IS: Infinite Stratos..
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!)
-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)]
Im not being sexist here. I think it's a good thing women are advance and inventing machines....
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...
One of the problems with the anime industry is the tendency to overuse stereotypes and themes, and many of the studios in Japan continue to operate under the idea that the shows they create will generate a profit in some manner (regardless of the content), through DVD sales or merchandise. The sad fact is that many producers barely break even from one season to the next, which then prompts arguments of piracy, licensing, pricing, distribution costs, etc, all of which seems more than a little strange as while it may appear that the studios have some perfectly valid arguments, they've neglected to talk about one
thing - the anime they make.
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.
With the dawn of the second season, I think it's time to revisit an old friend. In this review, I will attempt to describe IS: Infinite Stratos and it's components, then give you it's worth as a series.
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.
There are many ways to describe your own thoughts about an anime: you might say you liked it, you might say you hated it or you might say it's Infinite Stratos.
Infinite Stratos is a major example of what a series about love, action, robots and comedy would look like if you were to remove the action robo-love comedy parts. Still, there are invisible quantic panties so yeah, that's science and storytelling for you.
As for the plot, it all revolves around naked girls and some kind of powerful lethal war machine that can only be used by naked girls called Infinite Stratos. You might wonder how
this is even possible to produce without anyone asking “Hey, is this really what our ultimate weapon is supposed to be like?”, but then again in the first minute of the show you learn that there is a single male who's able to pilot these mechas so it doesn't really matter. Not like there's a reason for him to be able to fly them of course. Either the author didn't have a better idea to shove a single dude inside a bunch of horny girls or the protagonist is actually a tranny himself, it's up to your own interpretation.
Luckly after a couple of minutes the robots will not matter anymore, and that's good since robots are bad because they don't have tits or quantic panties.
The focus then shifts to the world all-girls school of piloting the unimportant robots, which is located in Japan. And since it's an all-girls school located in Japan, all the girls are in heat 24h/24, and they ask for dicks. Probably even the girly man protagonist, but oddly enough that's never outright stated. That doesn't change the fact that he's got the only dick in the school, if not the whole planet, so that creates a very deep dilemma between supply and demand.
I could really empathize with the story since I really like girls who like dicks. Especially if it's mine.
The characters are divided between girls hungry for dicks and a girly man who's also hungry for dicks. The protagonist's sister also is supposed to have a dick her/himself, which explains the incest-homo vibe some episodes will give you. If you search on the internet enough you might also find pictures of him giving her a blowjob, so that's an irreFUTAble evidence. I greatly appreciated this freudian subtlety.
Art and sound could be better or worse but you won't get a chance to care either way. It's still not as majestic as Kanokon I guess, yet there's this pretty neat union between horrible graphics and horrible storyline which lets you wonder if the bad quality was done on purpose to create a better blend between the two feats. It's kinda like the shitty experimental style of some deep hipster anime, so I recommend elitists and pretentious viewers to watch this anime as soon as possible.
You won't be disappointed. It will be hard enough (to have any expectations at all, I mean).
Since this is my number 1 anime I will rate him first, so 1, but each category is rated objectively so my opinion is better than yours. Unless, obviously, you are a naked girl with invisible quantic panties.
Infinite Stratos is a show about some generic Japanese kid (the intended audience) who gets put in an all girl's school because he's the only male in the world who can use a Gundam. This is a major plot point that is heavily referenced and alluded to but never actually explained beyond being referenced because this show doesn't need to have a coherent storyline or characters.
The only reason anyone watches this show is for the qt girls, Germany and France are qtest btw, whose personalities are just based off various pages from TV Tropes. None of them are really important to the plot at
all, they're all basically the MC's doms because he's useless as all hell throughout the plot and constantly needs to be coddled. He also can't seem to figure out that all of the girls want his D despite them all literally being on it constantly. Autism is a common trend for Harem MCs apparently.
Nothing from this show is really all that memorable, the art is ok, the soundtrack is what you'd expect from a generic harem show like this, the plotline can be compared to something like Spongebob or King of the Hill. It doesn't even try to push the fanservice that much until the next season or the OVAs.
I don't see how anyone could enjoy this show unless they've watched pretty much every other Harem out there. This show is basically To Love Ru if it were even worse.
First of the Bat i would Like to say that this is my first review. Why i did it for this anime is beyond me. Second i would like to say that i am no expert with anime. I'm just your regular Joe that has a lot of anime and likes to watch em, so i wont go overly critical to my review. I'll just say write in why i scored the way i did in each of the categories given to me.
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.
To put Infinite Stratos in simpiler terms.....IT'S A CLICHE, LAZY, HAREM. Long story short: A universe that has mechs piloted by only females , but one guy is able to pilot it without any reason. So the government sends him to school full of chicks so that he can pilot better and learn. Oh, did I mention he's dense. Beyond, Naruto dense! Also, the girls in the school want to be in his pants. Horny much? Now for the girls:
The following competitors are:
Houki- Stupid, USELESS, tsundere childhood friend who has the brain capacity of 10 year old.
Cecelia- The Ojousama of jolly good England who
has a superiority complex to Harem lead, but then gets her ass beat and turns a 360 and starts getting wet for him.
Rin- 2nd Stupid, ANNOYING, tsun-tsundere childhood friend who fails at being the next Asuka and that is one of the harem girls I show a deep animosity for. Second is Houki. I mean i want to go Shizuo on her.
Charlotte- She's a French plot twist: OH GOD!! A SANE GIRL IN A HAREM? WHAT IS THE WORLD COMING TOO?!
Laura- The German who has the hots for the lead's sister and is pissed that the lead is not worthy of being the brother of the Famous IS champion...........Am I forgetting something? OH, and she has the knock-off eye patch supernatural eye of Mio Sakamoto of Strike Witches. LAME.
So, who will be the champion of the heartthrob prodigy? Well, what do you think Charlotte? Do you think you have a chance with him?
Charlotte: "Ichika no ecchi"
Me:........... (looks at the fans)
Fans: (Andy Samberg's "Jizz in ma pants" face)
Me: (looks back at audience) WINNER: CHARLOTTE DUNOA!!!
Seriously, that's all Infinite Stratos is in 5 seconds. Everyone hearts Charlotte because of ONE line. They should just have Charlotte be the female lead or even better let it be a normal romance with Charlotte being the heroine.
All I have to sum up about this is that: IT LACKS ORIGINALITY. Nothing in this show is something I haven't even seen before. This is proving that Japan is running out of ideas in creativity in adapted works. Forgettable trash. Watch at your own risk. Watch this. It sums what I'm talking about:
If you have seen Shuffle or any other harem ecchi anime don't waste your time with this bag of cliche already been done poo, because this is a bad rendition of Shuffle with mechas. Seriously. Complete with a retarded protagonist who wouldn't know know a girl was interested in him even if she sucked his dick, a childhood friend apart for six years who will be doing some of the sucking, a big sister, a tsundere high class stereotypical blonde blue eyed english girl (definitely gonna be sucking his dick), and of course it all takes place in the over used setting of
boy in an all girls school, all the girls doing some dick sucking too. I predict a kuudere too. I don't see a yandere though it would be too thoughtful of the anime staff to put anything in there that would make you think bad things and possibly offset merchandising.
Just looking at the character list it looks like a total rip off from strike witches (which in turn ripped off from other anime) Charlotte looks EXACTLY like Erica Hartmann, Laura Bode-whatever has that same dumb eye patch that Mio does and even Lin Yin Fang (chinese foreigner dur dur) reminds me of Lucchini. Bravo "8bit" and dumb producing name.
Nothing memorable. Dumb ass stupid generic OP that tries to copy what Railgun's OP did well. Don't even remember the ED was probably dumb too. No not probably, definitely.
Not bad the cgi looked a bit wonky but I don't really like cgi so I'm biased. The air fight in the beginning honestly wasn't that bad if a tad over dramatic and confusing but it was just a cock tease. ---UPDATE--- Second episode action was pretty good actually.
I'll watch the next episode but only to see the blonde tsundere's ass handed to her predictably.
UPDATE: Second episode slightly better than the first but the ending was SO DUMB. Ooooh why do I feel these feelings? Anh! Ichika-Sama!!! So. Dumb. So. Rehashed. I also am hating the childhood friend more and more. I've seen her character a hundred times and better.
UPDATE: Third episode was stupid stupid stupid. The blonde goes from absolute hatred to complete "let me juggle your balls" in what must be an amazing bankai hypnosis ability that the dense brick Ichika has. We introduce the stereotypical energetic chinese foreigner "second" childhood friend (as if one wasn't enough) who also is under Ichika's hypnosis expanding his rapidly growing cliche harem to three. Well I'm a bit wrong when I say cliche, I've never heard of having a first AND a second childhood friend but on the other hand who would be so stupid as to introduce a weak plot device like that.
Infinte Stratos has absolutely dreadful plot but top notch harem romance comedy and fan service. The key to enjoying this anime is to completely ignore the attempts at plot throughout the anime while savoring the characters and their fanservice. Infinte Stratos' premise is begins with our main protagonist, Orimura Ichika, just happens to be the only male that can pilot the Infinite Stratos mecha unit, which was thought to be only compatible with females. Thus our main protagonist is sent of to the IS academy and becomes the only male in a sea of females. And by stint of being male, he becomes the most
popular student in the academy -_-.
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.
Even before I touched the play button on Infinite Stratos (IS), all I've heard about it was "wow so generic", "so boring T_T", "another one of those stupid harem ones". Screw what people think, but I still started watching with a rather pessimistic opinion. IS is generic, but what's so bad about being generic? Isn't the entire definition of being general the idea that it follows the popular and majority trend? Truthfully, an anime that is only accused of being generic doesn't provide ample and concrete evidence of being a bad anime. In fact, I believe that IS is progressing rather nicely. Despite the setback
from the uneventful first few episodes, the later episodes really suggest some exciting developments into this "generic" load. Nevertheless, before you read on, think about why you even watch anime. Is it only to avoid watching generic animes and, as a result, stuffing your brain full of random crap that you don't even like or are you truly watching anime for the enjoyments and benefits it gives, regardless of the peripheral labels and whatever's been said about it? Hopefully it's the latter, because if you chose the former, then there really isn't a point in reading on since I'm pretty sure you've already made up your mind about Infinite Stratos.
Despite the previous paragraph of me showering praises on IS, I'm getting out my flamethrower and shoop da whooping the story and setting. Seriously, the plot doesn't make any god dam sense. Infinite Stratos follows the life of Ichika, as he transfers to the Infinite Stratos (basically a mechanical body armor) Academy as the only guy since apparently only girls can use IS. There he meets a few childhood friends ( girls of course) and seduces a couple more distinguished students -- basically a harem type setting. When I first saw the mech stuff, I thought "crap, what a ripoff mating between code geass and gundam." Hey! We have these giant bigass robot suits and we're just going to fly around in them for fun! Achieving something with IS? Tehe no need for tha- OF COURSE YOU NEED A FOKIN STORY. Seriously, screw this plot. It's illogical and pitiful. This is where the "generic" accusation hits Infinite Stratos hard in the nuts (or somewhere else for girls). The lack of an adamant plot development, coupled with absolutely no innovation on the mecha aspect vehemently cripples the story potential of Infinite Stratos. Sometimes I feel like I'm just being pulled around randomly by IS. Suddenly there's this event, then there's that event, and etc... IS doesn't show the viewers the way it's heading, if it's even heading a way. For some viewers who are ravenously persistent for a bite of plot, Infinite Stratos has left them to starve in the crappy 3-D world.
The art... what can I say. I guess animes have large budgets nowadays because the art is absolutely fantastic. Ahh...Charlotte...she's drawn so cute and so awesomely 2-D styled that it really makes me feel better watching the parts with her in it and makes me feel nicer towards the entire series. If you take an incredibly obsessive preference in art like me, then Infinite Stratos will not disappoint you in that aspect. Prepare those pencils and papers, and the mouse on the pause key.
Everytime I decide to watch an anime under the harem label, I prepare myself for immutable facepalms and headdesks at how pathetic the male character will be. Lucky for my brain cells, Ichika didn't kill as many of them as other harem animes would have (It's ridiculous how much calculus I forgot after watching certain parts of To-Love-Ru). Ichika is a bit spineless at times but overall he has the right spirit. The problem with having that typical "I'll protect you" spirit is that it's overused to the point where they forcefully yell it out every, oh let's say 5 minutes. And of course, that'll cause this bunch of lovey-dovey mushy crap to magically appear and ruin whatever positive feelings I have towards the anime. Ichika had less of those experiences, but nevertheless, he is still lacking the standard of determination, seriousness, and independence that I look for in male protagonists. As for the girls, all of them (except for a few of them when they are in their super WTF tsundere mode) were decent and tolerable. Laura and Charlotte were probably my favorites. Laura, for the groundbreaking determination she shows later that's rarely seen in harem types, and Charlotte simply because she's so cute. Everytime Charlotte says "Ichika, you pervert" with that shy look on her face, my infinite quantum black hole of a heart melts a little. I would have given the characters a 10/10, but Ichika's lack of skill and an adamant personality, and the other average characters unfortunately lowers the aggregate score to an 8/10.
I certainly do enjoy IS very much. It gives me the feelings of living in such an academy and the excitement of endeavoring in those events (both unfulfillable in the mundane 3-D world). However, one thing that I find IS to be lacking in is consistency. During one fight, Ichika is suddenly god-hack mode powerful. In the next fight, he's pathetically weak and a pushover. This inability to adequately address his skill level on a stable standard shows mediocre planning and over-exaggeration on idea conveyance. Another hole in the enjoyment of Infinite Stratos is the predictability of some battles, and how incredibly annoying it is to always have Ichika lose the battle when he's about to win because of some retarded reasons like "running out of energy". Overlooking these two flaws, Infinite Stratos can be very entertaining for some personality of people.
Infinite Stratos has amazing art and pretty good characters, however, it only gets an average 7. It's tragic to see an anime with a high potential of proving itself despite being criticized for being "generic" only to fail miserably with the lack of a concrete plot. It's truly tragic. If the producers only spent a bit more time to develop a plot for IS, I believed that it could have well received higher scores and reviews. However to me, it seem like the producers kind of just half- assed their way through, trying to make an exciting action packed harem type anime, without actually having to plan for an exciting action packed harem type anime. You know what they say about life. "Nothing is free".
My first Anime, after which I now understand the difference between PG 13- older (Genre) Echhi and Echhi 17+.
Just say! this Anime is for his own taste people who dont cares about the plot, the main thing is HAREM (people who love this genre like me) In spite of the main story I like when there are lots of girls and one lucky guy, so my enjoyment as a minimum will be 8/10.
First season main story in overall was booring= mech vs mech in workouts all the time and only at last episodes something appeared so the story I didn't like, BUT!..... what happened with
protagonist and his girls it was just fantastic, I love it when the girls were fighting among themselves for one guy love.
Music also point at the point and the sounds also liked, Art very well especially girls. That's all I am satisfied with the exception of the same main story, I hope next season will start with of what happened the first season ending will.
First of all i would like to start this review with the fact that THIS IS NOT AN "Genres: Action, Mecha, Sci-Fi, Shounen" but it's a "Harem, Romance , Mecha with a spoon of Action and a pinch of Shounen" , i dont even feel the need to add a Sci-fi genre considering this is a mecha anime .
And second is that this show has nothing original in it , the Mecha looks like Strike Witches with some add on , the characters are like any harem characters , the story ( still undeveloped ) gives you nothing
to even consider a storyline or just leaves you with some questions , the sound is okey , nothing new , nothing original .
Chapter 1 : "The story"
I would say , what story , the only things given are the fact that only females wear the mecha suits and for some reason the male character ( THE MALE since i have seen no other males so far ) can also use them and a fight at the very beginning with an unknown "enemy" .
And that is it , ohh i forgot , the scientist who created these mechas is missing? if i recall it and there are only a "few" mechas ( a couple hundred for the entire world ) .
Chapter 2 : "The art"
I would say it's very ordinary , nothing really stands out as good . The movements seem fluid but like i said , just ordinary .
Chapter 3 : "The sound"
Again , nothing special , the OP seems okeyish but it's like i seen something the same more than once and it doesn't really make it more interesting at all .
The ED is far worst than the OP imo , something used like a thousand times . The only sound that is okey and blends well is probably the "during the view" sounds you encounter , they fit good enough with the scenes played .
Chapter 4 : "The character"
This is the worst part of this show imho .
You have the thick like a brick male lead with a "wanabe"cool attitude surrounded by girls ;
The blonde with blue eyes "foreign high-class" stereotype with a superiority complex that breaks? down immediately after facing off the main male character and falls in love with him , going from hate to love in like "snap" ;
The "childhood friend" who's an usual tsundere ( like many other ) who is also a kendo master? and has a promise ( of love probably ) with the main character that he forgot , before she had to leave ( like many other ) ;
And in episode 3 we're introduced to another?! childhood friend , who is also chasing after the male character with a promise of "being together forever" that the male character conveniently misunderstood being the brick , oups i mean thick as he is ;
And the cherry on top for all of them is the fact that there are a lot of misunderstandings between them or subtext or one sided emotions that create a lot of awkward scenes that usually end up with the male character getting wacked or something like that .
Chapter 5 : "The enjoyment"
I would like to say that i started off kind of enjoying the show , with good expectations of shounen mecha action ( mostly because of the first minute of the show and the setting used for the show , an academy for training to fight? ) but by episode 3 kind of all of it was shattered with the 15 times use of the word "childhood friend" to "clear" misunderstandings , and totally setting the show on a harem / romance path .
OVERALL i would say this show is like a combination of Strike Witches + Chrome Shelled Regios + "insert random genre/show stereotype" x 'n' . The probably only "original" ( as in "i have not seen that many" ) is the having of two "childhood friends" introduced as such , and they clearly try to sell out this in episode three one way to many times .
For mecha / harem / romance fans this will be a show they probably will like , but for people who expected to see mecha / action this will be an annoying show .
Here's the deal: I have a dream animé. It's a show that's primarily mecha, with the robots piloted by humans and function like body armors rather than bigass robots that tower over the skyline (Zero--and pretty much all the other Maverick Hunters--from the Megaman X franchise inspired this). I wanted a little romance on the side, and awesome fights here and there, with possibly a few moments of comic relief. Character designs should be clean and crisp, with detail in the eyes and the mecha suits. Fanservice is not desired, but allowable to an extent. A male or a female lead would be fine, so
long as the female lead doesn't lead the series into a shoujo dive.
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.
Whenever I watch anime, I try to keep a critical mindset. This doesn't mean I examine and inspect every aspect of the show, but that I try to discern the things it does well and the things it doesn't do well so that I may develop an informed opinion of it. Sometimes, however, I don't really want to bother with that, and I just want to sit back and enjoy myself without having to worry too much about reading through the lines, and usually I'll reserve moeblob anime such A-Channel or Hidamari Sketch for this role. This time, however, I decided to go with a
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.
From viewing the first episode, it's made quite clear that this series is doing nothing to move away from the old formula for harem anime. It's sticking so close to the formula, in fact, that it feels like a copy-and-paste of harem anime done before.
If you're someone who's seen plenty of anime in your time, particularly harem anime, you'll be pointing out many details, character-types and scenarios that are very typical to harem anime in general as you watch this.
In short, this is just another harem anime. While the addition of the mech-suits makes for interesting possibilities, the characters themselves are cookie-cutter and predictable in
how they will act.
If you enjoy eyecandy and what harem anime have to offer, you may like this series. But, if you're looking for something even slightly original, best look somewhere else.
PLEASE READ: This is a review of both IS seasons. Scroll to the very bottom of this review to see IS S2 review (it's legit I promise!!)
There is absolutely nothing wrong with over-used generic stories. Nothing, really! Except when they're like IS. The anime that failed from the start. Though I can't say I'm surprised, with predictable story, characters, there's nothing to keep me guessing or wondering what's going to happen next.
I can sum up the story with a couple of common words:
Now go ahead and guess: Will the story be interesting or not?
There you go.
Instead of putting us into a world where the
reality of a Woman > Man type world with mechas and perhaps applying Marshall Mcluhan's four laws to that, and showing us the complexities of it's layout. Instead we get, teen boy hustled by horny teen girls.
Plot? Oh I'm sorry, THAT WAS THE PLOT!!!
In all honesty though: the story takes a while to introduce the full cast using a few episodes dedicated to each girl. In some parts there are fights and a tournament, terrorists yadda yadda blohmadda.
The art suffice to say was, great!(it is in no way close to any of the other factors in terms of weight) The settings were detailed enough so I could recognize the general things. You could identify the main characters easily as well (although you can't remember their names cause they're blander than me blending water). The fights were, pretty good but the MC should really ask people to stop giving his butt to him as a damn Christmas gift. All I can say is, decently-good.
The sound was fine as well, but no really interesting music to get your blood pumping.
Characters: Shit. Now I know what you're thinking, "Hey don't be too harsh, the characters are vibrant and have different personalities". I say NO. Let me explain:
What makes a good character? Personality sure! but what other qualities should they have? A decent art model yes. But what makes the character -stand out from the rest-? There we go.
Picture those 5 girls. Imagine in your head about how they interact with Ichika. Now take away Ichika. What do you see now? Nothing.
You know that saying where you say "I can't imagine X without X". Yeah well that's mostly used in a positive context. Here? Bad.
Ok I found their names and here: let's see how this goes now.
Houki: Childhood Tsundere. Enough said.
Cecilia: Proud, stuck-up rich girl who likes Ichika.
Rin: Chinese Loli (pig-tails are bonus OH YEAH!!)
Charlotte: Blonde girl who tried to be a guy.
Laura: Angry German Loli with military background.
BONUS: Chifuyu: Angry older sister, constantly hits Ichika. Gets mad at him for unfair reasons.
BONUS: Tabane: Created the idiocy that was IS.
See? Aside from the 2 bonus characters, I can't see any sort of character in these Haremettes. All I see is some saltless-butter of a bunch of dolls. This is the problem in most harems. (ignoring the fact that harems in general suck) The girls are nothing without the dumb MC to anchor them to be pseudo realistic in any sense.
Almost forgot Ichika.
He sucks......I won't go too much into it I'll point form it.
-Too stupid to exist.
-Scared of girls
-Did I mention boring?
Enjoyment. I forced myself to watch this because it was so bad, I really had to see just to what extent of bad this was. No I don't torture myself to watch anime, I did this as a self experiment to see just what to expect when going into this type of genre. It didn't disappoint my expectations at least (good!) because they were zero (oh...). But seriously, I was bored as heck. I was very tempted to skip to the second halves of the episodes to see some action... then to my dismay finding out that there was no action in some episodes. Boring Boring Boring. *SPOILER* Not even that climactic battle with Laura was good, it was just stupid in all places. *END SPOILER*
This anime was bad, I'd hate to see it's manga/LN version because I bet that's a bunch of useless writing.
I obviously expected too much from this anime. No wrong. I expected too much of what I WANTED from this anime. Instead, it did the usual pander otaku schtick and rolled with it. Obviously it was a harem/romance/romcom/highschool/mecha anime. But still, just seeing these always piss me off at how blatantly Japan doesn't care to try and even try something new for once.
The settings could really have been expanded on. Like I said, Marshall Mcluhans 4 laws could have been applied here.
Enhancement: No brownies here, this is too easy to explain.
Reversal: Instead of it's intended purpose of space exploration, it could have added on to that, explaining how technology can be manipulated into a purpose of reversal.
Retrieve: What earlier actions/service could have been brought back because of the intricacies of IS?
Obsolesce: What does this technology make obsolete. Again too easy.
It could have showed these 4 laws applied in greater detail. EVEN IF YOU DON'T KNOW MARSHALL MCLUHAN, there could have been some more focus on looking at the mechs do stuff. But no, Ichika and his teenage crisis with his girls is wayy more important. (sigh)
But as I said. It was doomed from the start when it said Harem, Ecchi and those buzz words right off the bat.
What do you get when you take a guy and put him in a school full of girls? You get the piece of garbage known as Infinite Stratos! Oh light novels how I adore you!
Back when I was a young anime fan I absolutely loved this show since I was a dumb fourteen-year-old adolescent who was only watching anime just to see some boobs. And while my love for boobs has only grown with more conviction and strength over the years, my taste in narrative has certainly changed a lot as well with my ever growing disdain for light novel adaptations. In this work of
masterclass story writing, the author decided that the plot would involve the shy and bland light novel guy archetype. This version of light novel guy is incredibly dense. Like REALLY dense. Like REALLY dense. I cannot possibly empathise how actually dense the main character is in words since the brilliance of Light Novel Guy has transcended words alone and moved up to another plane of existence beyond what is possible for human comprehension. I say this because NO damn guy would ever react the way in which Light Novel Guy does or could possibly be this dense.
Okay, before I get into Light Novel Guy allow me to explain the 'plot' for this anime. Set in the future, Japan has developed mecha exoskeleton suits called the 'Infinite Stratos" or IS for short. However, for some reason (the show never actually explains why) only women are able to control and power these machines, that is, until one day, Light Novel Guy touches one of the suits and for some reason he becomes the only man in the world to be able to control and use the IS suit, in which he is shortly sent to a school in which he is taught how to properly manage and use the IS suit for combat. And that's it. The narrative goes nowhere with its idea or theme. Every now and again, the show will introduce a new character to spice things up or randomly throw in some villain out of thin air but the show remains incredibly linear. It's a shame too since there is so much wasted potential. Think about it. A world in which only women can control these suits resulting in a monopoly in both power and in war. The show could of delved into gender roles, the dominance of females over males, how society has changed as a result of this invention but the writer does nothing. Just throw a bunch of women, create a harem and show a bunch of tits. Obviously this tactic worked, considering the immense popularity of this show. It's unfortunate how light novels don't even have to try to be good for them to be a hit with filthy weebs.
With the 'plot' out of the way let's get back to explaining Light Novel Guy. As I said, Light Novel Guy is incredibly dense, like many other Light Novel leads but in this show you wonder how the guy is still alive and able to perform basic human functions since he is that clueless and stupid. Every time a girl is clearly tying to confess their love to him he doesn't even realise even when it is so obvious. Speaking of that, why on Earth do all these girls fall in love with this guy so easily? I mean, sure he the only guy in the entire school but I think sand-paper would be a better alternative to this guy. Light Novel Guy has the personality of a brick wall with no likeable characteristics or even motivation. He is simply a person who exists in this universe that just so happens to be at the centre of this narrative. He does nothing, he is nothing and I'm getting bored just talking about him so let's move on.
Alright, ladies and gentlemen. It's time for the shot-gun round in which we blow through the rest of the supporting cast! Let's go!
Houki is the childhood friend with big boobs and also happens to be a Tsundere. She falls in love with Light Novel Guy.
Cecilia is the British Big Boobed one. She falls in love with Light Novel Guy.
Lingyin is another childhood friend. She is Chinese. She has small boobs. She falls in love with Light Novel Guy.
Laura is the Nazi, I mean the German one who gets a SMALL amount of backstory and development but hardly enough time is spent on her to flesh her out. Guess what? She falls in love with Light Novel Guy.
If it sounds like I'm being really vague and lazy with these characters, that's because the show doesn't give me a lot to work with. All of them are equally generic and boring and going through them individually would essentially just be me repeating the same thing over and over again. However, there is one character that does get some development, when compared to the rest of the cast anyway. A full episode is devoted to developing Charlotte's character and her backstory, while not entirely original or even all too fleshed out in the grand scheme of things, was actually handed with a lot of care. Sure, she does fall in love with Light Novel Guy after this and her character goes nowhere after that but at the very least there was something. I just find is really annoying that all of the girls fight over this guy as if they were moths attracted to a flame.
In terms of the fights, I felt them to be entirely boring. The IS suits are CG but in all honesty it's not too bad; it's just that the fights lack tension. These suits are so goddamn strong that it removes any narrative steaks the show may of had. In addition, Light Novel Guy also has about a million power-ups at the most convenient of times to save the day or to win in a fight which, again, removes any tension from any fight. It doesn't exactly help either when about ten million boob shots and ass shots are shoved into my face every single second. The show does try to make some scenes really dramatic but they're undercut by the tits flying left, right and centre.
The fan-service is a big part of this show and I find it tasteless to say the least. Every event or arc is simply an excuse just to reveal as many breasts as possible since the show has no aims or narrative. This problem, believe it or not, is even worse in the second season but that's for another day. Now, I want to elaborate that I have nothing against fan-service in anime. To be perfectly honest, I enjoy it from time to time since I am being pandered to, and hey, that's how those things kind of work, but when your show is nothing but panty and boob shots, it feels like a desperate attempt at keeping the audience's attention since the narrative or characters are not strong enough to do it on their own. When a show uses an abundance of fan-service it is generally a clear indication of bad writing (unless the entire show is built around the theme of sexuality such as Kill la Kill) as the author uses it more so as a selling point for his work rather than through an interesting story. I understand why it is used; to fish interest in this heavily saturated and competitive industry, but I often lose respect because of it. If it were something like Bakemonogatari, where they intermix fan-service with unique and creative shots, with great dialogue, I'd be fine. But this show doesn't have that at all.
The music is alright; I did like the opening and ending tracks however. They're generic pop but they work and are very catchy none-the-less. Infinite Stratos is yet another example of a terrible Light Novel adaptation and proves that just by throwing a bunch of tits on screen, anime fans will eat it up. It worked on me when I was fourteen, so I'm sure it's working on others. Although this brings up the question. Why am I watching this now if it clearly is not aimed at me? Why should I care what the fourteen-year-olds are doing? That's because these fans deserve better than this. Just because a show is aimed at a particular audience, it still is no excuse to be absolutely lazy with your writing and storytelling. Anime, despite all of it's mishaps, is a medium in which holds some of my favourite pieces of media ever created. The genre has a lot of potential, which is why it saddens me to see this show, which is so badly and lazily put together become more popular than actually good shows out there. Either way, Light Novel Guy can go fuck himself, but then again, he is too dense to probably even understand what 'fuck' means...
I haven't read the manga yet and the review is simply based on this anime, I'm fully aware that there are still a couple of more episodes to go, and it is too early to make any conclusions. Ok, amigos how do I rate this anime:
Ok, so the anime is about a girl genius, Tabane Shinonono, who invented an exoskeletal suit called "Infinite Stratos" or "IS" for short, which can only be operated by women thus gives them greater dominance in society and leaving men to be wussies ( I wonder what happen to the nukes?) but the story is more focus
on the misadventures of the un-expecting Ichika the only muchacho who can operated an IS and with his harem, other genres are trivial, but it's all good.
Artistically-wise, It's good, but the technicality bad. Well, I'm referring to the mechs or IS's in a technical way is too overly decorated. Going to the school uniform, well, the way it is drawn it kinda conforms to the time but as in any school genre it ain't 100% uniformed, co'z every girl in the academy sport a different style: like when it comes to their socks: some wore high knee, some wore low knee, while there are others sport ankle length socks and as always they come either in black or white, but quite a few wore panty hoses . There is the shoes, which loafers are the usual choice by many, while quite a few have there own style of foot wear and let's not forget the skirt's length, in a schools genre the length of the skirt is either short or very short (Oh my I can see their panties from here), but rarely does it goes long, and in the case of this anime, I'd say that this is the only one that I know which the length of the skirt or the whole uniform itself (since it is worn like a one piece dress with 3 layers beneath ) whose length varies from one girl to another.
I just like the opening theme, that's all.
Character - 7
Ichika Orimura - As it is said he is the only muchacho in the academy, actually he never intended to attend the academy in the first place . It's just that he happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and can't seem to keep his hands to himself when he touched an IS, which by the way it reacted to him, thus he got drafted into the academy and he seem to do pretty good in getting into a lot of uncomfortable situations involving his harem. And as in any harem genre, he is oblivious and very much indecisive as what to do with them, he operates a Byakushiki a close quarter melee IS and he only has Yukihira type 2 saber as his weapon because of his kendo background, not surprising since he was trained by his Nazi sister Chifuyu.
Houki Shinonono - Ichika's childhood friend (the 1st one), she's a tsundere which make up part of the harem, she and the muchacho (male lead) could have been lovers if she and her family were not not taken away and placed under protective custody due the sensitivity of her sister's work. She's an top notch kendo (and Iaido) practitioner, and she looks good in the uniform that she wore, in fact her style really trends up to that particular time (which is the future). She harbors feelings for the muchacho, however she can also kick his butt......when she's jealous and pissed. She's the first chica who slept with the muchacho (in separate beds of course) and she was almost see naked ( unintentionally that is). Since we now know what her personal IS look like which is the Akatsubaki, it is yet to know as to what it is capable of, judging from her kendo and iaido skills it is believe that her unit is a close quarter melee .
Cecilia Alcott - the 2nd girl who entered the muchacho's life, overall, she's a bitch at first to the muchacho but later on warms up, she always brags about her being part of royalty (even if she's just been orphaned....according to info) and being a representative from the UK (my ass). She's very clingy to the muchacho and would be rude to anyone who comes near him, she's the forth girl which the muchacho has see naked (being topless in the beach counts and it's her fault ). Her uniform make her look like a granny, well she would look hotter if she wore the same style as Houki. She operates the Blue Tears a sniper platform IS, not much for a melee, since she relies on her unit's drones to get close to an opponent.
Rin (or Lin) Yin Fang - 3rd chica to come into the muchachos life, actually she's suppose to be the 2nd girl into his life since she happens to be the muchacho's 2nd childhood friend, she's rather petite, flat chested and wore her uniform like a whore, but she make up for being a good cook ( according to info) though in this anime she only presented the muchacho her sweet and sour pork dish and she can also be a handful for the muchacho when she's pissed or jealous. she has a medium melee or frontal assult type of IS which is the Sheng Long, which aside from having Impact Cannon, it is also equipped 2 big meat cleavers when joint up it becomes a spear with 2 tips at opposite sides, I guess she's a kung-fu practitioner to have that kind of melee weapon.
Charles or Charlotte Dunios - 4th chica to come by, at first she was able to fool the muchacho that she's a man (and so as everyone else), until he accidentally saw her naked while taking a shower, which by the way she's the 1st girl whom the muchacho has accidentally seen naked, twice, (being in the men's bath doesn't count, and Houki doesn't count either) and she the 2nd chica whom the latter slept with - in separated beds of course. Unlike other members of the muchacho's harem, she's more open minded and she's the only one whom the muchacho can related to . At first she wore a male uniform with a close turtle neck, then later on she sports a female school uniform, but the sneakers make her look like a middle schooler . Her IS is a mass produced 2nd generation unit called "Rafale Revive" which is a versatile multiple weapons platform, capable of sniping, assault and close quarter melee, and is probably be a formidable match to everyone else except for Laura's IS. Later on she decided to come out clean and declared that she's a girl and not a boy to the disgust of everyone else towards the muchacho, so much so that he's about to be killed by a jaded Rin.
Bodewig Laura - the 5th chica to come by and gave the muchacho a slap in the cheek , she's a genetically designed super soldier (according to info) and has a VT system implanted in her. Her school uniform makes her look like a member of the Nazi since she did came from Germany, at first she dislike the muchacho because she blames him for her idol (Chifuyu) for leaving Germany, but after beating her in the tournament with help from Charles or Charlotte she warms up to the muchacho and even giving him his first kiss. She also declared him to be her husband (though they are not even married yet) after saving him from a jaded Rin and she's the 2nd chica whom the muchacho saw her naked which she intended it or maybe she really does sleep naked, she's the 3rd chica whom the muchacho slept with... in the same bed this time and nothing happen between them. Her Schwarze Regen is a heavy artillery, assault and a close quarter type IS, which is equipped with an AIC that can be used as a defensive shield against an incoming assaults or attacks. She's also a member of Schwarzer Hase special forces in Germany whose members also wore ridiculous eye patches even if they have both their eyes.
Orimura Chifuyu - Ichika's big sister and is also his homeroom teacher, she's also his first kendo instructor . She the muchacho's only immediate family, she's a highly skilled kendo and iaido practitioner, she competed in various Mondo Grosso tournament and won (why don't they just call it an IS tournament?) except in the finals where she had to drop out in order to save his brother. She has a Nazi like method when teaching, dealing and training her students and seem to have dominatrix attitude with the way she dress and the way she wore a bikini and probably the way she wore her lingerie.
Yamada Maya - Ichika's other class instructor who looks too young to be one and seems to be the same age as a 3rd year student, but her big boobies and sweet character make up for her kiddie stature.
Tabane Shinonono- Houki's big sister, who sports rabbit ears and wore a granny dress, she has a voice of a girl from the 6th grade. She designed the exoskeleton unit called "Infinite Stratos," she was able to exercise leverage against any nations who wanna use her design for war by implement an "IS Treaty" that regulates the used and distribution of the IS units.
Others-.......well they are just trivial, so why such rating, co'z I like the way the how the author designates the roles and situations of the characters.
Well' let's face it, what makes this anime enjoyable is the muchacho's way with his harem, which get's him in a lot of cabeza del dolor (headaches). Also, the IS units who were duking out with one another, but the main piece de resistance is the ultimate battle with a drone and knowing as to who the main villain is. Which, by the way I'm suspecting Tabane Shinonono since she designed the IS in the first place and she's the only who has a monopoly with the IS Core design so it's possible that she can make an IS capable of functioning without a human operator.
Infinite Stratos... Oh boy, where do I start?
Infinite Stratos is THE ultimate harem. The main character is a retard who happens to be the ONLY male in the world to be able to operate an IS. The reasoning for this is explained later in the series, but if you haven't watched it then I won't say how. Did I mention how he had a sister complex? Anyway, this show contains almost all the harem cliched elements that one show could have.
[X] Robot Girl (Laura)
[X] Retarded male character
[XX] Childhood friends
[X] Girl with glasses
[X] Reverse trap
[X] Bossy older sister
[X] Main character walks into someone else changing
(This happens way too often -___-)
Those are the things that I remember seeing off the top of my head. I watched the show around 3 months ago and just now decided to write reviews. Anyway, Ichika is also oblivious to the extremely obvious signs that the females are giving showing that they want the D and it's not even funny. It's actually really annoying and stupid.
I think this is how it went down:
Ichika: "I'll go out with you."
Ichika: "Out shopping that is!"
Me + Houki: -_____-
The artwork is average. It doesn't look any different than any other show that aired around the same time. Pretty standard modern anime designs. Nothing too special.
The sound is average, but I really liked the ED. I downloaded the song. Nothing really needs to be said about this other than average.
The characters are pretty bad. Cecilia was really annoying and went from tsun to dere in one episode. It might not really be a big deal, but that's just not right. Ichika is a complete idiot and gives off the idea that he has no fucking clue what is going on around him and somehow that gives him the attention of the entire academy. The girls there must have low standards or not like men with brains at that school.
Honestly, the only thing I enjoyed about this show would have to be Charlotte. I'm a huge moefag and she was just adorable.
This show is really no different than any other harem. It's pretty average. If you like average, then this is the show for you. If you like looking at pretty faces, then I recommend you watch this show.
With Infinite Stratos, I only watched through it mostly because i wanted a good laugh. Not because it was a comedy, but just because of how bad it could get. The story mostly surrounds a boy who gets put into an all girls school because he's the only male that can operate these machines. Why is he the only male? Why can females only use them? Don't ask, you're here for tits. This is the equivalent of to love ru but with mechas. But don't get too carried away because there is no advancements from the MC to the females.
The main character is basically
autistic so get used to him not catching on to the clues that the girls around him want the cock. He also needs help because he literally can't do shit so that's when the girls come in to aid him in everything. Now i can dive into a super informative review of how this anime sucked or how it did decent or whatever, but you don't need to.You sit there, pop a squat (or occasionally pop a stiffy) and you watch for tits and ass and all that. Want amazing plot or just a good romance? Spice and wolf or Toradora. Want a good Mecha? Idk any good mecahs but find one that's highly ranked and go for it. Same goes for season 2 of this show since the formula is repeated.