Winter 2011 – First Impressions (IS: Infinite Stratos & Gosick)
Moving swiftly on, I also watched IS: Infinite Stratos & Gosick today.
IS: Infinite Stratos
Infinite Stratos does exactly what it says on the tin, and doesn’t even attempt to pretend its anything other than that. It’s completely by the numbers, but somehow I don’t really begrudge it that – might have something to do with the slick CGI mecha action in the first few minutes! Other than that IS isn’t really bring anything new to the table – its you’re completely generic harem setup. I do like the male lead though, he’s pretty together & normal and there is surprisingly little fanservice of the falling into boobs/flipping skirts variety which gives IS bonus points in my book (although it did have a walk into the shower scene). The world setting and character archetypes are set up quickly and with little fuss too – basically there’s very little to really hate about this show since it’s just going on automatic pilot.
Production is of a reasonable standard – obvious CGI is obvious and character designs have been lifted from every harem series ever, but otherwise there’s nothing much to complain about. Music is fine, OP & ED are forgettable – quite like the seiyuu……its very middle of the road and safe.
I’ll give it another few episodes to see what the in-show action is like, I may end up sticking with it since its pretty inoffensive and the lead character is likeable.
Well that was pretty disappointing. I expected a better hook into the series, but the initial ‘mystery’ was so simple I had it solved before the detective even finished his monologue! However that wasn’t really the worst thing about this initial episode of Gosick – no, that award goes to Kujo Kazuya for being the worst type of whiney, spineless, doormat male leads…..and considering he eats up the vast majority of the screen time with genericness oozing from every pore, that’s a very bad thing. The characters are bland all round though; Victorique has moments of cute, but is pretty vanilla most of the time, Mr Unicorn head detective seems to be trying too hard and feels out-of-place in his quirkiness when standing next to the dull as bricks leads. This just isn’t what I was expecting from the series at all.
The production values aren’t as high as you would expect from BONES, clearly the majority of their budget is still being poured into the eye-candy that is Star Driver; it’s not a bad-looking show though, just rather uninspired in both design and direction. The music is pretty good, and I did like the storybook style of art in the OP & the moody black & white animation of the ED. Voice acting is pretty awful though – Kazuya’s wailing & Victorique’s monotone don’t really make for pleasant listening.
I’m giving Gosick another few episodes to impress me, because there is potential in this show – still a very disappointing start to a show I was looking forward to though.