Byakushiki (白式, lit. "White Form") is a 3.5 - 4th Generation Close Range Combat Type developed by Kuromochi Machinery Development and is used by Ichika Orimura. It contains the very first Infinite Stratos (IS) core ever made, Core Number 001 which originally belonged to Shirokishi. Currently Its also only know IS which undergone 3rd Shift.
The Byakushiki was a conceptual prototype developed during the early stages of research into a possible 4th generation Infinite Stratos. Thus, it is considered to be Generation 3.5. The 4th generation IS were designed around the goal of utilizing a One Off Ability without the IS going into Second Shift. However, Byakushiki was discarded when a serious defect in its experimental design was discovered, therefore posing a roadblock in the research and development of the 4th generation. Eventually though, Tabane Shinonono acquired these experimental designs and fixed the defect. She then enhanced the prototype by installing experimental Fold-Out Armor, the fruits of her own research, onto the Yukihira, Byakushiki's weapon. The Byakushiki was then given to Ichika to operate in order to gather test data for the further development of more complete 4th generation IS machines like Houki's Akatsubaki, which is the first true 4th generation IS.
Being an experimental design for the development of the 4th generation, Byakushiki is designed to be able to utilize a One Off Ability without having to enter second shift. As a result, all of its expansion slots are attached to the Yukihira (Byakushiki's sole weapon), thus preventing the Byakushiki from possessing any Equalizers. Even so, as Ichika puts it, Byakushiki seems to have a bit of an attitude towards using any other weapons apart from the Yukihira Nigata.
Having the core of the Shirokishi, Byakushiki still seems to have retains memories of Chifuyu Orimura when she piloted the Shirokishi, despite Tabane erasing it data completely. This is likely why Byakushiki is very protective of Ichika, as it carries Chifuyu's love for her younger brother. Even Tabane admit she was surprised by this and can't understand how it happened. Ichika also stated that Byakushiki is not an ordinary IS.
Before Ichika possessed Byakushiki, it took the standard form of an inactive IS with its a grey tone and wings closed up.
After the fitting process is done, in the light novels it takes the form of a gauntlet on Ichika's right wrist. In the anime, it takes the form of a bulky bracelet. In the manga it is a gauntlet up to chapter 4, in chapter 5 doesn't wear it, then starting with chapter 6 is a bulky bracelet.
1st Shift/Armaments & Abilities
The basic armament and the only weapon for the IS is:
- Yukihira Type 2 (雪片弐型, Yukihiria Nigata roughly "Snowflake 2.0")
- A blade designed for CQC and an upgraded version of Chifuyu's energy blade. All of Byakushiki's expansion slots are connected to it, making this blade Byakushiki's sole weapon. These extra connections to Yukihira enable to Byakushiki to activate its One-Off Ability in First Shift thanks to the enhanced connectivity and synchronization between the IS and its weapon. While Reiraku Byakuya is not activated, Yukihira maintains the appearance of an ordinary metal sword. Only when the One-Off Ability is activated does it take on the form of an energy blade.
- The Yukihira Type 2 is partially equipped with an Fold-Out Armor apparatus that opens up when activated to project the energy field of Reiraku Byakuya. Since the Fold-Out Armor in Byakushiki was installed when the technology was still in experimental stage, it does not benefit from the full capabilities of Fold-Out Armor, and its application is limited to offensive roles only, since it is installed only on Byakushiki's weapon.
The special abilities of Byakushiki are:
- Ignition Boost
- A high-velocity charge which is usually followed by a critical blow from One Off enabled Yukihira Type 2. When activated, the exhaust from thruster is absorbed inside a nozzle chamber and pressurized before being released, allowing for acceleration beyond normal.
- Reiraku Byakuya (零落白夜 - a rough literal translation being 'white night of downfall' or 'midnight sun-faded glory')
- Byakushiki's One-Off Ability which negates the energy-based abilities of other IS. It can be used without undergoing a Second Shift, and when it is activated, the Yukihira's Fold-Out Armor folds out, projecting an energy field over Yukihira's blade. This coating of energy is what allows him to negate energy-based abilities, letting Yukihira bypass things like energy shields.
- However, activating and powering this energy coat requires vast amount of power (which is much more than an IS can continuously supply) so in order to maintain the ability, additional energy has to be converted from Byakushiki's own shield (Chifuyu Orimura mentions that type of ability can only be found in top-class users.) The end effect is that Byakushiki's offensive abilities are amplified manyfold at the cost of much of its defensive capabilities.
- Barrier Void Attack
- The ability that comes with Yukihira Type 2 and activation of Reiraku Byakuya. Using this Byakushiki can completely bypass any IS shield (which is the key defense in every IS). Since the attack would not be weakened, a single direct hit is often enough to force opposing IS to activate Absolute Barrier, effectively rendering the enemy energy-depleted.
2nd Shift/Armaments & Abilities
Later on, Byakushiki undergoes 2nd Shift shortly after Shinonono Houki acquires Akatsubaki. Setsura is Byakushiki's enhancement that is completely made out of "Fold-Out Armor". Its activation was the 3rd time that it is implied that "Byakushiki" is Intelligent, Self-aware & responds to Ichika's wishes, as Byakushiki seems to have undergone its 2nd Shift so that Ichika gets the strength required to beat the Silver Gospel.
When Ichika was unconscious, Byakushiki appears in his dream as 2 people, a woman (Chifuyu as White Knight) which is the portrayal of Byakushiki's core (this also shows that despite what Tabane did to flush the Core 001's memory it still retains the memory of its time as the White Knight.) The other was a girl in white, a portrayal of Setsura. They asked Ichika why he wanted power & satisfied by his response, Byakushiki undergoes the 2nd Shift.
Also, Speculates that Setsura's particle cannon was created by Byakushiki as Ichika used the gun Charlotte gave him in a training session. In the resulting 2nd Form named Byakushiki Setsura (白式雪羅, roughly "Snow-white Expressions"), it is equipped with a multi-purpose unit (named Setsura, hence the name of the 2nd Form) fitted onto its left arm, which has multiple functions including a large caliber charged particle cannon, an energy claw for CQC, and an energy shield with One Off attribute
In its 2nd Form, Byakushiki also gains an increase in mobility through the addition of 4 large wing thrusters, enabling it to execute Double Ignition Boost. In this 2nd form, it is the most advanced IS ever made, along with Houki's Akatsubaki. However due to most of its offensive and defensive weaponry possessing the large energy requirements due to their anti-energy properties, Byakushiki's overall effectiveness is shunted without the help of Akatsubaki's energy regeneration.
In Episode 12, Tabane was also surprised that Byakushiki was able to revive Ichika despite his serious injury and mentioned that it was like the White Knight IS in that regards. Chifuyu responded by revealing that it carried Core Number 001, the very first IS core Tabane made and spent the most time and effort on developing.
3rd Shift/Armaments & Abilities
Byakushiki achieved 3rd Shift after Ichika was killed by the Excalibur, a super-IS weapon mounted on a satellite. Similar to the fight with Silver Gospel, the machine forcefully evolved itself to save Ichika. When asked by Chifuyu how he's alive, Ichika told her he was saved by a woman in a pure white IS.
The 3rd Shift is called Byakushiki Ouri (White Tail), and gained a massive increase in its mobility to the point where Maya said it was moving too fast to be an IS. In this form, the Byakushiki unlocked its true One-Off Ability called Yuunagi Touya, which forcibly re-formats any IS into its default settings. One side-effect of this ability is that it can return any IS that is under forced remote control (hacked) back to normal. This ability is very powerful in battle, as it allows Ichika to weaken his opponent's IS drastically. This makes Byakushiki sort of 'king of IS'.
Along with its new One-Off Ability, Byakushiki's armaments have changed a great deal as well, most of which hasn't been fully understood yet. While Byakushiki lost its particle cannon and shield, it gained new energy wings on its back that can be used both offensively and defensively, similar to how Silverio Gospel's own energy wings worked. They can be used to cover Ichika as a barrier or launch energy feathers. The wings are uses the same kind of energy-absorbing energy as Reiraku Byakuya. As well, having absorbed the O.V.E.R.S. pack, Byakushiki's no longer suffers from lacking energy. Furthermore, it now has a complete Fold-Out Armor as well.
While looking through its systems, Ichika found a subsystem called Code White. What it means or does currently unknown.
- Byakushiki bears resemblance with the White Glint from the Armored Core For Answer Series
- Byakushiki Setsura's Yukihira Niigata and The Energy Claws are also similar to Destiny Gundam's MMI-714 Arondight Anti-Ship Sword and MMI-X340 Palma Fiocina Palm Beam Cannons
- Byakushiki's 1st Shift Yukihira is similar in function to 00 Raiser GN Sword III
- Byakushiki's claw could be a homage to Guren S.E.I.T.E.N. Eight Elements's right hand/claw. Guren's claw can do close-range attacks, range attacks or become a shield
- The Yukihira Niigata could be a homage to the 00 Raiser's GN Sword III or the GNT-0000_00 00 Qan［T］'s GN Buster Sword
- Byakushiki's name could be a homage to the Hyaku Shiki as both are special prototype units in their own series.
- Both times when Byakushiki evolved had a few things in common: They happen after Ichika got seriously injured protecting one of the heroine during a mission that involved out of control IS, which was caused by Tabane Shinonono, and it was around the time for one of the heroine's birthday (Houki and Cecilia respectfully).
- There is a theory that Byakushiki is in fact modified Shirokishi, due to fact that it is highly protective of Ichika and his astral form take a shape of Chifuyu clad in Shirokishi armor.
- LN Volume 11 Ch 3
- LN Volume 11 Ch 4
- LN Volume 11 Epilogue
- LN Volume 11 Ch 4
- LN Volume 12 The Anatomy of Infinite Stratos.
- LN Volume 12 Ch 3