Having seen the first episode of IS2 about three times as of this writing, I can confidently tell you that the extended version is a waste of time as far as these things go. Pleasant, yes, but eminently forgettable. The quality of the fanservice was about a bit below average for IS standards, too. The original episode effectively summarised all the sexy moments with a handful of still frames, and while it’s nice to see a story connecting those frames here, in true IS fashion there is in fact no story at all.
Don’t get me wrong: I love IS, but I think that, on top of revealing the heroines’ bodies, this extended cut also reveals the botched planning and production of this second season. To make up for it, this season has ramped up the fanservice to eleven and while that has led to some extremely creative situations (Charlotte’s panties, anyone?) I can’t say any of it flows awfully well. The scenes just don’t seem to connect at all. I’m not asking for a deep plot or anything – just get the basic structure of an episode right. The fact that the anime writers really didn’t know how to edit this episode really shows in how it got turned into a low-budget OVA at all.
And man is it low-budget. Even here, where you’d think they’d at least attempt to tell the pool and festival stories with actual animation, the anime falls back onto what is essentially a Power Point Presentation but with voiceovers from popular voice actresses. Meaning: Animation? What animation?
Okay, so, the “plot” for those of you who have wisely decided to forego watching the episode in favour of a recap: First, Cecilia snags Ichika for herself while the others are changing. When she thinks that she’ll be found, Cecilia ducks underwater and drags Ichika with her, leading to CHECKPOINT A (the image above).
As for CHECKPOINT B, which is when Ichika gropes Charlotte’s breasts, what happens is that they all decided to go on a water slide, but because it could only fit two people at once, Charlotte and Houki challenge each other to rock-paper-scissors. Charlotte wins and sits on Ichika’s lap. The slide is intense and, needing something to latch onto, Ichika blindly grabs Charlotte’s breasts. That’s about it. Charlotte tells Ichika gosh what a jolly pervert he is, but she also says this in episode 6. And in every other episode besides that.
Basically, what I’m saying is: this is a lazy-as-fuck extra and you could have worked out everything that I just wrote in the above two paragraphs just from looking at the slideshow in episode 1. The connecting scenes don’t add anything except for self-explaining context.
All in all, there was about ten minutes of new “footage” here (a term I use loosely), and then the full version of the ED, which is played over yet more “footage”. If you haven’t seen the first episode of IS2 yet, then sure, pull up a seat and watch the OVA, but for everyone else, the fanservice is boring and a regular episode of IS2 is more titillating, funnier and more creatively written than what we got here.
Mind you, that isn’t a disservice to Infinite Stratos as a whole. Because for all the flaws in its production, this is a franchise that really knows how to push the fanboy buttons, and when this series is working, it’s a godly example of otaku fanservice. The OVA isn’t IS at its most hrrrrnnnngggghhhh-inducing – it’s just generic copy-and-paste fanservice, and that’s something you could get from any harem/ecchi series.
Verdict: If you’re a hardcore IS fan, then by all means add this to your collection, but for everyone else who has seen episode 1 and who wants the good fanservice, then you’re free to give this OVA a miss.