Project #80: Infinite Stratos season 2

Hello and welcome to Project Nitsuj. 2013 gave us a lot of surprising anime and no anime was more surprising to see than Infinite Stratos 2. Yeah, like most people I was shocked to see a second season of Infinite Stratos in the lineup. Don’t get me wrong Infinite Stratos is a decent anime, the story of a boy who can pilot a exoskeleton mech while trying to fit in a world where women are the dominant species and balancing the attention of girls who develop feelings for him is a good story and all but I didn’t think it would build up enough support and attention to warrant a second season. The second season picks where the first season left out giving us new characters, enemies, more comedy, and more ecchi moments. Is the second just as good, better, or worse than the first season? Let’s find out and take a look at Infinite Stratos season 2.


Opening and Ending Theme


The opening for this anime is “True Blue Traveler” by Minami Kuribayashi and I have to admit this is a very good song. Minami sounds great here, I like the lyrics, but what really pulls me into the song is the instrumental, the instrumental is just awesome. The ending for this anime is “BEAUTIFUL SKY” sung by the main females of the anime plus the two new main females. This song is also good. Much like last season’s ending the ending is energetic, everyone sounds great, and this time around everyone has a solo part in the song to give them each a chance to shine. If I had to name my favorite opening and ending from the two seasons I would say that I like the second season’s opening and ending more than the first season’s opening and ending.


Episodes 1-4


So we start the anime with Ichika waking up from a nightmare where he finds Laura in his room again (well somebody had fun night). It turns out it’s the last day of summer vacation and Laura wants Ichika to take her to a water park/summer festival which he is totally on board with. For the majority of the episode we oddly enough focus on Laura and Charles who go shopping, get talked into serving at a maid/butler café where they stop a few criminals (man Charles looks good in that butler uniform), and become closer as friends (who of thought Germany and France could get along). While that’s going on Ichika goes to see the other girls and he invites them to the end of summer festival not realizing that Laura just wanted to go with him and no one else (it’s sad to see some things remain the same). On the day of the festival they all meet up in front of the school where the girls are pissed off at Ichika and him not knowing why (I couldn’t agree more). But despite that idiotic screw up they all go to the water park and the summer festival that night and have fun with each other. The only problem though is that they rush pass all of it. They throw this part in at the last 2 or 3 minutes of the episode, it’s like watching a clip show. In truth the episode probably should have been focusing more on them at the water park/summer festival which would have been a good way to re-introduce the characters for those who haven’t seen the show in a long time, develop some of the relationships a little more and also provide some good fanservice in the process. Don’t get me wrong Laura and Charles are the two best females in the show but I feel that this episode should have been an OVA instead of the first episode.


We start episode 2 with Ichika and Lin doing a test battle where it seems that Ichika has gotten a little better at using his IS but he still loses to Lin and him not knowing why (because you are weak). He then gets approached by the student council president herself Tatenashi voiced by Chiwa Saito a cute light blue haired girl who offers to become Ichika’s personal trainer since he’s so weak. He refuses like an idiot saying he’s not weak (you are piloting the strongest IS in the series and yet you haven’t won a single battle. I know you’re an idiot but even idiots aren’t this delusional) but after losing to her in a judo match she becomes his personal trainer (still think you’re not weak Ichika?). She gets Charles and Cecilia to help Ichika with his shooting since he’s a terrible shot and to help him be able to dodge shooters and return fire in the fight. Throughout the training he keeps failing but keeps getting back up determined to get it right (I give him credit, he may be a weak dumbass but at least he’s a man). While that’s going on Tatenashi keeps acting ecchi around Ichika (dude just sleep with her and prove to me you’re a man) making the other girls jealous with some even attacking her but Tatenashi is able to hold her own against them. Near the end of the episode Ichika finally admits that he is weak (thank you, now just admit you’re an idiot and we’ll call it a day) but the girls tell him that they applaud him for trying his best to get stronger and even say he’s cool. The episode ends with him falling asleep on the cafeteria table from training so hard while the girls watch his sleeping face (let’s see who’s gonna rape him in his sleep first).


In episode 3 Tatenashi has snuck into Ichika’s room once again asking for one of his famous massages which if I know my massages often leads to only one thing (// He hides in the bathroom but Tatenashi breaks the door down (Tatenashi: I’ve done my best to respect your privacy but asserting my authority as student council president I’m coming in anyway~) and forces Ichika to give her a massage (// you take a hint and see that the girl wants to play cowgirl already). The next day is the fall festival at school and Ichika’s class is running a maid/butler café with all the girls excited to see Ichika in a butler outfit. Lin shows up wearing a Chinese dress (and looking good in it I might add. There’s a secret of the Orientals I like to explore if you know what I mean, // She gets a special service which is her feeding Ichika some pocky but instead of using her lips to feed him she just uses her hands (//, oh Lin you had such a good opportunity to gain an advantage over the others). After that Ichika goes on a break with Cecilia who won the right go on a break with him through a game of rock-paper-scissors and almost gets an indirect kiss from him. After that Tatenashi arranges an event where Ichika plays a prince and all the girls play as Cinderella trying to get his crown where the winner gets to move in with him (oh boy, the school is going to get destroyed). The event starts off with our 5 heroines fighting each other trying to get Ichika’s crown by any means necessary (geez and I thought the original Cinderella story was dark, this is downright sadistic. I wonder how this play is gonna end?). The rest of the academy joins in near the end and begin chasing after him (being chase by a group adolescent girls. This is both a good and bad thing). He gets saved by a woman named Makigami a woman who works for an IS company and wants Ichika to use their parts on his IS. But instead of talking about parts she instead attacks Ichika saying she wants his IS and we end with the two about to fight.


Episode 4 opens up with Ichika fighting Makigami who reveals herself to be Lady Autumn (wow her whole threatening presence just went away when she introduced her real name) a member of the secret organization known as Phantom Task who are responsible for kidnapping Ichika a while ago and are evil (// The two fight with Ichika doing a rather good job fighting her IS known as Arachne a spider themed IS (that’s kinda cool) but takes her head on and gets trapped in her spider web (enter my web said the spider to the idiot). As she’s about to finish him off Tatenashi shows up to fight her and we get to see her IS known as Mysterious Woman which has the power to manipulate water using nanomachines (the IS style of waterbending), use the water to create mirages (water clone no jutsu), shields, or use the water to seep into an IS and cause internal damage (the fighting styles in this anime have gotten a lot better). She uses the water to damage Arachne and Ichika goes in to deliver the final hit which knocks Lady Autumn out in the academy square with her IS severely damaged. She gets captured by Laura, Houki, and Charles but they lose her because another member of Phantom Task named M (okay seriously Phantom Task you guys need more menacing names if you want me to be intimidated by you. You guys are starting to sound like names for Final Fantasy characters) comes in with a stolen IS from England called Blue Tear II and saves Lady Autumn. They go back to their headquarters where we meet the possible leader of the group a beauty named Squall (come on, I’m trying to find you guys intimidating but you keep failing me). At the end of the episode Tatenashi tells Ichika that his sister ordered her to be his bodyguard which is why she’s been hanging around him so much (that and she obviously has a crush on him). We also see that she has Ichika’s crown which means she wins the right to be Ichika’s roommate.


Episodes 5-8


Episode 5 turns out to be a fanservice episode where Yamada hosts a competition to see which girl can serve Ichika the best. Houki goes first dressing up as a fox priestess (a very good combination) and serves him tea (drink the tea and kiss him to let him drink it. That’s what Houki should do). Cecilia is next and dresses like a bunny girl (no doubt a shout out to Haruhi Suzumiya) and teaches Ichika how to play billiards while rubbing her body on him (the only thing going through my mind is this when I watch that scene, // Charles is next dressed in a revealing France poodle outfit (alright so far Charles is winning in my book) and serves Ichika some cookies she baked but one of them “accidently” falls in between her breast and she gets disqualified for indecent action (boo~ Charles hater). Laura takes the stage after Charles dressed as another black bunny girl where she plays darts with Ichika but the lights go off and he gets jumped by Tatenashi who has stolen Lin’s catgirl outfit and flirts with Ichika in the storage room (well there’s a kitty worth having in the house, nya~) but the girls find them and chase her away. The final contestant is Ichika’s sister Chifuyu dressed as a maid (wow they hit almost all the cosplay clichés, throw in a nurse outfit and it’ll be complete) and serves him a fruit smoothie. It finally gets revealed that this was all entertainment to celebrate Ichika’s birthday (if you wanted to entertain him I know the perfect gift you should have gotten him. The key to your rooms). We end with Ichika walking back to his dorm room at night where M shows up and reveals her full name to be Madoka Orimura making her a relative of Ichika. She’s here to kill Ichika and we end with her firing her gun at him as we fade away (oh~ nice suspense and the right spot to end the episode).


We start episode 6 with Madoka attacking Ichika (go for the head. Hit him hard so it’ll make him think more) but he gets saved by Laura who was in the bushes stalking Ichika to be alone with him (if she wasn’t so cute I would find this freaky) forcing Madoka to retreat for the moment. The next day Ichika and Charles go to guard IS equipment for a company from some spies where Ichika gets his IS damaged and is forced to give it up for a few days leaving Charles in charge of protecting him (yay~ a Charles episode). In class Charles discovers that her IS is also acting up by making her panties disappear (feel the breeze between your legs). She tries to wear other panties but they keep disappearing and since she doesn’t want Ichika to hate her (seriously) she keeps it a secret from everyone throughout the day (just tell him, I’m sure he’ll understand). The rest of the girls find out that Ichika doesn’t have an IS and begin fighting each other to decide who will protect him while he’s in the middle of their fight. Their fight gets interrupted by Tatenashi and she punishes them by having them rake the field (should of just made them not allowed to be near Ichika for 2 days). Charles decides to confess to Ichika why she’s been out of it all day but her panties come back just as she’s lifting up her skirt and she gets all embarrassed and tries to shift the blame on Ichika.


In episode 7 Ichika and Houki are asked to do an interview and photo shoot for an IS magazine. At first Houki says no saying it goes against her principles but when she’s given restaurant tickets for two she agrees (sell out). They go to the interview and photo shoot where the photographer takes pictures of the two in very close and personal poses with each other. After the photo shoot they walk back to the dorms where Houki breaks a heel on one of her shoes injuring her ankle forcing Ichika to carry her back where she falls asleep and tells Ichika she loves him without him hearing it (you know goddamn well you heard her). The next day in class it gets announced that there’s going to be a tag team IS tournament and all the girls want Ichika to choose them as his partner for the tournament (go with Charles you two have the best chemistry so far). Tatenashi approaches Ichika and begs him to partner up with her little sister Kanzashi a cadet who’s in line for Japan’s IS representative (I thought Ichika was the representative), a reclusive fan of anime and has dreams of meeting her destined hero. Ichika agrees to do it for Tatenashi and Houki and Cecilia think Ichika has chosen one of them as his partner for the tournament since he turned down Laura, Charles, and Lin (you silly girls). We end the episode with Ichika going to meet Kanzashi voiced by Suzuko Mimori and asking her to be his partner which she flat out rejects (holy shit, finally someone who isn’t head over heels for the guy just because he’s the only one within a 15 mile radius with a dick).


Not much happens in episode 8. Ichika continues to pursue Kanzashi to get her to be his partner and after he saves her from falling to her death during her IS test run she begins to warm-up to him and even starts to fall in love (well I would say I’m surprise but I think we all saw it coming). After that Ichika decides to help get her IS ready for the tournament by using the data from his IS, as well as the data from Tatenashi’s IS, and with a little help from the maintenance students she gets her IS ready and prepared for the tournament. Wanting to show her thanks to Ichika and confess her feelings she goes to deliver him some baked mini-muffins where she overhears Ichika and Tatenashi talking and finds out that Tatenashi set all of this up and runs back to her room where she cries on the floor (oh God not the liar gets revealed story again, I hate these. Also, where is her roommate I haven’t seen her this whole time?). As all of this is going on the International harem is preparing for the tournament where they all make plans to kill Ichika just because he didn’t choose them and is pursuing Kanzashi (geez, you girls are gonna kill him just because he’s teaming up with some other girl? Last I check he wasn’t dating any of you and I don’t see you guys confessing to him. I’m probably yelling at a brick wall here but girls are crazy). Cecilia and Lin team up, Charles and Laura team up, and Houki surprisingly teams up with Tatenashi.


Episodes 9-12 and OVA


In episode 9 the IS tournament is about to begin but if you’ve watched the first season you should know that something bad always happens at these tournaments and this one is no exception (goddamn it anime, can we have one tournament that doesn’t get interrupted? I was really looking forward to seeing the teams and seeing what the girls would do when they fought against Ichika). This time the tournament is attacked by unmanned IS who have strong armor and fire power. They attack everyone in the tournament and as you would expect they all struggle against these unmanned ISs, even Tatenashi gets taken out trying to destroy one of them. Ichika saves Kanzashi from one of the unmanned IS and they team up to fight against them (oh thank God they pushed that liar revealed story to the side). Kanzashi sees her sister injured badly and goes on a rampage taking down one of the unmanned IS but uses up all of her weapon power to do it (you know for something that’s said to be the strongest thing in the world there certainly are a lot of restraints on it. I mean if the shield reaches zero it shuts down on you and if you use up all of your weapon power you’re pretty much fucked. Houki’s sister really didn’t think this all the way through did she?). The unmanned IS that Houki and Tatenashi were fighting takes the parts from the beaten IS and combines it with itself to become even more powerful taking out Ichika while Kanzashi watches in horror because she’s still shocked that her big sister got taken out. When the unmanned IS sets it sight on Kanzashi, Tatenashi protects her using her body and they go into some alternate dimension with Ichika where they talk (I’m not making this up, this really does happen in the anime and it’s completely out of place). In this space they talk about how it’s okay to be scared and flawed because you’re human and there’s nothing wrong with that. Kanzashi takes this to heart and is able to fight once again with Houki and Ichika who combine their powers to destroy the core of the unmanned IS destroying it. The other girls also destroy the other unmanned IS and they get Tatenashi medical attention in time to save her. We end the episode with Kanzashi somewhat confessing her feelings to Ichika but doing it incorrectly.


Episode 10 turns out to be a Cecilia episode (quite the surprise if you ask me). But before we get to her the girls all interrogate Kanzashi to see just what kind of relationship her and Ichika have (okay normally I wouldn’t mind this kind of scene but the problem here is the girls have no right to be interrogating Kanzashi especially like this. This scene would work if the girls had advanced a little in their relationship with him but they haven’t it’s pretty much been the same). Anyway, let’s talks about Cecilia. Tired of being the only one in the harem who’s unable to cook a meal for Ichika she goes to the other girls to learn how to cook. At first she does a good job but she starts adding in her own ingredient to make the food look more appealing but at the same time it makes the food taste terrible (Gordon Ramsay: WHAT IS THIS SHIT! YOU’RE TRYING TO KILL PEOPLE) so when the others go to taste the food it makes them sick and knocks them out (Cecilia is eliminating the competition with her horrible cooking). When she knocks out all the girls (besides Kanzashi) Ichika decides to teach Cecilia how to cook his favorite meal riceballs. This seems to work out well since there’s not a whole lot of cooking it’s just using rice and adding in a treat in the middle to give it some extra oomph. That’s pretty much the episode, at the end we see Tabane having dinner with Phantom Mask (or as I like to call them the League of Rejected Final Fantasy Characters and Names) trying to convince Tabane to make them a personal IS. After she refuses they attack her and we see that not only is Tabane smart but she is physically strong, she beats up both Squall and Lady Autumn easily and when Madoka shows up in an IS she’s able to dismantle it with ease and reveal who Madoka is (Tabane is on fire). After seeing Madoka, Tabane decides that she’ll make her a personal IS because she has the same face as Chifuyu (just whose side is she on).


In episode 11 it’s the class trip to Kyoto (or at least I assume it’s Kyoto they never really say it but hey it’s Japan and if you wanna go on a class trip you’ve got to go to Kyoto some of best scenery and landmarks Japan has to offer). In the episode we get a few hijinks with Ichika and the girls in pretty funny and cute scenes. We end with Phantom Mask attacking the group separating Ichika from the others where he has to fight against Madoka in her new IS Black Night, who not only wants to kill Ichika but Chifuyu as well (man there’s a lot of hate in this family).


The final episode is just one big brawl between the gang and Phantom Mask. Ichika takes on Madoka by himself, Tatenashi takes on Squall where she loses and falls into the river (strongest in the academy my ass) but she comes back later on and hits Squall with a super laser, Houki and Cecilia take on Lady Autumn where they beat her and destroy her IS which I assume killed her in the explosion (I guess Lady Autumn *puts on sunglasses* has fallen early, // Laura, Lin, Charles, and Kanzashi are stuck on a monorail with the rest of the class where Phantom Mask has placed a bomb on the train and the others have to find it before it explodes (how cliché can a group get? Just detonate the goddamn train, you have them where you want them). Charles finds the bomb and gets rid it in time before in explodes (well that event was *puts on sunglasses* explosive, // and she along with the others join the fight with Houki and Cecilia where they all get taken down by Squall. Back to the fight with Ichika, he and Madoka battle across the sky and when he sees the bomb on the monorail explodes he drops his guard (dumbass) and gets shot by Madoka falling to the ground unconscious and dying. As Ichika lays on the ground dying he has a dream sequence where he’s in a pool of water with a sky full of clouds (what is with these dream sequences in this show? Are they trying to be like Evangelion and add in pointless symbolism that’s out of place and makes no sense) where he meets Chifuyu in her IS who tries to kill him (okay it’s official, Ichika has an incestuous crush on his sister. He has a whole hoard of international girls who have fallen for him and the only thing on his mind as he’s dying is his sister and her trying to kill him. Where are your priorities man?). But Ichika fights back saying he can’t die here and regains consciousness to fight again (quite good actually for a guy who just had a near death experience). As he rides on the back of Houki, Ichika charges at Squall but his attack gets blocked by Madoka’s defenses and the two fly through the air where he seems to winning but Squall comes in to stop her and the two retreat battered and bruise from their fights. We end the season on a laugh with Ichika taking a dip in the hot springs and one of the attendants at the inn they’re staying at switching up the signs so the girls come in to the springs (stupid censorship fog always getting in the way of the good stuff) and Ichika hides himself so he doesn’t get caught but he faints from being in the springs for too long and floats over to the girls naked like a dead corpse (now he’s really in- (Isis): Don’t you dare. (Nitsuj): Now he’s really in hot water).


Okay so apparently Japan has been spying on me because they released an OVA a few episodes into the season and did exactly what I told them to do. Remember how I said in the first episode they should have focused on the gang and their time at the waterpark/festival instead of Charles and Laura? Well, in this OVA they do just that. The OVA follows the gang and there time at the waterpark and as you would expect its some good fanservice. The girls wear sexy bikinis and everything. Cecilia takes the early lead ditching the girls and having Ichika to herself for a little while but that time quickly dissolves when Charles and Houki catch up to them and want to go on the couples waterslide with him. He goes back up for Houki where only this time Houki sits in the back and presses her huge melons against Ichika’s back. After that they go to the festival wearing yukatas with the girls looking nice of course and celebrate the end of summer playing with sparklers. This was a good OVA, it’s got plenty of laughs, ecchi moments, and really should have been apart of the first episode. I say watch it after you’ve watched the first episode.


Final Thoughts


This season was pretty meh. Nothing really happens in this season besides the show getting new antagonist with ridiculous names and only one of them being dangerous. I was really hoping that the girls would progress more in their relationship with Ichika but they really don’t, it remains the same, and they keep hiding their feelings for him instead of just showing or telling him that they have a crush on him. The only girl who actually goes on the offensive and gets Ichika to look at her is Tatenashi, it’s forceful yes but I give her credit she’s at least getting his attention and having him look at her. Speaking of Tatenashi, The new girls Tatenashi and Kanzashi are alright. The two are like yin and yang. Tatenashi is outgoing, energetic, and confident while Kanzashi is shy, reclusive, and not very confident in herself. Ichika also doesn’t change all that much either though I will say I’m glad that he finally admits to being a weakling and wants to get stronger so that he can protect everyone he cares about but he is still dense boy that you just wanna hit. The few things this season does do well than the first is that it has more ecchi moments, better comedy moments, and the new ISs that they introduce are pretty creative. But other than these three things this season almost feels like a rehash of the first season. Oh and we do have character songs which are all good, none of them really stood out to me so I really don’t have a favorite, but if I really had to decide which one is the best I choose Charles.


Is it better than the first season


No. I think the first season was a little better than this season. As I said before the story doesn’t really progress all that much in this season as it did in the first season. In the first season we got an understanding of who the characters were, what they’re like, and how the world works around them. The second season was supposed to capitalize and expand on these traits but instead they drop the ball. Having better comedy and ecchi moments are fine and all but it doesn’t mean a lot if the story doesn’t progress all that much.


Final Score


The final score for Infinite Stratos 2 is 5/10. The season is meh with a lot more funnier moments and ecchi scenes to make you laugh and keep your attention. Charles is still the best girl in my opinion with Laura and Tatenashi close behind her. I’m not sure if a third season will come out or not, but I have heard of another OVA coming out in the future and if the show does get a third season I hope that the story can get better, the characters grow and develop their relationships more, expand more on the world, and most importantly make Ichika smart and not such a dumbass. He doesn’t have to be Einstein smart, but just smart enough that he’s aware of what’s going on around him. Thanks reading and I’ll see you next time *puts on sunglasses* on Project Nitsuj (//


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