Annual Round-Up 2007

A normal day at Azure Flame.

It’s been a year of ups and downs, of anime gems and utter disappointments- a year when I’ve alternated between craving more and feeling utterly fed up with the continuing deluge of episodes that take no account of the fact that people might have other things to do than stay in and watch all day. Nonetheless, in true years-end tradition, we must review all the new series in an Annual Round-Up, a project which I meant to periodically update through the year but ended up writing at the last minute again.

As always, red titles are those which were dropped, and blues are the picks of the year. Come back on Tuesday for the New Year Rumble, in which we take a look at the year in the life of Azure Flame.

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La Corda d’Oro volume 2

When Hino Kahoko was given a magical violin and chosen to enter her school’s music competition, it all seemed like a crazy dream. Even so, now Hino must face up to the reality of the situation, and with only two weeks to go to the first round of the competition, she must not only choose a piece to play, but find someone to accompany her. Could the answer lie not in the music school, but in the hidden piano talents of her classmate Ryotaro Tsuchiura? Continue reading “La Corda d’Oro volume 2”

Tuesday Rumble: April 10th


Spoiler Alert: Death Note’s biggest twists shall be revealed.

It’s often said that cats and laptops don’t mix*, and here’s the reason why. Last year, my cat managed to get on top of the bookshelf and knock a heavy bronze bookend down onto my laptop, scratching the screen and denting the keyboard, whilst a few weeks ago, my aunt’s cat walked across the keyboard and managed to rip off three keys. Luckily the long-term damage from these incidents is less than you might think, but my poor J key may never be the same again- not a good key to act up when it’s also your first initial.

*may not actually be said often, or indeed at all. Continue reading “Tuesday Rumble: April 10th”

Weekly Round-Up: March 23rd

Reviewed this week: Busou Renkin 24, Corda 10, Kanon 24, Nodame Cantabile 9, Red Garden 20-22, SaiMono 35

…and in manga: Chevalier 2, Chokotto Sister 39, Clannad 1-4, Gunslinger Girl 23, School Rumble 217, Spiral 28-31, Spiral Alive 4, Tenshi Nanka Janai, Tsubasa 147, Yotsuba&! 45

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Weekly Round-Up: March 9th

A while back, I mentioned wanting this figure, but as all too often happens, I’m beginning to change my mind- why have him when I can have this guy (his HARD GAY lover?) instead? I know the colour scheme isn’t as good, but the detailing on the clothes looks a lot better, even if the poor guy is bleeding to death after improperly performed HARD GAY.

Reviewed this week: Busou Renkin 22, Corda d’Oro 9, Kanon 22, Love GetChu 6, Nodame 7, Red Garden 19, ROTK 42

…and in manga: Emma Bangaihen 7, REC 28, School Rumble 215, Shana 10, Spiral Alive 3, NHK 35, Yotsuba& 44

Due to laziness with regards to parodying them, Chevalier 15-16 will appear next week.

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Tuesday Rumble: February 6th

chibi-dii-blog.pngSpoiler Alert: This week you may learn more than you wanted to be told about Scrapped Princess and Madlax.

Reading entire volumes of Kare Kano at once has made me forget that I can’t always do that with lesser series unless I want to end up with a headache. Maybe it’s something to do with the layout or typesetting of certain series, but it can become a strain to read more than a few chapters of them, even if the actual content is not too bad (regardless of whether I’m reading from a book or the computer screen). Continue reading “Tuesday Rumble: February 6th”

Weekly Round-Up: January 26th

Reviewed this week: Asatte no Houkou 11, Busou Renkin 15-16, Chevalier 13, Corda 7-8, Death Note 14, Deltora 1, Manabi 1, Gargoyle 7, Kanon 16, Nodame 2, ROTK 39, SaiMono 26

…and in manga: Fate/Stay Night 5, Higurashi Oni Sarashi 1, Tsubasa 141, Yotsuba& 43

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Weekly Round-Up: Better late than never edition

Apologies for the sudden and unannounced hiatus; I know many of you will have experienced unpleasant withdrawal symptoms due to a lack of your daily Azure Flame, but I must assure you that this period has been equally painful for me as well. Due to a recent bout of gale force winds, some local power lines were damaged, and 2pm Thursday saw me thrust into a world not unlike the hell of Anton’s farming days. With the blackout extending as far as the local church, all I could do was sleep, listen to my mp3 player and read Kare Kano until the time came to depart for the weekend to a land of electricity but no internet access.

Anyway, if this has been posted, then obviously all is well again, and so I will try to catch up on missed posts and resume normal service.

I realise that I have inadvertently missed out on some chapters of the Higurashi manga, and that the download links for them have long since expired- due to this problem, reading and reviewing the Watanagashi and Tatarigoroshi arcssh is stalled for now.

Reviewed this week: Corda 6, Death Note 13, Kanon 15, Nodame 1, Red Garden 13, ROTK 38, SaiMono 25

…and in manga: .hack//GU+ 5, .hack//XXXX 1, Erementar Gerad 23, Gunslinger Girl 20-22, Higurashi Onikakushi 3, Nanoha StrikerS 3, Meine Liebe 6, Tsubasa 139-40 Continue reading “Weekly Round-Up: Better late than never edition”

Annual Round-Up: 2006

I can now exclusively reveal that the reason my blog is so HARD GAY is because I have Lui chained up in my basement.

As the days became depressingly short and winter tightened its grip upon the land, I had the great idea of summarising all the 2006 series I watched in one great ‘Annual Round-Up’; hardly an original idea since everyone likes to do it, but nonetheless a course I became determined to take. Little did I realise that such an innocent decision would lead to a massive fifteen page document that took over a month to compile; in fact, if I had any sense, I would take the lazy route of posting this over several days in order to avoid having to write anything else for a week or so. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately, depending on your perspective), I’d rather just include it all in one guide so that I can get on with writing newer and more interesting things to spice up the inevitably dull and grey January.

I shall also take this opportunity to thank necromancer, whose screencaps made many parody posts and Tuesday Rumble sections possible, as well as my blogging ‘sempai’, who can identify himself if he wishes.

For once, red is not for generally poor series, just for the ones I dropped before the end of their run (mostly because they were generally poor). Series in blue are my top picks for the year. Links lead to earlier reviews, rants and parodies of the series in question.

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Weekly Round-Up: December 22nd

Star Ocean has taken over my life; it seeps into all the cracks and leaves me with no time to do anything else. Nonetheless, I shall get on top of this addiction, even if it means playing all three games (four if you count Blue Sphere) to death. In the meantime, Bakumatsu 7-8 will be covered next week since my birthday cut into regular anime viewing time.

Reviewed this week: Asatte no Houkou 9, Code Geass 10, La Corda d’Oro 5, Death Note 11, Kanon 11, Keroro 70-73, Red Garden 10, ROTK 33-5

…and in manga: Bokurano 33-7, Chevalier 1, Chokotto Sister 37-8, MariMite 21, Pani Poni 1-7 Continue reading “Weekly Round-Up: December 22nd”