Last episode of Hana Saku Iroha exceeded my expectations. I felt the pacing was so well put-- in episode 3 and 4, I felt a strong "Get on with it!" vibe, but they used their last 5 minutes well, even though I didn't think they would.
Also, if the show is to not do something, I really don't want a love triangle because I have no faith in the staff regarding something like that. Or especially the potentials from the male side. Also, that is done sooo much, I'm gonna vomit. >.>
May I suggest you watch the anime Akagi? It's an anime about the table game Mahjong, however much like most shows of the genre it doesn't require knowledge of the game because the focus is on the characters. Kinda like yugioh, but way more GAR.
Also, there is much ham with the drama.
The cast is also mostly male, which should be a breath of fresh air considering we have so many animes with female dominated casts.
Man I read Madoka threads, then I read about the Haruhi movie thread, and damn that's a lot of Trek analogies being tossed around. I think I may have caused nightmares when I compared Voyager's ending (Janeway goes back because she is obsessed with saving Seven.... ) to Madoka and Homura.