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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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”

Tuesday Rumble: April 3rd

chibi-dii-blog.pngSometimes you get linked by the strangest places. Over the months, I’ve not only somehow got referrals from porn sites (they must be getting desperate if they need to link to an anime blog that has no porn), but my Red Garden review somehow got picked up by an aggregator for garden centre related posts.

I also regret the missed opportunity to write an April Fool’s post extolling the virtues of Hello Kitty TV; oh well, maybe next year.

HARD YURI School of Angst
Coming this spring to an anime slot near you, enjoy HARD YURI School of Angst! Shouko has just started high school at the all girl YURI Academy Continue reading “Tuesday Rumble: April 3rd”

Final Thoughts: Red Garden

Claire, Rose, Rachel and Kate may attend the same school on New York’s Roosevelt Island, but apart from sharing a friendship with a recently deceased girl named Lise, they are all very different people. Nonetheless, this unlikely quartet is thrown together when a mysterious woman named Lula enters their life with some shocking news- all four of them are already dead. Now, they are living on borrowed time, and it is time that will run out unless they follow Lula’s orders and dedicate their nights to fighting a succession of zombie-like men. Confused and afraid, but nonetheless desperate to uncover the truth behind their demise and resurrection, the four girls must now work together if they wish to balance their everyday lives with this strange new world that they have been thrust into…

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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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Tuesday Rumble: March 13th

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Spoiler Alert: Don’t read HARD GAY corner if you want to keep your knowledge of Gungrave a blank slate.

It’s been well over half a year since Tuesday Rumble first began, and to my surprise, it has not only survived all this time, but has even managed to evolve far beyond my initial expectations (and there are still new features in progress that I have yet to reveal). Unfortunately, in its own way, TR is starting to take over- one article can sometimes be as long as a full blog post.

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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: March 6th

chibi-dii-blog.pngThis week in the blogworld, topics of choice include “death of Danbooru”, “successor of Danbooru” and, incongruously, “love” (as in real life, not adult games). What a shame I don’t have anything to say about any of those topics- instead I’ll just have to moan about how ironic it is that I hate filling in forms (to the extent that I always leave them to the last minute) but have somehow ended up doing a load of paperwork for my sister.

Stratos 4: The Admiral

Fat cat fans- rejoice at the release of this new Stratos 4 OVA, starring The Admiral herself! Continue reading “Tuesday Rumble: March 6th”

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”

Weekly Round-Up: February 16th


Wireless internet certainly sounds useful, but when it comes down to taking advantage of it, certain difficulties arise. Even if, unlike me, you have a laptop with batteries that actually the work, there’s the matter of all those plugged in peripherals you’ve come to rely on. Take your laptop to another room, and suddenly you’re bereft of printer, scanner, external hard drive and a miscellaneous ‘more’- unless of course you wheel the whole setup around on some kind of trolley. Maybe I’ll just stay at my familiar computer desk for now.

Reviewed this week: Iroha 12, Busou Renkin 19, Chevalier 14, Death Note 17, Deltora Quest 2, Kanon 19, MariMite OVA 2, Red Garden 16, ROTK 41, Shounen Onmyouji 12

…and in manga: Higurashi Onikakushi 4, Shana 8, Spiral 25-6, xxxHOLiC 10.1

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