Infinite Stratos – 4

Memo to Ichika: sometimes “sweet & sour pork” doesn’t actually mean sweet & sour pork.

The ante gets upped this week as we have some actual danger instead of war games. Rin and Ichika are certainly in the midst of their grudge match and the Second osananajimi clearly has the upper hand. Ichika, fighting with the weapon his sister used to become world champion, is about to bust out a secret, one-time only move when an explosion rocks the arena. For the first time in the series the secure bubble of the Academy is broken, and it’s an IS of a type no one has seen before breaking though their security perimeter that does it. We don’t get much inside info about the attacker in this episode, but we do know that it’s an unmanned drone and has a vaguely “Transformers” look to it. We also know that nothing Rin or Ichika do seems to have much of an effect on it, until Ichika hatches a new secret plan involving Rin shooting him towards the beastie with her cannon and late entry Cecilia – still all deredere – finishing it off with her long-range attacks. It works, more or less, though Ichika wakes up in the hospital with Rin about to play Natsumi to his Kotarou.

The fights are fairly well-done here, but the real interest lies in the harem aspects of this one. Cecilia is certainly a long shot, but right now both osananajimis seem to have a real shot. Rin definitely pulled into the lead this week, as Ichika actually confronted a romantic thought when he finally figured out that the sweet & sour pork promise had nothing to do with Cantonese cuisine. They’re certainly both full on tsundere, which is kind of wearisome – but maybe in time one or both of them will develop beyond that. Frankly, I think their greatest competition might be Chifuyu-nee, as Ichika seems to have quite a sister complex. But for now, Houki, Rin and Cecilia all seem to have more or less formally declared, so the battle is on. And a new element gets added next week – competition for Ichika in the form of another male student, the French representative candidate. But I suspect there’s more to Charles than meets the eye…

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