The show was actually quite entertaining at the start. It opened with a uniquely animated fight sequence which seemed to improve hugely upon the CGI discrepancy that most others are notorious for. Then it all goes downhill from there because of one guy.
What a dense piece of fail. Instead of maintaining a balance between mecha action and harem shenanigans, this guy single handedly managed to drag the show on for 2 months where nothing happened except girls swooning over him since he’s the only male at the school. Whoever wrote this character’s script must have been wearing his trollface and laughing his ass off every Thursday.
As for the other characters, most of them are carbon copies of established archetypes with a small twist. Each one of the MC’s harem is from a different country. The majority of the series consists of one of the character’s falling for the MC in classic harem fashion, that is, for no reason at all. Then of course, when the entire harem is established, there is the obligatory beach episode. I don’t mind beach episodes, every series has them. Hell, even Mazinkaiser had a beach episode. What irks me is the fact that despite the first episode which established a semi-interesting premise, the conflict is dropped almost entirely in favor of harem shenanigans. Towards the end when the plot finally starts to get serious, it becomes difficult for the characters to follow suit without tons of forced drama.
For what it’s worth, the mecha designs were unique and stylish. Many of the IS units pay homage to various UC and AU Gundams. The animation for the fight scenes were also well done. It’s a step forward in the ever present struggle to create the perfect balance between CG and traditional animation. Too bad there wasn’t more of that. For many viewers, if it weren’t for the weekly shipping wars, this show would have been dropped with the force of 1000 suns.
Final Thoughts: 2/10
People watch Infinite Stratos for two reasons. The first of which is for the mecha designs and battle sequences. These types of people will enjoy episodes 1 and 12. The second reason is for country wars, in which case episodes 2-11 will suffice. Or you can watch all of it, and marvel at how it utterly fails to mesh the two aspects into a convincing story. Mecha and fanservice have gone together ever since the beginnings of anime, but Infinite Stratos takes the shipfaggotry to a whole new level.