The director and writing staff were told "these are the characters,do whatever the hell you want with them" by the producers.
They were pretty conservative at first then as the episodes went on they realized that when producers said they were free to do what they wanted they really meant it and that's when it really took off (while I liked eps 4-7 a lot more than eps 1-3 episode 8 was the first standout to me, a weird and trippy as hell but enjoyable alice in wonderland parody), the 2nd cour countains the most nuggets, you saw 18 which I think is the one you'd like best (it's really the most dramatic) but ep 16-24 was a solid run overall with the show going in all kinds of different directions.
And yes I'll have a new avatar by the end of the week
Um... is this the same shitty Sengoku Collection (which I watched 2 eps of before dropping) I watched ages ago? Regardless, yeh ep18 was good. It was VERY good. Someone tell Makoto Shinkai to make a short like this for his next work about "distance".
On another note, change your Aiko avatar. You look so silly shipping for the irrelevant girl