Posted on 31 May 2016 with categories: Anime Reviews, World Animation

Welcome to the last part of our Chinese animated guide. This part will cover Chinese traditional art style, for me personally this is the most enjoyable group. The first thing you might notice in these shows are they were in different format ratio, lean more towards the Academy ratio format. I always find their traditional art style more compelling, but somewhat conservative approach (since for long decades the Chinese insist to use this style over and over again). Luckily, these restricts have been loosen up in recent years without locking into any particular one style. As a result we have those shows below as a more relaxed and more updated version of their traditional style. Here are again the 6 shows in no particular order:

Romance of Three Kingdoms (三国演)

romance of 3 kingdoms

This is a 2009 Chinese adaptation, so not to be confused with the various anime versions. Based on the popular work “Romance of Three Kingdoms” (which people regards its influence in East Asia literature is like that of Shakespeare in English literature). What we have in this episode are the three legendary warriors Liu Bei, Zhang Fei, Guan Yu become brothers and they fight together. I love the traditional character designs, and they provided solid enough animated scenes. But I can’t get pass the fact that a girl who was pushed down a cliff, not only she’s not die, but seems unharmed and she then proceeds to play musical after that. Weird. She must had been on crack I think! Besides that, I always meant to read the actual book, but its length (800,000 words) always put me off. This series so far is solid enough for me to follow it through.

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Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:, Flying witch

Watching Flying witch really feel like listening to a classical music, where the long running time flies by and we actually feel it more than try to understand it. This week we continue what was left off last week, with Makoto, Chinatsu, Kei meeting the owners of the café shop and their regular customers. This is Flying witch in their most confidence. The pacing, the music, the character and background designs are very consistent and complement each other, with many little details that further shows how much the creators care about this world. I always prefer the magical realism part of the show than the everyday rural life part, and this episode is choke full of the former, with for the first time introducing a whole range of new characters, all of them are interesting I should say. Anzu and her mother add another solid charm to the cast. Anzu is my new favorite characters, with her hair styled like Shinobu, she seems more self-serious than the rest of the cast. The mother has a more easy, laidback type and she was more amused, not disturbed by the Makoto’s misunderstanding. And then we meet the new customers, each of them are as different from each other as it can be, ranging from a pair of ladybugs, The veil of darkness and the fox. Each of them are part of nature, which each of them contributes different things to the nature, and to the witch’s life. Little details are again too many but blink-and-you-miss-it moments, like the fact that this coffee shop even showcase jewelry, or what do you think the Veil of Darkness will drink in the shop? Yes, coffee and reading book of course. Or the fox would drink milk along with his usual food: winter cherry.

The second small part followed Akame as she tries to test out her new invention, for the shake of having fun no less. I had my suspicion weeks ago about a bay that featured in the OP, which really look like China – Vietnam landscape. This week we got an answer, that the place is Ha Long bay in Vietnam, non-subtlety (well, Akame kinds of scream it to our face this time), that confirmed my mention on her wearing the Vietnamese traditional dress (which, again, little details that you might have missed). Overall this is a stand out Flying witch episode, we are into their 8th episode and it has never failed to be consistent and atmospheric. I just hope I can meet these new characters again, in any place other than this coffee shop.

~SuperMario~

Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:, Mayoiga

Now the trick to enjoy Mayoiga is to expect the unexpected. Anything could happen, and probably will. The series has successfully tweaked our noses weeks after weeks, then if Mayoiga stops being ridiculous and becomes conventional, I would be very disappointed. The fun is again on par this week and we have one of the most bizarre flashback of the show (which already a high bar), together with ridiculous monsters and crazy character’s interactions. In other words, AWESOME.

Let’s get to the ridiculous part of this episode, shall we?  The biggest revelation this week is of course, Hayato’s past. Prior to this episode, Hayato seems to be one of our most sane person on this colorful group, except for some motherly attitude towards Mitsumune, he might be the one who keeps our insane cast a balance. Well, maybe not. He turns out to be as insane as Lovepon’s level, wanting to keep Mitsumune as his pet. I believe his very existence in the series so he could murmur this speech: “I realized that I need a puppet of my own”. It makes sense. Hayato behaviors and his past fits like a glove to what Mayoiga has been established so far. And Hayato got an extra point for his trauma past (the over-control of the parents is totally different from his fear (his grandma’s picture, which was another victim from their parents), I’d be damn if he could ever resolve his own issues. But the crowning achievement for me is Valkana with his line: “I managed to escape because it was kinda surprisingly low”. The delivering is just pitch-perfect and deadpan, especially from the serious guy Valkana.

Many ridiculous unresolved plot lines appear throughout this episode like a spider-web. The tunnel scenario ended with the Driver again being the most childish and stubborn man of the series by doing exactly what others say not to do. He himself was vanished afterward but it seems like no one care at this point. The Lion group contains of Lion, Maimai and Nanko tried to investigate the tunnel (which ridiculous method, putting Maimai into the tunnel to see if she still sees the monsters) and get interrupted by Jack, who then was interrupted by an unknown man, presumably Masaki’s uncle. If all of that doesn’t make any sense, then I do this series justice.  I have to say the monsters appear to be more like a mascot characters this week, they not actually scary and they at least don’t mean any harm. Maybe they are just like a device for characters to look through their darkness, then perhaps they will get back to the real world? That a sense I get from Mitsumune waking up at the end of the episode, but we will soon know the answer next week. At this rate if next week we find out that Nanko and Koharun (the only two left who still act like normal human being) turn out to be insane, I wouldn’t be surprise at all.

~SuperMario~

Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:, Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World

This week I happened to see the result of delaying the release of Re:Zero on a certain message board. It was pure pandemonium as there were those too lazy to google demanding the next episode, trolls trying to convince people the episode was delayed to next week with fake screenshots of twitter posts, haters and generally a cluster of utter idiocy that the internet can only provide. All this chaos over tennis delaying the episode. Guess I can say Re:Zero essentially is the most popular series of the season. Considering with popularity comes a cancerous fan base that fills me with unease, even the best of games or shows can be devalued by the overly loud fan base placing it on a pedestal. I worry because I actually really like this show and that delay killed me just as much as anyone else. Through this show still has it’s flaws it still manages to give me the giddy feeling every time an episode comes out. One of the flaws I consider is that I found it a bit odd when Subaru started listing out the children’s dreams to motivate Rem to help him. I get why he was doing it but it came out of nowhere. It is also made a bit awkward when he had to give another speech yet again to convince her to let him look for the last kid in the forest. Having two motivational speeches right by one another is a bit disconcerting. Subaru’s meta-isms can still be annoying at times and the characters do need a little bit more development.

The culprit behind the death of Subaru in the first run has been determined. And it’s….the dog with the shifty eyes! Well when you put it like that it sounds rather silly but taking into account the foreshadowing….well it’s still quite silly. My guess is the dog is the familiar of a mage(Like Puck is to Emilia.) likely related to the organisation who tried to steal Emilia’s emblem. Considering the focus on killing off Subaru this could be a result of the grudge Elsa has againest Subaru for messing up her plans. I don’t think this is an independent incident considering the timing and the way one kid was removed from the group specifically to lure Subaru out alone. Even the little girl Subaru rescues is the one who lead him to the curse puppy in the first place. Perhaps the girl is the perpetrator? I didn’t see a bite on her for one thing. This happens to be the only time Roswell left the Mansion, by flight which does suggest he’s quite a badass, and I have a firm suspicion that he was made to leave the mansion on purpose. The timing of the attack on the kids and him leaving was far too coincidental. My guess is that the shaman found out that Subaru forced Betrix to dispel the curse and resorted to measures to lure Subaru to the forest. Taking Roswell out of the equation so he couldn’t turn the tide against the Ma-beasts. Still Rem managed to put up one hell of a fight and she’s quite the berserker. Seems she’s an Oni which the subtitles have translated as demon but Oni fits better considering. I get the feeling that the tale Subaru told of the red and blue Oni has more relevance to them than previously suspected. Perhaps Ram made a deal to turn human in order to get closer to humans and it backfired on her maybe?

The second half of the episode where Subaru and Rem venture into the forest to rescue the kids was some truly tense and excellent sequence. For this part of the show had something not a lot of anime have. That is genuine stakes for the viewer and characters. In many a series it tries to fool you that characters can die. However in many cases that is simply an illusion and the viewer knows the characters are not in any true danger. Because they are the heroes and the heroes can’t die until the story concludes. Of course some characters can die on special occasions but it a fairly rare occurrence. However in Re:Zero, Subaru and anyone can die at any given moment. Sure that only means that Subaru returns to the starting point but the show has made it a point to give Subaru’s deaths gravitas. For Subaru this means a horrible death and resetting to the beginning. This loss is also felt by the viewer because all the development and efforts Subaru made to get closer to people disappear. When watching this episode I was fairly certain Subaru was going to die, but I didn’t want him to die. For if he dies that means the Rem and Ram who softened up to him die with him. I will never see the result of the promise he made to Rem or how she will see him after this event. I never knew for certain if Subaru would die this time or live and watching the last few minutes had me on the edge of my seat as the show gave me false death flags and raised my hopes as Subaru escaped near death. That’s what I call damn fine entertainment. I do applaud the animators and direction during these scenes. While there are still shortcuts being taken, the music and direction more than make up for it. In particular that piano piece that played during Rem’s transformation was downright perfect and while I truly don’t have linguistic knowledge to give the japanese acting a fair assessment, I can really feel some strong emotion in the performance.Maybe I have been spoiled by the likes of One Punch Man and Fate but I am more sensitive to shortcuts in animation when regarding fight scenes. However what fight scenes that are there are quite excellent. Overall White fox has kept a high level of animation consistency throughout the series and I hope they keep it up.

~AidanAK47~

Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:, Kiznaiver

In my last post I assumed that this episode would be about Tenga as the episodes title seems to suggest but it turned out to be more an episode about Agata than anything else. It basically confirmed my previous assumptions about Agata and Noriko being involved with the previous Kiznaiver project when they were children and the episode ends, at a rather inconvenient time, when Agata realises who Noriko is and regains his memories. The end of the episode was certainly the best part for me as it was done marvelously but I do feel bad for Chidori as she’s outright ignored while confessing. I am not sure what triggered Agata’s flashback to the past and cause him to start running to Noriko. The last scene was a little unclear on just how he got to her. It seems to suggest that he ran from the front door to the courtyard and pushed Noriko out of the way of a falling statue.. As for the reason why he ran to Noriko, I like to believe that he and her are still connected to each other because of the last Kiznaiver experiment. But there may be more meaning behind what Noriko said at the end about Agata being inside herself. Chances are it’s simply her mentioning that they knew each other in the past as she theorised in the first episode about wanting to see yourself in others. However to go off the rails a bit, what if she was saying that when the Kiznaiver project ended, her and Agata’s personalities somehow got switched? It would be rather interesting if the reason Agata changed was because he had his traits switched with Noriko and in turn Noriko inherited his. After all, Noriko despite her appearance is very confident and brash whereas Agata became more shy and reserved. Seeing Agata in the past this could suggest that his consciousness may have swapped with Noriko’s. It’s unlikely but I would find it quite fascinating if that was the case.

It’s truly a fourth wall breaker when characters within the show start shipping characters together. For the most part the pairings are as you would expect except for one. To some this may not be as much of a surprise but to me I found it was something that came out of nowhere. Namely that Niko has feelings for Tenga. Now when I heard this I assumed this was just the project managers making a mistake but the rest of the episode seems to suggest the same thing. As far as I can tell, there have only been three signs that indicated this development. One, when Tenga groped her in the first episode. Two, when Niko was pouting over Tenga lavishing attention on Chidori. And three, when he patted her on the head in the last episode. Other than that this seems as out of the blue as that romance between Hulk and Black Widow that nobody should have wanted.(I see absolutely no reason why people thought they would be interested in each other in the first place.) I see more evidence to suggest that Niko likes Maki rather than Tenga. I don’t really like what this brings as we now have a long line of crushes which might lead to unnecessary drama later on. Niko likes Tenga, Tenga likes Chidori, Chidori likes Agata, Agata likes Noriko and nobodies with who they want to be with. Before I felt like this whole thing could work out as Noriko and Agata seems pretty mutual and Chidori’s feelings for Agata feel more like the remnants of a crush rather than genuine love. Things could have easily been resolved in a nice little bow but now we have a third wheel to the party. Oh Niko, if Chidori’s love is doomed to set sail, yours is doomed before it can even be built. If Niko manages to get together with Tenga then by all means I will be very surprised but as far as I am concerned I say the only thing that awaits her is a jealous hissy fit and a forever alone. I certainly don’t want that to happen to her but really it’s the usual fate for these types. What makes me not in favor of this development is that it sucks the fun out of Niko and then she could fall to the fate of many a comedic character that falls in love. They get too serious and stop being fun.

We have gone over the halfway point of the season and what concerns me is that I still don’t really know what Kiznaiver is striving for. Certainly things have happened over the past 8 episodes but if feels disjointed and unorganised. When looking it over I fail to see a connecting narrative, instead a series a events with no defined goal or purpose. For example, we had an entire episode devoted to Hazama and yet after that he has had no real purpose within the narrative. It’s possible they might start using him for something like here to rile up the Kiznaivers but I fail to see the purpose of devoting an episode to him joining when he could have just been in the group from the start. The only thing that seems to have dominant narrative purpose is romance which I think is a poor use of the setup. The sharing pain aspect hasn’t had much of a definitive purpose besides giving them a reason to interact with one another. While I do not consider the past episodes bad it does feel rather directionless. I think if this continues I will look back on the series and find that it didn’t really feel like anything happened.

~AidanAK47~

Posted on 27 May 2016 with categories: Bungou Stray Dogs, Currently Watching:

I have to say more than anything this is Bungou Stray Dogs’ special episode, in a sense that in one hand, the show produces one of its most brilliance ever, but on the other hand, there are still many shortcomings along with the greatness, producing an episode that mostly entertainment but uneven. The introduction of the two main antagonists; for example, highlights this unbalance. Kyouka the silent girl might be one of the most interesting character we have for a while, mainly because it has something to do with her not being over the top (compared to other characters of this series of course). Her motives and actions are both mysterious and grounded. Her lines admittedly feel very unnatural, but there is a hint of sadness behind those words. Motojirou the bomber terrorist, on the other side of the spectrum, is just loud and plain. He’s always in the destroy/talking nonsense mode so it’s hard to remember fondly of him. It might come as a cliché but for an action show there must be someone who crazy about bombs huh?

Now let’s get to the great parts of the show. The first thing that stands out in this episode is the music. The music of the show has always been very consistent, but this week it takes a step further. In a bombing sequence, the score goes to unsettling and nausea territories, which actually very fitting to the chaos and the nausea of the crowd. The visual, especially in the action scenes, are pretty amazing to watch. Furthermore, this show has always put extra effort to create a feel for its settings, and this week’s train setting surely doesn’t disappointed. It has a very distinctive feel and a lot of personality. The writing this week takes a rather new approach as well. They don’t go for their usual crime investigating, there is no usual gags about suicide attempts and there is even no interaction between Dagai and Atsushi. All that actually helps to make the story much leaner this week. For once I like the way Atsushi acts this week as he really stands up for himself and fight, and comes out of his own to try saving a girl. This is a kind of development I like to see from him, so I expect more of that in the future episodes.

But not all of this episode is in rose color though. The story runs so fast that more often than not it feels forced, the way our main leads were in the train when all of this incidents happened. Even many of innocent people had to die to “prove the point”. Bungou Stray Dogs, you have to care more about people, they don’t just die for the shake of dying ya get it? Our character this week, Dr. Yosano, comes out as a mixed bag too. When she’s not being creepy by telling how she enjoys “curing” people, she possesses a more attentive side (like when she checks out Atsushi’s leg), but sadly she’s over the top most of the time. Her gift “Thou Shalt Not Die” was revealed to heal a person, but with a condition that the wounds have to be lethal, which comes to a rather illogical part, where she healed herself after a ton of bombs were dropped on her. The way I see it her body would explored well before she has a chance to use her ability. The bomber terrorist as mentioned earlier come off as very one dimensional. In all, I’d say I’m happy with the direction the show heading for now, hopefully it can overcome its shortcoming, especially in its character-writing, because when they do it right, we have a bunch of really solid character’s development.

~SuperMario~

Posted on with categories: Anime Reviews, Game Reviews

It’s not often I pick a game up without prior knowledge. I abhor the act of pre-ordering and at least do a google search on the title to get a general idea of it’s overall quality. Gone are the day you walk into a game store and buy something purely on a whim or the box art. With the internet you can at least get an idea for what you are in for. Lucid9 is one of the few I pick up out of curiosity, partly due to the few steam reviews present were very positive and the fact that it’s a free game. I knew nothing regarding what it was about and my only previous contact with it is a vague recollection on a Fuwanovel blog post. So I thought that it’s been awhile since I played a genuine visual novel and I was itching for something different. This is the first part called inciting Incident of a series of visual novels planned however despite that the story in this is more or less conclusive despite a pretty big cliffhanger for a sequel. At least the mystery for this game is solved with just a few hints of behind the scenes manipulation to be addressed in later chapters. Besides the pretty big turn of events at the stories end you could leave off this one content. Provided you stop before the last scene. But anyway enough baiting, lets us move on to the review.

For the unintroduced, Lucid9 is a visual novel and no, that is not the same thing as an eroge or dating sim. An eroge is like a visual novel but features a stronger focus on pornography. Often you can tell the difference between the two by the game’s title or synopsis. While visual novels do feature hentai content, it’s much lesser than an eroges content. In many new titles it’s getting phased out completely. A dating sim is more of a game where the objective is to raise girls affection for you and improve stats which are normally not present in visual novels. The best way to describe a visual novel is that it is like a choose your own adventure book. You go through a story and are presented choices which can lead the story on a different path. Most of the time the paths are decided by which girl in the narrative you show most interest in and the route you take often has them as the main heroine. Today’s visual novel is an exception to that as their is only one route and the choices you make don’t have much of an impact on the overall narrative. I will also point out that this visual novel doesn’t have any hentai within it’s narrative. The story involves a series of disappearances that are happening at an high class academy which are the work of a serial killer. Our protagonist is a cynical snark mouthed student who attends the school and manages to get caught up in the case. He’s recruited by a private investigator as an assistant and the case begins to affect those around him. Slowly he finds that he has a growing talent for investigation and detective work. Admittedly the murderers aren’t put on full focus here as the story mainly is concerned with the development of the main character and how this helps him get over his own issues to finally put effort into doing something with his life. For a free VN I was surprised at the quality of writing, this author really excels at writing back and forth dialogue though it can make the characters too quipy at times. The story is really carried by the interactions between characters and it does manage to keep things interesting.
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Posted on 26 May 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Joker Game

Well Joker Game managed to pull a twist I didn’t see coming and what makes it rather amusing is that it did it unintentionally. For you see it took the entire episode for me to figure out that I wasn’t watching the antics of another spy of the D-agency only to figure out that this was in fact another spy from another spy agency. The wind agency who have a motto completely opposite of that of the D-agency. We now have an arch enemies for our team, whom are willing to go to any length to accomplish a mission. be it using blackmail or murder. So to put it simply, wind agencies spies act more like actual damn spies. I did think that for once it looked like D-agencies spies were being spies for once only to have the rug pulled under me and have him to be revealed to be an evil spy. This sure makes the D-agency a massive bunch of hypocrites in the first episode when they laughed off  Sakuma’s honor code in the first episode. I guess we are supposed to cheer for the D-agency for being morally upright spies and boo the evil wind agency spies who resort to any means necessary to get the job done. It’s all black and white, even though by nature a spies job is morally grey the writer resorts to this simple clash of good and evil with no middle ground.

The story this week is simple. The spy needs to find evidence to implicate a British diplomat is involved with the military and passing on information. However he hasn’t made any communication whatsoever and it’s looking that he’s in the clear. The spy of the week decides to blackmail the butler into drugging the guards and letting him in to investigate the safe. After investigating we see another example of Joker games immensely poor writing as he somehow figures out that the man has been sending out messages through a hollowed out umbrella his wife takes with her when going out. All because of a relatively normal comment about asking her to take the umbrella he bought her with her. This isn’t the stop of the silliness as when the man and his wife come down to investigate at the moment they turn the door handle our spy somehow stuff the documents back in the safe, replaces the painting and gets outside the house. Um…somehow.It really wasn’t made clear just how he managed to get outside. It just shown him in the house one minute and then bam! He Houdini’s outside. All while checking the umbrella on the way I suppose. If Joker Game expects me to take it seriously then it really needs to stop pulling stuff like this. Spies are not Batman and only Batman could pull off such a feat without question. Speaking of which another thing was brought up this episode which is equally ridiculously. Namely that the spies of D-agency were trained for only a year. Due to my habit of skipping openings after seeing them once I happened to forget that detail but now having seen the superhuman level of the D-agents I must point out just how absurd that is.

A year ladies and gents. A year to turn ordinary human beings into perfect people who know everything about every and the deductive reasoning of Sherlock Holmes with the power of precognition. In a year a single man managed to teach a number of people the kind of skills that would require several year college course just to learn one of these subjects. This guy should give up the spy business and just go into teaching kindergartners. After a year those kids would have the knowledge of a college professor. Perhaps I should have seen the danger signs of the writing sooner. The presentation remains insultingly simple as the man comments about him not letting his guard down and very obviously shifts his eyes to look at the safe hidden behind a painting. A stranger tries to spy on the man by standing outside looking in through the gateway because that’s how you can learn information. By being completely obvious. Meanwhile super spy uses his magic eagle vision to spot that the man doesn’t have a tan on his head from across the garden on the second floor. Thus he must be a military policeman as that requires a hat for the job. And not say a construction worker, firefighter or postman. Maybe the guy fell asleep while tanning with a towel on his forehead? Quite honestly I am just losing all interest having made it this far into the series. This should be a turning point for the show as we now have a main antagonist but the only thing I am concerned about is whether I will be able to tell whose on which side.

~AidanAK47~

Posted on 24 May 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Flying witch

One of the thing that Flying witch always does it right is how it establish the chemistry between any characters, while at the same time maintain the consistency in their personalities. It feels like if you give them any random characters in any random situation, pretty much the show can hit it off. Last week we had Chinatsu and Akame and the witch’s apprentice scenario, this week we have a newly formed relationship: Chito the cat and Nao. My little concern last week about the lack of supporting characters was fulfilled in this episode. Not only the cat and Nao form a very distinctive relationship by amusing setup (Nao teased Chito-san for gaining weight so the cat just jumped on her and stayed there (oh girlssss), but also the way they behave is very in-character, and more amazingly the shows just shows that by their small moments. In fact, the cast staying in characters are really consistent throughout this episode and further demonstrate the strengths of Flying witch. Like the way Chinatsu gets excited every time she encounters something new (“so cute”), or Kei being afraid of ghost or Chinatsu doesn’t like eating herb because “children can’t eat herb”, or Makoto being really self-aware of her bad direction sense. We already learned all of that before so it really feels like we know them, we understand the way they behave this time. This week first half we follow the cast as they go to the countryside to do herb picking. Again Flying witch shows us that while this show is not big on laugh, it has a really strong timing and always provides solid punch. Like the way Kei seems so serious announcing the 4 rules of herb-picking, only to mention the bear and that he forgot the bell at home. The bear joke is really solid as well. So apparently there is indeed a bear, but Nao’s shout from her scare of frog keeping the bear away, haha.

The next part involving the cast cook the herbs they picked, and truthfully this is the only weak part of this episode, simply because we had this kind of scenario before. I will always say that repetitive is this show’s worst aspect so I hope the show tries not to rely on that. But thankfully this part goes quickly and we have the most adorable moments of the show for a while. The café part is the magical realism part of the show (the other part by the way was witch learn everyday rural life) to gives us a sense of wonder and it uses most of its strengths here. The secret coffee shop itself makes a strong impression, with its distinguishing art design that somehow feel both warm and welcoming. But then this was topped by the reveal that the waitress was indeed a ghost, all that with her invisible movements and her stick notes. For once Makoto’s spell/charm was put into effective use here, and the charm reveals the waitress’s true appearance makes it as one of the best moments of the show. The waitress’s shyness, then clumsiness when she realized that the cast can see her are GOLD. The whole sequence really highlights what Flying witch does best, I really hope the show keeps going into that direction.

~SuperMario~

Posted on with categories: Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World

I feel bad for the artists and animators who made the opening and ending for this show as they don’t seem to be getting much use. Not that I am complaining of course as if the choice is between a catchy theme song and more content then content wins every time. Though it is a little bit of a pity as the opening and ending for this show are pretty good. I am fond of the way they made the opening loop as how it starts and ends is the same. This week acts as a calm before the storm and manages to address what is a normal flaw regarding anime stories in general. For you see often in a anime when a character’s trauma is brought up and addressed, that’s the end of it. Sure the protagonist may angst over a new problem but when they break out everything tends to go their way and it’s just doesn’t bother them anymore. The character breaks out of his angst and faces adversity with no problem. Re:Zero looked to be continuing this trend with Subaru regaining his will to fight and jumping off a cliff. The beginning half certainly makes it feel like Subaru has gotten over it but then we notice that Subaru is a bit too upbeat. His meta humor goes up to rather annoying levels and he is clearly exerting himself. For you see while anime may state otherwise, healing from trauma is a gradual process and you don’t suddenly feel all better because someone gives you a pep talk. Subaru here tried way too hard and everyone noticed that. With Ram and Rem it made him all the more suspicious. WIth Emilia it made her worried. It’s clear that Subaru is still traumatised by his previous repeats as evidenced when Puck casts a shadow spell over him, which blocks his sight and sound. The level of panic Subaru exhibits truly shows that he isn’t over anything as the state is very similar of his nightmares. So Emilia laid him down on her lap and got him to let it all out which leads to a pretty powerful scene. This is one of those things I find interesting about Emilia, in that while Subaru seeks a romantic relationship with her, her relationship with him almost seems motherly. One could debate that her level of affection for him is a little strange considering how long they have known each other and I do sort of agree with that. Though what I mention later here could be a result of that.

We learn quite a bit about magic this time around and that Subaru’s affinity is with shadow magic. Does that mean he’s going to end up a badass necromancer in the future, um…no. Shadow magic looks to be a unimpressive kind and Subaru looks to have no real talent in controlling it. I approve this development as what makes Subaru’s tale compelling is that he is a normal human. If he suddenly gains superpowers that would make him less relatable and his struggles less compelling. There’s also more detail on the Jealous witch and I find myself most intrigued by it. More and more it looks to be the Jealous witch who gave Subaru his power and brought him to the land. So it goes that there were seven witches who represented the seven sins. However the Witch who represented envy devoured the powers of the others and drained half the world of magic. Some have said that the translation of “Jealous Witch” is an incorrect one as due to her status of representing a sin it would be better to refer to her as the witch of envy. Personally though I prefer calling her the Jealous witch as it just sounds better to me. Besides Jealousy is often associated with envy so it’s not entirely incorrect. Beatrix lays down some interesting lines. The witch of envy desires love, she cannot understand human language and even all the dragons and heroes of the world couldn’t destroy her. This leads me to make a theory, one which Subaru briefly alludes to. For a moment Subaru considers that Emilia is the Jealous witch due to the info that the Jealous witches body is that of a half elf with white hair. This explains why Emilia is so concerned about her race when she reveals it to Subaru and Subaru writes off her introducing herself as Satella in the first run to make her seem suitable to the throne to those thinking she’s aiming for it. I however have another theory. I believe that Emilia is the jealous witch, however I think she isn’t actually aware of it herself.

The way the Jealous witch is talked about makes her seem like a spirit or some kind of ghostly creature and it’s possible the reason why she couldn’t be killed was simply because she can’t really die. For anytime a body is destroyed she would move to a new host. My guess is that Subaru was brought here to protect her from harm and most importantly, love her. As that’s what she desires most of all. For Emilia this doesn’t look to be something she’s doing on purpose and I believe the witch is working subconsciously to achieve this. Hence why Emilia is so attached to Subaru and seems at times to know what he’s going though, even on a vague level. Subaru made a big mistake this episode which could dig his grave later when he goes to replace a vase despite no one telling him where the spare vases were. He wrote this off as Ram telling him about it but I say they found it mighty suspicious. Roswell makes a curious comment to Ram about stopping her sister from acting out which suggested that Subaru’s death in the second run may have been her acting on her own instead of on orders. Though she seems to have lightened up to him after seeing him on Emilia’s lap. Both sister got rather playful with him at the end of the episode so this time around I think his death isn’t going to be by their hands. Instead it looks like the mysterious shaman is the one who’s going to kill him this time. Who that is is still up in the air but Subaru looks to have homed in on the cause being in the village due to Beatrix’s comment about a curse needing physical contact. But could this be the turn that Subaru manages to break out of the cycle? Honestly, I doubt it. If you happen to be itching for more Re:zero like myself, I recommend checking out the Break time specials. They are a pretty fun side dish to the main story that happens to include some material that didn’t make the original cut.

~AidanAK47~

CHANGE USERNAME
Anonymous1198985
No, Im said if you dont like nisekoi dont read it
AidanAK47
@Anon, How do you know you don't like it if you don't read it?
Anonymous1196967
Don't like it don't read it.
AidanAK47
I went and read Double Arts. This really was a great manga with tons of potentail and truly didn't deserve the axe. It's so depressing that this was cut off so soon and the author went on to make the most generic Harem ever Nisekoi, and that got over 200 chapters.
Lenlo
All of the important dance scenes for Yuri were fantastic, its just some minor one off characters and some reused ones that were an issue, so no they are better than the CGI
Anonymous1190387
Is it worse than those CGI dance scenes in some anime?
AidanAK47
@Puran, It is pretty surprising how well that story turns out. I say IG might do the job even if there animation isn't the most consistent. The one thing I am worried about is those necks though. In the PV those things were ridiculously long.
Puran
Fair enough, recycling the animation was bad, agreed. But the animation itself was really good.
Lenlo
See, I found the repeated dances in Yuri one of the worse parts. Alot of it was recycled animation and certain characters were obviously rushed/not done. Some were amazing, cause they took their time, but others looked terrible.
Puran
I kinda wish Mappa was doing the anime though. Yuri on Ice had really nicely animated dances (and was more or less the only actually good quality of that show :P )
Puran
Reading the Ballroom e Youkoso manga has made me really excited about the Anime.
Kaiser_Eoghan
@Aidan: I'm particularly turned off by bully/bullying cliches these days. I've only read the first two volumes to see how awful she was but I ended up simply losing track of the series and stopped reading.
Kaiser_Eoghan
@Mario: Actually that has changed, I had to pick a different day to see it given changes in schedule, I've booked it for NEXT Wednesday now. I've watched Akira about four times.
AidanAK47
Oh, Rising of the Shield Hero is getting an anime adaption. Hmmm...honestly after finishing the series and looking over it as a whole I am not sure I even want that. Plus seeing Bitch Animated...would fill me with rage.
SuperMario
I intend to re-watch Akira soon, probably this weekend. It has been almost 10 years since my first watch and now I don't remember much about that one. Thought it was intriguing and complex but not as acclaimed as people hyped it to be (I'll pick Ghost in the Shell anytime). Wonder how I'd feel now after re-watching it.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I remember you mentioned that you were going to watch In this Corner of the World today right? How was the movie Kaiser?
Lenlo
Oh cool, food wars is getting a 3rd season
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ballroom youkoso appears to be leading the polls.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Fumiko is a female mangaka yes. Also I found bokura no hentai worth reading.
SuperMario
yep, I finished that manga too and I have conflicted feeling about it. Yuri(!) part and fanservice are to blatant but they have a purpose. This mangaka (not sure but I think she's a girl) has some unique voice.
AidanAK47
....well I skimmed that manga. And it was weird
SuperMario
By all appearances,Sakura is normal,albeit sheltered junior high school girl who enjoy talking about love and walking home from school together.However,they also happen to inhabit a strange and supernatural world populated by mysterious,gigantic beings and unusual plant and animal life.Amid their peaceful lives,Sakura becomes very interested in something only alluded to exist in old books: dicks
SuperMario
Here's a synopsis of other manga from the same author, I think you'll have a better idea of his theme -
Sakura no Sono
AidanAK47
Pretty much what Masky said. I am not really praising it. Anyway I plan to read one or two more chapters to see where it's going. But if it's going in the direction I think it's going then I am dropping this one fast.
Kaiser_Eoghan
There is of course the underlying concern that it will go a very ugly route with that development or it could become edgy/horribly minipulative, but for now it is as mario said, a hook.
SuperMario
Well. overall I don't dislike what I read there. It has good hook and I'm intrigued to know more what the hell will happen. Good set-up for me. I'm in
SuperMario
@Masky: it's fine Masky, since I will chec itk out any way and see it for myself ^^
Masky
So since you guys started being interested, I checked it out and uh.. Yeah, not reading. I think ye guys misunderstood Aidans warnings since that was just fucked up and not in the interesting way.
Lenlo
@Aidan: Berserk will never again go more than 3-4 months without a hiatus.
SuperMario
Hmmm, that manga Cutie Mutie sounds good to me. I might check it out later today
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: But had you not alluded to that scene, I may have seen the cover of that manga and skipped over it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I had a feeling, sort of, sad, I am intrigued to read more.
AidanAK47
Hyping and warning are not the same thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Well with Aidan hyping up the horrors of cutie mutie I may as well glance at it to see what he' on about.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There are three manga with the name rec.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I am familiar with the artist for cutie mutie, she did that manga about the three kids dealing with gender/orientation issues.
AidanAK47
Oh look Berserk is on Haitus again....
.....the sad thing is that it comes as expected now.
AidanAK47
For reference the two I read were Cutie Mutie and Rec. Be warned, the first one goes to a rather uncomfortable level.
AidanAK47
@Masky, Read two manga. One started lighthearted and then went to really dark territory. The other one looks like it's about a really dark subject but turned out to be something more lighthearted.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Alright. Tested it now so it such be fixed. Try again.
Masky
@Aidan: Huh? What you read that turned dark/didn't turn dark? .-.
SuperMario
"too many answers selected for question 1! only 3 answers allowed!"
SuperMario
@Aidan: I still have the same issues. Weird
AidanAK47
@Mario, Wasn't my intent. Try it now and you should be able to pick as many as you want.
SuperMario
@Aidan: I'm not allowed to vote more than 3 votes. Is it your intention Aidan?
AidanAK47
Well that was weird. I read something that looked innocent but turned out to be really dark. Then something that looked really dark only to become innocent.
Masky
Yeah, nothing that interests me I see :D Like my strongest reaction to season preview was "Someone made isekai with smartphone? Really? REALLY? Thats best idea you had"
Masky
Ah Knighs and Magic, found that manga. It was boring enough for me to forget its name. Also besides being boring, I kinda find MC unlikeable since their only personality is that they like mechas and were a programmer before renicarnating as short bishie kid
Masky
Woo, time to vote stuff
SuperMario
@Kaiser: that movie In this Corner just getting more and more acclaimed huh? Thou I think it'a a type of movie that if you have high expectation for it you will likely be disappointed. It works best as a sleeper hit
SuperMario
As for cute monster girls, most of the time I don't find them cute at all. I know I'm being racist, but...
SuperMario
@Lenlo: I'm guilty with that cute girls genre, as i enjoyed K-On tremedously for example. Or If I have more time I'd follow Hinako Note this season ^^
Kaiser-Eoghan
They don't always adapt all that well or work as well outside of manga format, especially 4-komas.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*three
Kaiser-Eoghan
The only two of any interest were hidamari sketch, azumanga daioh and yuru yuri and that was largely down to being in the mood for them a few years ago.
Lenlo
@Mario: Personally, I have 0 interest in this Monster girls doing cute things subgenre, just like I have very little interest in the cute girls doing cute things major genre.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: As it turns out I DID read in this corner of the world. I'll also be seeing it next thursday.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: at this moment I'm very skeptical with the whole Monster girls doing cute girl subgenre, so I'm approachig Centaur with a caution. Of course, it all depends on how I feel after the first episode
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Happy End isn't as bleak aa his other works. But it's certainly Hanake's films, as it explores many of his favorite themes: the voyeurist of camera in his Benny's video, the detachment to the world and the underlying violence. Not his best thou but it's still very good
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think I'd be up for watching jigoku shojo, its been a long time since I watched the original two seasons and this one won't be as long, so it won't get as repetitive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I voted centaur no nanami on the poll, think Mario could cover it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: How did did you get on with Happy end? I heard its like a mix of his best works. Is it as dark and depressing?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have vague memories of in the corner of the worlds manga, unless I'm mixing it up with something else.
SuperMario
Some news, Lu Over the Wall won the best prize at this year's Annecy (the 1st anime won the award since 1995's Pom Poko), with In the Corner of the World took the Jury Prize. Quite a good showing for anime this year.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Hello.
SuperMario
Really, still no vote for Kakegurui?? I thought it would take the top poll for sure
SuperMario
That 18if, even the poster doesn't make much sense, but it looks dazzling ^^
Lenlo
go-go licensed products!
SuperMario
@Lenlo: and Madhouse is the studio behind that Marvel rip-off. Are they really going that low for profits?
Lenlo
Lookin forward to Kakeguri next season, but thats the only thing thats really caught my eye
Lenlo
Well, you have to watch Marvel next season right?
AidanAK47
And done. I swear these previews take a lot out of me.
AidanAK47
Almost done....almost done...
KT
Attack of Titan, ended ok. But man the production values had gone down.

Virgin Soul had a okish episde

Re:Creators continues to rock for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I liked the 70s version ending, it was mean spirited =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The original used its one room location quite well and dim lighting in parts, very closed in/claustrophobic.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: just finished the Beguiled and it was much better than I expected. Like, I didn't expect it to be that well shot. The guy was put in a passive role than active here, which help the theme imo. Also, the ending admitedly isn't for everyone but I liked it just fine
SuperMario
@Kaiser: using a black girl? The girls in this one are all white :(
AidanAK47
Sato in Re:Creators isn't doing himself any favors is he? Honestly the more I learn about him, the less likable he becomes.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It was a good film though, one of scarjos better moments.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: As for Sofia, I'm only familiar with lost in translation, which I haven't seen since it originally came out.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Everyone goes on about Francis' for the Godfather, the conversation is massively underated and apocalypse now is better, but it has to be the theatrical cut.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I guess it was probably seen as progressive in its day by way of using the black girl.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Very very cynically 70s of course.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Actually just happened to finish it there, I felt it stood out for its somewhat successful gothic feel and aesthetic and Eastwood's performance which shows how well he can command the audiences attention even when he isn't shooting people. Kind of liked how it got slightly grisly later on. It makes a small effort in giving one line backstories .
SuperMario
@Kaiser: the original movie isn't that well-received. It's more like an exotica film where the main guy (Clint Eastwood) hooks up girls of all ages. This one I heard has a good spin on feminist angle. I'm sure is intrigued but Sofia Coppola's filmography has been mixed for me
Kaiser-Eoghan
....I doubt any one has ever heard of this....I know I didn't, I haven't read it either but I came across some weird old Blacksploitation manga, probably from the 90s, Blast knuckle or something...
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Still remaking the beguiled might be good, we need more modern westerns.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I suppose I can busy myself with the original 70s version of beguiled. At the moment I've been focusing on old Japanese films, they had such a good film industry, it makes it hurt so much more now knowing that all they do now is shit live action adaptations.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: gonna be a long day for me with the screenings of The Beguiled, Wind River, The Other Side of Hope and Happy End
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now I need to re-watch 08th ms team.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I watched 4 hours straight of Gundam the origin, hit me with a hard punch of nostalgia, actually seeing his backstory rather than hearing about it is a good thing, I enjoyed the action scenes, it was high-melodrama but well used and more Char is always a good thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think I'll just put Kado on hold for now and see whats being said about future episodes of it, I'm too unsure of it being worth it or not at the moment.
Vonter
I want to comment on a humble indie game called Sakuna of Rice and Ruin. Is a simple hack and slash similar to Muramasa and Dust: Elysian Trail. The game has a scarf mechanic that is very fun to use to evade attacks and throwing stuff. It kind of reminded me of those Mickey games from the Snes and the visuals reminded me of Pocky and Rocky. Its a game to play on a sunday, simple, fun and relaxing.
Vonter
From the stuff I played Dragon Ball FigtherZ seems legit at capturing the speed of the battle and feel of the action.
Vonter
Back from E3. Nintendo is still my main jam. The Rabbids game seems better than I think anyone could imagine. Odyssey seems like a good time. Xenoblade and Metroid 2 remake look like hype.
KT
On Gundam OG, the new Origin Manga, and the movies based on it are very good. Recommended.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember reading the first chapter of that manga, but it was a long time ago and the updates were slow.
AidanAK47
A manga about Ballroom dancing? Yeah there's no way I am into this.
(Starts reading)
(Reads ten chapters)
Crap...I am into this.
Anonymous1166615
Feel I need to re-visit gundam again through 08th MS team, unicorn and Origin as I'd enjoyed the 70s series, its sequel and chars counterattack. Seed turned me off the franchise for ridiculously long and 00s movie and second season wern't as good as the first .
Anonymous1166615
Looks like I have another Yuasa work to look forward to, he's doing his own take off on Nagai's devilman , hopefully he can reign in Valvraves writer though.
Masky
*first manga in couple last weeks I've seen
Masky
Da fuq. Found manga called Kemono Jihen, but it somehow already has tv tropes page(I tend to check randomly whether works have tv tropes page to see how notable they are) O_o I mean this is first manga with 1-3 chapters that has that, so I guess author is really popular or something in some circles?
Lenlo
Huh. Guess they figured out rewriting a story for Re:Creators.
Masky
Ya know, even if i hadn't heard that Suka Suka is based on one of more tragic light novels, the death flags, all of the death flags :D
HelghastKillzone
I'm a patron of someone who is writing mass effect fanfiction at 2 million+ words. It combines games, writing and fan creativity. So there is that....
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, while I listened to some Lovecraft audiobooked, I felt as if I was copping out by listening instead of reading.
Kaiser-Eoghan
A horror manga often works well episodically in a short story format.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Had a flick through Shibito, of what I read I liked how ridiculously camp and gleefully, proudfully nutso it was combined with the silliness of the violence. While not my favourite chapter, the one about the actress stood out for me because she was clearly a reference to Setsuko Hara, one of Japans most famous actresses lol
AidanAK47
I try out a number of things from time to time. Books, movies, music, comics and the like. But I always come back to anime.
AidanAK47
I have dabbled in quite a few mediums myself. My recent experiment is audiobooks which I am currently using to get through Moby Dick. And Jesus H Christ is this book padded to hell and back. It may be well written but it is an awful story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But what this film venture has shown me is that while I've gotten much out of it, it shows just how STRONGER the connection I have to anime/manga is.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: And definately, I don't get the "people focus on only one media thing". One of the reasons I started branching out was because I felt "Fuck, I'm in my 30s and I've neglected a whole medium by being too focused on cartoons"
Kaiser-Eoghan
The sign you're at something too long is when the suspense of waiting for the next part to come out isn't there or when you find yourself not picking up on whats going on!
Kaiser-Eoghan
Manga/visual novels/anime I've noticed especially now are much much easier to stay awake during when you're wrecked tired.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: And to be honest, I've gotten busier and more tired lately, getting home on a weekday later after a new job, I'm not alert enough to watch art films, just started leaving them till the weekend.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I know exactly what you mean. That is one of the reason why I like to mix up what I watch: sometimes books, other time manga and even music to get me away from burning out from 1 medium
Kaiser-Eoghan
*eventually get back
Kaiser-Eoghan
The short of that is, I think a good scale back with ANY hobby is a good thing because it can feel special all over again when you get back on it more mainly.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But now that after three years of mainly focusing on films moreso than anime/manga as much, because I'm now incredibly burnt out from watching films 4 times a day, I feel now I can watch ANY anime or read any manga and get that fresh feeling/some of that old passion back.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Remember that feeling you got when you first really got into anime/manga and pretty much excitedly/panic watched EVERYTHING and almost everything felt great? I've been thinking how a few years back now, I sort of re-lived that feeling again...however for films.
AidanAK47
(Finished watching SukaSuka 10)
Awwww...that was a sweet episode end....
.....
.....They are all gonna die.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Kids off school pressumably in Japan with more time to watch stuff and more shows.
AidanAK47
God why is there so many anime during the summer season.
AidanAK47
Of course there are the really obvious recommendations of Grand Blue and Kaguya wants to be confessed to.
AidanAK47
I say the only other recommendations I got are Jagaaaaaan, Maou no Hisho, Ore wo Suki Nano wa Omae Dake ka yo and Yuuutsu-kun to Succubus-san. Though I still think Shibito no Koe o Kiku ga Yoi would be up your alley.
Kaiser-Eoghan
By all means keep posting random manga you've all come across, I will read them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I thought route end did a good job on the protagonist's feelings regarding his mothers death.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though my interest in Route is largely due to it was the most lurid of the selection.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I felt route end holds the most interest of that selection of recommendations, although before reading it I thought it would be an episodic manga, similar to a series called death sweeper.
Lenlo
@K-Off, well I think both the manga got handed down to the assistant, and the anime got handed down as well. The original author/director for both arnt working on Boruto
K-Off
@Lenlo Probably, haven't checked. But the manga and anime are completely different so I don't know.
AidanAK47
The Streisand effect in full force.
SuperMario
*Now the media...
SuperMario
No the media storms over it and eventually want to check out this film. It has gain more publicity after this shameless incident
SuperMario
oh god, really? Chinese government tried their best to force Annecy (Animation film Fest) to remove a Chinese animated film name Have A Nice Day from screening there because of its "sensitive content"
AidanAK47
Still think Sawano needs to lay off the vocals. It can get really distracting in Re:Creators.
KT
oh my the RE:Creators OST is all I wanted.
Lenlo
Well, Boruto isnt being run by the original manga author is it? I thought he handed the series off after Naruto to his chief assistant.
K-Off
The contrast between wanting to do something different yet using the same character traits is just too jarring.
K-Off
Gave Boruto a shot, and while it isn't bad, it's so detached from the original series that it might as well have been unrelated. I appreciate that the plot is different, but the modern setting, and lack of any clear character motivations (for now) makes it such a chore to watch. If they were going for something different, why did they use the same character designs and archetypes?
SuperMario
Sorry guys for the delay of Eccentric Family post, just can't bring myself to finish the post. Not that many of you following the show but Yeah, I will plget it done later today. Also, hell yeah for Pluto. Urasawa is my God
SuperMario
@Aidan: I kinda imagine Isekai Shokudou would be like Time of Eve upon reading the synopsis. Like each week about some peculiar customers. Well, if they focus more on food, then... *heartbroken*
AidanAK47
Two Metroid Game announcements and an anime of Pluto.
Today was a good day.
Anonymous1161527
KT here:YES!
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: One of his better works, despite reading it twice I've forgotten too much as its been too long since reading it, good though as when I watch the anime the manga won't be as fresh in my mind.
Total users: 34

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Kotarou and Akane have reached a stage where they need to think hard about the long term of their relationship. Akane is about to move town, so how they going to keep up their relationship? Usually for a teenager’s romance it means the end. Full stop. LINE and texting can keep them for a while […]

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Well, apart from Ririko suddenly can sing confidently, and sings really well on top of that, this episode ends in high note. In fact, that statement really sum up this week of Sakura Quest as a whole. Messy, a bit all over the place with too many elements, but they have very strong ending that […]

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