IS Infinite Stratos – 11
「ゲット・レディ」 (Getto Redi)
Like me, a lot of Super Robot Wars fans are still waiting to see some real men “ride one another”, but in the meantime, Infinite Stratos provides its own take on that suggestive idea with Byakushiki mounting on top of Akatsubaki. Mecha fans can rejoice, because the IS variety also starts off with Houki discarding her pride before offering Ichika a good ride up top. I can’t vouch for how good it was for Ichika, but the other girls sure seemed impressed as they looked on in awe. What I can tell you is that it got pretty hot up there.
Houki may have failed her mission, but the instantaneous Newtype-like naked understanding she had with Ichika that caused the blunder catapulted her to top of the compatibility rankings this week. She clearly has something the other girls don’t — feelings for Ichika that developed when he stood up for her, which the ribbon she wears to this day is a testament to. You can never underestimate the power of the childhood friend in anime, even when there’s a second childhood friend who tries to steal some of the spotlight. Sorry Rin, you’ll always have a special place in my heart as the spunky twin-tails Chinese girl with a uniform that has exposed shoulders.
The sight of Houki’s ribbon getting burned up by Silvero Gospel’s attack was pretty symbolic, as her confidence in being in control of her powers went with it. Still, even in her dismal state and unable to talk to Ichika in his present condition, I could get a real sense of her earnest feelings of concern that would make any guy happy. Charlotte and Laura may be going all out to get Ichika to notice them, but Houki had the sparks flying even when Ichika was unconscious. The poor criminal-saving guy just isn’t aware of who he truly loves yet. (I’ll admit I was a bit persuaded by the flashback that showed just how cute a young girl innocently falling in love can be.)
As the precursor to the finale next time, the girls banding together to stop Houki from beating herself up seemed like an early sign of the open-ended conclusion that we’ll likely be left with. Expecting anything more would be downright foolish, though I’m still leaning towards Houki having a bit of an edge since things will have come full circle when they conclude around her. On that note, it must be nice having five cute girls getting revenge for you, but I suspect Ichika will join in before it’s all said and done just like we saw in the cold opening in episode one. Hopefully there will still be time for Houki’s birthday after that, sealing the deal that she is the main girl as far as this adaptation is concerned. It may be a different story if Chifuyu acted on her anger and put these 15-year-olds in their place, but she hasn’t shown any signs of suiting up in an IS again. That would be the sensible thing to do, but who wants that?
* Houki’s two-piece swimsuit is definitely one of the best. She looks pretty darn good in white.