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Winter 2011 – First Impressions (IS: Infinite Stratos & Gosick)

January 7, 2011

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.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. January 7, 2011 8:51 pm

    It’s safe to say that Infinite Stratos will probably become my guilty pleasure of the season. The first episode had me hooked throughout. The CG was nicely executed referencing to the opening scene, and the generic and inevitable harem is positively embraced on my part. So, yeah, I’m definitely picking this one up. Oh, and I agree, the male lead is fortunately likeable (Kouki’s voice is largely accountable for this), which is very much the determiner as to whether I can enjoy this series or not. If he was whiny and, quite frankly, pathetic, that would have greatly lessened my anticipation, so thankfully he isn’t.

    Conversely, I was expecting a lot more from Gosick in account of the studio responsible, but agree that the production is far from Bones’s best and is decidedly average in comparison with their other works. The introduction also felt rushed, hardly allowing enough time to acquaint the viewer with the characters, who are, incidentally, rather bland and predictable. That said, it’s only the first episode, so I’ll reserve judgement until I’ve seen a few more. But yes, from the first episode alone, I definitely expected a lot more from this.

    • January 8, 2011 2:13 pm

      IS is definitely has guilty pleasure potential, I was surprised by how watchable the first episode was given how it was offering nothing new. Can see myself watching it all (provided it doesn’t crash & burn in the next few episodes).

      Gosick really disappointed me, think my expectations were set a touch too high. But like yourself, I’ll give it a few episodes before I completely dismiss it.

  2. January 8, 2011 4:10 am

    Infinate Stratos- This might be a fun show to watch but not sure about the CGI mech “backpacks” will keep me watching, but we shall see what happens. That first part of the episode does show off what they eventually want to do with the battles lets hope he doesn’t have to make out with them to “unlock” more power.

    Gosick- Haven’t watched but I will!

    • January 8, 2011 2:21 pm

      IS’s mech designs interest me – quite impressed by the CGI in the opening minutes too, so looking forward to seeing how much actual action is in the main show.

  3. adaywithoutme permalink
    January 8, 2011 4:19 am

    SIGHHHH That’s too bad to hear about Gosick, I read the first light novel a while back and I remember it being at least solid if not quite spectacular. Hoping it’ll get better. However, I could see it playing as a variation of Dance in the Vampire Bund… SIGH

    • January 8, 2011 2:22 pm

      I was hoping for something more impressive too, but it feels like BONES aren’t really putting forth their best effort for Gosick – Star Driver is still very much their main series currently airing.

  4. kyu permalink
    January 28, 2011 7:44 am

    in the middle of the fourth episode, the anime is getting rather annoying, stopping to talk way too much during battle, the main character is inconsistent and i just feel like punching him in the face for being such a fag.

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