There's a bunch of piss-fighting in the Shirobako thread at the moment where "moe hating elitsts" (exaggeration, they are not that elitist) are complaining about "stock moe girls" being in the series as they find it distracting. I didn't mind it as much as they weren't what I call 'derpblobs' or 'derp moe' (JC Staff and Kyoani seems to be biggest culprits for these types of characters), but the first 5 minutes of the show weren't very good. Afterwards though, when they explored the daily lives of an animation studio, I was quite interested. As for Glasshit, the less said the better... I wouldn't say that they've hit a rut just yet, how Shirobako turns out and what their next series is like will answer that question.
Not the biggest fan of Shaft, though they have produced some favourites of mine like ef tale of memories and Madoka Magica so they are not that bad. Kyoani... well it's Clannad After Story, Hyouka being top series with FMP + Haruhi on the good side and then everything else is either meh or gtfo tier, so I don't really have that good opinions on them. They've produced a lot of "trash" K-on and post K-on era with the only great series being Hyouka.
As for Ookami Shojo, oh boy. Only one reason why I'm watching this and that's Kanae Itou (don't you dare call me a Haak). Otherwise it is the bottom of the rung when it comes to shojo and the type of show that gives the demography a bad name.
Oh btw, Shigatsu. Anime of the season inc and perhaps the year if it goes the direction I want. Saying that I fucking loved it is an understatement considering this gave me all sorts of oldschool noitamina (Honey and Clover, Nodame Cantabile) feels.
Shirabako is definitely a step up from Glasslip but I'm still not that into it. I'm just not feeling that invested in the characters or they're story so far. And IMO PA Works shows only really work when there's some emotional investment - they aren't like Gochusa or Hanayamata that can get by on warm fuzzies alone (and even those shows sometimes resort to a broader emotional palette).
It's hard for me to pick a studio to "bet" on these days. While unlike you I actually liked Nagi no Asukara in the end, the combination of PAW screwing up the kind of show I would have thought they'd nail in Glasslip and Shirabako feeling relatively uninspiring makes me worry they've hit a rut. Brains Base seems to be hibernating. Shaft's produced more of my favourite anime than anyone else, but I feel like their "A Game" is tied up in their megafranchises - Bakemonogatari and Madoka - for the moment. It's hard to imagine them hitting it out of the ballpark for me again. Actually I find myself once again placing dark horse bets on Kyoto. I don't think anyone has matched what they pulled off in Hyouka and even when watching lesser shows like Amagi, K-On, and Kyoukai no Kanata I still feel like I enjoyed them more than I would have if someone else had animated them. Need Tamako Love Story subs so I can decide whether it has the magic KyoAni touch plz k thx.
BTW I also decided to check out Ookami Shoujo to Kuro Ouji because I'm not so much offended by the tendency of some women to like douchebag love interests as fascinated by it. And erm... wow. Two observations:
1) Aside from the cell phone thing, the main character all like "I'm not going to take advantage of you... that much". He's like the cheap non-alcoholic beer of abusers - no buzz, all bad taste. (I'm not really fond of beer to begin with - I go for rum and coke at school socials when available)
2) You know what gets to me about this show? It's not that the main romantic interest is a douchebag. It's that every single fucking consequential character I can recall her interacting with so far is a douchebag. And if they acted nice at some point, that's only to emphasize how much of a douchebag they are when they eventually turn douchebag. Ugh. I could take some "bad romance" - like I said, I actually find that kind of fascinating - but not this over the top crapsack world approach.
I did make it through the first two episodes in a "can't look away from the trainwreck" kind of way. I'm hoping I don't head back for more. At least it's crap that makes me feel something though, which means it's still better than crap that doesn't.
(Also, looking back at that, my view of the show are kind of weirdly meta, aren't they?)
I don't recall you ever mentioning being an RPG player, but just in case you are, I should note that EA is offering Dragon Age: Origins free via their Origin distribution platform until the 14th. Thought I'd mention it as it's probably my favourite single player game of the last decade.
Not normally a big comedy fan when it comes to anime, but I'm flagging Gugure Kukkuri-san as having an oddball sense of humour than I enjoy a lot so far.
So far UBW and Kukkuri-san are my top two, with a B list of Grisaia, Vanadis, Akatsuki no Yona and Sora no Method. High hopes for Shirabako and Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru. I was kind of hoping for a stronger close to what's been IMO a pretty so so year compared to 2011-2013.
Funny enough I've tried all of those except for Grisia. Didn't really like any of the pilot episodes from those. Apparently Grisia is a poor man's Sharin no Kuni Himawari no Shoujo and G Senjou no Mao.
And don't worry, I found Rin stupidly psuedo-moe too.
Will check out Ano Natsu OVA since I liked that series.
Most stuff is "too early to call", though I do have some first episode observations:
Denpa Onna + AnoHana + female lead = Sora no Method
Koichoco - middling political intrigue + WTF sci-fi = Ushinawarete
Secret agent story written by someone with Chuunibyou + two girls that seem kind of awesome + Nisemonogatari levels of characters demonstrating tropes without the wit Nisemono demonstrated during Karen Bee = Grisaia (but I feel like it might actually turn out decent regardless)
50 minutes of Rin doing stuff = F YEAH UNLIMITED BLADE WORKS prologue episode (okay, it's not technically moe but I like Rin)
Edit: if you haven't already, you might want to track down the Ano Natsu de Matteru OVA that came out recently. It's not especially profound, but it does feature a few decent subtle moments. I don't just like it because it's still the only series that manages to make naked apron gags funny by making them contextually appropriate.