IS: Infinite Stratos 2 – 12 (END)
「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.
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
- 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.
ED: 「BEAUTIFUL SKY」
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.