IS Infinite Stratos – 05
「ボーイ・ミーツ・ボーイ」 (Booi Miitsu Booi)
“Boy Meets Boy”
It’s probably safe to say Ichika’s inexplicable appeal knows no bounds, as he’s been attracting cute girls long before he landed himself in an all-girls paradise. In school, out of school, cue in Gotanda Ran (Obata Noriko) for the latter. It’s easy to feel sorry for all the girls when Ichika isn’t aware of how popular he is, and utterly impossible for Ichika for the very same reason. He’s starting to come off a little dense at this point, much like Ran’s brother Dan (Yasumura Makoto) pointed out, but I still can’t blame him when there’s absolutely no reason for him to even think he’d be this popular. He’s not some IS prodigy nor all that cool, so I’m still going on the presumption that he feels the same way. Incidentally, that’s what makes him a respectable male lead in my mind — he doesn’t think much of himself yet manages to do all the little things right by just being himself.
This episode got the remaining character introductions out of the way fairly quickly, lumping in Laura Bodewig (Inoue Marina) at the very end of a full twenty minutes about “Charles” Dunois (Hanazawa Kana). The increased pace was a welcome change, considering the unknown IS threat was brushed aside for the time being. It actually felt a bit unnatural for the school to return to its laid-back ways right away, so I saw it as a means of getting back to that aspect of the story sooner too. The IS exercise where Yamada Maya (Shitaya Noriko) put Rin and Cecilia in their place was fun to watch in a lighthearted sense, but there’s a different level of enjoyment in seeing the more suspenseful battles that have something on the line. I like how the IS are used as the basis for character interactions, but I like it even more when they drive the plot forward in a slightly more serious way.
The high school aspect was undoubtedly the focus this time around, and Charles’ inability to hide his true gender to the viewers was overshadowed by Houki’s earnest reaction to being carried like a princess. I’ve been wondering when that line about the “legendary ohime-sama dako” in the promo videos would come into play, which made Houki look even cuter when she pushed for some more time alone with Ichika shortly after. The rooftop lunch scene had all the elements that make a harem-esque series work, and even surprised me with the way Ichika pressed forward while oblivious of the implications on feeding Houki. Cecilia and Rin’s reactions were priceless. I’m looking forward to seeing how these three interact with Laura, who clearly doesn’t like Ichika. Now there’s a first for the series.