I like Noel.
She is my second favorite character.
Despite the fact that people hate her I like her much more than fan favorites like Jin and Bang.
Jin a fan favorite? Sadly that's because of his psycho side (the whole "Niiiisan!!! shit) and in some cases his ice moves, but not the character itself, so I wouldn't really count him. Most people who aren't into his crazy mode plain hate him. And if he grows out of his crazyness (which is likely given CS ending and Mori declaring Jin is straight) his popularity will pummel to the ground. I think I know only three people aside me that likes him for his potential growth and depth shown in his CS story.
But that's beside the point:
Noel is of a more divided fanbase/hatebase. People who like her, just adore her and are not few, believe me.
I don't think she is a bad character, but I can't help to feel she is a misplaced one. I mean sure she is cute, kind and all, but has many things that are rather annoying in some situations; being excesively clumsy, slipping confidential info in emotional outbursts, crying for pretty much anything and even to sleep. Those things seem pretty attractive on a slice of life story character, but in a leutenant of the military?
This is mostly a personal thing, but I can't help to feel she is there filling appeals for the author. I mean she fits the "Moe" character way too well for the setting she is in and the role she has been given:
-Cute features? Check
-Flat chest? Check
-Good body? Check (She is pretty well gifted everywhere except her chest)
-Low self esteem? Check
-Cowering from others? Check
-Cries easily? Check
-Kind and friendly? Check
-Good at heart? Huge check
I don't think she'll be growing any backbone or changing whatsoever if this is right, because it would ruin this character type she is. She will be brave against the villians, but nothing beyond that.