There seems to be elements in AnoHana that tends to go a bit overboard, one is what you're mentioning and the other is Yukiatsu's (cross-dressing) fiasco. It almost as if the director needs to show a little bit of intrigue by framing him as a villain. I guess he needed some plot devices to make it interesting enough. I don't know, I think in hands of masterful directors the story can certainly told in an engaging yet more subtle manner (not too subtle as I will find it boring lol), but this is anime and not some Oscar-winning entry so I probably am expecting too much ^^;
I tried a couple of episodes of Hourou Musuko and while it IS subtle, the subject matter (of cross-dressing, geez Japanese love to dwell on this don't they ) and the fact it was told through a perspective of a seemingly immature (but mature) middle schooler is... interesting but I find it hard to relate on a realistic basis. I don't have any problems with boys who like to dress like girls and vice versa but I find the environment where the character live in to be unrealistic, despite the fact that this IS animation. I might be contradicting myself but something about the setting doesn't sit right with me. I might give it a little more go before forming a more objective opinion but ATM it doesn't pique my interest.
From your description C might be interesting so I'll give that a go as well. TBH, I am just aware of this noitaminA roster of mature anime despite knowing some of their past titles (Honey & Clover, Nodame No Cantabile, etc) so yeah... I think I'm in for a treat