Star Crossed Anime Blog covers quite nicely why I think people should be aware that Sunrise’s mecha series offerings still present alternatives to the likes of Gundam 00’s, Code Geass’ and iDOLM@STER Xenglossia’s more over the top duel-centric brand of mecha and simplified political intrigue. Crazy that I should stumble across a fairly well written review article on the blogosphere in this age, especially when I wasn’t really looking in the first place. Anyway, I think the deal here is that their TV series are aimed more towards the custom mecha/cool weapons/fancy action side of things (still fun stuff in my book) as a result of the need for ratings, whereas their OVA’s continue to be more about real robot army to army mecha action that just doesn’t work for today’s TV audience in Japan that want more Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann’s and less Patlabors. Other recent examples besides Pailsen Files include MS Igloo, Wings of Rean and the upcoming MS Igloo 2. Then of course there was the unpopular when it aired but now pretty much revered Zegapain, which was actually a full length TV series.
So like the title says, there are always other options to the more mega-popular offerings from the Hajime Yatate team. You just kind of have to look a bit harder to find them since they usually get overshadowed.