Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Infinite Stratos Ep 1 & 2

As far as new shows this season, this is my favorite. I really wish i had time to blog these episodes separately, but i didnt have time with Freezing. In the future this show will get priority over Freezing.


Episode 1:

This was mainly an introduction and background episode explaining the world of IS. It seems in the future Japan will acutally design mechas in the form of personal armor. These IS will become som powerful they will change the world of warfare (I'll get into this a bit more in the reactions section). Because women are the only ones capable of piloting these IS, with the exception of our protagonist, the power balance has changed to women as well. The use of these machines were banned from warfare and are now purely only used for sport. Our main hero Ichika is the only male in the world who can pilot an IS, and has therefore drawn quite a bit of attention. He enters a school to learn how to pilot the IS. He finds out that his older sister is acutally a very respected teacher at his new school as well as his childhood friend Houki, voiced by Youko Hikasa one of my favorite up and coming VAs (Mio from K-ON). He ends up being her roommate but for some reason she is confrontation and distant from him. He accidentally insults
Cecilia Alcott, the British representative for the IS circuit and is caught in the race for class representative. They decide to have a IS battle to settle the dispute.

Episode 2:

We get a bit of warming up from Houki, but she for some reason still seems to be weary of Ichika. We also learn that IS are in short supply in this world. There are currently less than 500 of them in the world, and the only person who knows how to build them refuses to make more. We learn that this person is Houki's older sister, and that they don't get along for some reason. Ichika however will get a personal unit due to his special circumstances. Houki agrees to train Ichika so he doesn't lose badly and embarrass himself and his family name. The day of the battle comes and at the start Ichika doesnt do very well. he isnt taking too much damage, due to his suits incredible ability to dodge
Cecilia's sniper's attack, but he isnt getting anywhere near her. His suit then modifies itself mid battle, and we learn he was using un-adapted defult settings. When his new suit activates, he is able to close the distance as well as use his sword's special function. However its too late as his suit is low on power, and his new sword drained the remainder. He ends up losing the battle.


This show is much more enjoyable than i had thought it would be. As a mecha, i thought it would be more typical mecha action and in that catagory, it would always need to compete with gundam in my eyes. This is basically what killed my interest in Macross and i constantly thought "gundam did this better". However this is much more of a romance show than a mecha show, and is very enjoyable. We really get an old school feeling from Ichika, the whole needing to protect girls and protect his family name thing. But he does it in a way that seems more caring than misogynistic, though girls might disagree with that. as a funny tidbit, Ichi means one in japanese and when a name has the word Ichi in it, it usually has some special meaning. maybe first (or solo) male? :D

With the second episode we see Houki warm up, and it feels shes not being a real tsundere rather something happened which is bugging her, which i like.
Cecilia started out a bit of bitch but its nice to see her mellow out after the fight. It looks like she wont accept that victory as clearly had Ichika been able to adjust his IS he would have won easily. The sister is also nice, clearly caring for her brother, but knowing she has a job and a role to fulfill. I noted i hate seeing the main character lose when they clearly should have won, especially if it was due to a technicality. You might think i am disappointed in the outcome of this battle, but im not. The first thing is he didnt try. He never bothered to read or learn his weapon. He caused his own downfall. Secondly, the mecha shift wasn't something anyone could help. Thirdly, Cecilia acknowledges it should have been a defeat. and through some spoilers, i know it works out in the end. She isnt being a bitch or a uptight smug ass about it. She knows i wasn't a true victory.

Now to the biggest gripe i have with the show, the entire background concept. The entire world is established as well as female dominance because of these IS. That is just retarded. Im somehow suppose to believe that these machines are so effective that they not only render conventional warfare useless, but also were such a threat all nations agreed to stop using them? That doesn't make any sense. First of all they may be strong, or maybe they are very strong with really weaponry, but there is no way these things changed the face of warfare. Its just too unbelievable, We still have fighter jets, tanks, snipers and all other forms of conventional warfare that seem just as viable with these things as without. Hell even in gundam where giant suits proved invulnerable to tanks and fighters, we still saw them being used. These things being WMD is simply not believable.

Secondly, These proved so devastating the world decided not to use them. That's also stupid. warfare isn't about being fair or even humane, its just about killing. The only weapons agreed universally not to be used was biological weapons, and thats only because they were more cruel than useful. for god sakes the world hasnt even agreed to stop using nuclear arms which are probably 100x more effective than these things.

thirdly, if these things arent used anymore, why do women hold all the power? these things are banned and stripped of all real weaponry.

Well maybe we'll see an alien invasion or something and see these suits in full force. However like i said this is more romancey than action so i doubt it.

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