Why, hello there, lygophile here. I’m one of them there new recruits to this blog. Blindability hasn’t introduced me yet or put me up on the team page, but she did make me an author. One of the shows I will review this season is Infinite Stratos. This review is a decade late, but that’s because I only applied recently and stuff. Be nice
“Japan engineered an armed powered exoskeleton “Infinite Stratos” (IS) and it became the mainstream of weapons. Since only women can operate IS, women dominate the society over men. Orimura Ichika is a 15 year old boy and accidentally touches an IS placed in the IS pilot training school. He is found to be the only man who can operate IS and forced to enter the training school. Ichika’s busy school life surrounded by girls has begun.”
A blend of mecha action (yay) and harem romance (boo).
Infinite Stratos 1 starts with a reasonably badass 6v1 Stratos fight. Don’t know how it has any importance, but it will undoubtedly be revealed later on…
The setting of the anime is briefly described by the green-haired assistant teacher. It is a boarding school that teaches students how to pilot Infinite Stratos (AKA Mecha), which are used purely for piloting competitions. One thing about these Stratos that’s different from your everyday mecha is that for some absurd and possibly harem-driven reason, only females (with the one exception of the main character Orimura Ichika) can pilot them. As a result, females are socially dominant over males. As a second result, Ichika’s classmates are all female. Being the only male, Ichika attracts a lot of attention, which only increases when it is revealed that he’s the brother of Orimura Chifuyu, a legendary Stratos pilot and idol of the students.
We’re introduced to Houki Shinonono, Ichika’s childhood friend that he hasn’t seen for six years, and the two have a nice chat. Cecilia Alcott, the Stratos representative from Britain, decides to introduce herself in all her perceived aristocratic glory to Ichika, who (shockingly!) has no inkling of who she is.
The next day, Ichika and Houki eat breakfast in the cafeteria, and are joined by three girls. One of them wears a costume/robe/thing for whatever unexplained reason. When they get to class, the first order of business is the nomination of a representative for the class. A couple random girls nominate Ichika as representative. But Cecilia protests about a guy being the representative (sexism) and challenges him for the position with a Stratos battle to come next episode or so.
I think this first episode was fair. Good art – I like the character designs, which are cute and detailed (major props for not having excessive boobage or pantsu) and the backgrounds, which are not drawn like trash, nor are they cluttery and annoying. Great OP (Straight Jet by Minami Kuribayashi, btw) that I re-watched a couple times afterward.
I do have a problem with the romantic
attempt at comedy part of Infinite Stratos. I dislike the ‘stumble upon potential mate without clothing, proceed to get beaten’ motif that appears to me to be a requirement of romantic comedy. It just seems stupid. I think this anime would be better if they scrapped the romantic comedy/harem part completely, since it would 1. distract from the actual plot, and 2. be totally boring since we know nothing will come out of it. PUT MORE TIME INTO PLOT AND CHARACTERS AND STRATOS FIGHTS :3 !
The characters are pretty… boring right now. Ichika’s a generic male lead, Houki is a standard tsundere, Cecilia is a standard egotistical elite with no brain. Well drawn and damn cute (in the case of the females), but boring.
The action/mecha part of this anime shows a lot of promise. The battle in the very beginning of the episode was great, with awesomely excessive amounts of firepower, great animation, and smexy Stratos(es). More plot-centric Stratos battles will presumably start next episode, which I look forward to as perhaps the best part of this anime. I hope that a main plot will develop soon and hopefully most of the time will concentrate on action and fighting and that main plot, instead of showing us how all the girls try/want to get in Ichika’s pants – which would kill this for me.