I kinda disliked it because I felt like it was too much like a VN. This is a different medium, and should be accordingly adapted and dealt with as such. I feel that Kyoani understood this (thus the exclusion of characters from Clannad), J.C. Staff on the other hand feels that they absolutely HAVE to please everyone because they want the ratings, and thus, the sales of Blu-Ray and DVDs. On top of that, a movie deal as well for Little Busters!, taking the honor away from Toei.
While it actually wasn’t too bad, (It was actually watchable and the story held up), I still feel that I should criticize it as the Komari arc seemed too forced. The actual conflict of the arc was introduced in an odd and unnatural exposition that I would expect from a VN, but just didn’t work for an animated adaption. The problem was just the way it was written.
I am going to keep watching, but I expect more from coming arcs. I hope that they do their exposition right so I won’t be hit by another quick forced ending.
That’s just my opinion. Oh, but I do agree with you on the laid back parts. They managed to get that part off pretty well, and its believable as a group of good friends just hanging out. If anything, that the highlight of the show. It enjoyable to watch.
So, tl;dr version:
The laid back parts — pretty good, funny, nice and soothing
The drama parts so far — kinda forced and awkward, needs work on making me actually cry like Clannad and Kanon. The setup for the drama feels unnatural and weird.