A very short, semi spoiler filled review of episode 1 of BRS to follow. If you disagree with my opinion or just want to throw yours out there, send the group a note with your review; I might post it.
In short the BRS anime was average; maybe even below average, maybe above depends on your point of view. I still think that most of voice actors are miscast, but that to be expected at this point. I was mildly surprised that they used the BRS song for the opening; I was totally expecting a new single to sell some CD's. I can't remember if there was any background music. The sound effects were adequate.
In terms of visuals, they were average between the drawn animation and the CG. In general if something is really good, it only serves to highlight the badness of something else. This is exactly the case here. The CG looks amazing; with dynamic camera angles and movement. While the drawn animation fails to serve anything up but bland angles, simple character models, and off model animation. Its certainly not the most horrible drawn animation I have seen, it leaves much to be desired. I also must admit I was so engrossed in the opening CG visuals that I didn't even bother to read the subs.
At this point, to most fans who have watched the OVA, there is no mystery at all in the story. The only thing that caught me off guard was the introduction of the macaroons cripple girl; congrats on mildly surprising me script writers. Other than that, the story and characters is so mild and bland, it almost puts me to sleep. The real problem with the story and characters is that everything is forced. Everyone is purposely given a personality to force the story to move from point A to B. I also want to mention that the anime is more of a reboot than a continuation of the OVA; therefore my previous points about how the OVA's story was incomplete is still valid.
As many of you remember, I complained extensively about the lack of connection between the "Huke World" and the Real world. Now the script writers have dumbed it down, making the huke world simply mirror the emotional conflicts in the real world. While the quick establishment of the relation between worlds was appreciated, did it have to be so simple and straight forward?
The story is taking more the form of a drama than an action show. However, the drama story isn't very interesting because its forced and bland. If they wanted an action drama, then they should have followed a format more like Angel Beats, where some drama is introduced at the beginning of each episode and through some action is resolved. Personally, I think that the story should have been more of a balance between drama and action. Spend 2-3 episodes at school introducing characters and the drama. Have Yumi be spirited away bu Dead Master, the embodiment of her negative feelings. Mato goes and becomes BRS somehow and goes on an adventure in the Huke world to save Yumi. Battles, conclusion, return to the real world, happy end. Seems like the most logical and obvious way to go but for reason explained later this can never be.
One thing that I found to be terribly inconsistent, is the counselor's advice. She says to Mato some Madoka stuff about how someone is always there fighting for you when you are emotionally hurt. She goes on to say that because someone is fighting for you, you should not be hurt or feel bad. While this serves to link the huke and real worlds together, it also serves to justify the cripple girl's (I honestly cannot remember her name) actions. Afterall she can hurt anyone she wants by giving them macaroons or whatever, but it doesn't matter because someone else is fighting that battle in the huke world. So everyone in the real world can be a jerk with no guilt, following the counselor's advice.
To wrap things up, the story cannot take place anywhere but in a high school setting. Why? Because this is not an anime for BRS fans or anime fans in general. This show is for moe obsessed otaku and causal people, maybe. We can clearly tell that the high school setting is there because it is the least common demonstrator, the cast is entirely female to maximize moe, and the story is bland beyond belief because it is not necessary. Everything about this show is done to the extreme minimum because they know that they can make money off of the moe otaku and causal viewers, while safely ignoring the core fanbase. While all shows exist to make money, you just don't feel any of the love and passion of the people who are creating it.
In conclusion the BRS anime is just an average show that exists to making money not as an artistic endeavor. This leads to boring characters and a boring story, which alienates the core fanbase and anime fans in general. While making improvements over the OVA, it takes several steps backward as well culminating in a non satisfactory end product. While it is still too early to judge the show as a whole, I would have to say that BRS fans should check out the first episode, but be prepared to be disappointed.
EDIT: For all those wondering about the rather high score, the last time I gave the OVA a low score and everyone freaked out. Now everyone is freaking about the high score. I was only a bit harsh, maybe in even mild, in this review too. If I wanted to I could have meticulously picked through the episode; seriously this isn't even the tip of the iceberg. Sheesh, first I baby you guys and you complained and now that I am you still complain. I can't win. But on a brighter note, I am glad that more of you are accepting of my review this time.