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IS: Infinite Stratos 2 – 12 (END) »« IS: Infinite Stratos 2 – 10

IS: Infinite Stratos 2 – 11

「恋こがれ京舞台(ルッキング・フォー・メモリーズ)」 (Koikogare Kyou Butai (Rukkingu Fou Memoriizu))
“Looking For Memories”

The status quo is killing this show, and I don’t think even an action-packed finish can save it.

The Status Quo Is Killing IS

It’s not like I enjoy beating up on this show. This episode wasn’t all bad – the moment when Tatenashi appeared and Kanzashi stuffed her back in the suitcase and had Ichika help ship her off was abslutely hilarious – it just mostly was. Everything was a big string of “Ichika is dense, the girls are yandere”, and I’m tired of that. Good characters have been completely flanderized to enforce a status quo where Ichika will never pick anyone, won’t even try to date anyone, so they can all exist in this tiresome holding pattern forever.

Harems work best when there are other things going on (NakaImo, Campione!, Noucome, formerly this), or when the lead has someone he (or she) likes who doesn’t like them back (yet) (Love Hina, Kampfer), or when the lead is trying to score all the girls (High School DxD), or when you’re genuinely unsure about which girl will win (many dating sim adaptations), or when it looks like some kind of resolution will happen eventually, or when there’s a good flippin’ reason why the harem situation isn’t just resolved! Without a good reason, sufficient distraction, or a short total runtime the status quo gets infuriating quickly, and that’s where we are right now.

At this point I don’t give a damn who wins, or if anyone wins, or if half the cast is killed off and this turns into a gritty dystopia where Yamada-sensei goes on a quest to avenge her murdered students, I just want something else to happen! The status quo is note god (trope!), it’s evil and poisonous to good storytelling.

Phantom Task Attacks

And this whole Phantom Task attack? I feel nothing. I liked the scene between Tatenashi and Squall, that was nice. Tatenashi is a badass, so finding out the Mysterious Lady knows something was nice, even if it makes Chifuyu look stupid for being trapped on the train. But then I remember that the whole reason Madoka has her new Black Knight is because Tabane gave it to her, which means Houki’s older sister is willing to increase the likelihood of her imouto’s love interest and Tabane’s own friend (in Chifuyu) getting killed because…because. Madoka wanting to kill Chifuyu got a huge “Huh”, the reason she’s instead targeting Ichika for some reason still isn’t clear, and it all goes downhill from there.

There’s also the fact that it all comes about because the people of IS Gakuen are idiots. Are there not more than two teachers? Why don’t they have guards? They know they’re being targeted. Ichika should know he’s a target, so why does he keep wandering off alone? Couldn’t he have had some realization that Squall saying his name when he didn’t give it to her is suspicious as hell? And don’t get me started on how Ichika got separated from the others because all the girls glomped him to fight over the camera like a bunch of kindergarteners. Just Cecila and Char pressing their chests against him was nice, that had a flirty flavor and was entirely reasonable, but all the others? And when he dropped it off the damn Kiyomizu Temple, which means by all rights it should have been broken? No, no, no. This is bad writing, and I’m not terribly interested in whether Phantom Task wins or loses. Kill Ichika, see if I care. That’ll open things up for Char x Laura, Cecilia x Ling, and the amazing Houki x Tatenashi x Kanzashi threesome. Everyone who matters instantly wins.

Looking Ahead – Almost Over

Look, I’m trying to find good things to say. The bamboo forest scene was nice, it had a good atmosphere, and I mentioned a couple of others previously. It’s hard though. Probably the best thing I can say is this – it’s almost over. One more episode to go.

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Contrived storytelling elements conspire to ensure Ichika’s death. Sure, that’s cool with me #is_anime 11

Random thoughts:

Check out my blog about storytelling and the fantasy novel I’m writing at stiltsoutloud.com. The last four posts: Don’t reject feedback rashly, Hard fantasy vs soft fantasy, What I’m thankful for, and On writing fast, writing well.

Full-length images: 14, 15.

 

Preview

December 14, 2013 at 12:07 pm
98 comments »
  • December 14, 2013 at 12:10 pmdeVaras

    I am fully prepared to offer them a mulligan if they just want to scrap the season and try again.

    • December 14, 2013 at 3:50 pmEliteF22

      The problem is the LNs are exactly like this.

      • December 14, 2013 at 4:17 pmTheMoondoggie

        Not quite. This terribad episode is an original(shows all of you guys how original is the cancer that can kill a series when there’s plenty of content.)

        I blame the studio and the writers: they created this original shit when they could have just done the World Purge Arc.

      • December 14, 2013 at 5:48 pmcryarc

        When the quality of semi-filler episode is the same with the source material, it’s either the filler is awesome or the original is crap…

  • December 14, 2013 at 12:21 pmrukia

    Very appropriate write-up this week.

  • December 14, 2013 at 12:27 pmgundamjehutykai

    There’s generally too much focus on ichika in the anime whereas the LNs feel like they tend to focus on the girls. The harem element is still there but it’s not shoved down your throat as much when you’re focusing on 5 (or 7) other viewpoints as opposed to 1.

    Guess this is one of the trappings which the staff of this adaptation has fallen into.

    • December 14, 2013 at 3:52 pmEliteF22

      With each new volume you get a new girl. The LNs are sticking to status quo, the anime would have to go into original material territory to satisfy fans.

      • December 14, 2013 at 4:11 pmTheMoondoggie

        We don’t have a new girl in volumes 4, 6 and 8.

        1, 2 and 3 has Houki, Cecilia, Rin, Char and Laura. 5 has Tatenashi and 7 has Sarashiki.

  • December 14, 2013 at 12:29 pmewok40k

    quote:
    Kill Ichika, see if I care. That’ll open things up for Char x Laura, Cecilia x Ling, and the amazing Houki x Tatenashi x Kanzashi threesome. Everyone who matters instantly wins.
    SO FRIGGIN’ TRUE!
    Apart from that, packing Tatenashi back into the suitcase and shipping her off was one of the funniest skits in the entire series.
    Regarding “looking for lens” – I have a suspicion Char was going commando again…
    Laura praying for fertility was good fun too.
    It seems Madoka has a grudge against Chifuyu, and wants to kill Ichika to make her suffer (before killing her too). I guess she was for some reason erased from Ichika’s memory…

  • December 14, 2013 at 12:42 pmSDFGS

    you had such high hopes for this season at the beginning….but honestly the first season was good because we were introduced with all this Sh*T, but now that we’re seeing the same stuff happen in the same season….well….-_- it gets boring/irritating, this is why Ichika needs to get himself some male friends (and I’m not talking about that one guy that showed up that one episode last season!)

    • December 14, 2013 at 1:30 pmStilts

      It’s one of the things I almost feel like I should have seen coming. Nothing about Infinite Stratos indicated that it would be willing to deny the status quo and not try to build a never-ending cash cow, but the first season was so good that I was willing to think it would. Whoops.

    • December 14, 2013 at 2:03 pmx

      Well, the first season at least had some resemblance of a story (even if it wasn’t a very compelling one). At the very least, it gave an impression as if it were going somewhere with the plot.

      This second season felt like they were just trying too hard to milk it as much as they can, while the story gives an impression as if it were clumsily stitched together just to give it a “final” ending (maybe intended to be the last season?).

      They seem to have decided to mix some scenes from the novel story with some scenes from some doujins or something ^^; (while stripping out much of the novel’s plot/context). As a result, it gives an impression as if all the students in this school has way too much free time to flirt and fool around and hardly do anything else :p (since the events originally in the novel has been mostly stripped out of the story in the anime). This is a big contrast to the first season, where they were shown to be busy training and studying at least half the time.

      As for that one guy that showed up in one episode in the first season, he actually gets a (IMO) interesting subplot in the novel (at least more interesting than any of the plots involving Ichika and any of the girls :p).

      Overall, the novel’s story isn’t all that good either, but this second season was much worst than I expected even if I take into account how bad the novel is ^^;.

  • December 14, 2013 at 12:42 pmTassadar

    Stils, thank you for finally pointing out most of what’s wrong with IS2! I was beginning to lose faith there for a moment. I am glad I am not the only one who thought the show’s writing has been going downhill since… I don’t know! I am still waiting for the… “other” teachers to help Tatenashi and the rest of the students during the tournament attack…

  • December 14, 2013 at 1:01 pmXxVanitasXx

    This episode….eh

    All the normal IS things were there. Girls being yandere and blind enough to misunderstand even the slightest compliment towards a yukata. Ichika once again being a dense fucker (I have started to imagined Ichika being voiced by the guy from Infite MENT. Sounds alot better)

    Heey, remember how Madoka told Ichika how he apparently stole her life and now wants him dead for it? Me either, off to kill the older sister then!

    BUT despite all of this. I’m gonna see this season to an end. Might be disappointing for sure. But still, Laura, Char and Tatenashi action into the finale pls.

  • December 14, 2013 at 1:22 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

    …well, one can just look up the last few episodes to see what I have to say about this episode.

    The only upsides were, as Stilts mentioned, there were at least a few small redeeming moments. I actually did laugh out loud at the Tatenashi scene (which I’m assuming was a Water Clone given we see Tatenashi still standing outside, out of sight, as the truck was leaving), I couldn’t help but “d’aaawww” at the part with Laura in total conflict over eating the bunny-shaped treats (even imagining them talking in cute little voices, lol), and some of the scenes (before getting interrupted with crap) like Cecilia and Charlotte with the camera, and Ichika and Houki in the bamboo forest actually felt more natural and not forced.

    But aside from those, it’s just the same old 98% tired antics and 2% “plot” that, like Stilts, I just don’t care about (besides leaving tons of different questions with no answers), and can’t even bring myself to care about which girl “wins” Ichika (by this point, is nothing but a booby prize).

    Though, to be fair to Ichika, at times with those antics, I do feel the fault has been more on the girls’ than himself by this point. You’d think after all these types of moments with him, they’d come to realize how he is and be able to develop patience with him and work with it, but because of the status quo, they never do, so Ichika can’t even genuinely compliment another girl (one of their own new friends no less), like he did Kanzashi, without them going yandere on him.

    • December 14, 2013 at 1:33 pmStilts

      I still blame the writers more than the girls. I guess by now I should accept that they have this huge blind spot for Ichika that makes them go yandere, but it’s so out of character of how many of them act normally (especially Char) that I feel like they’re being railroaded into it. Ichika…well, he’s been consistent in his denseness, but yeah, sometimes it’s not his fault.

      …is what I would say, but Ichika could always pick a girl and get it over with, or talk to them and say that having knives thrown at him is not attractive, or any other number of actions he could take. So no, I still blame Ichika!

      • December 14, 2013 at 1:46 pmdeVaras

        I blame Ichika as well, easily the worst harem show lead I can remember. He has no real character or personality, no real desires or motivations. Less a character and more of a macguffin.

      • December 14, 2013 at 3:30 pmTheMoondoggie

        “but Ichika could always pick a girl and get it over with…”

        No, no. That’s reserved for the end.

      • December 14, 2013 at 7:21 pmdeVaras

        ^ as if this will have an ending. :p

      • December 14, 2013 at 7:51 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

        Well, not to say Ichika isn’t to blame. Just that..how do I say…I guess blaming the writers is pretty much a given now, so I guess I try to look at it in-universe a bit besides just the writers or something…I dunno, lol.

      • December 15, 2013 at 4:05 amGinobi47

        Hence the beauty of fan fiction writing, where I am free to give the Status Quo the middle finger and do whatever I damn want! If I ever find the drive to write one (cant find the drive after this not so good season) I’m gonna have Ichika choose Laura!

    • December 14, 2013 at 4:49 pmOscar

      I loved that scene it made ma laugh so hard. Man who would have guessed that would happend

  • December 14, 2013 at 1:34 pmGiorno Giovanna

    Don’t you like the way he systematically breaks down and completely trashes the plot points and budget issues of Outbreak Company and Infinite Stratos respectively?

    For someone that constantly mentions that he doesn’t mind about mediocrity though, he sure does spend a lot of time nitpicking into particular writing details like why didn’t they just keep Shinichi in the dark the whole time or blatantly obvious stuff like panning over Le Bistrot d’à Côté instead of a fight scene shown.

    Although these in-depth analyses into fruitless endeavors like the appeals of lowest common denominator shows would probably just be justified as developing as a writer… Pfft! I find at times people that spend excessive amounts of time on trope discussion tend to lose how they previously used to be able to enjoy a work on its on merit and subsequently going off the deep end. (trope!)

    • December 14, 2013 at 1:40 pmGiorno Giovanna

      It seems the comment I was replying to got deleted…

      Did we start doing that here? Deleting comments regardless of whether it was constructive criticism or not?

      • December 14, 2013 at 3:20 pmTheMoondoggie

      • December 14, 2013 at 4:22 pmStilts

        Bugs aside, not entirely sure whether you were being sarcastic or not, Giorno… :P

      • December 15, 2013 at 1:05 amGiorno Giovanna

        It wasn’t a bug, it clearly was deleted.
        I wasn’t being sarcastic either but….

        “it’s just my policy to try to look on the bright side of things (while blogging) to avoid unnecessarily ruining the enjoyment of a show for anyone who still likes it. I doubt those people exist for this show anymore though, so screw it, I’m saying what I want!”

        Since you pretty much get it that some people may still be enjoying it and you’re practically ruining their fun by breaking it down in simple terms why this is low tier entertainment, I have really nothing else to say. I agreed with your first stance of letting things go unnoticed for the people that genuinely enjoy some mindless comedy though.

      • December 15, 2013 at 8:19 pmStilts

        Fair enough. While I do try to be positive, past a certain point criticism – and sometimes heavy criticism – needs to be levied out or “being positive” transforms into “being dishonest”, and this show crossed that line. When I criticize I try to do it from a place of love though, in that I want whatever (or whoever) I’m criticizing to be better. I don’t hate Infinite Stratos, I’m just disappointed because it could have been so much better, and I still wish it was. I think well-meaning criticism will ruin far fewer reader’s enjoyment than hateful flaming, especially when the criticism is held back for so long.

        Oh, and if you thought I didn’t like the last episode of Outbreak, either you misread or I didn’t get my point across well enough. I loved that episode, and all my nitpicking of the plot was quickly followed up by pointing out that the mistakes that were being made were imminently believable and very much worked. It was the characters making mistakes, not the storytellers, and that makes all the difference.

        P.S. Yes, I mainly enjoy the shows I blog in a level three sort of way, but that’s largely owing to the kinds of stories they are and the necessity to talk about them afterwards. For the ones I don’t have to write 400-600+ words about, I can still just sit back and take them in. Blogging changes how you have to watch a show; whether it’s for the better or worse I’m not sure.

  • December 14, 2013 at 1:35 pmGrandier

    Oh wow, another episode where dozens of girls try to get into Ichika’s pants and, just like every (Japanese) male teenager, he just doesn’t seem to want it.

    Infinite Stratos and To-Love-Ru should form a back to back episode run – all we see are two pathetic males who’re consistently chased by women far out of those guys league for no apparent reason – aside from the fact that they’re….nice!

    • December 14, 2013 at 2:23 pmPainKiller

      At least TLR-Darkness Rito is actually aware, Ichika doesn’t even seem to have a clue yet.

      • December 14, 2013 at 11:59 pmTassadar

        Rito is the ladies man. Rito is on a whole other league from Ichika…

    • December 14, 2013 at 2:27 pmOkagetheShadowKing

      Maybe he does not want it because he knows the other women will try and murder him for cheating even though none of them have confessed to him. Better to be dense, single and alive than dead at the hands of an angry mob of a scorned women. Thanks for reinforcing the stereotype all men only think about is sex in their free time.

      • December 15, 2013 at 7:32 pmGrandier

        Oh lookie what we have here – a wannabe white knight. I bet you’re used to getting the “Lets just be friends” speech, because it sounds like you’re a little bitter over the fact that there are dudes out there who are fucking while you’re not. BTW, if you want to start with stereotypes, how about you start with the bigger problem in this anime: All women exist to please one man and all that matters about a woman are their physical looks or ability to be subserviant to the man.

        But hey, you’re the little wannabe white knight here to defend all women kind – except for the few things you like, like a completely submissive woman, then it’s acceptable.

    • December 14, 2013 at 7:54 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

      And at least Rito has had a decision made since the get-go in trying to win Haruna. He may have grown to Lala more, but it hasn’t exactly shifted his attention to her.

    • December 15, 2013 at 8:22 pmStilts

      From everything I’ve seen of Rito, he walks the line. He’s more of a Keitaro (Love Hina), one where at points it starts to get stretched out just a liiiittle too much (though there’s far more stretching in Rito’s case than there ever was with Keitaro), but he usually manages to stay likable. (Plus Rito’s superhuman pervy-clumsiness and Keitaro’s invincibility go a long way towards making them so fun.)

      Ichika? That line was crossed.

    • December 15, 2013 at 11:19 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

      @Stilts

      Not to mention that, for all of Rito’s “faults” (maybe in-universe, but not for our entertainment, lol), he still constantly manages to come back and show a good side of him in some way, like being reliable when it counts, putting on a brave face, trying to fight and help others even when he knows he probably can’t, and so on, aside from JUST being nice.

      What exactly has Ichika done much?

  • December 14, 2013 at 1:38 pmP Ko

    Kanzashi in that kimono and Laura with those bunnies O(≧∇≦)O

  • December 14, 2013 at 1:39 pmMaya Stryker

    Bait and switches annoy me. They’d implied that Madoka wanted Ichika out of the picture because she wanted to be Chifuyu’s younger sibling the entire time, and now all of the sudden, “Oh, wait, I want to kill Chifuyu, not you!”

  • December 14, 2013 at 1:40 pmspikerman87

    So I have a question. Which is worse? Freezing Vibration or Infinite Stratos 2? Because I like this season of Infinite Stratos more than Freezing. They have the same problems of romance not going anywhere and girls in the military fighting enemies that have little to no outcome.

    • December 14, 2013 at 7:58 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

      I actually have to say that THIS is worse overall.

      Freezing Vibration has actually been following the Freezing manga pretty accurately so far aside from the very beginning and, for some reason, changing of placement of the Louis Arc (which happens BEFORE the E-Pandora Arc in the manga) which really threw off the pace when it happened. Otherwise, everything else has been the same, so I don’t really have any complaints in that regard.

      I do think it’s a bit lame, by the present point of the manga (won’t spoil), Kazuya has been all but brushed to the background, only having maybe a couple short instances where they try to say he’s important/unique somehow.

      • December 15, 2013 at 3:12 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

        Though, I will say that worse than either, in the romance/plot development department has been Walkure Romanze, surprisingly.

        Takahiro is just one of the most boring, undeveloped male MCs I’ve ever seen, and on top of that, he’s hardly ever in the picture AND also dense at girls’ crushes on him. They kept bringing up the injury he got from jousting (apparently being very strong and talented) as the reason why he was hesitant on being a begleiter for the girls, yet we never learn precisely what the injury was nor why, despite having mostly healed, it seems to have such a PTSD on him, keeping him from jousting or even becoming a begleiter. All we got was it also seemed to involve Celia’s brother, but nothing else beyond that, and with just one episode left, it doesn’t look like he’ll really do anything that important at all or give us any real answers.

        As talked about in the episode 1 coverage, he may as well be paired with one of the horses rather than a girl, especially if Episodes 10 and 11 are anything to go by. The moment he’s finally going to tell the girls which one he’ll be a begleiter to…he ends up having to leave to help a horse give birth that “coincidentally” was giving it a week earlier than it was supposed to, and never gives an answer, so doesn’t even enter the tournament with any of the girls, and ends up missing most of it, showing up just when Noel’s semifinals match with Celia is down to the final blow. (Of which they tried to make it out to be really dramatic, showing the baby horse trying to stand on its own, and whatnot, but…yeah…doesn’t really work well).

        It doesn’t help that out of all the girls, the only one we really get to know any real background on is Noel, and a tiny bit for Lisa. Celia and Akane have been little more than hotness material and Mio hasn’t been shown all that much, and is basically just the typical cute klutz who stumbles into the jousting.

      • December 15, 2013 at 8:29 pmStilts

        I’m only halfway through Freezing Vibration and a couple episodes behind on Walroma, but I’d have to say that Freezing is looking the best of them all. It’s deeply flawed in that the “main character” is mostly useless, but he’s at least likable, whereas Ichika is the poster child for dense harem protagonists and Takahiro has all the personality of a brick wall. The pacing of Walroma is at least better than IS2 even if the characters are (mostly) no where as good.

        Been a funny season, this one.

      • December 16, 2013 at 7:25 amspikerman87

        Yeah I don’t know. I like the characters in Infinite Stratos more than Freezing. This season may not be good, but the characters do keep me watching and they all have had good moments even if the plot is messy. Freezing on the other hand…eh…I guess I’m also curious why Freezing wasn’t reviewed on the site. So many things about it that I’d love to discuss.

      • December 16, 2013 at 8:04 amStilts

        Limited time, particularly from the writers who thought about blogging it. Not everything will get blogged my friend, not until any of us get paid to do this, at least.

        P.S. That’s not going to happen, so expect shows to continue to be un-blogged.

  • December 14, 2013 at 2:01 pmrxion058

    I can’t tell if this is a harem or if Ichika is gay.

    • December 14, 2013 at 2:10 pmx

      Ichika seem more like an android developed by Tabane :p.

      • December 14, 2013 at 7:22 pmdeVaras

        I read that doujin, it was great. :p

    • December 14, 2013 at 7:59 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

      Considering how great Ichika seemed to act with “Charles”….lol

  • December 14, 2013 at 2:11 pmMasterDragonKnight

    This season of Infinite Stratos went pretty much nowhere, only with the addition of the Sarashiki sisters.

    The first episode was arguably the best, with the focus on Char and Laura (and their own shipping). But after that, it pretty much recycles the same routine of Ichika being dense and the girls being jealous, to the point of being stale.

    “Please make that idiot notice how I feel about him…” I choose to believe Ling is talking about Cecilia. I know she said “him”. Shut up, give me my delusions!

    Your wish is my command.

    • December 14, 2013 at 4:24 pmStilts

      Hng~!

      Now Char x Laura? Please?

      • December 14, 2013 at 4:48 pmMasterDragonKnight

        Be careful with this one. You may have a heart attack. ^^

      • December 14, 2013 at 7:23 pmdeVaras

        *save to hard-drive*

      • December 15, 2013 at 8:30 pmStilts

        *mashes the print screen button*

        Hurk~!

  • December 14, 2013 at 2:25 pmCatsrofl

    Show: Call for backup!
    Me: The backup that never fucking shows up?

    Ichika: I wonder how she knew my name…. oh well.
    Me: MEGASUPERULTRAFANTASTICHEADSPLITTINGFACEPALM

    Madoka gets in her IS
    Ichika just what, passionately stares at her with his damn derp face while she’s doing this?
    (last one may not be so bad, but I don’t know, it stood out to me as well)

    But really Stilts, at this point, I would agree. SOMETHING ELSE HAS TO FREAKING HAPPEN. Bomb the school, sell of Ichika to some underground crime syndicate, just SOMETHING ELSE. At this point I can only think about all the damn yuri shipping.

    • December 14, 2013 at 3:02 pmTassadar

      Seriously, make some yuri shipping happen and I would gladly accept IS as a worthy show again. I don’t care if Ichika gets stomped by a tractor; he deserves none of the girls and the girls themselves tend to become faggots when they are around him anyway. They are way better when not swarming around Ichika, so yuri them ftw…

    • December 14, 2013 at 3:04 pmTheMoondoggie

      Ichika: I wonder how she knew my name…. oh well.
      Me: MEGASUPERULTRAFANTASTICHEADSPLITTINGFACEPALM

      He never met her before though.

      • December 14, 2013 at 8:01 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

        Well, it’s really the fact that Ichika, despite knowing now that there is a shadowy underground group targeting him and Chifuyu, didn’t find someone he had never met before nor gave his name to somehow knew his name.

  • December 14, 2013 at 2:36 pmZnail

    ” I choose to believe Ling is talking about Cecilia. I know she said “him”.”

    You should be happy to know that there is no “him” in Japanese, it’s something the translators add for it to make sense in english.

    • December 14, 2013 at 4:25 pmStilts

      Yes, but it’s obvious who she was talking about because she has never called Cecilia “that idiot”. It was just easier to talk about it that way too, lol

  • December 14, 2013 at 2:44 pmWanderer

    The status quo is killing this show, and I don’t think even an action-packed finish can save it.

    Everything was a big string of “Ichika is dense, the girls are yandere”, and I’m tired of that. Good characters have been completely flanderized to enforce a status quo where Ichika will never pick anyone, won’t even try to date anyone, so they can all exist in this tiresome holding pattern forever.

    At last, you see it! Or are willing to acknowledge it, more likely. They actually were starting this pattern in the first season, but things were still fresh enough in the first season that it wasn’t as unpalatable. The girls all had their introductory arcs where they actually got to be people rather than yandere caricatures defined solely by their mindless lust for Ichika, and we had some good mecha action to spice things up. While each girl did start to lose their identity after their arc was finished, it wasn’t anywhere near as blatant in the first season.

    • December 14, 2013 at 4:28 pmStilts

      Oh, I recognized it all along, it’s just my policy to try to look on the bright side of things (while blogging) to avoid unnecessarily ruining the enjoyment of a show for anyone who still likes it. I doubt those people exist for this show anymore though, so screw it, I’m saying what I want!

  • December 14, 2013 at 2:49 pmTheMoondoggie

    And this is why you should never do an original episode.

  • December 14, 2013 at 3:20 pmInanis

    meh watching IS2 to see Tatenashi flirt…. yeh i know is a sad reason x.x

  • December 14, 2013 at 3:37 pmTheMoondoggie

    “Kill Ichika, see if I care. That’ll open things up for Char x Laura, Cecilia x Ling, and the amazing Houki x Tatenashi x Kanzashi threesome.”

    LOL no. None of them has the characteristic that can be considered “manly” like some of the individuals who are in a yuri relationship out there:

    None has Nanoha’s impulsive, destructive nature.
    None has that boyish feel(except for Char who has it just a teeny bit).
    None has the genki-baka persona.

    So no. I’m sorry to tell you, even if it shatters your fantasy, but yuri coupling is nigh impossible unless you wear ultra-thick, industrial-purpose yuri goggles.

    • December 14, 2013 at 4:31 pmStilts

      Uh, a binary male/female (or masculine-like individual and feminine-like individual) relationship isn’t the only one that works among humans. Two girly girls or two manly men can be together and be happy. It may be less common – I don’t know that myself, but I certainly allow for the possibility – but to mark the possibility off because none of them are “manly” enough is silly.

      Now if you want to mark off the possibility because none of them have shown any real signs of being anything but straight, yeah, that’s valid. My comment was wishful thinking, lol

      • December 14, 2013 at 6:52 pmTheMoondoggie

        Your idea that it might be possible stems from RL.

        My idea stems from every yaoi/yuri we currently have. It might be silly, but anime and manga and novel/LN plots are always silly.

      • December 14, 2013 at 6:59 pmWanderer

        I don’t agree with you, Moondoggie. Plenty of yuri girls are attracted to other girls because said girl has trong feminine traits, not masculine ones. Your assumption that all potential pairings need a male/female dynamic simply shows that you haven’t encountered enough yuri anime/manga.

      • December 14, 2013 at 9:22 pmTheMoondoggie

        @Wanderer Then the yuri girls you are talking about has a masculine trait(ex. being a genki-idiot).

      • December 14, 2013 at 9:27 pmTheMoondoggie

        We need a better argument: pls give me an example of a purely feminine yuri couple that’s canon.

      • December 15, 2013 at 8:33 pmStilts

        It might be silly, but anime and manga and novel/LN plots are always silly.

        Be careful with statements like that. I would accept “usually”, but as soon as you say something is always a certain way, be prepared for the world to prove you wrong.

        I’ll have to leave that up to Wanderer though, because I honestly don’t read or watch enough yuri works to have much to choose from. Though I’m sure there’s a couple in Saki alone that would do the job.

  • December 14, 2013 at 4:03 pmbakakubi

    This show just keeps getting worse every episode.

  • December 14, 2013 at 4:18 pmiion42

    Ichika is so dense that the entire school could gangbang him in broad daylight, without masks and he would still have no clue to what’s going on.

  • December 14, 2013 at 4:59 pmArakan7

    *snags the pictures of younger Chifuyu and Ichika* My wincest dream still lives~!!! I just watch to hear more of lovely Chifuyu-nee’s deep sexy voice really – everything else is moot.

    • December 14, 2013 at 7:26 pmdeVaras

      See the real beauty of it is that since we now have Madoka she can kill Ichika off and achieve the best end via yuri wincest with Chifuyu.

  • December 14, 2013 at 7:17 pmHochmeister

    Kanzashi stuffing her sister back into the suitcase was definitely the highlight of the episode. Despite my initial skepticism she’s a good addition to the show since her personality is so distinct from the other girls. Laura’s card shark grins and moment with the bunnies were great as well.

    I gotta agree with stilts about the rest of it though, there’s just no oomph to this season. The plot’s far too little too late to make me care.

  • December 14, 2013 at 8:26 pmc2710

    Really…. I thoroughly enjoyed Season 1 and had some hopes for Season 2 but apparently…

    8bit bit the show so hard that it’s being reduced to nothing but itsy bitsy tiny bits…..

  • December 14, 2013 at 8:35 pmOReimura-Ecchika

    As someone who rides urban trains all the time, I can confirm that this can happen.

    • December 15, 2013 at 7:52 pmAggron

      Unfortunately on a normal train I doubt it will only be girls bodies in your face :P

  • December 14, 2013 at 8:41 pmStiltzkin

    Relationship points gained from this episode:

    Houki +3
    Cecilia 0
    Rin 0
    Charlotte +1
    Laura 0
    Tatenashi 0
    Kanzashi +1
    (Chifuyu +2)

    I’m resorting to this because there isn’t much else that’s interesting this second season. I’m just bored now, very disappointed.

  • December 15, 2013 at 1:10 amjoker

    ichika better not use the same voice and the same dumbass tones during nisekoi because I will rip my hair out

    worst character ever

  • December 15, 2013 at 2:41 amTaiakun

    After being in Kyoto so many times and knowing the layout of the major temples and shrines off by hard, the chronological order of this episode does not quite make sense. The love shrine which everyone goes to (Jitsu Shrine) is located behind Kiyomizudera. The scene where the girls are chasing Ichika is around the Higashiyama area (where Kiyomizudera is located). The next thing we know, Ichika is in Arashiyama together with Houki, and wondering around the bamboo forests. Then, they are back in Kiyomizudera itself. However, Arashiyama and Higashiyama are on completely opposite sides of Kyoto (Higashiyama on the far east and Arashiyama on the far west). It feels to me that they threw in the Arashiyama scene just for some private time between Houki and Ichika, and didn’t really think this through (Kodaiji temple would’ve worked just as well). In addition, the scene where Chiyuu-nee walking among the torii gates is at Fushimi Inari shrine, which is nowhere close to Higashiyama. In the scene, she mentions that they have to watch over the students…great job watching when you are several miles away from the students. This feels like “Hey, lets do an episode on visiting Kyoto just because its popular among other anime series!” without respecting the overall layout of Kyoto. I may sound picky, but the likes of K-ON!, Yuruyuri and many others manage it well, so why can’t IS2?

    Simple answer is budget. As with last week, there are noticeable shortcuts taken in this episode. In addition, the art in many scenes look off, and the cuts between scenes felt very rushed. It is as though the pacing has to be ramped up so that they can actually finish the series next week. I hope they don’t pull off the stunt that they did in the first episode and just cut out majority of the scenes and release it as an OVA.

    And regarding the characters, I stand by my comment from last week. I hope that Charlotte loses because she is way too good for Ichika. Ichika’s comment that it is impossible that he would date Charlotte is a huge insult. Laura was cute this episode, and definitely shipping CharXLaura all the way now.

    I agree with your comment that something must happen. Whether it is someone dying or Ichika finally picking someone, something must happen next week. Otherwise this season would be a complete failure in my opinion. What made this series great is the lead girls and their personalities, but all we have seen from them this season is them still being in heat and in yandere mode. The first episode with Laura and Charlotte in my opinion was a positive sign of things to come (though the timing of it being in the first episode was strange), but it has definitely gone downhill over the past few weeks.

  • December 15, 2013 at 3:35 amcoral

    This season is kinda rushing and has just 12 episodes. I like when this season is running with novel story but want more episodes (ex. 24 episodes). It makes me feel like “eh, this is all?” In anime, there should have more scene about Sarashiki siblings, fighting with some country and some certain genius, it would be better.

    sorry for my poor english.

  • December 15, 2013 at 3:47 amGinobi47

    The status quo is killing this show, and I don’t think even an action-packed finish can save it.

    Thats pretty much what season 2 is all about

  • December 15, 2013 at 3:28 pmMisk

    So I take it that my decision to drop this after 4-5th episode was right. Ah well. :x I liked the first season.

  • December 15, 2013 at 7:12 pmGekokujou

    Char’s panty shots better be in the Bluray release is all I can say.

  • December 15, 2013 at 7:28 pmshinizaki

    I see, IS keep getting worse huh, I stopped watching after Episode 8. Just can not stand how pathetic Ichika is and the story not making much senses for me.

    I planned to read the LN because I think the source material is better but I heard the LN not much different ?

    • December 15, 2013 at 8:35 pmStilts

      If it helps, I’ve heard of quite a few plot points that were skipped here, and I generally hear that the LNs are better than at least Season 2, but IS is still mostly IS, and Ichika is still Ichika. They’ll probably be better, but don’t go in expecting a transcendent experience.

      • December 16, 2013 at 3:49 amshinizaki

        If it is like that, the LN can not save the franchise for me then.

        Dense male lead only works if there are something going on that justified the ‘denseness’ (i.e Kamijou Touma with his never end save the world act). It will show that the male have something higher priority than romance.

        IS 1 has that plot but IS 2′s plot (and maybe LN Vol.4 onward) too weak to justified Ichika’s denseness which bring this calamity. Truly regretful for such promising franchise.

    • December 15, 2013 at 9:23 pmSK

      The LN doesn’t have the greatest story, but S2 doesn’t do itself a lot of favors by stripping away so many things. Whatever coherence the plot in the source may have had is completely lost. If you still want to pick up after S1, start from vol. 4.

      I agree with someone above, that including Dan (Ichika and Rin’s male friend) and his subplot would have at least been refreshing as a change of pace from the Dense Ichika and the Yandere Haremettes show. It would probably be a better episode than the majority of the ones this season, and it wouldn’t interrupt the plot any more than anything else that’s happened.

  • December 16, 2013 at 10:07 ammilina

    I just hate what they did to Charlotte, she was the most sensible and mature one in S1 now she’s just like all the other girls which is a disappointment

  • December 16, 2013 at 11:34 amAnnyms

    On a different note, was it just me, or did those mochi rabbits sound like Kyubey? That made the scene less cute and slightly creepy.

  • December 16, 2013 at 4:04 pmTimbo_1

    So Icky is a tool…..and not even a useful tool at that.

    I was hoping that at some point this show would pull itself from the trash. The first season was good. There was the different social interactions between Icky and the girls and between the girls themselves. It had good comedic point all throughout the season. There was the mysterious unmanned IS(2 of them)…..So what the hell happened here….Stupid Harem crap. On top of that there is one MAJOR plot hole. How is it that these New IS baddies are stronger then Houki’s 4th Gen? Which Tabane just created when other manufactures just started to make 3rd Gen. Doesn’t this take place after a year or so…..That makes the only 4th Gen IS a P.O.S.

    On top if that the Student Pres is supposed to be an uber badass herself but get her butt kicked hard…..Sorry this is not DVD shelf material at this point. I will watch it to the end but its MEH….at this point nothing can save it IMHO. This reminds me of the sequel to Hyaka Ryoran Samurai Girls…..Samurai Brides…..WHAT JOKE( I can’t believe I bought that before watching it).

  • December 17, 2013 at 2:09 amAnanas

    “The status quo is killing this show”

    Surely you mean the garbage level writing and the blatant lack of effort they put into the production.

  • December 17, 2013 at 3:54 pmtendo

    I don’t get why anyone would want to ship off Tatenashi. Instead I would ship her (with anyone including myself).
    This show reminds the urgent need of more all female anime such as strawberry panic. Also such as the corda de oro or new angelique but image these two shows with all female characters.
    Now image this show without ichika. Instead Tatenashi is the main character and all the girls are in love with her. And she acts exactly the same like ichika but she knows of their feelings. And she is not in love with anyone and she thinks yuri is wrong. Then she starts to fall in love with each one of them and the ending being a true harem ending.
    Note to self: we need more harem endings. I do not remember if I ever saw an anime with a harem ending. In ichigo 100% the guy was in love with 3 girls at the same time but then he chooses only one. Now if he would have declared that he would marry the three of them and all of them ok with that by the end of the series, then that would have been closer to a harem ending.

  • December 19, 2013 at 4:35 pmCorey Lucas

    HAHAHA This show is so bad that they have to make FILLER for it when there is material out there. HAHAAHAAAAA!!!! Series is bad and it will end bad. Totally unexpected and I love it!!!

  • December 20, 2013 at 10:53 amkatsudon

    What I’ve gathered here is that Stilts just really wants some yuri action… I can’t blame him, because Ichika kinda sucks as a male lead.

    • December 22, 2013 at 6:11 pmOkagetheShadowKing

      The girls are not not any better so it goes full circle.

  • December 22, 2013 at 6:57 pmMagoiichi

    Ichika sucks so bad he can’t even be a proper siscon. Madoka put up or shut up. Kill Ichika! Kill him with fire!