Like Strike Witches before it, Infinite Stratos offers a similar take on the mech genre, or rather girls transforming bits of - if not their entire - anatomy into weapons. In this case, it’s a product of the Japanese military tinkering with armoured exoskeletons. The story goes that as women are the only ones capable of piloting an Infinite Stratos (or IS), they lord over the men. But this is a series where the girls are a doleful bunch stuck up in knots over dreary lead Ichika Orimura.
After accidentally touching an IS, Ichika is found to be the only man who can operate it. As such, he’s forced to enter into the pilot school with his gaggling harem to contend with. Punctured with increasingly questionable situations, there’s really nothing you have seen in umpteen other anime.
Based on Izuru Yumizuru’ light novel, Infinite Stratos is male fantasy and it’s most block-headed. As only an avatar for the viewer, it goes without saying that Ichika lacks any real depth or personality, but even still, he’s a sorry state of affairs. As adolescent guff, it isn’t half bad, but for anyone older than fourteen or after more depth, there are other options in the mech pool to draw from.
Director Kikuchi Yasuhito – of Comet Lucifer – brings his usual pleasant stylings and returns from the first series, popping with much of the same vibrancy. It might look the business, but the English dub is downright embarrassing. The German is particularly eye-watering, with the English and French a close second and third.
It might skirt around any real direction with stories to peddle figures and hug pillows, and dole out the archetypes with an unequivocally awful sense of humour, but as a step to better things, you could do far better than Infinite Stratos 2.
Special Features: Episode 1 broadcast version / Clean opening and closing / Disk credits / Also available
INFINITE STRATOS: SERIES 2 COLLECTION / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR: KIKUCHI YASUHITO / SCREENPLAY: FUMIHIKO SHIMO / STARRING: KOKI UCHIYAMA, YOKO HIKASA, YUKANA, ASAMI SHIMODA / RELEASE DATE: DECEMBER 14TH