Bring on the clichés!
What They Say:
Infinite Stratos (or IS for short) has quickly become at once the greatest tool and deadliest enemy during world conflicts. Unique for the IS, however, is it's limitations: only women are able to pilot them. Enter Ichika Orimura, brother of one of the greatest IS pilots in history, and after coming in contact with an IS at 15, oddly capable of piloting one himself. This strange occurrence opens up new worlds for him, and he is immediately enrolled in a school that specializes in IS pilot training. A school...of just girls. Is this a dream come true, or a nightmare come to life? The greatest ride of your life awaits you, as comic mischief and daring dogfights combine in INFINITE STRATOS!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With the school tournament just around the corner, rumor starts to heat up that the winner will get to date Ichika (even if he knows nothing about it). To this end, Cecelia and Rin set out for a friendly sparring match in order to sharpen their skills; however, their bout is interrupted by Laura, who in her effort to prove she is resident bitch is looking to crush everybody. Laura easily beats the other two, and is well on her way to handling Ichika and 'Charles' (for whom we have yet to get a real name) when they interfere when Chifuyu stops the match by herself sans IS, embarrassing Laura in the process. With Rin and Cecelia now out of commission, Ichika teams up with 'Charles' for the tournament, but is shocked when their first match is against the thrown together pairing of Laura and Houki.
For the second time in seven episodes, this series has presented some potentially interesting, plot-developing threads, and has then gone on to completely ignore them in favor of more character inanity. I did not really need half an episode of Laura kicking everybody's ass to understand that she has difficulty playing well with others (or that she has a thing for her teacher). I did not need a lengthy scene of Cecelia and Rin getting embarrassed in the hospital, nor the 'wacky comedy' of Ichika accidentally checking out 'Charles' as she changes, and getting kicked for his troubles. What I need is plot development. We still have yet to see or hear anything about the mysterious rogue IS that attacked the school three episodes ago, and there was no further mention or discussion of the conversation between Laura and Chifuyu that Ichika overheard last episode. We know who the characters are at this point; now it is time they start doing something.
Since the first episode, this series has been threatening to get good. So far, I am impressed that it has neither managed to do that, nor completely fall apart. However, the overall lack of development from episode-to-episode is starting to threaten that balance. I continue to like the characters, but they are well enough developed by this point for what the series is trying to do. It is time to get on with it and get to the plot. Mildly recommended, but that recommendation is getting harder.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles