Infinite Stratos had pretty visuals, but it was a poor use of production budget.
Welcome to another installment of quick wrap! This 2nd ‘issue’ featuring Infinite Stratos, the 12-episode anime series adapted from the novel of the same name. Why’d I feel it was deserving of that statement above? Find out after the jump!
Basically, the problem with Infinite Stratos (or IS for short) is that I could sum this series up in 4 frames. Meaning there’s obviously something wrong with the script. Unlike slice-of-life anime, where it’s perfectly fine to use the same plot devices without much worry for progress, it is generally unacceptable in a more plot-focused genre such as IS.
The premise of IS is simple – it’s a futuristic world where females are in dominance thanks to being able to pilot mecha-type units known as ISes, and receive their training in a supposedly neutral (girls-only) academy. Protagonist Orimura Ichika stumbles upon an IS that responds to him, and for further investigation is sent to that academy as the only known male IS pilot. The series then focuses on his life at the academy, and his encounters with the numerous ladies of the series. Oh, and almost the whole academy likes Ichika.
Much of the formula remains much like how the first image depicts it; A new transfer student is introduced to Ichika’s class, she’s always a representative of some country which gets her a personal IS unit (established by the plot as something of a ‘rarity’ – only 400 odd units worldwide), unsurprisingly making her a formidable opponent.
She demonstrates her strength either in a mock battle with other characters, or by working to take down those rogue IS units that are introduced at random in the series. And like any harem anime, conveniently falls for Ichika (no matter how puzzling the circumstances).
If there’s one thing to like about this anime, it would be the visuals. You could tell quite a bit of effort was put into mixing static 2D backgrounds and 3D computer imagery to animate the vibrant battle scenes and environments. While this isn’t by any stretch a Macross Frontier, it’s beautiful when it needs to be.
The 12th and final episode left many loose ends untied, such as the personal issues of the cast, the reasons why the academy’s even required, and (like most harem series out there) Ichika’s final coupling, which remains ambiguous.
I’m not too surprised if this gets a second season, seeing how much room the writers have given for the ending to be expanded upon, and the fact that this is actually a pretty short 12 episodes for such an anime. All things considered, I’d say it’s still worth watching if you can find the time, and believe the continuation will happen. 🙂