Downloaded the episode to determine what you were talking about .
To be honest, I thought it was meh. The girl was too overy-cutesy, the song too high-pitched and squeaky... it's not something that is suited for my tastes unfortunately. As for the rest of the show... it's a poor man's version of Silver Spoon. And I don't even like Silver Spoon that much...
Wake Up Girls strikes me as the kind of thing I might have been interested in if it were another season. And if you turn out to be right about the social commentary I might stick around for a look. I'm not surprised you like it since it's less... "garish" than a lot of the other shows this season.
Speaking of idol culture... did you catch Nourin's opening scene?
I do actually agree that this season is a stinker, the lack of variety is very noticeable. I just disagree on which shows are the silver lining.
I want to like Nisekoi because it's Shaft, but in the end I find I'm on the opposite side of you and Enzo in this debate: even Shinbo can't cover up how bland the first episode was. Meanwhile Monogatari SS was one of my favourite 2013 shows.
I've seen the prequel for Wake Up Girls, what I still need to see the first TV episode. With the amount of anime I've watched this week to sample the new shows, 75 minutes in one go would have just been too much.
Looks like we're in complete opposite this season. Somewhat rare .
Nisekoi I'm entertained because of Shaft style which otherwise is a incredibly generic premise. But the wacky directing actually makes it entertaining and unlike some other shows I've seen with the same style, it has no pretention (trying to be more deep and clever than it is) so it's tolerable if not somewhat likable.
Wake up Girls I'm enjoying straight out. I watched the 1h prequel OVA beforehand which btw if you haven't is essential to watch prior to the TV episode 1 as it is not just some sidestory, and I have a feeling it's going to be more about the social commentary on how "fucked up" the idol industry is alongside the dance scenes and the lot. Not to mention, Mayu, one of the main characters (if not the main) reminds me of Wakana from Tari Tari, and the whole bad history with Mayu's previous idol group is similar to Wakana's bad history with music due to her mother. Not to mention they have similar personalities and how the plot is progressing out is actually somewhat too. Anything that reminds me of Tari Tari is a very good thing in my books.
To be honest at the moment I'm leaning towards dropping Wake Up Girls and Nisekoi. With Nourin, Sakura Trick and Seitokai Yakuindomo having pretty much secured their positions on my list (along with The Pilot's Love Song but that's a different genre), the competition for any other comedy slots I decide to open is going to be a blood bath since I kind of liked D-Frag, Engaged to the Unidentified and Hamatora as well. I worry about genre fatigue, even taking into account that SYD's sense of humour is a rather... "unique" among comedy anime.
On the other hand, I may keep Super Sonico just because it's unabashed moe service might actually be a nice change of pace from all the more overtly comic stuff. How's that for guilty pleasure.
I'm keeping four careovers: NagiAsu, Tokyo Ravens, Kill ls Kill, and Golden Time. There's also Inari KonKon and Wizard Barristers still to come.
NagiAsu slowly grew on my during it's first cour after a weak first few episode, but yeah, the "return" episode has me pretty pumped too. My girlfriend has been a big fan for a while so I'm guessing she's going to feel vindicated.
Actually, a lot of the shows I'm really excited for right now are carryovers from fall, with NagiAsu and Tokyo Ravens being the ones I'm most interested in.
And yeah, I did see Refrain. Liked the early episodes, didn't care much for the main route story. So basically, I think the same thing as every other Key anime I've watched. Maybe I'd like their main routes better if there was more focus on sappy romance and less on supernaturally inflicted deaths and revivals.