Sunday News Bites: June 17th

This Sunday, Azure Flame has a brand new feature, which is absolutely not an excuse for me to write fewer real articles for the blog. Since the one thing we tend to lack here is news, Sunday News Bites has arrived to let me redress that balance, and since there’s no point my trying to compete with blogs that actually offer up-to-the-minute and relevant news, I’ll just pick out the most noteworthy pieces every weekend.

Each week, the Sunday News Bites team (aka Karura) is joined in the studio by an anime or game character to give their opinion on the week’s news. To kick off, we have gone to the Netherworld and brought back Generic Prinny.

Continue reading “Sunday News Bites: June 17th”

Gonzo: Style over substance and messed up manga adaptations

When we think of Studio Gonzo, what comes to mind? Inevitably it seems to be CG bullet time, ugly and unnecessary mecha, inconsistent production values and a complete and utter inability to properly adapt a manga series without losing what made it appealing in the first place. Is the studio properly deserving of this reputation, or is it an impression built up by a few failures? The only way to find out is to take a closer look at their work. Continue reading “Gonzo: Style over substance and messed up manga adaptations”

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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Weekly Round-Up: March 2nd

Sometimes fate can be cruel. For example, I recently spent over £60 on single DVDs of Scrapped Princess, and now a cheap boxset has appeared for around a third of that price. I even looked for a boxset before settling on the singles, and there didn’t seem to be any sign of one. Damn you, Bandai- damn you, I say!

Reviewed this week: Iroha 13-15, Busou Renkin 21, Deltora Quest 3, Kanon 21, Les Miserables 3, Red Garden 17-18

…and in manga: Emma Bangaihen 6, Fate/Stay Night 6, Shana 9, School Rumble, Spiral Alive 2, Tsubasa 145, NHK 33-4, xxxHOLiC vol 10 c2 Continue reading “Weekly Round-Up: March 2nd”

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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Welcome to the NHK: Bleakly comical or just downright depressing?

Chapters 1-32

Tatsuhiro Satou is a hikikomori- four years ago, he dropped out of college, and for the past year he hasn’t even talked to another person! It might seem as if there is no hope left for Satou, but one person thinks otherwise; high-school student Misaki Nakahara has selected Satou to participate in her project- an ambitious plan designed to transform Satou back into a fully functioning member of society. Is this the beginning of Satou’s salvation?

Continue reading “Welcome to the NHK: Bleakly comical or just downright depressing?”

Weekly Round-Up: November 10th

Keroro’s father does not approve of HARD GAY.

I hate resizing images. Picture heavy posts are always tough and tedious work, because up until now I’ve been resizing them manually. It was only last night that I finally discovered the power of the batch resizing program, a device which shall make my life infinitely easier. No longer shall I spend hours at my computer painstakingly editing images- now I can go out and live (or more likely, stay in and spend time at the computer doing something else).

Reviewed this week: Asatte no Houkou 4, Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto 3-4, Busou Renkin 5, Bartender 2, Code Geass 4, Death Note 5, Hecatan 1, Kanon 5, Keroro 63, Chevalier 9, Negima!? 4, Otogi-jushi Akazukin 15-16, Red Garden 4, ROTK 29, SaiMono 20, Shounen Onmyouji 2, YoakeNa 5

…and in manga: Furuba 133-4, GITS 1.5 1, Gokinjo 33, Otome 33, Spiral 17-18, NHK 32, Haruhi Suzumiya novel 4.4 Continue reading “Weekly Round-Up: November 10th”

Weekly Round-Up: October 27th


There’s going to be a bit of a parody break for the next few days; not just because of the Jyu-oh-sei HDTV incident, but because I’ve been spending a lot of time on the Mai-HiME RPG (despite a tendency for the victory music to play in unwanted places, episode three is generally going well). If you’re a parody fan, however, don’t worry, because they will be returning soon.

Due to a general apathy towards the series, I have yet to watch Keroro Gunso 62 and will be leaving that to next week. Also, there are some pretty big spoilers for the Tsubasa manga towards the end, so don’t read if you’re not up to date and want to maintain the element of surprise.

Reviewed this week: Aria the Natural 15-16, Asatte no Houkou 1-3, Ayakashi Ayashi 1, Bakumatsu 1, Busou Renkin 3, Chevalier 7, Code Geass 2, Death Note 3, Gargoyle of the Yoshinagas 3, Kanon 3, Keroro 61, Negima!? 3, ROTK 26-7, YoakeNa 3

…and in manga: Emma Bangaihen 1-3, Higurashi Onikakushi-hen 1, H&C 12, Otome 32, MariMite 20, Tsubasa 133, NHK 31, xxxHOLiC 9.7, YoakeNa 1, Haruhi Suzumiya novel 4.3 Continue reading “Weekly Round-Up: October 27th”

Weekly Round-Up: October 20th


If there’s one thing I’m not too keen on when watching fansubs, it’s mkv format. According to its proponents, mkv is new and ‘1337’ whilst avi is old and outdated, but the fact remains that mkv is a pain to play. The picture gets stuck, it uses up more CPU resources than I’m willing to give it (I like to run a lot of programs simultaneously), the softsubs can be problematic, and VLC media player doesn’t like them. I may get comments here telling me that mkv is good or to use a different media player, but that’s not going to stop me ranting about how annoying it can be.

Aria, Death Note, Emma Bangaihen and possibly Ayakashi Ayashi will be covered next week.

Reviewed this week: Bartender, Busou Renkin, Chevalier, Code Geass, Corda d’Oro, D.Gray-man, Ghost Hunt, Hataraki Man, Kanon, Mushishi, Negima, Otogi-jushi Akazukin, Red Garden, Yoake Mae Yori Ruriiro Na

…and in manga: Mai-Otome, NHK, REC, Tsubasa, xxxHOLiC Continue reading “Weekly Round-Up: October 20th”

Weekly Round-Up: September 29th


The new season is almost upon us, and yet here I am, having failed to put together any kind of autumn (or, if you prefer, fall) preview whatsoever- and nor am I intending to. Aside from the fact that many people have already done a better job of it than myself, and that I’m simply too lazy to be bothered, past experience has shown that the series I look forward to the most often turn out to be utterly disappointing. After all, in previous seasons, I was foolish enough to expect something of worth from Black Cat, Jigoku Shoujo, Mai-Otome, Fate, xxxHOLiC, Tsubasa, .hack//Roots, Kamisama Kazoku, Binbou…well, the list goes on. Clearly the only way forward is to ignore the most anticipated shows, and only watch the more obscure or unappealing sounding series (does this mean that Bartender will end up being a good choice?).

Reviewed this week: Black Blood Brothers, Chevalier, Higurashi, Keroro, Ouran, ROTK, School Rumble, Tenchi Special, Utawarerumono, NHK, xxxHOLiC

…and in manga: Furuba, Mai-Otome, Melty Blood, Mushishi, Natsu no Arashi, Tsubasa, Uta, xxxHOLiC, Yotsuba, Zero no Tsukaima novel

Continue reading “Weekly Round-Up: September 29th”