Just so you know, July 12th (the second Saturday in July, this year) is a local festivity, and my family is fairly busy with it. The festivity also started early yesterday with parades and fireworks. So I'm going to be pretty busy until tomorrow noon or so. I'll try to get back to your latest VMs and PMs around then.
Watching the 1st eps of Sailor Moon Crystal and Sword Art Online 2 - I'm somewhere in the middle on both.
SMC's artwork is fine, but the backgrounds - they're pretty shabby. The permanently hyper nature of this version of Usagi - at least in voice - takes a bit of getting used to. But it's fine. We'll see how it goes once more manga-adherent episodes come in. I don't really feel it to be that shoujo, in all honesty. I feel it more like a comedy so far.
SAO 2 - Yeah, I kinda felt this was somewhat like a comedy. That whole first episode, Kirito was all 'I'd have to be utterly stupid to get back into this again considering what happened last time!' Info dump episode is never a good start for a 1st ep and usually something only established franchises can get away with. I suppose the guns will be blazing in Episode 2. I think as long as one remembers the absurdity and pinches of salt required with SAO, one can handle it.
Old school - The only thing that's different so far is the visuals. SO WHAT?
New school - OMG! So pretty!
Maybe once the more manga-loyal parts kick in, attitudes will change. But I think this newer version highlights the vast difference in values/what people watch anime far in the different gens.
As for SAO2, some friends attest it will be the best comedy of 2014. That might indicate something.
LL - No offense, since I know you love it. But idols really creep me out. That's why I don't have anything to do with it. I get that in terms of making a cohesive story around it, the visual package, etc. - that it does those things well. But....idols...can't do it.
I have to admit it's a bit surprising how "heavy duty" the comments on the SM remake have been (I haven't got into SAO II yet, so I can't comment on that yet). But I guess that one issue is that SM seems to be attracting a larger audience, at least here on AS, than Love Live! did. As popular as Love Live! is in Japan, it doesn't seem to have caught on as much with western audiences.
I mean, for whatever reason, even some AS friends of mine who tend to go for moe haven't watched LL! yet. I guess that the idol concept is so alien to many westerners that it's hard to get into a show all about a subcategory of that - School Idol.
Magical girls are a bit more accepted, though, because they're fairly similar to superheroes, which are all the rage in the west right now. So more people watch Sailor Moon, but the more people you add to an audience the harder it is to please everybody.