Episode 12 Final – Your Name Is… – 君の名は(ユア・ネーム・イズ) (kimi no na ha(Yua Neemu Izu))
Erm, well, this finale turned out to be rather awkward. The battle between the IS users and the rogue Gospel IS was rather interesting to watch, but what in the world exactly happened with Ichika and his weird daydream? I have a strong feeling the anime failed to explain something from the light novels, because there is little to no explanation for his miraculous revival. There is a single, brief, hint saying that it was Ichika’s IS that made everything happen, but if so it’s kind of a disappointing deux ex machina.
What was a rather nice touch here was how the creators tried to set Ichika up with Houki (which in itself is a surprise ending for a harem anime like this), BUT I do think the execution was very lacking. Then again, it’s not like you should expect anything really amazing in terms of plot for this series.
The plot for this episode was pretty terribly written though, with a bunch of deux ex machinas kind of killing the plot progression. The battle between the four girls and the Gospel IS was rather well animated and well paced, but what’s up with Ichika’s random daydream with the odd girl and the unknown IS pilot? I mean, I’m fine with character background building, but this episode definitely stretched the limits of my suspension of disbelief here. To top it all off, this daydream and Ichika’s “feelings” somehow managed to revive him from a near death state, which in itself just screams “Deux ex Machina”.
Houki’s energy powerup wasn’t much better, with her “feelings” somehow fully restoring her shield energy. The sheer absurdity of the idea (and the utter convenience of it) makes the fight feel kind of one sided, with the good guys getting all of the help, powerups, benefits, etc al.
Overall Enjoyment: 2.7/5
Anyways, aside from my ranting about how the story was poorly written (or at least, improperly explained), the episode did maintain a bit of it’s entertainment value. What was the most surprising to me is how there were some very strong hints at a relationship between Houki and Ichika by the end of the episode, which is definitely worth noting considering how Ichika is a harem lead. In the end though, this episode did take the safe route where Ichika hasn’t officially “decided” on any girls yet.
Overall, the Infinite Stratos series as a whole was rather lacking. It had never really tried to go beyond the typical harem + mech genres, and while the show was entertaining at times, as a whole the series had much less substance than I would have liked. Then again, I may have just had my expectations for this show too high.
The character development in this show went on and off, with some good character-centric moments, and others that were completely off or forced. The constant change in focus from one heroine to another also created a lot of gaps in between character development, which led to how each of the main cast feels as if they could have used more character development. The sudden changes also kills a lot of momentum built up around a heroine, leading to mediocre character development across the board, as opposed to one or character’s who are getting the most attention and gaining a good amount of recognition.
In the end, though, if you were looking for a harem-setup that is kind of entertaining, though with some flawed writing and bad character developments. The plot progression is rather lacking a lot of the times, and the levels of fanservice in this show certainly isn’t welcome all the time. Unfortunately, the second half for this series killed any sort of potential I could see in the characters, and the story never really improved a whole lot.
In the end though, it’s pretty obvious that this show was designed for entertainment, and in that sense, this show did a fairly decent job. Infinite Stratos isn’t remarkable by any means, but it certainly got it’s goals accomplished for the most part. Then again, you do have to be able to stomach a lot of the stereotypes with the harem genre to get some entertainment value out of this.
Overall Enjoyment: 6.3/10
Screenshots are later in the post.