It's a familiar story: I watched [3 episodes of] DearS because someone said that it was "like Sekirei", but as usual the two are nothing alike (even less alike than EVA and RahXephon). The ugly animation in DearS reminded me of Pretear very much, and the story (or at least the setup) seems similar to Shuffle of all things.
Since two people used the same pun, I checked out what Totali had to say. It was rather brief: "Ok, so this has been my favorite love comedy forever. Maybe I have a strange obsession with master/slave relationships, but I’ll go super fanboy mode for Ren and her love of melon-pan. Oh, and NOT a chobits rip off kthxbye!!". So, he likes Ren and that's all we know. Well, I like her too, but not like like. For me, she cannot counterbalance the ugliness and stupidity of the rest of the show — the task that Feena almost managed (I only dropped Yoakena after 7 episodes).
In his notably amusing entry on the topic, J.Greely wrote: "Clichés aside, are they [DearS & Girls Bravo] any good? Both are generally well-drawn and well-acted, with a good mix of humor and fan-service." I just don't understand what people see in it. I think I understand that about Aria, but not here.
So, how is Sekirei better? Its animation is often crude, especially around the faces in 3/4 profile, but it is sharp and uses a better color key. The story I cannot compare in full, but at least after the 3 episodes I wanted to know what was ahead for the gang of Sekirei (and I wanted to meet Squirtle). For DearS, not so much. It's just not interesting. I expected something like Chobits, something more engaging, and it never happened.
UPDATE ON ORIGINS: I think I remember now. Although Steven said it, it was only an idea, so he's blameless. What really deceived me was a mention by Karl that DearS was about "working incredibly hard in order to become someone's bitch". But there was no hardship! No accomplishment! Well, maybe they appear later, but there was not even a hint.