Battle for Class Representative! Infinite Stratos ep02
Prepare for the advent of picture spammage! Infinite Stratos’ art style is one that I really think is pleasing to the eye, which is why I cannot resist taking more screencaps than are needed.
The first half of the show throws more exposition at us, as dashing generic lead Ichika is informed that there are no spare machines, so a personal machine will be prepared for him specially by the school. It seems like it is a big deal for a first year to have a personal IS, as only representatives of countries and international companies own their personal IS.
Naturally, this means that Cecilia owns her own Blue Tears, since she is a representative of England. She deems it fit for their upcoming battle, otherwise it would not be fair in her eyes.
It is furthur revealed that Shinonono Tabane, Houki’s sister, is the one who created the IS, and is the only person in the world who knows how to manufacture the black box that is an IS’ core. Only 467 IS are available throughout the world populated by 6 billion people. Tabane is currently missing and nobody knows how to find her. Looks like Houki’s relation with her is quite strained, as she proclaims “THAT PERSON HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH ME!”.
Ichika invites Houki to lunch, and asks if anybody else wants to come along, and the three girls from the episode 01 volunteer. Houki resists and ends up knocking Ichika to the floor, which scares away the girls. Ichika channels his manliness and drags Houki to the cafeteria, and explains that he is only doing it for Houki as her family used to take care of him. Houki-san tsun~ tsun~!
While eating, a third year offers to teach Ichika about IS, but Houki’s jealousy streak arises and she rebuffs the third year by claiming she would be a better teacher as she is Tabane’s sister. Houki 1 Third Year 0.
Houki is horrified that Ichika has grown weaker because he has not spent his time practicing the sword.
After showering, she reflects that Ichika has changed alot within the 6 years they had been apart. She also starts smelling her hand that Ichika had grabbed, and giggles perversely. nee~ nee~ Houki, tsun~ tsun~ darou?
On the day of battle, Ichika’s personal IS finally arrives, codenamed Byakushiki. Instead of wishing him good luck, Houki tells him to win. This was a line that stuck with me, as I feel that it is better than wishing someone good luck meaninglessly.
Ichika launches off, Gundam-style. Orimura Ichika, Byakushiki, hasshin!
Cecilia’s Blue Tears is revealed to be a Sniper model, and after some trash talk, they start the fight, with Blue Tears gaining superiority right away due to its range attacks. Cecilia also launches her IS’ own “Dragoon” units (Why do all mecha shows like to include this Gundam-style remote controlled firing things?).
Ichika shows that he has some skill by managing to avoid most of the lasers and cutting down two of the “Dragoon”. He also goes into Bullet-Time style and analyzes on the fly that the weapons require Cecilia’s utmost concentration in maneuvering, which means she is forced to only use those “Dragoons” without being able to shoot with her rifle.
Chifuyu notices Ichika clenching his left hand, which she mentions is a sign of him becoming careless.
After cutting down the remaining two “Dragoons”, Ichika rushes in for the kill, and gets caught in Cecilia’s trap. Admiral Ackbar says, “IT’S A TRAP!” She pulls out more cannons, and fires rockets in Ichika’s face.
Just in the nick of time, like all superheroes, and something that Takuto is guilty of performing in every single episode of Star Driver, Ichika does an asspull and his IS transforms. Cecilia realizes in shock that Ichika had been fighting her in his IS’ default settings, and only now was the First Shift complete.
Ichika’s sword changes into a beam saber, and easily cuts down the other rockets fired at him, before rushing in for the kill. However, just as he is about to strike, his Shield Energy runs out. Looks like in IS competitions, when your machine’s Shield Energy runs out, you lose. NICE ASSPULL, CECILIA ALCOTT!
Chifuyu explains that Byakushiki‘s sword, Yukihira, has the special ability to do a Shield Nullifying attack, allowing its user to directly damage the opponent. This comes at a cost of the user’s own Shield Energy, which is why Ichika’s Energy ran out so quickly as he was using the Nullify attack without knowing.
On their way home, Houki tries to score more time with Ichika by herself and claims that they will practice more, including IS training. Oh my, Houki you cunning girl~
And right before the episode ends, how can we forget our obligatory fanservice shots? In episode 1, it was the shot of a girl’s boobs. This time, it’s Cecilia showering and murmuring Ichika’s name. What is going to happen to him!?
Infinite Stratos has definitely picked up from the last episode, with real actual action now included. From the screens I’ve captured, the special effects are really well done, though it looks like the action scenes are done with CGI 3D models instead of hand drawn. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, in fact it might even make the battles look more fluid and great to watch. Some SFX simply just can’t be drawn.
The other aspect that I appreciate is Yukana now joining Hiyocchi in singing the ED, and Cecilia appearing besides the duo of Ichika and Houki. I hope this trend continues, which means the likes of Inoue Marina and Hanazawa Kana will join in.
Next episode: CHINA GIRL APPEARS.