I think what that comes down to is that for spending $300+ on Blurays to make any sense, you have to appeal to the audiences' emotions and not their rational side.
I tend to find that series that bank on characters and setting are much better at this that series that bank on storyline. Infinite Stratos and Strike Witches - basically the two shows the two fanservice shows that actually are humungous sellers - have characters and setting that are far better than their plots. But I also think that many of the big sellers that do have good plots, like Madoka and Fate/Zero, sell big in large part due to characters and setting as well. I'd actually say the same even of Ghost in the Shell at this point too - ARISE episode 1 felt weak to me.
And again, that's where I think Hanasaku Iroha succeeded while NagiAsu failed. SSY I actually liked the characters and wonder if the series perhaps undersold them a bit even given the limitations placed by the darker setting and story. And I do think the fact that Klashikari's thing about the Blurays not correcting the off-model animation and such despite being $680 was a factor too. I can actually imagine fans taking mild offense to that since such corrections are relatively standard practice.
As for the really superfluous stuff (ie. fanservice) - it can help, but I think it's often overemphasized compared to characters. My gut says its secondary to the characters even in stuff like Infinite Stratos and Strike Witches.
Don't know where you got that idea from, but I wasn't saying that IS2 selling well somehow takes away sales from a series like NagiAsu. My point is that if things like IS2 continue to sell in the industry, then it's hard for me to believe that the buying habits of otaku in general have much to do with anything pertaining to the actual story telling itself other than superfluous elements (i.e. fanservice, meta humor, moe, etc.), which of course makes it easier to stream out merchandise and extras for them.
The anime industry isn't a zero sum game of success .
Okay, given the IS2 comment, I can't help but interject here.
IMO, NagiAsu is squarely targetted at the Hanasaku Iroha/Tari Tari/AnoHana crowd.
AnoHana and Hanasaku aired a mere one season after IS1 and pulled strong sales numbers.
NagiAsu hasn't and despite the season being weak sales wise in general I think maybe it could have. I think the weak start and what I'd honestly consider a cast that's hard to get behind (unlike, say, Ohana) screwed that chance over.
As for SSY: I know people whose tastes are usually more... "intellectual" than mine who stopped paying much attention to it around the first Queerat arc, which I can admit is a weak point in the story. Conversely, one of the people I know who considers it show of the year material is a enormous Key fanboy who collects quite a bit of merchandise for that and other series. He bought multiple Madoka 3 tickets to try and get all five of the sketchboards they handed out at the screenings. Does he have any SSY stuff? I doubt it. Just to drive home how much that lack of merchandise, extras, etc issue really is.
(Also, my seifuku enthusiast girlfriend hasn't watched SSY and isn't sure it's the kind of thing she'd like but loves the uniform designs.)
The rejection of Mitsuo kind of reminds me of the bit of the scene in Yosuga no Sora where Akira gives Haruka a super energetic introduction, then passes it off to her class as just her being dumb when he doesn't remember they'd met years before. Both girls are much smarter than they look. I think Pocari dislikes the type based on the surface traits though - he described Chinami as being, in his words "quite derp".
A lot of people have commented that anime high schoolers don't act much like high schoolers - I remember it coming up in that thread where I asked if characters like Kuroneko, Azusa and Nadeko would still have the same sort of appeal if they were 20-ish rather than 14-17. But I'm not sure that's it. I think what some people are forgetting about these characters is that they're freshmen. Meaning they're pretty much just ascended high schoolers.
(Also, I hate to say it, but the club events actually were the most fun part of undergrad for me. And I liked some of my classes!)
Perhaps he thinks Chinami is an air headed moe blob, but that's definitely not the impression I've gotten from her so far. It's not like I'm in love with the character necessarily, but I don't see why he is revolted by it . I still laugh at how she rejected Mitsuo the other episode.
Golden Time is a good show. There are some aspects of it that can be a little frustrating, but I think there are a lot of aspects that come off as genuinely real compared to a lot of other anime. The college setting is not exploited enough in my opinion, however. Or maybe it's that high school kids never act like high school kids in anime. Hard to say.
First season leaned towards a Ichika/Houki end despite Charlotte clearly having gotten closer to him, I forgave it. Second season wanted to return to a harem status quo, I forgave that too. And I've generally just been amused when people call Ichika the densest harem protagonist ever.
Until this episode, when the density got too much for even me.
Spoiler for Infinite Stratos, to season 2 episode 5:
Last episode of Charlotte's arc in season one: Charlotte sneaks into Ichika's bath, convinces him to stick around to hear her out on what she wants to say, and ends the encounter by hugging him while they're both nude.
This episode: The girls throw Ichika a birthday party and wear servicy animal girl outfits. Charlotte tries to feed him homemade, heart shaped cookies. By making him close his eyes and holding one end of the cookie in her mouth. WHen asked about the party at the end of the episode, Ichika says he's just happy his older sister attended the party.
UGUU. READ THE GOD DAMN MOOD YOU MORON.
Yeah, I'm really hoping that was just a bad anime original episode. A harem status quo I can deal with, but at this point the only explanation I have for Ichika not acknowledging at least Charlotte and Houki's interests in him is that the writer is trolling me.