Ten years ago, the development of the revolutionary Infinite Stratos powered exoskeleton changed the world's balance of power overnight. Unfortunately, while the distribution of IS systems to every nation on Earth has ushered in a new era of peace, the fact that only women have thus far been able to pilot the Stratos systems has sent the relationship between the XX and XY-chromosomed halves of the human race into a spiraling tailspin! So when fifteen-year-old Ichika Orimura is suddenly discovered to be the first male with the ability to control an IS, whatever plans he might have had for his own future are tossed out the window even as he's thrown to the wolves and enrolled at the otherwise entirely female Infinite Stratos Academy by order of the Japanese government! It's One Boy Vs. All the Girls as Ichika get taken for a ride on some serious heavy metal in Infinite Stratos - The Complete Collection!
Based on the light novels of Izuru Yumizuru, the comedy-adventure Infinite Stratos
(2011) blends two popular anime genres: the mecha
adventure and the harem comedy. Fifteen-year-old Ichika Orimura is the only boy who can activate one of the super-sophisticated mecha
suits known as Infinite Stratos--and the only male student at the academy that trains pilots. (Although the Stratos suits represent a breakthrough in weaponry, international treaties dictate they only be used for Olympics-style matches.) Not surprisingly, Ichika attracts the attention of the top pilot cadets who set out to defeat him, then fall for him: Celia Alcott from England; Rinin Fan (China); Charlotte Dunois (France); Laura Bodewig (Germany); and his elementary school friend, kendo champion Houki Shinonono. In the best anime tradition, Ichika remains blithely clueless about being the object of everyone's affection, despite declarations of love and fan service jiggle scenes. Director Yasuhito Kikuchi choreographs the aerial duels with agreeable panache, and the designs of the Stratos suits are striking. Instead of forming enclosed units like the Gundam
models, the segments of the Infinite Stratos fit like old-fashioned armor, leaving the head and parts of the limbs bare. Infinite Stratos
may not be a particularly original or weighty series, but it is an entertaining one. The two-part OVA continues the characters' adventures outside the academy and includes the inevitable visit to a summer festival with yukata
, games, cotton candy, and fireworks. The Blu-ray set comes with a soundtrack CD of related pop songs. (Rated TV 14 V: violence, violence against women, nudity, risqué humor, ethnic stereotypes, alcohol use) --Charles Solomon