I admit it. I watched this due to the rolling success of K-on! (Sorry!). But I probably would not have looked at this series otherwise. This anime was better than I had anticipated. You could say this was more of a guilty pleasure anime considering the other shows that came out this spring. What I enjoyed about it though was the fact that it felt very relaxing to watch. No cliffhangers no heavy drama, just light antics that had me smiling and laughing with the occasional "aww".
Story - 7
The beginning two-thirds of the series seemed to be more random and fun with interactions with different
characters mainly to show the personalities of the main 4 themselves. The last third seemed to focus a bit more on the friendship particularly with Tooru. Overall it was funny and interesting but not all that compelling. I could have just stopped anywhere in this anime and picked it up later and not miss anything. But I think the main focus of this anime was clear from the start that it was simply to entertain their audience and I felt the series accomplished that.
Art - 8
I was actually surprised at how detailed most of the backgrounds and objects of attention were drawn. Even simple things like a piece of candy, a can of soda, or a sign above a door were nicely animated. Unfortunately I didn't really take note of it until I skimmed through the series again. Initially, everything looked and felt the same. Only the first episode had bits of animation that were different from the remainder of the series. Aside from that, the animation wasn’t extraordinary but I suppose it did well to emphasize the everyday atmosphere of the series and bring focus to the characters.
The art of the characters themselves were cute. I found Run's expressions to be uniquely different from the others but otherwise everyone else had fairly common faces and reactions. What bothered me in the beginning was how young the female teachers looked but it’s to be expected for a moe anime. Eventually I got used to the character design.
Sound - 7
The OP was very catchy. It captures the mood of the series very well. The ED is appropriate but not something I found myself listening on repeat. There were also random insert songs in almost all the episodes which did add to emphasize an emotion or experience a character may have been having but I felt they were a little irrelevant and served as animation filler. Granted I did enjoy listening to some of them particularly in the karaoke episode. Presumably all 4 seiyuus can sing, but an insert song in every episode felt a little unnecessary.
Character - 8
I had to give this an 8 because the secondary characters really made it worthwhile to watch. Yes the main characters were likable but honestly, the teachers and Tooru's classmates made this more enjoyable. Especially Sato-sensei whose character I questioned in the beginning but later came to appreciate. The only thing I had hoped for was more involvement from the male students. Their presence played a small part in revealing personalities but did little to add to the series.
Of the 4 main characters Nagi was my favorite next to Run. Her character had a lot of potential with" hidden talent/beauty" but the focus was placed more on the other three. Plus her seiyuu Yumi Uchiyama seems new and does not have a following like the others. I thought she did a good job (Kudos to her in ep 7) despite being relatively unknown. The remaining three characters have fairly distinct personalities that are easily identifiable through watching.
Enjoyment - 7
This was fun to watch although I did stop watching at some later point of the series since other shows were more interesting at the time. I forced myself to finish the series but the last episode I felt was more or less satisfying. By the end of each episode, I found myself in a good mood. It was like an appetizer before watching other anime, or a nice dessert. (If the image fits).
Overall - 7
It's a fairly good series. I felt the side characters were great and occasionally the main cast was fun to watch. Some tunes were catchy although a little excessive. The show presents mostly light-hearted comedy that focuses on friendship and the characters' everyday happenings in a high school setting. I’d recommend this if you’re looking for a cute, easygoing series to put a smile on your face. :)