Meh, definitely not the best episode of Infinite stratos here, but not exactly bad either. The battle sequences had a rather raw, fast paced actiony feel to them, but the completely sudden change focusing in on Houki’s infatuation with her newfound power felt rather awkward. I mean, the last thing I expected was for a life-or-death battle to be interrupted by Houki and Ichika all naked and glowing in some sort of imagined up world discussing how Houki was being too indulgent in her newfound IS machine. While I do appreciate having some sort of character development for Houki here, the way in which it was done felt completely awkward, and not to mention, felt rather rushed as well.
The action sequences were decently done here, with some quick paced sword slashes and laser beams really keeping up a rather tense atmosphere between the opposing IS and the Ichika x Houki combo. There wasn’t really much detail on the close range, hand to hand combat though, which made the fight a bit more tame than otherwise. The major thing here, though, was how the episode kept blatantly hinting at how Houki was eager to show off her new, powerful IS.
It was rather obvious from the very start that Houki would somehow take some emotional damage based on her attitude towards the mission, but the way in which it happened felt a little random. All the drama around Houki this episode contrasts with the rather calm, level-headed image that this show has built up around Houki, and made the entire situation rather unbelievable. There have been occasional hints at her infatuation with power, but the sudden development of it here in this episode made her backstory feel shallow and poorly built up.
It’s rather obvious that we’re close to the end of the series, mainly due to the painfully high levels of drama here. While I don’t particularly mind the story trying to develop Houki a bit, the sudden way in which it happened certainly isn’t going to get any praise. This episode wasn’t particularly bad though, it’s just that it had nothing really worth noting either. The brief scene towards the end that brought the harem together as allies, as well as bring a predictable end to all the Houki drama, does hint at a big battle in the next episode (which we saw a glimpse of back in episode 1). Hopefully the studio changes the final fight a bit so that we won’t be rewatching the same scene from back then.
Overall Enjoyment: 3.4/5
Screenshots are later in the post.
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