I don't think I know a single person that thinks the stupid sausage thing they pull in JRPGs/anime is funny. Well, maybe it's funny because you're laughing at it, once or twice. To me, it's not even really funny if you're in a juvenile mood, because you know it's just there to appeal to people who get off on that sort of thing instead of being in any way tongue-in-cheek.
I think my biggest problem with Japanese cutesy graphics is that they often have this tendency to...sexualize them. I just don't get it. You have stuff that's "cute storybook" like Professor Layton and maybe some of the Mana games, you have stuff that's "puppy dog cute" like...I dunno, Cooking Mama, then a lot of the time the Japanese take the latter and adulterate it (See: Almost every freaking Nippon Ichi game ever).
Also I'm not sure if I could praise FFXIII for being different. I feel like they removed a bunch of features from previous games and then replaced it with nothing. That's not really daring to be anything, that just feels lazy.