So I guess this may seem hypocritical after my discussion on fan service not too long ago, but hear me out, this show is not a fan service centric show. If you were to Google image search it, or just watch the first episode, you would not believe me, but trust me here, it's true. The fan service drops off considerably the further you go into the show, and it really is the least appealing part of the show.
The basic plot is as follows: Sorata is a regular guy living at a liberal arts highschool, he's living normally in the regular dorms until he takes in a stray cat. Pets aren't allowed in the regular dorms, so he's forced to move to Sakurasou, the dorm for the trouble kids at the school. There he takes in more strays and lives with other eccentric characters. Life's pretty boring until a genius from England, Mashiro moves in... What's her eccentricity that got her placed in Sakurasou? So there you go, and now here's my review:
The Good: a heart wrenching dramedy about hard work vs. natural talent and friendship.
The show has two different tones that it alternates between rather deftly. It's got the slapstick comedy that had me giggling along with some of the gags, Misaki in general was king of this, but Mashiro's deadpan moments got to me too (Plan C for anybody who's seen the show). The second was absolutely and totally relate-able drama, it's a show that chiefly is about working towards your goals in life and putting your heart and soul into working as hard as possible to achieve them. In life, sometimes you succeed sometimes you don't, but it's ok because the journey is just as important as the result, and the relationships you build along the way stick with you forever. Sakurasou perfectly encapsulates this idea, but uses the lens of absolute genius to focus on it even more so, for those not blessed with inherent talent. I'm not going to lie, I bawled my eyes out near the end of the series, and I loved the ending dearly.
The Bad: Some fanservice early on almost ruined the show for me.
Within the first couple of episodes, you learn that Mashiro is totally incapable of caring for herself. It then falls on Sorata to take care of her in every way. This leads to some fan service moments, that in my opinion totally fall flat. You could have conveyed the idea that she's unable to care for herself in other ways than blatantly sexual ones and the message would have remained the same and I don't think the show would have suffered for it. The romance angle could still have remained intact and the blatant fan service wouldn't have thrown me for such a loop, you know? That being said, it's not a love story!
The Ugly: The ending leaves you on a super cliffhanger.
I won't spoil anything here, because I do really like the ending of the show, but it's based on a series of Light Novels that haven't been completed yet, and so the end of the anime doesn't cover the entirety of the story. It does bring one chapter of these characters' lives to a close and gives a sense of closure one episode before the end of the anime, and had they ended it there I wouldn't have been upset at all. However, they continued for one episode further and left everybody on a big cliffhanger, not knowing if we'll ever get a second season or OVA. T.T