So Kanojo flag ep 2, Watanabe and Co are really mixing stuff up though you wouldn't know it if you don't know the source, I do like some of the changes made such as at the end of the episode: in the manga it's a classic "walking in on the girls naked" the anime adds the trap thinking that's what boys do.
A lot of the insanity comes from the source, I always thought the author was walking a fine line between being just lazy or taking LN tropes to absurd levels in a fun way, nobody seems amazed that the school is so huge, nobody wonders why the school elder looks so young etc
And trust me, it gets weirder
Havn't seen it yet but I'll say one thing , when you say " a sandwich of serious plot exposition at the beginning and end, with a heaping helping of absolute nonsense in the middle. " , that describes the manga pretty well, so I'll keep you updated when I see it.
TBH the premiere reminded me a bit of R-15, too - which I consider high praise but most would consider a serious insult. There's the same sense for me that there's something humanist and a little deep underneath all the silliness and ecchi, but that most people will never see it.
A bit early for me to say, while nothing Watanabe and Co did here made it instantly better it could be beneficial later on.
Kanojo Flag sort of reminds me of Sora no otoshimono, there's a plot there and I find it interesting but it only shows up once in a while and when the plot is not there you've got a bunch or filler with the MC interacting with the girls of his harem.If the anime team decides to mix up things so that the anime focuses on the plot then I'd be delighted and there's signs of this happening.
Going by this episode and the next episode preview they're mixing up the chapter order and making changes so that it's not that noticable, for example all the events in the 2nd half happened in the novel but an extra character was present,the anime will only introduce her next week. I'm guessing all this was done for the sake of having Sota see his death flag as early as this episode, a standard pace adaptation wouldn't have gotten to this point until ep4 or so.
While I don't want to get your hopes up too much I do want to point out this post I made a few month ago about Kanojo ga Flag o orchestra.
Not that I don't have plenty of issues with the source material but a really good adaptation could solve them and Watanabe is off to a nice start.