Rabbit legend that exists in many Far Eastern cultures. Whereas in the West, the craters on the Moon are said to resemble a face, in Far Eastern cultures, the craters are said to resemble a rabbit working with a mortar. In Chinese legend, the rabbit is pounding herbs for the Elixir of Life which grants immortality. In the Japanese and Korean versions, the rabbit is pounding the ingredients for rice cake. Additionally, among these legends and myths is the belief that the Moon is inhabited by rabbits.
- In the 2017 anime, the sunspots resemble fractals when they appear and expand. They were most likely inspired by the Buddhabrot fractal set.