Infinite Stratos #12 — Drugs Are Bad, Mmkay?

March 31st, 2011


Seriously, Ichika. Lay off the morphine.


Well, it was about what you’d expect, aside from the bizarre dream sequence where Ichika communes with… I don’t even know what… the heart of his IS or something, and requests more power from it to protect his companions. Which somehow heals his wounds and powers his suit. It’s probably better to just not ask. Given the number of weird visions Ichika’s been having lately, I think somebody spiked his food with something other than male enhancements. So off he flies to the rescue of everybody else, but not before remembering to pick up a new ribbon for Houki’s birthday (seriously… what?) which apparently powers up her IS as well… which lets her power up his. The more I think about it, the more it makes my head hurt.

It was another okay episode though. While action packed, most of it continued to be of the variety where all you can see are specs in the distance sort of bouncing off each other before bullets randomly shoot out of the other one. Lingyin wins the award for being the most useless in the final confrontation with Whitey. I think she forgot that she was supposed to attack. I am a little bit surprised that they showed Ichika actually trying to kiss Houki at the end, but it should come as no surprise that the rest of the harem was there to literally open fire because of it. And the endless cycle of harem dynamics continues unchecked. Hoo-bloody-ray.

Final thoughts at the bottom.


Final Thoughts:

In the end, Infinite Stratos ended up having even less substance than expected, even ignoring the suddenly generated random super important ultra whatever encounter that it chose to end the show with. You can get away without having much of a central plot in a show where things ostensibly keep advancing if your characters are strong enough to carry it on their merits alone. IS did look like it could have succeeded on that front in the early going, and had a lot of the pieces in place to do it. It was relatively well made, free from ridiculous drama, and had a colorful cast, but then didn’t know how to put it all together effectively.

That weakness became more glaring as the show went on. One of the things that I really liked from the start of the show was Ichika’s personality and the way he interacted with the rest of the girls. Unfortunately, by the end of it, that personality was all but gone to make way for the usual anime protagonist denseness and bullheaded cluelessness that ought to be illegal. Other characters suffered similarly, Houki, Lingyin, and Laura in particular. The writers could never really figure out what they wanted to do with them so they ended up being written differently in almost every single one of their scenes.

Overall though, its relatively weak second half keeps it from being a great show, but it’s still far from a bad one. The ending with its sudden nonsensical serious turn and focus on a character who had spent the last 8 episodes being a complete nonentity was disappointing, but even its worst episodes were still mediocre overall. It could have been a lot better if it had kept up the momentum from the early episodes or the writing in general had better focus and some kind of overall plan instead of trying to do a bit of everything. Even if said plan was "Ichika’s wacky antics," that would have most likely improved things.

Posted in Infinite Stratos | 15 Comments »

15 Shouts From the Peanut Gallery

  • Anonymous says:

    This show continued to be enjoyable for me through most of the season, aside from the last 3 or so episodes. They’re probably setting it up for another season, since the source still has material to cover, so I can forgive it for the rushed ending it had.

    I do wish it focused more on the other characters though. I hope the second season does them justice (and maybe they’ll give Ichika a few more IQ points in the process).

  • Baby ChuChu says:

    I don’t know why I’m surprised he ‘chose’ Houki (at least that’s what they hinted at in a way). I saw it coming, but wanted to believe this show would somehow rise above the norm. It amazes me how harem anime after harem anime pair the main hero with the most boring heroine of the bunch.

    But I digress. For me, it started off pretty good, then got weak, then got pretty good for a hot second when Charles showed up, then it quickly deteriorated again, and ultimately never recovered. It wasn’t a bad show, but I’ll be damned if I ever decide to go near it again.

  • Tylon says:

    Who is that young girl in his dream? Other than someone had drugged him, what are the other possibilities? Wet dream?

    Based on the conversation between Chi-chan and the Genius; The genius finds that the current world is boring -> She decided to spice up the life of her friends -> she invites troubles to her friends become a terrorist?

    • Aex says:

      Yeah, Tabane(genius-girl) was behind everything. Pain in the ass…

      As for the little girl, she’s probably supposed to be part of the “soul” of the IS core, same with the Knight-lady. They approved of Ichika, so he got an upgrade.

  • Silver says:

    This show seems to suffer from the same problem with many other series that are adapted. Either way it’s still quite above average and very enjoyable so that’s all good.

  • Aex says:

    Overall I liked this one, even if it did go back and forth from good and boring a lot. Didn’t really watch it for the action, but there was enough play with the harem to make it very watchable. I still find it amusing that Houki was the “main” girl and yet most of the others had more screen-time then her, especially Charlotte (not that I’m complaining!).

    Another one of those shows you can just turn your brain off and watch when the mood strikes you. Although I do actually hope for a second season for this one.

  • ewan says:

    Not that great episode, I guess? Also, His IS is a person? What the hell am I watching? Naruto? Then his IS got upgraded! All I can say is it’s just an average harem for me…

    Also, already confirmed for second season according to their website(surprised you did not all know…) But for now let’s wait for Aria now.

  • Wayu says:

    Is it just me, or does Ichika’s upgraded IS look a LOT like the White Knight (in particular the headpiece)?

    • Aex says:

      Yeah, and the knight-lady in his fever-dream was basically her twin. The same core for the White Knight was re-used to make Ichika’s IS if I understood Chifuyu and Tabane correctly.

      • Wayu says:

        According to what they said in Japanese it sounds like Tabane herself was the pilot of the White Knight. After all, she DID know the pilot’s bust measurements. That and the hair style is similar.

        I still have no idea who the girl with the white hair in the dress and hat was, though.

        CORE-001 is both the White Knight and Byakushiki Setsura’s core, yes. Tabane said she put a lot of pride in it being the first core produced, which is why she installed it into Ichika’s IS.

      • Aex says:

        I thought it sounded more life Chifuyu was the White Knight and Tabane was just teasing her with the measurements. She was going on about the White Knight’s skill and Chifuyu is supposedly the best there is, plus if the core already “knew” Chifuyu it might go towards explaining why Ichika can use Byakushiki. Maybe it recognizes the similar DNA or something. But even Tabane doesn’t know why Ichika can use it, so who knows…

  • Liberator says:

    There is no point in blaming this series’ writers, as they were just following Izuru Yumizuru’s novels. I’m reading volume 2 at the moment, and aside from some detail changes (probably due to time), the anime followed the original literally line by line.

    And since this season appears to have covered the contentfrom first three of the currently six volume series, I guess it won’t be long until season 2?

  • The Phantom says:

    What the hell he ended with Houki after spending half of the season with charlote?

    This show had decent action, decent comedy but there was no plot whatsoever. It was fun while it lasted though.

  • Myles says:

    TO be perfectly honest I think this series was awesome. It had moments I found very amusing, and others I found very touching. The overall feel of the series was lighthearted and relaxing, but I found the action to be well executed, with ace animation. The series focused mainly on character relations, but the occasional enemy made for interesting combat.
    The characters hve room for further development and history, but I thought the elements of their personalities that where shown where cool. Especially Houki, who’s persona reminded me somewhat of Saber from Fate Stay Night.
    Ultimately, all though I was sad that they essential wrapped up the romance between Ichika and Houki at the end, there is still room to backtrack abit in season 2, as there is to answer questions and expand plotline as well as adding some beasty badguys. I knew it’s be Houki X Ichika in the end, and she was my fave from the start.
    This series – in my opinion – was refreshing, often amusing, sometimes emotionally empowering/touching in a way only Japanese animes seem to be, and was an awesome and memorable experience on the whole, with AWESOME music I often listen to (Straight Jet/Super Stream). It deserves season 2, I very much hope for it, as I hope for the good health of the creator. It coud easily end up with 50 episodes and take on a more serious tone over the course of them without loosing to much of it’s bouncy, fun feeling. It’s one of my favorites, and it stands out from other harem I’ve seen as an awesome series.