As you might have seen on the group Facebook page, as well as writing one article a week as a review of a whole season or a feature on a specific aspect of the anime world, I’m also going to start doing a weekly episode focus. This will be an article that looks at an episode in depth and will be chosen because it’s fantastic, terrible or (as is the case today) plain ridiculous.
Despite not particularly liking the first season of Infinite Stratos, I decided to persevere and watch the second season. It was when watching episode 6 that I decided looking at one episode in particular for it’s standout qualities could be a good piece to write. That episode was episode 6, The Secret Base or Pride of a Maiden.
This is an episode that focuses on Charlotte, anime’s favourite cross dressing French girl. The episode begins by resolving the previous episodes cliffhanger- Laura appears just in time to save Ichika from a girl claiming to have the same surname as him before the customary half a minute of nervous talking and blushing. This however is not out of the ordinary for the show so is not the reason I’m looking at it. Oh no, this episode goes much further in terms of crazy writing.
Charlotte is assigned to a routine protection mission for some IS units that are being transported. None of the other girls have the time to help her with it, but being the gent that he is, Ichika jumps in to help her out. The mission goes relatively well, despite an attack from two reasonably weak IS units, Charlotte and Ichika escape seemingly without much damage. When they return to the academy however, they discover that Ichika’s IS isn’t materialising as it should so is taken away for testing, leaving him defenceless. There is then a period where the other girls take some time to find out about the problem before all ferociously (quite literally), arguing about who is going to be the one to protect him.
Still all sounds pretty normal, right? I know what you’re thinking, this was a huge waste of time. Go and watch the last two episode of the show and write the review.
But, as you will know if you’ve seen this episode, there is key element to the episode that I have neglected. That would be Charlotte’s, ah what shall we say, problem.
In their great wisdom, the writer’s decided that the problems occurring with Ichika’s IS, would also plague Charlotte. And her pants.
No, you read that right. Her pants.
So, let me explain in more detail (relax, your 6 year old brother can read it, there’s nothing explicit here). Soon after the protection mission, Charlotte realises that her knickers are missing. Running away from the group to desperately rectify the situation, she makes it to her room where, after finding more pants, they also disappear.
So it’s not the knickers. It’s her.
Don’t. Even. Ask.
So for the most part of the episode we see Charlotte running around trying to avoid everyone else, with the normal amounts of falling into Ichika, and Ichika getting attacked in between.
The episode ends with Charlotte deciding that Ichika will understand the situation and that the best way to convey the problem is bear all for him, outside, in the open.
Fortunately for everyone involved (if you like hentai this isn’t the right article), Laura turns up, checks under her uniform (as you do, right?), only to announce that Charlotte has regained her dignity and that all is right in the world.
In my mind, it’s going to be really difficult to do another article like this one and make it stand out quite as does. Even if it is for the most craziest of reasons. Firstly, it’s not a good episode: if you’ve only got 12 episodes in a season, to make the story develop properly you need everyone to count in some way, and this one really doesn’t. But more importantly, even if the harem thing is your thing (it’s growing on me), it’s still difficult to say that this episode does much well. I mean, her pants disappear! And that’s the main plot point?! Are we all going mad?!
Sorry. I digress. I just don’t understand the point, other than shameless fan service. Which this anime is for the most part so maybe I should stop taking it so seriously? Food for thought.
Thanks for reading and check out my review of Infinite Stratos in the next couple of days.