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A boy amongst girls,
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This review is from: Inifinite Stratos Collection [DVD] (DVD)
The powered exoskeletons known as the Infinite Stratos (or I.S.) are powerful tools capable of increasable feats and have changed the world since their development by the eccentric genius Tabane Shinonono but only women are able to use them. Ichika Orimura, the younger brother of a former I.S. Champion, was therefor as surprised as anyone when he found himself able to operate an I.S. and now he finds himself as the only boy at the Infinite Stratos Academy where the world's best train.
This two disc set includes all twelve episodes of the first season of 'Infinite Stratos', as well as an OVA. The series is relatively entertaining with the standard antics of a harem series coupled with some good action in the form of the I.S. battles. The characters are in the series are all nicely portrayed even if they are somewhat standard for this type of series just with an international element added to the mix (although Ichika himself is clueless even by the standards of harem anime main characters). Of the main female characters, the German Laura Bodewig is probably my favourite, as she is it is very entertaining to watch her character develop as the series progresses, although Ichika's sister Chifuyu is probably my favourite character in the series as a whole with Houki's eccentric sister Tabane following close behind.
The thing I like most about the series is the setting and the I.S. units themselves as they are very interesting and I would have liked to see a lot more of both. The battles in the series are very nice with the finale being very spectacular and enjoyable to watch. The comedy in the show is generally quite standard harem series stuff but it is pulled of relatively well, especially during the OVA.
The animation of the series is generally reasonably good, although there were a few places where the CGI of the I.S. units was a little rough but that is only a minor complaint. The DVD includes both English and Japanese versions of the series and while the Japanese one is probably slightly better in my opinion, the English version is generally reasonable. I do appreciate that the English dub cast attempted to give the European characters appropriate accents and while Brittney Karbowski's English accent is passable for Cecilia Alcott (it is quite similar to the one she used for Anya in Negima!) Shannon Emerick's French accent for Charles Dunois and Tiffany Grant's German accent for Laura leave a little to be desired. Other than this, the voices of the English cast suit the characters reasonably well, especially Luci Christian as Chifuyu and Allison Keith as Tabane.
The set also includes a few extras including commentaries by the Japanese cast and a couple of features in the form of Radio I.S. and Behind the Scenes (both subtitle only).
Based on a series of light novels, 'Infinite Stratos' is quite entertaining and is probably one of the better harem series that I have watched recently. A second season of 'Infinite Stratos' was shown in the Autumn 2013 season but I felt it wasn't quite as good as this one. There is has also been an OVA announced for some time in 2014.
Overall I feel that this set deserves a high four stars.