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)
After spending time on the beach, the girls (and guy) of IS Academy retire to relax at a hot spring resort. While settling in, Houki's sister Tanabe arrives with Houki's own personal IS, a new, fourth-generation type far better than any IS the other countries are putting out. But before they can gawk at it in all its glory, an emergency directive comes through: a rogue IS matching all the characteristics of the unmanned one that hit the school is heading to Japan at supersonic speeds, and only a few people have the potential to stop it.
After my frustrations of the last episode, a few people on our forums suggested I sit back and accept Infinite Stratos for what it is; then I might enjoy it more than I have done. So, I took their advice and sat back and got ready to enjoy the obligatory hot springs episode. Instead, by the mid-point of the episode, IS decided to give us some actual plot development. And like the few times this has happened previously, I found myself really digging it! It is still nothing original, but it is fun, and they build tension fairly well.
And really, this just underscores my overall frustration with the series. I have nothing against generic harem comedies, and so far, IS has usually been unwilling to venture away from it; but it has the potential to be more than that, and they keep giving us tantalizing hints that it will become more than that. As I write this, Infinite Stratos has just two announced episodes remaining; with the progress of this episode, my hope is that we are in for quite the finale.
I just do not know what to make of Infinite Stratos anymore. Just as I accept that it has no desire to be anything more than a generic harem comedy, they go and give me some good plot development. With just two episodes left (barring more episodes being ordered up at a later date), my hope is that they will be quite explosive. Again, here is to hoping that hope is not misplaced. Thumbs firmly in the middle, but willing to go in either direction.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles