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Jan 02
2012

Winter 2012 Anime Preview

Introduction

Happy new years y’all! Yes, I’m writing this out on the first of Jan 2012, so that makes this preview extra special being that it’s so late haha. But yea, it’s only natural for us to release this after the festivities. The cool guys always arrive fashionably late, yo~

As for the winter shows, there seems to be a few that look decent. I’m hoping for a few surprises here and there because let’s be honest, shows that were hyped up in 2011 did not really pan out that well (looking at you noitaminA). It’s always the low-key darkhorses that catch fire, i.e. Steins;Gate, Tiger & Bunny and Mawaru Pengindrum. I can distinctly recall the overall “meh” from our thoughts previewing those shows and they blew our mindholes pretty effectively.

With that in mind, let’s see what other shows we can potentially save by being pessimistic on. I’d love to say that I’m looking forward to a lot of shows, but that would just defeat the purpose now, wouldn’t it? ^_~

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“Winter is finally here!” ….is what I wanted to say, but, honestly, this season isn’t looking that promising. I usually try to be an optimist, but this is kind of a sad list. Still! This is anime we’re talking about, and you never know what kind of dark horse may be hiding in there.

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It’s winter, the solstice season. You know what that means? If you’re in the north, it means cold, slush, and mediocre anime. If you’re way up north in Montreal, it means biting cold, ice, and mediocre anime. Oh, joy. I kid by the way. This season doesn’t look anything amazing, but there are certainly some promising series and some room for surprises.

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So my fellow otaku companions, enjoying the freezing weather of winter? Well over here in Australia, we’re NOT enjoying the same freezing weather you guys do in the northern hemisphere because it’s summer! A hot day leads to one very lazy Tofu and a lazy Tofu leads to procrastination so bear with me and my potentially late posts in the future guys. Oh right, anime preview. I can’t say it tops the line-up we witnessed last season (Boku wa Tomodachi love!) but there are some potentially good shows I’m looking forward to. Most anticipated show for me? All the shows with Hikasa Yoko, of course! (No, I’m joking …seriously.) *ahem* Well I’m both happy and cringing at the same time that Hikasa’s got so many roles this season but all in the worst shows possible… great. Well hopefully your favorite seiyuu, producers, directors, writers or whoever are in better shows than shows like Highschool DxD… Ugh!

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My New Year’s Resolution this year: to stick with at least one series all the way from beginning to end! It sounds easy enough, but with this season, it’ll be tough cookies. I usually get pretty sick, and to be honest, this season doesn’t seem too exciting… But there are a few gems and wildcards to look forward to! For example, everyone’s looking forward to Nisemonogatari. We here at Sekijitsu will probably be fighting each other to the death for it, so if you don’t see me blogging for a while, it might be because Elyon killed me. Just kidding, we’re all pretty passive -aggressive here, so we know how to share! Out of everything, I’m most looking forward to Gyo! Thinking about it makes me giddy (and frightened).

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So Christmas has been and gone and New Years Resolutions are still going strong, but most importantly the new anime season is upon us. Personally I am really looking forward to this seasons line up. Prince of Tennis 2 and Aqaurion Evol to name a couple and it seems like there will be a few that will be surprisingly good in there. OOHHH I can’t wait!

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TheShowsList

 

AnoNatsudeMatteru//Tofu’sThoughts

The synopsis doesn’t offer much besides telling us it’s a romantic comedy. The trailer is only 14 seconds long and shows us two things: summer and students. But even though the synopsis and trailer are useless about telling us the story, at least they’ve left me intrigued with this show. The director is Tatsuyuki Nagai and the character designer is Masayoshi Tanaka, and this marks their third collaboration after Toradora and AnoHana. I like Tanaka’s character designs, but I hope Nagai’s improved on the mistakes he made at the end of AnoHana. The seiyuu line-up isn’t that special either, with just Tamura Yukari (Suzuha from Steins;Gate), Tomatsu Haruka (Anaru from AnoHana), Hidaka Rina (Last Order from Index), Asumi Kana (Popura from Working!!), and a bunch of unknowns.

Another//Renn’sThoughts

It says something about the QUALITY of this season if my most anticipated anime is a horror (I hate horror), directed by the guy who did Blood-C and the writer who has done… nothing (or is a pseudonym). Still, this looks awesome. For one, it’s based off the best kind of source material: the novel. Think The Tatami Galaxy, Aoi Bungaku, and Un-Go. For another, it’s got the same art team and studio as Hanasaku Iroha, so if all else fails, at least it’ll look great. Going off the manga, we’re in for an engaging mystery though not necessarily a spooky horror.

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AmagamiSS+//Tofu’sThoughts

The first season focused on Christmas, so I’m not sure how the show can have a direct sequel with an actual story instead of twelve episodes of idling and fanservice. Maybe it’ll focus on birthdays, with each girl getting two episodes apiece? I might as well try it since I’ve seen the first season, but, unfortunately, my favorite girl, Risa, isn’t getting an arc… Stuff this show, I’m out of here. Joking, joking! The arcs I’m looking forward to are Tsukasa’s and Karuka’s. As for music, the gorgeous Azusa will sing the OP, so at least a minute and a half of the show will be good. I just hope that’s not the only thing great about the second season.

AquarionEVOL//Vivi’sThoughts

I’m not familiar with Aquarion, but I’m rather surprised I don’t hear much hoopla about it (or maybe I just don’t get around much). Because, judging by the visuals, this show looks good! The character and mecha designs are pretty sweet, the animation looks beautiful, and the fight scenes seem awesome. Also, the PV makes it seem rather romantic, doesn’t it? This sort of reminds me of Macross, which I never really got into because it was more about shipping (not actual ships but relationships) than about fighting. (Oh yeah, and the singing.) Now that I’m waaay more mature I’ll have to start watching the original series soon because this looks great, and I wouldn’t want to be missing out on this!

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AreanoKishi//Renn’sThoughts

I read a few chapters of the manga. It’s a bit like Chihayafuru, with a male audience in mind instead of a female one (and soccer, err, football instead of karuta). By that I mean it’s competently written and well-realized, but the drama has the subtlety of a sledgehammer, and the story takes itself way too seriously. I don’t mind; I eat that stuff up. But don’t expect this to be the next masterpiece in sports anime. Director Hirofumi Ogura is a competent, if unremarkable, director, but this isn’t tough source material to translate. Expect a decent, unmemorable anime here that’ll take forever to get subbed.

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BlackRockShooter//Tofu’sThoughts

A Noitamina show. Will it improve upon the OVA, or will it fail like the OVA? Now, I’m speaking from the general consensus because, personally, I thought the OVA was amazing. I loved the clash between the fantasy world and the BRS world, and the reason the girls walked different paths in each. So how does the anime compare to the OVA so far? Well, the characters designs are… different, and I think it’s for the worse. In the trailer alone, there’s a heavy use of CG, too. As for the story… well, BRS started off as a picture, which inspired a song, which inspired an OVA… so how much more can you expand on that? That said, I’ll still give it a shot since I love BRS, and at least Supercell is still handling the music.

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Brave10//Elyon’sThoughts

How can they possibly make more Hakuoki after everybody already d-ohh wait, no, this is just some newb animation studio jumping on the “hot guys in the Sengoku Era” bandwagon. But honestly, why does that one character look EXACTLY like Saito Hajime? The character designs and the story really just feel like more of the same. There’s no originality here at all, and I have a funny feeling this is just going to be a bunch of fanservice and gay undertones to make fujoshi squee, especially with the director of Vampire Knight of all things (I guarantee there will be plenty of stripping bishies.) But! On that note, it’s a bit unfair to pass it off as such right from the get-go. This could very well end up surprising everyone (and, admittedly, I happen to like pretty bishies voiced by Daisuke Ono.) The trailer looks kind of like a cross between Naruto, Hakuoki, and Sengoku Basara, but it does make it seem kind of epic. I’ll be keeping an eye on this one, but I wouldn’t recommend having high expectations.

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BusouChuugakuseiBasketarmy//Tofu’sThoughts

We’ve got middle school students who look like they’re in elementary school wielding big guns. Is this like Hidan no Aria but with little children? The child-like atmosphere isn’t the only downside as episodes are just three minutes long and air bi-monthly. Three minutes don’t give enough time for an audience to get to know the characters nor understand the plot, and if they only air every two months, would anyone care to watch this at all? Will give the first episode a try, but don’t be surprised if it’s a trainwreck.

DanshiKoukouseinoNichijou//Elyon’sThoughts

So it seems that the industry’s finally realized that there’s a pretty big market for cute boys doing cute things, and after Kimi to Boku, I can’t say I mind more of it. I didn’t get the chance to check out the pre-air episodes, but I’ve heard a lot of positive feedback about them. With such a dull premise though, it’s really going to depend on whether or not they can keep things fresh. Kimi to Boku works because of the well-written drama and chemistry of the entire cast (not to mention DEM CATS), but what will this show do to set itself apart? That’s going to be a big factor in determining whether or not this is worth the watch or if it’s just another boring school life comedy to be forgotten.

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Gokujyo-.//Vivi’sThoughts

Boobs, panties (or lack thereof), and potential shoujo-ai. But mindless ecchi fanservice doesn’t always kill a show’s potential. It keeps the industry going, and if the show’s funny anyway, fanservice shouldn’t bother anyone that much. For example, I thought that Haganai would be some mindless harem ecchi crap, but then I watched it and completely fell it love. That said, Gokujyo is pretty much all fanservice. So, so much blatant fanservice. T-the art style is nice though, a nice break from the giant rectangular/circle/2D eyes normally used. It reminds me a bit of Murata Yusuke’s (Eyeshield) art style, but less refined and with less depth and color. Hopefully they’ll improve on it in the anime, but if not then it’s alright because I probably won’t be watching this anyway hahaha.

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HighSchoolDxD//Renn’sThoughts

It’s a light novel harem series with extraneous fanservice. Usually, we get about five of these a season, except in this very special season where everything has extraneous fanservice, if previews are to be believed. The director’s most extensive projects have been a bunch of harem crap, and this comes from the studio that brought us School Days. The seiyuu here are type-of-the-line, but, barring for a select few of us, I doubt they’ll make it worthwhile. The one silver lining? The writer did Elfen Lied. Oh, and Queen’s Blade.

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InuxBokuSS//Tofu’sThoughts

This show is one of my most anticipated of the season along with Natsume Yuujinchou Shi, Another, and Nisemonogatari. The synopsis looks interesting and perfectly suited for animation company David Productions, who have done kooky fanservice comedies like Level E and Ben-To in years past. Also, you’ve got Iizuka Karuko (Tamayura) working on the lovely character designs, and Nakagawa Koutarou (Code Geass and 07-Ghost) handling the music. But the highlight of Inu x Boku SS isn’t just it’s intriguing story and talented staff but a great seiyuu line up including Nakamura Yuuichi, Miyano Mamoru, Hidaka RIna, Hanazawa Kana, and the best out of them all, Hikasa Yoko! You can tell I’m very excited for this show because of Hi- *ahem* I mean the character designs and a promising story of course.

KillMeBaby//Renn’sThoughts

Gosh, the description and character designs here are pretty adorable. So adorable that they convinced me to look up a few chapters of the 4-koma manga. Big mistake. Apparently, the point of 4-komas is to be as cute as possible, not to have good punchlines. The trailer didn’t help much, with all the screechy screaming. The director is fairly inexperienced, and the writer’s greatest claim to fame is… uh, Hidan no Aria, which positively sucked. Looking at the same thing here. 

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MouretsuPirates//Vivi’sThoughts

I love space-pirates and space-cowboys (like Firefly ♥), the animation is solid, pretty cool battleship scenes, the character designs look, uh, cute I guess… but what what what maid cafe? Normal high school girls? I can only hope that the “high school student” part doesn’t hinder the potential action and adventure aspects of this series with stupid high school drama and humor (like in Guilty Crown… LOL). With big names like Kana Hanazawa and Yui Horie behind the voices and Director Tetsuo Sato behind-the-scenes, it looks like it’ll be some fun if you don’t take it too seriously or expect too much. Because I’m not expecting much.

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NatsumeYuujin-ChouShi//Tofu’sThoughts

For the longest time, I wouldn’t touch this show. Then, I finally caved to the recommendations, and now? I regret not picking this show up from the very beginning! Natsume’s journey, a balancing act between releasing yokai and making friends at high school, is emotional and meaningful. Each yokai Natsume encounters has their own unique story, and even though the show can be formulaic, their stories are never dull. If you haven’t picked it up yet, I suggest you do now. Natsume Yuujinchou Shi is the fourth season, and it’s vital to have seen the other three seasons to properly enjoy it. For Natsume viewers, you can expect more of the same with Takahiro Omori still directing, Sadayuki Mirai still writing, and Yoshimori Makoto still composing the music. Fourth season bonus? Kawano Mirina (A-Channel’s OP) will be singing the ED. Don’t miss out on this, guys!

Nisemonogatari//Tofu’sThoughts

Nisemonogatari is an adaption from the light novel and the sequel to Bakemonogatari so if you haven’t seen Bakemonogatari yet, I suggest you do (unless, you’re prone to seizures from flickering walls of text). It’s a beautiful, witty, and unique show. Nisemonogatari concentrates on Araragi’s twin sisters, but it keeps Bakemonogatari’s staff, with Akiyuki Shinbo directing and Satoru Kousaki (A-Channel, Lucky Star, Suzumiya Haruhi) composing the music. Additionally, Ryo and ClariS are doing the ED and OP respectively, so we can continue to expect SHAFT’s great EDs and OPs. As for the seiyuu, how could you say no to all those talented voice actors like Hanazawa Kana, Hiroshi Kamiya, and more!? This is definitely an unmissable show, folks!

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PapanoLukotowoKikinasai!//Vivi’sThoughts

Why is it that I get all the pervy anime? LOL. At least, maybe it’s pervy, maybe not. Let’s hope not because there are little girls involved. But it probably will be since it’s a romantic com– WHAT eww gross what AREN’T THEY RELATED–oh wait, they’re from a different marriage, well that’s okay then– WAIT NO, those are little girls!! Not even “lolis” as in “looks like little girls.” They ARE little girls. And what’s with the ribbon in that girl’s hair, there’s no way people would not think of… well, whatever floats your boat. This boat will most likely not include a heart-warming story about a young guy trying to raise three girls while their parents are out missing, not that you guys wanted a heart-warming story or anything, right?

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PoyopoyoKansatsuNikki//Renn’sThoughts

What do you want me to say? It’s a slice-of-life centered around a spherical cat. If that’s your thing, you’ll love this, and if that’s not your thing, you won’t. To anyone on the edge (ie no one), the director, Akitarou Daichi, is awesome, and I’ve no doubt he’ll bring out the best of this source material. My camp? Poyo kind of looks like my Pikachu gravatar. I’ve no choice but to watch.

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RecordertoRandoseru//Vivi’sThoughts

Holy flippin’ burgers that guy is TALL and that girl is SHORT how is that even… what… What is up with anime and their fixation on short girls… I want to see a series based on a really tall girl like Milly. Tall girls can be moe too! I don’t see how you can base a whole anime series based on one guy being super tall and his older sister being super short alone, but they’ve made great series based on less before. Judging by the art style and the atmosphere of the preview image (that’s all I can judge from, really LOL) it won’t be random ecchi/sis-con jokes which is good imo.

Since he’s basically a kid, it’ll be a cute and innocent anime about two kids trying to grow up and trying to accept their differences, right? R-right? Anyway, nothing really stands out except Rie Kugimiya – the whole team is brand spankin’ new! Maybe they can be the newbie team that comes in and shakes up the industry! Well, tbh I’m not expecting much from this, but it would be interesting to see how this goes.

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RinnenoLagrange//Vivi’sThoughts

This is about a 17-year-old girl who loves her hometown and likes helping people… oh yeah, and she also fights aliens in her giant robot. Best winter synopsis! Production I.G., the original creators if not the animation studio (which is Xebec), always busts out my favorite crazy action-packed anime, so it’s reasonable to have high expectations for this, even if half of the trailer consists of a girl stripping. But the stripping (and everything else) is beautifully animated so it’s okay! And Rei, is that you? Nope, just another semi-emotionless girl who probably kicks ass at robo-fighting. Another potential big hit of the season, a lot of people have got their eyes on Rinne no Lagrange, me included.

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SenhimeZesshouSymphogear//Renn’sThoughts

I’ve… got nothing here. The director’s only full job has been Shugo Chara Party. The writers don’t even have a page on ANN. And this is, according to ANN, the first full anime for animation company Encourage Films, which looks like an offshoot of Statelight. Hmm, maybe we should expect a Macross ripoff, but with no love triangle, more lesbians, and more moe? Sounds alright to me, but I’m not holding my breath. Reportedly, the people who saw the first episode’s screening didn’t get much of an impression either.

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TanteiOperaMilkyHolmes2//Elyon’sThoughts

The first season of Milky Holmes was brilliant. It was witty, quirky, over-the-top, and rarely did it repeat a joke or become stale. But can they keep that up for a whole other season? I’m not sure. The OVA wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t exactly laugh-out-loud funny or anything either (aside from Nipple-sensei, who never ceases to steal the show.) With the same staff as last season though, I’m going to have hope that they’ll be able to continue providing genuine laughs.

ZeronoTsukaimaF//Elyon’sThoughts

Oh dear lord, not this again. The first three seasons were so godawful that I can’t even–oops, admitting that I’ve actually watched them all. Honestly though, the first season wasn’t really THAT bad, but it seems like every season since then has just gotten worse and worse. It started taking itself way too seriously and inserting way too much melodrama. Zero no Tsukaima also has this annoying way of beating a dead horse, and I have a funny feeling that this season will continue to repeat the same unfunny jokes that have become so tired at this point. But hey, the original writer of the manga will be doing the series composition (not sure if that’s good or bad, but I can’t imagine it being worse), and there’s always that trolling Julio to entertain (even if he doesn’t get nearly as much screentime as he deserves), so I guess it’s worth giving a chance if you’ve seen the first three seasons already. If you haven’t though…I wouldn’t recommend trying to catch up.

 

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LastWords

Once again I’ll be looking at the past season’s remnants to pull me through, though that doesn’t mean that winter is all gloom and doom. Another seems to have some potential, and being the only horror anime for the season, I have high hopes for it. I love a good horror story so here’s hoping that the cutesy HanaIro stylings doesn’t detract too much from the experience.

As for the others, it’s a little tough to say. There are quite a few sequels dished out here, and I’m really hoping that Nisemonogatari doesn’t disappoint. Natsume’s 4th season will be a treat for its fans and is also a series that I really need to get on soon.

The sporto in me really hopes that Area no Kishi pans out too, since I’ve yet to find a good soccer anime/manga with art that I enjoy. It may look a bit on the generic side, but given it’s following it may prove to be enjoyable. As for what I’ll blog, Another is definitely a guaranteed. The rest will have to wow me for consideration, but I’ll definitely try my best to keep up with the lot.

Possibly Blogging: Another

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There you have it! Well there may not be that much to look forward to, at least there’s always more Natsume. Nisemonogatari and Another are ones I’m going to keep my eye on too, so I’m hoping this turns out to be a better season than it looks! If not, I’ll just be continuing with Mirai Nikki, Hunter x Hunter, SKET Dance, Phi Brain, and Chihayafuru then.

Possibly Blogging: Natsume Yuujinchou Shi, Another, Brave10

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This season looks… mediocre. The only shows I’m really psyched for are Natsume Yuujinchou-San, Nisemonogatari, Daily Lives of High School Boys, and Another, and two of those four are sequels. Now, now, it might be awesome. If either Rinne no Lagrange, Black Rock Shooter, Mouretsu Pirates, Ano Natsu de Matteru, and/or Senshime Zesshou Symphogear/Aquarion EVOL can deliver, we might have a good season on our hands. Plus, Poyopoyo and Area no Kishi look like reliable back-up anime.

The biggest problem, when you glance at the charts, is that this season seems to have more fanservice than usual. That said, we do still have the layovers from fall: Chihayafuru, Last Exile – Fam, The Silver Wing, Persona 4, Mirai Nikki… And the 2012 spring season (no spoilers) looks awesome. So, who knows? Last winter we had Madoka, and no one expected that.

Possibly Blogging: Ano Natsu de Matteru, Black Rock Shooter, Mouretsu Pirates, Senhime Zesshou Symphogear

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So what do you all think of the line-up? Great? Bad? Anyone actually going to watch Highschool DxD? *sigh* Well I’m certainly surprised with the line-up. There’s a variety of shows and even a horror anime Another which is actually the first horror anime I’ve ever come across with. Not sure if it’s a good thing or not because it seems scary (yeah… Tofu gets scared easily) but a good show to watch at the same time! Argh! It’s like not wanting to watch Highschool DxD but wanting to at the same time for Hikasa. Why!? Why have I deserved this divine punishment!? *regains senses* Well besides that, I hope you all have enjoyed looking over the preview we at Sekijitsu have put a lot of time and effort into and of course without Bass, you won’t be seeing that stunning graphics we at Sekijitsu are proud of! Till next time minna-san!

Possibly Blogging: Nisemonogatari, Ano Natsu de Matteru, Inu x Boku SS, Black Rock Shooter… and also Another (YOU WISH!)

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At first I thought we’d all be bustin’ each others’ chops for Nisemonogatari, but it looks like everyone’s looking forward to Another the most! With that and Brave10, Area no Kishi, Nisemonogatari… guess Winter season won’t be too bad! The line-up looks pretty good, right? Well… there are a few questionable ones out there but there’s a good variety of shows this season! From Haganai, Madoka Magica, and T&B, I learned that you can’t really judge a series straight up from its preview. You just might end up falling in love with something completely unexpected – Highschool DxD perhaps? LOL okay maybe not that…

Possibly Blogging: Another, Area no Kishi, Gyo

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PoT2, Evol, Black Rock Shooter, Rinne no Lagrange, Nisemonogatari, Zero no Tsukaima F, Another, there is so much potential this season. Definitely going to have plenty to watch this season and as everyone else has said I’m waiting to see what that surpise love will be. My money is on Mourestu Pirates being the wildcard this season.

Possibly Blogging: Aquarion EVOL, Prince of Tennis 2

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So what say you, dear blog reader? Anything here that tickles your fancy?

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Be sure to check out the poll below, as well as some other previews from other blogs (that will be updated over time). Don’t forget to sound off with your thoughts in the comments below. We’re excited to see what y’all have to say about the upcoming season.

WinterPoll

VisualGuide ReleaseCalender

OtherPreviews

The Cart Driver | Metanorn | Star Crossed | Daydream Sanctuary | Daifuuku | Random Curiosity

Credits&References

ANN | Moetron | MAL

 

 

 

 

 

 

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