IS: Infinite Stratos (Season One) is a ★★★★☆ and the IS: Infinite Stratos Encore (OVA) is a ★★★★☆︱What if the Girls in Tenchi’s Harem Had Mech-Armor?

We bought this series around the same time as the “Divergence Eve” collection (see Divergence Eve review, for more information), and despite my lack of expectations for this series, it ended up being a brief respite from a few hard things in the real-world, that were pummeling me at the time. The production is a surprisingly brisk and a refreshing take on the harem genre. Before watching this series, I thought this sub-category had outstayed its welcome in the industry and had done everything that it could possibly do, in the two decades that it was prevalent (1990 to 2010); but, alas, I underestimated the power of Japan’s ardor for mechanized, power armor!

⚠️ This review will have spoilers ⚠️

—Story/Characters

Synopsis: An exoskeleton weapon engineered by Japan, Infinite Stratos (IS) can be piloted only by women. Its power and combat prowess are so immense that an international treaty has been signed banning its use as a military asset. When it is discovered that 15-year-old Ichika Orimura is the only male capable of steering an IS, he is forcibly enrolled in the Infinite Stratos Academy: an all-female boarding school, the students of which graduate to become IS pilots. At this training school, Ichika is reunited with two of his childhood friends, Hōki Shinonono and Língyīn Huáng, and befriends Cecilia Alcott, an IS representative from the United Kingdom. Guided by the legendary pilot Chifuyu Orimura—their strict homeroom teacher and Ichika’s older sister—Ichika and the girls will need to use everything at their disposal to defend themselves and their academy against the dangers that will arise during the course of their thrilling school life.

Before watching this series, I thought to myself “is this series just going to have a cast full of tired bishōjo archetypes?” Nope! Every character is quirky and interesting, in their own way, and one of the most interesting parts of the plot is actually the protagonist! Typically harem protagonists are meek-milled, too kind-hearted, or just wants to sleep with ALL of the women vying for his attention—this isn’t the case with Ichika. The fact of the matter is, he’s just plain stupid. And it’s really funny, a lot of the humor is played off of him being earnest, but implausibly dense!

From all of the harem series that I’ve seen, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a character that was written to be purposely slow-witted! Ichika’s seiyū, Kōki Uchiyama, is so good at making his empty-headedness, both, hilarious and endearing! One of my favorite scenes in the series, is in either the last episode or the second to last episode, while Ichika is in a trippy, dream realm. Characters are usually scared and stolid in this situation, but Ichika lets out the most stupid-sounding “huh” and I nearly cried from laughter! Such a priceless character—move over, Kazuma Satō (“Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku o!”), Ichika’s performance in the first season of Infinite Stratos is a feat of comedic genius!

With that aside, all the girls are incredibly likable and have an extra layer of dimension to their personalities: the “childhood friend” is more than another Akari Kamigishi (“To Heart”), the “Chinese childhood friend” is more than another Meiling Li (“Cardcaptor Sakura”), the “※mysterious, exchange student” is more than another Karen Kujō (“Kiniro Mosaic”), the “ojō-sama” is more than another Saki Tenjōin (“To LOVEる”), the “militaristic kūdere” is more than another MISAKA 10032 (“Toaru Majutsu no Index”), etc! Each girl have a few layers, that get peeled back, upon their reveal. Character traits that seem like they would jump out of the panels of a Tenchi Muyō, often are later blindsided by one of the girl’s traits, that has nothing to do with their object of affection!

※Madoka☆Magica also subverted the “mysterious, exchange student” archetype. Weirdly enough, they both aired in 2011!

There is an amount of intrigue: both with the past of Ichika’s hard-ass, older sister… as well as Hōki’s eccentric, genius scientist of an onee-san! The power gauges of their mechanized exoskeletons are brought into a climactic peak, in the series, when the question is broached: could these machines with infinite capabilities, also be utilized to destabilize the world? I also found it it interesting that the story incorporated students of all different nationalities, to represent the fact that only a certain amount of machines are allotted to each country! The stereotype of male mecha pilots is also subverted, in a futuristic setting where only females can pilot the exoskeletons! I grew up with a lot of Yoshiyuki Tomino’s shows and the earlier ones echo the sentiment that women are unable to properly pilot a Gundam (see the original “Kidō Senshi Gundam” for examples of this); so, seeing that trope flipped on its head was a breath of fresh air! Ichika is essentially in a “※Vandread”-like situation, with all of his potential girlfriends!

※In the world of “Vandread,” men and women are completely segregated, so the protagonist is in a blunder, when he is then trapped onboard a ship full of all females!

The character writing is comparable to Kimetsu no Yaiba, none of the cast has subdued psychological tics or deep inflictions that they’re struggling with; all of them are just well-established characters, who know who they are and what they want. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that! It’s not for everyone, but I find the simplicity to be attractive; especially, as someone who has a parabolic way of thinking and often gets trapped in their own thoughts! The characters are all charming and funny, there are cool mecha-suits… sometimes, something like that (coupled with a large stroke of craftsmanship), is all I need.

Now for the coverage of the OVA, “Koi ni Kogareru Rokujūsō”! This is the summer episode; no, not the beach-special with every girl in a bikini! No, no, no! This one is actually a wholesome one, where Hōki and Ichika go to study at Cecilia’s house, during their summer vacation in an intense amount of sweltering heat—angry sparks are flying between the two girls and Ichika is, of course, completely oblivious to it. The episode ends with Hōki and Ichika having a romantic reminiscence, during a fireworks festival. Really basic, but the characters were still wonderful, and the ending was genuinely heart-warming!

Only the girls in Infinite Stratos would have CHRISTMAS-themed swimwear!

—Technical

Luna’s Favorite Works by Each Respective Creator = ✅

Yasuhito Kikuchi (director, storyboard), notable works:

  • Busō Shinki
  • Comet Lucifer
  • El Hazard: The Alternative World
  • Kachō-Ōji (“Black Heaven”) ✅
  • Kage (OVA)
  • Kurogane Communication 
  • Macross Frontier (eps 1 and 2) ✅
  • Saint Seiya ✅
  • Tensei shitara Slime Datta Ken (“That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime”)

Commentary: Amazing director—the visual iconography in Kachō-Ōji, Macross Frontier, and Saint Seiya were all lush and visually appealing! I have heard splendid things about Kurogane Connection, too! Despite this anime being a harem (with an academic setting), Mr. Kikuchi was able to make every scene memorable, exciting, and equally as captivating as some of his other series! Exceptional director, without him and some of the other staff, I’m sure this series wouldn’t have been as impactful!

I must add that this series had THREE sound directors working on it: Tōru Kanegae, Masafumi Mima, and Toshihiko Nakajima. As you could have guessed, the sound effect were very crisp and clean, they were often awesome aides during the comedic moments, as well as realistic-sounding audio work, during the mecha-suit battles!

Tomoyasu Kurashima (storyboard, character design), notable works:

  • Iriya no Sora, UFO no Natsu (“Sky of Iriya, Summer of UFO”)
  • Kakyūsei 2: Hitomi no Naka no Shōjo-tachi
  • Mizuiro (2003)

Commentary: Mr. Kurashima is mostly known for doing designs for visual novel adaptations, but I really appreciated his sense of style in this series! The character appearances fit really with the flow of the animation! Wonderful job; he needs more work!

Takeshi Takakura (mechanical design), notable works:

  • .hack//Quantum
  • Abenobashi Mahō☆Shōtengai ✅
  • Appleseed: Ex Machina
  • Aquarion Evol
  • Astro Boy (2003) ✅
  • Bubuki Buranki (“BBK/BRNK”)
  • Captain Earth ✅
  • ※Chōjikū Robo Meguru
  • eX-Driver
  • Galaxy Angel ✅
  • Geneshaft
  • Heat Guy J 
  • Macross Frontier ✅
  • Nejimaki Seirei Senki: Tenkyō no Alderamin (“Alderamin on the Sky”) ✅
  • Neppū Kairiku Bushi Road (“Burning Wind Ocean Earth Samurai Lord”)
  • Nihon Animator Mihonichi (“Japan Animator Expo,” ep 35) ✅
  • Norn9
  • Planetes ✅
  • Samurai Gun ✅
  • Sōsei no Aquarion ✅
  • Tactical Roar 

※Someone please acquire this OVA and translate it. A Brain’s Base animation, with Marina Inōe and Kana Asumi in the voicing roles, and Keiji Gotō (the director of “Kiddy Grade”)! Not to mention that Shōji Yonemura (a legendary script writer—penned the screenplays for HeartCatch PreCure and the 2011 version of Hunter x Hunter)! We need this as much as we need ufotable’s 東方Project anime!

Commentary: Mr. Takakura is prolific mechanical designer. For a long time, I have really liked the visual aesthetic of a human wearing a suit of armor, rather than actually “piloting” it. Examples of this are things like “Rideback” and “Busō Shinki,” even series like “KanColle” convey elements of a human merged with a machine! I especially loved his mechanical designs in “Macross Frontier” and “Planetes”!

Kōki Uchiyama as Ichika Orimura, notable roles: 

  • Seiya Kanie, Amagi Brilliant Park ✅
  • Kagura Demuri, Aquarion Evol
  • Takumi Harada, Battery
  • Tōmura Shigaraki, Boku no Hero Academia ✅
  • Dio Weinberg Junyō, Buddy Complex ✅
  • Kimimaro Yoga, C: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control
  • Yū Otosaka, Charlotte ✅
  • Akira Fudō, Devilman: Crybaby ✅
  • Shin, Evil or Live
  • Shirō Kotomine (“The Master of Red Assassin”), Fate/Aprocrypha ✅
  • Ikuya Kirishima, Free! ✅
  • Momo Sakaki, Fukumenkei Noise (“Anonymous Noise”)
  • Kei Tsukishima, Haikyū!! ✅
  • Izumi Miyamura, Horimiya
  • Gin, Hotarubi no Mori e ✅
  • Meruem, Hunter x Hunter (2011) ✅
  • Takashi Andō, Ikebukuro West Gate Park
  • Ulgar Zweig, Kanata no Astra (“Astra Lost in Space”) ✅
  • Rui, Kimetsu no Yaiba ✅
  • Yūta Asaba, Kimi to Boku.
  • Takumi Sakagami, Kokoro ga Sakebitagatterunda. (“The Anthem of the Heart”) ✅
  • Messer Ihlefeld, Macross Delta ✅
  • Ruth, Mahōtsukai no Yome (“The Ancient Magus’ Bride”) ✅
  • Shinobu Hiryuin, Metal Fight Beyblade Zero G
  • Rean Schwarzer, Minna Atsumare! Falcom Gakuen
  • Banagher Links, Kidō Senshi Gundam Unicorn ✅
  • Zakuro Oshigiri, Nakanohito Genome [Jikkyōchū] (“The Ones Within”)
  • Tsuyoshi Naoe, Nijiro Days
  • Raku Ichijō, Nisekoi ✅
  • Makoto Tsukimoto, Ping Pong the Animation ✅
  • Miyuki Sagara, RDG: Red Data Girl
  • Daisuke Dōjima, Revisions
  • Goldov Auora, Rokka no Yūsha ✅
  • Rin Sagami, RS Keikaku: Rebirth Storage
  • Tōi Kuji, Sarazanmai
  • Natsuno Yūki, Shiki ✅
  • Beyazit Ulema, Shōkoku no Altair ✅
  • Aion, Show By Rock!! ✅
  • Soul Eater Evans, Soul Eater ✅
  • Natsuki Usami, Tsuritama
  • Masahiro Adachi, WWW.Working!!
  • Kaito Tenjō, Yū-Gi-Ō!
  • Yuri Plisetsky (“Yurio”), Yuri!!! on Ice ✅
  • Yoshino Takigawa, Zetsuen no Tempest ✅

Commentary: Mr. Uchiyama is one of my favorite voice actors, of all time! His voice is so versatile, depending on which character he plays, he can be a harebrained protagonist one second and a psychotic killer the next! His role as Ichika was very funny, it brings to mind his role as Seiya Kanie (“Amagi Brilliant Park”). Mr. Uchiyama makes Ichika’s brainlessness come across as earnest, but also cues the audience in on how truly thoughtless the character is! It’s great, the performance made me burst out laughing a few times! 

Yōko Hikasa as Hōki Shinonono, notable roles: 

  • Hana Suguruno, 7 Seeds
  • Hibiki Tenshō, Aikatsu Friends!: Kagayaki no Jewel
  • Nanako Saeki, Aku no Hana ✅
  • Tio Clarce, Arifureta Shokugyō de Sekai Saikyō (“Arifureta: From Commonplace to World’s Strongest”)
  • Tomoe Udagawa, BanG Dream ✅
  • Farnese de Vandimion, Berserk ✅
  • Fighter, Bikini Warriors
  • Erica Blandelli, Campione!: Matsurowanu Kamigami to Kamigoroshi no Maō ✅
  • Kiyono Amahara, Chu-Bra!!
  • Ayano Kōsaka, Code Geass: Akito the Exiled ✅
  • Sakura Sakurakōji, Code:Breaker
  • Kyōko Kirigiri, Danganronpa ✅
  • Sakie Satō, Demi-chan wa Kataritai (“Interviews With Monster Girls”) ✅
  • Brioche d’Arquien, Dog Days
  • Hina Tachibana, Domestic no Kanojo
  • Freya, Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darō ka (“Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?”) ✅
  • Ao Gennai, Frame Arms Girl
  • Kei Kugimiya, Ginga Kikōtai Majestic Prince
  • Aya Akabane, Gokujo
  • Miu Osawa, Hagure Yūsha no Aesthetica
  • Kurumi, Hal
  • Emi Yusa, Hataraku Maō-sama! (“The Devil is a Part-Timer!”) ✅
  • Rias Gremory, High School DxD
  • Junko Hattori, Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaō
  • Inōnoshishi (“Warrior of the Boar”), Jūni Taisen (“Zodiac War”) ✅
  • Mio Akiyama, K-On! ✅
  • Kyōko Sonan, Kenzen Robo Daimidaler ✅
  • Seraphim, Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? ✅
  • Diana Cavendish, Little Witch Academia ✅
  • Saki Takamiya, Long Riders!
  • Emiru Hazaki, M3: Sono Kuroki Hagane (“M3: Mortal Metal Memories”)
  • Sanae Mokuō (“Ruler”), Mahō Shōjo Ikusei Keikaku (“Magical Girl Raising Project”) ✅
  • Iris, Mahō Shōjo Lyrical Nanoha: Reflection ✅
  • Angelina Kudō Shields, Mahōka Kōkō no Rettōsei ✅
  • Anne, Manaria Friends ✅
  • Folna, Merc Storia: Mukiryoku no Shōnen to Bin no Naka no Shōjo
  • Yua Nakabeni, Miru Tights
  • Lafter Frankland, Kidō Senshi Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans ✅
  • Lucifer, Monster Strike
  • Minami Kawashima, Moshidora
  • Kō Yagami, New Game! ✅
  • Stephanie Dola, No Game No Life ✅
  • Jeanne Kaguya d’Arc, Nobunaga the Fool ✅
  • Ruri Fujika, Piace: Watashi no Italian
  • Saitō, Pokémon (2019) ✅
  • Seiten, Queen’s Blade: Grimoire ✅
  • Saki Nagatsuki, Rō-Kyū-Bu! ✅
  • Nashetania Loei Piena Augustra, Rokka no Yūsha ✅
  • Maya Kumashiro, Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin (“Occult Academy”)
  • Hana Katsuragi, Seikon no Qwaser
  • Shino Amakusa, Seitokai Yakuindomo
  • Mitsuhide Akechi, Sengoku Collection ✅
  • Maria Cadenzavna Eve, Senki Zesshō Symphogear ✅
  • Ryōbi, Senran Kagura
  • Mammon, Sin: Nanatsu no Taizai (“Seven Mortal Sins”) ✅
  • Hiyori Kazane, Sora no Otoshimon (“Heaven’s Lost Property”) ✅
  • Pitohui, Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online
  • Mira Yamana, Trinity Seven
  • Satan, Umineko no Naku Koro ni ✅
  • Izumi Takanashi, Working!! ✅
  • Sayuri Muranushi, WWW.Working!!
  • Kaede Saitō, Yama no Susume ✅

Commentary: Yōko Hikasa is the dark night to Ai Kayano’s impeccable lightness. While the foil typically plays nothing but perfect, pure characters… Ms. Hikasa plays more than a handful of evil characters, demons, and even Satan herself! Her characters are typically more on the mature or sultry side, but despite this, Yōko Hikasa can still pull off a hell of a straightforward, childhood friend character! Like Akane Tenjō from Ranma ½, Hōki packs a mean punch, but at the end of the day is kind-hearted, hard-working, and dignified!

Kana Hanazawa as Charlotte Dunois, notable roles: 

  • Tōko Amano, “Bungaku Shōjo”
  • Sakuya, .hack//Quantum
  • Hinata Kawamoto, 3-Gatsu no Lion ✅
  • Ichika Nakano, 5-tōbun no Hanayome
  • Kanade Tachibana, Angel Beats! ✅
  • Zessica Wong, Aquarion Evol
  • Aoi Futaba, Asobi ni Ikuyo! ✅
  • Ichiko Sakura, Binbōgami ga! ✅
  • Mato Kuroi (“Black★Rock Shooter”), Black★Rock Shooter ✅
  • Yuki, Cencoroll ✅
  • Aoi Fukasaka, Coppelion
  • Honey Kisaragi, Cutie Honey Universe ✅
  • Roka Shibasaki, D-Frag!
  • Chiaki Nanami, Danganronpa 3 ✅
  • Suō Pavlichenko, Darker than Black: Ryūsei no Gemini
  • Shiro, Deadman Wonderland ✅
  • Anri Sonohara, Durarara!! ✅
  • Nessa, Fractale
  • Rana Linchen, Freezing
  • Raphiel Shiraha Ainsworth, Gabriel DropOut ✅
  • Kuzuha Dōmoto, Hagure Yūsha no Aesthetica
  • Satō Matsuzaka, Happy Sugar Life ✅
  • Sekkekkyū AE3803, Hataraku Saibō 
  • Charlotte Dunois, IS: Infinite Stratos ✅
  • Akane Sakurada, Jōkamachi no Dandelion ✅
  • Ezekiel, Junketsu no Maria
  • Zange, Kannagi
  • Miyu, Kanojo to Kanojo no Neko: Everything Flows
  • Kobato Hanato, Kobato. ✅
  • Misaki Takasaki, Koi to Uso
  • Yuriko Mifune, Kotōra-san ✅
  • Tsukimi Kurashita, Kuragehime ✅
  • Vanabelle, Kūtei Dragons
  • Katrielle Layton, Layton Mystery Tanteisha: Katri no Nazotoki File
  • Mayumi Saegusa, Mahōka Kōkō no Rettōsei  ✅
  • Mari Kozakura, Mekakucity Actors
  • Nadeko Sengoku, Monogatari (series) ✅
  • Chiaki Kurihara, Mōretsu Pirates
  • Shiika Anmoto, Mushi-Uta ✅
  • Manaka Mukaido, Nagi no Asu kara ✅
  • Kosaki Onodera, Nisekoi ✅
  • Minori Nakazawa, Nōrin ✅
  • Naho Takamiya, Orange
  • Ruri Gokō, Ore no Imōto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai
  • Susukihotaru, Otome Yōkai Zakuro ✅
  • Sharon Rainsworth, Pandora Hearts
  • Marie, Persona 4
  • Potemayo, Potemayo ✅
  • Akane Tsunemori, Psycho-Pass ✅
  • Kagari, Rewrite ✅
  • Tomoka Minato, Rō-Kyū-Bu! ✅
  • Kuro Matsumi, Saki Achiga-hen: Episode of Side-A
  • Misora Haruki, Sakurada Reset
  • Kagami Yagami, Sasami-san@Ganbaranai ✅
  • Natalia Vasylchenko, Sekai Seifuku: Bōryaku no Zvezda ✅
  • Kusano, Sekirei
  • Ieyasu Tokugawa, Sengoku Collection
  • Nanako Yukishiro, Senryū Shōjo
  • Maria Akizuki, Shinsekai yori ✅
  • Yūka Kobayakawa, Shōjo-tachi wa Kōya wo Mezasu
  • Yuki Shōmetsu Toshi
  • Sora Kajiwara, Sketchbook: Full Color’s
  • Shirase Kobuchizawa, Sora yori mo Tōi Basho
  • Mayuri Shiina, Steins;Gate ✅
  • Marimo Bandō, Teekyū ✅
  • Mikan Yūki, TO LOVEる ✅
  • Natsume Tsuchimikado, Tokyo Ravens
  • Rumi Yokoi, Tonari no Seki-kun
  • Yuki Minagawa, Tsurezure Children
  • Momo Hanasaki, Uchi Tama?! Uchi no Tama Shirimasen ka?
  • Yū Naruse, Watashi ga Motenai no wa Dou Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui! ✅
  • Kurokami no Otome, Yoru wa Mijikashi Arukeyo Otome ✅
  • Sonoko Nogi, Yūki Yūna wa Yūsha de Aru ✅
  • Ryōko Kaminagi, Zegapain
  • Konoha Amagi, Zetman ✅
  • Aika Fuwa, Zetsuen no Tempest ✅
  • Syrup, Zettai Bōei Leviathan

Commentary: Ms Hanazawa voices a character that disguises herself as a boy, at first, but then… when her true identity is revealed, she’s as sweet as a pea! Charlotte is smart, dexterous, and naturally talented! She also likes to tease the air-headed, Ichika, and constantly tries to trick him into spending time alone with her! One of Ms. Hanazawa’s greatest roles; Charlotte Dunois is a really fun character to watch!

Yukana as Cecilia Alcott, notable roles: 

  • Yuri Tanima, Ai Tenshi Densetsu Wedding Peach
  • Mina Nakanotani, Air Master ✅
  • Ai Nanasaki, Amagami SS
  • Mayumi Kino, Ao no 6-gō (“Blue Submarine No. 6”) ✅
  • Kongō, Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio: Ars Nova ✅
  • Azusa Noyami, Azuki-chan
  • Aki Hino, Bakegyamon
  • Rinslet Walker, Black Cat (TV)
  • Meiling Li, Cardcaptor Sakura ✅
  • Kotoko, Chobits ✅
  • Chocolat Aikawa, Chocolat no Mahō
  • C2 (“C.C.”), Code Geass ✅
  • Eriko Nanao, Dragon Crisis
  • Teletha Testarossa, Full Metal Panic! ✅
  • Honoka Yukishiro, Futari wa PreCure ✅
  • Kanako Ōno, Genshiken ✅
  • Tama, Gugure! Kokkuri-san ✅
  • Big Sister, Halo Legends
  • Fuyumi Irisu, Hyōka ✅
  • Kanna, InuYasha ✅
  • Reinforce II, Mahō Shōjo Lyrical Nanoha A’s ✅
  • Mashiro Blan de Windbloom, Mai-Otome
  • Four Murasume, Kidō Senshi Zeta Gundam: A New Translation ✅
  • Mirai Ozora, Moldiver
  • Mika, Otogi Story Tenshi no Shippo
  • Amane, Phantom of the Kill: Zero kara no Hangyaku
  • Shia, Pita Ten
  • Selma Scheele, Power Dolls
  • Mica Minzuki, Rakushō! Hyper Doll
  • Gemini Paradox and Integra, Saint Seiya Omega ✅
  • Chinori, Sci-Fi Harry ✅
  • Kazehana, Sekirei
  • Mirai Kaname, Shin Megami Tensei Devil Children
  • Takane Shishidō, Sora wo Kakeru Shōjo
  • Tear Grants, Tales of the Abyss ✅
  • Natsumi Hayamiya, Tetsuwan Birdy
  • Felicia, Vampire Hunter
  • Kūgen Tenko, Wagaya no Oinari-sama.
  • Yuzuriha Nekoi, X/1999 ✅

Commentary: Yukana is most famous for voicing C.C. in Code Geass, and her roles as Cecilia is just as charming! I usually am not the biggest fan of the ojō-sama (“rich girl”) type, but Infinite Stratos breaks the mold! A character that starts out as a posturing noble woman, ends up being a brash seductress, who can’t hold in her emotions! Yukana did an excellent job on the character!

Asami Shimoda as Língyīn Huáng, notable roles: 

  • Yūki Kagami, Asa made Jugyō Chu!
  • Ai Shizukuishi, Buddy Go!
  • Saya Mihashira, Copihan
  • Yūta Sasaki, Cuticle Tantei Inaba
  • Chika Koizumi, Kyou no Go no Ni
  • Ginbei Haruomi Sawatari, Oniichan dakedo Ai sae Areba Kankeinai yo ne! (“As Long as There’s Love, It Doesn’t Matter If He Is My Brother, Right?”)
  • Ameri Kawai, Tayutama: Kiss on My Deity
  • Ami and Mami Futami, The iDOLM@STER ✅
  • Mizuki Henmi, Wasurenagumo

Commentary: Ms. Shimoda needs more roles! I absolutely adored her as the twins in iDOLM@STER, and her characterization of Língyīn is just as endearing! Wonderful job with the character, an immensely underrated seiyū!

Marina Inōe as Laura Bodewig, notable roles:

  • Kyōko Kōda, 3-Gatsu no Lion ✅
  • Tsukasa Kiryu, Akaneiro ni Somaru Saka
  • Chloe Morisu, Akanesasu Shōjo
  • Valt Aoi, Beyblade Burst
  • Momo Yaoyorozu, Boku no Hero Academia ✅
  • Yozora Mikazuki, Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai (“I Don’t Have Many Friends”)
  • Narvi Stryze, Break Blade
  • Tsubasa, Busō Shinki Moon Angel
  • Ibuki, Chaos Dragon: Sekiryū Seneki
  • Meguru, Chōjikū Robo Meguru
  • Kakeru Todoroki, Chōsoku Henkei Gyrozetter
  • Cossette d’Auvergne, Cossette no Shōzō ✅
  • Ami Kawamura, Danbell Senki
  • Nana, Darling in the FranXX ✅
  • Tōka Yatogami, Date A Live ✅
  • Tagiru Akashi, Digimon Fusion
  • Chiffon Fairchild, Freezing
  • Mutsuki Uehara, Gakuen Utopia Manabi Straight!
  • Mina Tsukuda, Getsumen To Heiki Mina
  • Asaemon Ikeda, Gintama
  • Iba Himuro, Gokujō!! Mecha Mote Iinchō
  • Haruka Nanase, Hagure Yūsha no Aesthetica 
  • Rei Miyamoto, High School of the Dead ✅
  • Kirihime Natsuno, Inu to Hasami wa Tsukaiyō (“Dog & Scissors”)
  • Natsuru Senō, Kämpfer
  • Monaka Noguchi, Kite Liberator
  • Inaho Enoki, Kyochū Rettō
  • Sakura Mamiya, Kyōkai no Rinne (TV)
  • Mio Tsuzuki, Loups=Garous
  • Matsurika Shinōji, Maria†Holic ✅
  • Kana Minami, Minami-ke
  • Sodachi Oikura, Monogatari series ✅
  • Iroha Tsuchiura, Onii-chan no Koto nanka Zenzen Suki ja Nai n da kara ne!! (“Because I Don’t Like My Big Brother At All!!”)
  • Makina Sakamaki, Plastic Nee-san ✅
  • Yūta Iridatsu, Punch Line
  • Rio Rollins Tachibana, Rio: Rainbow Gate!
  • Chiri Kitsu, Sayonara Zetsubō Sensei ✅
  • Rebecca Randall, Seikoku no Dragonar (“Dragonar Academy”)
  • Tsukiumi, Sekirei
  • Alicia Melchiott, Senjō no Valkyria (“Valkyria Chronicles”)
  • Pheles, Shakugan no Shana
  • Armin Arlert, Shingeki no Kyōjin ✅
  • Kyōko Mogami, Skip Beat! ✅
  • Nao Midorikawa (“Cure March”), Smile PreCure ✅
  • Rakuta Koga, Suteki Tantei Labyrinth (“Fantastic Detective Labyrinth”)
  • Yōko Littner, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann ✅
  • Iku Kasahara, Toshokan Sensō ✅
  • Jessica Ushiromiya, Umineko no Naku Koro ni ✅
  • Yumiko Miura, Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru. (“My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU”) ✅
  • Shigeru Kanmuri, Yakitate!! Japan

Commentary: Ms. Inōe’s characters are typically tough girls with a heart of gold, and that’s exactly what Laura in Infinite Stratos is; though, unlike many of her other rough tomboys (Jessica in “Umineko no Naku Koro ni” for example), Laura is more on the kūdere side! Ms. Inōe was great at illustrating Laura’s internal struggles and making the character have dual sides of her personality! She’s my best girl in the series, though choosing isn’t easy, since the whole cast is extremely likable!

Megumi Toyoguchi as Chifuyu Orimura, notable roles:

  • Mimiru, .hack//SIGN ✅
  • Layla Ashley, Avenger ✅
  • Meg, Bakuretsu Tenshi (“Burst Angel”)
  • Kirino Chiba, Bamboo Blade
  • Revy, Black Lagoon ✅
  • Hyakurin, Blade of the Immortal
  • Rio Kinezono, Burn Up! Scramble
  • Yumi Omura, Chobits
  • Shōko Mataki, Cossette no Shōzō
  • Junko Enoshima, Danganronpa ✅
  • Rubi, DearS
  • Sola-Ui Nuada-Re Sophia-Ri, Fate/Zero
  • Winry Rockbell, Fullmetal Alchemist ✅
  • Sara Ishida, Gunparade Orchestra
  • Tsukasa Nishino, Ichigo 100%
  • Mōyū, Ikkitōsen
  • Fubuki, Kamen no Maid Guy
  • Nora Leoria Floriann, Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai (“The World God Only Knows”) ✅
  • Nene, Kirameki☆Project
  • Klan Klang, Macross Frontier ✅
  • Sei Satō, Maria-sama ga Miteru ✅
  • Yao Sakurakōji, Miami Guns
  • Miriallia Haww, Kidō Senshi Gundam SEED
  • Yukari Takeba, Persona 3
  • Hikari, Pokémon
  • Sylvia van Hossen, Princess Lover!
  • Aria, Seiken no Blacksmith
  • Oda Nobunaga, Sengoku Otome: Momoiro Paradox (“Battle Girls: Time Paradox”)
  • Haruka, Senran Kagura
  • Alti, Simōn
  • Ellen Kurokawa (“Cure Beat”), Suite PreCure♪ ✅
  • Ran Kotobuki, Super GALS
  • Honoka, The Third: Aoi Hitomi no Shōjo
  • Sakurako Kariya, Viper’s Creed

Commentary: Ms. Toyoguchi is typically type-cast as more sultry characters. Chifuyu is no different—she’s the big-breasted homeroom teacher, as well as Ichika’s 24-year-old sister! She is said to be the strongest “IS” pilot to have ever lived, and is as much of a stoic badass, like Solid Snake in the Metal Gear franchise. Ms. Toyoguchi employs a mixture of her Sei Satō (“Maria-sama ga Miteru”) and Ellen Kurokawa (“Suite PreCure♪”) voices, to create a character that is a force to be reckoned with! Great work!

Other notable seiyū talents: Makoto Yasumura (Johnny Beppu in “Aikatsu”), Mai Kadowaki (Illyasviel von Einzbern in “Fate/stay night”), and Yukari Tamura (Suzuha Amane in “Steins;Gate”).

Infinite Stratos isn’t for everyone, but there are those who do really like it, and will buy the figure of their best “waifu” to mount on their shelf. Your level of enjoyment depends on if you’re looking for something serious/deep, or just a carefree gander with cool fight scenes. I would recommend the Japanese dub of the show, because it has an all-star cast, and I fear some of the appeal might get lost in translation. For me, Infinite Stratos was such a pleasurable experience, so much so, that I will rate it a 7/10! Good stuff! Haven’t seen the second season yet—I hope the quality doesn’t decline, like with the second TV series of Rō-Kyū-Bu!

Rankings:

IS: Infinite Stratos (Season One) ★★★★☆ 

IS: Infinite Stratos Encore “Koi ni Kogareru Rokujūsō” (OVA) is a ★★★★☆

Published by eggheadluna

H.E. Rodgers is the author of the Juniper's Tree series, also known as the 真柏Project. MyAnimeList: https://myanimelist.net/profile/Egghe... Twitter: https://twitter.com/EggheadLuna #真柏Project #JunipersTree

One thought on “IS: Infinite Stratos (Season One) is a ★★★★☆ and the IS: Infinite Stratos Encore (OVA) is a ★★★★☆︱What if the Girls in Tenchi’s Harem Had Mech-Armor?

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