「ラブリー・スタイル」 (Raburii Sutairu)
“Lovely Style”

This show is bad for my health. The amount of fanservice in this episode was near toxic levels – and I loved it!

Separation of Fanservice and Plot

Some shows are very good about mixing fanservice, comedy, and plot – Hataraku Maou-sama was one, though it had far less fanservice to mix in. Infinite Stratos has more of a mixed record in this. Its mecha stylings are still better than the non-harem aspects we get in most other harem stories, but it doesn’t weave it with comedy and fanservice as well as other series, at least this season (I only remember the broad outlines of Season 1 at this point, so I can’t directly compare). That’s why their decision to almost completely separate the fanservice and plot in this episode actually worked out really well. The–well, the majority of the episode was all fanservice all the time, and it was amazing. Then they switched over fully to plot with the reveal at the end, and the seriousness of the scene wasn’t polluted by any fanservice or humor. I respect stories that can seamlessly mix these tones a lot, but I also respect those stories that realize they can’t (or shouldn’t) mix them and keeps them separate. It’s not the ideal, but it gets the job done.

All The Contenders Show Their Stuff

It’s official – Ichika is a boob man. I mean holy heck, that fanservice! When Houki came out with the kitsune miko and Ichika was totally enraptured by her we’ll say ears, I was about to call the competition for Houki, but then Cecilia came out. If we’re just going by oppai, don’t count England out, especially since that’s not the only place she’s packing heat. I was especially impressed how her choice in billiards allowed her to snuggle up to Ichika with a good excuse, so extra points there…that is, until Charlotte came out with her french poodle outfit (DAMN!), and I instantly lost three-quarters of the blood in my body. That attempted kiss and that accidental oppai cookie–!! OH MY France-tan is still best tan!

If I had to put someone on the bottom of the pile (hur hur hur), it would be Ling, who didn’t even really get her turn after it was snatched away by Russia. Speaking of, Tatenashi-sempai oh damn! I just…that says it all. As for Laura, she had a surprisingly weak showing, though I did laugh at the swimsuit bit. And then meido Chifuyu-nee–!! The other fourth of my blood is gone. It’s official – death by moe. I’m typing this as a ghost. Someone get me a defibrillator with Char’s voice before the reaper gets here. Hurry, I see a light.

Indulgent Art

I feel it’s worth repeating – the reason this episode worked is because it knew exactly what it wanted to be, and it did that. It was a fanservice episode 1000%, and though that’s indulgent and lowbrow and any number of other charges you might level against it, it didn’t try to pretend to be something it’s not. At its best art is, honestly, not indulgent at all – I probably should call this indulgent narrative if nothing else. Even so, I still respect shows (like High School DxD) that know what they want to be and are shameless about it. They’re not high art, but they can be damn fun.

Ichika Is Such a Siscon

Of course, this episode wouldn’t be complete without dense Ichika. Ever since I first realized that every third line of his is “Huh?” I’ve been noticing it more and more, and more than the rest of his idiocy that’s really bugging me now, AGH! Oh well, no one to blame but myself. Anyway, he was actually pretty good throughout most of the episode, because it was clear that he knew the girls were coming onto him, and since he probably didn’t want to die a horrible, terrible death he was wisely trying to resist them.

Then he decides that the best girl is Chifuyu-nee. Mind you, if she were wearing a meido outfit and serving me ice cream I wouldn’t disagree – actually, can I get a nurse Chifuyu-nee to go along with that defib? Thanks – but in that situation you apologize and say you can’t decide because they were all so great and thank them again for making your birthday so special! Come on Ichika, this is minor league stuff – short of the final “I choose _____” moment, you either constantly pick a favorite (the Keitaro or Keiichi method) or never pick one. Just don’t take the question at face value – that’ll get you killed!

Looking Ahead – Mecha Shoujo Orimura Madoka

So M–sorry, Orimura Madoka (Kayano Ai) says “I am you, Orimura Ichika”, so the smart money is now on clone. (Hide and label those spoilers, source readers). The tension of the gunshot did ring hollow because Infinite Stratos is just not the kind of show where someone gets shot…uh, ever. I’d love to be surprised though, because A) it would be an interesting development and B) Ichika deserves to get shot after all of his luck this episode. Haha, I’m just kidding…but no seriously, if I ever met him I would beat him to death with half a brick and that bottle Houki was holding. Lucky bastard.

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Multiple levels of fanservice, followed by fanservice, then more fanservice, & Ichika is a siscon. Also a gunshot. & fanservice #is_anime 05

Random thoughts:

  • Houki truly is a master of embarrassed moe. Like Segawa Izumi, she leads a life of shame. I promise you Hayate fans found that to be hilarious. Probably.
  • Cecilia really knows how to work a stick, ufufu~! I’d really like to hit some balls into her pockets wait no that doesn’t make sense I’ll stop now.
  • Ever noticed how much of a young wife / mother vibe Char puts out? And then accidental oppai cookie. I don’t think that has any bearing on my point, I just wanted to say it again. Related: “Accidental Oppai Cookie” would be a great name for a Houkago Tea Time competitor. Someone make this happen.
  • I can accept how good Cecilia is at billiards, but both Laura and Ichika getting bullseyes at darts? Hax! It’s harder than that dammit! Though I guess they’re sober, so that helps.
  • You’re stepping on a minefield there, Maya-sensei. Though at least it’s not a straight on a mine like Ichika.
  • I can’t judge Ichika for forgetting his own birthday, considering how I routinely forget my own until a day or two beforehand. He’s a little young for that though. He’s still not to the drinking age yet! Come on Ichika, birthdays are still useful to you. You have many years to look forward to where birthdays mean nothing more than another marker on the inexorable slide down to your inevitable and probably embarrassing death. Yes, I just ended a fanservice episode post with a depressing comment about our mutual impending doom. I don’t play by the rules, bitches!

Check out my blog about storytelling and the fantasy novel I’m writing at stiltsoutloud.com. The last four posts: My stance on piracy, The three main rules of storytelling, I’ve never regretted any of them, and Great stories make you stop…and just feel.

Full-length images: 02, 03, 08, 10, 12, 14, 21, 22, 33.

 

ED1.5 Sequence

ED: 「BEAUTIFUL SKY」

Preview

123 Comments

  1. I need a doctor after watching this episode. My blood loss has reached unprecedented levels.
    I’m officially on the Russia ship. LOOK AT THAT PLOT & THAT POSE. LOOK AT IT

    Radiosonde
  2. So..let the question that was posed to Ichika, be posed to us viewers as well.
    Whose segment would you consider the best? 🙂
    Houki, Cecilia, Charl, Laura, Tatenashi, Chifuyu?

    I’m kind of at a hard time choosing…they’re all charming in their own way.
    Though I do wonder what kind of segment Ling would have done…
    Apparently this maiden battle is an anime-original story,
    so I’m just blindly guessing that Ling would have served him some home-made food;
    that being her strong point whilst feeling inferior about her chest :p.

    I wonder who’ll be the focus of next week’s Ep Preview sequence now that the main 5 girls have been covered…I’m guessing Tatenashi?

    Techim
  3. Cecilia hasn’t been on my radar in forever due to Laura, Char and Mother Russia.

    BUT GOOD GOD

    She played to absolutely everything I love.

    My body wasn’t ready.

    She’s amazing.

    EmD
  4. Kinda sad that Rin gets a TOTAL shaft. And this episode should have been done after the 7th girl is introduced. BTW, this IS a filler right? I don’t remember this in the LN.

    drzero7
    1. Yeah, this is filler for the most part. They replaced the whole arc in volume six of the novel with this ^^;. Well, even the previous episodes gave enough clues that they might do something like this :p. They didn’t set things up for the sub-plots in volume six at all (which kind of make this high school look much easier than the way it is portrayed in the novel ^^; ). Will see if they use any of the sub-plots in volume six later (maybe merged with the plot elements in volume seven and eight?), but I get the feeling that they will not :(.

      x
    1. As TheMoondoggie has said, he’s not gay, just totally Chifuyu-sexual.

      But didn’t like Tatenashi in this episode, especially after it was revealed it was a crazy birthday party. Sure, it was titillating, but let’s check what she did:
      -She intruded on a party she wasn’t invited to. A private birthday party with all the people in the academy Ichika considers family and/or friends.
      -She knocked down one of Ichika’s childhood friends and stole her costume. After the girls went great lenghts to have turns and set some rules (Charlotte, that was cheating!), it was a dick move.
      -She interrupted Laura’s rightful turn. That was heinous! I mean, what happened to the swimsuit? xD

      Mistic
    2. That reminds me… wasn’t that guys little sister supposed to show up this season and add yet another girl to Ichika’s ever growing harem.

      Man… you think he’ll add that clone will turn into a bro-con and also be added to the harem?

      Tez
      1. Since when hasn’t his harem been yandere? At the end of the last series they were attacking him and Houki when they thought they might be kissing! Houki has tried to cut him into pieces a number of times when she got jealous.

  5. I must say…. It was hard for me to sit through this episode… Not that I complain of the massive blood loss…

    It felt truly OVA-esque and disconnected from the previous episode.

    It’s the disconnectedness that left an overpowering bitter after taste…

    Now with that out of the way… Seriously France and Russia…. Russo-Franco actions has never this blood loss inducing.

    Anyway, the revelation of Madoka Orimuta is at which volume? Read till vol 8 and it still has not divulge much info on Madoka Orimura

    c2710
  6. Ok, maybe this didn’t appear in the novels and is filler, but the episode confirmed several things:
    -That Ichika is a siscon. Ok, Chifuyu is certainly the most awesome girl in the whole cast, but it’s your sister, Ichika!
    -That Ichika is so dense that he forgets even his own birthday.
    -That Ichika is a masochist. After being hit and just before meeting Mecha Shoujo Orimura Madoka (I like the name), he was complaining about the pain, but then said “it was fun!”.

    Mistic
    1. That Ichika is a siscon.

      While Chifuyu is a brocon.
      -Would do anything to save him.
      -Quits Military trainer in Germany just to teach in Japan IS academy and get close to Ichika.
      -would mistaken sugar from salt when worried about Ichika despite keeping her facial cool.
      -would dress as a maid in front of Ichika despite complain about it(dere-dere mode KITAAA!!).

      1. Chifuyu even once said in the Lightnovels…

        A little brother belongs to his elder sister.

        Clearly she’s just holding back and actually wants to snuggle with her little brother.

        TheMoondoggie
      2. Man, Moondoggie’s quoted line…she really is a brocon! Not that it wasn’t hinted at before, but that’s another level. Though honestly, you could take that more as a he-should-respect-and-pamper-his-onee-san kinda thing.

        Stilts
      3. Croos-kun, you forgot to add that she wore a sexy bikini when there were no other guys to show off except our favorite dense idiot at the beach last season.
        >She showed a tender smile when she was reminiscing about the idiot and caused Laura to be angry.
        >Went off and smashed herself when the harem went and visited their house.

        Ungas123
      1. Well, unlike Ichika, Madoka seems strong, independent, talented, and smart. There’s a stark difference between Ichika and Madoka. She seems more like the angrier and younger version of Chifuyu rather than the female version of Ichika.

        dytianquin
      2. In the long debate of nature vs. nurture, I’d say the traits “chick magnet” and “siscon-brocon” are clearly genetic. Both Chifuyu and Ichika have them, and Madoka seems to have shades olf the later.

        As for denseness, Ichika’s must have been caused by some sort of accident. Probably Houki hit him too many times in the head while doing martial arts, since by the time he met Ling he was already the oblivious guy we know xD

        Mistic
  7. Sorry for that comment on episode one, its just i was really curious about Madoka and well i was wondering he she would ever show up. Also the clone thing seems really acurate but some people have said thjat the line i You refers that Show Spoiler ▼

    but again no more info on madoka has been release, weell need to see what the anime does difernt that the novel in this point

    Oscar
  8. I’m sorry Houki, as much as I like the dere-dere side of you, I’m afraid I will have to jump ship on the Charl bandwagon. She’s just too hard to resist. Time to give in to the dark side =P

    Reianz
  9. Hahahaha, Charlotte got the red card for being too lewd. Charlotte no ecchi.

    And as expected, Chifuyu-nee wins. Ichika knows what’s up (even though it’s totally illegal). I have to admit, having Chifuyu in a maid outfit and telling me to shut up or she’d kill if I made a comment as she feeds me… would be oddly arousing.

    I don’t know why but I get the feeling that when I get married I’ll be buying my wife a black latex outfit and a whip.

    Kuntzy
  10. If I had to choose one of them it’ll be Cecilia.
    She’s so sexy in that bunny girl.
    https://randomc.net/image/Infinite%20Stratos/Infinite%20Stratos%202%20-%2005%20-%20Large%2010.jpg
    Plus dat ass!
    https://randomc.net/image/Infinite%20Stratos/Infinite%20Stratos%202%20-%2005%20-%20Large%2011.jpg

    Thought, Ichika did not make the wrong choose.
    Chifuyu-nee is hot and great in a maid outfit. Ichika already has her in his heart longer
    than the girls. And compared to the other girls, he won’t be killed.

    “but in that situation you apologize and say you can’t decide because they were all so great and thank them again for making your birthday so special!” – I agree with you Stilts, ya sure know how say it. I’ll note of this when it happens to me. IF that happens to me. Sigh

    Vaan
    1. Going straight on their performance this episode alone, I may choose Cecilia as well. It’s hard to forget the rest of the series though, where she’s been clearly inferior to the others.

      And I’m not saying I’ve been in a situation like this, I just know how to handle it. For reasons. Sexy, sexy reasons…

      Stilts
  11. And Chifuyu-nee wins again! Just like the swimsuit from season 1.

    And poor Ling, didnt even get a shot. This show just keeps shafting her. Even Cecilia won major points this episode.

    YanDaMan
  12. For this episode, at least, Cecilia definitely stole it for me.

    That bunny outfit was just “mmm-mm!” (those legs go on forever), plus she was the only one to have any major physical contact with Ichika during her time, though Charlotte came SO close, lol (even Tatenashi wasn’t actually touching him, just crawling OVER him). Though, Houki and Chifuyu definitely get honorable mentions too.

    Also seems we’ll be introduced to Kanzashi next episode if what Tatenashi was saying is any indication.

    HalfDemonInuyasha
  13. For an episode that was pretty much 98% filler, 2% plot, and a whole lot of fanservice, I was honestly quite entertained. It certainly made for a nice “IS Halloween Special” of sorts with all the girls dressing up in costumes.

    Houki was the most wholesomely dressed of the girls, but still managed to be cute and have some nice sex appeal.

    Cecilia… I wasn’t expecting that. I think that was the best billiards game I’ve ever seen! Laura isn’t half bad as a Bunny Girl, but she’s got nothing on Cecilia. She may not be moving up in the harem anytime soon, but my opinion of her certainly has!

    Charlotte, of all people, getting removed for lewd behavior was as funny as it was ironic. A shame too, considering that she makes a very nice French Poodle.

    Poor Rin, having to deal with Tatenashi stealing the show again. Though I believe a naked girl covering herself with a cloth is actually as appealing as a catgirl…

    Can anyone post a pic of the scene of Houki and Cecilia on the bench during Charlottes turn?

    Frontier
  14. “Calling Dr. Hyoudou, Calling Dr. Hyoudou. We got a male patient with chronic densitis syndrome and sisconian disease who need erotical attention immediately.”

    Someone need to smack ichika for him to bang all those bitches.

    GP1301
    1. As another commenter noted above, it was pretty mean. She just butted into a private party and trounced Ling so she could make off with the guest of honor. Maybe she’s feeling jealous and wanted in on the fun, but that wasn’t the nicest way to go about it.

      Though with only so much runtime per episode, woulda been hard to fit in Ling + Tatenashi-sempai. I sympathize with the scriptwriter on that.

      Stilts
  15. Since everyone else covered most of what I wanted to say, I’ll just cover the ED. Rin doesn’t look half bad in that getup at all. And I found it worth watching to the end just because they’re all out of regulation dress.

    Also, was Houki really the tallest of the girls?

    Lurker
  16. This is THE BIRTHDAY that all men dream about, yet a man with a skull thicker than a brick is at the receiving end of it. Ichika deserves to die!

    Though i agree 85% with Ichika’s choice at the end. Chifuyu definitely stole the show despite barely showing up

    Ginobi47
    1. Sadly, Rin was already a step behind to begin with by being the second childhood friend. Being the regular childhood friend is “bad enough” when it comes to attempting romance, but a secondary childhood friend? And one that, in ways, feels a bit like a temporary Houki “replacement” (even to the point of having twin-tails, albeit a different style).

      HalfDemonInuyasha
  17. Dear God… Why does it all have to be wasted on Ichika? WHY CRUEL WORLD??? [sobs in corner]

    Ahem. Excuse me, got a bit carried away. While the fanservice this season has been nothing short of fantastic, the plot leaves much to be desired. IIRC over half the episodes have felt like filler, and the tidbits of grimdark plot we do get just don’t mesh well with the other stuff. The harem antics are entertaining, but the characters seem to be stuck in an endless loop of playing around instead of actually developing relationships with each other (with the exception of Char and Laura). Take Tatanashi, I really don’t know who she is or why she’s interested in Ichika which makes it hard for me to feel any empathy or respect for her as a character (despite her many, um, charms). And finally, while the fanservice is great, the mecha porn is sorely lacking especially in comparison to season 1.

    Hochmeister
    1. True, the mood whiplash is a bit intense. Without the strong overriding purpose of adding more girls (which we had and was still needed during Season 1), this one is stuck in a bit of a holding pattern, and the tone swings wildly about like Stilts on a Friday night. Makes me worry about how it’ll be when we’re in full-on plot mode later on.

      Stilts
  18. So only 5 episodes in and we already have a filler/anime-only episode? Doesn’t fill me with confidence that the show can be saved. Fanservice is nice but it quickly becomes dull and makes a show lifeless.

    I must be an ‘M’ for being willing to stick around to the end, but I will.

    rh75
    1. For a filler episode, strangely this episode top 1 on Twitter Japan during its airing.
      Dull for old viewers but exciting for new viewers.
      And there will always be a new anime viewer everyday/every month.

    2. Been wondering….(for LN reader) will it continue to be 80% fanservice 20% the rest until the end? Cause if it’s yes then I have no choice but to drop this series or put it on hold(to give time for the other animu)

      ricz
  19. I love Char and I’m a big part of the fan club, and Tatenashi holy crap but man oh man I don’t know why Houki kinda won it for me. Her embarrassed/shy face and outfit was amazing. Everyone else was a little too exposed which I don’t mind btw but for the mood it was definitely Houki for me.

    Jason Isenberg
  20. Char ship all the way!!!! XD I must admit, this episode was too much for me. Every girl, even Rin, scored points on me, man Cecilia was just too much for me to handle, and just as I was about to recover from her plot, Char, man, Char just comes crashing through, I literlly replayed that scene like 5 times berfore moving on to the next contestant XD

    TrapMaster
  21. I have to admit this episode is in rather bad taste after the last one. I mean we just had this organization that admits they kidnapped him before and want to steal his IS now. So, what do we do? Draw Ichika out to a dark room, kidnap him, and strap him to a chair leaving him, if only for a minute or two, to wonder if he has been captured and will be tortured. And, then we find out it’s a stupid game. If Ichika was an actual real life person, ignoring everything before this that shows he can’t possibly be a guy or have an ounce of testosterone, he would have been livid and would not have given two shits about this game.

    GoukaRyuu
    1. Actually a good point. It worked because we (the viewers) didn’t for a second expect something like that to be serious – especially when they showed five clearly female figures jumping him – but if we were in Ichika’s shoes? If he wasn’t so damn dense he probably woulda been pissed.

      Stilts
  22. This is a hard show to watch. Ichika continue’s to be distractingly, frustratingly dense.

    And the girls are weird. They’re all good enough to be the heroine in any other harem show, which makes picking between them hard. Except in this show they’re up against Char, which makes it frustrating that she’s not the ‘main’ girl.

    This episode just hammered on the existing issues I have with this show because it made me want char to win even more. And it made me want Ichika to not be horrible. Be like Shinichi in outbreak company.

    KaleRylan
    1. Welcome to the rage that is induced by only Ichika. Love the series and all, but his denseness is really killing the show quite a bit at times. I get it’s a running gag of the series, but still. -__-

      bakakubi

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