I will find some specific objections to the Grisaia franchise some day.
Right now I don’t have enough time to watch it and pin down what I don’t like about it. (Briefly, I think it tries too hard to be dark and disturbing, but its creators aren’t good enough at realistic art to scare me. I deal with real-world problems. Art has to be very convincing to unsettle me.)
If your anime studio is good at drawing pretty girls and cartoon explosions, that’s fine for a light-hearted show. It’s not good enough to compete with real-world horrors. The real world has things like Fukushima, Abu Ghraib, police who throw incendiary grenades into toddler’s playpens. A cartoon girl getting slapped around doesn’t register on my “fear meter.”
I will admit that Grisaia started out with strong writing and high production values. By the end of the first season, however, it had convinced me that its writers were hacks and its storylines were full of cliches.
Medieval Otaku disagrees with me on this. You should read what he has to say.
I am ashamed to admit that he is stealing a march on me. He has been watching Harlock and I’m still working through Witchblade, seen below. It strikes me as a very skillfully-written story, crafted by men to appeal to pseudo-feminist TV executives.