Original Run: October 4, 2013 - December 20, 2013 Number of Episodes: 12 Genre: Harem, Mecha, Science Fiction Based on the Series Created By: Izuru Yumizuru, okiura, and CHOCO
***Warning, the following may contain spoilers for Infinite Stratos 2. Reader discretion is advised.***
Ichika Orimura (voiced by Kouki Uchiyama) shocked the world when he became the first man capable of operating the advanced Infinite Stratos, a feat previously thought to be exclusively reserved for women. Since then, Ichika has managed to build a robust support system of highly skilled pilots, all of whom have come to develop intense romantic feelings for him.
As Ichika’s fame increases, so do the number of people taking notice of him. This includes Japan’s Infinite Stratos Academy’s best pilot, student council president Tatenashi Sarashiki (voiced by Chiwa Saito).
Unfortunately, this attention has also caught the eye of organizations wishing to use the Infinite Stratos to bring about a new world order. Now, it is up to Ichika and his friends to fight an enemy that operates in shadows.
At the end of my review of the first season of Infinite Stratos, I said this:
Infinite Stratos is a series you can skip. And I am saying that to you as much as I am saying it to a possible future me who made the mistake of forgetting again.
Well, guess who forgot again.
To what can be said, Infinite Stratos 2 did not infuriate me as the first one did. Don’t get me wrong; it was still s@#$, but it was more like background noise, and like all other background noise, it was just sort of there and not worth paying attention to. Now and then, I would snap back from blankly staring at my screen to actively watching what was going, and each time this happened, it reaffirmed, “Yep, still don’t care.”
In those moments of brief attention, I realized two things about Infinite Stratos 2.
First, the CGI in this series wasn’t awful. I am giving this show some leniency since it did release roughly seven years ago (as of this post going live). Nevertheless, the visuals during the action scenes have held up quite well. The fights themselves weren’t particularly exciting, but at least they looked good.
Second, Infinite Stratos introduced Tatenashi Sarashiki, and she was easily the best character of this show. There wasn’t a high bar to surpass, and in the grand scheme of things, she will prove (and has proven) to be as forgettable as the rest of this cast. Be that as it may, Tatenashi, as opposed to every other member of this story’s harem, knew how to keep a cool head. She also didn’t engage with the petty, often violent, and utterly childish squabbling of the other girls trying to get Ichika Orimura’s attention. It didn’t go unnoticed by me that whenever Tatenashi was on screen, I was paying the most attention to this series.
I do know that there are plenty of Infinite Stratos OVAs, and part of me thinks I have already seen all of them. Regardless, provided an Infinite Stratos 3 doesn’t release, I am content with this second chapter being the end.
I mean, the biggest problem with Infinite Stratos 2 was the fact that the first Infinite Stratos was a thing. Season one dug such a massive hole in its opening episode (we don’t even need to consider the travesty that was the rest of the series) that any hope of recovery was inconceivable. Therefore, its successor was, frankly, dead on arrival
That is assuming, of course, Infinite Stratos 2 made strives to correct the mistakes of its predecessor. That was not the case, though. Instead, season two doubled down on what came before and left in its wake, a product that felt like five percent content (of which it was unimpressive) and ninety-five percent fluff.
Infinite Stratos’s most fatal flaw was its hero, Ichika. He was just f@#$ing terrible, and yet, everything about this series rested on the unfathomable notion that he could inspire admiration in anyone. This story is someone’s personal fan-fic fantasy brought to life since it thinks a person as unremarkable as Ichika could be at the center of some of the world’s most talented, most beautiful, and most powerful warriors’ affection.
Ichika wasn’t fantastically heroic; he was a subpar pilot; he never showed to have any spectacular academic abilities; plus, his personality was flatter than a piece of paper. There were no redeeming qualities about him that suggested he was this legendary ladies man. Plus, the combination of every rock on this planet would still be less dense than him.
Me speaking to Ichika: When you wake up and find that a swimsuit-clad girl crawled into your bed while you were asleep and then told that at least this time she was wearing clothes, is it that much of a stretch to think that maybe she has a bit of a crush on you?
As for another example, there were the other four ladies, each of whom had done something equally as blatant, who you asked, individually, to go out with you to a prominently advertised date spot. However, you failed to mention that this was meant as a group activity. Is it that much of mystery as to why they were all pissed at you when it was time leave (something you had the balls to be late for)?
Don’t get me wrong. All the characters that were vying for Ichika’s heart weren’t special either. Most left zero presence, and nevermind me forgetting who they were in-between seasons. I forgot who many of them were in-between scenes.
Infinite Stratos 2, even more so than the first season, tried to be a character-driven story. That was a problem because these characters were hollow, uninteresting, and nothing more than an excuse to have boobs every which way.
I have seen shows pander before, but few, if any, have sunk to this level. I have even seen series that solely focused on giving nothing but in-you-face fanservice be somewhat decent. At least in those cases, there were no attempts to be anything more substantial. Infinite Stratos wasn’t just mindless garbage, and it tried to pretend it wasn’t.
I’m dead serious. If there ever is a third installment, I will watch it. I’ll do so begrudgingly, but I’ll stand by my word.
Fortunately, as more and more time passes from the release of season two, the less likely it appears I’ll need to be called out to do it.
I regret returning to this series, especially since I know of plenty of other decent shows I could have re-watched. Instead, I went with something that had a flimsy story, horrible characters, weak action, and no staying power.
Infinite Stratos 2 can be skipped.
But these are just my thoughts. What are yours? Have you seen this series? How would you advise Infinite Stratos 2? Leave a comment down below because I would love to hear what you have to say.
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For Anime Hajime, I’m LofZOdyssey, and I’ll see you next time.