Ichika’s STILL a Dumbass … But so’s Houki

So I was threatening to derail a conversation over at Chizumatic into a two-sided discussion of Infinite Stratos, and decided to move my response to Topkiller over here. I’ve only got a few minutes on lunch, so I’ll be brief.

He and I were going around about the identity of the sixth haremette. Her actual identity is not who any of us predicted (Ran, the imouto of Ichika’s friend Dan). Instead it’s the younger sister of the student council president, another freshman. She’s Japan’s actual cadet candidate, who got shoved behind Ichika in the priority queue, so her personal IS isn’t finished yet. She has a major role in the sixth through eighth novels, and after the seventh one, the other five girls acknowledge her as a “formal” competitor.

We also get a second unofficial haremette besides Ran, the student council president herself, who blackmails/teases Ichika into partnering with her sister, because she’s Tabane to her imouto’s Houki. The realization that she’s falling for him too gives her a quandary, as it puts her in competition with her sister, who becomes the first girl to actually confess successfully to Ichika. (I’m not counting Laura, who just assumes, or Houki who keeps mumbling.)

It’s all fairly interesting in a fun way, but I’m completely kicked out of my suspension of disbelief over Ichika; it’s not that he doesn’t realize that they all like him — it’s that he doesn’t think they like him in that way. And frankly, by the end of book eight, he has to be either retarded or under some kind of mental control. Seriously, he has to haul them (except for the new girl) out of “Matrix dream-worlds” staring each of them with a fake copy of himself, in increasingly sexual situations. As in the various versions of himself are:

  • stripping a jr.high Rin in bed,
  • bathing a nude Lady Cecilia and nibbling on her breasts
  • about to get it on with naked-apron husband Laura on the kitchen table
  • taking advantage of maid Charlotte in his castle
  • practicing swordplay in the dojo with Houki

…Huh? Whuzzat?

Good lord, she’s as stupid as he is. She’s also the only one who broke herself out of the dream, as Fake Ichika kept defeating Real Ichika until she realized that nobody but Real Ichika was that stubborn.

Still, if I were confronted with evidence that at least four girls were having wild sex fantasies about me, I don’t think I’d be as ho-hum about it as Ichika. He naturally assumes that it was something the system was doing to them (they were trapped and mind-altered to think their worlds were real, of course), and not a reflection of their actual desires. He doesn’t even get why the new girl becomes increasingly angry as he hauls one naked girl after another out of their dreamworlds.

Oh well. Reboot or continuation, we’ll see. I don’t see the point in a reboot, unless they’re telling an entirely different story. Maybe bring the MC from Antihero in to replace Ichika… he’s just as oblivious to his effect on women, but at least it’s understandable that all the women would fantasize about him….

Update: ANN already mentions them and confirms it’s a reboot, so I’ll dispense with the spoilers: the two new girls are Takenashi and Kanzashi Sarashiki from Izuru Yumizuru’s novels. Takenashi is the student council president, and Kanzashi is the imouto/cadet/haremette. To get them in the anime, I’m expecting more than a single cour. Since they were “invented” for later novels, but really should have been around at the beginning, I suspect the reboot is mainly to retcon them into the early story. Whether Tabane gets reworked, that’s another matter.

Update 2:
Some of the comments indicate that by “reboot” they mean the change in publishers, and the second season picks up where the first left off. Apparently changing publishers is highly unusual, and there’s a bit of “language adaption decay” going on here with the Japanese meaning something different by reboot.

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