A few lapses in realism and a missing punch to the heart here and there may put off some viewers, but the overall effect of the show is sweet without being saccharine and uplifting without being corny. A solid coming of age story with a great lead that manages to keep its own flavor in the face of the more formulaic offerings out there.
The animation is also superb – this release is a Blu-ray from NIS America, who are responsible for some of the most gorgeous home video releases of recent times (Moribito, the Professor Layton movie, Canaan and Angel Beats among many others) and they have not disappointed here. The transfer is in 1.78:1 widescreen and full HD resolution and the beautiful character designs and magical use of colour to establish a mood and enrich the world come across perfectly, free from any digital artefacts that can plague lower-grade HD anime releases. The beautiful, well-defined world design and the detail in the backgrounds also comes through beautifully with a level of realism that pushes the show further towards photo-realism than most would expect from a slice of life series.
The supporting cast are also very well-rounded, despite often being based on broad and shallow archetypes (the cold, black-haired tsundere, the painfully shy maid, the cheerful air-headed heiress etc) – yet again demonstrating that even though this is a slice of life show, it can still provide some interesting character arcs that make the viewer genuinely care about the people involved in the story.