What makes Infinite Stratos special
A good amount of people who have consistently read my posts probably wonder why I anticipate every forthcoming episode of Infinite Stratos as well as why I write about it. Let me shine some light on the matter.
First, I am not following IS because of its meaning or its depth: it’s actually the quintessential harem series filled with cliches and recognized character archetypes. Other than being set in a world that has shifted towards matriarchy, there isn’t anything novel with the story. The characters are, for the most part, cut out from the regular storyline of a harem series. Houki, for example, is the typical childhood friend and tsundere; Cecilia is the haughty and rich snob who falls for the certain rustic graces of the protagonist; Fan is the fanged character of the show, most certainly relegated to a supportive role, as most fanged characters in most series are; finally, Laura is that troubled lady who doesn’t seem to have matured because of her past burdens. It’s very typical of harem shows and IS offers only permutations.
Charlotte Dunois, however, makes the series special, just the same way that Saeko did for High School of the Dead. Because as much as men like us deny it, we would prefer our women to be holistically beautiful: we like a balance between intelligence, kindness, and beauty. If one were missing, the woman wouldn’t be ideal. I don’t pertain to intelligence as being book-smart, however: I pertain to it as a smartness and sharpness that arises from the cocktail of knowledge and common sense. Knowledge is nothing if it is not applied properly. In a survey taken from followers of IS, she ranked as the most popular female character – and I don’t blame the voters. I would pick her above her fellow pilots anytime, as well.
Her personality, first and foremost, is a bubbly, caring girl who has had to undergo a lot of suffering being unloved. This is not akin to the haughtiness of Cecilia, the bitterness of Houki, or the puerility of Fan and Laura. She is arguably the most mature among her fellow female leads, as she was the only one among them extremely upfront about her newfound feelings for Ichika. Once she realized Ichika was an extremely kind guy, she made it known to him personally that she liked him and would like to keep on being with him. This is in stark contrast with the schemes of Fan and Cecilia, the childish behavior of Laura, or the ‘subtlety’ of Houki.
She’s also the most mature among the girls, recognizing Ichika’s criminal insensitivity to the hearts of women, and attempts to understand it while not forcing anything. Even if she sometimes is perturbed by his impregnability, she enjoys his presence. That maturity coupled with her brimming intelligence and beauty makes her, at least to me and those people who answered the survey in her favor, one of our favorite characters in this series.