I feel the exact same way. It's been hard for me to follow what's going on. Eureka Seven had a big cast of characters too but what it didn't have was these sort of political problems involved. Since AO is set on Earth we've got a large cast of characters AND a mess of nameless military commanders from various countries to keep track of. Half the time I'm scratching my head trying to remember who's allied with who.

Though I did fanboy freak out when
    Spoiler:- 12:

showed up.