Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Jan 7, 2011 to Apr 1, 2011
Producers: Lantis, TBS, Sentai FilmworksL, 8bit, Sony Music Communications, Project IS, Sakura Create
Duration: 24 min. per episode
Rating: R+ - Mild NudityL represents licensing company
Score: 7.381 (scored by 62011 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top anime page.
Popular TagsNo tags found
Sep 23, 2013
The basic premise of Infinite Stratos is set in a world where armored mecha suit, the Infinite Stratos is invented, thus rendering all other technology obsolete. One catch, this suit can only be worn by women.
While this was an interesting premise, the setting itself just attracts questions. Why can only women wear it? What has the effects of this technology had on society? What happened to the political relations of the world after this technology? What governments has used it?
Sadly, none of these questions are satisfyingly answered, because the next portion of the premise is going to make the TRUE premise apparent. While the original premise demanded world-exploration and examination, none of that is shown because the series basically only sets in one place: IS Academy. The place where Students aspiring to learn the techniques of IS from all over the world, where the armor/suit is used as an entertainment device(I will get to this later).
Our Main Character is Ichika Orimura, an average High School student and the only male on the planet so far to discovered to have had the capability to use Infinite Stratos. And because of circumstances, he has to head to IS Academy, a place where he will be the only man.
And because of this setup, the show faithfully follows the route to harem, where 90% of the girls wants the Main Character's D, otherwise is interested(and certainly the main protagonists). Since it sets itself up as a Harem series, what is should do is explore the characters who are complex and makes us care for them, let's see the components of this series:
Coherency/Continunity: While the series sets itself up as a series that begs exploration of the world's politics and what happened in the world after the invention of IS, this is merely a setup where the main character can have a school full of girls all to himself.
The idea that women started to dominate the world is hardly ever shown, since the show secludes itself in the IS Academy. Where contrary to common sense, depicts females just about every other Harem series does! I will get into the characters later. The main point is, the social/political changes is shown without any changes!
And the fact that IS is a weapon(more powerful than any, mind you) begs the question on why has it not been used militarily? A weapon this powerful would have the government SCRAMBLING for it, and certainly not only used as an entertainment device(LOLWUT?). The idea if that if it is women who controls it would lead to world peace is completely illogical and is given as a fact. Any person has the power to commit evil, and being a part of a gender does not exclude you.
Characters: The worst aspect of the series are the characters. Virtually all but one of the female cast is depicted as a Tsundere, and often violent too and nothing outside her stereotype. Rin the Chinese girl and Houki the Japanese girl are basically the same in terms of personality. While Cecilia the British girl have nothing really defines her other than "Ojou-sama" type of character. The only one that is not depicted as a Tsundere is Charlotte, whom is wonderful.
And the main character? About as generic as you get, and so dense that you can't even find it on the periodic table. Ichika is a self-insert character that has to deal with the woes of "GIRLS ALL AROUND ME! OH NOEZ!!" Difficult to achieve an level of empathy to and overall a dumbass to peoples' feelings to an unrealistic degree.
Production: The production of the series is relative above average. By no means is it bad. but the sound is rather generic and nothing I could remember to write home about, although the opening song was somewhat memorable. The character designs are generic by today's standards, again, nothing to write to home about. Although there are several prominent Seiyuus acting in the characters, such as Kana Hanazawa. But obvious incoherencies is show, such as one episode, a character fights the main character but is somehow stopped by Chifuyu's sword... Out of nowhere
Being a mecha anime, there are also fight-scenes featuring the Infinite Stratos'. Probably the best part of the series, unfortunately, are short, insignificant, and CGI-animated
Plot: Wait, what? Oh, the plot. Simply put, there isn't much other than a string of events that puts Ichika in various situations where the main characters fall in love with him. Infinite Stratos, as well as the expected consequences of it existing, is not a part of the plot. A random IS does show up and destroy stuff, but next episode, that is no longer a worry.
If you are here looking for a good plot that maps out the consequences of it's premise, turn around. If you are here looking for an above average harem story with quality characters, go elsewhere. Truthfully, without the ridiculously unnecessarily armored IS, this series is just a generic RomCom Harem series that is barely funny at all.
There are bunch of holes in the plot and story. If you are looking for fanservice and cute girls(relatively) or Charlotte Dunois with a splash of CGI-animated Mecha fighting, come right in.
If there's one thing thats also great about this series, it's that the series does not pretend to be deep or anything that it is not, making it far less cringeworthy for some viewers to enjoy. read more
Jan 21, 2011
If my Greek isn't so rusty, I would confidently say that "Stratos" means "Skies"
But after watching this anime for the first time, I could conclude that Stratos actually means "Harem"
Why? Because when you're the only guy in a girl school, THERE'S INFINITE HAREMS POSSIBLES! Thus they should rename this anime to Infinite Harems!
Now to tell you the truth, I was a bit reluctant to watch this. Oh sure, harem turns me on, like any normal guy, but mecha genre really turns me off.
But after looking through the mecha suit design, "Hey! You can still see the girls! They're not covered under huge piles of metal!" So I decided to give it a shot.
Wow... Was I wrong about this being a whole mecha genre. They focused more on the harem part! What proof do I have you ask?? Other than the fact he is the only guy?? Well in the ending, they add every new girl he added to his "harem" running along with him. HOW DOES THIS NOT SHOW THAT THE ANIME IS GOING TOWARDS THE DIVINE HAREM ROUTE!
The artwork is up to date with your standard mecha genre anime so I see no disappointment there for those who loves mecha with a harem. No, not mecha sex you perverts! And don't you go googling "Inyoku Tokkyuu Zetsurinou" or "Dyogrammaton" neither!
Nothing to add about sound, it's well balanced.
Anyways, onward to the characters! The main aspect of every harem animes!
-Male lead who walks into girl while changing [CHECK]
-Dense Male Harem lead [CHECK]
(If all the guys were dense like the typical male harem leads, we wouldnt need birth control)
-Childhood friend who is likely to be friendzoned by the producers cause somehow anime directors hate Childhood friends [CHECK] x2
-High class lady with a high ego whom parodies western people [CHECK]
(Why do some japanese people think Westerners are all egoistic? Who knows *rolls eyes*)
-A hyper active and high pitched girl with an attitude [MAYBE EVENTUALLY]
-Chinese girl wannabe with a chinese restaurant (Macross frontier reference??) [CHECK]
-YANDERE!!!! [HOPE NOT O_o]
-Glasses Girl [CHECK]
(Well his teacher might go into his harem for all you know!)
(UPDATE: YES SHE DID!!)
-Bossy older sister who is good at everything [CHECK]
-Fangirls of the bossy older sister who are Yuri-able [CHECK]
-The three musketeers! Or the three girls who always appears as background characters! [CHECK]
Mahou Shoujo???? [WOULD BE RIDICULOUS IN A MECHA ANIME BUT WHO KNOWS???]
-Girl crossplaying as a guy with the ability to change very fast due to the fact she has flat chest.. [CHECK]
(Correction: My friend corrected me that in the future, technology is so advance, that breasts can be compressed)
-Women who clearly broke the "Stay in the kitchen" law [CHECK]
Im not being sexist here. I think it's a good thing women are advance and inventing machines........ to make us guys sammiches...
Despite all the criticism, this anime is enjoyable if you just wanna watch something haremic (Yes I invented that word!) but with a touch of action, mecha specificly.
Overall, for all you harem lover who enjoys imagining themselves in a school full of girls and you're the only guy then this is the anime for you!
Even if you do get a renob like me by watching mecha animes. (Oh please don't google renob up...)
For you mecha lovers out there, this might be a disappointment but fear not, every season, new mecha animes are coming in so there's still hope! So put down that gun.. Yes.. slowly, put it down.. Sit back.. and relax... read more
Apr 1, 2011
Every season viewers are subjected to a barrage of average or substandard fare that serves no other purpose than mindless juvenile media, yet these shows continue to be made because the entertainment industries always prefer the safe bet over a "risky" venture. That said, there are always one or two anime that manage to rise above mediocrity, but there's still a very large gap between being good, and being great.
IS is, first and foremost, a reasonably popular ongoing light novel series by Yumizuru Izuru that began publication in May 2009. Six volumes have already been released under the MF Bunko J label (part of Media Factory), and the seventh is due out in April 2011. In May 2010 a manga adaptation by Akahoshi Kenji began serialisation in Monthly Comic Alive, with production on the anime adaptation beginning later that year.
Set in the near future, the story initially seems to be about powered exoskeletons called Infinite Stratos, an advanced piece of technology that is more powerful than any existing weaponry, but can only be used by girls and women. Because of this, society and the world have had to adapt so that females are now in authority, but all of that changes when Orimura Ichika, a 15 year old student, is found to be the only male in the world with the ability to pilot the machines. Because of this, and for his own protection, he is forced to attend the prestigious Infinite Stratos Academy.
Seems a pretty straightforward set up right?
In fact this show is so straightforward and predictable it verges on being dull. Aside from being a light novel/manga adaptation (which seems to be the rage these days), the storyline is about as generic as one can get in anime, with almost every stereotype and "popular" theme on display. The plot initially seems intriguing until one realises that the whole concept of Infinite Stratos is nothing more than an excuse to put a "special" teenaged guy in a school full of hormone crazed girls, and let them have fun with each other. The storyline is only peripherally about the problems resulting from the development of the Infinite Stratos machines as they never really come to the fore until towards the end of the series.
But those are only the surface issues.
The series is limited in terms of design as many aspects of the visuals are adapted directly from the manga. Unfortunately this doesn't really do the show any favours as aside from a degree of futurism in the backgrounds and the conceptualisation of the exoskeletal armours, everything else is the epitome of genericism. The big book of harem characters has been used extensively for pretty much everyone, with all of the lead roles looking more like cardboard cut-outs that would readily grace any other generic high school anime of this type. Granted there is a degree of facial expression, but that's not enough to raise the character design in any measurable way.
Thankfully there are two areas where the visuals actually manage to pass muster. The backgrounds are coloured and detailed rather well, but there are some scenes where the quality improves dramatically in order to focus the viewer's attention on the action. In addition to that, the animation is pretty good throughout the series, but the quality work only really comes to the fore during sequences of IS combat.
Another area where Infinite Stratos does manage to attain a degree of respectability is the acting, but even that's not really saying much. After all, this is a harem romantic comedy with some science fiction and fanservice thrown in for good measure, so viewers shouldn't expect Shakespeare. It's surprising then, that Uchiyama Kouki actually manages to play the role of Ichika rather well, and the same could also be said of Hikasa Youko et al in the roles of the girls who want to find out how well Ichika can use his weapon.
That said, all of the exclamations, weird noises, mannerisms, and changes of pitch and tone that one would associate with this type of show are on offer, but while they're handled rather well by the seiyuu, there's simply too little going on for them to really show off their talents. The main reason for this is the mundane script, and viewers may find themselves suffering from bouts of deja vu during specific scenes, especially if they've recently watched any other harem anime.
As for the music, the background tracks are nice enough and there is some variety to be had thanks to the composition skills of Nanase Hikaru, but the problems lie in the choreography, and more importantly, the relevance. There are occasions where the score seems out of place with the on screen action, and while this is due to a slight error in the timing in some cases, more often it's because the background music simply doesn't mesh with the scene. This is also true for the opening theme, Straight Jet by Kuribayashi Minami, which already has difficulty standing out since it's a pretty standard J-pop affair so the last thing it needed was poor choreography. As for the ending theme, Super Stream, this generic little ditty is sung by the actress of whichever female character is managing to keep up with the manliness of Ichika during the credit sequence, while the other female seiyuu performing backing vocals.
Speaking of manliness, it should come as no surprise that there's little in the way of it here, but then this is justified to a degree by the fact that Infinite Stratos features a female dominated society. Ichika is the typical harem lead who doesn't seem to have a clue that so many girls like him, especially as he has very few redeeming features and a slight complex about his older sister, and in true harem fashion he even forgets or misunderstands childhood promises so the story can have that little bit more drama.
And that's just him.
The girls are just as poor when it comes to characterisation, although thinking about it, maybe poor isn't the right word. They fit into the story rather well, they may look like cardboard cut-outs from other harem anime but they do retain some individuality. They can be annoyingly self centred and stupid, but they're supposed to be hormone crazed teenaged girls so maybe that's normal (apologies if you're a hormone crazed teenaged girl who doesn't act self centred and stupid).
Oh wait. Most of them are supposed to be tsundere characters (all of them except the one with the short blond hair in fact), so maybe poor was the right word after all.
There's little in the way of actual character development as the derived and contrived nature of the plot and story doesn't really allow for any great introspection from any of the roles. There are many potential opportunities to push the characters in a totally new direction, but these are not taken as the whole series is less about telling a good story, and more about cashing in on the harem bandwagon.
Regardless of its flaws, Infinite Stratos will undoubtedly find a home in the hearts of some viewers, which is perfectly fine if you like this type of show, and to be honest much of the series is reasonably inoffensive, especially if the viewer has managed to sit through any other harem anime. That said, it should be pointed out that the concept of the story had the potential for being something special. The idea of a society dominated by women due to the development of a new weapon offers up questions of gender roles, societal balance, political machinations, technological advancements, etc, etc, all of which are treated as minor annoyances that get in the way of finding out which girl Ichika is going to choose.
Granted there are some good points to be found in various aspects of the series, but these are outweighed by a lacklustre storyline, poor characterisation, and an overall sense that everything has been done before. read more
Oct 19, 2013
One single man, surrounded by tons of girls... And just like on any other harem anime, the main character is just stupid enough to not realize the way others feel towards him... Well, this is what makes this kind of anime funny... Plot may not hook you, but all those amazing mechas, with cool transformations and weapons, starring exciting and ultra quick battles, were enough to keep my attention...
Seeing how Ichika is dumb and unable to return all the affection he receives from the other girls is the main attraction in here... Since there are no wars and ISs are made only for competitions, you can't expect an intense plot or epic battles against terribly evil and powerful foes... I noticed that a second season is ongoing right now, so who knows? Is there something really big coming up?
We can also get an obvious cliche after Laura's appearance. All that stuff that Germany is mean and buys fight with others... This is demonstrated through provocations made by Laura to both Cecilia and Rin, these two representing the alliance between England and China during WWI... It's not like what happened in that time wasn't horrible, but this is 21th century... There's no reason keep arguing over that kind of thing anymore...
Episode 8 has a totally unpredictable ending, surprised me completelly... Congrats on that! The real ending was a little disappointing... That forgiven since there's a sequel, so it couldn't end here as well... Animation was the main focus: battles are fast and explosive, transformations are incredible and those mechas (that look more like compact armoured suits) are unique, pretty original and well designed!
This is an anime for chilling out and get some good laughing, no masterpiece... It's focused more on comedy than drama. Still, I've enjoyed it a lot and this is a nice recommendation for those who just want to have fun... read more
Jul 20, 2013
Summary: Ichika Orimura, a 15-year-old Japanese boy who starts a busy high school life surrounded by nothing but girls who can use IS.
This anime is for people who wants
-MC who is an average nice guy but sometimes really dumb and relies on others
-Girls falling in love with him after being defeated [ how retarded this is]
-Girls from different countries o.O with different personalities
-a little bit of plot
-hot chicks & TsundereS
Not for people who wants
- Two-sided romance
- Super Intense Mech fight/battles
- Deep plot
- Smart and cool and op MC who understands everything
- more than 2 teachers in the class.
- Dual Gender Academy
Infinite Stratos has a generally well-written story . It has its own originality and it was developed quite smoothly. The mecha stuffs were average as compared to other mecha shows. It is mainly because the story revolves around the love aspect. So its basically like a comedy-harem plot with an extra "mecha" aspect to simply prevent it to be like any typical harem anime
The visuals were standard as They focused more on the interactions between the characters . However the character designs were really great. As you can see from the poster, the character designs were above average and we can really pick off any emotions that characters try to hide, just from their facial expressions . And the character designs highlights every individual in the show and portray them more efficaciously .
The OP and ed was catchy and worth listening to , However the sound effects were horrible. They did not stand out and left no impressions. The sound effects literally did nothing in the entire anime but fortunately there's the great art to back up for it
The worst aspect of the anime. In merely 12 episodes , Infinite Stratos have to micro manage and cover 6 main characters . Of course with the first episode as introduction being left out , 11 episodes to develop the characters were simply insufficient. Another of a harem member kept joining the crew and there's no time to stop ,and understand more about every single character. Almost all the characters were briefly introduced and we do know anything beyond that. At least the "main" main character ; Houki was at least more concisely introduced.
Enjoyment + Overall
Even though this anime has its flaws , i believe its worth your time . I really enjoyed it and i had fun watching all different personalites coming in at once.
But dont ever watch this seriously , instead try to enjoy it because of its humour and its light-heartedness.
Overall-7 read more
Aug 29, 2013
This is my first review, and while this Anime wouldn't be my first choice of Anime to review, I do find it easier to talk about Anime's that I had problems with rather than Anime's that I loved or even liked. With that said I am trying to keep this review as neutral as possible, because while I did have problems with Infinite Stratos, the show isn't all bad at all. I think Lantis did a very good job with the Anime because they know their target audience, a demographic that people like me are rarely apart of.
Story - 3/10
If you've seen this Anime or read the MAL synopsis (which if you haven't, I don't know why you're reading this...) then you already know what the story is about so I'll forgo explaining it again. It's not hard to see that this particular story is aimed towards men/males. With the amount of female fan service and Action in it, any stereotypical male Anime fan would probably enjoy the story a lot. The story in itself is decent. Call it what you want, but on the surface it's your typical Mecha with the Harem genre thrown in. Okay, let me phrase that differently, because the Harem aspect of the Anime isn't just thrown in willy nilly. It's a main part of the story, which is one of the key contributing factor to why IS: Infinite Stratos is as popular as it is. As a female myself, this series could of been really, really good. Maybe it's the fact that the ladies of the IS: Infinite Stratos verse has this special power that no man in the world has, and that is what attracted me to the Anime... but beyond that, nada. This Anime had the chance to take a good plot point and turn it into something great (without getting rid of the fan service or the Harem genre I might add)... but it just fell flat. In the end that is why the story only got a 3/10 from me, because while it really did have so much potential, it just wasted it.
Art - 5/10
Compared to the rest of the Anime, the art in IS: Infinite Stratos wasn't THAT much of a bother to me, in this category, the pro's far out way the cons. From a female's point of view, the character designs were somewhat realistic. This Anime did play a lot on the size of the breasts of the main girls, and honestly it didn't bother me as much as I thought it would. I thought that they kind of toned it down considering I.S is a Harem/Mecha Anime aimed at guys. Apart from character designs, the art is quite good. The backgrounds that were used were quite nice, not amazing considering this anime is set in the future, but nice. The only problem I had with the art; that I know a lot of people have problems with too was the use of CGI. While the Mech scenes had great designs and some amazing backgrounds (see the whole fight in Episode 12), the scenes with CGI gave me huge headache to watch. The CG felt extremely out of place at times and a little bit over used. Maybe if it was consistent throughout the whole show it would have been okay. But it wasn't and I personally felt that the CGI didn't contribute in any way to the fight scenes... but well, that's up for interpretation.
Sound - 6/10
This is where I think IS: Infinite Stratos really strives. The Anime's OP is really nice as a whole and has some really enjoyable moments in it. At the start, the OP didn't hold any interest for me and I skipped it for the first seven or so episodes; but then it really started to grow on me around episode 9/10, and by the time I got around to watching the OVA I was really happy that they kept it in there. As for the OST, there weren't any memorable tracks on it that made me stop and go 'Wow, that's really great!’ It was just kind of there and I didn’t really have a problem with it. Now the reason that the sound category gets the highest rating of a '6' out of ten is because of the bloody ending. I don't really have much to say about it- no that's wrong, I have a lot to say about this ending. The only way I could describe my feelings towards it are 'catchy as fuck' and 'on par with the ending for The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya' which is really saying a lot. I don't expect everybody to agree with me, but 'Super Stream' is currently playing on repeat while I write this review, and I don't think it's going to leave my head any time soon.
Character - 2/10
I don't even feel like talking about the characters, because that's how bad they are.
Firstly we have our main character who is called Aichki or either Ikachi (I'm not actually sure). But for the purpose of this review, I am going to refer to his as 'Gary Stu'. Gary Stu, who is the main character of IS: Infinite Stratos is what I like to refer to as a 'Wish Fulfilment character'. More than anything else, I would love to be able to call him by his name... but I can't. Gary is the affection of every girl he comes into contact with (a fan boy's wet dream come true). He is the only existing male pilot of the IS, and oh, it seems he can do anything these woman can do, but ten times better. I will compliment Gary on not being a complete pervert though.
Next we have the girls of this Anime. IS: Infinite Stratos presents us with: a tsundere, a childhood friend and another childhood friend, who guess what? Also happens to be tsundere. These three fight over Gary Stu like it's no one’s business, and of course our Gary is oblivious as ever, because that tends to be the norm in most Harem Anime's. This is where the rest of the characters pick up the slack to get this category up to 2/10. I don't mind Charlotte (Charles) and Laura in the slightest. Charlotte and Laura were the last two characters to be introduced, and I thought Charlotte got the most development (probably not as much as Houki, but she's the first girl introduced and Gary's 'first childhood friend'). I thought it was nice Charlotte didn't start off super and crazily in love with Gary but then progressed to like him as time went on; it was more believable that way. And finally, we have Laura who is my favourite girl of the series. Most of her interactions with Gary were really funny, and made me laugh for the only time in the Anime. I think it was great that she was really clueless about most things and called Gary her 'wife'.
Enjoyment - 3/10
Now before watching I.S, I watched other's people's reviews to this Anime on YouTube. And to say that I wasn't expecting much of anything when I started this Anime would be an understatement. I marathon'd this whole Anime in one day and It wasn't as horrible as I was expecting. Personally, the first half of this anime was cringe worthy at best. Around episode five, I.S had a score of 2/10 on my personal animelist, because the first half was quite bad. But then episode seven came around and it was lunch time and I had a nice cup of Ramen with me, and I don't know if it was the fact it was the first time that I had eaten that day and had food in my stomach, but I was starting to 'enjoy' the show. The second half is so much better than the first half and almost made me forget how horrible it was.
While my review may be on the negative side, I am not saying in any that I don’t recommend this Anime. While I would not recommend it to any of my friends who are also girls, I do have guy friends who have recommended I.S to me. It is definitely enjoyable in some way or another, compared to anime’s like Angel Beats! which took me weeks to watch, when I was able to marathon this show in one day.
And hey, season two of IS: Infinite Stratos is coming out soon, and will I watch it??? No probably not.
Apr 20, 2013
comes Infinite Stratos. The science fiction action comedy based on the series of light novels by Izuru Yumizuru and Okiura.
The anime is about Infinite Stratos, mechanical robots designed to travel to space. But the plan to use them in space failed when it was discovered that the IS has potential to become a weapon. These robots are now used for sports and tournaments. Only females can pilot these robots and only a few become a pro. There is an academy where a future pilots of IS are trained. And one day the students found out that some boy was transferred to it. That’s right. Ichika Orimura is the only guy to ever pilot an IS. Each episode revolves around a mecha battle or two, with the first half of the series using this medium as the basis for introducing new characters and their unique machines. The battles themselves are quite good.
The mecha aspects of the anime are pretty great. It has a lot of technical terms and talks about the different functions of the IS to support its mecha theme. The robots are all different from classifications to generations. The mecha aspect of IS is quite great. This is not the end, we have many countries, every country develops their own robots and they want to have the best in the world. They even do experiments on girls to improve synchronization with robots.
Quite good soundtrack. The OP and ED of the series are pretty catchy, also background are reaaly good and catchy.
The character design is pretty great. Each girl in the anime nicely stands out with their own outfit, hairstyle and even skin color. The anime has girls from different countries and the differences between the girls were shown perfectly.
The mecha design in the anime is also fantastic. I love how the pilots literally become one with the robots. The animation is just awesome. The fight scenes are incredible!
Characters make anime interesting.
Ichika: He’s as dumb as a nail stuck to a wooden plank. So many girl and he acts like he is an impotent. Ah wait, he pilots an IS which might prove that he’s gay.
Houki: Houki is actually the little sister of the IS creator. She’s a typical tsundere so I didn’t really like her.
Cecilia : Best UK pilot, pretty cool sometimes funny.
Rin: She’s the loli and she’s Chinese, AND she has got pigtails, yeah, NEXT!
Charlotte: She was introduced as a male but later it was revealed who she really is. She’s French and she is obviously a spy. She’s basically a fan favorite. Yeah she probably is the best out of everyone.
Laura: She hated Ichika, now Ichika is her “wife”. For some reason she wears an eyepatch. I really liked and loved her, cos she always trolled Ichika.
Great battles, cool mecha, pretty girls, normal soundtrack, flawless animation, tolerable plot and stupid Ichika.
If you love harem anime with different girls crushing on one guy then you’ll love this one. The mecha is more of a bonus package to enhance the harem. The anime could’ve been better but a good anime is a good anime. I recommend it.
11/2/2013 read more
Mar 19, 2013
Let me start off with the bad first since there's quite a few things to address. One of the biggest flaws were the characters and lack of character development. The characters were boring, unlikable and inconsistent. There's Houki Shinonono, a Japanese childhood friend who practices Kendo, Cecilia Alcott, an arrogant British girl, Ling Yin Huang, a Chinese girl whose family used to run a ramen shop and is also a childhood friend, Charlotte Dunois, a cross-dressing French girl, and Laura Bodewig, a militaristic German girl. Laura Bodewig was somewhat interesting and decent, but that's before she becomes a defenseless little girl exactly an episode later after she was introduced. Every time a new female character is introduced, the series focuses on them for a couple episodes, and then proceeds to forget about them a few episodes later. Maybe character development could have been possible and done correctly if this series was given more than a mere 12 episodes.
Honestly, there could have been a decent amount of potential to this series if they had focused more on things such as the fact that women now dominate society in the series, gender roles, technological advancements, or something like that, but instead, it seems that the creators are more inclined to focus on the harem/romance stuff (bleh) and the IS battles (which actually isn't a bad idea).
Now I know I said one of the biggest flaws were the characters and lack of character development, but the worst part of the entire thing had to be the ending. The series decided to go for a dramatic, meaningful and deep ending with everyone joining forces to protect their friends and attempt to defeat the most powerful enemy. Technically, that's not really how the ending goes, but believe me when I say it makes more sense than the actual show. This was seriously one of the corniest endings I've seen in an anime. I wish that the creators could accept that the show doesn't have any deep meaning, and trying to make it look otherwise is only creating pain and suffering for me, the viewer. It's better to just continue with the harem elements than to try and make the final episodes of the show into something it’s not.
There were some redeeming qualities to this show. For one, the arc with the German girl, Laura, was pretty decent. But my standards may have been set pretty low because of the show in general. Also, the art, animation and fight scenes were clean, but it would have been more effective had I actually cared about the characters that were fighting. Also the closing credit's gimmick of progressively expanding its cast of girls running with Ichika was mildly entertaining to watch. Overall, Infinite Stratos's mix of tedious and awful harem elements and cool mecha battles balance it out, I'm sure this series will be watchable to fans of both genres, but will disappoint anyone looking for any substance. read more
Apr 5, 2013
Perhaps I'll start with the good. IS is a story about the luckiest boy in the world. It's a guy, Ichika, who lands in a school of mecha-wielding girls who have raging hormones. It has it's funny times and the action isn't half bad. Plus, a few characters can provide a really good laugh in awkward situations.
That's about all I could say though.
Infinite Stratos wasn't the right name for this series. There were two better that I was thinking of:
Allow me to go into detail.
Every supporting girl's personality takes a dip in all parts of tsundere personality. One girl even goes from Tsuntsun to deredere in the span of two episodes. One goes the opposite direction in the same span. However, no one diverges from it. It's just a bunch of tsunderes piloting mechas and competing with each other for the love of a guy so clueless that he makes Kamijou Touma look like a genius.
And I do mean clueless. Everyone else can immediately note what's going on except him. I'm usually not one to mind the clueless main character role. At times, you could call me a fan of it actually. Ichika pushes boundaries though. Especially considering how every girl goes out of their way to accommodate him. But I'll get to that later.
The fanservice essentially serves as the plot. If you want to see some compelling story, you won't. I mean that. There's not a moment where you can pick up on a plot until the very last episode.
But there's plenty of shower scenes that border on the erotic while thinking about the main character. There's also plenty of boob-grabbing, boob-rubbing, partial nudity, "accidental" nudity, body-on-body and just all-around general flirting. Remember, this is a guy that has been thrust into an all-girl school. The girls all act like they've never seen a boy before. I mean, almost every single one. Heck, even a teacher. I'm fairly surprised that he hasn't been violated while he slept. Oh wait . . .
But in the end, the problem with this series doesn't lie with the lack of plot, abundance of fanservice or the tsundere club.
It lies with the main character.
The world is centered around him.
No really. This guy, through pure luck, lands into an all-girl school, immediately making him popular. He lucks out to grab the class with his sister, a renown pilot, teaching it, thus making him even more popular. He sees a friend who he hasn't seen in 6 years and she remembers everything about him and becomes the first member of his harem by default. He gets his own personal IS for "data" purposes and somehow, despite being weaker than everyone, he's constantly the key to winning.
Then there's the fact that every single girl he knows is in love with him in some way. Of course, that's how harems work. But with Ichika, you just won't get it. He does nothing of importance or style to earn the harem. It just kinda . . . happens. And that alone is what drives the series. Girls are unreasonably drawn to him. That's your plot.
Oh and danger is drawn to him as well. Though, there's a reason for that. To be honest, it's a bit underwhelming, though.
Oh and the characters don't have a set personality or power level at all through this series. They will flip so hard, you forget who they are.
The series has too much convenience and not enough plot to be considered something close to a masterpiece. But it is still good fun for the most part. read more
May 16, 2013
-Review: Firstly, as the synopsis states, IS is an armed exoskeleton weapon created by Japan. To some certain extend, it can only be operated by women. But one day, a boy named Orimura Ichika accidentally touches an IS placed in the IS training school, and it resonated with him and moved. Therefore, that makes Ichika, the only male to operate this mainstream weapon. Which also draws him a huge amount of publicity in this series’s universe because first and foremost, IS can only be operated by women. In addition to that, the IS is a mainstream weapon currently being the biggest hype of the Infinite Stratos universe. Imagine you being the only guy to operate this powerful weapon, which has the ability to destroy a few thousand missiles at once (mini spoiler). Certainly the world government, who was in opposition of the IS at first, will take an interest in this matter.
But the strong points of this series does not lie mainly on the synopsis, in fact this series is highly focused on the daily highschool life of Orimura Ichika (protagonist) in an ALL GIRLS SCHOOL. You heard me, the ONLY guy in an ALL GIRLS SCHOOL. By all girls school, i’m referring to IS academy which is built solely to train women to resonate with the IS. Up to date, it is the only school that offers IS training in the world. So yes, our little protagonist is one heck of a lucky guy. As the series progresses, you will get to witness the cruelty of this world. By cruelty, i’m referring to the possible jealousy of fellow otaku’s as Ichika indulges his everyday life with physically, perfectly crafted girls. Yes, the main teaser of this series, is Ichika’s harem. Honestly if you think about it, this whole setup was for the sole purpose of Ichika’s harem. So Infinite Stratos girls? What’s the fun in that? Aren’t they just normal anime girls? Believe me, I had thought for a moment while looking that the illustration, that this was just going to be another comedy harem anime, with newly introduced big chested girls in each episode clinging and slutting all over Ichika after first sight. My part of my interpretation that was not entirely wrong, because the character developments in this series was just plain horrible and they certainly did, cling onto him at first sight. Despite knowing that after watching the first few episodes, I was still intrigued by this series, especially at the girls. Why?
There was no particular reason actually. Although the first few phrases of character developments was just as mainstream as highschool DxD, I was gradually attracted to the characters after a few revolutionizing events in the series, and when the “fierce competition” between the girls over Ichika came to an understanding and there was actual development and progression between Ichika and one of the protagonist girls in his “harem”. After that phrase was over, the story will continue, after all that senseless ecchi.
One of the main portfolios of this anime series, is the dynamic animation between battle scenes. The aerial camera views that were normally used in 3rd person flight simulation games, was flawlessly implemented into the dramatic battle scenes between the IS. In addition to that, the IS armors were well designed, compared to the original, manga design. Much more details and texture was added into the IS armor designs and these details were maintained throughout the anime series. In conjunction to the consistent animation between the IS battles, the frames in between these fights were also very smooth, there was very little “lag” during the IS battles which makes it extra enjoyable and boost the viewers expectations. However the animation was not throughly consistent throughout the whole anime series. The downside to the animation in this series was mainly during the slice of life events of Ichika. Time to time, the animation seems to slack between the conversation between characters and at other times, the characters facial expression are bluntly portrayed. In addition to the character animation, at times the color contrast on the characters are just plain dull.
In all mecha related anime, sound is essential to lighten up the tension during a battle. Overall the sound was on an average level. The sound effects were good, it had variation according to each IS suit, and dynamics that were proportional to distance in aerial combat. The opening and ending theme songs were just so so, it was congruent with the opening and ending animation but they arn’t that catchy because of the inconsistent rhythm. However the main downside to the sound was it’s repetitive use of tracks which got boring after a while.
But if I must say, the main downside of this whole series is infact, the generic stereotype theme of which the characters are adapted from.
Overall, this is definitely a series worth investing your time into for all those mecha fans, because it brings a whole new battle viewing experience with the enhanced dynamical camera views. Aside from that, the relationship between Ichika and the girls are certainly something to look forward too while waiting for the 2nd season of Infinite Stratos to air. read more
Feb 11, 2011
Story (6-fair) - Well I've watch a lot of anime. i have over 400 in my collection. and to tell you the truth, watching all of them you'll soon realize that plots are rehashed all the time. It might be a different setting, characters, and events, but if you dig deep into the basic plot, you could usually count the different kinds they're using. This anime is no exception. its your typical harem scenes. One guy and a bunch of girls. plot line revolves around girls pilots, and the only Guy in the world who could pilot the Power Armors. of course, the girls fall in love with him because hes such a nice guy, revolving around that plot, they placed in action, power armors, and a mystery. Its not your award winning story, but if you want original, those things are usually reserved to the drama anime. I gave it a 6 because plots thin, but very enjoyable.
Art (9-great) - I like the art direction to this one. Its nothing i haven't seen before, but animation is smooth and consistent. Unlike some anime, that seem to dull down when you get to the middle of the series, or seemed rushed, and cheap during some fight scenes like in gurren laggan, so far its been consistent halfway thru the series.
Sound (7-good) - Sound, well i really didn't notice anything good or bad about it so i gave it a 7. Its good, Not great, but not bad either. All in all, nothing significant to talk about.
Character (8-V.Good) - Characters are good, aside from the robots and the fighting, the anime does touch up on the character development. Not so much for the girls, but more of the main star and only guy. Stories usually revolve around the girls and how they are connected to the main guy. Big diversity of characters too, given the fact that its an international school, and so far, Japan, England, France, and Germany, are represented. Good mix of characters and personality.
Enjoyment (9-Great) - I really like anime like this. Nothing hard to think about, and i like the interaction of the characters. Primarily because its one of those fast anime. There are only 12 episodes to this series, its halfway, and they're very aggressive about the story telling. I like this anime also because i'm partial to Sci-Fi and Mechs, and Power armors.
Overall (8-V.Good) - Overall i gave this one an 8. I enjoy watching it, and there are a few anime out there that i do actually wait for to come out to watch the next episode. Its not a smart anime, bring nothing new to the table, but highly enjoyable. Even the little humor that is inserted here and there are noticeable. But if you taste is not like mine, you might not like it. All i can say is watch the first episode, if that doesn't hook you in, then the rest wont either.
Enjoy read more
Apr 3, 2011
This may seem a bit biased since I typically don't watch harem or romance anime, but I'm not giving the story a 2 based on my personal opinion of enjoyment. The story deserves a 2 because it doesn't make any sense. It's so jumbled up with random stuff that it gets to become seriously ridiculous. If it was just a harem, it might get a higher score...but 8bit tried to tie in action with this school/harem, and it didn't work. The reason is because NOTHING. HAPPENS. Romance OR actionwise! Things get mildly interesting in episodes 11 and 12, but episodes 1-10 are a complete waste of time. A typical episode goes like this: new girl enters, she gets a crush on the main character (who is your typical retarded male lead) Ichika, she realizes she has entered a harem with 234894 other girls, she turns tsundere, and then there's some random fighting between the girls who want all over Ichika's dick. It's not funny. It's not interesting. It's not unique. It's boring and, well, stupid.
To describe the art, I'd simply use the word "average". It's nothing more and nothing less. The animation isn't terrible to look at, but then again it isn't as good as other 2010/2011 anime. Mecha designs are fairly nice, which still doesn't mean much because you see the mechas way less than you see the fangirls swarming over Ichika in the classroom. One thing I do have to applaud is that this isn't an ecchi harem; you won't be seeing any short/skinny girls with F cups here, thankfully.
The opening and ending don't stand out, visually or soundwise. As for BGM, it's alright but easily forgettable. I don't know about you guys, but the seiyuus' voices annoy the crap out of me (sans Kana [Charlotte] and Marina [Laura]) because, once again, everyone sounds pretty much the same; way too peppy, loud, and obnoxious. Just like their (the characters, not the seiyuus) personalities. What else is there to really say? Sound is barely decent, yet it's one of the best things about this series overall.
Let's pretend the story was amazing and deserving of a 10/10 (I know it's hard to imagine that, but just try). That still wouldn't have saved this anime. The characters are an abomination. I guarantee you that you won't be rooting for one or two girls like you probably would while watching another harem because every single character sucks. Ichika is your male protagonist who is so dull and stupid yet every single girl loves him. Nothing new here, but that's not even the worst type of character in this series. All of the girls are the same. If you think I'm just exaggerating, trust me, I'm not. Cecilia, Laura, Charlotte, Lin Yin, and Houki all seem to be nice girls from the start...but then they turn into complete tsundere after they realize that they're not the only ones who have a crush on Ichika. They're mean to Ichika, they're mean to the other fangirls, they're just plain mean. And stupid. All of them. I'm really disappointed that the producers couldn't be assed to make the girls have a little bit of individuality.
It should go without saying that I hate this anime with a burning passion...so why a 2 instead of a 1? Because even though the action is minimal, it's animated nicely. The last 2 episodes were really good, (unlike the rest of the series) so I upped my enjoyment score from a 1 to a 2.
Are you a fan of action and mecha? Unless you like to waste your time seeing 3 minutes of action and 19 minutes of harem per episode, don't watch this. Are you a fan of harems or romance? Still don't watch this; like I said before, nothing happens. Ichika doesn't hook up with anyone. There's barely any fanservice (which is a good thing in my opinion, but not for all you people out there who enjoy panty shots/boob gropes/etc). The ending is so ridiculously bad that you'll be disappointed.
So what exactly am I trying to say in this review? IS is bad. Episodes 2-10 are pretty much pointless and they shouldn't be there. This would be a great anime to put in a 3 episode OVA, but it was dragged out into 12 a episode TV series. If you want to watch this, I would seriously advise you to only watch episodes 1, 11, and 12. Or if you want to suffer, watch all of the episodes. read more
Apr 21, 2012
Keeping this in mind, I searched for shows that have any one or a combination of these characteristics. I searched high and low (I wasn't aware of MAL at the time I watched Infinite Stratos), and I eventually stumbled on Infinite Stratos.
- Clean and neat, with the occasional excessive cheek tints. (AWESOME!)
- Bordering the allowable and the excessive, but nevertheless still allowable. (Fine.)
- Yes. Battle suit-style mechas. (F**K YEAH!)
- Mecha (AWESOME!)
- Romance (NICE)
- Harem (...huh?)
Then the plot dawned me. Frankly I was initially disappointed to see that the title closest to being my dream animé was quite possibly the largest harem I've ever encountered (and frankly, it still is). At least Gundam 00 had 4 Gundam Meisters; Code Geass had a myriad of pilots; even Megaman X had Maverick Hunters and Navigators. And here we have Infinite Stratos, set in an instructional school in a setting where females are the only ones capable of piloting these mecha suits--with the exception of our lead character. (Whether this is positive or negative is entirely up to the reader.) I'll leave my ranting for now, and move on with my review.
Infinite Stratos introduces itself by giving us a heads-up on what's going on in their world: mecha suits called Infinite Stratos (or IS for short) are the latest in technological innovations, but only females can control them. A worldwide pact was made to prevent the use of these suits for war; instead, the suits are used for sport, and a school off the coast of mainland Japan teaches students how to use them. Obviously, the school would be an all-girls school, with a peculiar exception of a student: Orimura Ichika, the only male in the world who can pilot an IS.
The show manages to compress all this in one episode, which was good. The bad part was that they didn't follow it up. They didn't give so much as an amply descriptive story behind why Orimura is the only male who can control an IS (they tried it near the end of the series, and even by then it was still largely vague). Also, for some magical reason only females can pilot the suits. No explanation given. It's probably just a plot device to maintain the "harem" status of the series, but it doesn't help the story at all besides giving the viewers girls and more girls.
The 12 episodes of this series are roughly about class competitions, a single person's flashback, and one mission that was supposed to be a climactic ending but certainly fails to do so. If Infinite Stratos is bad at somethine, it's the story.
Here Infinite Stratos tries to redeem itself (and at least in my case the redemption effort works). Art in this show is clean and fluid--just the way I like it. People are drawn quite well, and nothing is left without detail. Even the GUIs of the students' workdesks and the classroom screens are well-made. Mechas are presented in 3D when in combat, and in 2D when in static frames. I think this is a plus, since the 3D action scenes are certainly eye-catching (I mean, with all those lasers and boosters and all that). Color schemes for the mechas aren't really stellar, but at least they match the mood of the show. Also, if you're going to do a mecha show, you have to pay attention to the mecha designs. Luckily, Infinite Stratos does this well, and the mechas certainly look great.
Environment-wise, it's pretty much standard. You won't expect any vivid settings from a school that's pretty much isolated at sea, but at least they try their best to give it a futuristic feel. Personally, I liked the art direction of this series.
I suppose animation goes here as well, and the fight scenes are well-done. Not the type of fight scenes you'd expect from a 12-episode harem series, but still well-done.
Here's something Infinite Stratos is definitely good at. Sound in this show is quite excellent; the quality of BGMs on battle scenes are at a level that probably won't match the storytelling. Opening and ending themes are also well-done. Look, if you want to get a general feel of Infinite Stratos without watching it, then go look for its OST tracks. You pretty much get all the good points of Infinite Stratos by listening to the OST alone. (There's no harem in OSTs, right?)
The only reason I didn't give this a score lower than 5 is because of a certain French girl (this statement also happens to be a weird Titanic reference). The rest of the characters are pretty much shallow; actually, they're just "pretty." Not even the lead character stands out. Our lead Orimura is just a dense boy with a strange admiration for his older sister (no worries, it isn't incestuous); his childhood friend is the usual tsundere; the English girl is just simply arrogant and aggressive (but she's not annoying, though; I did like her at one point); the Chinese girl is also a tsundere (surprise, surprise); the French girl is the only character that has an actual backstory worthy of being called a "backstory;" the German girl is the one with a weird obsession for both Orimura and his sister (this is the kind of obsession you should worry about). I've pretty much described the other 4 characters. I'd really like to do defense on the French girl, but she comes out near the middle of the series, so I'll leave it for you guys to watch and find out.
This might seem confusing, since I gave some components pretty low scores. I already mentioned that Infinite Stratos pretty much embodies my dream anime (only ruined by a harem element). In this sense, I did give it a chance, and I did like it. I suppose it was because of the suits? Perhaps I really just wanted to see mecha-stye battle suits. It was so close to being my dream animé. So close.
Generally, Infinite Stratos is lackluster. My scores for Enjoyment are pretty much fed by bias; had I had a different idea for a dream animé, Infinite Stratos would have scored pretty low. However, if you're into harems and fanservice, and if you have the slightest interest in mechas, then you might just like Infinite Stratos. I watched the show like how I leisurely go hiking on a mountain. You don't hike to meet and talk with your fellow hikers; you hike to enjoy the view. That's what I did with Infinite Stratos: I didn't watch to understand the people inside; I really just watched for the view. And by my standards, it was a pretty good view. read more
Oct 6, 2012
And it was not a good decision.
Infinite Stratos has a standard harem setting: the slow, kind, and incredibly normal male main character, Orimura Ichika, transfers into an all-girls military academy that trains teenagers to pilot 'IS', highly advanced power suits which can be piloted only by women and, mysteriously, our male hero. Okay, so maybe that's not very standard, but it certainly isn't as awesome as it sounds. The all-girls setting naturally paves the way for a harem (though pretty much the whole school wants to shag Ichika), this particular one consisting of five main archety-COUGH I mean 'characters': the tsundere childhood friend, the posh foreigner, the genre-savvy bishoujo (well they're all bishoujos, really), the stoic social retard, and a second tsundere childhood friend.
None of these characters are developed particularly well, any development being completely cliché or just simply not existing – this is particularly evident in the case of our main character, Ichika, who remains constantly stupid, hard-headed, overly-optimistic and COMPLETELY oblivious to his harem throughout the entirety of the show. No, I don't like him, why do you ask?
In any case, regardless of the characterisation, the story doesn't very much help to relieve it: the opening sequence shows the group battling a mysterious IS, with heavy hints at a bigger plot in the background being dropped all over the show, with a major one presenting itself roughly halfway though. The thing is, though... that this 'secret and dark background plot' never actually happens. All the introduced implications are completely ignored by the finale and never dealt with, leaving one with a bitter taste regarding the last few episodes due to its nature as a random 'monster of the week' crisis, and whilst the 'harem' plot shows some development, it is quickly shunted back to square one.
As such, the majority of the series focuses on Ichika's school life and the various perverted situations he finds himself caught up in. But, as a general rule, this rarely works very well, and Infinite Stratos is no different, eventually becoming outright annoying due to Ichika's obliviousness to everything. And its not exactly as if the aesthetics help matters much: the animation is low quality and in some areas, outright shoddy, using some weak form of 3D CGI for the IS suits that doesn't work very well and can be very jarring to switch to; the audio is, frankly, completely forgettable.
Infinite Stratos is an anime that achieves at, basically, absolutely nothing. Everything about it is completely standard, and represents exactly the issues the anime industry is facing with harem-based romantic-comedies. Nothing whatsoever is resolved by the conclusion, and the show just pissed me off more than anything else. As you have probably gotten by now, I don't recommend watching this in the least. 2 out of motherfucking 10. read more
Feb 6, 2012
What do we see? Mechas? Girls in mechas? Yeah, that would be...
A clever disguise, indeed (you following on my ultimate sarcasm?). Ah, and an easy way to earn some money too... using the most stereotypical-stereotypes possible to create a bunch of... stereotype-characters and adding in some mechas we just created the most original harem known to mankind!
Or did we?
Infinite Stratos - Infinite Army (Stratos=Army in Greece, scary name for what it delivers) is basically a giant harem disguised as a mecha anime where a dumb guy (dumb, as in Harem-dumb) finds out that he is the only male able to pilot an Infinite Stratos (IS for short) - the mainstream of weapons, and ultra mecha that only women could pilot wich resulted in female domination. He is instantly moved to an academy where young women (and apparently, a man) can learn the way of the IS. An academy full of...
All these chicks with hormones on fire finally lay their eyes on the first male in a few years (becouse they live in the female-only academy) wich results in...
Oh, whatever, you already know what it results in, onto the scores then:
STORY: Nope. No story at all. I actually feel offended by this becouse they did use mechas wich naturally should result in some kind of story... but it doesent. There are a few completely unexplained story-like events but they really only serve to keep the harem action flowing. Therefore, a sexy 3 should suffice.
ART: Oh, thats actually pretty strong. The animation wasnt half bad and the girls where at least pretty (thats sort of important in a harem, amirite?). Generally, the art was kept simple but in the end it was really ok and it earned a hard 7 from me.
SOUND: Decent enough, avarage to be honest. The opening is... average, the BG music is, well, average and the ending is: guess what? You guessed right: average. The seiyuu are sadly really annoying becouse of their over-enthusiasm and the characters turn out even worse becouse of that. Gets a 6.
CHARACHTERS: Damn. This is where it sucks. Becouse, as I said before, these characters are living stereotypes. The annoying ones (we all know one... youve got 6 of them here!). Ichika, the protagonist, is the typical harem guy (but with amplified stupidity for maximum "I have no idea whats going on, therefore the anime must keep going until I find out") who - even though the WHOLE academy goes for him - has no clue whats happening whatsoever. Also, Cecilia is one of the most annoying girls in anime... darn. We hate her. Becouse of that, the characters get a harsh 3.
ENJOYMENT: Well, its a harem, and I found out that im the kind of guy that enjoys harems. It was still a kind of bad harem though... I did enjoy it at some points and it wasnt completely terrible... I suppose im giving it a 5 over here.
OVERALL: Its gets a 5. Its got very average music, annoying characters, almost no story but some pretty half-naked girls at least. Yeah, the half naked girls get a 4 points. The rest earns another point, therefore, 5 points. Actually, skip it. Unless youre so desperate for pretty faces. read more
Mar 6, 2011
The plot is simply torturous to watch. Throughout the series, major story developments have been random and sporadic; the events throughout the anime seem to have no relation to one another. Major events often occur suddenly only to fade away without leaving any trace of their occurrence or importance. The premises and themes used all have their potential, they were just extremely poorly developed by sloppy writing. The societal structure of woman dominating men which would have provided numerous opportunities for genuine conflict and for Ichika to develop as a main character is completely ignored. Various fancy names and technical terms are thrown around without explanation of their significance or origin. The power levels between characters are not only ambiguous, but also inconsistent, so no apparently growth in IS piloting skill actually takes place. The complete abolition of plot would have made IS much more tolerable.
Character development simply fails due to its ties with the plot. Ichika undergoes no development at all; his skill at pilotnig the IS as well as his thickheadedness remains constant throughout the story. The development of the girls themselves lacks the drama needed to make their supposedly difficult pasts believable, which results in a general lack of empathy for the characters. Important plot elements used in character development are grazed upon so shallowly that they fail to be thought provoking and emotion evoking and end up as just laughable. The development itself is sometimes overly drastic; some characters experience complete 180 shits in attitude and personality that do not coincide with the resolutions of their non-existent drama.
Once their development has been completed however, the characters become astoundingly entertaining; the actual characters are easily the strongest part of the anime. Ichika, although undergoing no development, was never really a weak or herbivorous character, given his tendency to feed and massage the ladies around him. Each female character can be easily related to a certain trope or character archetype, but they are portrayed as more than just moe anthropomorphisms of abstract personality fetishes, although this certainly does not mean that the characters are not moe. Each character is given personality traits and quirks outside of their defined trope that makes them more real and likeable; even aspects that seem trivial are given some detail. Most entertaining is the interactions between characters, the abundance of various personalities allows for different chemistry mixtures that spice up situations that are otherwise very cliched and trite. Although all the reactions are often predictable, the characters are executed soundly and the situations are still fun to watch. Easily the weakest character is our main protagonist himself, as he remains a thickheaded punching-bag for the girls around him.
The production quality for Infinte Stratos is quite high, which is a shame given it's agonizing plot. Immediately noticeable is the cast of seiyuu; most characters are voiced by a well established seiyuu famous for her roles in other anime. Not surprisingly, the voice acting is top quality; special props goes to Kana Hanazawa for the most moe anime voice this season. The music is of satisfactory quality with a catchy opening theme and a decent ending theme. The animation for the ending theme is actually not a harem-o-meter; the most recently captured character runs closely behind Ichika and moved to the back of the line as the next character is captured. The art itself is clean and vibrantly colorful, up to today's standards as a 2011 anime. The IS personal units themselves are well designed and easily differentiable from each other. The battles themselves are quite well done, with dynamic camera movements drawn well and plenty of special effects.
The amount of negative reaction Infinite Stratos has received is definitely understandable; I myself at first whined and pussy bitched about the horrendous plot, and found the character interactions to be predictable and boring. However approximately half-way through the season, I finally accepted that Infinte Stratos was not the awesome mecha anime that I expected, but was instead a decent romantic comedy. Suddenly the plot became much easier to ignore since I stopped looking for it, which allowed my mind to be more positive and accepting of the character interactions, making them more entertaining. Therefore, although still accompanied by the frequent face-palm, I found myself smiling much more naturally and frequently as I watched this anime, and was sufficiently entertained.
Questions, comments, criticisms and compliments are welcomed whether you found this review helpful or not. read more
Jan 4, 2013
Story (8/10)- The premise of IS gives us an interesting setting that could have been explored in a more serious manner. More serious issues could have been tackled in IS, but every time it starts too look serious, it goes back to being a slice of life anime. The series can actually divided into arcs based on the character that Ichika has to fight. Even though it is episodic, the pacing of the anime was just right. It didn't rush the story and it didn't drag on for too long. The anime is faithful to the content of the light novels, but a few details such as Cecilia's background was left untouched. In the end, not much has actually happened to the characters.
Art (9/10)- The art of IS is really good. The background scenery really gives off a relaxing yet futuristic atmosphere. The character designs are also nice, but IS has a bit too much fanservice. The mechas themselves were rendered well. The action scenes and fight scenes look good. The animation remained consistent throughout the whole series.
Sound (8/10)- The BGM and OST of this anime is good enough, but not worthy enough to be on an MP3 player. The opening theme, "Straight Jet", was pretty generic, but still good. The ending "SUPER STREAM" was upbeat and happy and it had a unique twist to it. Whenever a new girl enters Ichika's harem, her voice actor would also join the others in singing the ending. Towards the end of the series the BGM takes a more serious tone.
Character (7/10)- This section is one of the weakest parts of IS along with the story. The characters are stereotypical and they develop too quickly. Ichika is the normal harem MC, but with a bit more back bone. The members of his harem are stereotypes of different types of anime characters. Despite being stereotypical, the characters of IS are distinguishable from each other. The voice acting for the Japanese version is good, but it sounds very generic despite having a cast of well-known voice actors. The English dub for this series is very good though. The dub doesn't sound awkward unlike other dubs except for when the English actors try to pronounce Japanese terms. The accents of some of the girls sounded nice. Even the side characters had good English dub voice actors.
Enjoyment (9/10)- Despite the stereotypical and generic characters, the show is still enjoyable provided that you don't take it too seriously. Infinite Stratos looks and sounds good and I highly suggest the dub over the sub for this anime. It will help you enjoy the series more if you can tolerate the idiocy of the main characters at times and the excessive fanservice.
Overall (8/10)- Although far from a masterpiece, Infinte Stratos is still a decent and enjoyable anime. Just don't expect anything serious from this. Overall, Infinite Stratos was able to mix mecha with slice of life very well. read more
Jul 16, 2012
Story and Characters (6/10)
Guilty Pleasures. Out of everything that I enjoy, I always return to those series that I find to be guilty pleasures. These series are normally something that isn't truly exception, but at the same time are not exactly terrible either. They find a proper balance and appeal to us on a personal level that keeps us coming back for more, despite the fact that they may not be worth a revisit. This is the best way I can describe Infinite Stratos. A pure guilty pleasure and maybe just a little bit more.
Infinite Stratos follows the life of Ichika Orimura, a young man who is the first known male that can pilot the legendary mecha-style exo-skeleton, Infinite Stratos (IS). These units, for unknown reasons, only respond to females. So, when Ichika activates one, you can image the shock. He then enrolls in the all girls school of IS academy. It's not hard to figure out that this series is going to take the harem route and wastes no time getting the characters established. We are first introduced to Houki Shinonono, childhood friend of Ichika and playing the part of the typical tsundere in the series. We are then introduced to the Cecilia Alcott, who immediately challenges Ichika to a duel to decide who should be class president and falls for him under the philosophy of "He has bested me so now I automatically admire him for no real reason". Shortly afterwards, Huang Lingyin, another childhood friend of Ichika, transfers in. This is followed by Charlotte Dunois, who disguises herself as a boy and then immediately drops the disguise for relatively no reason. Lastly we are rounded off with another tsundere, Laura Bodewig. Each character, while fairly stereotypical, is a welcomed addition to the show and brings a certain extra appeal to it.
The series itself wastes no time gathering all the cast together and establishing the reasons for why each of the main female characters like Ichika. Hilarity and stereotypical antics ensue, along with two completely pointless filler episodes and a thrown-out-of-left-field serious turn for the ending. While IS maybe stereotypical in many areas, it does more than enough to break the mold. Ichika, while dense, is a likeable character. He generally misunderstands vague hints the girls give that they like him, enough to a level that the audience can understand and not brush it off as him just being a complete dunce. It also helps that he's a strong character that cares about his friends, helping to add more depth than what we normally see from most harem series. It also helps that each of the five ladies also have very different personalities and we get to know each of them rather well (or at least in comparison to most harem series), with the exception of Cecilia and Huang, who don't get nearly enough development compared to the rest. Aside from that, my only real issue is with Charlotte. They go through great depth to explain why she disguised herself and she forms a bond with Ichika over it. Yet, for some random reason, this is completely dropped in the next episode. So what was the point of even having this scene if the show immediately decides, "Oh wait, I change my mind. I don't want to do this anymore".
One of the biggest issues I have with IS is that it doesn't know what it wants to do. The first five episodes do a great job introducing the cast and setting the stage for the final act, but then over half way through we're thrown two filler episodes that take place at a beach and an inn for no better reason than they simply do. While there was some plot established and progression was made, these episodes just get thrown in there and really do nothing to forward the series. While not nearly as bad as The Sacred Blacksmith, they also don't really help in this twelve episode run of the series. It makes it even more confusing because the series takes a fairly serious turn for the final episodes. While the series has generally had a light-hearted tone, I felt that these filler episodes made it even more of a noticeable change than had they not been introduced. Yet all the same, I enjoyed the short story that was told and wouldn't mind seeing more of it.
One of the things that really makes IS a treat is it's art. This is a beautiful series, there is no doubt about it. Characters are well animated and fairly far from static. Environments are beautiful and I really loved the studios decision to change the classroom to a more futuristic look instead of the traditional school scene from the manga. However, the true star of the show are the IS battles. These are, hands down, the best part of the show. Beautifully done, they provide plenty of detail and are far from simplistic. My only complaint was that there simply wasn't enough of them. However, there were more than enough to truly enjoy.
While the art style itself isn't revolutionary, nor is it ground breaking, it does the job and it looks darn good doing that job too. This, in my opinion, is extremely exceptional artwork for a TV series.
Sound is another department that, while well done, truly doesn't leave any outstanding impressions. The voice work was very well done, with Koki Uchiyama doing a wonderful job as Ichika Orimura. While not a diverse character, Mr. Uchiyama went above and beyond to give Ichika that extra bit of depth. Yoko Hikasa (Houki) , Yukana (Cecilia), Asami Shimoda (Huang), Kana Hanazawa (Charlotte) and Marina Inoue (Laura) all did a great job as well as the lead female characters, alongside Megumi Toyoguchi (she voiced Ichika's older sister Chifuyu, who is a legendary IS pilot and a teacher at the IS academy).
Music itself fit each individual scene rather nicely and battle music was well constructed to give a rather epic and emotional feel to it, but honestly I didn't really notice the music too much until the final episodes. This is when the series sound design really shined for me. While nothing truly to write home about, it was well done and fitting for the series.
Infinite Stratos (IS) is fairly stereotypical in many aspects. It also doesn't dive that deep into a plot during its twelve episode run. However, what it does do it does rather well. From the animation, to the well casted VAs, to the premises, IS is definitely above average in every aspect. While certainly not an legendary anime, it's certainly enough for me to consider it a guilty pleasure and recommend it for those that don't mind harem series. Bear in mind that IS flirts more with being mediocre than above average, but it is above average for a harem series.
It's definitely one of my top ten guilty pleasures, even if it's stereotypical in so many manners. Not to mention it has the most unintentionally hilarious scene I have ever viewed. read more
Jun 24, 2011
Every country gets one personalized IS machine and send their representative to the school where he is located for training. There are plenty of others that get the old run down machines essentially. Ichika, being the only male pilot, gets his own personal machine… That about sums up the uniqueness of our lead. Otherwise he is dense, but of course too kind for his own good. Typical. However if you are going to watch this harem, then the only thing that matters is the female characters right?
The girls are good, but even if you start to like one they are introduced one after the other. In total there are 6 in his harem and if you take into account there is twelve episodes… Well as soon as one is introduced the next one comes to steal your attention. There is little development in the characters never mind the relationships.
If there is any reason I liked this show it would be Charles. He being the second male IS pilot steals away Ichika from the other females as Ichika tries to bond with this new male presence in a sea of women. Charles is one of the most intelligent and capable characters in the show, and makes the show much more likable.
However, that cannot save something that has no plot. A story centered on mechs that don't have battles… That doesn't sound very entertaining does it? It seems by episode 10 rolled around they finally finished the introductions and decided to introduce the story. It was just too late. This is the norm for harem shows as they focus on each girl's episode and like IS, they run out. Thankfully they fall back onto battles, but at this point it is too late. If your looking for another average harem be my guest because there is no hidden gems in this show. Hence, i reward it with what MAL calls average: a five out of ten. read more
Feb 5, 2011
When this series was announced I was waiting for this to see what a new and small studio (8bit) that I had never heard about could do, unfortunately I had not prepared myself for the worst by reading the light novel so I didn't know what to expect.
First few minutes of the series showed me that the considerably unknown director Kikuchi Yasuhito had picked one of the most certain ways to unentertain the viewer, a start that shows images from the end of the series. This is always a risk way, either it fails or it succeeds and hooks the audience. The point of first episode is to impress the viewer and courage him to continue watching the series, not to confuse one. This series failed in making a good first impression, and after the confusing start, it didn't get any better.. oh boy.
This is a story that was written by an eight year old who had seen too many harem series and mecha and he thought it would be cool to borrow things from a little bit here and there and then put them together to make a masterpiece! You couldn't have been more wrong..
The story itself is bad. It's so confusing (because its stupid) that they had to use the "slow idiot who doesn't know anything"-type of main character who needs to be teached about everything when everyone else seem to know these things from the very beginning. Yeah that's a basic storytelling method and usually it works if you didn't make a series about top-elite military school with thousands of applicants. So we are never explained why Ichika was given permission to enter this school, guess he didn't need to go to entrance exams or anything because he is special after all.
Anyways this kind of main character should be one that viewer could relate to, someone who doesn't understand the setting even though he lives in that era. Well I couldn't relate to such an idiot even if I tried.
The things you wonder about the story are, how the hell does those cute flying armor suits have the most superior fire power in the world? Considering them against nuclear weapons you don't have to be a genius to know the outcome. In todays world superior infrantry or tanks hardly mean anything against tactical weapons (such as nuclear weapons). It really is an idiotic way to fight a war commanding an assault that will eventually end up getting nuked while your cute little flying fanservice armoursuit is still on it's way flying towards enemy border. You'd expect them to explain atleast as much as why are those suits so over powerful that they changed the modern warfare and not just say: "Yeah.. these suits sure changed todays warfare, nothing can compare to them!".
Also they say there are only about 400 of these cores which operate those suit and you can't produce more of them. Err.. why? If you give one of them in to hands of an expert he should be able to figure out who it's done if someone else was able to create it. Also what the hell are the adults and leaders of the world doing anyway? If those 400 machines are so freaking important why are they letting 16 year old kids ride them and take them where ever they want. There are something like 20 different transferstudents who surprise surprise have all their very own machine.
Okay and by the way for no clear reason only the girls can use these machines, oh and the main character is the only boy in the world who can use them, what a surprise. When its found out that Ichika (the main hero) is able to operate these marvelous suits it's broadcasted around the media, but later on when another boy (who is actually a girl who just dresses up as a boy) is able to operate one no one seems to care anymore and everyone just forgot that only girls should be able to ride those machines.
The whole story is filled with these plot mistakes so you don't know what the hell is going on out there because they don't give you any kind of explanation about these things. And when you are not given explanation on these things you really can't see anything but kids playing with cute machines all day long. These are just few most irritating examples, the whole directing and story telling fails so pretty much everything they do make no sense. Im having hard time to believe this series is based on a fairly popular light novel series.
The plot that doesn't make any sense is one thing, you can still enjoy series even if it sucks if the characters are interesting. Yes.. the characters.. ... oh god. Even if this harem mecha made any sense or/and had the best director ever (such as Omori Takahiro or Satoshi Kon) this series would have failed because of the characters. This school which seems to have hundreds of students from which only like 4 are ever given possibility to ride one of these super rare supermechas. So you'd think they had a little bit high standards who they take to the school and who not. These girls are going to be made soldiers who are trained to kill, but all of the students (with exception to Ichikas harem) are typical teenage high school girls who scream, giggle and fool around. So okay, those girls are just support characters - it's just another plot mistake. You'd hope that atleast the girls in his harem were interesting and you'd pick one of the who to cheer on.. you just can't. You're never really given a chance to get to know to characters before they already introduce a new girl. After we have seen 5 episodes there are atleast 5 girls in main characters harem and many possible members. Im going to list the different type of girls in his harem.
Houki, child hood friend #1, Wanna-be tsundere #1
A basic childhood friend wanna-be tsundere. Who forgets the tsun part after episode 2. She has her fans, but many people will only wish he ends up with Ichika because she was the first one introduced to and we never really get to know anyone other as well as her.
Whatever Transferstudent #1 from england, Tsundere wannabe #2
The typical high class ojou-sama type of tsundere. She is a total asshole before and when she gets her ass kicked in a duel she falls for Ichika for no clear reason and her personality takes an U-turn.
Rin the transferstudent #2, childhood friend #2, 12-year old looking character #1, wanna-be tsundere #3
For some reason this school is stuffed with transferstudents with personal machines. She is a character that is also a childhood friend who has been in love with the MC for years and they have a secret promise and all that shit. Angry 12-year old looking character.
Charles the crossdresser #1, transferstudent #3
The school seems to have incredible luck when gifted transferstudents pour in with their personal machines. Japanese government could just assasinate everyone of them and steal their machines but thank goodness they are civilized people. He/She has a secret that isn't really secret to anyone in the episode six even Ichika will find out the surprising truth! She's easily the most viewer friendly character, all other are (even more) uninteresting and superficial.
German nazi girl, transferstudent #4, wanna-be tsundere #4, eye-patch girl #1
After 5 seconds of her first appearance it is painfully clear that she's 1) aggresive semi-tsundere and 2) will fall madly in love with Ichika while being already in love with his sister, who by the way happens to be world champion in playing with these machines. After being all tsun-tsun to Ichika she'll eventually become fourth and final member of All-Ichika-Tsundere-Fan-Club
I won't even start ranting about the main character because it'd take forever. Lets just say he is the usual super dense idiot who is special in many ways. He doesn't need training to get better and simply is fucking annoying. He is so dumb that he wouldn't know if someone had a crush on him even if she'd confess her love to him and gave him a blowjob. He'd just think it was some way to deepen their friendship.
The art and music are pretty much only decent things about this series. Considering it was the first series made by a new studio and the staff was bunch of people with no history of making a succesful anime this is pretty much what you should expect. Watching this series is an epic achievement and by unlocking it you gain perma-effect: "5 hours of wasted time" which will last for the rest of your life. read more