「クッキング・マイ・ウェイ」 (Kukkingu Mai Uei)
“Cooking My Way”

8-Bit has officially cheaped out.

Cutting Away From The Action

At least three major times during this episode, 8-Bit cut away from some serious fanservice or action in order to pan lovingly across boring scenery. During the measurement scene, when Ichika and Cecilia were saying “misleading” things while cooking, and when Tabane kicked Madoka’s ass they cut out all the best parts! I can understand the second one, though a word to the wise – the “Oh my they’re saying risque things but really they’re doing something innocent!” gag doesn’t work when it’s been specifically noted what they’re going to be doing (in this case, cooking) immediately beforehand. The other two though? They cheaped out. We missed out on the best fanservice and the best action of the episode for no reason I can fathom other than budget constraints. How disappointing.

Related: I don’t necessarily mind the ‘ol panning-across-scenery-instead-of-showing-the-fanservice tactic. The imagination is a powerful thing, and in a more subtle show this coy tactic can send us to imagining far more titilating things than they could ever show us. Infinite Stratos is not a subtle show though, so this just came off as cheap when they happily show us fanservice the rest of the time.

Cecilia Is Lethal-Kawaii

Yukana is roughly 70% of the reason I like Cecilia. I know I’m more of a seiyuu-phile than many people are – I blame Div, he’s the one who got me onto that – but her performance really sold Cecilia’s cute, earnest, and slightly vulnerable attitude this episode. I enjoyed her antics, especially when she was flirting with Ichika at the end, but is it just me or did they have about half an episode’s worth of material in their central joke (Cecilia is a lethal cook har har har) that they stretched out into a full episode? It got very slow around the middle.

Either way, Char is still best girl. She saw her impending doom but she muscled onwards anyway to help out a friend! Too bad she got KO’d in the end. And Houki. And Laura. And probably Rin too, after she got charmed by Cecilia. You’re really just trying to kill off your competition, aren’t you Cecilia? Clever girl.

Nerf Tabane!

The best part of this episode was the return of Tabane and the awesome ass-whooping she ladeled out on Phantom Task. Now I still would have preferred to actually see it, and it came a bit out of left field to hear that she’s not only a genius but somehow also super strong as well(?), but I can’t deny that I didn’t enjoy it. It looks like Tabane is going to give Madoka a personal IS for her own reasons, so we know where the final challenge of this series will come in, presumably.

Looking Ahead

Fanservice or action will happen. Though maybe they’ll give us slow pans of scenery instead? Who knows.

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – 8-Bit cheaped out on the best parts of this episode, but Tabane was still cool & Cecilia was cute #is_anime 10

Random thoughts:

  • The girls really are great characters and kind people, except for when it comes to Ichika. They really accepted Kanzashi as one of them – or if I’m reading too much into that, at least a friend – once they knew she hadn’t already won.
  • Evil Chifuyu-nee is so sexy OH GODS!
  • Points to Ichika where due: he actually can cook, which keeps him from being a failure of a man in my book, and he was also smart enough to pick something simple that Cecilia was unlikely to blow up.
  • Chifuyu-nee is the only one who can beat Tabane without an IS? Chifuyu-nee really is amazing!

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

Full-length images: 01, 09, 12, 20, 27.




  1. If anything, this ep proves that the story as a whole is as bad as it gets: Ichika haven’t learned anything about being a better IS pilot, or even to be a normal guy that could use all the chances that everyone gives to him; the Sarashiki sisters took away Ling’s character development and this whole S2 has become a whatever-esque harem series that has a little bit of action. At least Cecilia had one chapter for herself, but only that can’t help.

    And about that action, if Tabane don’t end as the villian of the whole story, I would feel betrayed. Not only she thrashed Not-Celestial Being as they were red shirts, now she wants to give Madoka (the enemy of the season) a personal IS only for the lulz and to make Ichika’s life even more miserable! BTW, beating an IS without one?! HAX BEYOND HAX!!

    1. Tell me about it, I think Rin is the only girl in the harem who didnt get her own highlight in an episode, every girl even Kanzashi who’s the new girl got 2 episodes, oh well, glad Cecilia got her screentime.

      I love Ichika’s harem, one of the harem that IMO has all girls as the best girls, the harem end is the best end.

    1. Which is why I’m glad they gave me a moment of Rin x Cecilia. Although, Charlotte x Laura is still best pairing in my opinion. I can also see a viable Madoka x Chifuyu in the future for some nice twincest. Basically any pairing not involving Ichika is better.

  2. I’m so glad I dropped this show

    Unfortunately Ichika’s VA is also voicing Raku next season (which is totally unfitting) so even as I enjoy a superior harem story I will have flashbacks to when I stepped into the ‘shadowy place.’

    I should have listened to Mufasa

  3. That scene with Tabane came from the last chapter of the novel’s eighth volume ^^; (which happens to be the last published volume I think). Well, not that any of us are really watching this for the story by now :p, but they’ve skipped over many arcs/scenes in the novel (not that the story is all that good at any rate, but some of the scenes might have been interesting if they were well animated). They picked up only a few scenes from the novel (without much of the context) and adding extra scenes (mostly for comedy and faux service). Only two more episodes to go. My guess is that they intend to wrap this up once and for all? Though given how popular this is, I won’t be surprise if they tried to extend this further with another sequel (I probably wouldn’t bother watching though) ^^;.

  4. Just noticed this:

    Q: Taba-nee, Chifuyu-nee and Tatenashi-senpai, what do they have in common?

    A: They are all powerful Onee-chans.

    So, does all the Onee-chans in the IS universe powerful? Or only these three are the only exception?

    1. One is a data point, two is a coincidence, but three is a pattern.

      It’s official – onee-chans are superior in Infinite Stratos. Quick Char, take Laura as your imouto so you can level up!

      P.S. Would watch a show about Char and her violent but moe German imouto. I would watch the fuck out of that.

  5. Yeah they really cheaped out >.>

    “Points to Ichika where due: he actually can cook, which keeps him from being a failure of a man in my cook, and he was also smart enough to pick something simple that Cecilia was unlikely to blow up.”

    I think you meant to say book instead of the second cook 😛

  6. I know I’m more of a seiyuu-phile than many people are

    No shame in that. Kana-tan is originally the reason I even picked up this series, because I know her Char will be adorable.

    The best part of this episode was the return of Tabane and the awesome ass-whooping she ladeled out on Phantom Task.

    Would you expect any less from someone voiced by Yukari Tamura? Zenryoku Zenkai!

    1. Well, in general, that’s how A LOT of harem members tend to act; constantly misunderstand even some of the most harmless of situations, blowing it up into something huge, getting upset, then reflexively smashing the guy’s face in/send him into orbit/etc.

      It largely depends on HOW it’s handled, and based on the characters/story and such.

    2. In that regard, I believe that Kirito has the best harem, if you can even call it that anymore with him definitely choosing Asuna.

      None of the other harem members try to harm him physically. All of them are on good terms with each other and with Kirito, and recognize that even if they do not become lovers, they will forever be best friends. Kirito can trust his back to them anywhere anytime. Even if there is a misunderstanding, it will always be quickly resolved, since Kirito is actually very perceptive for a harem lead.

      1. We’ve had Shinichi and Issei within the past two season and you go with Kirito? Your harem card has been revoked. Kirito is strictly scrub-tier. Hell, there are three harem leads this SEASON who best him (Shinichi, Raul, & Kanade).

      2. Well, I have not watched any of those other series you mentioned, Stilts, so I would not know.

        You will have to tell me, do those harem members attack the male with little or no provocation, or out of petty misunderstandings? Because if they do, then it is not my cup of tea. I’m not a fan of the double standard that physical abuse is okay when it is female on male (which unfortunately is popular enough to be a trope). Occasional slapstick comedy is fine, but when the male is constantly getting battered because of the girls, then it stops being funny.

        The reason I chose Kirito as my ideal harem protagonist is because he is not dense like many others, is actually quite badass and perceptive, and has the guts to choose someone from his harem. His harem also does not have violent tendencies, which tend to make people hate one particular girl (in the case of this series, Ling, who is likely to kill Ichika out of jealousy).

        For me, the ideal harem is not judged solely by the girls in it. More important is how well they interact with the male and with each other. Think about this question. Would you want a harem that constantly hurts you and are at each others throats? I would want girls who I can trust and have fun with, without having to worry about the other girls being jealous or trying to sabotage each other. For me, that is the deciding factor.

      3. Shinichi and Raul fall under occasional slapstick comedy rather than systemic yandere abuse. Especially Shinichi, who gets that so seldom it’s actually shocking when it happens. Kanade gets a lot of damage, but it’s almost entirely from unnamed characters rather than his haremettes, for reasons which are more reasonable that you’d think, lol

        However you slice it Kirito isn’t that great of a harem lead, largely because SAO isn’t really a harem story, not when (at least up until where the anime adapted) Kirito’s harem seems largely unwanted and, furthermore, a detriment to the story.

        If you’re looking for the best harem lead in a pure-harem story (some of my examples were more of love triangles than true harems) then look no further than Princess Lover’s Teppei. He’s the best pure harem lead I’ve seen to date, bar none.

      4. However you slice it Kirito isn’t that great of a harem lead, largely because SAO isn’t really a harem story, not when (at least up until where the anime adapted) Kirito’s harem seems largely unwanted and, furthermore, a detriment to the story.

        That is certainly true, which is also why I mentioned at the start that it may not be accurate to describe his as a harem anymore.

        So I will agree with you that Kirito is not a great harem lead. However, I stand by my points regarding the unnecessary physical abuse. Physical abuse is not, and should not be funny, no matter which gender it involves. This is especially true if you work with abuse victims on a daily basis like I do, and see the trauma it has on the people hurt.

  7. I like Yukana obviously for her roles in Code Geass, Amagami and Tales of the Abyss.

    Especially how giga tsundere Tear Grants is. I loved her switching from extremely harsh to extremely gentle, much like her role in Hyouka, where she’s only kind to people who deserve it.

    Not to mention how she herself lives up to her typecast of being the mature lady type.

    This is Sugita talking about how when he was in between companies going freelance, Yukana treated him as much food as he liked, telling him not to worry about his financial situation, that as a boy he should be able to eat as much as he liked. She also says this line at 0:45.

    It’s so funny to see Cecilia as the rich girl trying to make food after hearing this.

    Giorno Giovanna
      1. Indeed, she would be in my gallery of seiyuu charts now if she hadn’t voiced so many.

        I was happy and disappointed about Shirahoshi, because I was hoping she would voice someone like Violet instead. Her mature voice is ten times better than some crybaby voice in my opinion. Particularly, these traits of Violet I think suit what she did in Hyouka/Tales.
        “She is very manipulative” “Deep down, she has a kind heart” “She is more noble than she seems” “curvaceous, well-endowed” (Yes, this last point is important.)

        Giorno Giovanna
  8. *Sigh*

    When I saw it was going to be a Cecilia centered episode, I REALLY hoped that Cecilia would get SOME actual development for a change, even if only in a social way and not even romantically (at this point, Ichika doesn’t deserve any of them, so I could care less who “wins” in the end, if by some miracle someone does actually “win”, which I doubt). Instead, it’s mostly just gags based on something we’ve long known since Season 1, and was even shown in the OVA a bit in between Seasons, and rather than allow Cecilia to overcome a big hurdle (for her), they make her look like an even BIGGER idiot than before, and that saddens me since I DO want her and the others to be better developed characters.

    If one wants a similar type of episode done right, then go with Rosario + Vampire II Episode 5, or something.

    But, as usual, 98% harem based gags (most of which weren’t even done that well) and 2% “plot”, which has made little to no sense (or mattered much) since the beginning. They may as well not even have involved Phantom Task at all in Season 2 and very little would’ve changed, and by this point, involving Tabane now just feels like an attempt to get interest back in the story.

    And what the hell is up with Tabane anyway? Is she one of those geniuses that gets easily bored with the world and just starts up crap for some lulz so she has something “fun” to watch? I mean, Chifuyu heavily implied in Season 1 that Tabane was the one who was responsible for the Silver Gospel incident, IIRC, all while Tabane didn’t seem to care at all who gets hurt in the meantime (Ichika almost DIED that time). She just seems to giggle it off, disappear, and move onto something else. It would’ve been nice if she had refused and just left it at that, but seeing and knowing exactly who Madoka was somehow, she just suddenly turns a 180 and decides to give her a new personal IS…why?

    By this point, nothing is really making sense, and I doubt even two whole episodes of answers will be enough to cover everything. Chances are that they’ll just be IS action fanservice, then end similarly to Season 1.

  9. I love how all the girls accepted Kanzashi the moment they all realized she’s been friend-zoned like the rest of them, lol.

    Ling was the only smart one this episode, knowing what would happen if she lets Cecilia cook, more so than the other girls. She was smart enough to tell her to taste her own food, lol. So I doubt she got KO’d by the food, but maybe by the explosion? Heh.

    At least Cecilia finally earned brownie points. Too bad the battlefield still isnt even. Now we just need an episode dedicated to Ling to balance it out, but it looks like we’re approaching the season finale so no time for that I guess.

    Wonder why Tabane wants to make an evil organization a personal IS all the sudden. Hmmm.

    1. Well, Charlotte knew it too, but she was a lot more forgiving since she thought she’d always be right there to make sure things went right.

      Unfortunately, they had to make Cecilia like a small child that you tell, “Do not touch that” to, which only makes her want to touch it even more.

    2. Of course, everything was part of Cecilia’s master plan to get rid of the competition. Mainly, those who can cook.

      -First, Houki. Strong, but gullible. She never suspected anything.
      -Second, Charlotte. Too intelligent to be completely fooled, but too kind to doubt her friends. Secondary target Laura was also eliminated.
      -Cecilia got very surprised when Kanzashi showed her cooking skills. It’s evident she had not thought of the new competitor.
      -Last, but not least, Ling. The Final Boss. Not as gullible as Houki, not as kind as Charlotte, and having real experience in a restaurant. She didn’t fall for her tricks. So what did Cecilia do? Nuke Everything! (it’s the only way to be sure)

      Well, that or Cecilia is really as naive as the series says.

  10. 2 things from the episode:
    Cecilia as lethal chef (trope!) – is that a little bit of satire on British cooking?
    Tabane as Badass Labcoat (trope!) Mad Scientist (trope!). She is badass enough to kick the top fighters of the Phantom Task around, mad enough to help them with IS just because she finds Madoka cute – or whatever mad reasons that harebrained genius has…

      1. My sister lives in the UK itself. Her opinion of the British cooking is not to be quoted here… (expletives abound). Fortunately, comopolitan urban areas bring you about any cuisine you can dream of, including her native.

      2. I traveled to England for ~10 days, and the food was definitely not one of the highlights. Fish and chips gets old pretty quick, and the other stuff was…interesting. I’m generally willing to eat anything, but some of the dishes tested that willingness.

    1. I don’t think it’s satire so much as a statement of fact. British cooking is very…well, I like a good plate of fish & chips, so there’s that. Also the beer is good. Though then again, I think almost all beer is good. Because I love beer.

  11. Cecilia’s cooking is to die for. Nice original, but isn’t this the part where she was in practice and that she got hit or something?

    Also, looks like they won’t be doing the main story of volume 8 next week. I’m sad about it, but it’s to be expected. Oh well.

  12. I am only here for the strongest ‘Nee-chan’. :3

    Who would have thought Chifuyu-nee was such a troll. It was subtle but awesome – as expected of such a big sister. But for that fabric to be so see-thru … could it possibly be … a part of … her stockings? 0.o

    1. Yes, I know, but I had another thought:

      Perhaps this is why she acknowledges the Orimura family – only ‘Chi-chan’ is capable of withstanding her ‘befriending’. Scary.
      Also, fighting is just playing around for her – she only got marginally serious when facing an IS. So she created the IS so that people have a way of standing up to her? … even more Scary.

  13. About Tabane being strong, she’s not wearing an IS but that rig she wears is mecha like anyhow. It didn’t seem to out of place for a Shinonono since Houki can punch a locker into a banana shape hahaha. Also….I really wished they played Tabane’s theme from the first scene where we met her(Rinkai Gakkou) to further embarrass Phantom Task. It would have suited the insanity.

  14. What they skipped out in the Tabane fight is that she literally dismantled the IS Suit into scrap heap within seconds with her insanely fast hands plus mechanic skills. (Not to mention she is the inventor of IS so she can figure out the in-and-out of a IS suit within seconds as well) Man, that was the BEST PART they skipped out. I really hope the Blu-Ray fix this because this is BS. Yeah, Tabane is OP because she boosted herself with tech-no crap. (She’s like a walking IS without an actual suit.)

  15. This episode… Eh.

    Of course it’s nice to see that they haven’t forgotten about Cecilia. Back in season 1, I was part of Cecilia ship for a bit before Laura and Char came along. So I’m watching this episode and then they give the yandere shot of Cecilia stating that Char’s cooking needs more color.. I was quite sure that she was doing it on purpose and when she used her IS on Rin’s cooking. Clever girl..

    Tabana though. She sure loves to mess around with the Orimura family.

  16. I agree with Stilts. What a waste. This second season had more potential than the first one for fanservice and a half-decent plot, but it wastes every opportunity it has (show the fanservice or don’t mention it at all! And for God’s shake, this show has mecha, I want to see the battles!).

    I’d want an episode about Ling, but it seems time is running out. It’s ironic, Ling wasn’t near my favourite ones before, but she has got the short end of the stick so many times in this season that now I feel like rooting for the underdog.

  17. The thing i detest the most in the episode is, we got back to random romcom and fanservice after the big bad fight where people seriously got wounded. I dont get this. There wasnt even any mention about the fight. I am not saying it was a bad episode, but the whole show is completelly episodic, its not surprising like this when Ichika arent learning anything.
    Also the lack of staff or the StudcoPrez evil intentions were proven with asking ichika to take GIRLS measurements. Its kind of forced, well not like it bothered anyone except the harem. Also Cecilia was cute,and I think the same, she did this to remove the other girls, so she can get Ichika in the end. Well was funny thought.
    And I think they cut out the scenes to boost BD sales as well.

  18. …sigh. Oh IS2, you’re just not even trying anymore, are you? (I’m now 90% sure that if I actually want the story, I’ll really need to read the LN.)

    At least we saw Tabane-nee. She was pretty fun. :3 Hmmm…wonder what her deal really is, though. She can clearly kick the ass of an IS pilot (totally agree, Silts. Way to cheapen out 8-bit!), has the patented Sherlock Scan from what I can tell, and has the mad scientist act fully down. WHAT ARE YOUR SECRETS BUNNY-NEE-SAN?

    We only have 3 episodes left?! I shudder to think about what the ending will be like. (Highly doubt it’ll be anything to write home about. Too bad. :<)

    P.S. IS power levels = 'Are you an older sister? Congrats! You’re now badass as all hell! :D’ (I hope we get to see a Chifuyu-nee fight at some point.)

  19. Geez the last time I saw such shortcuts taken during such scenes was the original TV release of Moonphase. Here is to hoping that:
    1) The budget is being saved for one hell of an action packed finale.
    2) Some improvements will be done to those scenes fo DVD/BD release.

    On a side note, was the whole “taking measurements” skit really necessary? The plot wasn’t moved forward, and well…there weren’t even any fanservice. In other words…it was about 2-3 mins wasted on nothing. If anything, they could’ve probably cut out that scene, and throw in some flashbacks to the previous season regarding Tabane, especially for those who have no yet watched the first season. That surely would’ve saved some budget right?

    Char is definitely my favourite character of the season, but I don’t want her to win the harem race. Why? She’s too good for Ichika! CharXLaura for the win!

    1. Agreed on the taking measurements skit – the way they did it was a complete waste of time, to the point it seems like they threw it in because they didn’t have anything else to fill those minutes with. And if that’s truly the case, that’s a very sad situation indeed.

  20. I’d rather Ichika be a girl and for this show to be a yuri harem one because the male protagonist that is Ichika brings down the show for me a little.

    What keeps me watching is the comedy and the action. If only they pull a GI Joe and just kill off Ichika, the show would be perfect.

    #CeciliaIsABioTerrorist She can’t fool me, she was doing that on purpose just to get rid of the competition. What’s funny about it is I think Cecilia planned the whole “not being able to cook” situation a long time ago. It was all apart of the plan.

    Tabane keep using more hax and I need more, I want to see a Yandere face please!


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