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IS: Infinite Stratos

January 10, 2011

Originally a light novel series written by Izuru Yumizuru with artwork created by Okiura, “IS 〈インフィニット・ストラトス)“ already spawned a manga adaptation and now receives an anime.

Watched the first episode with certain expectations, which can be quite risky for any show may not live up to one’s particular expectations but luckily “IS: Infinite Stratos” delivered everything I’d though it might and did so quite well too.


Although the series uses standard, tried and true elements with its action, harem comedy plot as well as typical characters, the mix of all these elements is spot on, making for a very entertaining and terrific episode.

Studio 8-Bit pulled of an excellent performance with this first episode which has good animation all throughout, several key battle or character scenes received strikingly splendid animation. The studio’s work on the “Macross Frontier ~Itsuwari no Utahime~” movie and “Working!!” indicates they should be able to sustain this level throughout the entire series.

Considering this first episode sets up the story’s main setting and introduces only the core characters, it was rather clever for them to open with scenes that jumped ahead in the time line, showing the main cast in action in their IS gear. This allowed us to see some mecha action.

The powered suits of “IS: Infinite Stratos” are not traditional mecha like those seen in the Gundam franchise, but rather akin to those of “Sky Girls” or “Busou Shinki”. The premise of the series also pits the characters as combatants in a sportive event, not in actual battles which makes it all more light hearted and devoid of gore and excessive violence.


People may rightfully lament the series’ lack of originality, but “IS: Infinite Stratos” makes clear from the start what is trying to be and successfully achieves in being: a light, fun harem comedy spiced with action.

The very few ecchi scenes are rather benign and staple elements of any romantic comedy, a girl clad in a bath towel and a candid cleavage shot actually account for all the ecchi scenes.

Absolutely adore Maya’s character, like the way this lovable bespectacled teacher was rendered in this episode and also like Shitaya Noriko’s voice work as Maya, she also voiced Sakura Matou in “Fate/stay night”.

You may have recognized Hikasa Youko who voices Ichika’s childhood friend Houki, she also voiced Mio in “K-ON!” and Shino in “Seitokai Yakuindomo”. With the character animations style of “IS: Infinite Stratos” leaning closer to that of “Seitokai Yakuindomo” with its sharper lines and traits, was reminded of Shino during several of Houki’s scenes.


Toyoguchi Megumi voices Ichika’s stern older sister Chifuyu, she did other strong characters like Revy in “Black Lagoon” and Klan Klang in “Macross Frontier”. Ojousama character Cecilia is voiced by Yukana, who also voiced Ai in “Amagami SS”, Tessa in “Full Metal Panic” and C.C. In “Code Geass”.

Inoue Marina, known for her roles as Natsuru in “Kämpfer”, Kana in “Minami-ke” and who also stars in this season’s “Freezing” will play the role of Laura. Although the German IS pilot has yet to appear, along with France’s IS pilot Charles/Charlotte who is voiced by Hanazawa Kana, who also did Susukihotaru in “Otome Youkai Zakuro” and Nadeko in “Bakemonogatari”.

With its opening episode “IS: Infinite Stratos” delivered everything I had hoped and expected, promising it will be a terrific title this season that provides great weekly entertainment with a solid formula of good animation mixed with tried and true elements of a harem comedy.

Can’t wait to see the next episode for more silly antics of these characters and of course more of Maya who is irresistibly cute!

5 Comments leave one →
  1. January 12, 2011 1:39 pm

    I don’t usually pick up harem, but the mecha musume element does seem pretty interesting at least visually.

  2. January 12, 2011 7:46 pm

    Well looks like it will be standard school harem comedy but so far “IS: Infinite Stratos” hits the mark well by bringing the formula in a non-offensive, pure fun way. A bit like these comedies used to be before getting overly ecchi and such.

  3. January 13, 2011 12:33 am

    So far, so good. At first I was quite unsure of the whole, one guy surrounded by females thing, but I think it’s going to be fun. What I’m mostly interested in are the mecha suits as mecha musume is one of those things I’m into, but hey I’m a sucker for a funny harem, as long as it stays funny and doesn’t get just plain stupid.

  4. January 13, 2011 5:49 pm

    It’s a fine line between good, silly harem comedy and just stupid harem antics so let’s indeed hope “IS: Infinite Stratos” is able to keep its act together and bring us a fun harem comedy with mecha action throughout the entire series run.

  5. January 18, 2011 12:44 am

    I watched the two episodes so far and wasn’t really impressed by the story setting so far. I sometime find it difficult to digest when the said protagonist had everything put on a silver platter for him. I might watch one or two more episodes to see if things improves, but probably not.

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