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IS: Infinite Stratos 2 – 07 »« IS: Infinite Stratos 2 – 05

IS: Infinite Stratos 2 – 06

「乙女の矜持(ザ・シークレット・ベース)」 (Otome no kyōji (za shīkuretto bēsu))
“Pride of a Maiden (The Secret Base)”

An entire episode about Char and her pantsu – or rather, her lack thereof? WOOHOO!! Plus there’s a little character development, surprisingly.

Suspect Battle Tactics

What got Ichika and Char into this episode’s main trouble was the fight at the beginning, and there were some suspect tactics on display. What Ichika and Char did: Ichika gave up the element of surprise by showing himself, allowing Char to get behind them and threaten them – despite the fact that they had equal numbers, and their enemies had shields. If someone holds a gun to my head then I’m probably going to surrender because one shot and I’m dead, but Char’s weapons couldn’t take out those baddies in one shot, so what incentive did they have to surrender? What Ichika and Char should have done is ambushed them and been done with it. The funny thing is that Ichika later did it right – once he got the best of his opponent and grabbed her by the head, he truly could absolutely defeat them in a single squeeze, so asking her to surrender was smart. Either the original author / script writers need to think these things through a more or these kids need to pay attention in class, because these tactics are middle school level.

Nopan Charlotte!

The setup was pretty silly – Ichika can’t use his IS, and for some reason a malfunction is affecting Char’s pantsu only. It’s silly, we all know it, moving on. Now to the good stuff: embarrassed Char! I could link images of embarrassed Char all night (Char~), but I’m not going to, if only because I’m rapidly losing all the blood in my body via my nose. Instead I’ll say this: How the hell did he end up there!?

Ichika got a face full of nopan Char. I will kill him. It will not be pleasant. It will not be quick. He will wish for sweet death by the time I’m done with him, and I will not give it to him RAAARRRGRAghfhaudfsainfdsafnda–!!

Fluff With Value

Let’s do some comparing – this episode compared to last week’s IS and this week’s Kyoukai no Kanata. (Note: no important spoilers on the latter ahead, but if you haven’t seen the episode and still intend to you may want to skip ahead). On the latter I wrote a comment about how I felt the latest episode was empty because, well:

I’ve argued before that “filler” or “fluff” episodes can bring a lot of value to a story, because not only are they fun (hopefully!), it’s in those episodes that we really get to learn about the characters, even more so than in the serious plot-focused episodes. That’s where we see them take small steps, be goofy, learn things, make gradual decisions, and generally be themselves when some huge, dire crisis isn’t hanging over their heads.

We didn’t get any of that here. Mirai is poor and clumsy, Akihito loves glasses, Hiroomi loves imoutos, Ai is cute, Mitsuki is…Mitsuki. We’ve seen all of this before. Nothing was added to the story, no characters were fleshed out or explored, we didn’t even explore new facets of theirs or the world’s. It was fun, but it was empty.

Last week’s Infinite Stratos had a similar problem. I enjoyed it then because it was more drop-down, all-out shameless in its OVA-like ridiculousness, but when compared to this episode we see how “filler” or “fluff” ought to be done – as a fun episode that also gives us insight and development into the characters or the world. This episode Char got some character development through showing more of her relationship with her mom, and we even got some from Laura where she was talking to Clarissa and referred to Char as her “war buddy”, giving us insight to how much Laura treasures her friendship with Char. This episode was silly and funny and involved a lot of embarrassed Char (*nosebleed*), but there was some worth here too. At the end of the day I prefer this, because not only did I have fun, but I don’t feel like they wasted out time. Hng~

Looking Ahead

Looks like more to do with Madoka and her merry band of criminals. I must say I don’t have a lot of interest in that subplot yet – or wait, is that the main plot? To me that’s always the harem hijinks – so I’m mainly just waiting for Tatenashi’s imouto to appear. Six episodes in and no sight of her? They’re taking their time on this one.

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Nopan Char!! Fanservice, comedy, & lots of embarrassment moe…& actually some character development too? Color me surprised #is_anime 06

Random thoughts:

Check out my blog about storytelling and the fantasy novel I’m writing at stiltsoutloud.com. The last four posts: Novel update: editing & short stories, My stance on piracy, The three main rules of storytelling, and I’ve never regretted any of them.

Full-length images: 12, 31.

 

Preview

November 8, 2013 at 1:24 am
56 comments »
  • November 8, 2013 at 1:33 amRadiosonde

    http://randomc.net/image/Infinite%20Stratos/Infinite%20Stratos%202%20-%2006%20-%20Large%2016.jpg

    DAMN U ICHIKA!!!!!!!! U DESERVE 1000 DEATHS!!!

    Also…..Laura made me go hnnnnngh during this episode repeatedly.

    • November 8, 2013 at 1:54 amSortedeVaras

      Agreed Laura was surprisingly strong in this episode but Char was unbeatable again. They do play off each other the best out of all the girls.

    • November 8, 2013 at 2:26 amTassadar

      You did realize that Ichika didn’t glare… down there, right? He just stared at her face; he didn’t notice she was going commando..!

      • November 8, 2013 at 2:33 amSortedeVaras

        Its Ichika, why would you expect him to notice crotch a few inchs from his face when he staring right at it?

      • November 8, 2013 at 2:49 amTassadar

        I see your point!

  • November 8, 2013 at 1:49 amSortedeVaras

    This show needs 900% more Clarissa. Can we maybe trade one of the girls for her?

    • November 8, 2013 at 4:36 amiyArashi

      Hell yeah! Then we can have some Charlotte x Laura x Clarissa triangle.

    • November 10, 2013 at 3:02 pmc2710

      Leutnant Clarissa is awesome….

      She even has her own secret fan club and harem

  • November 8, 2013 at 2:21 amx

    More anime original antics :p. The previews are misleading ^^;. As anticipated by some, next episode look to actually introduce the long awaited one ;). At this point, the story has deviated so much from the novel to the point where it might as well be a 100% anime original story :p.

    Nice to see Clarissa and gang, but it does look like the Gotanda siblings and the student council has been completely written out of the story T_T.

    • November 8, 2013 at 2:24 amStilts

      Might be a situation where they didn’t feel like they had enough time to do the job properly, so they said screw it and cut out a few plot lines. I would have preferred they take the time, mind you, but I bet that’s what they were thinking.

  • November 8, 2013 at 2:25 amterrz

    Hilarious!!!

  • November 8, 2013 at 2:32 ambrajt

    If they don’t care to show us any plot anyways, then they should also throw Ichika out and make IS a Charlotte oriented anime.

    • November 8, 2013 at 2:37 amSortedeVaras

      Make it a Laura X Char focused show and everyone wins.

    • November 8, 2013 at 3:10 amTheMoondoggie

      You should just go read the Char side story manga. It’s all her: so much so that some char-fags got sick of her.

      It’s currently being scanlated.

      • November 8, 2013 at 6:24 ambrajt

        Thanks, I’ll check it. There is no such thing like “too much of Char”!

  • November 8, 2013 at 2:36 amEmD

    This episode….I love IS but this episode was terrible.

    So apparently despite the fact that various countries made a collective appeal for a protection mission, Charl had to run around and recruit people? No one was assigned? But whatever, that one can be overlooked or explained away, even if it’s dumb.

    But then Charl, who owns a pair of pants from a Boys’ uniform, did not wear them…because?

    I mean, a ‘vanishing panties’ plotline is already moronic in of itself, but then they had to find the worst reason to keep it going.

    AND THAT FALL

    What the hell was that fall? Even Rito himself couldn’t pull that off! We SEE Ichika fall face first and we SEE Charl fall on top of him, but somehow in that split second she flipped over him and landed spread-eagled with Ichika’s face between her legs?

    What?

    I’m going to be downvoted to oblivion because I’m being negative as hell, but this episode was awful. It was awful and lazy and the worst thing I’ve seen all season.

    Its only saving graces were Laura and HanaKana, but even HanaKana couldn’t save Charl from taking a hit in my book.

    Ugh.

    • November 8, 2013 at 6:06 amBeedle

      You’ve highlighted most of my gripes on this episode. Regardless, I enjoyed this episode since I came in expecting Laura x Char antics, and I sorta did get it. It was difficult to stomach a lot of the stupidity, but I’ve learned not to think too much about IS. This show is really about the girls doing silly but entertaining things… like Laura freaking out when she suspected her war buddy went commando!

      • November 8, 2013 at 11:50 amSortedeVaras

        Laura is really making this season for me. Most of the other girls are really bland and predictable, Ichika has the personality of a fence post, Chifuyu does not have enough screen time, and its too late in the season to introduce a real plot.

    • November 8, 2013 at 12:00 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

      I agree overall.

      While I liked the episode (and series) in general, the fact that it seems like 90% of it feels like OVA/filler material and the other 10% actual story is what bugs me.

  • November 8, 2013 at 3:02 amTheMoondoggie

    Is it just me or did they just chopped all the LN events from where S1 stopped up to vol8 and changed the order of events?

    Not really a smart thing to do IMO. But if they have a reason for doing it I’d like to hear it.

    • November 8, 2013 at 9:16 amStilts

      I’m fine with editing the source material in order to fit the new medium – Prisma Illya did this fairly well, with only a few (probably unavoidable) pacing issues + a wonderfully fleshed out battle scene that I still dream about today – but I prefer they adapt LESS and add in little details rather than adapt MORE and cut out. It stinks of we’re-only-going-to-get-one-more-season-so-fuck-it, because they don’t mind burning down the boat in order to get a little extra money now.

      Disappointing, but perhaps they’ll still be able to keep going in a slimmed down manner for later seasons. The question is whether we want that.

      • November 8, 2013 at 10:20 amXRick

        Sorry for asking only at this point but how’s the adaptation faring?
        These last two episodes had titles that didn’t match the LN’s ones…

      • November 8, 2013 at 3:50 pmStilts

        No idea. I haven’t read the source myself.

      • November 8, 2013 at 5:37 pmAnanas

        Volume 6 revolved around a competition that IS Academy was hosting, the “Cannonball Fast”. In short, it was a race involving IS. The first few chapters involved everybody tuning up their IS and ordering speed-specialized equipment from their home countries, with slice of life shenanigans interspersed in-between. Some major highlights included going into more depth about IS tech, such as Ichika discussing shutting off all his weapons systems so he wouldn’t run out of energy before the end of the race, and how Byaku Shiki’s second shift actually used up energy faster than its first shift, and other things like that. Pika-tan is revealed to be an IS mechanic-in-training, and she helps tune up Ichika’s IS and some talk is made about how IS Academy has a curriculum for IS scientists/mechanics as well, not just IS pilots. Houki’s roommate also gets a bit of spotlight during Houki’s segment, and Tatenashi teases Ichika some more, that kind of thing.

        Cecilia is a major part of this volume because a good part of the first few chapters is dedicated to her angsting about how Madoka was obviously superior at piloting a Blue Tears type IS, and she trains like crazy to try to catch up to her. And then during Cannonball Fast Madoka interrupts the race by OHKOing half the cast in a ambush attack, leaving only Cecilia to fight her. Madoka proceeds to trash Cecilia until Cecilia learns the secret technique “the flexible” which allows her to BEND LASERS like Madoka (don’t ask how). So she manages to get an attack off on Madoka but Madoka is still poised to kill her, until naturally Ichika arrives at the last moment to save the day.

        The epilogue takes place in Ichika’s house where they’re celebrating his birthday, and Cecilia is all wrapped up in bandages and all. He then walks outside and you get the scene at the end of episode 5 where he bumps into Madoka and she tries to shoot him.

      • November 9, 2013 at 1:03 amXRick

        They jumped over all of that?! Darn!!! They could have left all of that part and maybe still managed to get away with hijinks like those of these last few episodes!!! Darn again!!!

      • November 9, 2013 at 10:01 ambelatkuro

        To add to those skipped slice of life/harem shenanigans, they also skipped Ichika giving Cecilia a massage and her falling asleep in his room.
        Ichika was actually recruited in the Student Council as a result of that Cinderella event. There was a competition where the best performing club in the school festival will get him and the StuCo won because of the popularity of that event.
        Ichika was lent to the other clubs nonetheless, with the tennis club first where Cecilia is. They held a tournament as to who will get Ichika’s legendary massage and of course Cecilia won. Cue orgasmic massage scenario with Cecilia falling asleep in the middle of it, but not before thinking Ichika was making a move on her when he moved to massage her back(he started on the feet) and was trying to grope her breasts(obviously a dream).

        They also skipped Charl going on a date with Ichika to buy him a wristwatch for his birthday to match the Byakushiki bracelet. Guys tried to hit on Charl while waiting for him but she put them down. Ichika still arrived to protect her and she was all dreamy-eyed that Ichika was her savior despite being capable to defend herself.
        They met Gotanda Ran on town buying cheap panties(3 for 1000 yen). They ate lunch together where they did the indirect kisses with their ice cream spoons. And surprise, it was actually Ichika who suggested they feed each other with their desserts since they have different flavors. Cue maiden giggling of Charl and Ran for indirectly kissing Ichika.

        Also, Tatenashi moved out of Ichika’s room before Madoka attacked him and stopped guarding him. That was only for that attack in the school festival, hence she wasn’t present when Madoka appeared.

  • November 8, 2013 at 3:06 amGinobi47

    Finally! Laura is getting the moe hnnggg! attention that she rightfully deserves! My long battle alone the Laura ship is finally paying off!

  • November 8, 2013 at 3:19 amXxVanitasXx

    Ichika… You make me scream internally! Kodaka from Boku wa tomodachi ga sukunai actually had a good but silly reason to be dense. You just…. Just.. Argh!

    Anyway, seeing how our dense protagonists draws attention to Laura’s eyes instead of informing her what was the attackers motive. Priorities, do you has it? Not that I complain, Laura with an eye patch is very moe~

    Char was very adorable as well, like holy waifu of all waifu’s.

  • November 8, 2013 at 3:38 ambaseone

    I ship………. the Black Bunny Squad! yeah bring em all in!

    DAYUUUMMMM!!! Laura never doubted even for a second.

  • November 8, 2013 at 3:42 amanimegeek08

    I was sad that houki was not in it more. :( well I hope she in it more next week. I have a feeling she will because at the end of the preview I saw the red and blue band on her wrist.
    Just out of curiosity why does everybody like charl so much?

  • November 8, 2013 at 4:06 amSeedStriker

    How much of Byakushiki’s malfunction is courtesy of Tabane? Is she really that bored of the world that have no doubts about making Ichika’s life a living hell? That and allowing Not-Celestial Being to operate as they will. This is a thought for the first season, but I hope that once Ichika find out, he’ll toss Byakushiki’s in Tabane’s face and tell her to f*** off!

    As for the Charl antics, this ep shows why she’s best girl (yes, even better tan Mary Sue Tatenashi, so sue me!), but even with the character development about her, I feel that this season of IS is just a cheap filler (cough*Gundam Build Fighters*cough!) before the actual story

  • November 8, 2013 at 4:33 amiyArashi

    I just keep coming back to see more of Laura and Charlotte’s budding friendship.

  • November 8, 2013 at 4:56 amUngas123

    I can’t believe Ichika made smooth moves on Laura…

    • November 8, 2013 at 5:24 amUngas123

      Ichika doing smooth moves is like dividing by zero.

      • November 8, 2013 at 7:48 amAsta

        Is this floating point or integer division? ;D

    • November 8, 2013 at 5:25 pmMaou Sadao

      Ugh, he is so dense. He overtly complements the one girl who has been the most obvious regarding her feelings toward him. He deserved to get smacked by an IS arm.

    • November 8, 2013 at 5:58 pmAnanas

      He was merely stating his thoughts about the only part of her body she didn’t reveal while sleeping in his bed.

  • November 8, 2013 at 6:49 amfishell

    Dropping this?

    • November 9, 2013 at 8:50 amMegas

      There’s not really anything going on to drop, although it would relieve those who keep on having that painful brain cramps every time an episode like this shows up.

  • November 8, 2013 at 6:50 amdytianquin

    The moe and sheer cuteness of Char and Laura this episode could do more than just kill a man.

  • November 8, 2013 at 7:45 amewok40k

    I think the pantsu were somehow fused with Ichika’s IS, creating the malfunction in the first place…
    Oh and the episode was hilarious. While Char took prime role, Laura had some nice moments too, from defending Ichika, to falling for his compliment about her eyes, to misquoting Marie Antoinette!
    Oh and does Madoka have Chifuyu-nee’s VA? They sound so similar?

    • November 8, 2013 at 9:19 amStilts

      Madoka is voiced by Kayano Ai, so no, definitely not. Kayanon is just doing a good job.

      • November 8, 2013 at 11:17 amsonicsenryaku

        “Last week’s Infinite Stratos had a similar problem. I enjoyed it then because it was more drop-down, all-out shameless in its OVA-like ridiculousness, but when compared to this episode we see how “filler” or “fluff” ought to be done – as a fun episode that also gives us insight and development into the characters or the world.”

        The way filler/fluff eps should be done is as you said, to have some sort of insight with the characters or the plot before the ep is over so that it has some staying power as being needed in the overall scheme of the series. Honestly, not all silly/fluff eps need to have that insight: i say that because i think that’s more dependent on the tone that the series has set in general. If the series naturally has a fun, silly, filler-like tone, a silly ep doesnt need to make a statement for itself by having that character or plot insight; it can thrive on simply being silly and fun, because it all truth, its goal is just to be enjoyable.

        Take infinite stratos for example: i wouldnt call last week’s ep a problem (in relation to the series anyway) more than i would the tone of the second season in general. A lot of the mecha-based story has taken a backseat and the hijinks have been brought to the forefront. So in all honesty, last weeks ep was right in tone with this second season’s identify. By that insinuation, last weeks ep did not need to have that redeeming insight needed for a silly filler ep to work because this season’s overall tone is much sillier anyway.

        Kyokai no kanata’s 6 ep didnt work in the overall scheme of the series regardless of how awesome it was because it completely went against the tone the series has been trying to set so far. And you know what, that would have been all nice and dandy if it did have some interesting character development to go with its hijinks as to justify its silliness (and im not talking about 1 min worth, something akin to like 4 mins worth..like mirai realizing that she is happy with her newfound friends, but conflicted if she should be happy because she took the life of a person’s sister, who is right now probably bitter and sad), but the ep was just pure silliness instead. That type of approach should only be done if A. your series has a silly, balls to the walls fun tone to begin with, or B. if you’re releasing it as an OVA which is what should have happened. Luckily, the fanservice was very very tame and “respectable” at the end of the day so it never got into that “overly blatant bad service” territory thank god. As I said before, a silly ep doesnt always have to justify itself with character or plot development, but that all depends on what type of series your dealing with.

  • November 8, 2013 at 7:54 amAsta

    Cyan Pile!? Or Pumpkin Pile, I suppose.

    I completely forgot about Cyan Pile. My first reaction seeing it was “Wow, Charl is going all-out Kyosuke and Revolver Staking that IS!”

  • November 8, 2013 at 11:23 amMaou Sadao

    Hmmm…

    Not sure I was as big of a fan. As much as I like Char, (Char FTW!), I really wanted to see more development of Madoka. Also, to me it felt odd to jump right into the escorting equipment scene when the more natural progression would be to report to Chifuyu, I was attacked and she identified herself as Orimura….

    Oh well, two sillier episodes in a row.

    • November 8, 2013 at 3:08 pmMistic

      Yeah, I too expected more about Madoka. I mean, a girl looking like a younger Chifuyu appears calling herself “Orimura” and you don’t try to look into it? Typical Ichika.

      I don’t mind if they change the plot from the novels a lot as long as it’s to improve it. However, even if Char is one of my favourite characters, this episode seemed pretty pointless. Actually, I liked last week’s episode better, if only because of its promising ending. This episode wasted that ending.

      By the way, liked Tatenashi’s cameo. If last week she behaved like a jerk, here she did what a real student council president should do. If this episode served just to make Houki, Cecilia and Ling realize that pulling out weapons in school is NOT a sane idea, I would be statisfied. Of course, I doubt it will happen. This is IS, after all.

      • November 8, 2013 at 5:23 pmMaou Sadao

        Yeah Ichika’s density if they play it up much more will cross into the realm of annoying. They all are fighting to protect Ichika, and they hurl heavy metal objects at him, fire lasers, in short do a bunch of things that could very well kill him. Oh well, as this is IS, I don’t expect Oscar caliber writing, but I would like to be more decisive and pick whether this will be ecchi, or mecha, or get the balance better for the remainder of the episodes. If this is a 12 episode run, pacing is now a problem.

  • November 8, 2013 at 4:57 pmAnon

    ichika should have died

  • November 8, 2013 at 5:55 pmAnanas

    Watching this episode I remembered when I actually liked Charlotte. She was wearing pants then. Pants, the solution to her big little problem this week. Of course she didn’t even consider the possibility of putting them back on. Of course no matter how bland she has become, her popularity dictates that the show would rather have a whole original episode about her (lack of) panties rather than adapting more relevant parts of the story.

    At least Laura kept me entertained.

    http://i.imgur.com/7jqHWEe.jpg

  • November 8, 2013 at 6:55 pmGuyverIV87

    “Contrived” doesn’t even begin to describe this episode. From the Protection mission to the stupid vanishing panties subplot.
    (Hey Charlotte! There’s these things called PANTS! You must have heard of them, YOU USED TO WEAR THOSE, BACK WHEN YOU HAD CREDIBILITY!!)

    We could be trying to find out more about Madoka, who’s clearly after Ichika’s life..BUT NAAWWWWW!!

  • November 9, 2013 at 12:41 amJason Isenberg

    …yeeeeeahhh episode of the decade just saying that now! Woooooo Char!

  • November 9, 2013 at 12:42 amMatrix3

    I would like to introduce myself as this is my first post however I would like to say I have been reading this site for a long time. Any how Madoka Orimura’s line about her being Ichika from last week’s episode confused me. However after thinking about it a possible thought came to me. I apologize in advance if anyone else has thought of this and posted this idea. It can be assumed that Madoka is a clone of Chifuyu as she has the same appearance however what if she is not but rather a clone of Ichika minus the Y chromosome (which makes males) which would explain why she looks like Chifuyu. However Madoka’s thirst for revenge is puzzling if she is a clone but could have been something that Phantom Task could be responsible for. Or she could be a younger twin sister of Chifuyu who has a grudge for some reason. This could be the reason for next week’s episode titled “Sisters”.

  • November 9, 2013 at 5:30 pmReianz

    CHARL NO PANTSU FTW!!!

  • November 9, 2013 at 8:31 pmYanDaMan

    So….how did Ichika get into that position from stumbling in a way that should’ve been impossible to end up in that position no matter how I see it?

    And while we’re at it, how did Ichika SOMEHOW manage to NOT see what was between Char’s legs, in this case, the lack thereof? His obliviousness is taking to a whole new level.

    At least he knows how to compliment ladies, as Laura was the recipient this time :3

  • November 10, 2013 at 6:04 amRed HeartGold ZX

    Thanks to this Charl-dedicated episode, she now really reminds me of Kosaki Onodera more than ever.

  • November 14, 2013 at 10:24 amdrzero7

    Another filler episode? Isn’t this only 12 episode series? Why 2 filler episodes already? Then again, the blown through volume 5 and 6 really fast.