Infinite Stratos Encore OVA: A Sextet Yearning for Love
What this is about: Watching all of the anime shows so you don’t have to! For more information about me and my reviews, click here for details on what I am reviewing.
Series Premise: Infinite Stratos is a 12-episode television series that aired between January and March 2011. An all-powerful weapon, known as Infinite Stratos, which can only be piloted by women, has managed to bring an uneasy peace to the world. Ichika is the sole exception, the only male who can pilot an Infinite Stratos, and is shipped off to an academy where he finds himself surrounded by all the other pilots in training…all female. On December 7th, 2011, an extra Original Video Animation subtitled “A Sextet Yearning for Love” was released as an epilogue to the first (and so far only) season.
Click on the thumbnails below to view the picture in full size in a new window:
Spoiler-free Series set-up: During summer break, Charlotte sees her chance to meet up with Ichika, alone, at his home. But soon, Cecilia shows up out of the blue, ruining her plans. And then the rest of the girls show up, vying for Ichika’s attention. They play games, then cook dinner. Later, Houki helps out at a summer festival, and Ichika shows up out of the blue.
My Impressions: This is another one of those “THIS IS WHY WE CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS” shows.
Well, that is probably overstating things. But it definitely falls within that realm of shows that give anime in general a bad name in the eyes of the general public. There’s no reason to get too deeply into the plot, because it all boils down to the basic idea of hapless teenage boy gets surrounded by five different-yet-equally-attractive girls who are champing at the bit to get into his pantalones. It’s all about the hormones, baby.
Of course, that really makes it little different from any of the other brain-withering harem anime shows out there (and, boy, there’s plenty to choose from). No need to be subtle about it, the entire purpose of this category of shows is for sexually frustrated boys to imagine themselves in the position of the main character who gets all the fawning attention of a bevy (or is that a gaggle) of hot girls. Strip that away from this episode…and there’s nothing left. At all.
Well, if there was one positive thing I could say, it is that this is less stinky compared to some of the other harem drek I’ve forced myself to endure (the Asobi ni Iku yo OVA pops immediately to mind). And while the estrogen is thick and heavy in the air, with the exception of a minor nipple slip (while Houki’s alone in the bath) the fan-service was non-existent. But on the other hand, I was bemused to see that all five girls lined up on the couch at Ichika’s house were drawn exactly the same, as in the same faces and expressions, just swap out the hair and clothes (and boobs). I guess the character designs were never really a strong point with Infinite Stratos.
P.S. If you couldn’t tell, I’m not exactly a fan of the entire harem anime genre, especially when it’s the entire point of the show existing (which is probably something like 90% of the harem-related shows out there). Anime producers in Japan, if you don’t want the rest of society to keep looking down on you like the red-headed stepchild of the entertainment world, stop making this sort of crap. (Not that I expect that to change any time soon, considering how narrowcast anime has become towards a very specific audience. Sigh.)
- Preview commercial on Youtube.
- Info resources:
- If you like this, you might also like: Demon King Daimaou or *shudder* Asobi ni Iku yo.
Sampling of Online Reviews:
- “In summation, this was very consistent with what the TV series was – silly, feather-light, eminently predictable and generally fun.” – Lost in America
- “This episode made me laugh and enjoy. It’s kinda like that the OVA is actually really part of the main series itself. Overall, it’s decent and I’ll be looking forward to the next.” – Spark Blog
- “This “Encore” OVA episode quickly reminded me of all their character nuances and just how much I enjoyed this “high-speed” romantic comedy, despite the fact that it’s “just” another harem anime.” – Random Curiosity
- “This is a show where the default battle suit is a one-piece swimsuit. If you’re going to make a one-off special, have a little fun, or at the very least, don’t be so bloody bland. This was probably the most vapid the show’s ever been. Even the beach episode at least had some eye candy and crab-butt jokes to make.” – Tenka Seiha
- “It’s fairly average all around – not developing anything in regards to the plot it forgot to elaborate in season one, nor adding anything further to the more lighthearted story points such as the romance.” – Seventh Style
- “It’s not top fuel hilarity, but the OVA is a pleasant diversion that relies heavily on the characters to amuse the viewer. It’s anime junk food, but it tastes all right, and it won’t spoil your dinner.” – Karmaburn
ROUND ONE RESULTS FOR THE FALL 2011 SHOWS:
Thumbs-up for Round One: Un-Go, Chibi Devi, Working Season 2, Bakuman Season 2, Mirai Nikki, Shinryaku Ika Musume Season 2, Ben-To, Chihayafuru, Guilty Crown, Phi-Brain, Last Exile: Fam the Silver Wing, Fate Zero, Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, Hunter x Hunter, Tamayura Hitotose
Thumbs-down for Round One: Morita-san wa Mukuchi Season 2, Kimi to Boku, C3: CubexCursedxCurious, Mobile Suit Gundam AGE, Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere, Majikoi Oh! Samurai Girls, Shakugan no Shana Final, Mashiro-iro Symphony: The Color of Lovers, Persona 4: The Animation, Maken-ki, Cross Fight B-Daman, Digimon Xros Wars Season 2, High Score, Infinite Stratos OVA
Coming up next: Kyousougiga, Hidamari Sketch SP, Sengoku Paradise Kiwami, Gdgd Fairies, Sora no Kiseki, Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai OVA, Lupin III Movie, Ao no Exorcist Special, Queen’s Blade Visual Book, Deadman Wonderland OVA, Toradora Special, Dragonball Z Episode of Bardock, R-15 OVA, Hoshizora e Kakaru OVA