Those two were service episodes for the going-on-thirties-and-still-no-girlfriend crowd, which comprises more than half of the show's target audience.
I should know, I happen to be one of them.
Besides, since the games already demonstrated it to death, they thought the battling aspect is pretty much passe. They marketed moe appeal for the express purpose of raking in new followers. Despite the prevailing love for robots, mecha musume is still a niche platform even in the local scene.
And they were also the first three episodes (Clara/ Strarf, -Octopus, Mao, Howling/ the girls - Ach, Yda / Clara, Hina, Arnval). So telling someone there is free cake, then putting a dead fish in front of them is hardly fair. Again, I'm not wanting the show to be violent, I just enjoy some compelling drama. The Shinki slums was a good episode, and I really felt it was a neat story..
I watch a LOT of other family friendly slice of life animes, aka, A-Channel, K-On!, and Ika Musume (squid girl) to understand the idea of what slice of life is supposed to be. Thing is with them, the characters do what you kind of think they should.. ie, squid girl is totally clueless to how the surface world works, hijinx ensue..or the girls in A-channel worry about a test or going to the beach or something.. so I would kind of expect shinkis to at least have some dialog about their armor, or see at least some of them (obviously not the main characters, because they are using them as a CONTRAST group,..which is the story arch up to this point with Hina, who doesn't get it...) but falls short because they don't really show a good enough contrast. I like the fact the main character's master doesn't fight them, but it stands to reason a LOT of other people would. And this is a tournament episode.. at least show little snippets of other battles, if no other reason than to fan the geekdom flames.
It would be like if they came out with a Gundam series where the mobile suits hung out at the mall and sipped tea and went on dates.. (that might actually be kinda cool actually..lol) Or Godzilla holding down a full time job as an accountant. Either one might work as an idea,..IF they still continued to show what the characters were originally known for.. That's right, ahem,..fighting. Busou Shinki were never marketed as Barbie Dolls, nor is there a video game where you can save Santa (and even the Santa character has big freakin guns) or one where you use the characters to fly around putting themselves in senseless danger just to bring their master lunch?? Sometimes it's slightly comical, but you are taking a line of characters called "Armament God Princess" and basically having little girls write each episode.
Anyways, not argueing, cuz to each their own, I just would prefer better cohesive theme or keep the show going the way they aired the first few episodes. Regardless, I like this a lot more than most of the ultraviolent stuff out there, so I'd rather it stay the way it is than turn hyper violent or something..