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Infinite Stratos: Complete Collection Blu-ay Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Stereo, English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Stereo
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: TV-14
  • Discs: 3 (2 x Blu-ray + 1 x Soundtrack CD)
  • Run Time: 325 Mins.
  • Studio: Sentai Filmworks
  • Blu-ray Release Date: April 10, 2012
  • List Price: $69.98

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Purchase Infinite Stratos: Complete Collection on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Series
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3.5/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Series

[Rating:3.5/5]

Infinite Stratos is based on the series of light novels by Izuru Yumizuru. An anime series that brings together multiple genres, mainly mecha, high school, and mild fan service, the story is set in a near future Earth. A genius scientist in Japan has invented incredible super-weapons known as Infinite Stratos (IS). Worn as an exoskeleton, the robotic machines posses great powers and allow their users to accomplish great feats. They were so powerful, that the potential military use threatened to throw the balance of world power out of whack. Therefore, the world’s leaders signed a treaty to block the use of the IS in military applications and to distribute the machines equally amongst the nations.

There is also one other unique feature to the IS – only females can operate them, which has in itself shifted the power between the genders. But now, the sole male operator has emerged, Ichika Orimura. Because of his unique ability, the Japanese government has forced him into training at an elite academy in Japan where all IS pilots from around the world are trained. Thus begins Ichika’s strange and exciting adventure at the Infinite Stratos Academy – an all girl school – where the clumsy, not particularly talented first-year student becomes the main attraction for all the girls. In particular, he becomes the target of affections for the five first-year students who also own their own IS – there are only 467 in the whole world and only the very elite or wealthiest pilots have their own at the academy.

There’s Houki, Ishika’s childhood friend and a kendo champion, Rin, another of Ishika’s childhood friends who moved away to her Chinese homeland only to return for training at the academy, Laura Bodewig, a German girl with tsundere characteristics who has a connection to Ishika’s older sister, one of the instructors at the academy, Cecilia, a British IS pilot who is somewhat self-centered, yet charming in her own right, and Charlotte Dunois, a French IS pilot who originally joins the academy posing as the second male pilot in the world and is introduced to viewers and a bishōnen, but turns out to be a shapely young blonde girl.

The animation in this series is rather straightforward, as is the plot development and overall story arc. There’s nothing groundbreaking with Infinite Stratos that you won’t find in any number of high school based anime or mecha based anime for that matter. Ishika’s character is the typically clueless teenage boy who always seems to say the wrong thing, doesn’t seem to realize that all of these hot girls like him, yet somehow manages to attract them all. There’s very mild fan service and the character designs are the usual, anatomically well endowed females in slinky outfits. There are some good action sequences, but the series feels too open ended, even with the added on OVA.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

Infinite Stratos looks generally good in this release from Sentai Filmworks, but there is a sort of veil over the image that imparts a bit of softness to the look of the transfer. Still, there aren’t any outright artifacts that can be detected such as stairstepping or macroblocking. It appears on this release in an AVC/MPEG-4 1080p/24 encodement.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

The original Japanese language and an English dub are offered in DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 stereo mixes. I opted for the Japanese track with English subtitles engaged, but switching to the English every so often, I really couldn’t discern any large audible differences. Dialogue is clean and intelligible and there is a good amount of stereo separation as well. There is also relatively deep  low frequency extension, even without the LFE, and punchy midrange.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:3.5/5]

Three audio commentaries with members of the Japanese voice cast are a welcome offering as is the interview with director Yasuhito Kikuchi. A CD with the series soundtrack is also included as a bonus in this set, among other extras.

The supplements:

  • OVA
  • Episode 4 Commentary with Yoko Hisaka (Houki) & Asami Shimoda (Rinin)
  • Episode 7 Commentary with Yoko Hisaka (Houki) & Kana Hanazawa (Charles)
  • Episode 12 Commentary with Yoko Hisaka (Houki) & Yukana (Cecilia)
  • Infinite Stratos Behind the Scenes: A Interview with Director Yasuhito Kikuchi
  • Radio IS
  • Clean Opening Animation
  • Clean Closing Animation
  • Disc Credits
  • Also Available from Sentai Filmworks
  • CD

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

A series that is pleasant to watch, but not necessarily groundbreaking or original in anyway, Infinite Stratos still provides an enjoyable home theatre experience in this Blu-ray set with the addition of its CD soundtrack and the included OVA on the BD.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product]B006XDU7Y2[/amazon-product]

Purchase Infinite Stratos: Complete Collection on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Series
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3.5/5]

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