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IS: Infinite Stratos 2 – 05 »« IS: Infinite Stratos 2 – 03

IS: Infinite Stratos 2 – 04

「ミステリアス・レイディ」 (Misuteriasu Reidi)
“Mysterious Lady”

It’s action time as a mysterious evil organization tries to take Ichika’s IS.

Ichika vs Arachne

The thing I remember thinking during Ichika’s fight against Lady Autumn is “Oh yeah, IS has pretty good combat, doesn’t it?” It’s easy to forget in the harem antics, but good mecha battles is one of the reasons why this show is so well-regarded among harem anime – after all, a little variety makes the harem taste all the sweeter, both in girls and on-screen events, ne? I was especially impressed that Ichika wasn’t totally useless, with how he made that sweet dodge to cut off a few arms and evaded her fire for so long, but he still got caught like the damsel in distress he is.

By the way, is it just me or is Ichika’s IS one of the least impressive we’ve seen? Doesn’t seem worthy of theft. Though maybe that’s just the pilot. Stop sucking, Ichika.

Water Time with Tatenashi

A water clone!? Forget sci-fi, this just graduated to full on magical fantasy / Naruto shit right here. Not that I don’t enjoy Tatenashi getting in there and kicking some ass. Sultry and confident Saito Chiwa is always a good thing.

Still, I couldn’t help but wonder…if she was controlling the water through nanomachines that transmit IS energy, why bother with the water? (Other than the fact that it looks cool.) And they ended up giving a decent reason after Tatenashi used the mist to work her energy into the Arachne suit. Which only brings up why she couldn’t do that without the mist, but heeeey I probably shouldn’t think about it too much. Not when Tatenashi immediately followed up on the battle by flirting with Ichika, including a few devastating utterances of “Ichika-kun no ecchi“, HNNNNG! Plus claiming the crown for herself? Truly a ferocious contender.

Chifuyu-nee’s Imouto(?)

I don’t know if that’s who the mysterious M is, but her appearance + her focus on Chifiyu-nee make it an easy leap to make. What’s for sure is that they’re building her up as a badass combatant, and doing a good job of it. Two conflicts and she’s been both completely in control and largely victorious (at least as far as her role went) in both of them, without seeming to break a sweat. It will be exciting when she goes up against Ichika & co properly, mainly to see whether they can up their skills enough to pull a believable victory off.

Looking Ahead

Infinite Stratos is a funny show in that I appreciate it when they get plotty, but I hardly remember the details and always enjoy it more when they get back to the silly harem antics. Come on, we all know why we watch this show! Fortunately it looks like we’re going to get a mix of both next week, which is fine by me.

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – It’s action time as Ichika & co fight an evil organization, with Chifuyu’s imouto(?) stalker arriving to whoop some ass #is_anime 04

Random thoughts:

  • Two things I disliked from this episode. The first was how Lady Autumn said she was from an evil organization. Who does that? Almost no “evil-doers” actually think they’re evil – even mass murderers and despots usually think their side is good (one man’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter, etc etc). The other would be how Houki, Laura, & Char got turned into damsels in distress at the end, because I hate seeing strong female characters suddenly demoted to that…if it weren’t for the fact that Ichika spends a lot of time in distress, so actually that ones a wash. Ichika’s harem members are still waaaay stronger characters than he is.
  • Blushing Chifuyu-nee. That is all.

Check out my blog about storytelling and the fantasy novel I’m writing at stiltsoutloud.com. The last four posts: I’ve never regretted any of them, Great stories make you stop…and just feel, The subtle sexism of not killing female characters, and It’s all about the characters.

Full-length images: 09, 19, 32, 33.

 

ED1.4 Sequence

ED: 「BEAUTIFUL SKY」

Preview

October 25, 2013 at 9:46 am
59 comments »
  • October 25, 2013 at 9:50 amCrooSஇڿڰۣ-ڰۣ—

    Stilts, I have failed you:
    http://puu.sh/4Zdtg.jpg
    I couldn’t complete it Y_Y.

    • October 25, 2013 at 9:57 amStilts

      CLOSE ENOUGH! <3 <3 <3

    • October 25, 2013 at 10:16 pmUngas123

      Wait! Isn’t that a bit “smaller” compared to Char’s boobies? Oh… I forgot she can make her bust like a pettanko.

  • October 25, 2013 at 10:08 ambelatkuro

    Eh, they changed a lot of things here. For one thing, they removed Cecilia engaging the Silent Zephyrus alone and was overwhelmed by its mastery of the BITs. That’s important for the next volume/arc for her development. Also, it was only Cecilia and Laura who intercepted M. Guess they wanted all the girls to at least be ‘useful’ somehow.
    Also, the Arachne self-destructed before M came and not after. Tatenashi only shielded Ichika there.
    They also removed Ichika actually losing the Byakushiki core because of that device and then somehow miraculously recovering it by ‘wishing’ for it, though I’m glad they removed it as this was bullshit in the LN.

    But what the hell is up with that preview. It’s suppose to be downtime again and more harem hijinks with the girls. There’s nothing of that mugging(?) we see of Ichika. And there’s also no Houki in a nekomimi and miko outfit(?) as well, though that’s not a bad thing. Reminds me of Fate Extra Caster. And WTF, they’re placing that encounter with M so early. I just…what?

    On the bright side, Tatenashi being awesome with the Mysterious Lady. And that “Ichika-kun no ecchi”. Best girl definitely.
    And…that’s all I can think for the positives this episode. In short, a bad episode. I should have expected this I guess since the very first episode with that rushed montage of the pool and festival parts that’s entirely anime-original. Ah well.

    • October 25, 2013 at 2:06 pmdaikama

      And there’s also no Houki in a nekomimi and miko outfit(?) as well, though that’s not a bad thing.
      Agree, Houki not wearing a nekomimi or miko outfit isn’t a bad thing… it’s a TERRIBLE thing! Demand entire episode with Houki, no all the girls in nekomimi (pajamas or otherwise) outfits, miko outfits, or possibly even nekomimi miko outfits!

      They also removed Ichika actually losing the Byakushiki core because of that device and then somehow miraculously recovering it by ‘wishing’ for it, though I’m glad they removed it as this was bullshit in the LN.
      Agree 100% there. One of the few times I’m glad for source deviation. Remember thinking “WTF…!?” when I read that.

      Overall, certainly a number of changes were less than desirable, but I wouldn’t call this a truly “bad” episode – certainly not as bad as the first episode with that horrible montage. Still, it does appear that the anime is attempting to cover a LOT (too much) of source material in one season. Certainly not the only show to do so this season (or any other season :<). Really wish they'd stop doing that and give a little more respect to the original work.

      • October 26, 2013 at 2:54 pmUrizithar

        But this lame montage is there cause they’re going to release first episode in full as an OVA. Or so I heard.

      • October 26, 2013 at 8:01 pmdaikama

        @Urizithar: If they want to milk the pool trip for extra $$$, fine. Not the first time I’ve seen that happen. However, it is the first time (as far I can recall) that a &$%# montage was used rather than just skipping the event entirely.

        I’d much rather that time be used constructively than wasted. If fans go “where’s the pool scene?” Post a twitter comment, or (preferably) something on the official website that “we’re doing the pool scene in an OVA.” Problem solved.

    • October 26, 2013 at 8:54 amMistic

      Are they doing many changes to the novels? I don’t mind if they cut down on filler now that the series seems to have “plot”, but I hope they don’t leave out anything important, especially for character development.

      • October 26, 2013 at 12:03 pmAnanas

        -They adapted the rest of volume 4 that was skipped over in the OVA. Except they didn’t, because they left out Rin and Cecilia’s chapter entirely and only adapted Charlotte and Laura’s story
        -They very obviously cut out the water park portion of the first episode so they could sell it as an OVA
        -They cut out a small but important scene where Cecilia requests non-laser weaponry from Britain because she keeps losing to Ichika’s anti-energy IS but is denied because they want her to keep on testing the BT weapons she has equipped
        -They cut out the part of Tatenashi’s speech where she announces that the club with the best booth during the school festival will get Ichika as a club member (which comes into play later when it turns out that the most popular activity during the festival was the Cinderella play hosted by the student council, so Tatenashi not only got to stay in Ichika’s room but make him join the student council)
        -Speaking of which, they cut out the scene where Ichika meets the rest of the student council, which consisted of Nohohon and her big sister
        -They left out the second half of the scene after Houki tried to cut Ichika’s head off for doing lewd things with Tatenashi. Namely, where Tatenashi befriends Houki and turns her dere
        -They left out the second half of the “MA-SSA-GE” scene where… Ichika actually massages Tatenashi’s ass
        -They cut the scene where Tatenashi brings a giant handmade bento to the cafeteria and feeds Ichika by hand, causing the other girls to go maximum jelly before Tatenashi feeds them food as well to calm them down
        -They cut the scene where Tatenashi takes a shower with Ichika and washes his back for him
        -They cut out Dan visiting IS Academy during the festival entirely. This includes his reunion with Rin and Ichika and him (failing at) hitting on Honne’s big sister
        -They cut out every date Ichika had with the girls during the school festival except for Cecilia’s.
        And many more.

      • October 26, 2013 at 7:55 pmdaikama

        @Ananas: Nice summary.

      • October 27, 2013 at 3:05 pmMistic

        I see… So more or less, they have cut down on fanservice and reduced the scenes with Tatenashi blatantly stealing the spotlight. I don’t mind. In fact, I should check the novels because I think it may actually have been a good idea. What I don’t like is the bits about missed character development, small as it may be.

  • October 25, 2013 at 10:09 amSilivious

    Going by the novels, what’s upcoming is going to be quite sweet. :D

  • October 25, 2013 at 10:15 amMrTerrorist

    I’m gonna guess that the girl M is either Chifuyu’s clone or Orimura’s long lost sister.

    • October 25, 2013 at 10:30 amtouma

      Cloning……Fukou da.

      • October 25, 2013 at 12:43 pmPeTdo

        trouble with clone. when all fail, use the evil clone

      • October 26, 2013 at 9:43 amStigmata25

        Or Maybe it’s a clone of Ichika! (female ver) When he was kidnapped in the first season.

    • October 25, 2013 at 9:47 pmTheMoondoggie

      I’m gonna put you guys on a bit of a guessing game: Who is the real sibling and who is the clone? M or Ichika?

  • October 25, 2013 at 10:26 amctscloud

    “Ichika-kun no ecchi”- I can’t decide who is cuter anymore,Tatenashi or Char! =(

    • October 25, 2013 at 12:33 pmmythnut

      Does it bother anyone that that used to be Charlotte’s catchphrase, but suddenly it’s Tatenashi’s?

      • October 25, 2013 at 1:19 pmctscloud

        Not necessarily bothered because the more the merrier, but it does take away from Char’s charm a litttttte bit. Funny, that point was my original post I’d figured someone would bring it up explicitly.

    • October 25, 2013 at 12:38 pmStilts

      Char, but Tatenashi has moved into second place for me!

      • October 25, 2013 at 1:22 pmctscloud

        Same here! Char team! But a Char & Tatenashi combo wouldn’t hurt :)

      • October 25, 2013 at 5:40 pmGoukaRyuu

        Char is still first with me followed really closely by Laura, close enough that I sometimes rank them as tied because I want those two together with or without Ichika. Tatenashi is definitely in third place for me.

  • October 25, 2013 at 10:40 amTechim

    Personally, I like this episode better than last week’s.
    Anyway, I’ve been monitoring the episodes and the Light Novels..
    Seems like the first 4 episodes covered the entire Vol.5?

    If this keeps up, its probable that the remaining 8 episodes will drive through till Vol.7.
    In that case, looking forward to Show Spoiler ▼

    Btw, is it me, or does the episode preview sequence and their respective character voiceover have nothing to do with each other?
    Preview for Ep02 in Ep01: ….I can’t tell who’s giggling all the time in that sequence.
    Preview for Ep03 in Ep02: Houki fantasizes about Ichika.
    Preview for Ep04 in Ep03: Cecilia talks about forming a faction.
    Preview for Ep05 in Ep04: Ling reminiscing about Ichika.
    *though so far, the sequences with Houki, Cecilia & Ling all end with them being startled by Chifuyu-san / Orimura-sensei. :p

    Definitely looking forward to the ED closeup shot of Laura next week :)

    • October 25, 2013 at 12:40 pmStilts

      It was Tatenashi that was giggling. Glorious, glorious Saito Chiwa giggling for the entire preview. So amazing XD

      And I think they’re just having whoever appears in the picture that ED preview the next episode, aside from ep1 where they wanted to do the new character tease (that giggling hnnng!!)

  • October 25, 2013 at 10:51 amFafnir

    Tatenashi !!!!! I can’t decide on either her or Charlotte ! On a side note , she’s Russian right, so why does she have a Japanese-sounding name?

    • October 25, 2013 at 11:00 amSeorori

      Choose Tatenashi :)
      (/me beckoning you to the Russian side)
      She’s Japanese, but Russia chose her as their IS representative because of her skills.

  • October 25, 2013 at 11:07 amGoXDS

    none of the bad guys care for Houki’s next generation, one-of-a-kind suit? and all of them losing that easily and quickly… =\

  • October 25, 2013 at 11:08 amCrooSஇڿڰۣ-ڰۣ—

    Ohh!! Stilts! I can see, based on this post, that you are slowly riding the Tatenashi ship.
    >: )

    • October 25, 2013 at 12:41 pmStilts

      Still on the Char ship, but Tatenashi is now my #2. And I think she’d be fine with being the kind onee-san who takes care of everyone, so…. >:3

  • October 25, 2013 at 11:37 amBear

    Almost no “evil-doers” actually think they’re evil

    Obviously you don’t watch enough “bad” SF/horror/fantasy. They do it because it’s evil! ex: Spectre, Dr Evil, Joker, Wicked Witch of the West…. :D

    Byakushiki is supposed to be one badass IS so it must be the driver.

    The water nanomachines is getting dangerously close to Mary Sue territory.

    • October 25, 2013 at 12:42 pmStilts

      True, though I meant like real evildoers. I enjoy IS for I-have-bad-taste-and-this-harem-is-awesome reasons, but as far as how conflicts are painted I much prefer the Outbreak Company method.

    • October 25, 2013 at 1:48 pmdaikama

      @Bear:
      Maybe in the minority view, but while certainly strong Tatenashi didn’t seem hax (ridiculously overpowering/unbeatable vs. any foe) to me. She forced Arachne to retreat rather than one-shot defeating her and destroying her IS. She also took a bit of a beating herself. JMO, but “M” seemed just as “hax” or more so than Tantenashi when easily dominating the girls.

      Beat me to the punch with the SPECTRE reference – agree completely. And yeah, it must be the driver LOL.

      • October 25, 2013 at 2:20 pmBear

        Well, I did say she was close, but hadn’t crossed that line (IMO). Actually, if the nano-water could penetrate the IS why didn’t she just drown Autumn? Of course, being a hero she couldn’t attack her while Arachne was attacking the fake either.

      • October 25, 2013 at 2:57 pmdaikama

        @Bear: True, you did say/write “is getting dangerously close”. As for the nano-machines water/mist, in theory she could go use more “underhanded” tactics. Don’t even need to envelope her with water – force the water vapor into Arachne’s lungs and suffocate her. Not something one of the “good guys” would do of course.

        If she can make a shield, how about forming a water blade that’s a few nanometers sharp once the water has gotten inside the IS (thus bypassing the shields)? Take control of water in the blood stream. H2O containing nano-machines enters the body via cut or other way, then nano-machines now in the bloodstream go to work…

        Have to re-read the LN. I don’t recall a lot of detailed specs being provided on that specific ability. FWIW, my overall impression is that this ability is not as utterly overwhelming/hax as it potentially could be.

  • October 25, 2013 at 12:01 pmYanDaMan

    Liking Tatenashi more and more every episode. STAHP! I cant betray Chifuyu~!

  • October 25, 2013 at 12:52 pmGermanguy

    Good and Bad Guys?

    Well, here in IS, the Bad Guy pardon Girls, all have their Face hidden. Even if we see them after Fight without their helmet

    Good Girls, they dont use this kind of Helmets. It is only for Bad guys…

    Do i found a cliche?

  • October 25, 2013 at 1:14 pm7threst

    Pretty decent episode. It was really good they gave the attention to the battling instead of the harem romance we saw in the three previous episodes (Not that is a bad thing, but variation is always nice)

    For the people that know a paid some attention to the LN´s, this episode didn’t gave much questions marks, aside from why Chifuyu is so aware of the antagonistic group and one person in particular, yet she never told Ichika about it. If anything, not the people of Phantom Task are mysterious, but Chifuyu is the most mysterious of dem all.

    Looking to the next episode, the encounter Ichika will have with M and seeing some Houki x Ichika would make for a nice balance of plot and just romance-comedy.

    Also, Stilts, will you be covering the OVA when it comes out next week?

    PS: As Stilits pointed out, chifuyu blushing KAWAAII <3

  • October 25, 2013 at 1:39 pmdaikama

    @ Stilts – great review as usual.

    - Oh yeah, IS has pretty good combat, doesn’t it?
    Tend to forget that myself, but I did get a bit frustrated this time around. Chifuyu-nee needs to be more proactive rather than repeating her usual line of “They showed up just as I expected.” If you can’t engage in combat, how about a little advanced warning for those that will? Wish the haremettes wouldn’t be so shocked/surprised. Not the first time some random enemy has showed up out of nowhere. I know they are more capable than what we saw. As for Ichika…

    - Stop sucking, Ichika.
    Stilts, I honestly cannot recall a sentence in which a single comma was so important to the meaning. LOL Well, I suppose if you take out the comma it still explains why Ichika performed poorly in battle. Concentration is a must for IS piloting. ;) Bad jokes aside, Ichika’s IS is one of the most advanced – the pilot, not so much.

    While watching Arachne’s villain speech (really entire battle), couldn’t help but wonder how many rules she violated on the Evil Overlord List. Quite a few IIRC. It also reminded me of a lot of the James Bond villains. “Since your obviously (>_>) going to die Mr. Bond, let me explain in detail our evil plans. Muhahaha.”

    Looks like the harem needs to step up their game in more than just the combat role. Tatenashi is a fearsome opponent indeed. Looking forward to seeing them step up their game in all aspects. :D

  • October 25, 2013 at 1:49 pmdytianquin

    The girls we love are not getting as much screen time as I wish they had. I need more Charlotte, Laura, Houki, Rin/Lin, and Cecilia ;_;

  • October 25, 2013 at 3:33 pmewok40k

    Oh my its action time… and Tatenashi-chan delivers some steamy moments :P Using overheated water to turn enemy IS into sauna? Really innovative. Water-shields and water-decoys put her IS at the top of the line now. She seems to be really adept at controlling the water at a whim.
    So we do get a pair of enemy intruders and they are quite difficult enemies, even Tatenashi took some time to defeat Autumn, and they successfully retreated when attacked by entire harem AND Tatenashi.

  • October 25, 2013 at 3:36 pmSetsunah

    Tatenashi Onee-chan save the day.

  • October 25, 2013 at 4:05 pmReaper

    F-Yeah!!! Blushing Chifuyu is best Chifuyu!!!! Even better, the mini-Chifuyu look-alike is gonna get more screen time, am I dreaming?? Glad they didn’t have that scene with Ichika wishing his ByakuShiki back, it sound like it’d be pretty weird.

  • October 25, 2013 at 5:07 pmStiltzkin

    For some reason, I have been very impressed with Saito Chiwa’s performances this past year (Maoyuu Maou Yuusha, Danganronpa, Monogatari, IS2, Kyousogiga, Sasami-san@Ganbaranai specifically).
    However, HanaKana-chan and Toma-chan (Tomatsu Haruka) are still my favourites, and (so far) both could be candidates for RC’s Best Female Seiyuu for 2013. Of course, it’s still early, and someone else could throw out a good performance later. Plus it’s not up to me to decide – that right goes to the RC crew, and I respect whatever decision they make, because their choice always ends up good one.

    Also, for those interested in Charlotte’s 2nd character song if you haven’t heard it already. It’s quite a cute song, probably my favourite HanaKana song right now.

  • October 25, 2013 at 5:21 pmAnanas

    “Two things I disliked from this episode. The first was how Lady Autumn said she was from an evil organization”

    Yumizuru is a terrible writer and Autumn is a terrible character.

    “Houki, Laura, & Char got turned into damsels in distress at the end”

    Not really, no.

    The game was rigged from the beginning.

    http://randomc.net/image/Infinite%20Stratos/Infinite%20Stratos%202%20-%2004%20-%20Large%2035.jpg

    • October 29, 2013 at 1:42 pmStilts

      On the second one, I immediately invalidated my own point because Ichika is actually a in distress far more than they are, and it’s fine for it to happen once in a while as long as it doesn’t become a habit to hobble strong female characters. Gotta keep reading : )

  • October 25, 2013 at 5:22 pmbakakubi

    Tatenashi best girl! :D
    I had to jump ship. >.<

  • October 25, 2013 at 5:34 pmhaseo0408

    Suiton: Mizu Bunshin no Jutsu!.

  • October 25, 2013 at 8:27 pmAnnyms

    As much as I’ve been satisfied by my Char and Tatenashi fix, I won’t feel complete unless I see some Ran this season.

  • October 25, 2013 at 8:33 pmAzuma

    Even though I am a Chifuyu fan, I really do hope they don’t go down the “Oh, they’re not ‘real’ siblings so its OK” whether their explanation be cousins or adoptive non-blood related siblings. I’m just sick and tired of those solutions, just feels like a cop-out. If you’re going to do taboo, do taboo, screw those legal/social issues :P

  • October 25, 2013 at 8:55 pms_w

    Anybody else bust out laughing at the name of the “evil” group, “Phantom Task?”

    I immediately thought of Austin Powers, and Random Task.

    And now I can’t stop. They will always be Random Task in my mind.

    • October 29, 2013 at 1:43 pmStilts

      Season ruined for me.

      Thanks! ^D^ *rolls around laughing*

  • October 25, 2013 at 9:26 pmUngas123

    That IS, Lady Autumn was using, kinda reminded me Arachne from Beast Wars: Transformers. Especially, the 8 simultaneous shots from the spider legs and the part being psychotic she was exhibiting.

    That Chifuyu look-alike has a higher possibility of being Ichika’s long lost younger/twin sister instead of being Chifuyu’s clone or Ichika’s clone since he was kidnapped before.

  • October 25, 2013 at 9:50 pmTheMoondoggie

    They finally showed M, and yeah, she’s evil. I’m excited but a bit worried because M doesn’t show up much from now on: she’s more like “the occasional bad guy” type of character.

  • October 26, 2013 at 8:46 amMistic

    It’s the first time I thought of IS as a mecha show instead of a harem series. I mean, the hero fighting for his live one to one? The villain and the cavalry using previously unknown weapons to have the upper hand? The nebulous and cliched enemy organization? The mysterious enemy ace seemingly related to one of the characters? Yep, mecha show. That is good. More plot is always good.

  • October 27, 2013 at 7:45 pmGetchman

    I know this is a rather ridiculous thing to complain about for a harem show, but why add another girl? The hell does does she see in him? she’s the strongest chick in the school, and she cant find a person more worthy of her? I want to like her, but if all of her screen time is going to be devoted to teasing the most brain dead harem lead and the other girls, I’m going to end up hating her

  • October 29, 2013 at 2:15 amRedjuice Fan

    Just watched this episode and I have to say one thing. “ORIMURA-KUN! HAND OVER YOUR HAREM!”, If not at least hand over Tatenashi-oneesama!