Infinite Stratos OVA

April 20, 2012

When the TV version of an anime finishes, the production of the OVA several months later usually stems to provide the missing link somewhere between the episodes, to further the plot and explain things that were not properly explained then or for nonsensical, random fun that has nothing to do with everything. And throw in some fanservice while they are at it too. So where does Infinite Stratos OVA fit in the above? That’s why we are here to find out. Honestly, I wasn’t keeping my hopes up on the first two choices. You know what this means, right? Besides, that is the only reason why I watched the TV series in the first place. Come on girls! Show me the cat fight!

Sextet of Burning Love
On a hot summer vacation, Charlotte is nervously waiting outside Ichika’s house, contemplating to go in or not. When she does decide to ring the bell, she is startled to see Ichika at the back of her. She fumbles her lines and was so nervy that she looked like a fool. Thank goodness Ichika is still the dense kid we all knew so he doesn’t see any problem other than Charlotte wanting to come into his house. Doh! However Charlotte’s private time with Ichika is short-lived because Cecilia comes ringing the doorbell next. We definitely know her true motive of being here despite her excuse of ‘just happened to be nearby’ and bought cakes from a local store. Imagine their utter dismay upon seeing ‘the other woman’. So as not to make it come to waste, the ladies get Ichika’s permission to feed them. So they both form a truce like how Britain and France did during the World War. Ichika starts off with Cecilia followed by Charlotte. I’m sure the ecstasy and happiness isn’t because of the delicious cake. Get what I’m saying? Next, it’s their turn to feed Ichika but they are interrupted by the doorbell. Who could it be this time? Who else. Not one, not two, but three girls. Houki, Rin and Laura. I guess it saves time by having them all appear at the same time. Yeah, everyone came up with the same idea. See how utterly disappointed to see ‘the other women’. They can throw their plans away on having a nice and quiet private day with Ichika.

Since it’s too hot outside, the gang play some weird Q&A board game (Laura made a mountain?) when Chifuyu returns home. The girls observe closely the interactions between the siblings and somewhat conclude they are acting like a husband and wife team. Disappointed? However Chifuyu will be heading back to the academy seeing teachers need to work even during summer vacation. Feels good to be a student sometimes, eh? Before she leaves, she advises Houki to return to her shrine to see her mom once in a while. When the girls mention about Ichika’s interaction with his sister like as though they’re husband and wife, that guy thinks it’s just natural since they are siblings. I’m sure that’s not what the girls are asking. Since it’s almost dinner time, Ichika and the girls go out shopping for ingredients. Yes, all of them. Nobody gets left behind. Due to Cecilia’s horrible reputation as a terrible cook, the other girls try to restrain her from cooking. But I guess she just won’t listen and her pride never accepting that there is something wrong with her cooking. So too late for the rest as we see her squeeze empty the bottle of tomato (or is it chilli?) and a couple of Tabasco sauce into the pot! Is she really going to feed everyone with that whatever she’s making? Meanwhile Laura shows them her shishkebab thingy which she mistakenly learnt as Japanese Oden. Suddenly an explosion! BOOM! Don’t worry. It isn’t any terrorist threat. It’s just Cecilia’s pot blowing up. If this grub was in their stomach… The girls try to relegate her to do other duties like set the table but she still insists… So the kids have a great dinner with the girls contributing their own dishes. Including Cecilia’s burnt pot. Haha! Elsewhere Chifuyu meets Maya at a bar and the latter thinks she is considerate to let her brother be alone with his ‘girlfriends’. However Chifuyu remembers something. Back during the extended field trip, she went overboard by telling the girls she will never let them have Ichika. She said the unnecessary without much thought and feels the girls consider her their rival.

For the second half, Houki returns to her shrine for the Shinonono Festival. She meets up with her aunt Yukiko and is glad to help her out for the Kagura dance. While cleaning herself, Houki reflects if her sister invented IS, she wouldn’t have enrolled in the academy, kept moving around and more importantly, stay by Ichika’s side. Houki in a miko priestess outfit takes care of the lottery fortune shrine. To her surprise, she sees Ichika. Seems he remembered about it.  Houki is kinda embarrassed because she fears Ichika will comment on her girly outfit that she will not look good in it. But in reality, Ichika actually praises how good she looks in it! Houki couldn’t believe it and thinks this is all a dream and wants to wake up! Yeah, she’s going berserk! Do you really want to not stay in this ‘dream’ then? Yukiko allows Houki to go around the festival grounds till the dance. Houki is happy she gets to walk around with Ichika in her yukata but guess who showed up? Charlotte? Wrong. Laura? Off the mark. Rin? Guess again. Cecilia, right? It has to be her! Nope. Eh? If not those girls, who could it be? Don’t say it’s Chifuyu. Darn right it isn’t. It’s Ran. Oh, the other rival that is almost forgotten. Ran and Houki meet each other for the first time and though they may seem friendly on the outside, on the inside they’re like not too happy that the other girl seems a lot better than thought. Or at least described by Ichika. As they go around the festival grounds, Houki seems a little depressed. I mean, her only time with Ichika just dissipated like that. Is he that insensitive? Then at a bench, Ran praises Houki’s amazing kendo and IS skills. Suddenly they hear screams of a certain imouto complex brother looking for Ran. He really is running around asking for onlookers if they have seen this sister of his. I guess the part he described her boobs really made Ran feel the need to go punish him. Call it a blessing in disguise because Houki gets to be with Ichika alone. I’m sure she’s trying to hint him something about kind people always flock to him but it’s time for the Kagura dance.

Houki gracefully performs the dance that it’s like she’s a different person. You would have wondered where the tomboyish attitude had gone for this beauty. After the dance, the duo walk together to the hilltop. Ichika praises her dancing. He then reflects on the events that led him to join the IS Academy. He is glad he did so because he got to see her again. Does that really have a deeper meaning to it? But for Houki, it does. See how nervous and blushing she becomes? Then the moment we’ve all been waiting for… Even if they didn’t kiss, Houki finally blurted the words “I love you” out from her mouth. Yes, that’s no dream. Unfortunately… Oh God. Yes, seemingly unfortunate the most important 3 words of her life are being drowned out by the start of the fireworks display. Bummer. Total bummer. As a consolation prize she holds Ichika’s arm as they watch the display together. See, this guy is dense right till the end. When a girl clings on to your arm like that, it could very well mean one thing, right? He’s just acting so cool… It’s not like the fireworks are that great a distraction anyway.

Infinite Harem…
So yeah. The OVA is basically one that doesn’t have anything to do with the plot or advancing it. We just get our fill of love polygon between the girls over Ichika and even so, that is just the first half. While nobody goes into overdrive mode and getting physical over that guy, the rivalry is still there and it is good to know that even though everyone loves Ichika, they still continue to stay as friends. For the second half of the series, it is more focused on Houki and Ichika as the rest of the IS girls are plain out of sight. So it may be a sign that Houki should be the best ‘candidate’ to end up with Ichika. Besides, if you remember at the end of the TV series, Ichika nearly kissed Houki, only to be stopped by the other girls (note: His first kiss went to Laura). But you’ll never know. At the rate Ichika is going, he won’t be choosing one very soon. Would it be good if he does? I mean, that will mean things will change. His interaction and response with the rest will change. Thus it’s best to keep status quo for the time being. So just keep waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting…

While this OVA is void of any sort of fanservice (the most you’ll get to see is that short and ‘nothing much’ scene of Houki in the bath), the episode is also void of any IS machines. That means no aerial IS fights whatsoever. Just plain ol’ romance harem episode that one could easily mistake it as those ubiquitous ones found anywhere. And to call this series a mecha genre… Anyway that’s not the point. I just wonder why the title of the OVA has ‘sextet’ in it. When you mention a sextet, that means 6 people. Taking into consideration the 5 girls, who the heck is the 6th person? Unless you count Ichika in. If not, it must be some other girl too, right? Who? Who?! Ran? Chifuyu? Yeah, it’s that burning question of who is that sextet. Hey, what about Tabane? Has anybody seen that quirky bunny ear genius around?

While there is still no mention of any sequel, if there is you’d probably know my intentions of watching it. Yeah, you saw through me and read my face like a book just like how I spotted the intentions of those quintet ladies to be with Ichika from a hundred miles away and even saw it coming 10 years ago. Haha! So exaggerating. Okay, maybe a little advancing in the plot won’t hurt a bit but that’s really what I see this anime for. While at it, maybe Ichika can add more potential ‘candidates’ to his harem each with a different nationality too to turn up the rivalry heat. How about having an IS pilot from Malaysia? They’re warm, polite and friendly. She could probably cook lots of great variety of dishes and teach you an assortment of lines like “Apa khabar” and “Saya cinta padamu“. Well, if Malaysia gets that far by having an IS pilot candidate in the first place.

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