Okay okay, so I only gave this anime a shot because my beloved Studio 4C had a hand in it. So to those not yet indoctrinated by official Halo canon, such as myself, master chief and his exploits may not even be slightly enjoyable, at least without copious amounts of medicine, prescribed or otherwise procured.
DAMN IT! THE SHOW WAS GOOD!
The first thing I have to note is that the show, to me, has a very western feeling. Between quick pacing and the somewhat unnecessary comedy relief due in part perhaps to the poor drama itself. There is a strong sense of this... military didacticism coming through that feels in particular very American to me, much moreso than your average anime.
I concede that there is a whole world of Halo literature out there. It is an impressive collection, and one which I have no intention of reading. I played the first Halo game very briefly, it did not hold my interest at all, having seen the same idea implemented with much more sophistication and maturity...
This series by itself does enough to fill me in, to allow me to comprehend the workings of its little science fiction universe, how the war(s) came to be, and why I should give a shit about master chief or his/her comrades or adversaries to begin with.
In a series that is majorly story-driven, I felt that 'the arbiter's character was the most developed, although each of the personal interactions between Spartan and presumably 'normal' human military does much to pluck heart strings. I also found Cortana's narration acceptable, and her pesonality charming.
There is one episode in here that parodies the halo universe. It does so in a really "zany", saturday morning cartoon sort of way, while also poking humor at anime in general. I could have done without it.
It's a little cliche and a lot of fun - Don't let your halo preconceptions get in the way of what is essentially a decent enough sci fi story.