Infinite Stratos 11 + 12 [Final Impressions] SCREENIES AND OPINIONS GALORE
I know why you’re here. Not to play catch up with me, certainly, but the first part of this post is a review of 11. Actually, I prefer it this way because 11 and 12 fit together as an amazing two parter and I think the review I’ve put together is great. So prepare, Zero and I welcome you to a show of moe, boobs, amazing mecha, character development and EVEN MORE CECILIA ALC- ouch. Sorry Zero. Anyway, Infinite Stratos concludes here!
[below the cut is a gallery of 100+ screenshots as a bonus- enjoy and feel free to use!]
ON THAT NOTE
Infinite Stratos 11 starts off with the beginning of a big fantastamagical fight in which Houki and Ichika team up. Houki is filled with an enthusiasm we’ve never seen before and Ichika’s sister warns him to be careful of this, and to be there for her in the event of such a thing. Ichika’s bigass morals get in the way of a clean victory and Houki’s hatred of the weak causes an emotional meltdown, and this results in the failure of their first mission together and deep anguish among the ranks.
Episode’s 11: Main point actually disappoints me. I’m going to get into some heavy text and for once, images won’t matter and I’ll just ask you to observe some points with me. I am displeased by how quickly Ichika lost – which he and Houki do – because this is a very important thing. It should have been all of episode 11. Infinite Stratos’ issue is not story, plot, characters, art, sound track – it’s pacing. It is the period of time they were given to execute a set plot and the fact that either the manga didn’t do it well or the anime adaptation didn’t. The beginning is meant to emphasis Houki will be overconfident, but it’s not being overconfident and happy that loses them the battle. It’s her long drawn out issues deep within with those weaker than her and those who hurt others. So I don’t understand that. And the scenes following the loss just say YUP THEY LOST now watch Houki angst. Beautifully. Which she does. God the scenes are breathtaking and animated so well I don’t care about ANYTHING else. I don’t even like the art style but the animators are such good artists I ended up liking it by the end. Everyone looked beautiful in almost every scene but let me talk about Houki
Infinite Stratos is barely about Ichika. From episode 1 to episode 12, it’s more like I cared about and learned more about Houki. It’s true the emphasis of a harem show either turns out to be all the women surrounding the man (which done correctly is the better option) or the man alone. A truly amazing harem does both. And don’t get me wrong, I feel like I know Ichika. I like him. I thought he was an idiot for day 1 but this series, had it had 24 episodes, would be much better and more comfortable with it’s male lead. Instead, Houki turned out to be the most developed. I don’t know if her motivation is particularly deep. Who hasn’t been hurt in their past? It’s not original. But it did something the show had to do, that it needed to be a good one to me. It made Houki, and Ichika, likable. Simply because I can relate to one of the harem girls on a personal comfortable level as well as Ichika makes this show gain an entire rank for me. Is it a classic? Certainly not. But it’s a harem I’d recommend as a cute way to pass the time. And as it stands, Houki has gotten way more screen time and many more twists than anyone else. From the beginning she’s been emphasized. And I think if a second season is granted all the girls will grow in the way Houki has. For now, we know almost nothing about them and that’s saying a lot because we’ve had soul episodes devoted to them. We need more insight to grow attached and for a 12 episode anime, two characters I fully enjoy and felt connected to is enough.
Beyond that, episode 11 is summed up in screencaps. I don’t feel like going MOE because it’s again, in the screenshots, and you get the emphasis from the episode much better. But, everyone in this episode is totally moe. AND FREAKING AMAZING SAND LOOK UP THERE THAT SAND IS JUST FUCKING AJSFHLFDJKG UUGUHFDUGHDFUGHF UNST.
And episode 12? I’m going to be so general. Let’s just say some important things about it and then you look through the pretty gallery. I don’t spoil endings >:[
So the girls work together! Hurrah. If anything they’re all like friends and that’s good and bad for me in a harem. They’re ready to kick ass for Ichika and they do. Then Ichika goes into a mind fuck and he’s asked, Do you desire power?, as the girls start to fight the baddie who shifts into second phase. The power is overwhelming!!! And then Ichika finally answers – yes, he wants power. And the reason he wants that power is for his nakama. I don’t care if it’s subbed as comrads I prefer the word nakama >::::|||||||||||||| All the girls get pretty much KO’ed and Houki makes a final statement- she wants to see Ichika again. Full circle, Ichika to Houki, the emphasis of this series comes around to a full development. Because Infinite Stratos focused on Ichika’s bonds, and Houki’s growth. And to find that out, watch it your own damn self!
Art – The animation and art for this series was freakin great. I’ve seen people say it isn’t and I think their real issue is the art style. The execution and quality was more often than not astounding. I can’t give it a perfect score though because there were still filler non important scenes with less than amazing animation and more than FUCKING ANYTHING I HATE 3DS MECHS. They give me indigestion. But some of the scenes are drawn so beautifully I’m giving it the highest score of anything else for this anime 8.5/10
Characters – This series had the unfortunate curse of being too short. The characters had amazing screentime nonetheless, and many types of characters were introduced. But seldom did they get time to go beyond that. I think the only people who did go beyond their archetypes were Houki, who developed past her issues, Cecilia, who while not very developed stopped being a tsundere and became a more sidelined and docile character, and Charlotte, who by far came the closest to Ichika’s heart aside from Houki. I’d say Charlotte and Houki were followed closely by Laura, but I’m trying to say people who went beyond their archetype and all Laura’s done is live up to be a true tsundere. Ichika is very likable but predictable. Still, I’m not against predictable. It’s not bad or unenjoyable to be something that isn’t brand new. My personal philosophy is if can be done well enough to entertain me, then the series is not a fail. And Ichika, while stereotypical, did have some fun tweaks in his personality. Like Ichigo from Bleach, he fit an archetype but did it his own way. I want to see more from these characters so I can give them higher scores. For once, I didn’t even mind the ones who had their type show through. 8/10
Plot – WHAT PLOT?! Okay let’s be honest. There is no plot. The plot was the characters this season. I’m not even going to rate this one because it’s not good or bad, it’s just not something there was really to say about. This series told us from the get go it’s emphasis was people and if it can sell you on those people than the anime is legitimate.
OST – Nothing special but very pretty at crucial moments. 7/10
Overall opinion – Infinite Stratos reminds me of a game I played years ago called Luminous Arc 2. It was nothing new but I really loved it, it made me have a whole bunch of fun and I sunk somewhere around 60 hours into it the first playthrough. It reeked of predictability, weird art, you name it- but it did one thing. It brought something, however minor, to the table. It gave me one thing I could look at and go -that’s why I watch this! And Infinite Stratos does that for me. If you watched 2 or 3 episodes of this series and feel it’s bland, don’t watch it. But if you watch it and feel the same vibe I did from the very start you’ll love this anime. It’s by no means perfect but to me it’s something I’d definitely recommend and if it gets dubbed one day I’d love to buy it. Check it out if you like mecha, some fun ecchi, enjoy art and love the little things about anime that remind you even though it may not be the next Evangelion – it sure as hell is fun. 7/10
so closes the Oki
ZeroG: Alright so it is time for my final appreciation of this show.
Lets get this started with my point per point review.
The animation for the show were ok, they were by no mean bad, but they were not anywhere near marvelous either. Everything was well done, but there was always this mystic light of art missing, there were no sparkles in the eyes of the characters, no shining corner of light after an explosion, all the animations were well done and conveyed their primary message, but there was never a deeper meaning or grander artistic value to a scene.
This is why I give the animations a 6/10
I have trouble with harem that can’t take a decisive direction in which character will become main love interest, I can deal with love triangles, but when things get to love hexagone, this is too complicated and boring for me. It feels more like a reverse gang bang than anything to me. But I do understand that not everyone see it my way and some people might actually like the fact that there are so many possibilities for the main character to fall in love with (even if Ichika looks too stupid to realize that some people might be in love with him).
Pass that “there are too many possible lover” thing, I think the characters might not be developed very well in the story, while we have some wonderful scene of flashback and revelation from time to time from a character, most of the time even after such revelation about the character pass, we didn’t learned anything really new in the end.
Even if Ichika is the main character, there are so many characters in the story that we didn’t had the time to develop on his personality for a second, what we know of him is shallow and unoriginal. And what to say about the character of Cecilia? At the beginning she was this upright noblewomen with god-like self esteem, and right after she’s in complete love with a complete wuss and she becomes someone else entirely. The same thing happens with Laura.
The characters have trouble keeping the same personality for a long time.
Those factors, and the added fact that I didn’t love any characters (except for Laura before she became retarded about 3 episodes after she entered the show) gives a mark of…
Introduction and Ending, Music and Sound :
The intro to the show is really well done, It is one of the best of this seasons anime I’ve seen. The ending, with every girl adding themselves to the trail as the show went on, was also really good. But
For the audio effect during the show and the music during the show…well I don’t remember off the top of my head any special music that touched me or got me excited during the show…so I guess the rest of the music was not good enough for me to even remember it.
Now for the story I can’t say I am too impressed either overall. While some episode were really good and fun to watch, it was mostly for the ecchi, because the “story” is quite limited as of now, maybe a second season could put more time on the story now that the characters are introduced, but for this season, what happened in the plot really? everyone got their IS and Ichika has a full harem of girl around him? great ! but really there was no real story telling involved. There was the beginning of something though, this thing about IS and Houki’s older sister doing dangerous stuff, but unfortunately it was just a background to the show most of the time and it was never truely explored.
This leads to the score of…
Ordinary animation, unmemorable music, lacking characters, empty storyline… how could this show be possibly interesting and enjoyable to watch? well, the ecchi was interesting, and since I’m a guy and a pervert, that is about all it takes for me to enjoy a show. I especially loved episode 9 with laura, that was simply awesome, but Charles also did an awesome job at interesting ecchi scenes. So this is why I give this show…
Overall the show was quite mediocre in content, but for an ecchi, it was way better than most of the other I’ve seen. Still while this was a good show for this season, it is pale in comparison to other masterpiece of past ages. So for this reason I give this show…
It was ok to watch, it was ok that it finished too. I would certainly watch the next season if there is one, but I wouldn’t expect anymore than what we already saw from it. The ecchi was alright so thats one thing, but I would not recommend this show to someone for pure enjoyment.
ZeroG signing off