Well, to be fair, your "slight hit to the ribs" idea seems reasonable to me (both for real life and for anime).
More than anything, I just think this style of comedy is kind of... played out, maybe? And while I honestly accept the gender double standard to some degree (let's face it, guys tend to be physically stronger than girls, biologically speaking), I also think it can be taken too far. My mind goes back to Ore no Imouto's Kirino here. If Kyousuke had, say, literally pushed her away from him after her 4th or 5th time of hitting him, I couldn't and wouldn't fault him for that. But I think a guy should only punch a female, actually punch her, if she really is a serious threat to him (and here I'm kind of talking about an actual female villain that's great at fighting and/or powerful).
And yeah, a guy who took a 'roll with the punches' approach to the tsundere abuse might come across well.
Decent people aren’t always decent when you walk in on them in the shower, and my tendency is to say that both sympathy and a bit of slack are warranted. I’d honestly say the biggest problem with most male leads isn’t that they take the hit – which may well be the best course of action – but that they don’t do so with dignity.
That said, if the female character’s personality allows for swallowing pride (ie. probably not someone like Taiga), I still think an after the fact apology or repentence is a golden opportunity for the writer. Especially if the character is a tsundere – bashful mode on, yes?
(Also, - and I suspect you might agree with me on this – I’d rather see the guy be pacifistic to a tsundere than subscribe to this “she hit me, now I’m justified in putting her in her place” BS I hear some people articulate from time to time. Escalation is not self-defense.)
I don't want to sound too fanboy for Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo since it's not exactly a masterpiece in the making at this point - but given how much apologetics and evangelism I've been doing for the show via VM and PM this past week, I feel like my work won't be complete until I mention to you that I found the second episode planted it firmly in "better than it sounds" territory.
As with Sakuracon in Seattle, most of my photos ended up being Madoka or Fate/Zero related, but I think I got better photos from a smaller group of cosplayers because I had far more time and space at my disposal.
Two magical girl anime shows having such similar names, and having mentor vs. protege is pretty funny yeah. I'm glad to see magical girl anime on the rise again. For a long while, magical girl anime seemed to me to be all Nanoha and PreCure. Nice to see Madoka Magica breath some new life back into this genre.
I’m not sure I’d consider boldness Akira’s most important trait, simply because her boldness is quite nuanced – ie, she was bold in the bath scene but shy enough at the same time to take a bit of the edge off it. Personally, I’d peg warmth, good naturedness, and liveliness as key appeals, along with being clever in spite of frequent absentmindedness.
As for the Harper thing:
By Shaft, a 26 episode hentai anime about Stephen Harper's moe-ness.
For me personally, “loveable but somehow weak” is the one moe trait that works for men. (In contrast, pretty much anything that can endear the audience to them can be a moe trait for a women. I suppose some would probably conclude that I see weak people as feminine from that but if true it’s very much a subconscious and limited thing – certainly there are many strong female characters for which I feel their strength doesn’t decrease their femininity (or moe appeal, for that matter) at all.) Harper… doesn’t really fit that. In fact, it’s hard to think of many politicians that do. I suppose Stephane Dion kind of does, but I wouldn’t much want to see him in an H-anime either.