Hmm, well this episode turned out differently from what I expected. While Ichika continues to build up his little harem of girls, we actual got some hints at an actual main plot, with the inclusion of an unknown and hostile Infinite Stratos machine. The action this episode was decent, with much less of the slice of life and comedy that has been more common to this show so far. While the actual enemy here was really lacking in details (as in, we learn virtually nothing about it), it still did spice up the story a bit. While the story is still generic as hell, this episode was actually a rather entertaining watch.
Lingyin in her Infinite Stratos suit seems to actually be a rather competent fighter (or, at least, her IS seems rather powerful). That being said, any “skill” she had certainly didn’t show when the unknown mech entered the scene. From then on, she pretty much just played sidekick to Ichika, and not to mention, she does very little in helping defeat the intruder. Seriously, all she did was act as a battery pack for Ichika’s energy-lacking mech.
There was quite a bit of action though, and while not all of the action was well choreographed, the fights were actually a good watch. I did get a little skeptical at times with certain aspects of the fights, and the barrier thing kept popping up too much. I do appreciate how the creators placed an actual operational time limit on these IS machines through the “barrier” system, which does make the fights a bit more tactical at times.
On a side note, I did get a few laughs out of the generic harem interactions/jealousy between Lin, Houki, and Cecilia. I guess I haven’t seen a generic non-fanservice harem in such a long time that I’m actually kind of entertained by them, though Infinite Stratos definitely is not the best comedy this season by any means. That being said, the characters themselves don’t really get much development. Lin does get some backstory to her, which was actually somewhat serious in tone, and definitely improves my impressions of her to a degree.
Either ways, this episode was probably the best of Infinite Stratos so far, though the characterization is still weak and the plot is painfully predictable. Seeing where the story goes from here on out with the new enemy could prove to be interesting, though I’m kind of worried the “new enemy” will end up being really stereotypical. I guess I’m just nitpicking at little points here, though.
Overall Enjoyment: 3.6/5
Screenshots are later in the post.