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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.

She's honest with her feelings.

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.

Cute.

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.

She recognizes that she has a lot of rivals for his heart, but hangs around with him and enjoys his company.

IS: Charlotte Dunois, among other things

I can’t believe it’s been nearly three weeks since I’ve written anything, but I’m frankly only following two series this season, and both are neither intellectual or thought-provoking. I’m reserving stuff like Fractale and Hourou Muskou for my last summer break, although I may start earlier. I will also look into Madoka because Angelus recommended it.

I’m only watching Freezing and Infinite Stratos. I really like IS because while it obviously is a harem show, the women are quite attractive and extremely likable. While most are just permutations of established stereotypes, their innocuous exchange and the one-sided romance by pretty much the entirety of the cast towards Ichika is something I thoroughly enjoy. I can’t wait for next week’s episode, as well.

Charlotte Dunois, among other things

I recently realized the skill of Kana Hanazawa with portraying the cutesy characters. I vividly recall her as Nadeko, but I didn’t expect her to be both Rana Linchen and Charlotte Dunois. She certainly gives those characters added dimensions of likability, although I’m a lot more fond towards Charlotte and her approach towards Ichika.

Whereas the other girls want to ingratiate themselves with him by performing well on battles, she keeps it simple by being nice, friendly, and appreciative of his actions while not being dishonest with herself. It differentiates her from the rest of the cast, although that may change after Laura has expressed her desire for Ichika as well. While I’d like to elaborate on these two shows, they’re really just self-explanatory. After seeing Tatami Galaxy, I’m also not very much in the hunt for a great show, as I already think I’ve seen the greatest.

The lack of updates has been mainly due to the Internet problems I have hopefully addressed now (it was really the router, damn it), but as school nears its end I have also had more responsibilities to attend to. From what little I’ve read of the rest of the blog-sphere, however, there really hasn’t been any show as moving as Tatami Galaxy this season.

And that’s just all right, because those shows come once in ten to fifteen years. I just want to ask forgiveness for a good amount of my past readers who visit the site because of my (quasi-)analyses on shows I think are worth watching. I haven’t dumbed myself down, don’t worry. There’s always one anime that makes you proud of watching anime, and there’s always anime that make you thank God one likes it as a hobby. The former comes once or twice a year. For the latter, there’s Honey and Clover and Tatami Galaxy.