I am not typically a huge harem/ecchi comedy fan, but after I watch a serious anime, I like to "dive" into these guys to try and loosen myself back up. Luckily, Infinite Stratos (IS) was exactly what I needed. A lighthearted comedy that didn't try to be anything other than what it was: A harem comedy revolving around the use of mecha.
Story: 5 out of 10
Story was perhaps the most average I could possibly think of (in terms of harem/ecchi comedy). A boy ends up in an all girls school for being able to pilot an IS mech. This has never happened for a boy before, so of course he is a big deal, and every girl on the base wants a hard @*$%, so they relentlessly pursue him. He, of course, is too naive, or perhaps even daft to realize this (in typical H/E C fashion), so he is constantly rejecting the advances of beautiful girls.
He then starts training in the IS, and follow after his legendary sister in terms of combat, and through his "strong, kind heart" he is basically a champion now. Outside of these things, the story really only playfully dabbles in other aspects, and fails in a few.
Fortunately, none of it matters, because this show isn't meant to be taken from a serious technical aspect and reviewed by some snob. It's supposed to entertain you (as with all forms of cinematic and televised art, yes yes), and be lighthearted and fun, and much to that end, they accomplished it. I enjoyed myself, and will probably watch the second season if it ever becomes developed.
Animation: 8 out of 10
I suppose it isn't fair to judge the series so high based on how beautiful the mecha looks, but here I am. I think the mecha in this series is a healthy mix of realistic metal, and organic magic I suppose (organic magic? Sounds like a bad infomercial item). "Energy wings" and the like will spout from different IS' from time to time, taking away from the cold, boring pseudo-realistic feeling mecha can sometimes present, and instead adding a fantastic flare into the mix.
Sound: 3 out of 10
Sound failed quite thoroughly. Forgettable OP and ED songs, and very little background music. Very much a softer show in terms of sound.
Characters: 7 out of 10
Charatcers should be getting a 5 from me, since they are all archetype harem characters, but I can't help but feel attached to the character of Charlotte (Char, or Charles). A new character for me as a viewer, Char was a girl who secretly pretended to be a boy in order to gain media hype for her cruel father's business. Through the kindness of Ichika's heart (wah wah), she decided to "come out" of the cross-dresser closet, if you will, and openly tell everyone she was a woman.
I know this sounds peculiar for me to say, but they quite masterfully balanced sexual tension and confusion between Char and Ichika before Ichika found out (hilariously) about the truth. The character Char turns into though, is the true treat to me. She becomes almost his right hand, as he holds a much closer bond with her than the others at the time (being that he was willing to keep such a huge secret safe, just because he cared for her and had a kind heart), and for awhile, I was really hoping that they would fall in love. It is unfortunate, and the only hint at who he "picks" is obvious at the end, and predictable. No fun.
Overall: 6.5 out of 10
Overall, like I said in previous paragraphs, Infinite Stratos is exactly what it's supposed to be: Bots, Boobs, and Blaughing. Watch this series looking for something to casually laugh with, and half-heartedly cheer for, and you'll have a pleasant experience.