Infinite Stratos Review — D

Infinite Stratos : Generic Harem #237 (plus mecha). Ichika goes to an all-girls school for IS (mecha) pilots and becomes a pimp. Infinite Stratos has quite literally the most generic harem plot you can imagine. In the first episode, Ichika moves to an all girls school. He meets his long-lost childhood friend, Houki. And what a surprise, Ichika discovers that they are roommates when he walks in on Houki in the shower! The first episode was so terrible that I thought it was a parody. Unfortunately, I was being much too generous.

Basically everything that Hourou Musuko did right, Infinite Stratos did wrong. The characters were boring, cliched and inconsistent. We have a straight-laced Japanese childhood friend who practices Kendo, a snobby British girl, a Chinese girl whose family runs a ramen shop and who is also a childhood friend, a cross-dressing French girl (this character was actually decent), and a militaristic German girl who makes a sudden and unexplained transformation into a defenseless moeblob.

But even worse than the vapid characters is the fact that the creators focus on one character for a couple episodes, and then proceed to push them into the background and forget about them. Houki showed up for the first episode and the last two but basically didn’t do anything in the middle. The same can be said of all the other characters as well: they have their two episodes in the spotlight and are discarded, hidden in the recesses of Ichika’s harem.

The creators also decided to go for a dramatic, meaningful and deep psychological ending with everyone joining their power to protect their comrades. With the desire to protect their comrades, the inherent powers of their IS awaken and they power up to defeat the enemy! (my explanation isn’t quite all there is to the ending… for one thing, it makes much more sense than the actual show) This was seriously one of the cheesiest endings I’ve seen in a while. I wish that the creators of shows like this could accept that they don’t have any deep meaning, and trying to make it look otherwise isn’t fooling anyone, only inducing pain and suffering for the viewers. The only reason anyone watches this show is for the stupid harem hijinks, and it’s better to just continue with that than to try to make the final episodes of the show into something it’s not and fail miserably.

There were some good points to this show though. For one, the arc with the French girl, Charles, was actually pretty decent. But my standards may have been set pretty low because of the rest of the show. Also, the animation and choreography of the battles was generally well done, but it would have been more effective had I actually cared about the characters in the fights…

  • Plot / Script – 5 / 10 – About as generic as it gets.
  • Characters – 5 / 10 – Poorly developed and quickly discarded.
  • Production – 7 / 10 – Good fight scenes and consistent animation, but otherwise does nothing to stand out.
  • Overall – D

Recommendations – Isekai no Seikish Monogatari, Love Hina, Zero no Tsukaima, etc…. if you like this kind of thing, there are a million ones that are better.

10 thoughts on “Infinite Stratos Review — D

  1. Yet Infinite Stratos is set to sell literally 10-20 times what Hourou Musuko will. Sad. I coudn’t make it through the second episode of IS.

  2. Did they ever tell you why only women could use this crappy mecha? I say it’s a crappy mecha because it doesn’t even have a chest plate….

  3. I feel that IS is wasted potential and agree with the author. If in the future the society is dominated by the superiority of women why are they tripping over each other for one guy? I expected the other students to be constantly disapproving of Ichika, almost to the point of bullying, so that he has to work twice as hard to earn their respect (similar to what women faced in previous generations). And in what way have women dominated society? Outside of IS in military the world seems to be business as usual. No fleshing out of the government and social changes or other advances (genetic enhancements, artificial reproduction) that would have made males obsolete. IS could have been a real provocative look at a society where the roles are reversed and questions what it means to be the stronger one, how masculinity is perceived and how it evolves against the backdrop of high speed mecha action. Instead we get hormone ridden teenage girls (who are supposedly the best upcoming pilots in the world) chasing a clueless dude with excessive ‘fanservice’ scenes. Yes some parts where pretty funny and the mech fights beautiful but I feel IS fell waaay short of what it could have been. I hope someone takes this concept and fleshes it out in the way it deserves, till then. Meh.

  4. Charlotte was really this show’s saving grace…
    First we got a tidal wave of repetitive tsunderes, a german girl with overly-dramatic character development… and then the french girl… Who’s playing in the Saimoe League as we speak.

  5. congratulations Infinite Stratos. Not only that you’re boring and unorganized, but you’re actually worse than useless as well.

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