NM EV and KP are easier than LI HM, even HM of these 2 are easier to some people.
That's because it's an entirely different situation. You have 8 people in EV and KP. Imagine if you went straight from Kaon to EV, without any idea of having to deal with frequent wipe-causing mechanics. LI HM is a very good bridge, because it makes you get very twitchy and nervous about interrupts and coordinating movements. The point of LI HM is not to get you all geared up in terms of armour, but to actually get you a little bit over cautious for the subsequent operations, so the developers can then increase the difficulty of mechanics in operations and make them exciting as opposed to the traditional FP "tank 'n' spank"