Infinite Stratos is nothing if not a full-service cliche machine. Two osananajimis, no waiting!
Our new childhood friend – somewhat ingloriously dubbed by Ichika as “Second Childhood Friend” is Fan Rinin. She’s a spunky little lady from China with twintails and a fang, and she moved next door to Ichika just as Houki was moving away. She’s come to the academy as China’s representative candidate, and immediately sets her sights on Ichika’s virtue.
She’s got competition. Overnight, Cecilia has gone fro tsuntsun to deredere – she’s all lovey-dovey for Ichika now. Not only does she cede her class rep position to him, but she offers to train him – an offer which doesn’t go over at all well with Houki. Both incumbents are put-out by the arrival of this new upstart from China, who isn’t shy – she corrals Ichika for lunch on the first day, ignores Cecilia altogether and even shows up at Ichika’s door and asks Houki to switch rooms with her. She also references a promise between she and he, but the only one he remembers is about sweet and sour pork and it appears that isn’t the pork she was thinking of. Fate orchestrates that they face each other in the first round of the academy tournament, with a promise that if Ichika wins Fan will explain just what this forgotten promise is all about.
This certainly isn’t one of the more challenging series out there – it’s derivative to put it kindly – but I still find it easy to enjoy. This is a pure harem series in that there are absolutely no other males for the girls to fight over, so Ichika has the field to himself. I suspect the list of serious players will grow some, but I hope not too much more. For now, Houki is definitely falling on the tsun side of the tsundere equation,, with Cecilia (who I don’t see as a major contented) very dere and Fan looking to be somewhere in the middle. As for the action side of things, well – that’s pretty old-hat too. But it’s well-animated and a decent take on the classic mecha combat genre.