Infinite Stratos is one of the series I have been looking forward to this winter season. Well, it aired today and the speedsubbers have been hard at work, with Ayako's release coming this evening.
How is it so far?
Too soon to call, but for now it seems OK. It's definitely not original (shades of Dual! Parallel Trouble Adventure and any number of harem comedy predecessors) but the harem trope is a deep one and new humor can always be found.
Short synopsis: Orima Ichika is the only male in the world able to pilot the Infinite Stratos powered armor. He's off to school to learn how to get the most out of the machine, and the piloting school is (of course) a boarding high school where he is the only male student. Because of his ability to pilot the IS, he is apparently a minor celebrity (mention is made of him being in the news) and truth be told he is a little freaked out by all the attention from the other students. One of the amusing things about this is that the female students can often be heard talking about him behind his back.
|A lot of this sort of thing goes on. Poor Ichika...|
During the first episode we also meet some of the other harem members: vice-homeroom teacher (and meganekko) Yamada Maya; Ichiko's absentee elder sister, IS pilot extraordinaire, homeroom teacher and general hardass Orimura Chifuru (even the girls want her!); childhood friend and kendo champ Shinonono Houki; and British exchange student, upper-class twit and IS prodigy Cecilia Alcott. Of course, hijinks ensue right off the bat as would be expected in a harem anime, such as where is the first male student supposed to stay
|Ichika, meet your room-mate, your towel-clad childhood friend Houka. Awkward...|
As I previously mentioned, so far the anime has broken no new ground but the dialogue is good, the characters seem OK and the animation is decent. I'll definitely be following it for the rest of the season to see how it turns out.