*WARNING: MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS, BUT NOT HEAVY SPOILERS*
The idea behind the story is not an entirely bad concept. Of course it has become a generic plot idea to base an anime on creating a manga. I mean c'mon, it seems like every year there is either an anime or a manga where the theme is based on creating a manga. However, the way this show presents the manga creator and the interactions between him and his assistants can be quite warm on the heart.
So, why does the story get a lower score from me? Because of HOW it tells this story and how it all goes to shit at a fast paced speed.
The story goes something like this....
The main character is Sakura Chiyo, who happens to be in love with the most painfully aloof guy in the entire fucking world, Nozaki Umetarou. One day Sakura confesses her love to Nozaki while they're at school. Because of the fact that Nozaki is either in complete denial, or possibly stupid, he assumes she's a fan and signs an autograph for her despite her not even asking for one. So, this eventually leads to Nozaki asking Sakura to become his assistant since she's an artist herself. Obviously, like any other generic anime female character would, she doesn't try to explain to him what she really meant and she agrees to becoming his bitc...I mean assistant.
Now the thing about this plot is that it heavily revolves around the interactions the characters have with one another. This is why I say that despite the IDEA of the story not being a bad one, it's told in one of the worst ways possible. Why is it told in one of the worst ways possible? Because majority of the characters you meet throughout the series make you cringe.
Let me just start off by saying which character I like the most, and that would be Mikoto (Mikorin) Mikoshiba. It is surprising that with such poorly written characters that Mikorin managed to stay consistently well written and consistently entertaining. You see, Mikorin is obviously supposed to be the hot guy of the show (and the guy Sakura should have chosen, but that's for another story). Even though Mikorin is considered very good looking, he is a complete otaku dweeb who gets painfully shy around a group of people. Some have considered his character too far-fetched and that if someone was that good looking then they would not behave like such a socially scared nerd, but that is all far from the truth. We cannot simply dismiss a character because he doesn't appear realistic, or just because he doesn't fit other generic anime stereotypes everyone seems to be used to.
Mikorin is definetly one of the better written male characters in a slice of life anime, and he was the main reason I was able to finish this series.
Now you are probably wondering what was so wrong with the rest of the cast if Mikorin was so great. Just keep in mind that this is purely based off of what I consider to be my objective reasoning as well as subjective reasoning (because nobody in this world can be 100% objective all the time).
Let's start with Sakura, who was not terrible nor great...she was who she was. Her entire existance is based on the fact that she loves Nozaki. There is really nothing else about her that makes her standout as an individual character other than the fact that she's the main character (and kind of cute at times).
Nozaki is someone who is mentally unaware of almost everything around him, despite him being this so called amazing manga creator. He comes off as so bland and so unaware of social cues that it begins to infuriate you by the second episode. We all know his character isn't supposed to be this sporadic and overally emotional guy, but his drab demeanor could have benefited from some sort of development of his personality.
Since the two main characters are obviously nothing special, and since the entire plot is based upon Sakura's love for Nozaki, the series was in dire need of some dynamic characters. Although, the series could have possibly been better without the rest of the cast altogether...
You have Yuzuki, who happens to be great at sports and great at singing despite being even more aloof than Nozaki. That's right boys and girls, we couldn't have just one severely obtuse character that already intensifies the frustration factor. Instead, the creators decided to give us two severely obtuse characters, hooray!
There is also Yuu, a girl who hits on all the other girls at the school and makes all the guys jealous of her "swag". I actually thought the idea of her character was quite enticing, but the writers fell flat with keeping you entertained by her.
There is also the worst character of this entire fucking series, Masayuki...we'll get to why he's the worst a little later.
The last person I will name is Hirotaka, the character that nobody gives two damns about. The only reasons why I am mentioning him is because of his interaction with Nozaki and Yuzuki.
I would name everyone else, but the rest of those characters either don't matter and should have never been in the series in the first place, or they were there because they HAD to be in the series but they didn't contribute to making the plot any better.
From watching this series it appears as though the creators wanted to defy typical anime stereotypes that are shown in every other series known to man. There is only one problem, they decided to take these stereotypes and simply switch the genders...which makes them what? Still stereotypes!
Instead of Yuu being a man who gets all the girls, her character is a woman. And despite Masayuki being the opitomy of an abusive tsundere piece of shit (which is a more common stereotype for female characters in anime) his character is a man.
Masayuki always seems to be annoyed with Yuu for absolutely NO reason, and if he has a reason it is never ever justified. Now, I am already uncomfortable with how physical female tsundere characters can be towards other male characters, but when it is the other way around it becomes even more uncomfortable (especially since the ONE thing that seperates men and women is physiology, and unfortunately the general amount of women are not able to physically handle a hit from a man). Masayuki is constantly punching and kicking Yuu around, despite Yuu never really doing anything for it to be deserved. However, the creators are trying to convince that since Yuu seems to be into other women and because she comes off as a male character that we should all be okay with this already fucked up stereotype of beating up people you call your friends (or those they have a crush on). Normally you see in other anime that when a female character hits a male character it is okay because of the fact that it is a woman hitting a man, which is already not okay. However, the stereotype is switched here and we should all simply except it because a female character is considered "barely female" so long as she behaves like a man *rolls eyes*.
You can claim that I may be reading into it, but even if their interactions don't require anyone to read into that deeply it doesn't stop it from being exaspirating to watch.
You also have the interactions between Yuzuki and Hirotaka, whom depending upon who you are, had probably contributed to some of the more pointless scenes of this series. Yuzuki could have been entertaining by herself, but the fact that she was dragged down by Hirotaka's obsession for why he thought Yuzuki would pick on him added to the amount of frustration I already had for this show. More often you see in other anime series that cliche of the male character coming across as if he didn't like another cliche female character, even though he did actually liked her (which I guess we are to assume was the case here). However, I could have excused this cliche so long as there was some sort of development between the two...but there was none.
Speaking of character development, did I mention there is none?...abso...lutely...none.
Now, I was willing to look past that flaw, but the problem is that these characters are so poorly written and their interactions are so cringe worthy that if each one had developed in a fervent way then it could have saved the plot.
The only character that was a well written cliche and wasn't in dreadful need of development was Mikorin and his "otakuness".
This series had the opportunity to defy cliche stereotypes and create a great and unique slice of life anime. Instead the writers not only contributed to these cliche stereotypes, but they made them more profound.
Keep in mind, this is a more popular aime series and is well loved by many fans. So my reasons for not liking it does not reflect the way you as an individual has to feel about this series.
I say give this a shot regardless of how I feel, but no amount of convincing will change my opinion on why I gave this show the rating that I did.
SIDE NOTE: I heard from a friend that they happened to enjoy the manga more than they did the anime. So I suppose that is always worth looking into.