Finally got around to finishing the rest of this series. Really glad I was able to ignore the subtitles for the most part - Daisuki subs suck hardcore. But I've said that a billion times by now.
Personally, when the anime got going, I thought it was really good. It took the second season for it to really hit its stride though, namely because the first season had to... I dunno, introduce a whole bunch of characters at once? It was beleaguered by the need to show who each of those characters are, and while it did it a good way, you still have way too many characters to juggle around. Some of the cameos seemed a little forced too, but then... well, you could say that the anime had to pull the weight of the entire franchise on its back. Not an easy feat. I was personally helped by the fact that I already knew some of these cameos and who they were already, but if I weren't I'd probably be like, WTF or something.
So, whatever, I eventually accepted that it had too many characters, and that some of those characters would have more focus than others. We saw it in 2011 Anim@s too, and I accepted it back then. Who it did focus on, it did it well. Personally, I think Anzu got some good time, Triad Primus and New Generations of course, Riina/Miku (and even Natsuki) and Minami/Anastasia. Kanako/Chieri and Mika got okay development, Ranko got a little shafted.
Takeuchi-P was great - he was as much a character as anyone else. At the beginning, you can really see it - he's out of his league. He can't really talk to his idols... or really anyone for that matter, but when Mishiro says she'll destroy all teh idols and stuff, shoot... he bends over backwards to keep 'em going. That's how you bond with folks, lemme tell you.
Mishiro... seemed to me to be the person who represents the ugly side of show business. Ya know, the ruthless ones you always hear tales about, who you don't doubt hold the reins to every real world production out there. So, when Takeuchi-P (and Kaede... and Natsuki... and... there're probably more but we'll leave it at that) say they're not going along with her crap, it makes it more significant. It's the anime telling the audience, "No, that's not where happiness is! Look at Takeuchi-P if you wanna know how to go through life smiling!"
Last thing I wanna say though, is the anime had a certain amount of love and soul put into it. It came out too - there were a bunch of shout-outs to fan canon, sure, but they went even further - some of these became plot points, some became central to certain characters' development. When you think about it, you could say that the fans had some input on how the anime was made. Passive, yes, but it was there - and that's kinda what Cinderella Girls is about.
EDIT: Oh yeah, episode 24 was great. At the very end, when Uzuki sang S(mile)ing!, I was like, "I translated this song! Whoo!" I guess that's kinda how a doujin author would feel. ^_^;;