I was pretty much hooked as soon as I saw Haruhi's determined gait in the opening credits. Here is a show about a girl who knows what she wants. Even if she is crazy.
I'm old enough that the fan service is a little embarrasing to watch, but the High School drama makes me nostalgic.
Go Nissin! I really couldn't care less that Nissin is using Freedom as a promotional project. I see all the product placement, and it doesn't bother me. Otomo's mecha design and character design are up to snuff, and the story has me interested. I'm watching it on a standard definition TV, but this show would really benefit from an HD viewing.
I'll include the opening credits to Freedom here (because I like Hikaru Utada), but the video is highly compressed and really doesn't reflect the nice clean lines of the real opening, with its transitions from live video (with vector art overlay) to manga page (complete with zip-o-tone) to anime.