So, I liked this season. A lot. On S1 levels. It especially succeeded in that it won me over to the majority of Team 4, who I had only paid cursory attention to before, and it made me like every single character played by the girls, other than Paru and Peace.
No, the overall acting was not as good as S1. (Just listen to the digest at the beginning of ep 11. Monotone, monotone, monotone, monotone, JURINA LIKE BOSS, monotone, monotone, soft-n-silky Annin.
) There were individuals who were on par with S1's greats, like Jurina, Annin, Juri, and Anya, and most of the others were about on par with the Team Hormone ham, and then you had the likes of Maria and Kawaei who started out ridiculously bad, and then slowly turned that badness into a charm. I've ragged on Paru's acting all season already.
But these last two episodes were supposed to be Yuria's tour de force. You can see that Yuria has an easier time spitting out the words, and has a nice flow to them, but again, I got absolutely no character. I have no idea what Peace's personality is supposed to be. They didn't even use the easy out of trying to show that Peace is a chameleon and thus why she's a blank slate of character, so I can't look over this. In a ham-fest like the MG series as a whole is, I'd rather have so-bad-it's-good acting with a distinct character, a la everyone else, than this non-persona. When I said that I liked every character other than Paru and Peace, I don't mean that I disliked Peace as a character. She's so bland I have no feelings about her character, but then the way the final two episodes hinge on her makes the story fall flat because of it. Kind of how the whole season gets dragged down by Paru's lack of character.
At least Paru kind of that those shoehorned romance subplots and "real stuff" gimmicks to fake some characteristics, so she wasn't quite as bad as Peace, who managed to have her "I am the requisition department" and STILL be blander than Paru and Paruru's acting!
Yuria was great as a exposition-bot. She got the information out quickly and clearly. She'd be a great omniscient narrator for something. But she's no character actor.
The final two episodes themselves were just this side of good, in isolation. They were a good culmination of everything the entire season has been building towards, primarily the camraderie between the girls. Unfortunately, the majority of the culmination was of the half of the season's events that were not shown on screen. The writing for this seems like it was meant for either 13 full-hour episodes or 26 half-hour episodes, but due to being 12 half-hour eps, they simply cut out so many character development/bonding moments to ensure that the plot and exposition necessary was in there, and a lot of that plot/exposition said, not shown, which is a waste of the medium. What's left meant that a lot of the alliances here between Habu and Mongoose rang false, such as Nanashi and Messi/Yagi, Annin and Dasu, or Tetsuo/Uruseeyo and Bunker. The implications of how it would work are there, like Messi/Yagi gaining respect for Nanashi since she didn't give up, but we didn't see that on screen, so in effect it didn't happen! Miyu, Peace, and Komimi's backstories also lost so much of their punch because they'd say that they'd change and why, instead of us seeing those decisions and developments occur organically.
So in other words, about on par with Power Rangers, which is appropriate since the writer for MG3 was an Ultraman writer.
MG3 was better than MG2, imo. I can easily imagine the improved novelisations for MG1 and MG3, fixing continuity errors, fleshing out and/or deepening characterization, tightening up and interweaving plotlines better, because the show did most of my work for me already. MG2? I can't even begin to write that outline because while the story might work on its own, trying to make sure that it doesn't violate any characterization/themes/plot points set up in MG1 is near impossible. While MG2 did have great moments as SomethingWild said, the majority of those moments would NOT have happened without the massive characterization massacre that happened between MG1 and MG2. At that point, those moments are tainted by the fact that they only work when they've broken the story's internal logic, which imo is a much worse storytelling "crime" than not being realistic, which is MG3's.
(Have not given up on trying to fix-novelize MG2, though. I'm having to come up with completely new plot threads to do it, and it's as complicated as all get out, but it will happen at some point dammit.)