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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Sixty Anime You Might Not Have Seen, But Probably Should: Part I

Once you’ve watched a certain amount of anime (aka, more than is probably good for you), there comes a point when top ten lists don’t really do the job of encapsulating your favourites anymore. When such a time comes, the only thing you can do to showcase your favourites is make a highly ambitious and incredibly lengthy post about not just ten, but fifty-plus anime that you feel you absolutely must recommend to everyone. Such was the origin of this post, and so it was that after much thought, a hefty list of no fewer than sixty series were collected together. Some of them could never make it onto an overall top ten list, but they are nonetheless so good at what they do that they still require a mention in some capacity.

On a side note, don’t expect the likes of Ghost in the Shell, Cowboy Bebop and Evangelion to appear on here. Whilst the first two at least are certainly solid enough, they appear on recommendation lists throughout the land, and it’s time they stood aside to let worthier series get some of the spotlight. Continue reading “Sixty Anime You Might Not Have Seen, But Probably Should: Part I”

Weekly Round-Up: August 3rd

Sorry for the lateness in posting this, it will probably won’t happen again.

Reviewed this week: Baccano 1, Cazador 17, Darker than Black 17, Dennou Coil 8-11, Doujin Work 4, Higurashi Kai 4, Ichigo Mashimaro OVA 3, Mononoke 1, Mushi-Uta 3-4, Romeo X Juliet 16, SaiMono 16, Zetsubou 3, Seirei 16

…and in manga: Emma Bangaihen 10, Shinigami no Ballad 2, Solanin 8-9, Spiral 42-3, Spiral Alive 7, Tennai 26-7, Tsubasa 162

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Final Thoughts: Ichigo Mashimaro OVA and manga

OVA: Three more episodes of Nobue and co.
Post TV-series OVAs tend to come in two forms- either they pick up where their predecessor left off and fit quite naturally into the franchise, or they cover a new and generally quite uninspired storyline that makes you wish they’d just left well alone. Fortunately, the Ichigo Mashimaro falls into the former category, and indeed, if you didn’t know it was an OVA, you might just think what you were watching were episodes 13-15 of the TV series.

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Weekly Round-Up: May 18th

Wanting eight hands on your ‘sword’ is just greedy.

Whilst the new domain picks up steam, what are people looking at over on the old WordPress blog? Naturally, the Uta game FAQs remain popular (you’d think everyone who wanted to would have played the games by now), but Winter Cicada is also getting a lot of views. Does hard yaoi have the staying power over mere HARD GAY?

In other news, my new laptop has arrived; not only is it the laptop of the gods but it’s also one of the few that doesn’t force Vista on you straight out of the box.

Reviewed this week: Aria 24, Iroha 25-6, Bokurano 4, Cazador 6, Ichigo Mashimaro OVA 2, KouSang 5, StrikerS 6, Nodame 16, SaiMono II 6, Seirei 6, Emma II 2-3

…and in manga: Bokurano 42

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Ichigo Mashimaro volumes 1-4

Most sixteen year olds would choose to hang out with people their own age, but Nobue Itou is a little different. She would much rather spend time with fifth and sixth graders from elementary school- to be precise, her sister Chika, next door neighbour Miu, and friends Matsuri and Ana. Join this unlikely group as they while away the days amusing themselves with games, banter and all the other minor diversions that crop up in day-to-day life. Continue reading “Ichigo Mashimaro volumes 1-4”

Weekly Round-Up: March 16th

I need to take a moment to discuss this figure of Eri. It’s not a figure I like, and I wouldn’t have given it a second thought had ANN not written a surprisingly positive review about it. Am I the only one who dislikes this figure? It doesn’t capture the essence of Eri for me at all, and even if I had no idea who she was, the only thing I would like about it is the skirt.

Reviewed this week: Aria 20-21, Iroha 16, Busou Renkin 23, Chevalier 15-16, Deltora 4, Gargoyle 10, Ichigo Mashimaro OVA 1, Kanon 23, Nodame 8, SaiMono 34

…and in manga: MariMite 22, School Rumble 216, Tsubasa 146, xxxHOLiC 10.3

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