IS – Infinite Stratos 2, excellent in everything but story

Title

Infinite Stratos 2 is the sequel of 2011 Anime TV Series Infinite Stratos. The original Infinite Stratos is excellent in everything but the story is decent. Infinite Stratos 2 improves every excellent part of the first series but makes the story worse. When I compared to other anime, Infinite Stratos 2 is totally the opposite of Ginga Sengoku Gunyuuden Rai. Ginga Sengoku Gunyuuden Rai is very good in nothing but story whereas Infinite Stratos is excellent in everything but story.

Infinite Stratos 2 was aired in October 4, 2013 to December 20, 2013 with 12 total episode. You also get one more episode in OVA titled “World Purge-hen” in November 26, 2014. This anime adds more female characters who also serve as important character in the story. New enemies also make an appearance in this anime. Of course new characters is not only the add-on here. You’ll see some newer ISs as well.

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Long story short, the story is about a weak (also insensitive and dumb) male protagonist named Orimura Ichika who is the only male capable to control the IS in the world. He was surrounded with a lot of pretty and cute girls in the first season and he gets more pretty and cute girls in the second season. In the end of the first season, Ichika became stronger but in the second season he becomes weak again. So weak that his existence in this anime annoys me.

Okay that’s all about the bad part of this anime. Now I’ll move to the good part. The character design is very attractive for me. I am sure it is the main selling point of this anime. The background image, visual effect, computer graphics, and anything related to image quality is outstanding. I really like it and really enjoy it. The dynamic range is amazing and beautiful. They seems to be doing more than a very good job in creating superior visual quality.

The music is also where this anime feels really strong. It’s more than just very good. It’s excellent. The Opening theme song is “True Blue Traveler” by Kuribayashi Minami. It’s a very beautiful song. I like about as much as STRAIGHT JET in the first season. It’s a motivating song. The ending theme is BEAUTIFUL SKY by Hikasa Youko, Yukana, Shimoda Asami, Hanazawa Kana, Inoue Marina, Saitou Chiwa, and Mimori Suzuko. Well… Mimori Suzuko participate in the ending starting from episode 9 and Saitou Chiwa participated only on episode 12 though. The song itself is also very nice. Nothing is wrong in the music.

Chara All - 05

Now moving to the character. This is also the point where this anime shines. Pretty and cute girls that attract male followers. This is the real main selling point of this anime. Combined with excellent voice acting, I can’t complain anything about the female characters except with them being interested with weakling like Ichika. The voice actor and actresses also did excellent in this anime. Clearly one of the best overall voice acting I’ve ever heard an anime. Probably, second only to Non Non Biyori.

Main Character

Chara 00
Orimura Ichika, voiced by Uchiyama Kouki. Voice Acting Score : 8/10
The main protagonist. The only male capable to pilot IS. In the first season, he is weak and unreliable at first. But later developed to be a reliable man. However, in the beginning of the second season, he seems to weak again. Uchiyama Kouki did not do bad in his job here. I still consider his voice acting to be very good for someone like Ichika. Uchiyama Kouki is the youngest voice actor in the series.

Heroines

Chara 01
Shinonono Houki, voiced by Hikasa Youko. Voice Acting Score : 9/10
Ichika’s childhood friend. She seems strong and well-determined. Her home is a kendo dojo and surely, her interest to kendo is the reason why Houki is becomes so strong. Hikasa Youko did an excellent job here. Her voice sounds determined and commanding here. Really fits Houki’s personality nicely.

Chara 02
Cecilia Alcott, voiced by Yukana. Voice Acting Score : 10/10
A representative from United Kingdom. She seems easygoing and proud of herself. She is skilled in sniping and long distance battle. Yukana did outstanding here. Her voice did not only fits Cecilia’s personality but also made me find Cecilia to be a very attractive lady.

Chara 03
Huang Lingyin, voiced by Shimoda Asami. Voice Acting Score : 8/10
A representative from China and also Ichika’s childhood friend. I don’t really know what to say abut Ling. Personally, I think she seems kinda childish based on her behavior and Shimoda Asami’s voice.

Chara 04
Charlotte Dunois, voiced by Hanazawa Kana. Voice Acting Score : 10/10
A representative from France. Charlotte is the one using 2nd Generation IS. She is a gentle and calm girl. The way Hanazawa Kana voice Charlotte makes my impression of her feels so cute and attractive but at some point, capable and reliable. From every role Kana-chan’s has done, I’d say Charlotte is her second best.

Chara 05
Laura Bodewig, voiced by Inoue Marina. Voice Acting Score : 9/10
A representative from Germany. Laura is a human created artificially from human DNA. She had been in military training before joining IS Academy. However, in the real situation, her military training does not make her better than the others which makes me consider it as another flaw in Infinite Stratos story. Inoue Marina did excellent in voicing her. She sounds commanding and proud of herself most of the time. But sometimes can be kinda shy as well.

Chara 06
Sarashiki Tatenashi, voiced by Saitou Chiwa. Voice Acting Score : 10/10
The Student Council President of IS Academy. She likes to tease Ichika quite often. She was shown to be a very superior IS pilot in her first battle appearance in this anime. However, in the next battle, it seems that she is not that capable. I consider this as another flaw in Infinite Stratos because the characters’ strength seem inconsistent. Aside from the character herself, Saitou Chiwa did very superior in her voice acting as Tatenashi.

Chara 07
Sarashiki Kanzashi, voiced by Mimori Suzuko. Voice Acting Score : 10/10
The younger sister of Tatenashi. Kanzashi is inferior compared to her sister. She is pretty much like someone who must be protected. However, she is actually a quite capable individual outside of piloting IS. She is also a fan of anime. Mimo-chan also did very superior in voicing Kanzashi just like Saitou Chiwa when voicing Tatenashi.

Supporting Characters
Chara 08
Orimura Chifuyu, voiced by Toyoguchi Megumi. Voice Acting Score : 9/10
Ichika’s elder sister and also his homeroom teacher. She was known as the strongest IS Pilot all the time, before her retirement. She is very strict but also protective towards her student, including Ichika. Toyoguchi Megumi shows her experience as voice actress here. She did excellent. Her commanding voice is impressive and sounds very suitable for Chifuyu’s personality.

Chara 09
Yamada Maya, voiced by Shitaya Noriko. Voice Acting Score : 8/10
An instructor in IS academy. Maya is a very capable IS Pilot although appearance is not quite convincing. Another weird thing in this anime (which I also consider as another flaw in Infinite Stratos) is, Maya does not seem to be helping her student when fighting the unknown enemies despite her ability to pilot IS. Shitaya Noriko voice acting as Maya is very good. However, I just feel that Maya’s personality is hardly convincing for a teacher.

Chara 10
Shinonono Tabane, voiced by Tamura Yukari. Voice Acting Score : 9/10
Houki’s elder sister, also the creator of IS. She has a genius brain and super human strength. She seems to be the most powerful individual in the story, even surpassing Chifuyu. Her knowledge also seems to be second to none. She is surrounded by many mysteries. My impression of Yukarin’s voice acting is excellent. Fits her easygoing and childish behavior really well.

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Final Thoughts
As a protagonist, Ichika is so weak that he annoys me in watching this anime. Not only that, there are too many things I consider as flaws in this anime. It could be fun to watch but story totally ruins it. The action part is not that exciting as well. On the first season, the final battle was very exciting. But on the second season, it’s too far from exciting. Not to mention that there are so many unsolved mysteries here. The animation is outstanding. The music is excellent. The voice acting is top-notch. The characters are interesting and attractive. Too bad… All of are ruined by a weak storyline. Perhaps I was expecting too much from Infinite Stratos.

Chara All - 03

Story 5
Character Design 9
Visual 10
Sounds & Music 9
Characters 9
Voice Acting 9
Overall 7
Rated as Good
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3 comments on “IS – Infinite Stratos 2, excellent in everything but story

  1. kinda true, they didnt put much effort on writing a proper story for it to be a sequel, and used fanservice to cover the flaw. But in fact, in the LN, the volumes that the anime adapted didnt have much story in it also, so they have to put fanservice instead. Time for you to watch the OVA, but its also quite fanservicey but at least there is a bit of action.

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