Rate the last anime you watched out of 10

qaiz

Pokémon Master
I heard good things about Made in Abyss but all the pedo **** made it a hard pass for me, no thanks.
 

ayase

State Alchemist
I heard good things about Made in Abyss but all the pedo **** made it a hard pass for me, no thanks.
I think that’s all rather overblown. Honestly, the only questionable thing I noticed is the spoiler above - I certainly wouldn’t consider anything sexual/romantic in nature between Reg and Riko (and when it is it’s mild) dodgy, because they’re both at an age where they start to think about these things. It makes them more realistic characters to depict them as such, rather than having them be unrealistically sexless just so as not to make people uncomfortable.
 

Luna

Thousand Master
Brothers Conflict

I bought that. Not for myself actually, but yesterda my brain was rebelling and so I was in for something somewhat brainless. I kind of expected something like Amnesia and Diabolik Lovers, but while it wasn't quite as questionable it still was just plain downright average underwhelming Otome Game-ish fare.

Except there is just that one mascot.



It TOTALLY looks like a squirrel with rabbit ears. And I have very much a thing for rabbits and I also quite like squirrels and yes, I totally have some wuzzy Dream Fullfilment effects of this failed rabbit so obsessively caring for its owner. And she can even talk to that flurry little guy! Like I'd seriously would love it, if my rabbits would actually care for me. (They about only care when they are hungry or afraid. ;_; )
So... I thiiiiink I sat thought that just for that mascot?

I think I should stop saving Is the Order a Rabbit for hard times. I appear to be already totally in deprivation mode.

5/10 for making me realize.
(4/10 otherwise.)
 

qaiz

Pokémon Master
I think that’s all rather overblown. Honestly, the only questionable thing I noticed is the spoiler above - I certainly wouldn’t consider anything sexual/romantic in nature between Reg and Riko (and when it is it’s mild) dodgy, because they’re both at an age where they start to think about these things. It makes them more realistic characters to depict them as such, rather than having them be unrealistically sexless just so as not to make people uncomfortable.
Of course I haven't seen the show so I can't comment on whether or not this is in the show itself (my phone also won't let me read your spoiler, sorry!), so maybe this is a thing that's more prominent in the manga (which I've head is disgusting on a whole other level) from what I gather, an older character has an obsession with a younger characters junk. From what I've seen there's an obsession with placing characters in sexualised situations and positions that seem to have no reason to exist other than to titillate. Characters being strung up and punished naked, children being tortured and brutalized, nah I'm good fam. As to not make me uncomfortable, please.
 

ayase

State Alchemist
@qaiz I can’t comment on the manga or anything from it that may appear in Season 2 of the anime, but I only noticed one of those things, which is under the spoiler. Yeah it is a bit uncomfortable. But I certainly wouldn’t call it anything approching loli or shotacon and if at any point an older character was depicted as lusting after a younger one, that totally passed me by. I remember a couple of dick jokes and there are times the main characters (who are both kids) see each other in states of undress, but again that seems more for comedy purposes because of their contrasting shame/lack of. The violence is anything but titilating, and personally (ymmv) I wouldn’t say it’s gratuitous. But it can be a grim show, certainly. No-one should go into it looking for sunshine and rainbows.

My last point was meant in a general sense, rather than being aimed at you personally. I make no claims to know your mind. I just don’t see anything inherently wrong about depicting pubescent kids as sexually curious, having been 12 years old myself once I distinctly remember enjoying the pictures of Laetitia Casta in lingerie in one of my mother’s old catalogues at that age...

Edit: I am kinda curious though that you developed this view of Made in Abyss without watching or reading it. Relying on second hand accounts isn’t exactly the most reliable way to develop an opinion of something and a lot of people (especially Westerners, specifically British and Americans) do massively overreact to the idea a 12 year old might have sexual thoughts being presented in media. So that’s something to consider when reading other people’s thoughts.

Might the creator of Made in Abyss have particular tastes? I’d say that’s certainly a possibility, yeah. Does that overshadow or diminish the entire work? No. I can enjoy it just the same as I can enjoy Alice in Wonderland or Peter Pan, knowing what I know about the creators of those works.
 
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qaiz

Pokémon Master
You mention how at that age it's natural for one to become sexually curious, I just find it funny because you have an Only Yesterday avatar, a movie that deals with such themes in a more mindful and honest manner. If creators are free to create whatever they want then I feel it's only fair to be able to criticise said works, and although a work that strives to tackle the themes of puberty is valid, when the characters are designed to look like, say a 7 year old instead of the proposed teenager that they're supposed to be depicting then one has to wonder, and when you see the source material and the author's likes and interests it becomes obvious what the intent is. I can understand the notion that they went with such a route in order to create a greater juxtaposition between the designs and what the characters are going through but that doesn't mean that I have to be okay with it.

The problem with anime, at least one issue among many is the fact that it's consumed by people whom use it as a means to identity oneself, and so an attack or judgement placed upon a show is taken as something more personal, I am in no way judging the people watching this show, I know people whom I respect who've watched this show and recommend it highly, I however feel as if it would be easy to depict the themes that they're striving for without being so overt and graphic. These kinds of discussions always turn into whataboutisms regarding violence in media, and you know maybe that's a valid discussion to have , why people are okay with movies where people are murdered and brutalised but shy away at the sight of nudity. We shouldn't be ashamed of our bodies nor our sexuality. When it comes to shows like Made in Abyss, a show that I admit I haven't seen so correct me if I'm wrong, it comes down to context and intent. Totoro contains a scene in which the father bathes with his two daughters, not once did it cross my mind that this was anything other than a innocent scene.

I haven't seen the show so why form such an opinion based on opinions alone? Because that's what people do. I can't watch nor consume everything and so second-hand knowledge is needed in order to filter out things that I'd rather not interact with, not out of fear of opposing minds nor not wanting to be challenged but because some content I just don't feel comfortable with supporting, nor do I want to support the creators. If I had gone in and watched the show without prior knowledge of such content, I'd probably see it through and speak my mind after however I feel no need to specifically see such things through with hindsight just to prove something or as a means to know "just how bad it is", maybe that sounds terrible, in this day and age fact checking is lacking, people seem to have their minds made up for them, in this instance I'm fine with that being the case because it doesn't occur to be a fight worth having. The show is good, just ignore the gross ****? Nah.

ayase, you bring up good points and at the very least even if I disagree you place thought into your responses, that doesn't mean I'm going to agree.
 

ayase

State Alchemist
I've been around long enough now that I don't expect to change people's minds @qaiz, you don't have to watch or like the things I do and that's perfectly fine with me. I simply saw your first and second posts regarding Made in Abyss as being founded on assumptions about the show which I personally consider inaccurate, so I wanted to offer my own thoughts on the subject. Like I say, I don't know your mind - As far as I knew you might have been open to reconsidering giving it a shot if I explained it wasn't the loli and shota fest you'd been led to believe. But there's other people reading on a public forum too, and I also wanted to explain for anyone else who might be reading and considering watching (or being put off watching). So please don't go away from this discussion thinking I'm mad at you for insulting Made in Abyss or for having a different opinion, I'm really not. Your points above are fair and it's A-OK for you to do what feels right for you. As for how maturely a show deals with things, I'm fine with both maturity and immaturity in my media (and I'd guess that as a fan of Dragonball Z you are too :p). Especially when characters are immature themselves, it seems okay to me to have them behave in an immature manner sometimes.

To go back to the beginning of this conversation, I guess what I really wanted to get across was that if the BBFC produced such a thing as a rating for loli/shotacon then I don't think Made in Abyss would warrant anything harsher than "Very mild / infrequent" and it's far from being a focus of the show. It seems to me to be an imaginative an engaging work of fantasy fiction which was designed to be that first and foremost. I think if the creator had just wanted to make straight-up loli/shotacon they could and would have, the world and story is not merely an excuse to showcase those things in the way say, ecchi anime is.

Also does no-one else besides me an qaiz have any opinions on this? Did you guys already talk about it last year when I wasn't paying attention?
 
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qaiz

Pokémon Master
It's a shame that you can't change my mind because it would be nice but I'm stubborn, maybe it's a fear of not wanting to lose my values, maybe I'm a little proud of my resolve, one shouldn't let that get in the way of trying out new things however. I think it's good to be able to give things a shot, to sometimes meet in the middle, sometimes I try to but there's topics that I feel too strongly about to feel anything other than disdain at their existence. It is funny how you bring up DBZ, I had written a bit about how the crap in that show pissed me off too but I decided to delete it because I was waffling as is, and don't get me started on Dragon Ball. Some people aren't looking for debate, that's fine, but I think that it'd be boring if we all agreed on everything, discussion can be good even if it ends in a stalemate, who knows, maybe you'll convince me one day, today is not that day. Anyways, I'm off to go watch Devilman Crybaby ;-)
 

Professor Irony

Railgun
AUKN Staff
Strangely, I don’t remember Made in Abyss being all that much discussed around here, even while it was airing - possibly because it was an early pick up for HIDIVE and not many people had adopted the service?

Personally, I watched an episode of it, but didn’t feel it was for me. The fact that it was going to ‘get dark’ was both strongly hinted at in the show, and widely proclaimed by folk who’d read the manga, but I didn’t fancy watching it week to week with baited breath while waiting for the penny to drop. I’m sure the show is fine, but I don’t know, I’d need to be in the right frame of mind for that.
 

Professor Irony

Railgun
AUKN Staff
Re: Cutie Honey (2004)

Based on what little I'd seen of it, I've been a bit rude about Gainax's three part Cutie Honey reboot in the past, and I'd like to sincerely apologise. With three episodes, each helmed by a different director, it often seems to pull in different directions, but overall, it's very entertaining - I just struggled with the first instalment.

Re:introducing the super-powered, disguise-wearing android in present day (well, 2004) Tokyo, the changes that struck me most are that Honey is now a lonely twenty-something office drone, and, in true Astro Boy fashion, was originally human. Unfortunately, we first find the characters adrift in a sort of colourful onslaught of gags and fanservice.

Not to say I think episode one is without merit; it definitely catches something of the goofy tone and style of the original. Hiroyuki Imaishi directed the segment (presumably straight after Dead Leaves) and it really shows, with madcap character designs, cartoonish environments and many-layered visual gags that refer back to the psychedelic trappings of the original series. Part of me wants to say this is the one that 'gets' Cutie Honey the most, but it's just too much to process all at once. The sugar rush dies down around the half-way point, but it left me oddly cold - it feels like the people having all the fun here are the ones making it.

Episodes 2 and 3 work far better, particularly part two. The series becomes darker in tone as it goes along, but the second part strikes a good balance between shennanigans and something more serious, hitting both a neat thematic callback to Devilman, as an angry mob starts attacking innocent people they believe to be Honey, and getting great mileage from the iconic theme tune as a villain sings it with mocking lyrics to try and flush Honey out of hiding.

The last part builds to a surprisingly epic conclusion, built on some interesting ideas, but it leans too heavily on chief director Hideaki Anno's established show-endings playbook, and doesn't quite sell the hitherto largely absent traditional villain Sister Jill as the key part of its puzzle.

Most surprisingly of all, however, the series's most consistently successful element is actually Natsuko Aki. Honey's schoolgirl friend and possible love interest is here reimagined as a tightly-wound police inspector with a penchant for firearms, finding herself at a loss trying to deal with Tokyo's new superhero. Honey's characterisation is fine, but it's Natsuko who gets all the best development, and frankly, steals the show. It's a bit like turning up to a Superman film and seeing the man of steel upstaged by Jimmy Olsen, but it works.

Whether I like this version more than the 1990s' Shin Cutie Honey, I'm not sure, but it's a strong effort from Gainax in their prime, and the continued lack of any official English-language release, in nearly 15 years, is utterly baffling.
 
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ayase

State Alchemist
Girls' Last Tour

I went into this show with the expectations of gentle post-apocalyptic slice of life, maybe with a little bit of military equipment fetishism on the side. I did not expect it to get so mono no aware on me.

I notice that as of today I've been posting on AUKN for ten years, on and off. I don't think I'll ever really leave, because I'll always love the medium of animation. But sometimes, mainly during the couple of long absences I've had from AUKN, I question whether anything new is being produced that's really for me. I usually like some of the new stuff that I'm watching, but I so rarely love it like I do some of the shows I first watched around the mid '00s. I often find myself wondering where are the new shows in the vein of Haibane Renmei or Kino's Journey? The shows that made me think and feel, that encourage quiet contemplation?

Well Girls' Last Tour reminded me quite a bit of that kind of show, but by the end it reminded me very much of something else - Yokohama Kaidashi Kikō, my very favourite manga and possibly my favourite piece of media in any genre. When you look at the art styles and you look at the settings, they couldn't appear more different on the surface. Both are post-apocalyptic slice of life, but one is set in a grimy, militarised, claustrophobic and entirely man made urban environment, the other has a sleepy rural setting in which everything humanity has created is being slowly reclaimed by nature. But in terms of themes and atmosphere evoked they are in fact very similar, as are their wistful but generally positive takes on the last days of humanity.

The society and landscape of the future will be unrecognisable to us. Everyone and everything, eventually, is going to die and be forgotten. New people and things and ways of living will replace them. One day, with or without humanity's influence, even the planet itself is going to die. And actually, all of that is okay. The experience of loss, loss of anything - Material items, history, loved ones, is universal and natural and remembrance is something that brings both joy and sadness. But living and experiencing all of this is what it means to be human.

Like YKK, Girls' Last Tour is not a mournful cautionary tale of how humanity destroyed itself or ruined the planet. It's a celebration of the parts of the human experience that transcend the impermanence of that material world. It's affecting, sometimes beautiful and it's very Japanese, or at least very Oriental. I cannot imagine any Western country ever producing media that treats the end of civilisation and humanity in such a thoughtful and non-judgemental way. I think it's fair to say it's restored some of my faith in modern anime a bit. Did I enjoy Made in Abyss and Devilman Crybaby? Yeah, a lot. But neither of them made me sit in silence with slightly wet eyes and a smile on my face afterwards.

Now, I've been the subject of a little light ribbing in the past about my use of perhaps unnecessarily precise nought-point-something scores. But the way I try to look at scoring these days is a percentage out of 100% total running time that I enjoy watching, weighted against the percentage of time I'm not enjoying watching and am either actively annoyed, bored or would generally rather be doing something else. And on that front, this time I don't need a decimal point because Girls' Last Tour gets a rare perfect 10. There is not a minute I didn't enjoy and there is nothing that I would change about it at all.

 

crashmatt

Death Scythe
I've been around long enough now that I don't expect to change people's minds @qaiz, you don't have to watch or like the things I do and that's perfectly fine with me. I simply saw your first and second posts regarding Made in Abyss as being founded on assumptions about the show which I personally consider inaccurate, so I wanted to offer my own thoughts on the subject. Like I say, I don't know your mind - As far as I knew you might have been open to reconsidering giving it a shot if I explained it wasn't the loli and shota fest you'd been led to believe. But there's other people reading on a public forum too, and I also wanted to explain for anyone else who might be reading and considering watching (or being put off watching). So please don't go away from this discussion thinking I'm mad at you for insulting Made in Abyss or for having a different opinion, I'm really not. Your points above are fair and it's A-OK for you to do what feels right for you. As for how maturely a show deals with things, I'm fine with both maturity and immaturity in my media (and I'd guess that as a fan of Dragonball Z you are too :p). Especially when characters are immature themselves, it seems okay to me to have them behave in an immature manner sometimes.

To go back to the beginning of this conversation, I guess what I really wanted to get across was that if the BBFC produced such a thing as a rating for loli/shotacon then I don't think Made in Abyss would warrant anything harsher than "Very mild / infrequent" and it's far from being a focus of the show. It seems to me to be an imaginative an engaging work of fantasy fiction which was designed to be that first and foremost. I think if the creator had just wanted to make straight-up loli/shotacon they could and would have, the world and story is not merely an excuse to showcase those things in the way say, ecchi anime is.

Also does no-one else besides me an qaiz have any opinions on this? Did you guys already talk about it last year when I wasn't paying attention?
I watched Made in Abyss and loved it, there was only one scene I remember quite early on which I thought was slightly inappropriate. The author also seems to focus on bodily functions a bit too much at time. That said it doesn't detract from the great story and world building. If Made in Abyss offends people then I'd say you moral compass is set rather high, so high in fact you would probably discount many current anime. The only shows that have genuinely made me cringe or feel uncomfortable are Hybrid Heart and my first Girlfriend is a GAL.

Also I 100% agree with Girls last Tour the atmosphere of that show is pretty great, im looking forward to picking it up when it gets its UK release.
 

qaiz

Pokémon Master
If Made in Abyss offends people then I'd say you moral compass is set rather high, so high in fact you would probably discount many current anime.
I mean...yeah, although I'd drop the "current" from that statement and just make it anime in general.
 

Professor Irony

Railgun
AUKN Staff
Fate/Extra: Last Encore

As a less action-oriented, more introspective take on the Fate formula, I can see why it hasn't been the most popular anime entry into the franchise, but I really enjoyed this one.

With the obstruse dialogue, quirky camera angles and weird, empty world design, it does feel like Shaft are making Fate/Monogatari, yet, I think it works. There's a much more sci-fi oriented slant on the material here, and I think the oddball stylistic devices fit well as a conduit for its meditation on transhumanist notions of artificially stored consciousness and the effect on the psyche of passing time far in excess of any human lifespan.

The way it glosses over one of the in-world game's stages felt a bit off, but my only real complaint would be that it fails to muster a solid conclusion at the end. Hopefully the forthcoming tv special will provide just that.
 

qaiz

Pokémon Master
Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms (Film, 2018)

At almost 2 hours long you'd think that Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms would have more than enough time to comfortably tell its fairly simple story without feeling both jumbled and disjointed and yet the pacing felt both frantic and rushed and in many ways by the end I felt like I had just watched a TV compilation, a little harsh but the sentiment rings true. Without divulging too much into story specifics the film revolves around Maquia, a young girl belonging to a tribe made up of people that live for centuries, they live secluded from the rest of the world, spending their days weaving, the cloth they produce containing their memories and stories. Maquia is both timid and shy, typical traits for a protagonist within this type of story, and of course there's another girl who's both brash and outgoing, somebody that Maquia herself looks up to, envious of her carefree nature. Early on Maquia is told by the village elder to never wander outside the village and that if she ever does, to never fall in love because the fact that she'll live on for centuries would mean that the people she meets along the way will inevitably die long before she does, leaving her alone. The characters live a peaceful and tranquil life but that tranquillity is quickly disrupted when their village is attacked and Maquia is separated from the people she's spent her whole life with. Assuming that everyone's been killed she sets off to survive alone but in the desolate woods she hears the crying of a baby, and through circumstances she takes the infant as her own, her journey through motherhood begins.

Mari Okada's directorial debut is clearly tackling an important topic, with what it means to be a mother as a cornerstone, among the fighting and action motherhood and all it pertains is the focus. Because of this, character interactions are the draw, it's a shame then that the film relies too much on talking and less on showing, Okada's background in screenwriting clearly taking precedent here. Rarely does the film allow its visuals to speak for itself, in fact characters almost never shut up and it's unfortunately very typical of these over-sentimental and melodramatic works, and this is a continuous trend throughout the film. Overwrought and theatrical the audience is often told how to feel without any of the work being done or any of the effort being put in, you're catapulted through the relationship at breakneck speed to the point that I found it hard to truly care or believe that the interactions were genuine. That's not to say that I couldn't resonate with any of it, in the end the core tenets, motherhood and parenthood are important and something that I hold dear, which is why I wanted to like the film more than I did. Truth being told, a few scenes did elicit a response from me and in the end some scenes worked better and were more effective at building the world and its characters than others, but these scenes are few and far between.

Visually the film is pretty, character animations are nice and backgrounds are detailed, colourful and varied, although some of the CG stands out. Annoyingly a few characters look almost identical and the main character herself looks really silly which took me out of some of the more serious moments, although you could argue the juxtaposition is intentional, Maquia after all being a young girl that's forced into an adult world. Whilst the visuals are ultimately a draw, the music was for me utterly forgettable, the talented Kenji Kawai was unable to muster up a memorable melody and I for the life of me cannot remember a single piece. The world itself is interesting enough, filled with medieval architecture and huge open fields but the world building itself is wafer-thin and there's nowhere near enough to grasp onto in this department. Early on I thought that the shot composition was strange and inefficient at depicting the necessary information but it improved as time went on and overall it's a pretty film but nothing too remarkable.

As the credits rolled I felt apathetic to what I had just watched, both generic and predictable, Maquia has its moments but I never once felt invested in its story. Not only did the tension and action feel forced but I felt that the film itself would've benefited from the removal of all the secondary plot points, but even then the mediocre writing wouldn't help matters. I may sound really down on the film but it wasn't offensively bad, but both inoffensive and generic it's not something that I'm going to be revisiting nor thinking about any time soon. A simple but fairly interesting story on paper bogged down by a rushed and forced third act, nicely animated and colourful there might be enough here for some but the story itself is ultimately uneventful with the drama missing the mark.
 
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Professor Irony

Railgun
AUKN Staff
Black Jack: The Movie (1996)

This brooding, gothic outing for Osamu Tezuka's iconic surgeon sees him drawn into the case of top ranked athletes whose bodies are suddenly failing them, in the most horrific fashion possible. Although a little more realistic than usual, the film's straight faced approach to even its most fantastical plot developments, mixed with Black Jack's typically intense melodrama, makes for a wonderfully over the top thriller, boasting a tough, well-fleshed out antagonist in the form of a femme fatale-like medical researcher. The film's increasingly bonkers storytelling is also matched shot for shot with director Osamu Dezaki's signature tricksy cinematography, throwing every weird flourish in his considerable arsenal at the screen, all wrapped up in an anachronistically noirish package that makes the end result like the anime equivalent of a Tim Burton Batman movie.

The film loses its way slightly in the final reel, with a slightly pedestrian conclusion, not helped by a shoehorned in last-minute environmental message, but as a big fan of Dezaki's earlier work on Cobra and Golgo 13, I absolutely loved this. I can guarantee it's the only time you'll see a villain's lair stormed by a private army of ethically sound doctors.
 
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Mr L

Student Council President
Re:zero (1-12)

7/10

Initially thought I was going to write this off, seemed like an MMO anime without actually being an MMO anime. They use of the 'rebirth' plot point though, ironically, kept me going enough to find out exactly what was going on. Following the 'loops' and trying to figure out the solutions was interesting enough to stimulate me. I still find myself mixed on the MC, he can be be smart but also irritating when getting full of himself. The main heroine shows little personality and the whole show can lean too heavily on 'otaku self-awareness' at times.

Though to end on a positive, hearing Christine Marie Cabanos in a show always pleases me. Also, that last revelation will ensure I come back When the next half is out.
 

Professor Irony

Railgun
AUKN Staff
Lupin III: Part 5

Given the huge length of time between parts 3 and 4, it was a pleasant surprise to see another main Lupin series follow so soon after, and even more so to see how good it was! While not without fault, I thought this was a consistently very strong season that did much to breathe new life into the franchise and built on what Part 4 had achieved, while addressing many of the issues I had with it. Part 5 was well paced, I thought the arc-based approach to its plots was very successful and the 'ripped from the headlines' approach to its subject matter helped make Lupin's adventures feel fresh, in a way they haven't for a very long time. I do think they haven't quite nailed the tone yet, but I'd rather have the awkward lurches into more explicit violence than the generally toothless feeling that haunts a lot of the more family-friendly outings.

My only concern is what newcomers might make of the considerable number of in-joke references the show makes back to Lupin's previous adventures - some relatively obvious, others quite obscure. I imagine the writers did this specifically with the idea of getting fans discussing the show online to point out where they're all coming from, but it might be an idea if any future home release featured liner notes with maybe a brief history of the franchise, just to help accomodate those who aren't already superfans.

Also CR pls give us the OVA episode, thanks.

The Slayers

So much of what has followed Slayers has borrowed so much from it, that I was apprehensive about what going back to the original show might feel like, but it's still a very enjoyable picaresque fantasy adventure, whose deft lightness of touch has rarely been matched. I think it's at its best when it's doing self-contained arcs, however; when they got into the main thrust of the plot and it's played a little less for laughs, the familiar fantasy tropes begin to grate, although the throughly likeable cast of characters makes it much easier to get over the dips.

I would also give them credit for doing a successful comedy anime without any reliance on fanservice, but I haven't seen any of the parts with Naga yet...
 
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