The Winter 2016 Season Anime Preview Absolutely No-One Wanted

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Hey all it’s your favourite old man Valence back with another Winter Season anime preview that was probably posted too late such that by the time you read this you’d have watched the shows already, but heck it, let’s get right back into it!

Well to whoever used to read AOIA, or whoever actually scrolled past this post, you’d see that it’s been a long time since my last actual post. I stopped posting on AOIA back in 2013 (2013!??) due to my upcoming A-Levels and ever since then I’d been too busy with NS and real-life commitments to really post anything on the website anymore. All the writers had already quit shitposting on AOIA to shitpost on Twitter and the like, but since I have more time now I figured I’d post on this website of mine from time to time.

That’s a lot of babble from me, so let’s skip straight to the juicy bits. I won’t be covering the sequels or the shows for children, nor the shorts (in this post), so it’s just be the ones you might end up watching. All the descriptions are ripped straight from anichart.

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Active Raid: Kidou Kyoushuushitsu Dai Hakkei

An original anime set in a part of Tokyo that has descended into a quagmire, the story follows Unit 8 of the 5th Special Public Security Section’s 3rd Mobile Assault Division — popularly called “The Eighth” — who don powered armor “Willware” exoskeletons to counter the rise in crime. Assistant inspector Asami Kazari is assigned to The Eighth with the task of assessing the unit’s status and reporting it to her superiors. But her true goal is to rehabilitate this sloppy, haphazard, justice-less group.

(Source: ANN)

I love original anime because they have the potential to be something truly amazing and even iconic (e.g. Puella Magi Madoka Magica) and not have their success more or less based on their source material. In the same vein without source material it’s easy for an original anime to really be a swing and a miss with the audience, for example Comet Lucifer.

That being said, the whole premise reminds me a bit of Psycho-Pass, in that it’s got kind of a ‘futuristic crime-stopping’ vibe to it, but probably more light-hearted?  If all those bright colours are any sort of indication of course. The MC’s haircut even looks similar too…

However it’s directed by the same guy who directed Code Geass, so even though CG was great, I hope this anime doesn’t give too much of a CG feel to it. Just for something different.

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Ajin

For high schooler Kei—and for at least forty-six others—immortality comes as the nastiest surprise ever.

Sadly for Kei, such a feat doesn’t make him a superhero. In the eyes of both the general public and governments, he’s a rare specimen who needs to be hunted down and handed over to scientists to be experimented on for life—a demi-human who must die a thousand deaths for the benefit of humanity.

(Source: Vertical)

What’s it with all the death game anime and manga recently? Doesn’t anyone get bored with all the whole “oh I suddenly have powers, people hunt me down now I must group up with similarly powerful people to defend ourselves and find the true big bad, how to get out of this situation etc etc” stuff? I get that Ajin was a great manga, but I’m not a huge fan of death game scenarios anymore.

That being said, although I don’t like death games, I do like #edgy #psychological manga like Immortal Hounds and Parasyte, so with all this talk about immortality I’d probably end up watching it still. God I hate anime.

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Ao no Kanata no Four Rhythm

The story is set on an archipelago of four islands far south of Japan or even the South Seas. It is all but a different world from modern Japan. From the discovery of anti-gravitons came the dream invention of anti-graviton shoes that let people fly the skies. They introduce people to a new realm by enabling flight with just one’s own body strength, without feathers or engines. This led to the rise of the sport of “Flying Circus”.

The protagonist who once hoped for a future in this sport suffered a setback due to an overwhelming defeat, and withdrew from the sport for this and some other reason. However, he met the transfer student Asuka Kurashina, and in teaching her to fly the skies, the old passion returned. He takes part in the Flying Circus again.

(Source: ANN)

I love it when Japan tries to give english names because all of them always sound pretty…Japanese. Like, I can already imagine how they’ll introduce the sport. Just close your eyes and imagine it. Try and hear a middle-aged/old man or an energetic highschool girl saying the word “Flying Circus”. Go ahead, you already know what it’ll sound like, don’t you?

Yet again another show about:

  1. Some guy has a setback
  2. He meets a girl
  3. He gets back on his feet
  4. Hijinks and romance ensues

Enough party-pooping from me, I actually want to see how the sport is played. As long as it isn’t just “Regular Land Sports but AIR” or Fucking Quidditch Without Brooms it should be fun to watch?

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Boku Dake ga Inai Machi

(Source: MAL News)

Time travelling, mysteries and murders oh my. I’m interested in it, although I do wonder whether the first bit about this guy being a manga artist is really relevant at all. The manga probably ends with the MC drawing his experiences as a manga, so that readers will go “OH! I get it! Haaahaaa the mangaka went back in time and shit! This manga is totally meta!”

Cynicism aside I’ve watched the trailer and I like it. It’s done by A-1 Pictures so the art-style and production should be pretty good. I really like the premise. The whole concept of an adult in the body of a child is something that I can’t get enough of.

Moving on:

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Bubuki Buranki

When Azuma Ikki returns to Japan after 10 years, he gets assaulted by a group of armed men and becomes their prisoner. Kogane Asabuki, a childhood friend, saves him with a weapon on her right hand known as Bubuki; a weapon with its own mind. Azuma Ikki, who is a Bubuki user himself, learns about the existence of Bubuki and goes on a journey alongside the companions he has found, in an attempt to find and revive Oumai, a Buranki (titan) who sleeps underground.

It kind of reminds me of Deadman Wonderland in the sense that everyone has a special weapon, childhood friends involved, underground etc etc. I’m actually curious as to how they will try and find Oumai, and for what reason? Is it going to be a traditional fantasy-type anime or some sort of modern fantasy anime?

All in all it looks pretty good in the PV. It’s also done by SANZIGEN, the studio that also did Black Rock Shooter and Arslan Senki, so make of that what you will.

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Dagashi Kashi

Shikada Kokonotsu’s father owns a rural sweets shop, and his plan is for Kokonotsu to take it over one day. However, Kokonotsu wants to be a manga author instead! One day in summer, the cute but weird girl Shidare Hotaru, from the famous sweets company, comes to pay a visit. Apparently, Kokonotsu’s father is famous and she wants him to join her family’s company. However, he will only agree if she can convince Kokonotsu to take over the family business!

(Source: MangaHelpers)

Ah, Dagashi Kashi. Have you been keeping up with the latest doujinshi releases at C89? There are so many doujins out there for Hotaru. Oh, Hotaru. What’s it about her character design that makes it so easy to see it as a lewd design? At least that’s what I can say from seeing all those doujin covers. All of this from a really light-hearted manga about sweets and snacks. You have an actual hentai artist drawing Shokugeki no Souma and there are hardly as many doujins of that. What’s up with that?

I’m not sure how long each episode will be since the manga chapters were pretty short. They could do 2 chapters per episode for a whole season of 12 episodes I suppose. That’d be pretty good. The manga is funny enough but I’m not sure whether the constant introduction of the sweets and snacks etc. would be translated well into the anime. Probably a minor problem anyway, I’d hate it if they spend too much time introducing the sweet of the chapter. Anyway I’m definitely watching this..

 

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Dimension W

In the year 2071, the world’s energy problems seem solved by a network of cross-dimensional electric-field inductors- “coils” -that extract energy from a seemingly infinite source. That source is the W dimension, a fourth plane that exists beyond the X, Y, and Z dimensions.

In this world, unofficial “illegal” coils harness powers that the police can’t hope to counter. Dealing with these coils is the job of coil-hating repo man Kyoma, whose run-in with the unique coil android Mira leads the two to form a reluctant partnership.

(Source: FUNimation)

It sounds pretty interesting. Extra dimensions (literally), sources of power (literally), etc. I’m also a sucker for the whole reluctant partnership trope. I love it when the MCs fight and argue and bitch and moan because let’s face it, not everyone likes each other immediately when they meet. I find it makes the characters more.. believable? I guess?  It’s relevant too since Kyoma hates coils anyway. It’s also another cyberpunk anime, and those never fail to succeed…..right?

It has a theme song from Stereo Dive Foundation and it’s also animated by BONES, so people will watch it, question is whether it’ll actually be good. I take it that seinen anime don’t do as well over in the land of the rising sun as moe and stuff like that, if Gochiusa sales were any indication, but maybe Western audiences and filthy weebs like me will like this as well.

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Divine Gate

When the Divine Gate opened, the living world, the heavens, and the underworld became connected, ushering an era of chaos where desires and conflict intersect. To restore order, the World Council is formed. As peace is restored, the Divine Gate becomes an urban legend.

In that world, boys and girls deemed fit by the World Council are gathered. They are ones who aim to reach the gate for their personal objectives. Those who reach the gate can remake the world.

What lies beyond the gate? When they reach the door, will the world change? Will it be the past that changes, or will it be the future?

(Source: MAL News)

It’s a video game adaptation? That sounds interesting, although I’ve never heard of this game before. Let me google it…

http://divine-gate.wikia.com/wiki/Divine_Gate_Wiki

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Oh…of course…it’s not any regular video game! It’s a bloody phone game.
Bahamut was the last adaptation of a phone game that came to mind for me. The big problem with these adaptations is that I just know that they’re essentially commercials. Especially when the original game is a “TCG Puzzle App” , whatever that means.

That isn’t to say that such adaptations are bad. I mean, I’m a huge fan of The Idolmaster and Cinderella Girls started out as a phone game as well. I play Deresute like it’s my daily prayer and I’ve spent a bit of money on the game already. I’ve been a huge sucker for Brave Frontier back when I was in the army as well, so as you can tell, I shouldn’t be allowed to be within money. The difference for imasCG was that well, it’s part of The Idolmaster franchise, so it’s already kinda established in a sense, whereas for these adaptations they usually have to make up some kind of a story altogether, which often turns out to be ill-conceived or flat out boring. I’ll give it a watch still, just to see how it goes, but I don’t really expect to be a fan of it.

 

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Hai to Gensou no Grimgar

Living, isn’t easy.
When Haruhito awakens, he’s in the dark.
He doesn’t know where he is, why is he here, and where he came from.
Around him there are several men and women who have the same circumstances.
Together, they advance forward away from the darkness, and a world they’ve never seen before called “Grimgar” spreads out before them.
Memories, money, special powers — This is the reality we who have none of those things have obtained.

Oh boy howdy, it’s like Ajin but fantasy. Not just any fantasy, video game themed fantasy. Money, special powers, wow this is just like my RPGs! Like GATE! Which is also airing this season! That’ll probably affect its viewership rates…

Another factor affecting its viewership rates: the same damned RPG premise. SAO, Log Horizon, etc. We already had that recently as well in DanMachi and GATE, both of which probably did well thanks to its extensive cast of female characters. Being a cynic I guess this show will do pretty decently despite being nothing really new or frankly interesting.

I like the visuals of the anime though. You can check out the PV here on the information page.  It kind of reminds me of Brave Story, but with a Ghibliesque twist on it.

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Haruchika: Haruta to Chikawa Seishun Suru

Anime adaptation of the Haruchika Series novels by Sei Hatsuno which revolve around two high school students named Haruta and Chika, who are members of a wind instrument club that is on the verge of being shut down. The two are childhood friends, and they spend their days practicing hard while also trying to recruit new members. When a certain incident happens within their school, they work together to solve it.

(Source: ANN)

It’s like K-On meets Hyouka. A wind instrument club that’s on the verge of closing down thanks to the fact that they only have the titular characters as members of the club (C+ H-Doujinshi Premise right there) and for whatever reason they want to solve the ‘certain incident within their school’ for, what? To attract new members? To reinvent themselves? To curry favour from the school board? I’m curious.

As such I did some quick Googling and… I have no fucking clue. They have a wikia set up already but I doubt anyone actually updated it (or read the actual light novels) so I guess we’ll just have to wait for the anime.

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Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku Wo!

The popular “alternate world home comedy” centers around Kazuma Satō, a hikikomori (shut-in) die-hard fan of games, anime, and manga. A traffic accident brings his disappointingly brief life to an end … or it should have, but he wakes up and sees a beautiful girl who introduces herself as a goddess. “Hey, I have some good news — would you like to go to an alternate world? You may only bring one thing you like with you.”

He responds, “…So, I’ll bring you.” With that, he is transported to another world and his great adventure subjugating the demon king begins … but first the hard work of finding food, clothing, and shelter begins. Kazuma wants to live in peace, but the goddess raises one problem after another, and then the demon king’s army has its eyes set on him.

(Source: ANN)

1. MC a huge fan of games and anime
2. Brought into a fantasy world
3. Beautiful girls
4. Hijinks and adventure ensues

Do they have some quota on these anime that they have to meet every month? Do these studios meet up and say, “Hey, I know you’re doing Gate Season 2 this season, so I’m also going to release Hai to Gensou no Grimgar as well. Deen, can you please release KonoSuba ASAP? We have a schedule to meet before Abe has to whip us again. ”

I guess it’s just unfortunate that these anime with highly similar premises are released every season. That being said these anime usually turn out mediocre and boring, probably due to the fact that you’ll already know everything that happens from experience.

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Koukaku no Pandora

In an age when large-scale natural disasters frequently happen all over the world, when cyborgs and autonomous robots are beginning to appear on the market in technologically advanced nations, and major world powers compete for technology and resources, the divide between rich and poor grows and the future for the poor looks bleak. In this transitional stage, everyone wanders around in a self-indulgent daze and the way out isn’t clear… This is the story of how two cybernetically enhanced girls meet.

(Source: MU)

Don’t be fooled by the description. It surely isn’t half as bleak or half as amazing as it sounds. You can view the PV here.

It’s Ecchi, Action and Comedy. Can’t wait for comedic and slightly lewd natural disasters all over the world.

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Luck and Logic

In L.C. 922, people faced a sudden crisis.

In Tetra Heaven, the land of legend, a hundred years of war had come to a close. The gods who lost the war searched for a new place to live, and found it in Septpia, the human world, which they proceeded to attack. The Logicalists attached to ALCA, a special police agency whose duty it was to protect cities from assaults by foreigners (angels), were compelled to act in defense of cities, whether they wished to or not.

And depending on their ability, Logicalists could initiate trance with goddesses from the other world, and stand a fighting chance on the battlefield.

A civilian named Yoshichika Tsurugi, who lacked “Logic” and lived happily with his family, was caught up in an attack, and took shelter along with many people. He meets a beautiful goddess named Athena. In her hands, she had the “Logic” that Yoshichika lacked. Now both Yoshichika and Athena head to their destiny.

(Source: ANN)

Would you watch Cardfight: Vanguard? I’m thinking not. Why? You probably don’t play the game, so you won’t really enjoy it as much. Would you read Wizard’s Soul? I guess not. Why? The game doesn’t exist and they never really explain it (although it’s supposed to be Magic).

I have a vested interest in watching this show however since I intend on trying the card game out since my friend plays it. I’m a big fan of TCGs even though they are nothing but a way for people to pay big amounts of money for cardboard that will lose its value faster than you can lose your footing after spending the same amount of money on alcohol. It’s very expensive and not really something most people will get into for very long.

Not that I expect this shite to be any good though. It’s pretty generic. I’m already confused how the show will actually show the card game mechanics. I mean, the whole summoning Goddesses thing, the “Logic” mechanic and all are tied into the plot but I mean the actual card game itself. Or are they going to eschew the card game altogether? That’d be pretty weird for a glorified TCG commercial.

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Musaigen no Phantom World

The story takes place in the near future, in a world born of human imagination. What humans would call ghosts or monsters appear, and they come to be called “phantoms.” The main character, Haruhiko Ichijo, is a first year at Hosea Academy along with his upperclassman Mai Kawakami, who fights phantoms with the ability “Spirit of Five Elements,” Izumi Reina, who has the ability “Phantom Eater,” and Koito Minase, who fights phantoms in solitude. They experience the ups and downs of high school life before a certain incident leads them to the truth of this world.

(Source: ANN)

It’s A. by Kyoani, B. some highschool harem thing, C. something about special powers and D. some kind of invisible enemy/conflict. It’s the blandest possible thing they could put out. Do they only put out fantasy anime that meet all of the above? It’s boring as hell but I just know it will be highly viewed and people will love it. I hate anime.

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Norn9: Norn + Nonet

The story takes place a little in the future. Guided by one particular song, young elementary school student Suzuhara Sorata, from the Heisei Era, is warped through a time skip to an unfamiliar place that looks much like the towns from the Meiji or Taishou period from his textbooks. In this world, he meets three young ladies and nine young men and joins them on a journey aboard the mysterious Norn ship, a giant globe that floats in midair.

Otomate made the announcement at the “Norn9 with Ark & for Spica” event at Tokyo’s Nakano Sun Plaza on 2nd March 2014.

It sounds interesting. I’m a big sucker for time travel and stuff like that. I went to google it (I do a lot of googling from time to time) and apparently the original Norn is based on a otome game. Which is why it’s called Norn9, because there are 9 guys for you to pick from. Who should I make out with? Who should I bang, but in a otome way?

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Phantasy Star Online 2: The Animation

The Phantasy Star Online 2 The Animation series will have a completely original story, and the story will take place on Earth in the near future.

Well fuck me with a spiked bat, it’s an adaptation of PSO2! But here’s the kicker – it has nothing to do with PSO2!! So now my guesses for this anime have dropped from “stuff I heard from a friend who actually plays this game” to “whatever the fuck they want to do and it’ll sell since it’s the long-awaited PSO2 adaptation”! Fuck me upside down with a rusty screwdriver! Fuck me sideways with a cocktail mixer painted with lead paint!

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Prince of Stride

The series revolves around a closed-down “Stride” club at Hounan Academy. First-year high school students Takeru Fujiwara and Nana Sakurai attempt to restart the club, but they must recruit six members for the team. They ask Riku Yagami to join, but he turns them down by saying that Stride is the one thing he doesn’t want to do. However, Takeru and Nana drag Riku into the clubroom to try to convince him.

What is Stride
What is Stride
What is Stride
What is Stride
What is Stride
What is Stride
What is Stride
What is Stride
What is Stride
What is Stride
#WhatIsStride

Let me hit up that Googlefu again:

Stride

v. strode (strōd), strid·den (strĭd′n), strid·ing, strides
v.intr.
1. To walk with long steps, especially in a hasty or vigorous way.
2. To take a single long step, as in passing over an obstruction.
3. To stand or sit astride; straddle.
v.tr.
1. To walk with long steps on, along, or over: striding the stage.
2. To step over or across: stride a brook.
3. To be astride of; straddle.
n.
1. The act of striding.
2.
a. A single long step.
b. The distance traveled in such a step.
3.
a. A single coordinated movement of the four legs of a horse or other animal, completed when the legs return to their initial relative position.
b. The distance traveled in such a movement.
4. often strides A step of progress; an advance: making great strides in their studies.
Idioms:
hit (one’s) stride
1. To achieve a steady, effective pace.
2. To attain a maximum level of competence.
take in stride
To cope with calmly, without interrupting one’s normal routine: taking their newfound wealth in stride.

I haven’t got a fucking clue. Is it track and field? Is it long jumping? Is it (god forbid) Parkour? Spoiler alert: it’s fucking Parkour…but not about the whole ‘free movement’ deal with it. No, no, it’s about relay racing. Yes! Relay racing, but in an urban environment. It’s like if you made Parkour a shitty team sport. Because it is. Next.

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Reikenzan: Hoshikuzu-tachi no Utage

Since its founding in the year 4233 of the Nine Provinces calendar, the spirit sword clan has been producing first-class martial arts talent. Two thousand years later, the clan, which adheres to the principles of peace and spiritual development, seeks to find new disciples by holding a grand tournament. One of these candidates is 12-year-old Wang Lu.

(Source: MAL)

That’s some funky character design right there. Kid looks like a cross between Captain Britain/Lionheart and Pearl Fey. Otherwise it sounds like a generic show about sword-fighting and new and wacky spiritual techniques appearing every week. Who is that woman in the background? What is the Nine Provinces calendar? Why do people want to join the clan? Why a martial art tournament? Who really gives a flying fuck?

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(Source: ANN)

 

The story of the light novel series revolves around Lux, a former prince of an empire named Arcadia that was overthrown via a rebellion five years earlier. Lux accidentally trespasses in a female dormitory’s bathing area, sees the kingdom’s new princess Lisesharte naked, and incurs her wrath. Lisesharte then challenges Lux to a Drag-Ride duel. Drag-Rides are ancient armored mechanical weapons that have been excavated from ruins all around the world. Lux used to be called the strongest Drag-Knight, but now he‘s known as the “undefeated weakest” Drag-Knight because he will absolutely not attack in battle. After his duel with Lisesharte, Lux ends up attending the female-only academy that trains royals to be Drag-Knights.

Fuck me from the behind with a Blu-Ray copy of Gakuen Toshi no Asterisk. Fuck me from every direction with a poster of Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry. Just fuck me in particular. Fuck me up fam.

I hate anime.

 

The 666th Squadron mostly operates MiG-21s, with their squadron commander Irisdena Bernhard piloting an MiG-21PF.

 

666? 

To be honest it sounds pretty good. This is some grimdark stuff that I’ll totally watch. Mecha, war, Germans. I googled the name and it apparently doesn’t mean anything? Like Haagan-Daaz. It’s just a generic German sounding name. Googling it also reveals that it’s set in the Muv Luv Alternative universe, so check that out if you can before you watch this.

I guess this would be a great way to get into the franchise without much prior knowledge of it since it already sounds pretty interesting to me.  The VN for this anime also came out pretty recently if I’m not mistaken? I think it came out in December or something. I have no experience with the Muv Luv franchise and this will be my first foray into hopefully not another Japanese franchise I end up being a fan of…

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(Source: ANN)

The last time I watched a show about making video games, it was an experience I can’t really blog about to an audience of 12 year olds.  You know what else I can’t really blog about? This. This sounds pretty boring as all hell. You can see how it’s going to go: guy meets girl yada yada yada, some kind of romance/ forced drama, show ends on a high note, the end.

Wait, I just blogged about it. That’s probably all I can blog about it anyway.

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(Source: ANN)

 

Well, we’ve finally reached the last entry on the chart, and it’s a show about Rakugo (?)

Being the ever informative and little appreciated guide into the anime universe I have decided to post the wikipedia blurb for it here to help educate everyone today (myself included):

Rakugo (落語 ?, literally “fallen words”) is a form of Japanese verbal entertainment. The lone storyteller (落語家 rakugoka ?) sits on stage, called Kōza (高座 ?).

I have no clue what this is. Is this..medieval Japanese stand-up comedy? I guess this’d be better received in Japan since they probably know what it is. Then again, since they know what it is, they might actually not watch it instead. It’s not like we don’t know which anime will perform the best this season anyway…

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Well that marks the end of my preview post for the 2016 Winter season. This post took a bit longer than I expected, which kinda only reminds me of why I stopped aniblogging to begin with. Then again it was fun (for me, at least).

I’ll do a post on the shorts as well sometime in the future. In the meantime aside from trying to post more things, I’m looking into changing the name and probably URL of this blog as well. I made the url and title the way it was since I started out alone, and well, my name’s Valen, so D- for creativity.

If you have any ideas/suggestions, feel free to hit me up on Twitter.  Until the next post, stay frosty friends.

 

About Valence

I blog things.
This entry was posted in Anime, First Impressions, Reviews, season previews, Winter 2016 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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