Infinite Stratos (IS), a weaponized exoskeleton system, has become the dominant tool of warfare and conflict. Unfortunately for the men in society, only women are able to operate Infinite Stratos… with very few exceptions. One of those exceptions is Orimura Ichika, an orphan raised by his older sister who is herself a famous IS pilot. When his compatibility with IS is discovered after he accidentally touches an IS at the age of 15, he’s given a scholarship and enrolled in a school that specializes in training IS pilots. Which of course means an… interesting life surrounded by girls for this shy, unassuming boy.
Warnings – spoilers ahead.
Infinite Stratos, like other mechas I saw, was loaded with actions. I picked up the series cuz of it’s just thrilling to watch. The action sequence was great and the robots were wonderfully designed. But I admit I took some time adjusting to the fact I’m seeing robots with human heads. It’s odd at first. It still looks kind of odd right now. I still wonder what sort of physics that lies underneath the operational ability of Infinite Stratos, the exoskeleton. I shouldn’t doubt the possibility of such machines coming to existence in reality world, cuz Engadget posted an article about exoskeletons right here. That worked. So yeah, anything is possible.
Since Ichika, the main character and one of the two male characters (I think I only saw two male characters in this series?), is the only boy in an all-girl school, harem is inevitable. The focus on harem here was much more than I’d like for it to be. I’ve no problems with harem series, it’s just that overemphasizing on it can be a little tiring. For example, the first few episodes – which easily can be half of the season – focused on new female exchange students who all fell in love with Ichika. Seriously? Due to this, I’ve let myself fall behind a few episodes a few times over the 12 weeks. And like typical harem series, Ichika is absolutely clueless about the attention he’s getting from the ladies. At least, he’s not a loser or constantly needed rescues from his fans. He’s quite capable of operating the IS and pretty good in fights.
We’re talking about IS here, so let’s talk about our favorite IS, shall we? My personal favorite happens to be Akatsubaki. It is the personal IS of Shinonono Hōki as pictured above. It’s very powerful, fast and it’s red. I’ve a thing for red, you know. I like its shape as well. Akatsubaki is also the latest version of all ISes, created by Tabane, Hōki’s eccentric elder sister. If you watch IS too, which is your favorite IS?
Hanazawa Kana voiced the character Charlotte/Charles Dunois. I’ve been seeing a lot of her work lately, and I immediately recognize it’s her. I noticed that she has two different types of voice for the myriads of characters she played. One type of voice for the serious girls (i.e Kuroneko of OreImo) and the other type for the clueless/cute/helpless girls (i.e Kozue of Occult Academy). So it’s really easy to recognize her. I meant to do a post on voice actors who impressed me with their ability to produce shocking voice differences but I haven’t really had the chance to draft anything yet.
Okay, got sidetracked a little. Let’s get back to Infinite Stratos. There’s one outstanding character I wish to highlight. She is Orimura Chifuyu. At first glance, she’s very strict and cold. However, after a few episodes, especially during the introduction of Laura Bodewig, another side of her was revealed. She’s actually very kind and cares a lot about others. Take for instance, she still congratulates her students for finally defeating their enemy even though they broke the rules, and let them recover before punishing them. She has great sense of duty – that always comes first. Nonetheless, she treasures her family more than anything else, which I think it’s an admirable trait.
I think the artwork of this series is not bad. Love the color tone and the character design. I really like the effects displayed during first few seconds into the OP – the view when it quickly slides from the ocean then to the sky. Can’t really put that effect down in words, see it for yourself =) As for the OP and ED songs, they are just meh.
I guess that’s all about Infinite Stratos. If you’re in for the action, this isn’t a bad anime to pick up and watch. (Hmm..I wrote something like that just recently, didn’t I?)