Seeing your love for osananajimi's stories, I would like to recommend Sket Dance episode 7. It's a one shot story about osananijmi (yes there's also a bit about the usual main characters but I believe one would enjoy it even without prior knowledge of the series).
My sig pic is from "Kamichu". Lots of posts about it if you dig, it aired in '05 I believe. I actually wrote a short postscript for it recently (I was dissatisfied with the ending) called "Kamichu: Shoukichi/Miko After-story". It's posted over in fan creations. Really good series on the whole - incredible art and animation, a bit inconsistent dramatically but superb at it's very best. My two favorite characters are Shou-chan and Miko - they're the ones in the sig pic - who are supporting characters on the show but big fan favorites.
In the manga the childhood friend (Risako) is drawn as the short hair version of gonzo's mech girl. The guy is also head over heals in love with her, and his attitude is attributed to the hole died and got got revived thing (increased strenght, agility and anger). Of course gonzo completly dumped that side of the plot. In the anime he's pretty much Mr. Asshole from the start. The start is also late and cliche. In the manga he's revived in his childhood and things start moving again now that he's in highschool (and the bully not the bulied), but in the anime they just crammed everything in.
I don't know if the manga version would be more acceptable in your view. The deal is while he loves Risako in the manga, he pretty much completly dumps her the second he sees the equivalent of mech girl. I won't argue with people on how mech girl starts to like him like in the anime in later chapters but in the begging she's most certainly cold to him. Of course he acts like a complete loser so what does he care. I personally hope they don't bring the Risako relationship back since I can see death flags raising if that were to happen.