Category Archives: Infinite Stratos

Autumn 2013 Wrap

Incoming train of thought–

I took a nice vacation at the end of the year (I guess I’m in the middle of it) so I was able to catch up on a lot of stuff. Like Valvrave. I really enjoyed it, more so than I expected at any rate.

I was wondering if CLAMP designed the characters instead of Hirao-face-looking group that we had, maybe VVV would have more legs. As is, it’s actually a very good story but it just didn’t get to flesh out. The plot and the symbolism and themes all make sense and it is a good, liberal (as in liberalism) message that would resonate with kids. But I don’t know, it feels like the right message but it’s probably preaching to the wrong crowd. It could also use another 2 more episodes to flesh the ending out.

This season is tricky because I couldn’t tell that White Album 2 has another episode, I mean, what. Nagiasu really seems like it went off a cliff this week, because there’s another cour after that? Don’t even bring up Samumenco, geesh. I’m still enjoying Magi, and as far as sports anime goes I really like the past few episodes of Ace of the Diamond, explaining some basic sports mechanics sort of things that are not obvious to most people. It also got “good enough” to be talked about, IMO.

Say what you will about Yuushibu and OBC, both shows are great, and I had a good time with both. I think I enjoyed Yuushibu a lot more in that meta context, also it probably wins some award for dragging out a Star Trek joke the longest. OBC was more of the ideal guilty pleasure sort of anime, because the show didn’t really go anywhere with its soft power digs. I mean, it’s not even bush league. It’s not even softball. It’s more like wiffleball. Kind of like that football game they played–you knew they could do so much better but they just went with whatever, lawl. A shame I guess.

I still think it’s incredible that people walk away from Yuushibu episode 1 and think it’s bad animation quality. It’s insane. I suppose this is how some people feel about Kill la Kill when I say it’s actually not really that great. I think what’s good about it is that it is an anime done in a way and in regards to subject matter common to B-tier Japanese live action TV and movies. Now finally we have an anime like this–full with underboobs. I mean, you can’t do that on TV normally. Studio Trigger’s newsletter is great and it basically confirms all this. Also, maybe it’s because I saw Hentai Kamen live action movie this autumn and it kind of makes me feel like Kill la Kill is an inferior version of that. I get the feeling a lot of people watch anime as a medium don’t venture outside of it, so this is all fresh and exciting stuff.

The best anime this season is a tough call. I would give Kill la Kill the most creds as the most stylish, YZQ for the best sakuga feast, Kyousogiga for the most arthouse and best first episode, VVV for the most daring in terms of story, and Arpeggio will win the “It’s not Girls und Panzer but it’s close enough” award. OBC probably has the best meta fanservice and Yuushibu has some…serious fanservice. Best ED is obviously Unbreakable Machine Doll and best OP might actually go to Galilei Donna. Best concept has to go to Samumenco for not only the most meta but also the best written meta that I’ve seen in a while.

I also feel compelled to give Gundam Build Fighters some kind of recognition, so maybe it will win Aila’s biggest buns trophy or something stupid. Too early to call it the best AU Gundam but it’s definitely up there.

That’s kind of how I feel about White Album 2 too. I really enjoyed the series so far but it lacks a few compelling components in terms of plot. It’s too centered on the girls and not enough on the guy. I mean, I guess I don’t want another Golden Time but Haruki is at least interesting enough to get a little more exposition. Speaking of Golden Time, I’m okay only because I did watch Natsuyuki Rendezvous, so I’m build for it. That said gosh yes Koko is a bitch and the whole ghost-in-the-amnesia thing is dumb can we please just slap everyone and hire Linda to cater to more underground parties? I do give it a lot of credit for making every one of its characters a lot of substance and it’s easy to understand them, even the weirder ones like Miss Denpa.

Golden Time is also surprisingly meta too. That Nana-senpai. Even shows like Tokyo Raven is pretty meta, when it’s a run of the mill kind of a battle mystery story. Is it really necessary? Even I think it’s too much, and I’m someone who loves the meta.

I still want to watch more Sekatsuyo, but I can’t get past episode 4. I should just jump to the Chiaking episodes.

Kyoukai no Kanata was a thing. It all makes sense but it didn’t gel, which is too bad. It is the sort of beautiful nothings that we’re used to seeing from Kyoani, which is by all means something we can never run short of. Did I like it? Yes, but I probably won’t watch it again. It’s funny, but when you lay it side by side to something like, say, Noucome, I would take Noucome every time.

Perhaps Noucome is the ultimate guilty pleasure, sorry OBC. If being funny is a sin, Noucome is worthy a Kotaku post about how sinful it is. Too bad they pegged it as just some solid comedy.

But what does that make Log Horizon? It’s not a guilty pleasure, but it is for me–I’m totally watching it to trip on old school MMORPG feels. That, and Yumi Hara going all osaka, which is only appropriate. It’s a good anime as they say; it’s like if Maoyu got a Fate/Zero treatment, except not quite. I mean, that story could totally be built up better. Log Horizon is appropriately less ambitious in the scope and in turn more down to earth, but it’s also somewhat less epic on the face. I guess you can’t have everything. And that is okay when all it is to me is a guilty pleasure.

In a busy season like this I still watched 4+ episodes of Gingitsune, which is solid, 12 episodes of Infinite Stratos, which is disappointing, and all of Walkure Romanze. Man, that horse show is actually quite good in the way that exploitative eroge about fancy and peaceful setting can be, all because it has a freaking koushien in it. I respect it as one respect a well-polished trope. The fanservice episode clever and outside of the box, which is another thing you kind of didn’t expect a show like that to do. Nakamura Eriko-sensei can speak English to me any time.

Viva Torture!


Autumn 2013 Clippings And Thoughts

Haruka & Fenway Park

Yep, just random nonsense.

Kurogane on IS S2E1

Oh god, Germany is invading France again. [Gotta see the image to make this caption work]


Please let the entire episode next week be 24 minutes of Chiwa Saitou giggling.

j1m0nes on … panties?

This has GENERIC written all over its lovely little red checkered panties.

Sometimes reading blogs on these things I wish I had some kind of contraption that lets me slap someone on the head with a harisen. I mean, anyone who calls Yuushibu “low budget” LOLOLOL. It’s basically got the best animated boobies on this side of Gainax, at least at episode 1. I mean, take it from a pro:

[T]he series does seem to have quite a big budget, but here is the thing: you do not simply assign all of your inbetweeners to your boob shots.

I mean, alternatively, YOU COULD animate on the 2s for all your money shots. I don’t mind. Because no amount of budget can fix poor source material! You might as well spend it on something that is worth the while. Just to drive my point home, Chris B. rated episode 1 an A- and Kill La Kill a B. Although that is probably a pretty biased thing to quote and shows that first impression posts with a letter grade means about as much as nothing.

Kill La Kill: Has it gone Redline? You decide. It’s certainly not yet free-to-watch however (makes me think that this is just a ploy ala Little Witch Academia). It’s basically the one show most people enjoyed watching, even if it’s not necessarily their bag. I think everyone needs to realize this–it’s just not a show for everyone. Same as Redline! And it ain’t gonna save any industry.

Aint it cool?

Other first-episodes:

Log Horizon: Yawn, but not bad.

Kyoukai no Kanata: Yawn, but sakuga.

Coppelion: I’m waiting for the fanservice part of the thing to start, lol.

Nagiasa: TT. To its credit, it’s the most uncomfortable anime I’ve seen this season.

Miss Monochrome: She works at a Lawson, folks.

Golden Time: Budget harisen aside, did anyone pull the “hey the’re not high school kids” card yet in their blogs, because LOL.

So far this season feels overall more fun than last season, although last season was a pretty solid block without too many outstanding shows. Maybe we’ll get more than one or three this Autumn?

Year in Review: N-Listing

So, the tradition continues. 12 lists of 12 things. Some are ranked, others are not. One this year is not ranked but merely numerated.

Continue reading

Run Ichika Run

Ok, so it finally made sense. Ichika is someone that unites the girls in their simple goal of… winning for whatever their hearts desire. Revenge, currying favor, satisfaction, confidence, whatever it is that drives the multi-national cast, all for one, one for all. It’s a pretty neat theme. Thanks, episode 11.

In that sense, Infinite Stratos is an exceedingly appropriate anime during a time of crisis in Japan. Japan needs our help, so France, Germany, China and the UK are going to step up to the plate and help ’em out right?

In the “final” ending sequence, people are running in sync. In the previous ones, Ichika ran at the same pace only with one other girl at a time. Who knew running would bring it all together? I guess it would be something I noticed earlier if I wasn’t spending all my time staring at Charlotte’s legs.

Other random comments about Infinite Stratos ED:

  • The Japanese chick is the tallest and biggest! Wau, what a bold statement.
  • Only if all the English chicks are oujosamas.
  • Wait, if Laura’s pants are designed like the skirts, why aren’t Orimura’s?
  • I like this seiyuu ensemble thing. Anime otakus do, too, generally. I think I’ve liked them like, every season. Or do I just like Marinajou’s and Hiyocchi’s vocals?
  • There’s no way they are running at the same speed, since their legs are of different lengths.

I guess I’ll leave the obvious LOL-American (not quite anti-American) and the usual nationalist slants to someone else.

Death Loli Survey

By “loli” I mean it in whichever broadest way I could have used it in a serious manner.

The strange thought came after viewing Infinite Stratos 8. Actually, it started a few weeks ago when someone made an off-comment about the lack of DFC in the series, to the extent that “wait, is it just China?” China’s representative herself is not exactly flat; probably just closer to normal for a high school student. Soon enough we were fixed of this with the appearance of France and Germany. One is magically flat, the other flat by archetype. And that is the archetype I want to talk about today: the killing machine loli.

There had been a fair number of the loli-born-of-science over the years. I think the all-time iconic stoic deadpan tsurupettan still is Ruri Hoshino, in her original, pre-teen tsukkomi self. Granted, she was not particularly violent, but when combined with some super computers in battleships, the results don’t leave much to your imagination. Evangelion’s Rei is another all-time favorite, so I won’t go into how she’s any different.

German-chan, or Laura, has a backstory that is slightly spoiler, although I don’t think it matters; so bear with me. I think she stands more in line with Gundam00’s stoics better, who inherits from their generational Zeon experiments, starting from the original ethereal space beauty, Lalah Sune.  To cut to the chase, I think Zeonism is pretty much drawn from Nazism, if only in some vague sense. German-chan would fit right at home.

On the other hand, I have a hard time coming up with an American death loli. In fact the only loli of any sort that I could think of is the all-American fujoshi, Susie Hopkins. And even so, she’s not exactly loli by definition. So where are they?

I mean Italy has a whole line of deadly lolis (and probably bonus point to Russia and maybe even..Tunisia? Netherlands?). Where are the French, Spanish or English ones? Well, they’re probably out there, just none coming to mind right now. I’m not well-versed in this subject matter, so it’s an arduous task for me. Can you help?

Also I wonder if this has any connection with Japan’s national stereotypes of foreign nationalities. It probably does, but it’s a subject for another day.