IS: Infinite Stratos ~ Is there even a plot?

IS: Infinte Stratos OP

As I’m busy packing up for Seattle, here’s a quick review of a recently concluded anime series that endeared many fans with its characters, IS: Infinite Stratos. Here’s the synopsis:

Japan engineered an armed powered exoskeleton “Infinite Stratos” (IS) and it became the mainstream of weapons. Since only women can operate IS, women dominate the society over men. Orimura Ichika is a 15 year old boy and accidentally touches an IS placed in the IS pilot training school. He is found to be the only man who can operate IS and forced to enter the training school. Ichika’s busy school life surrounded by girls has begun.

Infinite Stratos Girls 1

So, this is another typical harem series with mechas and over-powered girls fighting over an EXTREMELY DENSE male lead character. Orimura Ichika is by far the most dense male lead I’ve seen thus far, and I just can’t believe that he can’t see the obvious signs from the girls! Also, the plot was… forgettable and thin. The real defining factor for this series was the cast of the female characters, who did not get the depth that they needed in this 12-episode series. But, I’ll at least forgive it since all the female characters are just so cute in their own way. >.< Also, we definitely need to have a second season for them. 12 episodes aren’t enough.

Infinite Stratos Girls 2

In order from left to right in the wallpaper above, we have the representatives with their own personalized IS: Laura Bodewig from Germany, Cecila Alcott from Britain, Shinonono Houki from Japan, Fan Rinrin from China, and Charlotte Dunois from France. First off, I can see some similarities in this series with another rather famous certain series, Strike Witches. Both have fanservice. Both have girls that can fly in the skies and have overpowered weapons. Both have different people related to countries. I’ll be honest; I thought Strike Witches was good but I could barely get around the fact that the girls don’t wear pants, and I thought IS: Infinite Stratos was a much more better decent series, with the female characters and the action scenes being the saving grace.

Orimura Chifuyu

Each character has her own personality that makes them cute and moe, which endeared many fans true enough. We have the tsundere Houki, the proud Cecila, the energetic Rinrin, the bold Laura, and the most popular in the anime community, Charlotte (there was a weird moment when Charles, the male version of Charlotte, ‘suddenly gained’ big breasts. How did she keep them hidden, I have no idea…). My favorite character is none of them (although Charlotte, Laura, and Cecila did come in very close), but it is actually Orimura Chifuyu, Ichika’s elder sister, who is my top favorite. Just look at her above. She’s hot, and is easily the strongest of all the girls.

Laura Bodewig

So, do I recommend watching this series? I wouldn’t really watch it for the extremely thin plot, but it is a decent action series with plenty of fanservice from the widely diversed female characters. Here’s some wallpapers for you guys!

Charlotte Dunois

Cecila Alcott

Shinonono Houki

Fan Rinrin

Also, Ichika need to get a clue through that thick skull of his and recognize the situation!

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6 Comments

Filed under IS: Infinite Stratos, Reviews

6 responses to “IS: Infinite Stratos ~ Is there even a plot?

  1. The ‘plot’ was actually a scheme to get the inventor of IS’ sister to become famous, by allowing her to pilot a Mach 4 model to destroy a supposed enemy. The rest of the show is just fanservice and lols.

  2. I agree that we need a 2nd season to flesh out the female characters (no pun intended). I really enjoyed the cast, which is what made the series so enjoyable, despite the shallow plot. Interesting that you mention Strike Witches, because I thought the exact same thing halfway through (females from different countries engaging in aerial battles). I really didn’t mind whether they wore pants or not. I love Strike Witches, so it’s a no-brainer that I hope to see more from a series that’s so similar.

    • I do love Strike Witches as well for its strong cast; in fact, I think it would also be one of my guilty pleasures, and what you see in my post about the no-pants thing is my morals and logic duking it out with my weak-willed conscience and guilty pleasure over fanservice. Morals and logic won out in this particular post. :D

  3. I didn’t watch IS for the plot (obviously) although it could make a better anime if a proper plot was used. Actually it depends. Normally I’d go for an anime with proper plot because I think anime without proper plot is more like an “animated fanservice” rather than being a story-turned-anime.

    I noticed many flaws in this series, like how things are conveniently introduced halfway throughout the series as plot device, and there wasn’t any good explanation of why only female can operate IS, and why only Ichika is the only male that can operate it. Although Chifuyu did speculate it at the end, believe me it doesn’t help at all.

    I admit that I have personal issues with this series, like how I hate femdom (I wouldn’t mind if both male & female have access to IS but for it to be exclusively for females is like… unacceptable to me). However I managed to get over it and finished the series. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who have watched (and hate) any of the series listed below:

    1. Stratos4
    2. Sky Girls
    3. Strike Witches (Season 1 & 2)

    Why? Because they’d quickly feel like “Meh! I’ve watched something like this before!” However it’s quite refreshing to have a male introduced in a female-dominated world and make this series into a harem, unlike the anime I listed above. Actually I’d like to write more but I’ll just stop here because I think it’s rude to write longer than the article I’m replying to ><

    • Oh no, don’t worry about writing a long comment! It’s very interesting and I’d like to hear more from you. After all, I do encourage long discussions if applicable. :)

      That said, yes, the plot devices have been introduced far too conveniently for this series and I was actually thrown off momentarily when watching this series. So many questions ensued, but I knew that somehow these would not be answered in this series. This series merely assumes at the beginning that only females can operate IS, same as Strike Witches, and I understand why you wouldn’t recommend this series to those who watched the series that you listed. It would seem redundant to them, and lose some of its flair and style. But the main selling point of this series, in my opinion, is the moeness of all the female characters, and I suspect that the creators didn’t really care about the plot and just went for the big score.

      But, you know, I think that one male introduced just isn’t enough. Two male characters probably would be better to balance the gender equality, and plus both the male characters would make for a nice interaction between themselves and the females. Take for instances, Kanon with Yuuichi & Jun and Clannad with Tomoya & Sunohara. These popular series have had some great interactions and make it feel like the numerous females aren’t disrupting the gender balance.

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