Review: Infinite Stratos

So last week I finished the mecha show, Infinity Stratos. Before I say anything on this anime more specifically, I should probably point out that I’m not a big fan of the mecha genre. I get why big robots with swords and guns and all other manner of exciting and explosive weapons is attractive to a lot of people, but it’s not something that has really ever overly interested me – animated or otherwise. Regardless, I decided I’d give Infinity Stratos a go given some of the positive reviews I’d read, plus I’m a big fan of both Brittney Karbowski and Josh Grelle.

The back drop to Infinity Stratos goes something like this. A few years ago a type of human controllable robot was developed call the Infinity Stratos, or IS for short. Along with their only be around 350 of these robots, the biggest restriction of these machines was that they can only be controlled by women. Our story takes a boy, Ichika, the brother of pretty much the best IS pilot ever, who turns out to be the only guy that can control an IS. We join the world when he starts at the IS training school in Japan.
Infinity Stratos is unashamedly a harem show and before I say anything on how well that works, if you don’t like harems, then don’t watch this.
No escaping the fact that this is a harem.

After discovering he can use an IS, Ichika joins the IS academy where he meets various people (all love interests), saving them from various bad guys and each other. I can’t say there is anything really unique about the plot line, although it does seem reasonably well paced and each character plays their part in the story well, even if it is a little rushed.

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Top 5 Anime so far 18.02.15

It occurred to me that if you have been reading this you might be wondering what I’m basing all of my reviews and idea on upon so far, so I thought I’d fill you in on my top 5 for enjoyment. According to My Anime List so far I have watched just 20 different series, plus 1 OVA and 3 specials.

#5: A Certain Scientific Railgun S (Season 2)

As you will have seen from my recent review, I really enjoyed the second season of A Certain Scientific Railgun. I thought the character development was really good and that it used the previous season to really add to the overall quality of the production. The focus on the main character was also really good and made me more invested in the series as a whole. On a less deep level, the action scenes were frequent and fantastically well done summing up the stellar artwork and animation throughout.

Mikoto Misaka attacking the vending machine: well there’s an idea?

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Review: Toaru Kagaku no Railgun S (A Certain Scientific Railgun S) Season 2

Back on Tuesday I finished watching the second season of A Certain Scientific Railgun. In my review of the first season I said that, though this was essentially a spin-off of A Certain Magical Index, it would not matter if you chose to watch Railgun first. After watching season two, though I still think it would be possible to watch Railgun first, I feel that by watching Index beforehand you’ll appreciate the events that occur in this season of Railgun a lot more.

On the whole, the background is pretty similar to how it was in the first season. The main characters from the first season return, however, there is a much stronger focus on Misaka, particularly through the first sixteen episodes.

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In defence of the English Dub

The quality of the storyline in anime seems to vary considerably with some shows having a real depth to them, while others appear as if they have been thrown together overnight. Either way, the quality of any show can only be portrayed through the actors and in the case of anime, voice actors.

In Japan there are around 130 voice acting schools with over 60% of global animation output originating from the country making the talent a very big business. A trawl through any internet forum will almost always confirm the greatness Japanese voice actors and thus, a general preference to watching shows with English subtitles rather than dubbed with English voice actors.

Personally, even before I started watching anime, I have found watching foreign language films and shows difficult, primarily because of having to read and watch at the same time. A basic difficulty that I have been told becomes easier with practice. It would seem watching anime in ‘sub’ is the done thing, particularly with Japanese shows.

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Review: Toaru Kagaku no Railgun (A Certain Scientific Railgun) Season 1

So as promised here is my first real post and it is a review of the first series of A Certain Scientific Railgun.

Firstly, it is worth pointing out that Railgun is the spin-off to A Certain Magical Index and as such should probably be watched after the two seasons of that anime. That said, though there is a significant plot cross over, you probably wont be disappointed by watching Railgun first.

A Certain Scientific Railgun is based in a futuristic city called Academy City. The city is full of students called espers: young people with varying levels of scientific power. Railgun focuses on the third ranked of only seven level five espers, Mikoto Misaka, and her friends.

The plot is split into two distinct sections which both roughly take up half of the season each. The first half can be described as a mix of filler and character building. We might argue that really none of this first half is essential to the story but by incorporating it into the series you develop a real connection to the characters when things really start to happen later on. It’s also worth saying that the start of the anime of is genuinely very funny: from the nuances of Uiharu and Saten to Kuroko’s infatuation with Mikoto.

Review: Toaru Kagaku no Railgun (A Certain Scientific Railgun) Season 1

‘Railgun’ Mikoto Misaka

In the second half of the season the action really gets going. There are some really good scenes showing off Mikoto’s power that is talked so much about early on, mixed in with some really emotional dialogue based problems that gives the anime some much needed depth. One of the best aspects of the second half is just how much depth is drawn from the character building that often seemed so pointless at the beginning.

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