Hellping

Novel Review – Infinite Stratos

Series: Infinite Str/a/tos

IS

Series review by 恋愛_ing

Genre: Romance, Comedy., mecha, harem, school life, sci-fi

(Extended) Background rambling

Starting this review, I’m already fickle over which cover I should use, the old or the new one…

And then I decided, let’s go the anime route.

One reason why I don’t like to review my own series is because I find myself to be biased. Well, typically, if you like something, you will want to boast about it and tell others about it. For me, ever since the hoorah over SAO, I thought I might as well let others do the talking while I focus on translating.

Since this is a review however, it is a recommendation from me (though this is kinda mitigated by the fact that the readers get to vote for this. It is not a coincidence that the Kamachi.exe works always get top votes when it comes to them)

Well, since these are projects Kira never got around to complete, that’s why I’m ‘cleaning the mess’. Blame Kira for everything (and I suspect that I might end up doing another one of his series soon)

In this case, it was the part when he did Volume 4, Chapter 4, and I had to do the rest. I do unabashedly admit that I enjoyed the story where Charl and Laura wore cat pajamas, and that it’s my favorite part of the story. Come on, admit it, all of us were going HHHNNNNNGGGG!!

Cat

Translating Infinite Stratos was a fun ride. I had a hand on my face most of the time, which gave rise to me being known as the facepalm guy. If you didn’t know me, you’ll be thinking that I’m imitating John Cena.

That was also the time when I went Chuu2 in my progress reporting, going about writing things like ‘700% Synchronisation, EX Burst, Calm Mind’ and so on. Yep, that was a fun ride going crazy because my rampancy was onset. And now I’m broken. Ha ha ha.

Now, many of you were begging for me to get back to working on this series, but after all the highs that I went through in 2011, I really don’t think I can get back to working on this series, especially when I’m picky with the series I take nowadays, stories that are different from the typical meta.

Then again, if it’s the now eccentric me, I probably would have a dartboard to choose a random series to translate. Hooray for the Mad Hatter.

Synopsis

Far into the future,..

…Sighs, where do I begin?

Anyway, our male lead, Orimura Ichika, due to some peculiar circumstances, ended up being the only male capable of piloting a future generational mecha called ‘Infinite Stratos’, when obviously, only females are capable of doing so till this point (and this is where I wonder what happens if it’s a Hideyoshi)

He gets the state-of-the-art prototype 4th Generation Infinite Stratos called Byaku-Shiki (if copyright laws were any more stringent in Japan, Gintama would have been axed a long time back), reunites with his childhood friend(s), and gains a few more haremettes as they duke it out for the One Summer Bowl (May Hisaishi-san please compose a theme for this?)

Simple put, this story focuses more on PLOTs than on plots. When googling Infinite Stratos, the first suggestion has ‘fanservice’ included, and there are no further comments from me regarding this.

Character

Sighs, do I have to do this for a harem again…?

Orimura Ichika

Newton’s law of universal gravitation states that any two bodies in the universe attract each other with a force that is directly proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them.

The densest thing known to man is a Neutron star.

I think Ichika is on that level.

How else do you explain why the girls gravitate to him?

In a sense, both signify the end of the world anyway.

Shinonono Houki (I nearly typed it as Shinonome Yuuko. 「I’m sorry」)

If anyone believes that the author is going to let any other girl win the Ichika bowl, please leave the bunker.

Some called her the Houki Pouki, if I remember correctly.

She’s supposed to be a combination of a Tsundere and a Yamato Nadeshiko, but at this point, she’s more of a Nadeshiko Japan. Also a test to defy the ‘childhood friend never wins’ cliche.

Huang Lingyin (or Rin)

No bumps on the barren road,

No lumps on the barren chest (splatters).

Well, that’s her defining trait. It’s hard to be noticeable when you’re a second childhood friend, second in contesting Ichika, and…to make this controversially political, a Chinese in a fiction, while China and Japan are butting heads with each other. (Chances of China winning the One Summer Bowl? Almost zero). The moment you have girls of different nationalities fighting over one poor Japanese guy, you know this is going to be politically controversial.

The only triumphant Chinese hero I actually see in anime is the Chinese Electric Batman, but she’s not that, so nope.

Cecilia Alcott

Clearly meant as a foil to Rin (in oh so many ways), but well, her mannerism is a stereotypical version of an English noblewoman…there should be a joke about bland British cooking (BBC) somewhere in her description.

I like the desuwa she ends her dialogue with, because it makes her so ostentiously uppity, and she doesn’t have a clue about it. Well, I enjoy Schanfreude after all.

I would say though that the drills are nice. Now, can someone please drill into her head how cooking is supposed to be like…?

Charlotte (Charles) Dunois

The basstard(ess) of Dunois. And meanwhile, Jeanne D’Arc became a 15cm ruler.

Easily the most popular amongst the fans. Proof is that she has a spinoff manga devoted just for her. Go google it ;P

She’s a Char in a Lotte, but she’s not Korean. Well, whatever. I suppose part of her popularity is because she’s(initially) not one to immediately beat up Ichika whenever any harem antic happens.

The French girl crossdressed as a boy might be a shout out to Le Chevalier D’Eon, but given the references tend to be more otaku oriented, I’m not sure if this was deliberate.

Laure Bodewig

The military brat who turns out to be a fish out of water.

And a loli to boot. (nobody cares about Shuntarou Sako’s views on this matter, btw)

Back then, I would say that she was my favorite (to tease) in the series, but now that I’m older, I have different tastes.

Though I would say she melted faster than the ring did in Orodruin, though in this case, the lava was poured onto her rather than her dropping in. Way to go, author.

And then she and Charl teamed up to be a pain in the neko.

Which reminds me that the French and the German have quite a love-hate relationship, now that I look at my history stuff. Yeah, found that out while doing my research into the Middle Ages setting to get a feel for some stuff. How I got to the war history, I have no idea.

Personal Thoughts

If I have to be honest, I think my own fanfiction volume 8 was better than what came out.

And I came up with that elaborate ruse to mess with everyone for April Fools 2013.

If you forgot what it was about, or have not read it, please critique:

http://forums.animesuki.com/showpost.php?p=4777904&postcount=44997

Snark intended, I’ll say that this innocent me back then just wandered into this section after a mecha fan asked me to do this. Imagine her disappointment when she saw what developed as a result.

As for the devastation we (all the contributors) caused by translating this series:

Regret

To summarize the taste I got from this series, it’s a whole lot of popcorn. As for whether it’s sweet or salty, I’ll just let you guys figure and duke it out over which is better.

As for why the series taste like popcorn, it’s because I always have a bite whenever Ichika is about to get walloped in some fashion. Think of it as a drinking game in a sense, but it’s enjoyable more than cringeworthy.

Don’t expect me to get back to this series. Not now, not ever.

3 comments

  1. Not gonna lie, I was shocked when I realized this was Teh Ping. I remember way back when you were somehow involved with every series I read and Idk I guess I thought you were a generic faceless business man?

    10/10 Agree’d with most of this especially the Ichika part, When the anime adaptation somehow manages to make the protagonist smarter while still being the biggest idiot that ever was, theres probably an issue.

    Personally the biggest problem with IS is that there was just no progress in any direction whatsoever in the 7 volumes I read.
    Ichika never actually won a fight. Other than introducing a cliche backstory for his family there was no plot. And then the girls never really got any closer to him after they fell in love with him.

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