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 starting up, Ichika and 'Charles' are shocked to find out that Houki has unfortunately been paired up with Laura. But with Ichika and 'Charles' acting as a team, and Laura seeing her partner as a waste of space, Houki is quickly eliminated from the equation. Though Laura is stronger individually than either of her opponents, she overestimates her abilities and the coordinated attack of Ichika and 'Charles' is good enough to defeat her. However, before her IS can shut down, her pride and innermost desires cause a secret weapon to activate, one that Ichika is determined to defeat himself.
For the first time the entire series, Infinite Stratos gave us almost all action-based plot development from start-to-finish. And for the first time the entire series, I can say that I was fully immersed in the storyline. Sure, the developments are still as clichéd as the rest of it, but the action is gorgeously choreographed and rendered, and it was nice to actually get somewhere for once. They even (very briefly) referred to the attack by the automated rogue IS four episodes ago that had otherwise been for gotten. The entire battle scene was so well done, that I did not mind at all when it settled into more standard harem fare at the end of the episode again. Its appearance at the end of the episode to let off a little steam from a tense encounter is how it should have been used the entire series up to this point. I can only hope they have enough of a grip on the storyline at this point that they keep it going; considering the direction of the show the last two times they pushed out a little bit of plot, I worry that my hope is misplaced.
After the first seven episodes convinced me that plot was something Infinite Stratos was determined to ignore, color me surprised when episode eight gave me heaping spoonfuls of it. And you know what? I actually enjoyed it! Who would have figured that the way to have a decent story is to actually have a story? Here is to hoping that they keep it up. Mildly recommended.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles