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« IS: Infinite Stratos 2 – 11

IS: Infinite Stratos 2 – 12 (END)

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Infinite Stratos 2   12   13 Infinite Stratos 2   12   14 Infinite Stratos 2   12   15
Infinite Stratos 2   12   16 Infinite Stratos 2   12   17 Infinite Stratos 2   12   18
Infinite Stratos 2   12   19 Infinite Stratos 2   12   20 Infinite Stratos 2   12   21
Infinite Stratos 2   12   22 Infinite Stratos 2   12   23 Infinite Stratos 2   12   24
Infinite Stratos 2   12   25 Infinite Stratos 2   12   26 Infinite Stratos 2   12   27
Infinite Stratos 2   12   28 Infinite Stratos 2   12   29 Infinite Stratos 2   12   30
Infinite Stratos 2   12   31 Infinite Stratos 2   12   32 Infinite Stratos 2   12   33
Infinite Stratos 2   12   34 Infinite Stratos 2   12   35 Infinite Stratos 2   12   36
Infinite Stratos 2   12   37 Infinite Stratos 2   12   38 Infinite Stratos 2   12   39

「少女たちの展翅(ガールズ・オーバー)」 (Shoujo-tachi no Tenshi (Gaaruzu Oubaa))
“Angel Girls (Girls Over)”

Well that was unsatisfying.

An Unsatisfying Battle

Parts of the final battle were good. Tatenashi using her water clone to get away from Squall was good, and also appropriately foreshadowed. A lot of the beam attacks and whatnot were cool to watch. Probably there was something else. It was ruined for me for two reasons.

So the entire battle was so Phantom Task could collect real combat data, and they escaped at the end? Ties aren’t satisfying, and when they come about because of such a mundane plan like “gathering data” it’s uninteresting. The protagonists had stakes, but where were the stakes for the antagonists? They won no matter what happened, or at least so long as they all weren’t captured or killed. It doesn’t feel important, so why should we care?

Secondly, the girls’ competence skyrocketed whenever Ichika got knocked out of the battle. I like them being competent, but that made me realize how much they’re shanghaied by the plot. One second they’re damsels in distress so that Ichika can save them, then they’re back to being badass when he’s gone? Keep them badass all the time, please.

The Bomb & Ichika’s Presumed Death

I doubted for a second – for just a second – when Char picked up that bomb and then it exploded. That was a nice moment, and I don’t necessarily blame Ichika for getting distracted, even if it was still damn stupid to do so. (It’s an understandable kind of stupid.)

I’m still not sure what the point of the whole dream-death scene was. Did Ichika get another bullshit mid-battle upgrade from Byakushiki, or was it just to show his resolve to not give up? I’m not sure, but weirdest of all was how the girls showed no reaction when Ichika showed back up. If they already knew, it wasn’t shown, so it was odd for them to not be relieved that the guy they claim to love isn’t dead after all.

Antagonist Tabane

A gift?! Tabane thought Chifuyu would appreciate her putting her students, her best friend, her little brother, and Chifuyu herself in danger? I cannot get across my disappointment enough. There’s just no good reason why the formerly benign Tabane would suddenly start aiding the enemy. It’s poison to a character I once enjoyed.

Ending At The Onsen

The last scene of a series is great for showing that everything is okay again, indulging in some nostalgia (or preemptive nostalgia), or maybe even throwing out a nice epilogue. What we got was another bundle of bad camera angles (I find looking at bathing buckets to be sooo interesting) and some weirdly awkward dialogue. It felt like the seiyuu were even phoning it in at this point.

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – In the finale, nothing is resolved whatsoever. Well that was disappointing #is_anime 12

Random thoughts:

  • Tatenashi totally got the Worf treatment (trope!) this episode. And a lot of this season, actually.
  • Cecilia, you’re a sniper. Probably not a good idea to challenge a melee IS who’s already at close range to a duel.
  • Suddenly, Tatenashi has a mega-cannon we’ve never seen before. Foreshadowing? @#%& foreshadowing!

Check out my blog about storytelling and the fantasy novel I’m writing at stiltsoutloud.com. The last four posts: Look for execution, Why I don’t write fanfiction, Don’t reject feedback rashly, and Hard fantasy vs soft fantasy.

 

ED1.12 Sequence

Infinite Stratos 2   ED1.12   01 Infinite Stratos 2   ED1.12   02 Infinite Stratos 2   ED1.12   03

ED: 「BEAUTIFUL SKY」

Final Impressions

I enjoyed the first season of Infinite Stratos a lot. It wasn’t brilliant, but it had a good balanced harem (trope!), the mecha action was serviceable, and the plot was mostly fine. I came into this series hoping for more of the same.

We didn’t get it. In hindsight IS only seemed to work when they were adding girls, because things were still happening, even if they were really just creating all sorts of problems for themselves later on. Once they were all introduced though, it all stalled. The status quo throttled any life out of this series by transforming its strong female characters into caricatures of themselves, into shrill, catty yanderes who apparently thought they could get Ichika’s love through violence. Which doesn’t work, by the way.

But not even the parts that worked well in Season 1 worked here. Tatenashi and Kanzashi’s arcs didn’t work like the previous ones did, not when the lie of the series had already been revealed – that this wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon. The action wasn’t as good either, or rather the plot points they used in Season 1 (see: the interrupted tournament) were repeated here, to yawns all around. Probably the best part of this season was during the Episode 1 preview when Saito Chiwa was giggling the whole time, and that says something. Not something good, even if flirty Saito Chiwa is still amazing.

I’m going to keep this short. This season of Infinite Stratos was disappointing, as most of what I once enjoyed about the series was destroyed by bad pacing, flanderized characters, skipped source material, and a general lack of anything happening. Harem antics go from amusing to annoying when it becomes clear nothing is ever going to change, and we crossed that line episodes ago. If 8bit should decide to inflict a Season 3 on us, I know I will watch it only with the greatest of dread. They’ve already burned me once, and I won’t soon forget it.

December 22, 2013 at 7:31 pm
134 comments »
  • December 22, 2013 at 7:38 pmRukia

    I’m going to be frank. This is my vote for worst of the anime of the year.

    • December 22, 2013 at 8:02 pmLGM

      Really? Most disappointing yes, but worst is a little far fetch here.

      • December 23, 2013 at 11:44 amdeVaras

        I can’t recall a second season of a anime that was more of a let down then this. How did things go so wrong?

      • December 24, 2013 at 9:31 pmTaiyo

        Darker than Black 2

    • December 22, 2013 at 9:32 pmcelebrinen

      One word: Coppelion.
      That one was dropped at ep4. At least I managed to watch all 12 eps of IS, even though it was just to ogle at Tatenashi.

      • December 22, 2013 at 11:25 pmPlummage

        I share your sentiments regarding Tatenashi. She and Kanzashi managed to hold my attention in an otherwise subpar second half.

      • December 28, 2013 at 3:16 amDarker pls

        Well. I managed to watch Coppelion till the last episode.
        Coppelion’s ending was better than IS2. IMO ._.

        Yes I got bored sometimes until
        Show Spoiler ▼

    • December 23, 2013 at 1:02 amewok40k

      Disappointing end episode to a disappointing season of the series, to be sure!
      My take? Get the brick of Ichikanium out of the equation and make epic girls-only fighting team do battles versus evil Shadow Syndicate!

    • December 23, 2013 at 1:51 amTechim

      Not sure whether each episode of the BD versions might have extended scenes to cover out what was left out from the LNs….possible saving grace there.

      On another note, an OVA has been announced, IS2: World Purge.
      If that really faithfully adapts from the LN Vol 8 chapter of the same name, well,
      there should be plenty of ecchi in there, much more than the usual in IS :p

    • December 23, 2013 at 2:43 amterrz

      I’ll say it’s disappointing

    • December 23, 2013 at 3:28 amc2710

      Coppelion was FAR BETTER relative to IS2

    • December 23, 2013 at 4:15 amSetsunah

      This IS2 is so meh…

    • December 23, 2013 at 6:48 amspikerman87

      I still vote Freezing being worst than Infinite Stratos this year. I have a mile long list for Freezing regarding plot, characters, structure, making any sense, not caring about new characters literally introduced a few episodes before hand. Subplots that go nowhere and build no development, the two main characters not saying anything to each other from Episode 1 to Episode 6. Kayzuya using his Freezing ability 3 times the entire season. I’ll defend Infinite Stratos that while it’s not good this season I still had some fun with it. Charlotte and Laura were the stars and I enjoyed the shenanigans despite the absurdness and implausabilities.

      • December 23, 2013 at 8:13 amMgMaster

        Hmmm,you could have a point there.I haven’t even picked that one as I’ve been reading the manga(not since a few months though) and found it pretty lacking but I assumed that it at least has better fanservice going for it.

      • December 23, 2013 at 10:02 amc2710

        Freezing is enjoyable IMO

      • December 24, 2013 at 8:15 amPeTdo

        read manga , idk why you don’t like awesome strong girls making crazy face, go all yandere and tearing each other arms and limbs off + all bloody inhumane experimentation in freezing!
        *it’s sarcasm

    • December 23, 2013 at 7:34 amcelebrinen

      I take my hat off to those who have managed to watch IS, Coppelion and Freezing. Your perseverance is an example to us all.

    • December 23, 2013 at 7:52 amP Ko

      You’re serious about IS2 being worse than Samurai Girls 2? Freezing? Ichiban Tsuyo? Tamako Market? Maoyuu Maou Moo Mow Ma Mo Yuusha? Hmm..

      • December 23, 2013 at 8:13 amIgniteous

        I actually liked Tamako Market :)

      • December 26, 2013 at 7:35 amMagoiichi

        All of those shows are better than Infinite Stratos 2

    • December 23, 2013 at 7:56 amMgMaster

      I dropped Coppelion at ep 4 but I probably could’ve watched if I didn’t already feel content with the number of shows I had(I still think it’s bad and won’t pick it up again though).

      I dropped IS2 after episode 2,which I hardly managed to get through.It definitely gets my vote as worst anime of the year.

    • December 23, 2013 at 8:07 amMgMaster

      So like,I haven’t watched this since episode and and I’m never going to but I’ve been reading some of your posts now & then Stilts.

      I’ve wanted to say that I personally think there were better(and much better) shows you could’ve blogged.As someone who enjoys reading your posts a lot,I felt like your writting skills were wasted on this…this thing.

      It definitely doesn’t look like you enjoyed it either though,so I guess these things happen from time to time,heh.

      • December 23, 2013 at 2:36 pmStilts

        I appreciate the compliment. And yeah, there are other shows I probably could have done, but it wasn’t until about ep6 that I really started to give up on this, and not until maybe ep9 or so that I started dreading writing the posts. By that point it was a bit late, and besides I pride myself on being professional and finishing what I start, when possible.

        I shoulda dropped Gen’ei though. That was a total waste of time >_<

      • December 23, 2013 at 3:39 pmMgMaster

        Some good can come out of it though! It’ll serve as a warning to people not lower their expectations all the way to the bottom of the Atlantic in case for the inevitable 3rd season :P

      • December 23, 2013 at 3:40 pmMgMaster

        correction: *TO lower their expectations*

      • December 24, 2013 at 9:32 pmTaiyo

        Third season won’t happen for awhile. Source material had legal issues and got delayed for 2 years.

    • December 23, 2013 at 12:45 pmMgMaster

      Wait,I was just reminded by a friend of Aku no Hana.Yea,not even IS2 will take the worst anime of the year tittle away from that,at least in my eyes.

    • December 28, 2013 at 1:42 amdeVacto

      and why we watch this?
      because of the service?? lol

  • December 22, 2013 at 7:43 pmBraveSong

    The ending, and series as a whole, produced zero feels on my end.

    • December 22, 2013 at 8:59 pmMasterDragonKnight

      Alternative interpretation of the ending.

      Ichika drowns and dies. The story actually starts to progress forward without being weighed down by repetitive dense harem lead antics.

      • December 23, 2013 at 3:02 amKarl

        Thank you. From now on that will be my insurmountable canon.

      • December 23, 2013 at 2:38 pmStilts

        This. What MasterDragonKnight said. Take all of my upvotes. Cannot agree more.

        Is it bad that I was rooting for Madoka a few times during this episode? ‘Cause yeah, that happened :X

  • December 22, 2013 at 7:45 pmKo-Gil

    I dropped this show after the 2nd episode due to the fact that it was just sooo boring to me. After reading this, it doesn’t seem to get better at all.

    • December 22, 2013 at 8:51 pmRukia

      It actually got worse.

    • December 23, 2013 at 8:08 amBanana

      I dropped this show after the 1st episode and I’m here for the same reason as you. No regret about dropping IS2, some hours saved.

  • December 22, 2013 at 7:50 pmBear

    According to a comment Tabane made to the other girl, she was sitting with on the roof (who in the hell is she?), the IS drone attack was also a “present”. She’s taking the mad scientist title too much to heart.

    One of the disappointments I have with this is that Ichika seems to be going backwards in capabilities and brains. Probably the densest ML ever.

    • December 22, 2013 at 8:03 pmHorus

      If there was a Season 3, Ichika will probably have the largest harem in the history of anime WITHOUT having chosen a single girl amongst them to be his own. Damn you Ichika. Damn you to hell.

  • December 22, 2013 at 8:01 pmHorus

    …DAMN IT ICHIKA JUST PICK A GIRL ALREADY OR PICK ALL OF THEM JUST DO SOMETHING ASIDE FROM DYING AND RESURRECTING.

    • December 23, 2013 at 5:26 amFomite

      There’s no way he would make a choice unless the light novels have already ended. Provided also that the light novels ends with him making a selection. Either that or the anime is allowed to have an original ending. This is highly unlikely because the anime is support material to the novels.

      That’s also the reason why manga and light novel adaptations are usually not good because they have limited material to animate. A good adaptation would be when the manga or light novel have already ended. Thus far, we have seen very little adaptation of already completed material. I guess producers will keep on animating materials like that. If you want some conclusion, you’d want better luck watching original anime.

      • December 23, 2013 at 2:43 pmStilts

        You’re not necessarily wrong, but adaptations with unfinished source material can be good if they pick a good place to end. Off the top of my head, this year Sakurasou, OreShura, Hataraku Maou-sama, and Outbreak Company all stopped at really good places even if their stories weren’t over yet. Unless we have a Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood situation, that’s the best we can hope for. Or a good original ending ala Fullmetal Alchemist or Soul Eater.

        I still want a Soul Eater: Brotherhood though. Just sayin’.

  • December 22, 2013 at 8:02 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

    Finally!!! Now for the rant I had saved for this day!!!

    I had to type this up as soon as I finished the episode, to get it off my chest, before copy/pasting it here…

    Ugh, just as I predicted last episode. Nothing really except IS fanservice action.

    Otherwise, NO f-ing answers while creating MORE f-ing questions!

    1.) Military IS show up, yet still NO other instructors from IS Academy? We may as well say Chifuyu and Maya ARE the ONLY instructors there (who aren’t even capable of doing anything themselves to help the students 99.9% of the time). Not only that, but the military IS and/or their pilots S-U-C-K-E-D.

    2.) If the Black Night is supposed to a brand new personal IS Tabane made for Madoka, how could Chifuyu possibly know exactly what it is?

    3.) Stemming from #2, considering the Black Night was made for Madoka to be able to kill Chifuyu of all people, how is it possible that the group was able to not just stand up to her, but even almost beat her were it not for Squall’s intervention (Autumn being taken out like little more than cannon fodder)? I guess the only excuse is the whole “data collecting”, so Madoka most likely wasn’t going all out against them, but still, if you want data, then shouldn’t one be pushing the unit as far as it can go?

    4.) Of course, Ichika ends up living via deus ex IS dream girl, of which we STILL have no clue at all what she is, what her purpose is, or anything. Just conveniently appears and gives Ichika more power. When will Ichika be the one to actually stand up, fight, and win/fend off the enemy instead of Byaku Shiki being like a crutch?

    5.) NO casualties from the fighting? When they blew up parts of city blocks that were clearly lit and we get NO sign of the pilots of the military IS surviving?

    6.) Tabane and the mystery girl now confirm that they were the ones responsible for the unmanned IS incident, which only further makes me look at Tabane as one of those bored geniuses stirring up sh*t for sh*ts and giggles without care. I mean, her best friend and her little brother, AND the whole rest of their class almost DIED and what does she do? Giggle and wonder if “…Chii-chan enjoyed her present” and that “Things will be more fun”. It’s like she has no concept of right or wrong, or the consequences of her actions. I will be quite surprised if Tabane doesn’t end up turning into the final main villain somehow.

    7.) Of course, they end with the usual harem antics, as if NOTHING EVER HAPPENED.

    …considering how EXTREMELY open-ended it is, and based on DVD/Blu-ray sales so far, I get the feeling they will make a third season. They really CAN’T not make one now, to give actual answers (hopefully). unless they really don’t make sales, which seems doubtful.

    Amazingly, I am extremely disappointed with IS 2 and it’s up there with one of the WORST series’ this season that I’ve seen. After how much I enjoyed the first season, I was really expecting IS 2 to go above and beyond what Season 1 did, both in plot and with character development, but instead, a vast majority of it was pointless harem antics again (much of it not even that funny compared to season one) while not even the bare minimum had anything to do with any worthwhile plot; a plot that still remains completely unresolved in EVERY way as they have given us NO concrete answers on anything related to Phantom Task, Chifuyu, Ichika, or anything. And because of such a bad plot to antics ratio, a lot of the pacing really felt off with the sudden transition from silly antics into darker, serious plot moments.

    The characters are pretty much exactly the same as they were before, which isn’t exactly a good thing. Ichika not becoming any better an IS pilot overall, and once again, only due to Byaku Shiki’s abilities does he manage to survive. And don’t even get me started on the “romance” for him; still the ever dense idiot.

    The girls (at least the main 5) are perfectly fine on their own or with eachother, but when it comes to Ichika, they constantly get downgraded to either idiots or hurtful yanderes on him for even complimenting another girl’s appearance, as if they believe they have some sort of “claim” on him already. We also learn little to nothing more about them nor are they put in any real personal conflicts or anything for them to overcome besides that flashback with Charlotte’s mother (which was really just to help conclude that one episode) and Cecilia’s cooking. Even the Sarashiki sisters don’t get much besides the basic gist of why Kanzashi is so withdrawn and whatnot.

    And I think it’s clear to everyone now that Chifuyu has a vast lead on the other girls, with Houki coming in second.

    IS 2 was one of the series’ I was really looking forward to this season, but sadly, it failed all my expectations and then some. I can only hope that when/if they make a third season, that IS 2 was only so bad because they were saving up as much as they could for that third season to be as amazing as possible.

    • December 22, 2013 at 9:00 pmdaikama

      @HalfDemonInuyasha: Finally!!! Now for the rant I had saved for this day!!!

      LMAO. +1 for that statement alone.

      • December 22, 2013 at 9:50 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

        I’m serious too. The same night the episode appeared streamed and subbed, after I finished watching it and getting everything, I came here and opened Kyoukai no Kanata episode 12, went down to the message box, and typed in everything I felt about/wanted to rant about on the episode and the season as a whole, then just left it opened and waited for this review to come out so I could just copy/paste the whole thing into a message box here, lol.

      • December 23, 2013 at 2:47 pmStilts

        I like our determination : ) Also, your points were good. No complaints about any of them, other than how they renewed my annoyance at this series.

  • December 22, 2013 at 8:09 pmReianz

    Definitely the most pathetic sequel of any Anime I have ever watched. Very disappointed…

  • December 22, 2013 at 8:11 pmSilentCid

    Book explains it more than what was shown on why Tabane sent the unmanned IS. On a side note I wanted more of M. She was more interesting.

  • December 22, 2013 at 8:23 pmA

    If you were so disappointed, then why did week after week you say the episodes honestly weren’t bad and you enjoyed them?

    • December 22, 2013 at 8:39 pminanis

      to be honest? to watch Tatenashi flirt .. that was the only reason i was watching the show… sadly didnt get much of it in the last 2 episodes x.x

    • December 23, 2013 at 2:49 pmStilts

      I try to find the good stuff in a series, and sometimes there were some, so it’s only when it’s close to the end and it becomes clear that all my hopes and dreams were to be crushed that I had to admit it :(

  • December 22, 2013 at 8:26 pmMatrix3

    I was disappointed in that they did not reveal the connection of Madoka with Chifuyu and why she wants her dead. Perhaps the upcoming OVA will reveal this and other questions but doubt it.

  • December 22, 2013 at 8:28 pmbelatkuro

    It’s Saito Chiwa, not Satou Rina, though the latter was actually my seiyuu pick to voice Tatenashi when this was announced.

    And that wasn’t an upgrade for Byakushiki. Ichika already had the Second Shift from the ending of the first season. The studio just conveniently forgot about it for the whole season just to place it here when there were several times that Ichika should have been in Second Shift in their practice matches.

    Nevertheless, this season was totally disappointing. Cutting out 2 whole volumes and replacing them with lame fillers. Not that the original material is great (it’s also kind of shit) but why do fillers when the source material, however limited, is right there in front of them. Well, they are adapting volume 8 in a new OVA but that’s not really an acceptable excuse.

    I also felt that the voice acting was pretty lacking at times. Like the seiyuus aren’t really interested in doing them anymore. Normally even when the show is shit they seiyuus still perform so well, like in episode 11 of Blazblue with Nakamura Yuuichi going full madman with Terumi. Here there’s no spark at all, and we have a cast of top-tier seiyuus here like Yukana, Inoue Marina, Hikasa Yoko, Kana Hanazawa, etc.

    And the animation was totally not up to par. You can even see at times that they resort to CGI to animate some stuff. That’s what happens when a relatively new studio decides to animate 3 shows this season.

    In the end, I can only conclude that the staff and cast didn’t really care much for this season at all, hence the hackjob that we received here. It’s still selling so well even with a sales drop compared to the first season so good for them. Just wish they placed more effort in it.

    Not really expecting a season 3 here as they already burned through all the available source materials and Yumizuru is being a lazy bum that he is and still not releasing any new volumes since his transfer to Overlap Bunko. Will probably be years before we get one. I’ll still watch it but I will also never forget what they did in this season.

    • December 23, 2013 at 2:52 pmStilts

      Whoops, thanks for the correction. Fixed~

  • December 22, 2013 at 8:35 pmRed HeartGold ZX

    I would like to be honest that there are episodes which I truly enjoyed, but it’s also true that I expected a bit much thinking it would be as good as Season 1…

  • December 22, 2013 at 9:11 pmIncognito

  • December 22, 2013 at 9:14 pmTheMoondoggie

    Worst attempt to adapt an LN so far. I have enjoyed some parts, yes. But it really sucks when you skip plenty of materials.

    • December 22, 2013 at 11:50 pmdaikama

      @TheMoondoggie: Worst attempt to adapt an LN so far. I have enjoyed some parts, yes. But it really sucks when you skip plenty of materials.

      What was skipped here pales in comparison to what was cut out/altered by Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio anime. The anime’s well beyond adaption at this point. It’s substantially different alternative version of the story.

    • December 24, 2013 at 2:59 amcryarc

      As a fellow LN reader, I can guarantee 100% that Ichika is as dense as in both LN and in anime. I don’t know how you delude yourself thinking this anime version is inferion than LN version when it’s actually almost the exact same quality..

  • December 22, 2013 at 9:19 pmGamen

    Why can’t we have more harem protagonists like Kusanagi Godou and fewer like Orimura Ichika?

    • December 22, 2013 at 9:27 pmTheMoondoggie

      anime!Orimura =/= lightnovel!Orimura

      That said no one has surpassed denseness than anime!Orimura. lightnovel!Orimura knows but isn’t really interested and goes out of his way to avoid/forget he’s the target of a lot of girl’s lust.

      Kusansagi Godou’s type of harem MC is more common than you think.

      • December 22, 2013 at 9:42 pmGamen

        Mmm, I’ll not get into specifics, but I haven’t any harem protagonist quite like Godou (nor one as dense as Orimura, for that matter). Granted, that’s in part because of his later development in the LNs losing the Unwanted bit of UnwantedHarem. I’ll grant you that the anime was still introducing the main characters and didn’t get into the later character development.

      • December 22, 2013 at 11:04 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

        Issei from DxD doesn’t count? lol

        But yeah, watch the anime, Kampfer, and you’ll see Ichika’s competition, lol.

    • December 22, 2013 at 11:18 pmdaikama

      I’d rather have Ousawa Akatsuki or Hyodo Issei than Kusanagi Godou. Sagara Yoshiharu is also a pretty good harem male lead IMO.

    • December 24, 2013 at 9:20 amPeTdo

      i don’t understand why Goudou is common MC and why you perfer other than him ?? please enlighten me by showing some evidence to support you claim , I mean Goudou is similar to Touma and Gunzo in term of personality and that’s it i think, you could mention Negi springfield too but that’s it.

      • December 24, 2013 at 8:35 pmGamen

        Not sure what you mean, but (and this is based off all the LNs, not just the 3-4 that got adapted into the anime) Goudou has several girls he loves, who love him in return, and accept (and sometimes encourage) the other girls’ relationships with him (though they do try to defend against any other girls getting close to him… to varying success). They’ve all been intimate with him, at the same time even. And often he is the one initiating intimacy.

        Anyway… Breaking it down, Akatsuki, while definitely alpha, doesn’t really have a harem, he has a bunch of female nakama who may or may not have feelings for him and don’t protest too much when he assaults them.

        Issei definitely is destined to be with many of his nakama, but he’s young and immature and a little bit stupid. Or shallow.

        I’ll admit there’s a little unfairness in comparing Godou to other harem leads, since Campione has the gimmick of kissing being one of the few effective means of using magic on him, giving him plenty of opportunities to be intimate in crisis situations (suspension bridge effect). That, and I’m comparing 15 light novels of Godou against… 1 cours of Akatsuki and 2 cours of Issei? So later LN developments to them that I’m ignorant of might invalidate my comparison.

        But what Issei and Akatsuki might have, Godou already has. …and bringing me back to IS, Ichika may never have, given that he’s (anime) too dull to see the possibility or (novel, allegedly) actively ignoring it.

      • December 24, 2013 at 9:18 pmSK

        Part of the reason Issei hasn’t gotten all that far in his relationships (in the anime) is due to what happened in the very first episode. It takes him a while (vol. 10, I believe, with season 2 covering through vol. 4) to get over being killed on his first date. Of course, a bigger reason is that the publishers have apparently included in the contract that the author couldn’t go beyond a certain line, thus members of the harem will interrupt him, intentionally or otherwise.

      • December 25, 2013 at 4:22 amdaikama

        @Gamen: I’ve read all the translated LN volumes for both Campione and HS DxD. TBH, I have a somewhat different take on Goudo & his relationships. Also, as SK briefly mentioned, a LOT happens in HS DxD after the anime’s 2nd Season. The anime’s 2nd Season ended with LN vol 04, and there are now 16 volumes out. Granted about 2 1/2 worth are side stories, but trust me, a LOT happens in terms of Issei and his harem. The pace of events actually starts to pick up in vol 05. Rather than Goudo already has what Issei might have, it’s the other way around at this point.

        RE: Goudo (Campione!)

        TBH, I don’t see the lovey-dovey relationships your description implies. Certainly the girls have come around more towards the “romantic” side of things compared to early in the story, but IMO the situation between the girls is still primarily begrudging truce than harmony, acceptance and encouragement. I do recall one time they “encouraged” a haremette by permitting some “alone time” (Mariya IIRC) and there might be a couple more, but that’s definitely the exception rather than the rule. Most of the time they are still either trying to block or one-up each other. The only one Erica officially recognizes is Mariya. As for Goudo, he still protests that his relationships are all “normal healthy” ones rather than acknowledge any romantic ties. My description of Goudo’s current viewpoint would be nakama/comrades in arms + situational benefits rather than “love”.

        The one significant problem I have with Godou is that there’s an awful lot of pain involved in his “intimacy”. Show Spoiler ▼

        IMO, the word “assault” applies equally if not more so to Goudo as it does to Akatsuki.

        Fortunately (IMO) those scenes are still relatively rare, and I still like the series. I think overall Goudo’s a pretty good guy (minus the spoiler stuff), but he’s also not one to get involved unless necessary. IMO, both Issei and Akatsuki are more likely to rush to the aid of some random person in need than Goudo. Finally, Goudo does have his Ichika side to him. He’s still dense when it comes to how women in general find him attractive (genetics from grandpa). There’s a scene where that’s specifically pointed out by Liliana.

        In terms of an replacement for Ichika, while IMO Issei is the nicest guy of the three, he’s also too perverted. Houki alone would kill him after multiple fondling attempts and he’d ignore Rin and Laura for lack certain assets. Goudo’s too disinterested (plus the spoiler stuff) and has his Ickika moments as well. Akatsuki’s too “adavanced” for these girls. They would NOT handle his pranks well. Hmm… maybe Tatenashi would XD. Actually I think it would be funny to see her try to tease him like she does Ichika.

        Might be alone on this, but I still think Sagara Yoshiharu (Oda Nobuna no Yabou) is a pretty good fit for Ichika v2. I’ve read the LN (what’s translated of it) and he DOES have a harem. Might not want one, but it’s there. He’s not a genius, but he’s not stupid either. IMO, particularly later in the story, he’s not romantically dense. He is a bit baka perverted in an Issei kind of way, but not nearly so much. He’s also an upfront nice guy (no rough stuff or unappreciated pranks). For good or bad, he’d probably end up picking one girl over the others as well.

        Lastly, Happy Holidays to all.

      • December 25, 2013 at 7:05 amGamen

        Well, I think the dxd novels might be next on my list then.

        Only a few quibbles. Assuming status quo isn’t restored, Show Spoiler ▼

        Second, as best I can remember those painful scenes are always narrated by Goudou. I always chalked that up to his self-delusion/UnreliableNarrator. Show Spoiler ▼

        You’re probably right about them being in the truce stage, Show Spoiler ▼

        As for Akatsuki… uh, no. I mean honest-to-god sexual assault. As in the crime, which Akatsuki commits against at least one girl almost every episode. I’m not sure how you can compare that to Goudou potentially and unintentionally (or unavoidably) mixing pain in with kissing. The girls certainly welcome any opportunity to kiss him, whereas the ones around Akatsuki only seem to tolerate his actions. Maybe they secretly welcome it while outwardly protesting, but… Yikes.

        As for Nobuna, I couldn’t get past the second episode. I can tolerate a character having trouble adapting to a different world with different rules until they learn the ropes… One that actively uses knowledge from games that have no doubt employed artistic license in their representation of history (and economics, my god), when the world he’s in doesn’t even match his own history, is the height of idiocy.

      • December 25, 2013 at 10:57 amdaikama

        @Gamen

        TBH, to suggest that Godou’s narrative is delusion, fabrication and/or exaggeration is trying to spin things IMO. If you have a factual basis (something in the LN/ author’s commentary, etc.) for that, please let me know because I haven’t seen any reason given by the material (or at least translation of it) to take what’s written at anything other than face value. Frankly, if that stuff must be in LN, I’d enjoy the series more if I could dismiss it so readily.

        This is from Vol 05′s “protection scene”
        Show Spoiler ▼

        Then in volume 10
        Show Spoiler ▼

        And volume 14
        Show Spoiler ▼

        I don’t see anything about what Godou does the above that is “unavoidable”, “unintentional” or “necessary” (potential or otherwise). Certain acts may be required for his abilities, BUT he does have a choice in HOW he goes about doing those acts. This stuff isn’t a simple accidental bite on the lips. Heavy themes of possession, dominance and even at times ignoring protest. IMO those protest do not imply “welcoming any opportunity”. Still, as you say, maybe they actually do welcome it while outwardly protesting, but… Yikes on the high-schooler S&M style foreplay. The bolded statement in the vol 05 spoiler is just disturbing to me.

        It’s frustrating because I love the Campione! concept and enjoy all the other parts of the LN. Outside of this stuff, I like Godou as well. At any rate, I agree that Akatsuki’s no saint, but he doesn’t act violently or have sadistic or domineering thoughts towards the girls. Guess we’ll have to agree to disagree on this.
        __________________________________________

        As for Nobuna, actually it’s not idiocy since one of themes is the opposite of what you suggest. Sagara is actually afraid of making too many changes because then his knowledge will NOT be accurate. So far, it’s been very accurate regardless of his source. The dates might not coincide, but the order and events themselves do and that’s what is important. Plus, he’s learned NOT to just rely upon that. The only significant difference between that world (when he gets there) and the “history of his world” is that for SOME historical figures, cute girls have replaced guys. That’s it. That may not appeal to you (not everyone likes the historical gender swap theme), but the two worlds are much more similar than you imply. Some the female versions even have the same name as the historical male figure they are based upon.

        Still haven’t bought Total War Shogun 2, but I can tell you that Hearts of Iron III (WWII grand strategy game) is surprisingly accurate in historical terms. There are some changes – primarily in terms of when events happen for game play purposes (i.e. Pearl Harbor might occur on November 28th or December 11th rather than always December 7th), but the game has a tremendous amount of accurate details – from events (e.g. Lend Lease, etc.) to politicians to generals to combat division names (infantry, marine, mountain and armor), ship names and weaponry for dozens of countries (You could play Brazil if you want). It’s borderline too complex and detailed.

        As for the “economics” (EP 02) – that’s nothing short of RL arbitrage. Happens daily on a massive scale for financial instruments. Buy stuff cheap somewhere and sell it for more somewhere else. Pretty basic IMO. If you don’t like the show, that’s fine. I know that it wasn’t one of the most popular shows reviewed by RC that season. However, I think your comment unfairly criticizes the show for the above reasons

      • December 27, 2013 at 10:30 amGamen

        Probably too late to reply, but…

        No argument on what happens when his self-control is compromised, as in those first two quotes. Not sure if there’s an argument I can use to defend him in the third quote, though.

        No, Godou being an unreliable narrator is based on the stated opinions of damn near every character around Godou. His words claim that he’s different from other Campione, but his actions are often just as bad. Which is probably unnecessary to point out, since it would be reasonable by itself to conclude that he’s confusing a girl’s reactions for pain when it’s actually pleasure… sometimes. He’s not got a lot of experience, after all, so expecting his interpretation to be an accurate representation of the facts is unreasonable. However, you supplied a quote where Erica did actually state he was being rough, so at the east, he’s not always misinterpreting their reactions, and is causing pain at least some of the time. I concede.

        Mmm, Akatsuki may not be malicious, but I can’t say he isn’t dominating. Forcing two girls to lose control of their bladders, stripping another (repeatedly) in public or at least non-private settings, and ambushing (visually) her in the shower? Sure, he’s not using force or the threat of it against any of the women, but that’s because he can just go ahead and do whatever he wants with her. And if that’s not dominating someone, I don’t know what is.

        I literally just stopped partway through the episode when Saru explained that his plan for making a 100% return on Nobuna’s investment in one week was to buy low and sell high between towns… In medieval Japan. That breaks my bullshit meter. And his confidence is because he did the same in a video game. That hurts my brain. But hey, I guess I can spare a few minutes to finish the episode and see how they either justify his success or use his failure to enlighten him to the harsh realities of the real world.

      • December 31, 2013 at 7:27 pmboingman

        What? Is the Campione main guy seriously having sex with the girls in later chapters? Or are you just exaggerating? I only watched the anime which I honestly didn’t really enjoy. The kissing premise alone is so ridiculous that I had a hard time taking it seriously.

    • December 25, 2013 at 6:36 amCorey Lucas

      Good question , why can’t we get a protagonist like Godou instead of a idiot protagonist that makes Touma look like Hugh Hefner, and that make you want to snap his neck MAN OF STEEL STYLE!!!

  • December 22, 2013 at 10:39 pmplatinum

    Pretty much what you said Stilts. When we got to the bath house scene, I just gave up. :/

    I’m honestly shocked that this got as bad as it did. Where did the fun of Tatenashi’s arc go? (And that was the high point of the show for me.) It just kind of went *plop* and stopped being interesting.

    I’m kind of worried for what the World Purge OVA will be like, but for the love of God be at least slightly interesting is all I ask.

    P.S. I’ve come to the conclusion that the anime (not the LN, mind you) would be way more interesting and less annoying if Ichika was just gone. Episode 1 (and episode 10 kind of) proved that the girls themselves were WAAAAY more interesting when he wasn’t around. It sounds mean, but really, anime!Ichika is about 2 shakes away from being the new Natsuru for me.

  • December 22, 2013 at 11:09 pmdaikama

    Hmmm… where to start. Guess, I’ll start with the obvious. It wasn’t a good show, though TBH I don’t think it was the worst show of the year either. Frankly, it’s not the most disappointing show of the year/season for me either since I had modest, well defined expectations going into the season. I was in this solely for the girls and the funny skits resulting from there inexplicable desire to win over Ichika. Throw in the occasional battle, have something resembling a plot and good enough. I just wanted to be entertained. Something to watch while unwinding from the work week with no thinking required. Yet somehow, IS 2 couldn’t even manage that lowered standard.

    When comparing season one to season two, one thing in particular stood out. Season one is (IMO) really just a long introduction of the characters/world setting. 2/3 of the season is nothing but introducing each harem candidate. Even the last 1/3 in part is continuing the set up (Houki’s personal IS, Tabane’s introduction) with some random crisis thrown in. There is some underlying plot in that some person/group/organization is plotting against the group, but IMO the “main plot” is actually setting things up.

    With the character/world setting introduction done, Season Two needed a clearly defined, continuous, and progressing plot beyond that. We didn’t get that. As Stilts and others have said, SOMETHING needed to happen. I like Tatenashi (Kanzashi I can do without), but at this point in the story, a couple more haremettes doesn’t cut it. What “plot” we were given crawled at a pace which would make snails ashamed. More than one episode seemed like side-story/OVA material than anything connected to advancing the main plot (what little there was of one).

    The adaptation IMO had issues, but after reading the LN, I think the source material is partly to blame as well. IMO the LN is better, but there’s still a sense of plot discontinuity and lack of focus. I truly wonder if the series author actually has a clearly defined road map for the story. TBH, I’m not sure if he even cares. In the afterword for the latest LN volume (08) he writes:

    I have nothing to say about volume 8 at all! Nothing at all! That’s all!
    For the 9th volume, I plan to write a slapstick romcom. I want to write something free and easy, something soft. I had enough of battles! It’s really tiring. See you then!

    JMO, but that doesn’t sound like he’s very enthusiastic about the series. :<

    To be fair, this season wasn't a total loss. There were some funny, entertaining moments. IMO Laura was the star this season. Very cute and funny in almost every scene. A perfect example was the scene with her and the pastry bunnies. Almost died from moe overdose. But those scenes were not enough to overcome the show’s increasingly numerous faults, most of which Stilts already mentioned.

    Would I watch a third season? Sure, why not? There’s enough at the core of the series that I like, but I would readjust my expectations even lower. Rather “no thinking required”, I’d view Season 3 as what I call “Brain-Stem Anime”. The show is most enjoyable if you turn off all brain activity other than your brain stem (which is required to maintain life functions).

    • December 23, 2013 at 12:40 amTheMoondoggie

      @ daikama

      “I truly wonder if the series author actually has a clearly defined road map for the story TBH, I’m not sure if he even cares.”

      Blame Media Factory. They had a falling out with Izuru Yumizuru. Of course, the reasons aren’t told why but there are plenty of rumors that flew around at that time, blames being thrown at each side. Until it was finally said that Media Factory was cheating out the author by making deals that it will be published in Chinese without the author’s knowledge.

      If I was the author, I’d also do a complete “rock falls, everyone dies” situation, and stop caring, just to show I am boss of my work and what I say goes. Though any author of that type would need stupendous luck in finding a publisher that would agree.

      • December 23, 2013 at 2:59 pmStilts

        If I were that author, I wouldn’t. Sure it would be bitter, but being able to write for a living is already living the dream (even if the dream isn’t as nice as we tend to think), so I would keep trying to tell the best story I possibly could.

        Now, if editors and publishers were &#@$*%( up my story to the point where I didn’t feel like I had control anymore, yeah, I’d get disillusioned real fast. Which may be part of what happened, even if that comment doesn’t make it sound like this is the case.

  • December 22, 2013 at 11:09 pmsinkingmist

    sudo delete memories/Infinite-Stratos-S2/

    S2? What S2? There’s no IS S2.

    • December 23, 2013 at 12:23 amTheMoondoggie

      sudo restore sinkingmist/memories/Infinite-Stratos-S2/

      • December 23, 2013 at 12:48 amHalfDemonInuyasha

        *sinkingmist* ERROR! ERROR! DOES NOT COMPUTE! DOES NOT COMPUTE!

        *blue screen of doom*

    • December 23, 2013 at 10:00 amHochmeister

      There is only one season of Infinite Stratos. There has always been only one season of Infinite Stratos. Anything else is the product of a disturbed mind.

      • December 23, 2013 at 2:57 pmStilts

        Sounds about right, ’cause I don’t think there’s anyone with a more disturbed mind than me.

  • December 22, 2013 at 11:16 pmbillng

    Another open ended Harem, guess I dodged a bullet there. Dropped it at episode 3 predicting no romantic conclusion, and I was right :/

    • December 22, 2013 at 11:34 pmdaikama

      Not sure if you object to the harem route in general/always want to see one girl win, or if you think “open-ended” harems just can’t be done well. If it’s the latter, then don’t judge the sub-genre by this show. Just like any other type of show, “open-ended” harems can be good if done right (if you like that sort of thing).

  • December 22, 2013 at 11:24 pmSouthSky

    The show had its moments but the main problems it faced were:

    1) Lack of coherent plot: The events are seemingly unorganized, and they don’t show a clear order. Truly an author doesn’t necessarily have to show the events in chronological order, but there is still a kind of order which enables the reader/viewer to understand the plot. Another point to consider is the absence of motives for the main events in the show. Our heroines always end up defending themselves against foreign attacks, and the “evil party” always attack and flee for absolutely no reasonable cause.

    2) Good mecha action and animation, but the plot was poorly handled. We all know this is a mecha/harem/comedy show, nevertheless, it doesn’t hurt to give the characters some sense of logic, especially regarding military tactics and strategies. Seriously, what do they teach them at the academy? To name a few: Ichika facing backwards to the enemy at point blank range; the girls: come on let’s drive the battle to the city full of civilians, and then sensei: zero casualties (even Goku knew that they had to avoid fighting right in the middle of the city); Cecilia sniping at 3m from the target (as Stilts said); 3 IS pilots overpower the whole military squad and IS academy pilots?.

    3) Nice new characters, but weren’t developed enough to make them plotwise relevant. The Sarashiki sisters were the novelty in Ichika’s harem, but ultimately they don’t add anything to the plot.

    4) Finally, Ichika…nothing much to say here. It seems as if though he is more dumb than in season I. Not only he achieves practically nothing with the girls (apart from adding two members to his already big harem), but he always ends up being pretty much useless in the battles.

    I enjoyed a few episodes this season, but all in all it ends being a disappointment.

  • December 22, 2013 at 11:57 pmTaage

    Turns out any character voiced by Yukari Tamura has to be at least somewhat evil.

    • December 23, 2013 at 12:24 amTheMoondoggie

      But Nanoha’s not evil. When was Nanoha evil?

      • December 23, 2013 at 12:49 amHalfDemonInuyasha

        Because she “befriends” people? lol

      • December 23, 2013 at 3:04 amKarl

        Sure. White Devil isn’t evil. She just mindcrushes people for good.

      • December 23, 2013 at 5:52 amfragb85

        Now you’re just exaggerating Nanoha’s actions.

        All she does is practice avant-garde explosive therapy on others. Its proven to have a 100% success rate on pacifying anyone with hostile and violent tendencies!

      • December 23, 2013 at 3:01 pmStilts

        Nanoha is like Shiroe, evil for the side of good.

      • December 23, 2013 at 5:22 pmMasterDragonKnight

        If you see Nanoha like this, then it will probably be the last thing you see.

  • December 23, 2013 at 1:21 amCatsrofl

    Finally over, if I had an analogy for this show, it’b that good dog you had but he got so injured or f’d up that you just had to put it down. Boring ass fight and like you said girls that seem to flip flop between being competent and being damsels in distress. Like damn,really?! Didn’t help at all that it just ended, with no damn epilogue or nothing. Like the show itself was like “Oh lord, lets just end it already guys!” In the end even watching these shows for the girls, was almost ruined for me. Shame on you show, SHAME ON YOU. Anyway, thanks for going through this show Stilts. May not have been easy, but, thank you.

  • December 23, 2013 at 2:50 amGinobi47

    Wow… and to think i was really hoping that IS2 can somehow save itself with the final episode…. I guess I was wrong.

    RIP Infinite Stratos. Your 1st season was a fun ride, but whoever directed the 2nd deserves to burn for ruining such an entertaining anime

  • December 23, 2013 at 3:30 amc2710

    8bit totally left this in bits….

    And it’s one of the multi-national harem mecha that I like

  • December 23, 2013 at 5:48 amfragb85

    A lot of people compare Season 2 with Kampfer but I actually put Kampfer above this show. Ignoring the fact that Shizuku is more awesome than Ichika’s entire harem combined, Kampfer is at least very honest and embraces its lack of plot so that one can sit down and enjoy its silliness. Even its exposition dump can be summed up as “Okay audience this is why the Kampfer’s are fighting. Got that? Okay back to the fanservice and fighting!”. Not to mention Kampfer is quite self-aware usually due to the dialogue the hilarious sentient mascot dolls which is always a plus on my book.

    The irony of Infinite Stratos is that its biggest weakness is what should be its strength: It has a plot. Or at least it promises that it has a plot. Amid all the flat characters and harem hijinks, there are hints of a conspiracy and developing story. Unfortunately its all mucked up because at the center of it is Ichika, who is essentially a black hole of charisma that sucks out all of the character development of the girls. This is the guy we should root for when s*** gets real? I don’t think so.

  • December 23, 2013 at 6:24 amSeedStriker

    Alright, this was complete BS. Not only IS lost track of it’s own story, but the overall feeling that 8bit this this only because they were forced to is clearly showed. And this is supposed to be the less ridiculous things of the novel arc? This end of season was just an ass-pull of moments that screamed WTF right and left. Ichika alive after being shot point blank? NO CASUALTIES after Madoka trashed the military IS? Black Knight almost intact after being shot by the whole party? Not-Celestial Being just wanting combat data? And I’m not going to talk about Ichika’s final troll moment at the open bath. Worst of all: Chifuyu knows that Tabane is just trolling with the whole world and she don’t tell that FOR ABSOLUTELY NO FUCKING REASON! C’mon, girl! The bitch almost got you killed! andohbytheway, 1
    and a half minutes to show Chloe is a big fat FUCK YOU to the whole IS fanbase.

    This season of IS clearly is meant to say to us: DON’T EVEN BOTHER WITH THE NEXT SEASON

    Personally, this is the last time I’ll see IS.

  • December 23, 2013 at 6:52 amspikerman87

    Can I just say worst hot springs scene ever?

  • December 23, 2013 at 8:06 amAnanas

    When something like this happens to be the best seller of the season it’s no surprise that animation studios aren’t too keen on making quality shows.

    The worst show of the season, hands down. Maybe even of the year.

    • December 23, 2013 at 8:56 amMgMaster

      I know…I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw this being the best seller of fall(or one of them anyway).The thing is,I don’t see why.

      The art & animation are far from great,the character designs are decent but that’s it which in turn makes the fanservice average(the girls aren’t exactly that sexy nor are they very moe),the action scenes aren’t what you’d call good and there’s nothing else IS2 has going for it.

      Basically,it doesn’t even do the things that sell well & pander to the otaku audience too good so I still fail to see how is it possible to sell so much.

  • December 23, 2013 at 8:32 amTassadar

    IS2, you had one job… To at least close the season with a decent hot springs scene. Instead, we get this:

    http://randomc.net/image/Infinite%20Stratos/Infinite%20Stratos%202%20-%2012%20-%20Large%2037.jpg

  • December 23, 2013 at 8:58 amHochmeister

    Not gonna lie, I was paying far more attention to my game of Civ V than this last episode. There was some pretty pew pew, but I just blanked out whenever any ‘plot’ showed up. I do remember rolling my eyes at Ichika’s silly Byakushi/subconscious moment (again!).

    Disappointing about sums this season up. While the girls were all cute and entertaining, the thing that really killed it for me was the total lack of character development. Now it’s not like I was expecting Ichika to pick a girl or become super amazing Gary Stu or anything like that, but I did expect the main characters to grow in both personality and combat skills. Instead, they all remained stagnant, which combined with the half baked plot just failed to catch my interest. To be honest, about half the season felt like OVA filler material than part of a show. It was moderately entertaining and (mostly) well animated, but definitely not something I’d recommend.

  • December 23, 2013 at 10:05 amc2710

    Will IS3 redeem itself?

    • December 23, 2013 at 10:46 amqwert

      Sure it will, I bet it will have twice as many plot centered episodes as IS2… that’s like 2 whole episodes…

  • December 23, 2013 at 10:56 amTaiakun

    I don’t know what is worst, that this series failed to achieve anything in the end, or that we are likely to get a sequel out of it.

    I agree with the damsel in distress point, but what ticks me off more is the fact that for majority of this series, those kick-ass girls ended up acting like dogs in heat. And that is perhaps the part of the series that ticks me off the most. Yes, its a harem series, but you can’t argue that the girls should have been shown with more dignity. They are pilots of deadly weapons afterall aren’t they? Girls Und Panzer managed to have cute characters while being bad-ass piloting tanks. Surely IS could at least tone it down with the girls.

    I believe that the best thing which can happen in this series is to get rid of Ichika, though that will be impossible. The girls make the series. He doesn’t. I do not mind a clueless harem lead, but this goes way beyond clueless. Its like the dude was chemically castrated. He is the weak link of this team, and he showed zero growth as the season went on. The fact that the highlight for me of the whole season was Char and Laura kicking ass in the first episode does not bode well.

    • December 23, 2013 at 12:08 pmBear

      After reading this I got an image in my head of the ED with Ichika tripping right before the end and all the girls run over him and leaving him there trashed.

      • December 23, 2013 at 12:38 pmIncognito

        Speaking of the ED, I wonder if Ichika would be less dense and more of a man if the ED song was “Buchikome!!” (from Hajime no Ippo Rising)?

        Even though he probably wouldn’t, it would still be funny if someone did a video splicing that song with this show’s credits running sequence. (Trope!)

    • December 23, 2013 at 3:05 pmStilts

      Very true. I don’t find all the girls acting like dogs in heat to be attractive, at least not when it degrades their competence and makes them go yandere. Flirty without being crazy please, flirty without being crazy.

      • December 23, 2013 at 8:01 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

        Yeah, the usual (unnoticed and/or non-exaggerated) jealous glares/stares or even speaking out about you objections is one thing, but to take out (parts of) a DEADLY WEAPON, point it, and fire it at your supposed target of “affection” at SO many different times?…no…

        Not unless the series is MEANT to be so over-the-top from start to finish. Something like To-Love-Ru, for example. When Rito gets smashed and sent flying by Yami after one of his incidents, that’s fine with me and I laugh at it because To-Love-Ru makes no attempt to hide the fact that it’s primarily a comedy that is constantly over-the-top and not meant to be taken SO seriously. IS never really gives off that sort of impression at all, so when Rin (it’s usually her, sadly), at several points, actually deploys (a part of) her IS and actually blasts Ichika with her cannons…I just can’t get into that at all. It comes off as extremely unnecessary and only sets up to make Rin look like the more unlikeable of the girls when she really isn’t at any other time.

    • December 23, 2013 at 5:17 pmdaikama

      I agree. A romantically oblivious (“dense”) harem lead is nothing new. Not the best way to handle the situation IMO, but it is a very common plot device for maintaining harem status. The problems I have with Ichika is that (a) he’s too dense – not just when it comes to girls, but practically in every instance; and (b) take a way his denseness and there’s nothing left other than uber generic nice guy. He has no personality.

      The biggest problem I had with Ichika this season was that he was dense 24/7. Anytime, anyplace, anywhere. “Huh? This total stranger knows my full name even though I didn’t tell her? That’s strange…just like how I keep getting attacked repeatedly by unknown female assailants. Hmm… well, I’m sure they are entirely unrelated so no point thinking about any of this one second more!” (*facepalm*)

      Even when it’s so obvious that Ichika can figure out that the unknown person who suddenly appeared in front of him is an enemy (i.e. they specifically tell him so), what does he do? Stand there and ask a bunch of questions. Even animals on an instinctual level would immediately assume some sort of defensive position or retreat. But not Ichika. The thought of immediately equipping his IS never crosses his tiny mind until AFTER he gets attacked. “Oh, that’s right! I need to equip my IS BEFORE engaging another IS in battle. Better write that down. Might come in handy later.” (*bangs head on desk*) Evidently such other incredibly difficult concepts like informing others that he’s being attacked/asking for back up, etc. are beyond him as well. He’s stupid to the point that his very existence defies the evolutionary concept of survival of the fittest.

      If that wasn’t bad enough, he has no personality at all (IMO). Issei from HS DxD may be an unabashed pervert, but at least he has some personality. Issei is a lovable idiot while Ichika is just an idiot. Ousawa Akatsuki from Hagure Yuusha is a quintessential “lovable rogue” type. He’d be a fun guy to hang out with. Can you imagine hanging out with Ichika or even trying to hold a conversation with him?

      Eventually the “romantically dense” excuse will grow old. Something would have to give, or another reason found for the harem to continue. Even so, the series could work IMO with a REASONABLY romantically dense Ichika if he had other positive traits to offset that. Something that gives a shred of plausibility as to why the girls (really anyone) might like him. “Nice guy” guy alone doesn’t cut it. LOTS of single “nice guys” out in RL.

      TL:DR – IMO, it’s not absolutely necessary to literally kill off Ichika (as satisfying as that might be), but you would have the change him substantially, probably to the point he might as well be a different person.

      • December 23, 2013 at 8:08 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

        It’s why I enjoyed some of the other more recent harem leads like Kodaka in Hagenai; they use “denseness” in a different way. In this case, Kodaka merely using “denseness” as a way to hide his own fears of being in any relationships and actually breaking that status quo with Yozora or Sena, knowing the entire time that they both liked him.

        Just being…well…plain stupid for the sake of keeping the status quo isn’t really enjoyable to watch for long. Regardless of which girl could possibly be chosen, viewers still do want there to be some sort of development to show that the story is actually moving forward. After all, the characters are largely what is being paid attention to in harem stories first and foremost followed by the plot that is meant to be used as a catalyst to enact and follow through with that development. So even if there’s a constant “indecisive” ending, it can still be satisfying because things at least didn’t remain stagnant and you still had a fun ride.

        Here, well, it DID remain stagnant, they DID keep the status quo and, as a result, it was not a very fun ride overall…like a roller coaster that just went straight in a circle with no loops, corkscrews, even tilts and such…not even the typical slow climb and sudden drop to start things off…

  • December 23, 2013 at 1:56 pmYanDaMan

    Its sad, but I can at least shamelessly admit I only watch IS for the girls, because I just like their character and design in general compared to most other harem animes.

    Its a shame that the studio managed to screw up so much for a series that was passable from season 1.

    At this point I feel like if they just threw all the mecha bits out and just made this a typical high school RomCom, it might’ve worked better.

  • December 23, 2013 at 1:59 pmplatinum

    Here’s a nice comparison that was written out on MAL (link is also found at tvtropes on the IS page) that details what got changed in the LN to anime process. (If you don’t wanna read, basically S1 is an accurate depiction of volumes 1-3, while S2 jumps around like a rabbit on Red Bull.) Also, apparently the LN is just as fanservice-y, but has more character development and slightly more plot.

    http://myanimelist.net/forum/?topicid=708315

    • December 23, 2013 at 3:13 pmStilts

      Very interesting, thanks for the link!

    • December 23, 2013 at 4:09 pmdaikama

      Nice find! Having read the LN, IMO that’s a good write up. Worth reading unless one plans read the LN instead.

  • December 24, 2013 at 1:06 amTanz

    If there was a season 3, I’d watch it for the same reason I watched season 2: Char.

  • December 24, 2013 at 3:56 amcryarc

    In the first season I came for it’s IS units concept, even though mecha-suit armament concept is not something new (mecha armament being used as a suit has been lingering in pixiv since a looong time ago), Infinite Stratos is the first one to actually use it as a major plot device.

    But then, they never tell us anything about the IS itself. The conflict is always about personal relationship problem. Either Ichika angered his harems, or familial problem (tabane with houki, chifuyu with tabane, madoka with chifuyu) which actually didn’t need the “strength” of an IS to solve; It’s just like when you saw a sibling quarrel you gave them nuclear warhead weaponries to solve it.

    In a world something as advanced as mecha-suit exist, I can’t comprehend why there’s no bigger conflict. Politician surely lenient in letting their IS pilot representing their country to do as they pleased. Yes, let them fall in love with a rival pilot and give them a reason to probably betray their representatives country in the future? (Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio: Ars Nova have a solid prove, they do it right, these unstable girls prone to switching sides) It’s either the politician in this world is too nice of a person willing to trust 100% teenage girls with unstable mental health to have their state-of-the-art weaponries with lenient policy. I never heard they mention it at all. Ex: in what situation the pilots are allowed to activates their IS? Is getting angry at somebody grant them the rights to use them as they pleased? How much they keep their technology in check, how they secure their IS data? How they should act when there’s another pilot nearby?

    Sure in the first season they say that IS’s purpose is for sport, but in the end after 2 seasons of anime (8 volumes of LN) they never ever mentioned it anymore. What about grande rosso? Hell they never even finished their classmates-level sparring tournament, and it got’s no importance whatsoever. What will the pilot gets when they won? Satisfaction? New IS techs? Money? Fame? They have no clear goals, they don’t even care of anything else than oggling at Ichika. Ichika himself never improves his IS piloting skills at all, he is always trashed around by literally everybody. And the enemy’s raison d’etre is vague, terrorist? What do they want? Stealing IS’s techs around the world? For what? World dominance? Wealth? Revenge? With only 3 members versus the whole big-countries elites? And they actually manages to get away without any casualties at all? It’s beyond ridiculous.

    In the end, IS have solid initial idea, and probably will become a brilliant story if they’re not trapped with cliches in the executions. Reduce the harem parts, show what their goal is, make the antagonist believable (at least add some subordinates in the background to show that they’re an evil ORGANIZATION, not a simple 3 members IS otaku circle), give us a longer arc plot point (a war perhaps? tournament? That last at least a few Vol of LNs), and stop introducing new girl harem casts (they started to have so little screen times for each character, in the end they’ll probably ends up like “villager A, B, C etch”).

    • December 24, 2013 at 4:06 pmCorey Lucas

      I’m sorry but it took you that long to figure out that it had a brilliant concept but focused on cliches. And too thinking that IS was gonna be the Tenchi Muyo or the Breaking Bad of harem anime…… YOU’RE AN IDIOT.

      • December 25, 2013 at 4:06 amcryarc

        Well, I wonder who’s the idiot one between one who sincerely state their opinion with thorough thinking and one who drop “you’re an idiot “without any profound reason? I infact likes the first beginning of the season when they introduce bit by bit abou Infinite Stratos techs and world, and I’m giving it some hope it will get better eventually after establishing some foundation plot. So, I gave it a try, which is unfu0ortunatrly made me disappointed. I really hopes this series could improve.

  • December 24, 2013 at 8:20 amPeTdo

    how to save IS , kill Ichika off, OR make him confess to Chfuyu~nee! and they would get away with explaining Ichika’s density is due to his LOVE for his one and only sister ! then IS will guide us toward new world , world of onee-sama harem anime , let’s be honest imouto-harem is too mainstream!!!

  • December 24, 2013 at 3:18 pmMinh

    When I go http://www.tbs.co.jp/anime/is2/news/index-j.html & it says
    “New OVA for release! For release “World purge Edition” in 2014!
    And even about to enter the final story, the second phase TV anime focus on IS to continue to expand still more! !

    New information announcement of the IS is beginning its final time gradually each station! !
    OVA production are depicted in the eight volumes of the original “World purge Edition” decision!
    It is scheduled for 2014 release next year! !
    This episode has become what has been quite a last-minute attack (?) In many ways, even in the story of IS. It is the hope this how this content may or may be animated!
    Please look forward to the follow-up of the future! !” & it makes me feel that they’ll keep on continuing with the next the OVA & the 3rd season.

  • December 24, 2013 at 3:58 pmCorey Lucas

    All of you guys tears are so yummy. What do you expect from this show with a bad Season 1. I’m surprised they put filler on this considering their is material out their. That said why would the producers care what otaku think. They are in it for the money. At least you all came to your senses that this franchise is a piece shit!!

    • December 24, 2013 at 7:54 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

      You seem to be the only one saying Season 1 was bad. So far that I’ve read, most people here think Season 1 was just fine the way it was.

    • December 24, 2013 at 9:27 pmSK

      You do realize that the vast majority of the money spent on anime/related goods comes from otaku right? The markets they don’t care about is anywhere outside of Japan.

      • December 25, 2013 at 6:31 amCorey Lucas

        I mean otaku’s perceptions of the source material, NOT the merchandising.

  • December 24, 2013 at 4:20 pmUDoh

    The title tenshi here is not “angel” but “spread wings”. It’s a homonym. Maybe pun intended though.

  • December 25, 2013 at 6:23 amamado

    as predicted.
    glad to know I didnt miss out on anything, cause I tend to follow most animes 2nd season if I saw the first.

  • December 25, 2013 at 11:32 pmArakan7

    Good grief, this ep alone got more reviews than 4-6 episodes for the season combined… lol

    Anyway, I watched for Chifuyu and I got Chifuyu. Didn’t get Chifuyu at the end because that would have been TOO EPIC for Chifuyu to actually FIGHT… >.> But I must say, Squall’s oppai were EPIC in their own way so… can’t complain much there. Too bad we will never hear Mado-chii say ‘Onii-chan’ – then again, Ichika doesn’t deserve it. :p

  • December 26, 2013 at 7:45 amMagoiichi

    Out of all the anime I watched this season IS2 is definitely in the top 5 of WORST anime, might even be number 1. Hell, it is number 1 because just about every other anime I watched from this season were good.

    Keyword being watched, I only watched episode 1 of Non Non Biyori and dropped that shit like a bad habit. I never was going to watch Magi Season 2, fuck you A-1 Pictures for ruining Fairy Tail and Magi’s anime, or Psi Brain season 3, don’t even know why I watched Psi Brain season 2 thinking it would get better.

    Freezing’s anime was ruined since day 1 with Season 1, I wasn’t going to touch that with a ten foot pole either.

    If I had to pick a second worst anime it would be Galilei Donna, which is still better than Infinite Stratos 2.

    Even though I wanted an actual new gundam show, Gundam Build Fighters is good for what it is and is STILL better than Infinite Stratos 2.

    Hell Walkure Romanze, another harem anime with the same bland style protagonist that Ichika is, is better than Infinite Stratos 2.

    I’m going to stop here, before I name every other anime I watched this season, which are all better than Infinite Stratos 2.

    God dammit gimme my life span back, I want those hours back, I feel ripped off and cheated.

  • December 26, 2013 at 1:58 pmAggron

    Hey guys for some even more bs here is a comparison between this season and the LN, it really shows how much they fucked this adaption up.
    http://myanimelist.net/forum/?topicid=708315

  • December 31, 2013 at 7:59 pmboingman

    I feel that not only did they censor the onsen scene for the obligatory uncensored BD/DVD fanservice , I wouldn’t be surprised if they also cut some parts of this final episode completly making the BD version 1-2 mins longer, e.g. we never saw him waking up and talking to Houki who had watching/worrying over him. Houki’s fight afterwards also felt abruptly short.

    Episode 1, especially the longer BD version, was the best episode of this 2nd season.

  • January 6, 2014 at 12:28 pmMAVMAN

    The prob with this season was that the LNs ran out of material and instead of following the amount that was there and going with Ichika clearly starting to develop a relationship with Houki, they decided to go super harem mode and remove any semblance of plot. What an awful show this turned out to be.

  • January 10, 2014 at 7:14 pmPrinceofcups

    At the risk of spoilers, which in this case I think is kind of mute, the LN DOES pick a winner by volume 8. Pretty much all the Houki x Ichika was left out of the season 2 anime to give the other girls time. In the LN, Tatenashi teaches both Ichika AND Houki, so that they will be a better team. The president of the kendo club tells them that they are compatible by having them hold hands during a fortune telling. Houki gives him a Yukata for his birthday, with matching Obi, and it is implied that they will wear them together at the dorm. The two go on a proper date to a restaurant, including fancy dress and flowers, a REAL DATE. We get into Ichika’s mind where he is surprised that he is starting to develop adult feelings for Houki. Sure something can still come along and keep split them apart, but they are a couple in the LN.

  • January 28, 2014 at 8:18 amSeriously?

    If IS 2 is that bad will the 3rd session be publish as i got a high expectations for this anime I can say that I have fallen in love with this anime.I hope that they make a 3rd session and that Ichika is more mature and every thing though.

  • February 8, 2014 at 9:48 pmOwaranai

    Late to the fore, but due to disinterest I actually dropped the series once the spotlight was no longer on Tatenashi. Decided to finish it and what a bitter pill to swallow.

    Never seen a dumber male MC and one-dimensional female characters to go with it. I’m hoping the anime doesn’t do the LN any justice, or there will be one more writer to waiting to be thrashed.

    Pacing was terribly off (Especially in the switching of scenes), cohesion was literally non-existent for most part of the series and they really dumbed down every single character (maybe except for Phantom Task and Tatenashi, who are new characters). Even the ecchi elements (except with Tatenashi) and harem antics were repetitive and lost its shine early on.

    I’d say this was an utter trainwreck if I was a little more impulsive, but “huge disappointment” probably sums it up. IF they have a third season the writers better wake up or start getting used to very, very heavy criticism.

  • March 29, 2014 at 6:09 amRoy Bean

    A very disappointed season

    Where is me infinite Review:
    http://inanimeshadow.blogspot.com/2014/03/infinite-statos-2-anime-review.html