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YMMV / Infinite Stratos

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  • Americans Hate Tingle: Season 2 was overwhelmingly considered to be a disgrace by most American fans. In Japan, however, the series still sold like gangbusters and was just as popular as the first season.
  • Arc Fatigue: Instead of moving the plot forward, the show keeps introducing girls to Ichika's harem and putting too much focus on the harem antics. By the end of season 2, the heroes are no closer to stopping Phantom Task than they were at the beginning, and the World Purge OVA is just an extended romantic fantasy almost entirely disconnected to the main plot. Not helping at all are Schedule Slips caused by the author's health problems at the time.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Tatenashi. You either find her the best girl in the series for her Cool Big Sis tendencies and flirting toward Ichika, or just a stupid Mary Sue. No middle ground!
    • Houki is another one. For some, she is one of the best girls of the show with an adorable personality and produces funny scenes with Ichika. Others just despise her saying she is just a generic tsundere, and believe that the author is trying to make her look good at the cost of degrading the other girls' characters.
    • Ichika is another. His many detractors find his seemingly dense personality a hindrance. But there are supporters who find his insecurity towards the girls understandable, and how he's been improving in combat over the course of the series (even with the help of the girls most of the time).
  • Better Than Canon:
    • The ending of the spin-off manga IS: Sugar & Honey which definitively pairs up Ichika and Charlotte, has been declared this by the fans who kept up with it.
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    • Some have this opinion of the Yuuki Homura manga as it adds in details from later volumes, downplays the heavy tsuntsun and harem antics and to spice it up, arguably the best designed versions of characters with some Fanservice (particularly the Charlotte gender reveal scene)
  • Cliché Storm: Almost every cliche you'd expect in a Harem anime, you could expect to see it in here.
  • Crazy Awesome: Tabane Shinonono. A Ditzy Genius who has created the IS in the first place, (presumably) programmed about 2000+ ICBMs to launch towards Japan (just to give her creation a stellar debut), and (supposedly) took control of an "unmanned" IS just to let her younger sister debut as a personal IS user on her birthday. Doubles as a subtle Actor Allusion, considering that she shares her seiyuu with Nanoha. When Tabane unveiled the IS to the world, she got a lot of ridicule and criticism. So what did she do? She befriended them via mass ICBM launch.
    • Not only is her brain 'over-specced' but also her body as well. After she curbstomps three of Phantom Task's finest, with one of them in an IS, she tells them that only 'Chi-chan' is capable of holding her own against her.
  • Creator's Pet: An anime-only case with Tatenashi as with season two they tried to push her/expand her role beyond what she was given in the novels, resulting in other characters getting gypped out of notable moments.
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  • Die for Our Ship: As you'd might expect, fans of any one of the harem girls feel this way about the rest of the harem. The most amount of vitriol goes to Houki, however.
  • Ear Worm:
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Honne Nohotoke, a side-character that appeared in the anime in Pikachu-esque pajamas, appears to have gained quite a following for someone with a less than a minute of screentime. She did show up in a few scenes wearing the IS academy's prescribed uniform, but hers seem to have overly long sleeves compared to the rest.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple:
    • Charlotte/Ichika. Many fans argue that it would be refreshing for a harem hero to end up with a sweet, gentle and kind girl rather than yet another violent, domineering, inconsiderate, selfish and emotionally insincere tyrant (which is unfortunately EVERY other girl in the harem, at least at first) for a change. There's even a spin-off manga where Charlotte is promoted to being the main character and the two are more or less an Official Couple.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Laura during Volume 8's Lotus-Eater Machine sequence mentions “The situation in the Middle East is changing." Cue the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
    • This series' very acronym, "IS", is now shorthand for that same entity among major media outlets. If you were to ask a random person out there what IS means, chances are he or she would respond with Islamic State.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Sentai Filmworks is known to throw out the "lewd card" meme from season 2 for a while in regards to Jessica Calvello. Cue her casting for the Season 2 English Dub as Tatenashi Sarashiki.
  • Ho Yay:
    • Ichika and Charles seem close, and a lot of the Academy girls love it. No one minds however after Charlotte's gender reveal.
    • Female examples: Laura for Orimura-sensei. Her teammates back in Germany really thought she was gay for Chifuyu.
      • This gets toned down a lot after her Superpower Meltdown, though, when Chifuyu tells Laura to become her own person and stop trying to imitate her.
    • Rin gives Cecilia a lower-body massage, complete with much laughter and squealing from the latter. (Actually, she's trying to "save" Ichika from having to do the same.)
    • Season 2, Episode 1. Charlotte/Laura so very much.
      • So much, that the other people in the store with them start taking photos.
      • Special mention goes to Laura licking crepe off Charlotte's cheek, with Charlotte getting understandably flustered. Of course, Laura does this largely because she has No Social Skills.
      • Charlotte also gets rather touchy-feely with Laura when they both put on their kitty pajamas.
    • Episode 8 of the second season has Tatenashi suddenly sneaking up on Houki while she's practicing kendo and feeling up her boobs. Later on when doing a scan of Houki to check their compatibility as tag-team partners, she's rather interested in the fact that Houki has bigger breasts than her, much to Houki's consternation.
    • There is a scene in Volume 4 of the novels between Squall and Autumn that is full of subtext between them which was not present in the anime.
  • Iron Woobie: You gotta hand it to Ichika. He's thrown into a situation he is woefully unprepared for, his Battle Harem won't take "no" for an answer, a terrorist organization that wants to kill him and take his IS core and the guy still manages to remain cheerful and optimistic.
  • It Was His Sled: How many places actually still spoiler-mark Charles/Charlotte's true gender and name?
  • Memetic Loser: Pretty much Ichika himself: Many fans take advantage of his (feigned) stupidity by adding him in dense-related content.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • PLOT as coined by /a/, possibly derived from "I WATCH xxx FOR THE PLOT"
    • Also, post anything about Charles/Charlotte and windows. Guaranteed replies complete with white knighting with pictures. Becomes sort of an Ascended Meme with the Season 2 opening.
    • "France-tan is best-tan!" and "Char is special..." Technically Charlotte is now the fanbase's own Sacred Cow.
    • Houki Pouki thanks to Houki launching Ichika in the air with a kick.
    • /a/ is now Infinite Str/a/tos after moot allegedly confessed to liking Infinite Stratos on the boards.
  • Moe:
  • One True Threesome:
    • The fact that Charlotte and Laura are extremely friendly to each other has led to some portions of their fan bases proposing this solution. The first episode of the second season shows they really are good friends, with both of them foiling an armed robbery and Laura licking some spilled ice cream off the corner of Charlotte's mouth.
    • True enough, one chapter of the Sugar & Honey spin-off is actually an excuse for this trope.
  • Romantic Plot Tumor: A terrorist organization? Tabane's disappearance? The Orimura siblings' mysterious origins? Nope, forget about all that. Let's focus on Ichika's love problems because they are a lot more important.
  • Sacred Cow: Charlotte, big time. This may be because people are absolutely sick of harem girls who are violently jealous Tsunderes (which is pretty much all the other harem girls, with the possible exception of Laura), and Charlotte's sweetness and general not-Tsundere-ness is very refreshing to fans of other harem animes. See also the Fan-Preferred Couple entry above.
  • Second Season Downfall: There are quite a few who feel the second season is far inferior to the first. Part of it is probably because a good 90% of the second season has been focused on wacky harem antics, with very little time devoted to advancing a plot or even having awesome mech battles (which was, you know, the one thing that distinguished this series from other harem shows). While it's true the first season had a pretty weak main plot too, it at least managed to strike a pretty even balance between harem hijinks and IS action, which cannot be said for the second season. Basically, the second season doesn't have enough Stuff Blowing Up.
    • There is also the issue with season 2 cramming 3 volumes into 5 episodes. Normally this alone is enough material for an entire season . The result is the elimination of anything not harem antics related, which means that Character Development, such as Cecilia's, was completely eliminated. Overall we are missing some 80% to 90% of the plot of volume 4 to 6.
      • Volumes 4 and 5 were actually adapted pretty accurately, as was Volume 7 (though half of V4 was covered in an OVA, and the school festival in V5 was shortened in the anime but at the same time the Cinderella play was extended). It was Volumes 6 and 8 that really suffered Adaptation Decay; those volumes are the ones missing almost all their scenes. The series started off very faithful to the novels but around the middle of the second season, the anime started taking liberties with the source material until the final three episodes went into all-out anime original territory. This topic explains all the differences between the novels & anime (be warned for spoilers that span the entire series, both books and show).
      • The "World Purge" OVA was a pretty accurate adaptation of the titular incident from Volume 8.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: It's an Unwanted Harem with Powered Armor, it's to be expected.
  • Signature Scene: Laura stealing Ichika's First Kiss.
  • So Bad, It's Good: The second season was a major step down in quality but dammit if it wasn't funny sometimes.
  • So Okay, It's Average: YMMV of course, but the show really doesn't break any ground with the Harem tropes.
    • If Amazon reviews are any indication, the Japanese audience feels the same way: most of the novels fall squarely in the 2 - 2.5 star range.
  • Tear Jerker: In the Drama CD, Houki and Rin return to the academy after learning that Ichika wants to be with Tatenashi. They have spent the entire time eating to their hearts' content and trying to forget about their love interest by cursing his name. But then, they look at their food and get reminded on how much Ichika loves these. It wasn't long before both Houki and Rin were crying and begging Ichika to come back to them. Even though they were harsh on Ichika, they truly did love him and it was sad to hear them just breaking down.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: The idea of a world where position toward genders has been inverted due to a new weapon of mass destruction being usable only by women actually had a lot of potential for an interesting story, but ends up being used as little more than a background for a typical harem plot.
  • Values Dissonance: There's a moment in the second manga adaptation where Rin points chopsticks at Houki while bragging about how she will win the next tournament. Ichika's internal monologue chastises Rin for being uncultured. This might not seem like a big deal for those unfamiliar with the context, but in many East Asian countries, pointing chopsticks at someone is extremely rude as they resemble incense sticks and it can be interpreted as a funerary symbol.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: The IS fights in the anime are very well animated.
  • Win Back the Crowd: The World Purge OVA got a lot more praise from Western fans, with quite a few viewers declaring it better than the entirety of Season 2.

Example of: