Sakurasou is an average show. It starts like a typical fan service/romantic comedy. It has typical characters. It has typical character designs. It has a typical, boring, wimpy main character.
For about the first six episodes, I expected almost nothing out of the show. Then they tried to make it unique, by having the main character do something with himself, rather than just living life, attending school, and walking into scene after scene of fan service (he still did, but at least they tried to make the story a little different from other anime in the same genre). The first half of the show was basic, and set the stage for the second half, where things became a little more serious. Unfortunately, the overall light atmosphere that the first half established conflicted with the serious, depressing mood of the last 8 episodes. A lot of the first half felt unnecessary, while the second half was difficult to take seriously. The biggest issues with story I see are:
1) Mashiro's existence. (I will talk more about this ridiculous character later.)
2) The love conflict between two of the supporting characters was drawn out much too long, and some of the reasoning didn't even make sense.
3) Sorata's development. (Again, I will talk more about him later.)
4) Some unrealistic plot developments.
The second half of the series is why people started saying this is the best romance ever. I won't spoil anything, but it centers around the saying "life isn't fair." This would have been fine, if I could take the story seriously.
Nothing stood out in terms of animation throughout the who series. Character designs were typical, the opening wasn't special, and the ending was lazy.
The opening was generic and I don't think I ever listened to the whole ending. Voice acting wasn't bad for a couple of the characters, but for others (like Mashiro), hardly any effort was required.
Mashiro: A character I do not like. How anybody could be raised without knowing how to dress oneself is beyond me. Should there be such a person, that person would never be sent to live on her own in a dorm. Finally, even if such a person was sent to live in a dorm, a male student would not be in charge of taking care of her. In all three points, Mashiro is unrealistic. While I can understand the appeal of characters than need to be taken care of, Sakurasou takes it too far (just like Elfen Lied).
Every other supporting character, except Aoyama, the third point in the love triangle, is unrealistic in some way or another.
The main character, Sorata, is a boring person, who changes over time...from a dork to a wimp. Had he risen up from his pathetic nature to become a stronger person, I wouldn't have minded. However, the conclusion to the show just didn't show me that he had overcome his inner conflict and moved on.
This is much more worthwhile than watching a visual novel adaptation. That's about as positive as I can get. It's not one of the best romances ever, like some say, and I honestly didn't enjoy it that much. I do give it credit for going a little deeper than some other romantic comedies, but there are plenty of other things I'd rather have spent my time watching. There are likely many people out there who enjoy or would enjoy this anime, but if you're looking for something deep, realistic, and relatable, this isn't it.