If I love anything about Infinite Stratos – and the be honest, I don’t know if I do – it’s that it’s in no danger of taking itself too seriously. Given just how silly and lightweight the show is, that’s a very good thing.
This week was really all about the world’s least convincing reverse trap, Charles/Charlotte Dunois. Though it seems impossible that everyone in the universe didn’t already know Charles was a girl, it took until the midway point of the episode, when he walked in on her in the shower, for Ichika to catch on. This came after another locker room scene in which “he” was inexplicably shy, an abortive fight with the German test candidate, Laura Bodewig, and several scenes of the rest of Ichika’s harem getting jealous of Charles without quite knowing why. The episode more or less closes with Ichika feeding Charlotte dinner in their room and picking a grain of rice off her cheek.
If you’re getting the idea that no cliche is safe when this show is around, you’re right – and what the hell took you so long? It has its share of face-palm moments but as I said, it’s all done with tongue pretty much in cheek, so it’s easy to forgive – not a parody of itself, per se, but a sort of homage to itself and all it’s predecessors. And Charlotte turns out to be pretty cute. Backstory is pretty basic – she’s the illegitimate daughter of the President of the Dunois IS company, in trouble because they’re stuck on second-generation tech and sent to the academy to gather some press and spy on the oddball boy pilot, Ichika. If she goes home in disgrace she’ll be jailed or worse, and Ichiba being a bit gallant offers to keep her secret safe (of course, no one else will guess in a million years) and points out that as long as she stays at the academy, she has immunity from the French government. Looks like she’s fallen pretty hard for him, too, and he seems quite interested – so the harem officially grows by one.
The question now is that with a reverse trap, two osananajimis and a deredere ex-tsuntsun already members, can Ichika turn the tsuntsun Laura into a deredere harem member too? She hates Ichika because he was kidnapped and forced his big sister to forfeit her title match to save him – having been given his whereabouts by the German government. She went to teach there in gratitude and met Laura – and Ichika still blames himself just as much as Laura blames him. But the kavorka is strong with this one – it seems only a matter of time before she drops her token opposition and joins in the hunt.