To be perfectly honest, I really wasn't all that crazy about this show. In fact, I thought it was pretty boring. It was a character driven show -- which is not a bad thing -- but it was almost too character driven. It was just a bunch of romantic relationships -- which again is not necessarily not a bad thing -- but other than that there wasn't much else driving the show.
Sure the characters were fun to watch, but there didn't really seem to be a single set of characters or relationship to focus on. Sure there was Takemoto's journey of self-discovery, but even that didn't seem much like it was playing a huge part until near the end. All in all, I think it's that lack of a focus or some driving factor that did it in for me.
Now having said all that I have to take a step back and firmly state that regardless of the critisizm above, this is not a bad show. It was just not my kind of show.
The reason that I say it is not bad is actually specifically because of the things I just bashed (figure that one out if you can). I'm talking about the fact that this show was about real people and thus did not have any "magical" or "otherworldly" elements to it. Sure the characters had their own quirks and extremities that made them interesting but nothing that defied the laws of reality. (My personal favorite character had to be Morita, who was like the Kramer (of Seinfeld-fame) of the group. He was probably the one element that kept me interested in the show, and when he had a breif haitus near the show's half-way point, he was sorely missed.)
Even though the story and characters were realistic, that didn't stop the show from using the animation medium to its full potential. The characters emotions were shown by with visual abstractions and sight gags, and that's exactly the kind of thing that I think makes this kind of story rise above the rest.
It shows exactly what seperates animation from live action. Animation grants the ability to show emotions visually and if it is done right, this can be extremely effective. And since this was a strait drama, there were no "magical" visuals to destract from the dramatic visuals -- which is something I don't think I've seen done so effectively since His and Hers Circumstances.
That's also why I don't think the live action movie version of this series could possibly be nearly as good as the animated version. Because by its very nature the live action medium looses that ability to visually represent emotions. Instead you are relying purely on the the actor's abilities. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing in general (I seem to be saying that a lot in this review), it's just that it elicits a different reaction from the audience.
So, even though I didn't necessarily like the show myself and I probably won't bother watching the second season (which is airing now in Japan), I still would recommend watching it if for no other reason than to experience what anime is capable of.