Random Curiosity

IS: Infinite Stratos 2 – 10 »« IS: Infinite Stratos 2 – 08

IS: Infinite Stratos 2 – 09

「ヒーローの条件」 (Hiirou no Jouken)
“What It Takes To Be A Hero”

Fer chrissakes, can we at least see a little of the tournament before some mysterious enemy barges in and screws things up? Gah!

And the Tournament Start–Oh Come On!

Seriously, what the hell! I mentioned on my post two episodes ago how much I enjoy tournament arcs, but they didn’t let us sink our teeth into one because nooo, they had to interrupt it with a drone attack. Yeah yeah pushing the plot forward, but I don’t care I wanted to see Kanzashi & Ichika vs Tatenashi & Houki, not to mention Laura & Char vs Ling & Cecilia! Those could have been amazing battles, and I would have wildly preferred some anime original material here rather than what we got in some other episodes. I guess 8-bit assumes everyone is here for the harem hijinks, but IS works because of balanced harem (trope!) + good mecha action + a sprinkling of service. Stop neglecting an important part of the formula!

Shouldn’t ALL IS be Anti-IS?

Though it wasn’t the action I wanted to see, the action we got this episode wasn’t bad, visually. If you dig into the tactics and logic though, it starts to fall apart.

First of all, shouldn’t all IS be Anti-IS? This is a world where there is no more powerful weapon than the IS, so even if not all IS need be designed to fight other IS, a damn large percentage ought to be! And maybe they are – I don’t think Ichika’s or Ling’s swords would be very useful against a barrage of missiles, though the famous White Knight may disagree – so perhaps I’m nitpicking, but them being surprised when someone made and deployed IS that can tear away their opponent’s vaunted magical protection field seemed silly. If it were me that would be the first thing I’d try to develop so I could get at their squishy pilot centers and squash their internal organs like they’re made of jell-o. Though maybe that’s just me. (It’s not).

Defend & Delay – Don’t Almost Kill Yourself!

Next, why were Tatenashi and Houki going so hard against the drone? If they were fighting intelligently they should have been focusing on two things: protecting the other students and trying not to die. And since the drones were after them, goal one should have been easy. Defend and delay until reinforcements arrive! Maybe those teachers Chifuyu-nee ordered into battle who never came. There was no reason for Tatenashi to nearly kill herself when defeating the enemy shouldn’t have been their main priority, and when they hadn’t even exhausted all their other options yet. I mean, Ling x Cecilia and Char x Laura managed to finish off a few, so apparently a near-suicide attack wasn’t necessary. Though I guess that was because the plot no longer required that the enemies be dangerous. Enemies that weaken when the drama is past? Feh.

Tatenashi was mad badass, though. Russia-tan is GARest-tan.

Aren’t These Kids Supposed To Be Soldiers? (Of Sorts)

Aren’t these kids supposed to be soldiers of a sort? Because if so, Kanzashi needs to go back to basic training. I have no personal experience in the area, but my understanding is that soldiers are trained to have the physical and psychological skills required to not fold like a pile of wet rags the first time an enemy appears, and if IS are the strongest war machines in the world, these kids need a little of the same. I guess I never noticed this before because every other main character was willing and psychologically able to fight. And yes, I know grueling basic training isn’t conducive to high school harem hijinks, but if they’re gunna fight they need to be trained to fight.

Heroes Are A Lie

Certain other shows have more to say on this subject, so I’ll keep this one brief – heroes are a lie. And they should be! Kanzashi wanting a hero not only points out that she’s psychologically unprepared to fight in real combat, but it also reveals her mindset as dangerously naive. No heroes are flawless, not even the fictional ones, or at least not unless they’re kind of shit characters because flaws are what make fictional characters interesting. This isn’t a bad theme though, save that I feel Kanzashi is too old to still believe in heroes. Especially since she has the closest thing to a hero likely in her own big sister. Open your eyes, imouto!

There Are Other Characters Beside Ichika!

Have you all ever heard of the Bechdel test? I don’t go into a harem anime like IS expecting it to conform to that rule almost at all, but it was getting pretty silly this episode. Tatenashi and Kanzashi were estranged, and them finally talking to one another again should have been a touching moment between sisters…and then Ichika butts in. Not only does he appear in their dream sequence, every time they should have been thinking about one another, their thoughts immediately floated back to Ichika!

Despite it all I still found Tatenashi and Kanzashi’s reconciliation to be touching, but Ichika’s intrusion was extremely unnecessary. Characters are better when they have more interests other than the one thing, and female characters are better when they’re not solely focused on a man. Yes I know this is a harem anime, and I expect them to be focused on the boy 95% of the time, but when it’s wildly inappropriate don’t shove him into the scene. It’s not like we’re watching this show for Ichika anyway.

Looking Ahead – Back To The Silly

I feel like all I did this post was point out flaws and complain, mostly because it’s true. I apologize, because it wasn’t honestly a bad episode. It annoyed me in the way SAO annoyed me, which is that it could have easily been so much more. The Sarashiki sisters reconciling was very nice though.

Regardless, it looks like next time it’s a Cecilia episode. Which could be good or could be bad. There’s not much time until the end of the season, and since they introduced the whole Madoka et all thing I’ll be annoyed if there isn’t some resolution to it, but if we get more hijinks like back in episode five… Meido Chifuyu-nee OH MY!

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Where’d my tournament go!? The sisters are speaking again, but this could have been so much more. Like a tournament GAH! #is_anime 09

Random thoughts:

Check out my blog about storytelling and the fantasy novel I’m writing at stiltsoutloud.com. The last four posts: What I’m thankful for, On writing fast, writing well, One short story, one week – buzzer beater, and Writing challenge – one short story, one week.

Full-length images: 36, 38.

 

ED1.9 Sequence

ED: 「BEAUTIFUL SKY」

Preview

November 29, 2013 at 3:48 pm
66 comments »
  • November 29, 2013 at 4:32 pmPeTdo

    start to hate IS now , IT doens’t make any sense and all and yeah Ichika suck , I think he really need new IS that one is so flawed , have like 2 skill , Double Edge and Rush, so lame indeed i really wonder how Chifuyu manage to win world cup with that thing , oh SHE IS JUST TOO AWESOME, for god sake , unmanned IS is so SILLY , the only thing keeping me to this show is Laura and charlotte yuri-combo, when i really love season 1 but this! I skip this episode like 5 times, I kind of start to wonder why IS novel change publisher!? and That’s not good, Ichika you really need new IS or new HEAD!

    • November 29, 2013 at 4:42 pmPeTdo

      If Compare Byakushiki to Dota2 new hero , HERO: Byakushiki Orimura Ishika, melee hero
      skill 1 , Rush ,go head first into battle without tactic with extreme speed but 100% more damage receive.
      Skill 2 , Double Edge, using your health(yeah Shield but without shield you get one hit kill so HP it is)to amplify damage, deal damage proportional to hp used can one hit KO ,if you don’t die first
      skill 3, passive , bullet magnet , being Chifuyu’s younger brother all ,for will focus fire on you
      Ultimate, unperfect hero, yo I’m unferfect so i lose and shit get my ass whip and kick around by baddies but you will have no choice but fall for me!

      this hero need ban for uselessness

    • November 29, 2013 at 4:46 pmSortedeVaras

      I will admit I am not enjoying this season nearly as much as season 1 but its is not quite hate yet.

      Don’t worry so much about Ichika and his lack of personality (even more them other harem leads.) I don’t even count him as a person. He only exists to give the girls a reason to interact with each other and get into fun situations.

      • November 29, 2013 at 5:06 pmPeTdo

        infinite stratos should have trun into yuri anime with LauraXCharlXChifuyu , It would sale well too !

      • November 29, 2013 at 5:58 pminanis

        PeTdo +1

    • November 29, 2013 at 10:01 pmMegas

      I can’t quite come to hate a show like this either. Of course I absolutely despise elements of this show but hating it overall is irrelevant. In order for myself to come to hate a show, I must think it shouldn’t exist at all. It’s a paradox & all but I do have something on my mind that fits that bill. Too bad I can’t think of it since it has been removed from my memory – whatever it was. Name, story, everything gone. Just the subtle hint of it’s wind remains, like those presents that were never opened on Christmas day.

      I can’t actually hate a show while it airs. I usually have to wait for an entire series to run its course b4 sending it to that lovely black hole.

      • November 30, 2013 at 9:57 amStilts

        A good way to go about things, I think. Personally I make it a policy to (try to) never hate a story. I’ll hate things about it – I found Psycho Pass’ philosophical bent repulsive, to the point that it sent me into a rage most episodes – but when someone gives me a thing with the intent to entertain me, when it feels like at least someone on the project still cares and wants to tell a good story (which is almost always…there are a lot of people working on these projects), I don’t like to totally spit in their eye by hating it.

        Not like it strongly? Oh sure. Just not hate.

        As for why Season 1 worked and why Season 2 isn’t, I’ll save my comments on that for my final post.

  • November 29, 2013 at 4:47 pmHochmeister

    I gotta say, I enjoyed this review a lot more than most of your previous ones due to the lack of shipping. Sometimes I feel like the only one who doesn’t care which girl “wins.” There are only 2 or 3 pairings I’ve actively shipped ever, and Ichika x anyone fails especially hard to muster any enthusiasm because IMO he’s not worth having. Heck, I kinda get the impression that the only reason the girls are into him is because he’s the only male around, despite the fact that most of the girls have more balls than him. If anything I should want him to end up with my least favorite girl… Nah, I’m not that cruel.

    Not sure whether I prefer the filler harem hijinks or the disjointed main plot at this point.

    • November 29, 2013 at 5:03 pmSortedeVaras

      This is one of those shows that we all know is not really going to have a winner. :/

      • November 29, 2013 at 5:07 pmPeTdo

        I really want Orimura Madoka to shoot Ichika head off , since he currently doesn’t use it well

      • November 30, 2013 at 10:40 amHochmeister

        Yeah, that’s the thing about harem shows, nobody can actually win. If any of the couples were made cannon the show would be over… unless it took the “marry ‘em all” route, which IS doesn’t seem to be heading towards.

    • November 29, 2013 at 5:44 pmfragb85

      In a series like this I endeavor NOT to participate in any shipping. See, shipping implies that (a) a girl should win and (b) said girl deserves the guy. All the girls are too good for Ichika. IMO, he doesn’t deserve his harem and hasn’t done anything to prove he’s a worthwhile character.

      I can like the girls as characters(when they’re not reduced to idiots trying to win Ichika’s affection) but shipping them with Ichika? No.

    • November 29, 2013 at 7:55 pmStilts

      Alas, most episodes don’t have much to talk about OTHER than shipping. This was one of the few ones where they’ve dived into other things enough to give me something meaty to talk about, just, alas, not in a terribly positive manner.

    • November 29, 2013 at 9:37 pmMegas

      Honestly, watching this show keeps on reinforcing the notion that anime would be a lot better off w/o that archetypal DENSE, pathetic MC. This show is using Ichika as a troll. It focuses on him way too much while the girls are the supporting characters. He can’t carry the show at all & the girls’ supporting roles are so limited that (although they outshine him in EVERY way) they may as well be complete archetypes as well.

      In other words, all the characters on the show are as interesting as bricks. But at least you can build with bricks. Ichika is total dead weight. He has NO character development so it’s up to the girls to have some – but that was mostly taken care of last season. So they introduce new girls & give them their own watered down arcs, mostly thanks to Ichika’s pathetic nature. This episode is a basic demonstration of just how adding Ichika’s dead weight to the bricks can lead to a patchy rush job.

      • November 29, 2013 at 11:34 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

        I think it’s more about the AMOUNT of denseness that’s the problem and/or how “denseness” is used. “Denseness” in the sense of making the character look like a total moron seemingly ONLY when it comes to romance is usually a problem (at least if the intended romance/harem antics/etc are one of the key points of the story), especially when taken to the lengths it’s been used for ones like Ichika or Natsuru Senou in Kampfer.

        But if “denseness” is used in different ways, it’s not so bad.

        Like the “denseness” of Kodaka in Haganai. Turns out he wasn’t dense at all and was perfectly aware of how Yozora and Sena felt about him, but merely PLAYED the “dense” role as a way to keep himself from having to choose and changing their relationships as they were, as a way to maintain the status quo, or the “denseness” of Eita in OreShura. He may come off as “dense”, but it’s really just because he chooses not to have any relationships, and, IIRC, is also quite aware of how the girls feel about him.

      • November 30, 2013 at 6:09 amMegas

        Definitely! How they use the character’s “denseness” makes or breaks the show.

        In both situations (Kodaka & Eita) you’ve pointed out, the element “denseness” is used as a troll which leads to those great refreshing scenarios. Those 2 aren’t archetypes at all but prototypes that can smash the utterly overused concept back to the stone age.

        Usually the denseness of these archetypes is detrimental to the plot of their shows in some limited capacity. Most people don’t care because they expect it, are too used to it, only watch it for the girls, etc.

        Its when they take it to the extremes as you also noted (Ichika & Natsuru) w/o being compensated through fanservice, heavy plot, & character development is when people start to show disdain. -although I thought they did a very good job of compensation in Kampfer, hell the show itself was 95% fanservice :p

        This show hasn’t done enough to devoid attention away from Ichika. It’s constantly using Ichika’s denseness as a point of reference & interaction. The plot is running through his denseness which is the norm. But as soon as they give us any directional elements that doesn’t involve him, he’s dropped back in like a 500 lb bomb.

      • November 30, 2013 at 10:05 amStilts

        All character traits can be used to good effect if they’re justified well and then used naturally from a strong, justified base. Kodaka & Eita aren’t dense just because (though I would argue that Eita isn’t really dense, he’s just disinterested), they’re dense for a reason, whereas Ichika is just dense because Ichika is dense. That’s fine to a point, we’re all naturally certain things (sarcastic, contemplative, prone to anger, etc) without justification, but when it is such a large facet of the character – and one liable to annoy the audience – justification is wise.

        Also…

        …all the characters on the show are as interesting as bricks. But at least you can build with bricks.

        Hah! I laughed at that. That’s a good little saying, I may make use of that at some point. Nice : )

      • November 30, 2013 at 10:58 amHochmeister

        As ya’ll have pointed out there are reasons for the “dense harem protaganist,” chief among them the need to maintain a balanced harem. Can’t do that if the guy were to actually go for one of the girls.

        The quality all depends on how the dense protagonist is handled, and I think most of us agree that Ichika is being fumbled hard. Ideally, the character should have a good reason for being dense, and should (incrementally) make progress to becoming less dense. Compare IS to Kampfer (a show I rather liked). Natsuru at least had some (admittedly paper-thin) reasons behind his denseness; one of the girls was shy, the other a childhood friend, and the third far above his station. Plus there were external circumstances which forced them together. Furthermore, at the end he made some progress towards connecting with the girls. Not the best harem lead of course, but far better than Ichika who just sits around and takes it.

      • November 30, 2013 at 3:28 pmTheMoondoggie

        As Hoch puts it an ideal harem male lead becomes less dense as the show goes.

        But the series isn’t ending anytime soon in the LN and we’d probably won’t see him become less dense in this season.

        Plus the small clues I see here and there pretty much tells me he’s faking it now, that denseness. There are times when he’s around with the girls that he’s shown to be aware of his situation: That scene with Houki & his date with Char for example. He knows, and Volume 8(which will not be animated) will pretty much flatly tell him how the girls thinks about him. Yet for some reason, he tries really hard to deny that and pretends otherwise.

  • November 29, 2013 at 4:51 pmtelephone

    We finally got “plot”, and they managed to screw it up. If this is their attempt to advance the storyline, then just STOP.

    Bring back the fan service episodes, or hire better writers.

  • November 29, 2013 at 5:06 pmDude

    I’m thinking Houki’s IS unlocks new abilities because her sister designed it that way. That frivolous link to RPG exp mechanics…

  • November 29, 2013 at 5:09 pmKreed

    I keep being disappointed by how basic Ichika’s IS is. Wasn’t it said the company that produced the thing focused their attention away from Kanzashi-chan’s in order to focus more on his? So… what happened to that? Worst company ever, if you ask me. :P

    • November 29, 2013 at 7:29 pmSK

      I forget if it was a storage issue or compatibility issue, but there was a reason why the Byakushiki doesn’t have a variety of weapons. And he struggles enough with his equipment as is, I don’t think adding more stuff will help him much. He is still a relatively new pilot, and his only martial background was kendo, so he might as well stick with what he knows.

  • November 29, 2013 at 5:34 pmc2710

    Its either 8-bit is faltering the second season or I need to reread the LN again….

    That aside…. The Sarashiki sisters are cute

    • November 29, 2013 at 6:04 pmplatinum

      No, I think the anime director/writer is making changes to the story.

      I haven’t read past volume one (I plan on starting volume 2 at some point very soon), but I jumped ahead to where this takes place in the LN and it seems like the completely added in Ichika for no other reason than ‘hey, lets put Ichika in there!’. (Basically it was just K and T talking and K gets inspired to go back into the fight.)

      Also, just thinking about this now, but the anime just basically finished volume seven and volume eight was just released in April. So…what are they going to with the end of the show? ‘:/

      • November 30, 2013 at 10:12 amStilts

        I’m sure they got an advanced peek at Vol 8 (many shows have ended at the same time as the source – Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, OreImo, I believe Golden Time is set to do the same, etc. – so that’s not new. I guess that’s why they were blazing through the source material, because they’re trying to finish up everything that has been released so far.

        My question is why? It’s not exactly benefiting the story much. An odd decision in my book.

      • November 30, 2013 at 4:15 pmplatinum

        Yeah, I know that anime original endings are nothing new, but it just seems weird that they even bothered with the whole Madoka subplot when, apparently, what they’ve animated is pretty much all that’s been revealed about her. Just kinda says that they picked apart the LN and threw it together. :/ It’s something I’ve come to despise in LN adaptions as of late.

    • December 1, 2013 at 5:41 pmOscar

      Well, the changes may be because the novel isint even finished, heck i think most light novels that got adapted into anime havent even been finished and leave us with an incompltre anime or with an original ending.

      As for Madoka, i have to agree, i think theres only one more scene with her thus far in the novel and well her faith at the end could be 3 things:

      1-She dies, the reason could be vaious: she is an imperfect clone and her time is short(this because everyone says she is a clone and the medice on the floor on her room to episodes ago), she is sick(again with the medicine), dies of injures or maybe defending ichika.

      2-Her fate is left unknown as we can maybe get that she and phantom task are up to no good and since they may not be a third sweason we will never know.

      3-She switch sides and joins Ichika and co, and either becomes really atteched to Chifuyu or Ichika (or both for tat matter).

      I really hope that if they dont plan on doing another season (which seems unlikely), they give as a definitive ending.

      I only got into infinite stratos and i really like the series, but thagt the harem main male characters are useless. Well not all of them but characters like Ichika, Keitaro(love Hina) and Rito(to love-ru) dont seem reliable other that being kind and selfless which is what draws the females to them

  • November 29, 2013 at 5:55 pmAnanas

    Since the focus always seems to end up being Tatenashi’s boobs I wonder why they didn’t simply cut all the garbage and make a show solely about them. And as one would expect, more Yumizuru’s insufferable nationalism.

  • November 29, 2013 at 6:02 pminanis

    sooo next girl for the harem is Tatenashi? … well it took them long enougth .. also just noticed they added Kanzashi to the ED , or was she always there? dont really see the ending..lol

    ok kinda sad the thing that jumped at me the most this episode was.. blushing Tatenashi AND Laura in cat pajamas!

    • November 29, 2013 at 7:32 pmSK

      Pretty sure they just added her to ending this episode, I kept wondering if/when they were gonna add Kanzashi.

    • November 29, 2013 at 7:36 pmdaikama

      Kanzashi in the harem yes, but from what I can tell, Tatenashi’s never been a serious harem candidate. She just had fun messing with Ichika.

      • November 29, 2013 at 7:37 pmdaikama

        small correction – “had” should be present tense = “has”

      • November 30, 2013 at 12:09 aminanis

        just her reactions when she was thinking about him hint at her becoming (yet another) haremette.

        PS: IS is based on a LN , rigth? or was it just a manga? mebe an eroge game?

      • November 30, 2013 at 10:14 amStilts

        Light novel.

        And yes, it looks like Tatenashi is more seriously in the harem now. Which is good? I guess?

  • November 29, 2013 at 6:58 pmjustin

    Welcome to the Harem club, Kanzaki

  • November 29, 2013 at 7:05 pmMisk

    So I haven’t watched since episode 4… As much as I enjoyed the first season, the same cannot be said about the second one so far. I feel it’s been a mindless harem comedy-wannabe that’s not even funny. It simply lacks the thing that made the first season worth the watch – good action mixed with amusing fanservice. So I’ve been wondering if things have perhaps become more interesting or I should just give up here. Without (too major) spoilers if possible since I’m still reconsidering whether to continue or not :c

    • November 30, 2013 at 10:16 amStilts

      Episode 5 is absolutely worth a watch, but the series hasn’t appreciably improved over the course of this season. I’ll leave it up to you to decide what that means you’re going to do.

      • November 30, 2013 at 1:39 pmMisk

        Alright, thanks. Guess I’ll give 5 a try.

  • November 29, 2013 at 7:21 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

    Time for a pseudo-essay…

    When I look at the individual parts (harem hijinks and the action), the series isn’t bad so far.

    However, when I try to look at the total package thus far, it’s really been stumbling along with very little plot or actual character development overall; 95% (pointless) harem antics and 5% actual (new) plot, and with what little plot we actually get, it only generates more questions that, so far, have yet to be answered and, from the looks of it, seem like they’ll either be rushed out in the last couple episodes and lose a lot of possible impact those revelations may have, or not answered at all. None of the main characters really developed much either. The only one to get anything at all since Season 2 began was Charlotte with her brief flashback to her mother, but otherwise, nothing. They’re all pretty much exactly the same from when Season 1 ended. You’d think, with how the story feels like it’s intended to go, that there would’ve been some major revelations involving Ichika and Chifuyu at least.

    For this episode, the ONLY sign we have that Phantom Task was possibly involved at all was the few vague words Chifuyu said (“they” is pretty ambiguous, especially since it’s been shown that there are other groups out there besides Phantom Task doing things), but nothing more. The members themselves don’t even show up, so it makes one wonder why? What purpose would Phantom Task, or any group, have in sending in these drones alone? The only ones that seem like they would’ve been any real threat to them would be Tatenashi and Chifuyu. If they had gone in along with the drones, they probably could’ve defeated the girls and captured the Byaku Shiki (given Ichika was rendered unconscious as he was and everyone else was occupied or, in Kanzashi’s case, too terrified to do anything to stop the drones alone). With the way things went, there wasn’t even any need to even suspect any group of anything and it wouldn’t have affected anything that actually “mattered” this episode.

    For a viewer like me, it felt like it had less to do with anything regarding Phantom Task and the “plot” and more like an event to force out a quick resolution between Tatenashi and Ichika, and Kanzashi which, while Tatenashi and Kanzashi alone together afterwards wasn’t too bad, the rest just felt very, again, forced.

    The fact that Kanzashi overheard Tatenashi and Ichika talking the night before is NEVER even brought up at all and the tournament could’ve been a time to bring it up and resolve the conflict. Like Houki and Tatenashi could be kicking Ichika and Kanzashi’s butts most of the match because of the obvious discord between Ichika and Kanzashi (Kanzashi, again, wanting to win on her own and prove she’s as good as Tatenashi while Ichika’s own overall inexperience doesn’t help), forcing them to confront the issue and work it out on the fly before barely winning after getting in synch again, and then follow up with Tatenashi and Kanzashi’s own personal resolutions themselves.

    I mean, come on, Kanzashi’s whole view of Ichika and her developing new outlook on things because of her time with him was just SHATTERED that night. Then, she spends half the episode avoiding him completely. Clearly, she had lost her trust in him, yet she seemed to instantly gain it back the moment she felt in trouble and then saw Ichika knocked around a bit. This is another branch of the “There Are Other Characters Beside Ichika!” bit, I think. She BARELY knows Ichika at all. I mean, she spent, what, a week or so simply avoiding him and turning down his partner requests, and then ONE day of hanging out together, which was really just spent working on her IS with the classmates, and yet she believes she loves him and was willing to trust her life to be saved by him MORE than even her own sister?

    With the way it is now, Kanzashi’s addition to the harem feels more like the “Strangled By The Red String” trope on her side (tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/StrangledByTheRedString).

    • November 29, 2013 at 7:33 pmSortedeVaras

      Actually not counting the opening she only spends about 4 minutes being mad at Ichika.

    • November 30, 2013 at 10:21 amStilts

      You’re pretty much right. The attack happened more to resolve the Kanzashi / Tatenashi thing than for any good reason from the antagonist’s point of view. These things should flow naturally, and when they don’t and it feels force, immersion is destroyed. And that’s one of the best things you can do to lose an audience.

  • November 29, 2013 at 7:34 pmdaikama

    Been a while since I read the LN, but IIRC, while some elements were kept (tournament getting interrupted/Tatenashi badly hurt), it wasn’t quite this chaotic to put it nicesly. Had a bit of deja vu with EP 01′s montage approach TBH. The whole thing felt very rushed with the main intent being a forced vehicle for Kanzashi to have a bit of character development (stereotypical as it was) rather than moving the “plot” forward.

    I didn’t like this mini-arc in the LN and didn’t like it in the anime. JMO, but Kanzashi doesn’t add anything meaningful to the story, and her personality conflicts with the rest of the girls. Regardless of who’s your favorite, all the girls are confident for the most part – certainly when piloting IS, rather than an emotional, whinny mess. My guess is that the author wanted to include someone with a markedly different personality in the harem, but IMO the harem doesn’t need new additions – at least not ones like this.

    @Stilts: If you dig into the tactics and logic though, it starts to fall apart.

    JMO, but that’s never been a strong point of IS anyway though IMO this was worse then previous battles. FWIW, I view this show as “harem comedy with incidental sci-fi action”. The IS combat is fun at times, but that’s not the primary reason I watch. Again, JMO, but I tend to give this show more leeway for this stuff for that reason.

    Frankly, the “non-school”/”real combat” battles come across as ridiculous to me because despite potentially lethal situations, it’s ALWAYS left up to the students to save the day. Rarely, if ever, do the teachers/adults get involved let alone the actual military. It’s tough to buy into that scenario time and time again. I’m also getting a bit tired of Chifuyu always saying saying “as expected, earlier than I thought, etc.” Umm, how about SHARING YOUR INSIGHT so that others might actually be prepared or *gasp* professional military (or whoever) might be on hand/ready to mobilize in order to minimize damage/injury.

    Not sure where the show is headed (stopped reading the LN around here), but at least the Kanzashi centric part is over (I hope).

    • November 30, 2013 at 10:23 amStilts

      Yeah, even when the combat was good if you dug into it too much it stopped making much sense. At least it made sense on a superficial level, so if you avoided thinking about it too much – which is easy, since my brain doesn’t usually full turn on for a harem anime – then it turned out good. When it’s not even done superficially well everything falls apart.

  • November 29, 2013 at 9:34 pmTheMoondoggie

    From here on out Tatenashi and Kanzashi will be playing minor roles. Not as minor as Rin and Cecilia, but pretty minor nonetheless.

    • November 30, 2013 at 3:10 amTassadar

      Rin and Cecilia are so secondary filler characters it’s not even funny…Especially if you consider the fact that they were introduced before Charl and Laura (who basically overshadow them in every possible way).

      • November 30, 2013 at 7:55 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

        Even now, I still don’t see just why Cecilia likes Ichika SO much at all. The LN and anime are both more or less the same in terms of events, IIRC; them starting off arguing, then having their match that ends with Cecilia’s win due to Ichika running out energy, so just what was it that made Cecilia “fall for him”? It’s not like he suddenly did anything nice for her out of the blue or did anything to “prove” he was someone she could like in that way. All he did was surprise her a bit during their match, and her being enthralled by his “strong, idealistic eyes”…basically, nothing more than a schoolgirl crush…

  • November 29, 2013 at 10:41 pmWanderer

    Aren’t these kids supposed to be soldiers of a sort? Because if so, Kanzashi needs to go back to basic training. I have no personal experience in the area, but my understanding is that soldiers are trained to have the physical and psychological skills required to not fold like a pile of wet rags the first time an enemy appears, and if IS are the strongest war machines in the world, these kids need a little of the same.

    It’s been a long time since I watched the first season, but as I recall one of the semi-major points was actually that they’re not soldiers, and they’re not supposed to be. The ISs have rendered any and all other possible weapons obsolete, and IS development is strictly controlled and only (supposed to be) used for non-military purposes. The kids are essentially training for a sport.

    That was one of the issues when Laura showed up, because she had been trained as a soldier to kill people, and she kept trying to murder her opponents rather than fight by the rules.

    • November 30, 2013 at 10:27 amStilts

      Ahhh, that sounds right. It totally clashes with how the IS keep being use all the friggin’ time, mind you, but still. If you’re right, the IS are more like Olympic athletes / gladiators where one country’s contestants fight against all the others for glory and power and whatnot.

      …in which case Kanzashi is still not well trained for this particular sport. You don’t play soccer if you’re afraid of the ball, and she can’t be a good IS pilot if she’s too scared to fight.

  • November 30, 2013 at 12:02 amYanDaMan

    Tatenashi falling for Ichika for real now? Welcome to the harem, Russia~!

  • November 30, 2013 at 1:06 amdangreg

    All my respect is yours Stiltsfor all your posts, but I strongly disagree about this anime:

    “There Are Other Characters Beside Ichika!”
    The thing what I hate the most in this show, there is only Ichika and the Harem.
    We already used seeing the main character saving the day, the girl or the world, its nothing new, but I never seen anime with so useless background or secondary characters like these.
    There is Ichika who cant do nything alone, except rushing and getting beated one sidely, or after “his” staff (aka the girls) did everything for him, he just jump in and steal the kill.
    The girls are good, they ahve much more character than ichika, but others like Chifuyu Orimura or Maya Yamada are totally useless except sitting in the coordination room and voicing totally obvious things. For God sake, they are the only 2 teacher in the whole school? We never seen any other staff member til now, not in the 2 seasson. Only the 2 of them, and since they always in that room talking they barely ever do anything.
    First of all, I understand Chifuyu dont have IS, but why she dont have? She supposed to be hyper super state representative who is totally strong and so, but they only thing we know is this, and also the fact she dont have IS. But why she dont use some other one to at least help sometimes? Only thing she do is hitting ichika head all the time (maybe this is the reason why ichika so dumb) and sitting on her ass, while bitting her lips when something happen. I dont even want to talk about theother students meeehhhh, they are here… for what exactly? Random comedy elements maybe? I understand they dont have personal IS, but that makes the show director deny their whole existence when he put something else in the show that random comedy elements?
    So my opinion, not only Ichika IS is flawed. (Bty I though it supposed to be some 4th generation OP machine, what I can see on AKatsubake, but Byakuya is useless, worse than the Kaicho sisters hand made one).
    The whole world is flawled, its not build up, we practically dont know anything about it, the secondary characters have no background, reason to exist and personality. There are too many “random” element what have no base, just happen for the sake of story or for some joke.

    Really the only thing what they worked on was the harem mebers and the slap stick comrdy because of them. Everything else just a mess and there are no other characters except Ichika and the harem.

    • November 30, 2013 at 10:30 amStilts

      Not sure why you say you disagree with me, because I broadly agree with your point. Ex: I said there are other characters beside Ichika because I would like to see them better use the rest of his harem and all the other characters. The teachers too, it annoys me that they never jump in some IS and go fight, or that the other students never do either.

      • November 30, 2013 at 2:45 pmdangreg

        Ye, I read your post kinda fast and was kind of pissed because of the anime, it was my mistake and I am unable to edit my replies sadly.
        After I read your post again and the other people replies I was very surprised about how similar other people opinion also.
        Its good because I was kind of scared, maybe its me only who ranting about it lol.

        Harem and comed moemnts are nice but I really want to see some character development and not only see the harem growing.
        In the last minute when Kanzashi fled and started thinking I pityed poor girl.
        She thought “maybe” Ichika didnt get her confession. Well we could tell her its not maybe its for SURE.

  • November 30, 2013 at 2:28 amGinobi47

    wow…. i am truly impressed of this episode… never have I seen such an episode with so much ass pulls, sudden escalations and pitiful storyboarding! congratulations IS, you just made my shlt list! Im still gonna watch though, but man, if IS doesnt recover its thunder, it’ll lose a fair bit of its fandom

    • November 30, 2013 at 10:51 amMgMaster

      I dropped this after episode two so I won’t say much about it besides the fact that it’s fandom is already too large.Seeing this a few weeks ago was pretty frustrating.So many MUCH BETTER SHOWS barely have a quarter of IS2′s projected sales.

      • December 1, 2013 at 12:16 pmYanDaMan

        I was under the impression that people watch IS for the girls, not for amazing storytelling or plot.

        Hell, Im guilty of this, lol.

      • December 2, 2013 at 11:49 pmStilts

        Hate to tell you MgMaster, but best does not always win, nor will it ever. Sometimes it does, yes, and that’s fantastic – Steins;Gate was an adaptation that was both amazing and sold well – but if you want to sell a lot you have to put some effort into creating a story that will sell.

        True art often creates dissatisfaction, and it’s that which often makes it great, but it’s not liable to make it popular. There’s a difference between being the “best writer” and the “best selling writer”.

        Basically, IS is an idea that is easy to sell, while other, better stories (Uchouten Kazoku, anyone?) are not. Sad but true. Be confident in the quality you judge in series, even if the market doesn’t seem to agree. It’s not very good at judging such things.

  • November 30, 2013 at 11:58 amSeorori

    I kind of felt that the LN storytelling is quite better than described in the anime.
    But … yeah, I shouldn’t have expect much. The anime pretty much cut and slash quite a lot of details.
    So … whatever, I’ll drag through this until the end of the season then.

  • November 30, 2013 at 2:12 pmILikePopCans

    Good to know I not the only one feeling like this season was a bummer.

  • November 30, 2013 at 2:54 pmewok40k

    About only thing that saves the episode is Laura X Char – DAT HIGH 5!

  • November 30, 2013 at 11:59 pmTaiakun

    I’ve always felt that the plot triggers in IS has always been terrible, even back in the first season. Remember in one of the final fights of last season when Ichika gets injured, that Houki got the blame for it despite doing what should’ve been done from the point of view of soldiers fighting a war? That final arc got really messy. Same thus far with the plot triggers used in the second season.

    I believe that its deficiencies are glaringly obvious in this season compared to last season for one single reason. Last season spent majority of the time introducing our cast of characters, and was for the most part just a simple high-school harem story with sparingly few action scenes thrown in. In fact, there were really only 2 tiny arcs regarding a noticeable enemy. This season, the main cast of characters have already been introduced (with the exception of the sisters), and the focus has shifted towards something bigger, and as such requires much more plot flags, which is the biggest weakness in the series. And while it is nowhere near Yumekui Merry level bad (still cringe thinking about that series), there is much left to be desired.

    Ichika still remains one of the most annoying harem leads I’ve ever come across. Seriously, what do people see in the guy? Regardless, it was funny that, for the first time, his misunderstanding with Tatenashi’s confession wasn’t his own fault!

    • December 2, 2013 at 11:51 pmStilts

      You’re absolutely right. This stasis is killing the show; when they were adding haremettes it was working and the story was getting mixed up every week, but now it has to fall back on the stuff it’s not as good at. Maybe the LNs are better than this, but I’d be willing to bet they’re still weaker than the source material adapted into (most of) the first season.

  • December 1, 2013 at 1:54 amNothingLess

    Why the hell Ichika keep being an useless fighter and got saved all the time by girls here in the second season?!

    • December 1, 2013 at 1:04 pmTaiakun

      Pretty sure that happened a lot in the first season too…

      • December 3, 2013 at 1:25 amNothingLess

        Yeah,but I was expecting for a changement in the next season…pretty disapointing…

  • December 2, 2013 at 10:16 amterryboagard1974

    Yo sugiero que pongan a otro pata mas para ayudar a el protagonista (que sea mas joven) porque?…. es que, veo que ya se pasa de incrédulo…. cualquier virgen, por cualquier caso ya se daría cuenta de la situación, cuantas acciones mas tienen que hacer las chicas para que este virgen atarantado piense porque reaccionan así… lo que veo que el siente algo por su hermana… en todo caso que den un capitulo explicando su situación antes de toda esta saga de mecas, y demás… a la trama le falta algo de muerte… CHARLOTTE… en mi parecer es la mas indicada para hacer de novia de Iztka, mas sumisa, consciente de sus actos, y su pasado algo dramático…, CHIFUNE, es mas violenta y agresiva, su conducta solo demuestra inmadurez, y las otras solo ven oportunidad para una relación de superioridad mas no de amor puro, confraternidad de pareja, mas aun, la profesora de clase hasta haría mejor de amiga intima que de SENSEI…