At first glance, your typical yaoi-lover might take one look at this anime and say, "Wow, that looks dated-- and what in the heck is with those profiles?? I can't possibly fall in love with something that looks like this!"
However, I think one thing to keep in mind is that Patalliro was the FIRST shonen-ai manga/anime, so it kind of made way for many (never enough) others that came after it. Also, it actually IS rather romantic once you get into it; sadly, most of the yaoi or shonen-ai animes currently available are rather short, they're usually just OVAs with one or two episodes-- while Patalliro goes on for I think fifty-some eps (sadly only about 17 of which were subbed in English). So it's a love story you can actually get into, and even with the wtf-looking profiles you really DO start to fall for the characters. (And if you're a fan of old school anime art, then all the better for you, haha).
However, here's what really made me fall hard for it: I started out by watching Patalliro Saiyuki (as opposed to Patalliro), without knowing anything about it except that it was meant to be BL. At first I cringed at the artwork, but soon despite the artwork I was completely smitten by the whole story. Patalliro Saiyuki was actually made in 2005-- the reason its animation looks dated is because it was based on the art used in the original '70s manga, Patalliro. But they had actually made the art much more decent in Patalliro Saiyuki. By the end of the anime I was so in love with the whole thing that I really wanted to watch the original Patalliro. So maybe you ought to go that route ^^
Either way, I will say this: regardless of what you might think of Patalliro, Patalliro Saiyuki is probably one of the most romantic m/m animes I've watched, even with the dated art. It just has a genuinely romantic feeling-- I'd recommend watching that first, and if by the end you feel like you badly want more, then watch Patalliro.
People who like vintage niche shit are going to enjoy this. Most are here for Banco and Maraich so let me toss in my penny: They're the first ('unironic' feels important to put here) queer couple to be represented on live television in an anime if I have my facts correct. Also note that this isn't BL or yaoi or whatever you want to label it, because the story is indifferent to the fact that they're gay. They just exist. Surprisingly progressive for something airing at that time which I didn't expect, I kind of came into this show just wanting to watch some corny and aged gay romance but came out feeling pretty touched by the sentiment of how they were treated as characters.
> general / It's a good timekill and obviously isn't the peak of storytelling, but the art direction is always on point.
> characters / Tend to rely on reocurring gags for their personality (most noticable: Bancoran thinking with his dick.) But we do get growth and history in certain episodes. A very select amount but it's fine and considering the nature of the show it gives you just enough to work with. There's like maybe five episodes out of the fourty nine avaliable that I'd consider to be tragic/emotional.
> sound / It's old, dude. I can't fairly critique the sound of a fourty year old show. The analog sound quality is great in my opinion and matches the vividly colored (but fuzzy LOL) and atmospheric environment of the show.
An honest public opinion, I'd give this an 8, but personally among what I've watched this is an easy ten. I finished it in two days and usually I tend to stall on things or drop them entirely if I don't hyperfixate on them or get really drawn in--so this was quick for me! I'm a sucker for queer themes and older media, this is one of the few anime I've had the urge to revisit again later.