I'm not as shocked as you are, in fact I spent yesterday looking at the OP over and over again because I like it quite a bit and I figured something was up with Hambart Hampnie because of a few details: at the beginning of the OP he's replaced with Ai when a Sakura pedal goes by (instead of just standing there with her) , then later when the "camera" travels through all the characters he's standing way apart from everyone else and lastly as I was watching ep3 I realized that towards the end of the OP he's shown together with Hana which made me think he could be Ai's father afterall.
I'm guessing we reached the end of the first novel and a whole lot of first novel endings seem to be quite conclusive in case it doesn't get renewed.That being said I would have rather this arc be given 5-6 episodes instead of three for reasons you highlighted in your blogpost and just like you I fear that the following arcs might not live up to this one (I'm reminded of shigofumi where I absolutely loved the first two episode arc and then it was all downhill from there)
That being said director Yuuji Kumazawa is now on my watch list, Oda Nobuna no Yabou wasn't my cup of tea but I found it quite well crafted and considering the time constraints here I found this arc well crafted as well, it could have been a complete disaster in the hands of another director
I like them both. Blood Lad is a sort of cross between Hataraku and Soul Eater, if Haruhara Haruko showed up. Good solid comedy with low-budget Brains Base creativity. Kamisama (I hate that English title - it should have been "On Sunday God Forook the Earth") is dark (literally and figuratively) and so far, mysterious to the point of confusion. But the second ep was far better than the first, and Namikawa Daisuke is tremendous.
If you're looking for low-stress entertainment, Blood Lad. Atmosphere and creepy beauty with an intriguing story, Kamisama.