IS Infinite Stratos – 08
「ファインド・アウト・マイ・マインド」 (Faindo Auto Mai Maindo)
“Find Out My Mind”
I’m starting to think that Ichika doesn’t get enough credit, simply because he’s oblivious to the idea that cute girls actually like him. If we’re talking about sticking up for what he believes in, then the inter-class two-versus-two IS tournament was a prime example of some of his redeeming traits. Not only did he not back down to Laura and challenge her head-on, he and Charlotte also came with a game plan to get past her seemingly impenetrable AIC system. I loved how their tandem attacks stuck it to Laura and her arrogance, though I admittedly felt bad for Houki who was deemed easy pickings and taken out quickly to make it a two-on-one situation.
I honestly couldn’t say the same about Laura herself, even in light of her genetically-enhanced super soldier backstory. While it showed how she had fallen in status due to the nanomachine implants in her left eye and was subsequently “saved” by Chifuyu’s teachings, her resentment towards Ichika still comes off heavily misguided. I find it hard to sympathize with her, seeing as she misinterpreted how Chifuyu’s strength comes from wanting to protect her little brother as a source of weakness. Maybe Laura would think otherwise if she knew the two of them were abandoned by their parents, but even then, it seems like she had her an image of Chifuyu that she couldn’t bear being warped by any traces of kindness. If I were to give her the benefit of the doubt, then it would be how becoming the strongest soldier is all she’s known, and how that probably affected her perception of Chifuyu as her savior.
Plot-wise, the introduction of the Valkyrie Trace System spun the series in an interesting way, in that it finally looked like the story would shift towards a more serious tone. However, that impression quickly dwindled part way through when Chifuyu let Ichika handle Laura’s transformed IS instead of the teachers, making light of how dangerous the VT System supposedly is. It worked in terms of showing Chifuyu’s faith in him, yet came off rather questionable considering how Ichika only had part of his Byakushiki operable and could just have easily been killed. Likewise during the aftermath, when Chifuyu let Laura off easy and simply encouraged her to be herself.
Lately, it feels like Charlotte’s been separating herself from the pack, and the way she gave her IS’ remaining energy to Ichika followed up by that smooth finger point had me thinking that no one would even come close anymore. It came off as a promise between lovers, which the sight of Charlotte pressing her breasts up against Ichika’s back in the bath went on to reiterate. In comparison, I can’t help but feel bad for Houki who’s been in love with Ichika for years now and gets snubbed further when he promises to go out (shopping) with her. At least she knew better about getting her hopes up. It felt so warranted for Houki to hit him this time, having put up with his failure to notice her feelings even after she’s made them obvious. I’m fine with seeing Ichika get smacked around from time to time, provided that he really deserved it like he did here.
Continuing on the above, I’m surprised Charlotte revealed her true gender already, as it had me thinking she’s going to start winning over Ichika in public as well. Granted, that thought changed pretty quickly when Laura went on the offense to make Ichika her
bitch wife. It seems like the tough ones always fall the hardest, but even Cecilia hasn’t stuck her tongue down Ichika’s throat like Laura seemed to be doing. The two of them may have had a nice moment when Ichika pulled her from the Valkyrie Trace System, but this sudden turnaround seems completely out of character. In any case, at least Laura knows what she wants and is willing to take it by force if need be. It’s just too bad Rin doesn’t have quite the same assertiveness to go with her brash side, since I got a pretty good laugh from her barging into the classroom in her IS. Someone should probably tell her that killing Ichika isn’t going to get her anywhere quick relationship-wise.
It sounds like we’re in store for the obligatory beach episode next time, which the preview doesn’t even throw us a bone on. I did see a volleyball net though, as well as Laura baring it all. I managed to put together a full-length shot of the latter without all the text too.
The only downside of the full cast version of SUPER STREAM is that we never got to hear an Inoue Marina version where she sings most of the song solo. Instead, this is more a group version since Laura is the last heroine.