A lot of what I was afraid of is certainly true, but it's also way more faithful than I expected. Generally, I think the structural changes are very smart decisions, compressing the first volume or so heavily -- without really feeling like they are -- and focusing on a single character's story, ending with something like a hook.
The aesthetic, however, is more of a problem. The more conservative designs are generally working fine, but Fujisaki is not exactly known for conservative design work. What the fuck he was thinking with Atsushi's ugly gorilla design is beyond me, and turning Megumi into a pink haired goth loli is pretty typical of the exaggerated approach to her character they've taken. All of the beats of her personality and arc are identical to the novel, but instead of playing these realistically -- making her a painfully naive, hopelessly lost kid -- they've turned it into generic Asuka-inspired anime yelling. This works better than it should -- it's probably a good sign that she managed to still be a little bit sympathetic despite it all -- but coming to this directly from the novels I couldn't help but feel they'd done her a disservice.
There were enough moments in this that did capture the original tone that I'm planning on watching a few more episodes, and will keep my usual bile in check. Basically reserving judgment for later.