Posted on 7 April 2018 with categories: Anime Reviews, Junji Ito Collection

In the realm of manga there is a man whose name is inescapable when the genre of horror is brought up. That man is Junji Ito and his work is considered legendary for its artistic detail, mastery of manga paneling and it’s outlandish imaginative concepts. Up till now his work has yet to have an adaptation that fits his legacy despite a number of attempts to do so. And now with completion of the Junji Ito Collection anime I can sadly say that fact still remains. This animes greatest failing is the lack of effort to truly adaption Junji Ito’s work to animation with the animation being bare bones to truly awful and the art not even coming close to his iconic style. This anime at least can be watchable due to the creativeness of the material but having passable animation, voice acting and music isn’t a good enough trade for the quality of the source itself.

The stories all have a problem with endings where many of them just cut off abruptly and move on to the next tale without much breathing room. Few have conclusive ends to the story being told and can feel like they were cut off in the middle of the tale. Some stories also are questionable choices with the main examples being the Souichi stories when are more black comedy than horror and stick out awkwardly when compared to the other content. The horror stories themselves fail to be scary though some do have some disturbing ideas while others prove to be far too silly to be taken seriously. Otherwise Ito’s general weakness with characterisation can have people acting in awkward or idiotic ways.

Horror anime is unfortunately a rarity and it was a solemn hope of mine that this could be something special despite skepticism. Sadly be it due to staff or studio there felt like no real heart put into this production. A meer attempt to cash in on the legacy of some who puts tremendous effort and time into his craft. A man that deserved better than this.The soundtrack has no notable tracks, the opening is a questionable rock song and the presentation weakens the content that while not making a terrible show, unfortunately turns it into a mediocre one. I do not recommend this be your first introduction to the works of Junji Ito and this isn’t really an anime worth watching, nor remembering.

Posted on 15 March 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Junji Ito Collection

Ugh, I was lucky I ate before that first story started. Not so much scary but very disgusting with the oily dirty house and that brother with the pimples…ugh. This story is more gross out factor than actual horror as there isn’t really a plot besides this girl living with her horrible family in a house so disgusting that it’s amazing that she has not run away from home yet. The big twist involves the father killing his son and serving him up as meat for his restaurant.(Holy hell, the health inspector would have a heart attack at this place.) The meat prove popular and the father starts trying to fatten up his daughter by forcing her to drink oil while she sleeps.(Um…how can you sleep when someone’s forcing oil down your throat?) Daughter catches on so the father ends up chopping off his own foot to be cooked. End of story. You may think I left out some sort of conclusion their but really, that’s how the story ends. no resolution. I originally thought the father would start hunting people to sell as meat in his restaurant and it exploding into some kind of pandemic with oil polluting the neighborhood like in the girls dreams but nope. Father starts eating himself, end of story.

The second story is equally lackluster as it details about a village with a strange funeral ceremony of floating their dead down a river and the dead calling to a girls grandmother to come join them. There are implications that the dead end up trapped on earth when the corpse falls off the mat it’s placed on and judging from the three funerals shown, this appears to always happen. Again there is no real conclusion to the story besides the grandmother being floated down the river and joining the other spirits. I guess the idea of the dead calling out for you to join them could be a scary prospect when you are close to death but there does seem to be a lack of threat here. The ghosts are not really attacking or being dangerous, more mild annoyance. The final twist appears to be that the girls recently dead grandmother reached out to her through her dreams to try and get her to stop her corpse from being floated down the river.

Fat load of good that did, she watched the whole thing from start to finish without interfering at all, no wonder her grandmother’s corpse looked pissed. These two stories have the common aspect of having main characters who are more just obseversors to the tale rather than participant which does happen often in his tales. There are plenty of his tales where the main character more or less acts as a tool to explain the strange happenings rather than interact with it. There sole purpose being to encounter or explain about the horrific things Junji dreams up. They are not the main driving force of the story, more an avatar to get an outsider’s perspective on it. Hence why his tales don’t really include an arc or some sort of conclusion for the character in question as the goal is more to expose the horrific nature of the situation.

Posted on 7 March 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Junji Ito Collection

That is a surprise to see Tomie appear in this series as i originally thought her stories where to be covered in a separate OVA that is to come out. Now out of all of Junji Ito’s creations, Tomie is without a doubt his most Iconic. There are eight Tomie live action movies though their quality seems to be of questionable worth and Tomie has a whole manga omnibus with stories dedicated to her. Her general gimmick is simple, Tomie is a girl that cannot die and men tend to become obsessed with her to a unhealthy degree. Eventually those who encounter Tomie are driven to kill her, by obsession or just Tomie being a bit of a bitch. Then the monstrous nature of her is revealed as her version of immortality is a rather unnerving one. Chop her into two and you will have two Tomies, ingest a part of her and you become Tomie, and even her regeneration can take on nightmarish aberrations of mashed together Tomies. This story of the painter does a good job of showing what she’s all about and her character, namely a desire to immortalize herself despite being actually immortal and how people become obsessed with her. As well as her general manipulative nature and massive vanity. But as far as Tomie stories go this isn’t the strongest as she has better tales. In simple terms Tomie is like a Succubus, it that she leads all that come to love her to hell as they all clamor for her love but she can only love herself.

The second story is the most straightforward story to date with this series as it has a predictable setup. A couple crash in the middle of nowhere, encounter some strange vampire children and take refuge in a castle with a mysterious stranger. The only real inventive part is that there is a strange disease that is turning people into trees that bare fruit that contain blood. The disease ultimately gives an ultimatum, either die and become a blood fruit tree or drink the blood fruit from yourself and become a monster with an unending thirst for blood. And yet again the story ends on a non ending of the most predictable fashion. It isn’t helped that the anime cut out quite a bit from the story, likely to make room for the Tomie story, as there were more scenes involving the vampire children. Even one scene with the vampire children breaking into the mans garden of blood trees only for one of the tree villagers to reveal to a boy that he was his father, just right before the boy disregards him and rips the fruit from his branches. Personally I don’t really see this worth adapting as I would prefer something more haunting like the Hanging Balloons story though I guess this was chosen for timeframe reasons. Not that I expect that story would be given any justice but well…it would give me more to talk about.

Posted on 27 February 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Junji Ito Collection

Well I don’t know what kind of production trouble hit Deen, but this was the worse animation of this show to date. Honestly this was near the level of just having powerpoint animation as still frames were abundant and any scenes with animation were made far away enough to excuse lacking detail. There is a scene with clowns running on stage and I swear their running animation is literally three frames. So yeah this series has hit a new low despite the stories being relatively interesting. Our first story details a woman with amnesia who has her former fiance attempting to get her to accept his proposal and remember him. However the woman is clearly rattled by the mans strange sickly father and her nightmares involving giant centipedes. The final twist is stranger than her imagination as the man brings her with him to his father’s death bed only to see him getting devoured by some strange centipede creature. Turns out that seeing this creature is what caused her to be traumatised enough to lose her memory and to make matters even more strange the strange caterpillar creature is actually the collective brains of all the man’s ancestors. So it is family tradition that your brains eaten and joined with all the other brains in the centipede creature. Making for some kind of immortality as all the brains ingested appear to still has sentience. Makes for a decent scary story but it does have its share of holes, such as why is it that the man somehow thought she would change her mind on marrying him if she saw the caterpillar creature again. This one also has a non-ending as the woman just gives up on running away and is presumably…forced into the family? Hard to justify why the entire family is on board with the whole centipede eating your brain thing. I mean you can claim insanity but even the insane have some logic.

The second story was on the weird side as the circus has come to town and men from all over come to see the beautiful tightrope walking girl who captivates all that see her. However the show gets progressively more disturbing as the performers each die horribly during their acts.The level of nocalanence the ringmaster presents to each of their bodies getting dragged off stage makes this seem like a common occurrence. Ultimately it’s revealed that the top performer in the circus gets to marry the beautiful tightrope performer and each performer is gearing to win her affection. Though it’s a scam as the ringmaster appears to have some supernatural ability to sabotage performances so they have gruesome results. At the end of it all the ringmaster states that all the performers are dead and asks for volunteers from the audience with the prize of winning the tightrope girl as their bride. I was originally thinking there might be a bait and switch when the tightrope girl started claiming the ringmaster was a demon collecting souls for I thought it was rather on the nose to declare the supernatural entity. If anything I originally pegged the girl as the demon for she’s the one attracted the men to the tent in the first place by walking around town before the show. However it does appear to be that simple and I really question the logic the male characters show here.

I mean it could be there is some sort of spell keeping them blinded with love and stopping them seeing the trick to it all but I don’t think that’s quite the case. I mean the girl straight up tells the trapeze artist, whom she seems to have genuine love for, that if he tries to perform that he will die and the ringmaster has sabotaged the act somehow. But he’s like “No, I will perform perfectly, have no fear my love!”, thus the trapeze breaks and he falls and dies. Almost comical the timing of it. The final clown at the end with his oh so brilliant plan to announce running away from the circus, by shouting it up to the girl while the ringmaster was quite literally right beside him was just…really I am not sure we can blame magic on that level of stupidity. So we are well past the halfway point of this show and we can be pretty sure this is what we are going to get for the remainder. It appears that Junji Ito’s works just are not suited to the animated medium, or at least they won’t be getting a fruitful effort any time in the future. We have an anime for those not particular interested in reading manga but honestly the manga is just the better option as you get these stories with better artwork and more details that the anime cuts out. But I will say that Ito’s work very much is a matter of interesting ideas not quite fleshed out into full stories even in manga form.

Posted on 20 February 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Junji Ito Collection

This has to be the weirdest episode of this show yet. The first story was rather standard, namely about a record that causes people to become obsessed with it upon listening and seems to lead to the owner’s death. Not much to say about this one as what you see is what you get. I would say the escalation was lopsided as the girl killed her friend over it within minutes of the start of the episode. Which does make it seem like a chunk of the story was missing. And yet again the story just cuts off abruptly without much of a conclusion. The only thing we learn is that the record was somehow made by a singer after she died and the story suggests that it has been passing from hand to hand, killing those it comes into contact with.

Then we have the second story and in this case a large chunk of the story is actually missing. I previously didn’t focus on the adaption of this series much as I have come to believe that even with top tier production values, i don’t think Junji Ito’s stories can really work outside of their medium, at least not without significant adaptation decay. But this is one time were I really think the adaption of this story was mishandled. For some remarkably odd reason they decided to cut out the entire beginning of this story and have it start right in the middle of the story. Watching this was a bizarre experience as I as somewhat reminded of Mirai Nikki with the girls trip to her aunt’s house becoming more and more surreal. The story itself starts off on a confusing not by citing Socrates and some method of appearing in people’s dreams by whispering in their ear as they slept. Let me fill in the blanks here. Basically a boy was sneaking into this girls room at night through her window and things grow dire when this boy is mysteriously killed. Her family suddenly grows concerned about her and mention that they saw the boy in her room that night. What follows is her family growing increasingly paranoid and concerned over her. So much that when she returns home she is integrated over where she has been. The anime starts at the height of this escalation where he parents just have disregarded any sense of her privacy at all.

The idea is actually rather fascinating with the center of the town becoming a mad place where people’s privacy is nonexistent. Strangers walk through other people’s houses and even the act of locking ones door is enough to incite a mob to attack your house. It has become the social norm to have no privacy whatsoever brought to light by the girls aunt who walks around her own peephole filled house topless(If you watched the crunchyroll broadcast this was censored and she was given a sports bra. Odd that, violence is ok but boobs are not?) I do find having my privacy just abandoned and being constantly watched to be a terrifying prospect but this story takes it a step too far with weird eye monsters and of all things, jack the ripper? Much like many of Junji Ito’s other works we have a foundation for a good story but it really hasn’t been brought out to its full potential and that does seem to be a very recurring theme with this series.

Posted on 14 February 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Junji Ito Collection

My friends, I lament to say my interest in this series has fallen to a degree that I really can’t seem to care all that much about it. It’s a shame that it should turn out this way but not entirely unexpected. Our first story has to do with a boy being tormented by his weird neighbor who calls out to him at night and if there is a story that was killed by this anime not capturing Ito’s style, it’s this one. Let me give a visual example, this is the woman from the anime and this is the woman from the manga. One of these women would have me raise an eyebrow and wonder what the hell I was looking at. The other would have me shut the window, close the curtains and nope the hell out of there. It’s painful how still the animation is with not even the womans mouth moving as she speaks and the final twist just leaves the story hanging. Was the house trying to eat the boy? Or trap him? Why was the woman so interested in him? What even was that woman? I can get behind the idea of being tormented by a woman keen to get personal with you that you really want nothing to do with. Though if that woman was supposed to be bait to get the boy to enter the house then this house should have looked up some playboy magazines to create up a woman that the boy would be more keen to interact with. Though maybe that is the point, the house wanted to attract the kids attention but didn’t know how to appeal to humans. Regardless without ito’s detail this story just falls flat without a conclusion. We don’t know it the boy was finally gotten or if the house just stretched over and didn’t manage to get him. I think the bigger question is however…why didn’t he just sleep in a different room?

The second story was actually rather interesting and may have worked simply because it’s appeal wasn’t on finding the situation scary but instead on the idea of the story itself. In this story we have a family who bring back relatives as ghostly projections to help get over the grief of a family death. A newly wed girl is brought into this family only to find herself treated coldly and is rather keen to use this power to bring back her father when he dies as she has had constant nightmares of seeing him die and leaving her alone. I don’t think anyone was shocked to find this story pull a sixth sense and reveal the protagonist to be one of the apparitions brought back to life after an unfortunate death. The end of the story is the most conclusive i have seen from this series so far having the girl come to terms with her death and take comfort in the knowledge that both she and her father are not long for this world and at least will spend their last days together. It’s a good story but I feel it could have been fleshed out more with better characters and a longer duration as it’s developments were rather forced. Namely the husband’s sudden relationship with another woman and laying down the truth on his current wife happened within seconds of each other and could have been built into something better. Again its an interesting idea not really fleshed out to its full potential.

Posted on 7 February 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Junji Ito Collection

At this point I have pretty much given up on Junji Ito’s work ever transfering well to an animated medium. It is true that maybe with higher production values and a more talented team than his work could potentially be brought to life but even with that I still think it would come up short. Not because Ito’s work is of such polished perfection that nothing other than manga drawings could capture it, actually it may be the opposite. Junji Ito’s work is very much pulp fiction(The term, not the movie) in that the stories themselves nor the characters are not the true selling point. I would compare Ito very much to HP Lovecraft whose work is often highly regarded due to its influential ideas but when judged on his actual quality they too are essentially pulp fiction short horror stories of hit or miss quality. The strength is in the presentation and ideas of the work but not so much on its narrative quality. Indeed Ito tends to rely to heavily on body horror and his stories can veer into goofiness when attempting to be unnerving and surreal. Thus a Junji Ito story without the high detail of his art and the paneling of a manga is like a lovecraft story without the inner monologue of the narrators building madness. Essentially a silly monster movie.

But well we have two stories today and the first one is rather interesting as it deals with the main protagonists house being connected to other worlds. In this case the protagonist Oshikiri is finding alternative world versions of his classmates which all seem to be either terrified of him or wishing revenge on him. The actual concept is fascinating but the story does have its fair share of holes. For one if Oshikiri is aware that his house is a portal to other dimensions then why in god’s name is he still living in it? The big twist as well is that there are alternative world versions of himself which are murderers experimenting with humans in order to make a formula to make humans grow taller. It doesn’t really make sense that a teenager would be fooling around with science, especially one that doesn’t seem all that gifted intellectually and the killer Oshikiri’s motivation is just absolutely juvenile. Still I liked the final climax with Oshikiri and the girl trapped in the house wandering through infinite worlds potentially filled with killer Oshikiris. Also from the look of things there appears to be a sequel story to this so I wonder just where it will go with that.

And for the second story we have a return to the nail biting teenager chuunibyou whose fond of casting life threatening curses on his classmates. It’s clear by the presentation that his actions are more for black comedy than genuine horror but I find it falling flat on both fronts. The comedy is well…childish at best as we are apparently supposed to laugh over Souchi pants being pulled down? I mean yeah, I suppose it’s good to see this kid get some comeupence but this is some Dennis the menace level humor here.As for the horror I just find it offset by the comedy as it’s trying to push it as light hearted but the truth of this matter is that this kid has attempted to kill a lot of people. Yet others seem to be letting him off fairly easy for it. He gets a few nails to the butt and that’s it? If this kid got his way his two teachers and a student would be dead. I just can’t really enjoy this kids antics when he’s such an unlikeable wart of a character. So I hope he doesn’t have too many stories left in this season as they are clearly not gelling with the horror that the series is going for.

Posted on 31 January 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Junji Ito Collection

Today’s stories fell a bit flat for me as one of Ito’s tendencies to not explain his horrors actually somewhat backfired. In the first story we had a tale about a jade stone which cursed people with a disease that causes holes to open up on their body. The story itself was relatively simple but I can’t help but notice some logical inconsistencies. For one they state that the girl next door had been afflicted with this hole disease for all her life and yet when other people are infected they die within days. So what was this girl so special that she lived so long with the disease? The disease itself doesn’t make much sense either and while Ito does tend to stretch credibility to make his monsters come to life, here is another example where I feel he pushing things too far. This hole disease does create holes in the body as shown by the last victim who even had one of his eyeballs falling out of it’s socket due to a hole under his eye. Yet the victim can still somehow live which makes me wonder just how blood circulation works when the body is full of holes. Who was the doctor and why was he connected with the stone? Frankly I feel the horror of the story fails because we as the audience just know far too little of the situation to get what is even happening. At most we can speculate and even with that we have far too little information.

The Marionette Mansion story also has issues but at least there is more to work with when it comes to that story. Being about a brother that comes back to town and mysteriously his family are controlled by strings like puppets. The key factor her appears to be the puppet at the end who somehow must have been in control of all the strings. If i had to guess I would believe that the brother never actually came back to the town and the family which our protagonist was talking to was just puppets controlled by Jean-Pierre. The reason I believe was to somehow trick the protagonist and his sister into joining the house as it appears the older brother abandoned the puppet, he needs a human to be “complete” so to speak. Though in this puppets case he wanted the roles to be reversed. Again this story has it’s holes, namely that if the main protagonist found the house to be so suspicious then why did he keep coming back to it? He was clearly wary of the house and it’s puppet antics and yet he still let his sister stay there and kept coming back. Also why did the puppet freak out so much over the jealous girlfriend and attack the protag? How does the house ever work in regards to being controlled by strings all day? How do the puppeteers know what they want to do? The final reveal just kinda felt on the weak side as it was pretty obvious that was the case.

If there is a big flaw with these stories though it would be the endings. I have noticed this so far with all the stories but they tend to end far too suddenly. There isn’t really a sense of finality to the conclusion, instead it feels like the story just stops suddenly and is rather unsatisfying as a result. Even if that is the stories ending in the manga it would be better to dwell on it a bit to let the ending sink in before cutting to the credits. Another issue is with the presentation which while fine is still far too similar to watching a slideshow of the manga. Their is very little animation or attempts to truly adapt these stories to screen. They are essentially the manga put into an animated format without any real adjustment. Which may be fine for purests but when the anime just ends up an inferior version of the manga then people might as well just read the manga instead.

Posted on 23 January 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Junji Ito Collection

Our two stories today regard the handsome man at the crossroads and slug girl. The handsome man story was given the most screen time and it is a decent story, albeit unfinished. What was presented here was only the first part of the story and I believe it will be continued in later episodes. But what we have here is a town haunted by a mysterious figure whom people have taken to asking about their love life. Which would be fine if the mysterious figure didn’t always claim that their love would be unfulfilled and his words have such an effect that the girls commit suicide. There’s never really and explanation as to why or how this monsters came to be but if I had to make a guess I would say the monster of this town is the mysterious fog that appears whenever the pretty boy is walking about. The catalyst for these events seems to be an incident in the main characters past, where he told a pregnant woman that her love was doomed and that caused her to commit suicide. This appears to have given the fog a taste for blood as it appears to be trying to trap more girls souls within it by spawning the pretty boy and having him make girls commit suicide. At least that’s my interpretation though it doesn’t quite explain that the murders seems to only start up once the main character moved back into town.

The big question here is whether the handsome mans words are some kind of mind control considering the effect he has on his victims or if the mans words only have such an effect because they cause the victim to realise something. We have a case here of a girls friend asking the pretty boy about her friends love life only for the pretty boy to say that she should worry about her own. His words causing the girl to aggressively pursue the main character as though he were her last chance at love. Eventually leading to her suicide when he rejects her numerous advances. Considering how the girl becomes like a woman possessed as she transforms into a ugly visage of herself it would be easy to say that it’s all just some form of mind control. However it could be that this girl did have worries about her own love life and the pretty boy’s words merely confirmed her greatest fears of never finding love. Thus she pushes herself to find love no matter what and her efforts just backfired disastrously. Though it could be some kind of primal instinct stimulated that pushes for the ultimatum of either procreate or die. Thus this begs the question that if the main character did accept her advances then could she have potentially gone back to normal?

Slug girl was given the shorter runtime of five minutes but the story it presents is a rather good example of Junji’s approach to absurdist horror. There is no explanation as to why it happened but for some reason a girls tongue turned into a slug. While the first transformation was horric, the second does bring to light a certain problem I have with Junji ito’s works. Name that Ito has a tendency to go a bit too silly with his ideas. An example would be a chapter from his work Uzumaki where the people of the town gain the ability to create whirlwinds by spinning their fingers. A rather weird tonal shift for what was a rather tense grim story. Here we have the parents of the girl convince her to bath in a bath full of salt to kill the slug. I feel the parents went a bit overkill by having her bath in salt considering that her mouth was the main area affected and oddly enough this resulted in the girls body completely disappearing, leaving her as just a head with a slug coming out of its mouth like some kind of messed up snail. The implication that the girl is somehow still alive despite being reduced to a snail shell is a rather disturbing concept but I just find the logic of it to be rather flimsy. Sure it’s all fiction and it doesn’t make sense to have her tongue turn into a slug in the first place but it just feels like Junji had a disturbing idea and took it to too much of an extreme to be taken seriously.

Posted on 17 January 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Junji Ito Collection

After the first episode started off as a black comedy, I was worried that this series may suffer the same problem as Kino’s Journey in that the weaker stories in his work would be chosen for adaption. Lucky this does not appear to be the case but there is another problem which is not quite as easy to resolve. Junji Ito’s work has always faced problems regarding his work getting adapted, much in the same way that Stephen King’s work has had a lineup of failed adaptions. The big issue with Ito’s work is that the quality of it isn’t so much in the characters and writing but rather the idea and artistic value. Ito knows how to think up disturbing and strange horror concepts and work to illustrate and panel them to become massively unnerving. However when you strip away his artstyle, the apparent silliness of his ideas becomes more visible. Much like how Ufotables adaption of Gyo turned out, which was an admirable effort but sadly didn’t quite succeed. The live action efforts are marred by bad CGI and other factors, though the Tomie movies seem to have succeeded to a degree. Now Deen are taking a stab at it and their take appears to be sacrificing movement for detail. This has been a double edged sword as while this anime may be the closest to Ito’s style, the lack of movement makes it very much like a slideshow of the manga at times.

Our first story brings to front Ito’s style of using unconventional and sometimes humorously strange monsterities. It features a horrifically monstrous model whom a college film crew decide to include in their movie. Without Ito’s signature style this story could very easily fall flat on its face but it actually succeeds in being rather creepy here. I like it for being a bit of the subversion of the heart of gold trope in that usually in anime and media, a monstrously ugly person actually turns out to be nice and misunderstood. However in this episode we have a monstrous looking woman whom everyone gives the benefit of the doubt but really turns out to be just as horrific a monster as she appears. For judging book by its cover is bad but that doesn’t mean that someone can’t have an ugly appearance and an ugly personality as well. It also shows the deep discomfort of having caught the undivided attention of someone whom you don’t find attractive or the torment of being stalked. The main character has caught the attention of this monstrous creature and it’s quite disturbing to think that this woman won’t so much rip him apart with her fangs but instead…ugh…eat him in another sense. If i had a problem with the stories presentation it would be that the ending was rather abrupt and parts of the original story showing how the main distorted the women’s image in his head was missing but otherwise it was strongly shown how uncomfortable the situation was.

The second story is Ito at his best as while not really scary in the usual sense but the very idea of it is deeply unsettling. Detailing a story about a hospital patient who is experiencing long dreams, dreaming in which he spends large amounts of time stuck in and growing longer by the day. While time passes normally for everyone else, the patient goes to sleep and lives through 8 years in his dream. This is contrast by another woman whom has a massive fear of death and believes she will die soon. One is scared of their time getting cut short while another is terrified that their dream will continue for eternity. It’s a pity that the anime cut out a few panels with the patient describing his dreams such as 10 years as a soldier wandering a jungle, 6 years cramming for student tests and 8 years with a full bladder searching for a toilet that doesn’t exist. Made worse when his body begins to adjust to the time he spends in dreams and age prematurely, eventually transforming into a macabre husk. Leaving only dust and strange crystals behind. The last scene make for an interesting twist as the doctor treating him administers the crystals to the woman which in turn gives her long dreams as well. The doctor rationalises this that a eternal nightmare is better than the void of nothingness that death could very well be. Personally I find the idea of being trapped in my own mind for a century in a single night to be a atrocious alternative to death. But well if you can get the internet in there, maybe I would think about it. The presentation falls a bit shorter in this story but luckily the story itself is enough to carry it.

CHANGE USERNAME
Amagi
@Lenlo & Kaiser: I expected this to happen. I was only unsure because I didn't know how deeply integrated Yuri's gear was. It's the only good way to conclude his character arc and the series as a whole. Kinda hope that all those "die"-death-hints are actually just a metaphor for the death of gears and the commercialised power-augmentation in sports.
Amagi
@Aidan: yeah and they're overinterpreting stuff. When you really love a series and watch it 10+ times you'll notice things nobody else will ever see and things that are most likely not even there or at least not planned. Then they see a sequel or somethign for the first time and of course they won't see the same 100 hints and deepnesses they believe to see in the original
Lenlo
Alright. Personally, I am pumped for Megalo Box's finale. I am so glad I was right in what Yuri did. It was great at building it up. Heres hoping it doesnt throw it away next week
AidanAK47
Like that's what really annoys me about Evangelion fans. The way they talk about the show, they assume that Anno was completely aware of the impact the series would have from the start and planned every intricate detail to perfection regardless of importance. But that's not just untrue by opinion, but is objectively proven untrue.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, There are some legitimate complaints like the audio Muxing not being great. But I hear stuff like the original character in the first season being SO much deeper and think "What?". If it's one thing that really annoys me, it's when people start talking about a show like it's a planned masterpiece.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Risky move there by Yuri in megalobox ep12.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sometimes the voice acting isn't good in both versions, Elfen lied and the original flcl didn't have great voice acting either in English or Japanese.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I got into the habit some years ago of watching most anime with dual audio because I used to do short reviews once upon a time and switching back and forth between subs and dub while marathoning a show gave me best of both and I could talk about both the English and Japanese versions when reviewing.
Amagi
I usually don't even watch dubs but considering that there is no other option here (yet) I did it and think it's pretty good, especially Haruko.
Amagi
@Aidan: Was thinking the exact same thing about FLCL. I fail to see how the original is much different than the sequel. For me it's pretty much the same thing - they tried to keep the style but change the frame to avoid copying it 100%. I enjoy the new series and love the characters.
AidanAK47
Dubs pretty good. Watched it dubbed myself.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Probably a good thing then that I haven't seen the original in a long time then, which I thought was alright but got better as it went along. How is the dub? Only the dub is out as far as I looked on Nyaatorrents.
AidanAK47
Alright, finished the 3 episodes out. I enjoyed it. It was a fun watch. But I gotta say that the reaction online is rather annoying. I see the original series getting placed on a higher and higher pedestal. Part of the reason I may be enjoying this series is because I didn't examine the previous series under a mircoscope and pretty much acknowledge that it was just a animators showcase.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Probably not as GREAT as Onizuka though.
AidanAK47
So I started watching the new FLCL and let me say that this new teacher is the greatest teacher I have ever seen.
AidanAK47
Don't think it's on Netflix. Though I think that Stardust crusaders is airing dubbed.
Amagi
Is this series on Netflix? It was always one of the few anime that were very popular in the West while still airing weekly and with subs (and despite the fact that we didn't even have the manga in the West)
Amagi
Man that's awesome. Also I have to admit that part 6 is probably my favorite so it's great to know that they'll most likely animate everything.
Amagi
What the hell
AidanAK47
JoJo's part 5 anime announced and it's about goddamn time.
Lenlo
Id agree to that. Im mostly interested in where it goes after what looked like a pretty final ending. Im guessing timeskip of some kind, or World Line switch
Kaiser-Eoghan
I didn't think any of the drama in this episode rung false.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Pretty satisfied with steins;gate this week, kept things moving and the stilted style of the show didn't get in as much the way of the setpiece that was in this episode.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm quite surprised by how I've gotten over a 100 chapters in and Asirpa hasn't been fanserviced explicitly.
Kaiser-Eoghan
HH Holmes had a death hotel actually.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually I think one of the criminals was based on a real person.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The author really likes referencing real people to, Bonnie and Clyde , Ed Gein, some American agriculturist and the inventor of some refile .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its very true that golden kamuy does get goofier and thats true for the manga also, though theres a prisoner weirder than the one in episode 11 he does advance the plot further. One of the soldiers gets some backstory too. Sometimes the goofiness works but at others doesn't.
SuperMario
I'm watching the new FLCL and planning to review it once it's done. Maybe.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In my quest and love of historical manga I wound up running into this, these guys are translating it over at their site: https://blog.manga.club/blog/mangaclub-blog-vol-10-jose-rizal-serialization/
Lenlo
Not yet, no. Plannin on it this weekend
Kaiser-Eoghan
There are three episodes of the new flcl out. I haven't seen it yet and its been ages since I saw the original, has anyone watched any of the new series?
Lenlo
I can understand that. Anything less than a 3 I often dont finish/deem worthy even being talked about. In anime or movies.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its too hard to give 1/5s or 2/5s.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Despite my complaints I gave it a 3/5.
Kaiser-Eoghan
....feck sorry about that. I didn't think anyone else on here would have been interested =< Thanks for removing it.
AidanAK47
Come on Kaiser, even if I didn't get anything out of it doesn't mean that other people won't. Best not to put a big spoiler on the front page of the site.
AidanAK47
Just deleting a spoiler there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
That production company tend to do quite poor trailers that misrepresent their films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I would probably punch someone for laughing/talking during a horror film though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Babadook did the grief horror better. Though honestly my favourite horrors this year weren't American ones.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Upgrade might end up being more fun, which is an action horror comedy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: While terribly schmalzy and lacking a proper ending, quiet place had a better idea and atmosphere.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: In the end it just felt like comparisons to Rosemary's baby and the Exorcist hurt the film. I just thought it was an awkward mix of commercial and indie horror. Like a lesser version of the conjuring.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I didn't laugh but I also couldn't really feel it/connect with it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I also disliked how it answered its questions and story rather than leaving stuff unexplained and the actual exposition in the last act was quite awkward.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I saw it on Thursday, it doesn't live up to the witch or even it comes at night. On one hand I appreciate limiting the jumpscares and gore, going more for atmosphere and character drama. Toni Collette and Gabriel Byrne kind of hold it together for me. But the two kids, like in most horror films were awful.
AidanAK47
Just seen Hereditary. The so called scariest film since The Exorcist.
So scary that people in the cinema were laughing.
Vonter
I've been playing Hollow Knight on Switch. It's perhaps the longest metroidvania game I've ever played. The game has a nonlinear progression with a lot of optional areas, which add wonder to the somber and mysterious tone of the game.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also like how much Nagai overstylizes, overdesigns his characters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Not that its abandoned its comedic elements.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Sash: The twin tailed girl got impaled and its gone in a somewhat darker direction yes.
Sash
apparently cutie honey is getting devilman vibes.. haven't watched it though so take this with a grain of salt
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Somewhere in my head is an image of Baraka from mortal combat in the same picture as Himiko Toga.
Lenlo
Hero Aca, still my favorite Shounen.
AidanAK47
Just got the Re:zero Blu-ray a whole ten days before it's officially released. Gotta be the first to see the dub.
Lenlo
Yeah. Her whole scene was terrible. As much as I loved Maho in a pando costume, it should have stopped there. We didnt need the groping.
Kaiser-Eoghan
FERRIS NYAN-NYAN OmO kill it, kill it with muh-fire, kill it with muh-fire.
Lenlo
Also, Megalobox, hot damn. I love it. I love it all. Mmmm I cant wait.
Lenlo
Partly, yeah. Im mid writeup for it. Suffice to say the fan-service was... alittle awkward to me
Kaiser-Eoghan
Filler episode of Steins; gate this week.
Lenlo
I cant wait to see it, ive heard good things
Amagi
Damn I love Megalobox so much it's my favorite series this season.
AidanAK47
I can't wear a suit to work everyday
Kaiser-Eoghan
*wotaku's
Kaiser-Eoghan
You are now aware that you un-intentionally stealth cosplay as watoki's protagonist each time you go to work.
AidanAK47
Pretty sure Psgels is paying to keep the site up but it's not a sum that one would consider significant. Site is dirt cheap.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've thought about using MPC as an extra player, while mainly using vlc, but vlc can be buggy for me sometimes in that it lags and pixelates the video often , I've used MPC on videos that vlc bugs-out on and they work better.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Out of curiosity, what videoplayer (example media player, realplayer, winamp, vlc, mediaplayer classic)do all of you use for watching anime?
Lenlo
You silly old people
Kaiser-Eoghan
lol how do you think I feel, I've been at this for 20 years =P
SuperMario
All these "confessions" just underline how old we all are; and still keep on that stupid hobby after all those years :))
SuperMario
I first visited the site around 2009, 2010 but was pretty much a lurker until I started writing for the site.
SuperMario
As far as I know, psgels gave the admin privilege for K-Off and Aidan, and it's K-Off who pays for the site now (other admins pls confirm)
Kaiser-Eoghan
Of course I have no idea how much it costs to keep the blog up, he could always end up stopping paying for it if he needed to cut costs.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm actually curious in estimating how much longer the blog has left. Obviously psgels must be still paying to keep the site up, but he is, of course only mortal.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The blog began in 2005, but I started reading it in 2009, began posting on the chatbox in 2010.
Amagi
I wonder which weekly review was the first one I've read on psgels. I remember .hack//roots but not sure if it was the first one. Could very well be the case, though.
Amagi
Nevermind, despite being an old as shit reader I never actually read the whole text of the about-part.
Amagi
How old is this blog anyway? I am a regular reader since 2006 or something although it was only recently that I started talking here.
Lenlo
Oh I know all about that Kaiser. It was amazing to read about
Raggers
Wow, this is still going? Good on you guys
Kaiser-Eoghan
*wiki article
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Read the cultural impact of the original ashita no Joe on the youtube article, Japanese actually mass mourned him
Kaiser-Eoghan
Some writers just know how to get an un-explainably effective rhythm going.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I always struggle with commenting/reviewing mood pieces and slice of life mood pieces especially, even when I finish something in the genre sometimes I'll go "I don't understand why this worked so well for me, why wasn't it boring?"
Anonymous2194677
Microsot E3 Press Conference was nuts, they showed too many games.
Anonymous2189608
Hey guys, I made/edited my very first video about a show I greatly love, hope you'll give it a watch too:

https://youtu.be/PdjwePOIbQA
Anonymous2187735
Yeah, and an NES prequel to Bloodstained Ritual of the Night launched a couple of weeks ago. And while easier than NES castlevanias it's quite fun. Also very cheap only $10.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Alas, I've not kept up much with the videogame scene in a number of years. I know there's a spiritual successor to castlevania being made though.
Anonymous2187735
Sorry Nightmare Creatures its what it's called.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually come to think of it, the 64 games probably had more vampires than the others I played.
Anonymous2187735
Have you played the game that inspired this Castlevania? Deadly Creatures?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Never did get round to playing as Henry though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember the garden stage being especially frustrating as Schneider because of how slow he moved.
Anonymous2187735
Also that game demands you to play on normal or higher to play beyond that nitro stage.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember having to finish the game in a day because I was saddled with constantly rubbish memory cards for my N64.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sorry, I post fast and long so some of what I say probably might get missed/skimmed over.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually I did mention it, called it the nitro stage.
Anonymous2187735
Still I think despite the flaws it's has become fun for me because I surprisingly get better each time I play it. and last time I make the game chug because of how fast I was progressing.
Anonymous2187735
Yeah. But I'm surprised you don't mention the worst part. The Nitro and Mandragora level. In which you have to go across several rooms without jumping.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I remember the game punishes you for using the item seller guy too much aswell.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember the mansion level being creepy back then.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But the werewolf thing was pretty rad.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And then there was that crumbling labyrinth stage. I remember on hard mode you have to fight the chainsaw gardener too.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The art tower stage is also annoying if you run out of day/night cards.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also it wouldn't let you finish it properly if you took too long.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: The N64 castlevanias have so many flaws, weird controls , bad camera , the day and night feature is kind of cool but it also puts a timer on things and certain parts become a pain because of it. They had frustrating bits too like the ice castle part with the weird jump sections and the nitro carrying stage.
Anonymous2187417
Lords of Shadow was another IP the developer had to accomodate into a known IP kinda like Star Fox Adventures.
Anonymous2187417
The other Castlevanias I haven't played are Lament of Innocence and Curse of Darkness. LoS was ok but very long. and it's interquel Mirror of Fate put me off playing LoS2.
Anonymous2187417
I haven't played that one. Seems like a mixed bag. Like Zelda 2 or Metroid 2.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've seen playthroughs of simon's quest, but we all know why thats a notorious mess.
Anonymous2187417
Castlevania 64 and Legacy of Darkness are also my guilty pleasures. I think if Konami still made Castlevanias it would have tried aping the Souls type of gameplay.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember some very very silly voice acting and dialogue in symphony of the night.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I preferred when they were just platform games. Later ones incoperated level up elements if I recall.
Anonymous2187417
After SOTN I think the game coming closer to that greatness is Order of Ecclesia if anything it keeps the difficulty of the classic Castlevanias and puts it in the Metroidvania formula. It has a platforming challenge level that's very satisfying to play.
Anonymous2187417
I've played most of them. Castlevania 3 is a very tough game, but that also makes the journey feel long and rewarding. Rondo of Blood feels like the cornerstone of the series since it's the Castlevania that got most of it's sprite reused in later games.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Reminds me, the game, clocktower is vaguely inspired by an old Italian horror film.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And symphony of the night.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I actually feel I should have played more castlevania back in the day, I've played bloodlines, castlevania 4, Dracula X, legacy of darkness, admittedly the last one isn't a good game and is more of a guilty pleasure.
Anonymous2186526
They could still meet Grant in the Clocktower.
Anonymous2186526
I wonder if the second season will be the journey to the castle like in the game. And the third season is entirely in the castle.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Already a season 3 announced.
Lenlo
Oh god yes. I cant wait
Kaiser-Eoghan
New netflix castlevania episodes out next month.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Was going to mention that. Wish more shows would do o.
Lenlo
Yeah, a lot of plot threads are converging and I like it. My favorite part though was Iglesias and their commitment to non-japanese languages. They were good!
Kaiser-Eoghan
*his bit
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Glad that sachio gets hit bit of backstory and that its well connected to the rest of the overall plot.
Lenlo
Alright Megalo Box was pretty good this week. So much to say
KTravlos
Indeed the Alliance system is atypical of mass democracy. There seem to be no organised parties and lists. Instead administrations seem to be formed on a personalist basis(me and my chums). And the Assembly seems to have very weak powers of oversight. A very flawed institutionally system. But I digress . It is still anime and even from Tanaka I do not expect deep discussion of democratic politics
KTravlos
I mean if two of 9 ministers in an administration resigned in any current representative/competitive election system it would be a big news and embarrassment to the goverment. My guess is that they were blackmailed to stay on, or were too afraid of the war party.
KTravlos
busy weeks (finals and deadlines). Watched the latest LOGH:NT episode. It was ok. A bit dry, but so are many of the episodes of NT or the Original on their own. One think it led me to think is that neither the books , nor the OVA, nor NT explain why Rebelo/Lebello and Huang Rui (the two politicians opposed to the Invasion of the Empire) did not resign in opposition. (Turnhit also opposed but..)
Lenlo
I think its cause of Daru's voice. Hes so overt about it and his voice makes it so clear hes not really being serious about any of that, cause it completely changes when hes talking serious subjects
Amagi
@Kaiser: Yeah I am watching CCS but funny enough I fell behind too, so it might be someone else you're thinking of
Kaiser-Eoghan
Always felt that Daru strikes a hit when it comes to pervy/otaku characters. Most of them tend to be incredibly annoying.
Lenlo
This episode was nice and chill while still moving stuff forward. I enjoyed it. It does seem like we are hitting the main conflict though, with Amadeus and Maho
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I feel with this episode the plot is really moving along now.
Lenlo
@Kaiser, Thats the question aint it? How to savem both? We know he does, cause of the original, but alot happens along the way. Its a great ride
Kaiser-Eoghan
Bad light novels would make for good fire and burning material =)
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I think it was you who was keeping up with the new cardcaptor sakura? or may that was bokusenou? I fell behind in it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Given Japan is often thought to be a racist society.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I suppose though its saying something though, about them dropping that LN author for racism , its probably, considering its Japan, progressive that they called him out for his racisim.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Angel cop's Japanese version I think had some rant about Judaisim in its last episode too I think.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Honestly I try not to seek out stories about how awful certain creators are if I can.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Viz decided not to run Kenshin's followup/side story manga. But oddly they decided to keep going with toriko even though toriko's author also got in trouble for pedophilic charges.
AidanAK47
Looking at that Isekai anime I say we we saved from something truly terrible. Though I find it odd that it was dropped because the author was a racist not because of it well...being goddamn terrible.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I watched a random episode, laughed more than I should have.
Amagi
btw Is anyone besides me watching Tiramisu? Am I the only one that finds this shit funny?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I'd only read the ANN article title and decided I wouldn't entertain the comments by reading on.
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Featured Posts

Steins;Gate 0 – 11 [Pandora of Forgotten Existence -Sealed Reliquary-]

Welcome to Steins;Gate 0, this week with the most “final” middle of a series episode ever. We have drama, we have guns, we even have probable time skips! Lets jump in. This was an overall solid episode. It tried to wrap up, or tie together, a lot of plot threads and resolve character arcs before […]

Golden Kamuy – 11 [Everybody, Get Together! It’s a Murder Hotel!]

Welcome to Bates hotel!! Alright, make no mistake, this is the funniest episode of Golden Kamuy we will ever have. Still dark, have very little to do with the main plot, but it’s spooky fun. Even trashy fun with all the dick jokes. This is Golden Kamuy at its loosest shape. Which is not a […]

Hisone to Masotan – 10 [Melting in Love]

Pretty visual aside, I wonder how much fuel left for this aircraft before it runs out of ideas. HisoMaso has never been a show with detailed world building, or even thick plot to begin with, and as the usual case for me, nothing much happened in this episode. The biggest plot point of this week […]

Hinamatsuri – 11 [A Man Thirsty for Blood, Violence and Money]

The theme of this week is the kind hearts of our cast, and we have 2 parts that take the idea and go into different directions. Remember when I mentioned before how Hinamatsuri would be if Anzu takes Hina’s place? That’s exactly the idea behind the second half. I’m glad that Nitta has some major […]

Darling in the Franxx – 21[For You, My Love]

Huh…wasn’t expecting that to be resolved so quickly. So as predicted Zero Two makes it to Darling and as predicted they power up and drive off the aliens. Also as predicted Zero is is now dead…or dying…or in a coma…or in some state that leaves her dead eyes by episodes end. I admit to be […]

Megalo Box – 11 [A Deadmarch]

Incredible Megalo Box… Simply incredible. This week was perfect in every way but one, and at this point that one is easily overlooked. Let’s skip this preamble and jump right in! Megalo Box had a lot going on this week as we see the culmination of a lot of characters big arcs. Starting off, lets […]

Steins;Gate 0 – 10 [Pandora of Provable Existence -Forbidden Cubicle-]

Welcome one and all to another week of Steins;Gate 0! This week we have fluffy, lovable dates, awkward fan service and terrible revelations. Lets jump in! So overall this week felt mostly like a filler episode. I understand that some of the contents were necessary for relationship building and such. That it was a sort […]

Golden Kamuy – 10 [Fellow Traveler]

New episode, new season, new plan, new scenery and possible new set of enemy too. Considered Golden Kamuy’s track record, I won’t be surprised if the new face Kiroranke, at the risk of Asirpa slaps me on my face for saying so. He’s in the interesting position in all this, both an ex-7th Unit Hokkaido, […]

Darling in the Franxx – 20[A New World]

Suddenly, Aliens. If you are surprised by this sudden plot twist then I am guessing you are new to Trigger works. For in some form or another space gets involved. Indeed this is fairly reminiscent of Kill la Kill or Gurren Laggan and I will toot my own horn about somewhat anticipating it. I at […]

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Fate/Stay Night Heaven’s Feel – I Prestige Flower Anime Review – 90/100

We have seen an influx of Fate adaptations over the last year and sadly each has proven to be disappointing except for a cooking slice of life short series which is weirdly better than it has any right to be. This movie was the last of the Fate adaptations that I needed to see but […]

Violet Evergarden (2018 Winter) Review – 76/100

Violet Evergarden’s existence has surely been a public one. Acclaimed before everyone lick a taste of it (it was awarded for grand prize in the fifth Kyoto Animation Award’s novel category in 2014 – read, KyoAni awards), it goes without saying that Violet Evergarden is one of the most anticipated show of the sparse Winter […]

A Place Further than the Universe (Winter 2018) Review – 77/100

Cute girls doing cute things is a genre that been done to death at this point. Even within this Winter 2018 we had been overloaded with big eyes fluffy face girls doing a lot of different things of interest. It takes a standout concept or a deeper narrative to make one stand out from this […]

After the Rain (2018 Winter) Review – 89/100

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Kokkoku – 42.5/100

There are lots of bad anime out there, for one reason or another. Whether it be stilted animation, terrible writing or bad direction, a good portion of each season is simply not worth it. Kokkoku is not a bad anime. It is something much worse. Kokkoku is a mediocre anime. Bad ones get talked about, […]

Junji Ito Collection Anime Review – 40/100

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Yuru Camp (Winter 2018) Review – 74/100

I admit that I underestimated Yuru Camp back in its first few episodes. I took it as a standard, run-on-the-mill slice of life show and I fully expected to give it 3 episodes at max before throwing it into the deep sea of forgotten anime. But as time pass, I can certainly see many good […]

Neo Yokio – 96/100

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