Preview: IS: Infinite Stratos

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Last preview of the season!

This is normally where I’d say, “I saved the best for last!” But I didn’t. I mean, it’s not the worst, but it’s not one of my favorites or anything.

But I should really be saving stuff like that for the end of the post, so lets begin.

In the world of IS: Infinite Stratos, you have robot suits that people can pilot and fight with and such. It’s called an IS, and only women are able to pilot them.

Well, until Ichika Orimura came along, that is.

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Can't exactly say I feel bad for you, bro.

There’s only one academy that trains IS pilots, so basically Ichika is stuck with tons of girls who can all most likely kick his ass. Good thing they’re all sex-starved from having no real male contact for so long!

No, really. That’s how the story has made it seem so far. Pretty much EVERY girl wants to get with Ichika. Not that that’s exactly surprising, since this plot is basically a massive flag for a harem show, but the reasoning is kinda weak. I preferred the shows where girls being isolated from men for so long turned them into lesbians. At least that made more sense.

Anyways, also at the school as a homeroom teacher is Ichika’s big sister, Chifuyu.snap3

Chifuyu is apparently a really important/awesome IS pilot who lost connection to her family a while ago. The way Ichika put it, he made it out to be super serious about how she had gone missing and all that jazz, but then it didn’t really go anywhere.

It was kind of like this: “My sister disappeared a long time ago after some serious shit went down. We had no idea where she vanished to, and were very, very worried. Oh wait she’s teaching at this school? Okay then.”

Yeah, they could have gone somewhere with that story, but they didn’t. It was kind of stupid.

Anyways, along with his sister, we also have Ichika’s childhood friend, Houki Shinonono (LOLWAT).

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Have you ever mistaken someone yelling "NO!" three times to be calling out to you?

As to be expected from almost every childhood friend in anime, she’s a tsundere.

Sometimes a little too much so.

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Oh, my bad. Didn't know they were meant for eating. Or was it smelling?

There are a lot of moments like this too. Maybe ones not as stupidly worded, but she’s still a pretty big tsundere.

Later that day, Ichika meets yet another girl (WOAH NO WAY) whose purpose seems to be insulting him: Cecilia Alcott.

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She's pretty full of it, considering she's a foreigner.

Cecilia is the IS representative from England, though maybe I should clarify that. Basically, each country has some sort of test that involves using an IS, and the best one gets sent to this academy to learn. …I think. Their explanation was pretty fast in the show. Or maybe I wasn’t paying attention. Oh well.

All of the students at the academy stay in dorms, and they all live with another person. Considering that Ichika is the only male in the entire school, guess what predictable event happens?

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In all fairness, she should have recognized his voice from the shower.

Yup, he gets partnered up with his childhood friend. You’d think the officials would do a background check for something like this. …Unless they want something to happen between them… Oh shit, conspiracy theories!

Later that day, they’re getting lunch, and some girls ask to join them.

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...Is his sleeve in his food?

I would like to direct your attention to something. The girl on the very left is wearing a Taokaka outfit.

That. Is. Fucking. Awesome. I LOVE everything BlazBlue. I have like five Hazama wallpapers, at least.

Okay, I’ll concede the outfit actually has quite a few differences, but it’s close enough, damnit. I’m justifying it by assuming they couldn’t outright copy it due to copyright.

I hope this girl keeps appearing the show, and has more outfits. They don’t have to be from BlazBlue, but yeah.

…ANYWAYS, in class after all of this, the class has to decide who’s going to be the class rep. Being the popular piece of testosterone he is, Ichika gets nominated. Before he wins this landslide election, though, Cecilia steps in and says she won’t stand for it. She challenges him to a duel to decide which of them will be the class rep.

Ichika asks her how much of a handicap he should give her, then this gem of dialogue happens:

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NO VEILED SEXISM HERE OR ANYTHING, GUYS.

Shortly after, the episode ends.

NEXT EPISODE!

This episode starts right off the bat with continuing the streak of awesome script-writing.

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"I DUNNO. THAT NAME IS PRETTY COMMON."

They were talking about who made the first IS or something, when this chick decided to be Sherlock Holmes.

Skipping about 15 minutes of unimportant things, we get to the start of the duel between Ichika and Cecilia. Ichika gets his own personal unit for the fight.

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Rolls right off the tongue, doesn't it?

Ichika gets in his suit, which is a melee type, and is going to fight Cecilia, a sniper type.

…This match’s results are already obvious. Cecilia would have to be the WORST pilot in the universe to lose this one.

The match begins!

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Explosions!

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More explosions!

What’s interesting about this show is that all of the robot fights are in CG. It’s a method commonly referred to as, “Lets gamble with our budget by using CG everywhere and hope we don’t run out before the show ends!”

This HAS actually happened before. In DEEN’s butchering of Umineko, the plot contradicted itself frequently at the end because they couldn’t do some scenes. They did ONE fight scene in CG, along with a few snippets elsewhere, and their budget went down the toilet. That is TERRIBLE directing.

A lot of people seem to get butthurt about the CG fight scenes. This confuses me. It costs more, so it’s not “cheap,” and CG makes it more fluid than animation. How is it inferior? A lot of people just seem to be along the lines of, “WHAT IS THIS, CHANGE?! NO I HATE CHANGE!”

Anyways back to the show, guess what? Ichika almost kicks Cecilia’s ass. I’m not kidding. He was just about to win when his shields ran out. It’s official: Cecilia is the worst pilot ever.

Moving on to the third episode, we meet the Chinese representative, Lin Yin Fang (actually, there seem to be multiple spellings of her name right now, I’m just going with the one MyAnimeList has). And guess what? She’s another childhood friend of Ichika’s! Yippee?

It seems that this girl has a magical power though. Observe screenshot A and B:

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Gettin' some food~ Omnomnom.

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HOLY SHIT GROWTHSPURT.

It’s funny because she goes back to the same height as the first picture later. I’m going to keep an eye out for her changing heights again throughout the show. Maybe collect a screenshot bonanza of them.

As they’re eating lunch, Ichika lets us know a little back story about how he got here. Apparently during entrance examinations, he got lost and wound up in an abandoned room. And what was waiting for him there?

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...Why was a highly dangerous IS unit left alone in a building full of high schoolers?

He says after he touched it, it reacted to him, and when people came back they basically insta-recruited him.

Later, he and his Chinese childhood friend get into an argument about stupid crap (read: DORAMA), and she says that if she wins their duel in the tournament, he has to do what she says or something. I didn’t care much for their little drama-fest.

The episode ends with him (I just realized I don’t even have to name him since he’s like the only guy in the show lol) about to fight Chinese girl.

 

This show… isn’t bad. It’s not great either though. It’s not boring to watch, but I also don’t really look forward to it every week. At this point what I like most about this show is Taokaka girl, unsurprisingly.

The fights are actually pretty sweet, but something tells me they’re going to be decently spread out. I hope I’m wrong.

If anything, watch for the hilarious occasional script blurbs and animation screw-ups, which I’m already assuming is a side-effect of their budget being thrown into the CG fight scenes.

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