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SilverStormm

Gurren Lagann

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I'm really liking this show so far. It definitely has that zany Gainax vibe and over the top characters. I'm looking forward to what happens next.

It's hard not to see it as a coming of age show like FLCL, with the young teen protagonist, lots of drills, and of course Yoko.

Favorite moment (for it's sheer unexpectedness): Kamina's quick change of mind after finding out that Yoko wasn't a surface girl after all: "Move it, thunder thighs!" I don't think she quite gave as good as she got in the first episode, but hopefully it improves.

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And there you have it: A Gainax show for pre-teen boys. It's only fair to warn everyone that it's going to steadily get more and more over the top.

 

It took Kamina exactly 40 seconds from his first line of dialog to start generating internet memes. "Pierce the heavens", "believe in the me that believes in you", and all that.

 

I really like the frantic jazz ensemble music that they used in the action scenes here. Exciting but non-serious.

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I tried getting into the series through the DVDs at the library, but I lost interest right away. Maybe a run on Toonami will *ahem* pierce my interest.

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I'm really liking this show so far. It definitely has that zany Gainax vibe and over the top characters. I'm looking forward to what happens next.

It's hard not to see it as a coming of age show like FLCL, with the young teen protagonist, lots of drills, and of course Yoko.

 

It reminded me of Fullmetal Alchemist too, even though the stories and the animation aren't much alike. Teamwork and depending on other people as you work toward a common goal are important to both stories. Also, I think the VAs really sell it. Kamina is a larger-that-life character who verges on the ridiculous, but his dedication to the goal of getting to the surface is taken seriously. That's how it struck me, at any rate. 

 

And there you have it: A Gainax show for pre-teen boys. It's only fair to warn everyone that it's going to steadily get more and more over the top.

 

It does, but the show never takes those aspects of itself too seriously, so I found it rather fun. It felt very different to me from the fan service stuff in Tenchi Muyo! GXP, for example, which made me want to throw stuff at the screen.

 

I'm really looking forward to seeing this again. 

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I kind of liked Tenchi Muyo! GXP, although it took a few episodes for it to grow on me (good source for motivator screenshots).

 

If I were going to compare it to other shows, I'd be more inclined to invoke FLCL, Excel Saga, One Piece, and any other shows where the utterly ridiculous manages to ascend to sheer awesomeness.

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Introducing Leeron: Level-headed master mechanic and fabulous occasional troll. Voiced by Steve Blum. Nice to see that they kept all of his suggestive dialog more or less intact for the dub:

"I was up all night polishing it!"

"Just stick it in there and give it a manly twist!"

 

I wonder where Leeron gets his coffee. I doubt the beans would grow in that desert.

 

Simon and Kamina have a few "hey, it's not working" moments so that we can find out that the mecha won't work unless the characters are in an appropriately manly mood. Which would explain why the two beastmen in the green ganmans were getting themselves all worked up just before their captain arrived.

 

The guns that the above-ground group uses look vaguely like H&K G11 assault rifles.

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I forgot to mention the incongruity that Yoko is the only woman from Littner who dresses in a bikini top, short shorts, scarf, and hose. It's either a loner thing, a sniper thing, or just because.

Also, I like that she's just so nice. Maybe it's Black Lagoon talking, but somehow I expect attractive women in anime to have some negative qualities also. So far, she doesn't.

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Heh. I know exactly what you mean. I've come to expect anime women to whack the men upside the head for any imagined slight, even more so if they're attracted to them.

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This week: Gurren Lagann combines (combines!), we meet presumably a recurring adversary, and the main team of four (Simon, Kamina, Leeron, and Yoko) are off to find the Beast Men home base.

This show keeps getting more over the top. I still love it. If anything, I wish some if the battle sequences were slightly slower so I could enjoy watching the animation.

The funniest part was the big mech adjusting the smaller like a hat.

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Leeron gives Gurren a gigantic pair of shades that match Kamina's, perhaps providing the inspiration for the "add Kamina's shades for instant coolness" meme.

 

I'm amused by Yoko getting annoyed at Simon for agreeing to come along on the hunting trip. I also find the grape-hippo critter (grapeopotamus?) hilarious for some reason.

 

I never noticed it previously, but while Simon was pumping the water there were a couple of critters in the water watching him.

 

Kamina finally gets to use his sword for actual fighting, finally figures out which end of his gun to point at the other guy, and manages to bag a bird-ish critter. A good day all around.

 

In the original version, Kamina's line while he was drawing his big-ass sword was "I'm Gurren Brigade's Kamina, silencer of crying children." I guess they changed it for the dub to avoid making him sound like a child murderer.

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The whole team has some kind of goggles or glasses, except for Leeron. Hopefully he gets some soon.

So how much good is a mechanic who didn't bring any spare parts and precious little tools, anyway?

And, which mech keeps the helmet when Gurren and Lagann are separate? Hopefully these mysteries are answered next week.

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Leeron was wearing some goggles in the last scene when the four of them were walking away from the village.

 

The visual quality in the next episode (#4) isn't very good; they had a guest director/storyboarder. Trivia: The fans in Japan complained so bitterly about it that the producer lashed out at them on the internet, and he ended up resigning because of the resulting embarrassment to Gainax.

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In this exciting episode: Kamina and Simon train to make their combining more manly, but their training gets interrupted by Kitan and his sisters, who thought it was a beastman attacking a human. The ladies come back from a hunting trip carrying a big fuzzy pink critter who turns out to be 16 pink tribbles when they try to eat it. The tribbles put their 16-way combination up against Team Gurren Lagann's combination, along with Team Kitan's explosive balls and crazy backwards-running giant dogs. The tribbles lose, unsurprisingly.

 

 

So how much good is a mechanic who didn't bring any spare parts and precious little tools, anyway?

Not very good...when the tools that he brings are all crushed by Kamina.

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Was that youngest sister part beast man? I saw a pointy tooth at the end.

I could go for a few episodes without hearing "manly combining", but otherwise I enjoyed this one.

The art style wasn't all bad; I took it more as an indication that Kamina and Simon were having some goof-off time. And it made me think of FLCL, where there is a new style every five minutes.

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I had no idea there was a board for this.  At this point I'm kind of watching inspite of Kamina who's just annoying (and this past week, kind of an asshole).  That said, Simon isn't much better considering he's just a wimp.  But I'm interested in this whole Beastman, Gunman thing and wondering where the plot is going.  

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Yeah, we've got threads for most of the Toonami shows. There's a Toonami thread too.

 

Team Gurren Lagann falls through a hole into another underground village, where the guy in charge has decided that the maximum occupancy is 50 residents because of limited resources. Anyone over that has to leave the village. They've also got an old Gunman sitting off in a corner that's being worshiped as a "God Face." Kamina, being a rebellious sort, objects to the authority figure, the fact that two kids are going to be kicked out, the unwillingness to use the God Face, and...well...everything really. He keeps trying to get the priest's understudy, Rossiu, to buck the rules and ride the Gunman. Rossiu goes as far as opening the cockpit, but is interrupted by the priest. Eventually another Gunman drops into the village, there's a fight where the priest pilots the God Face and beats the Gunman, and Rossiu decides to join Team Gurren Lagann along with the two kids (Gimi and Dari).

 

 

Kamina really doesn't like authority figures, or at least the ones who don't lead by being awesome and reckless.

 

I'm amused that Rossiu's first impulse when he saw a big silver booger in the God Face's nose was to pull on it.

 

So now that there's a great big hole in the side of the cavern with pond water pouring into it, wouldn't that mean that the village's pond will be empty soon? Seems like the village might have a food shortage in its future.

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According to the internet the bunny-women at the bath house were deliberately designed to look like characters from other Gainax shows. The one with blue hair is the only one I can identify without looking it up: Rei from Evangelion.

 

I never noticed it before, but there's a tanuki statue in one of the shots where the team is being welcomed to the bath house. Probably doesn't have any particular significance, since it's a common thing in traditional shops and such in Japan. It only caught my attention because it looked like a photograph that had been added to the background.

 

How awesome is Gurren Lagann? So awesome that even its sunglasses are a deadly weapon.

 

After watching this episode I have to wonder if anyone out there is selling codpieces that look like Boota, or like Simon's drill.

 

Line of the episode: "Good morning Sunshine!"

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Simon and Kamina face off against Viral again, although he gives them time to get dressed first because fighting naked is so gauche. General craziness breaks out when the mobile base shows up, and it turns out that it's actually the Gunman version of an aircraft carrier, but with legs and arms. There is much talk about a mysterious Spiral King. A couple of unexpected allies show up, each piloting their own Gunman, and lend an assist to Kamina. Simon finally gets into the swing of this whole "fighting spirit" thing, and manages to defeat the gigantically huge carrier Gunman all by himself while Kamina just sits there and trusts him. Even more allies in crazy looking Gunmans (Gunmen?) show up, and they've all been inspired by Kamina's mecha stealing hijinks.

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Yoko kisses Kamina, Simon sees it and gets so bummed out that he can't take over the Gunman carrier. Kamina cheers up Simon by punching him in the face. Kamina is wounded by the Bad Guy Boss, but manages to almost single-handedly destroy the entire enemy force. Then he dies.

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That was not as emotionally impactful as I might have thought, for a few reasons. Kamina has been consistently shown to be reckless and unthinking, his big plans were finally starting to come together, and he got the girl.

It would've been a lot stronger if Kamina's actions had gotten Simon killed, IMHO. Or maybe I've just been watching too much Attack on Titan, I dunno.

Still, the scene where everyone including Gurren Lagann is crying was pretty powerful. It really feels like a turning point in the show.

On a lighter note, I'm really enjoying how the animator a are playing with scale here. The beast men gunmen vary from chibi to earth shattering, often changing by the instant.

Yoko must be an incredible shot to hit all those opponents from the back of a moving gunmen. Overall I'm hoping we get to see more about the new gunmen of Team Dai-Gurren.

Edited by lathspel

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Still, the scene where everyone including Gurren Lagann is crying was pretty powerful. It really feels like a turning point in the show.

Speaking of which, it's a shame that Toonami isn't showing the full opening credits because they undergo a massive set of changes next episode to reflect the fact that Kamina isn't there anymore and that they now have the giganto-Gunman. The credits undergo a number of small changes at various points to reflect additions to the cast, but that's the first big re-do. Also, the opening theme progresses through three different verses over the course of the series.

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We get to see Lord Genome, the Spiral King for the first time.He reminds me of Mr. Gone from The Maxx.

 

Simon is having a crisis of confidence with a side order of rage now that Kamina is dead. Having a little trouble with that whole "believe in yourself" thing that Kamina was so big on. This all leads up to the only scenes that I can think of in all of anime where a mecha throws up.

 

Simon goes dumpster diving and comes up with a new girlfriend named Nia. See? Recycling isn't just good for the environment, it's also heroic! Turns out that she's Lord Genome's daughter, and that he threw her away because she pissed him off.

 

BTW that guy who was spazzing out behind Leeron and wanting to fire all the weapons is Attenborough.

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So much in this episode.

We have seen a mech in some intestinal distress, at least - Lord Kanti poops out the main character in FLCL (also from Gainax, maybe?).

I had missed until now that a drill is also a spiral. Nice way to tie the beginning and presumed end of the series together.

So when there's an abandoned freezer that is still powered, it pretty much always has a girl in it, doesn't it? I know I've seen this trope before. It's good for Simon's mental health that he didn't peek into the abandoned freezers, I'm guessing they are full of Nia clone skeletons.

Yoko trying to be an adult and cope with loss, while her coworkers just tell her she's going to get fat - that's harsh.

So Dai-Gurren (Dai-Gunzen) wasn't red before, was it? Somebody got out in the rain and painted it.

Edit: I forgot to give credit to new insect mega-mecha, whose laser tentacles are so borrowed from one of the Angels. Somehow I'm thinking that team Dai-Gurren beat the easiest of the four captains.

Edited by lathspel

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Simon's crisis of confidence enters it's second episode. Nia manages to chase Adiane away temporarily. Kittan tries to interrogate Nia, and hilarity ensues. Adiane spends some time slapping Viral around, then comes back to finish off the inconvenient humans. She has a discussion with Nia about what a bastard Lord Genome is, with Nia taking the position that killing humans is bad, mmkay? A fight breaks out, Leeron gets the Dai-Gurren moving again, Adiane gets chased away, and Nia is suddenly loved by everyone, with the possible exception of Yoko. Adiane beats up Viral some more.

 

It's easy to miss it, but Lord Genome's four generals follow two themes. Their names are all based on the base chemicals of DNA, and each one represents one of the four alchemical elements. So far we've met fire (Thymilph with all those volcanoes) and water (Adiane).

 

Pure speculation on my part, but I suppose that one could connect the generals with ancient Greek gods too, since Thymilph carries a big old hammer around and hangs around volcanoes, and Adiane rises up out of the water and pilots her Gunman from the crotch.

 

All that getting slapped around can't be doing Viral's injuries any good. Interestingly enough, he seems to think that Kamina is still piloting Gurren, much to Rossiu's puzzlement.

 

That was one freaky fish flopping around on Dai-Gurren's deck: Long floppy ear-fins and a hand for a tail.

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Really? Adiane's mech is a talking vagina with wings and a whip? That's a bit disturbing for Toonami, although not at the "Nazis eating babies" level of last week.

I usually don't like the soft spoken female characters, but Nia is either brave or stupid, enough so that I'm rooting for her.

Lagann pitched out with the trash was so sad looking. I'm about ready for Simon to turn it around.

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I'm confused by the title of this week's episode. I thought there would be a punch line of "Simon, don't put your hand there! (slap)", but the actual plot seems to have been the opposite.

Nice to see Lagann back to doing its thing.

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This week it's Guame's turn to try to do something about those pesky humans. Guame looks like an armadillo, and his Beastmen all look like aardvarks. He sets up a trap involving cooperative humans and TV cameras. Simon finally realizes, with Nia's help, that he needs to be himself instead of being a Kamina wannabe, and starts kicking ass again.

 

The art-shift in animation during Nia's conversation with Guame looked awfully Puella Magi Madoka Magica-ish. It adds an additional layer of horrible creepiness to the scene if you've seen the show, even though TTGL was made first.

 

Next time: A beach episode.

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The beach episode was hilarious through and through, particularly all the guys who were so disappointed when Yoko puts on some clothes for the beach.

The scene where Dai-Gurren surfs away from the explosion reminded me of Space Dandy again.

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Last week on Beach Blanket Beastman: The crew gets in a little R&R and fun in the sun while Leeron modifies the Dai-Gurren for water travel. Yoko gets mildly competitive with Nia, but loses out to the moe maiden. The new watertight Dai-Gurren now has a giant pair of paddles, which come in handy when Adiane shows up for her final battle in which she gets thoroughly paddled.

 

----------------

 

This week:

Q - What's the only thing worse than being attacked by a flying aircraft carrier?

A - Getting drop-kicked by a leaping aircraft carrier.

 

Seriously, Leeron must have been taking notes on how to act like Kamina, because that's the kind of insane "Beyond the Impossible" stunt that he would have pulled: Leaping off a mountain without any way to land safely. And it worked. And now the Dai-Gurren has new equipment that it can use to fly.

 

Also, Nia has taken up cooking. Let's hope the crew recovers by next week.

 

Viral finds out that Kamina is dead, which puts a serious crimp in his motivation for fighting the humans. I was highly amused by the wreck he and Simon were making out of Cytomander's flying fortress while they fought each other. Cytomander wasn't nearly as amused.

 

Leeron's X-ray machine takes interesting pictures. It can show you if your hair is broken.

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I had a longer reply typed up before I hit the "use full version" button and lost it, but the highlights were:

The battle of Teppelin was awesome.

The Spiral King reminded me of Father from FMA:Brotherhood.

Nice to see that Simon is inspiring others now.

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The enemy mecha just keep getting bigger and bigger. Teppelin is an entire city, complete with detachable skyscrapers. Gotta feel sorry for all the people who were probably in those skyscrapers.

 

Lord Genome: So manly that his head bursts into flames just for the hell of it while he beats the crap out of your mecha with his bare hands. So manly that he can talk without lungs.

 

Once again, Attenborough fires all the weapons.

 

We'll have to wait and see whether or not Toonami skips over the recap episode next time.

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Bah, clip show - but with a strange written narration factor? That's new.

I have to say I skipped almost all of it. I resisted the temptation to look for the fan service, if it was in there.

Edited by lathspel

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I'm amused by the fact that the humans have adopted a design style that demands that everything they make needs to have a face on it if there's an available surface; buildings, flower pots, and even Nia's cellphone.

 

And speaking of cellphones, they've managed to go from no-tech to high-tech in record time. I'm going to assume that some of the surviving beastmen helped them with that, although it might have been all Leeron's awesome tech skills.

 

Rossiu has turned into quite the sinister figure, a very "end justifies the means" kind of guy.

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Tentacle LordGenome is appropriately creepy, while anti-spiral Nia no longer has cheerful pastel colored eyes. (She kind of had an anti-magical-girl transformation too.) I'm still really liking the design of season two.

This episode crammed in a fair amount of exposition, really, without making it too obvious. Simon really should've kept an eye on Rossiu's brooding tendencies over the last seven years, but I suppose he's not that kind of boss. (And Rossiu was older to begin with, I guess.)

A good reason not to keep the same leader in wartime and peace, maybe - the older guy who just had a baby might have been a better choice.

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This episode illustrated perfectly what's wrong with Rossiu: He's forgotten the Team Gurren Lagann way! He's all about saving just whoever he can cram onto the spaceship while sacrificing the rest of mankind. Meanwhile, Kitan remembers. He basically tells Rossiu to get out of the way so he can go beyond the impossible and kick some Anti-Spiral ass.

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I like that the hospital and the prison turrets both had a robot face thing going on.

And we finish with Yoko and the best entrance line ever.

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Simon and Viral demonstrate the Team Gurren Lagann way in spectacular fashion, with some help from their friends. While Kitan and the others keep the small fry busy, they combine with Ark Gurren to make Arc Gurren Lagann. With their new city sized Gunman they pummel the two big Anti-Spiral ships. Then they get serious, because humanity is being attacked by the Moon. Rossiu's solution is to try to run like a scared little Rossiu. Simon and Viral kick reason to the curb and take control of the Moon. Yes, that's right; they now have a Moon-sized gunman. Suck on that, Anti-Spirals.

Rossiu finally starts to realize that he's a loser because he tends to do things the "safe" way, which turns out to not to be safe at all.

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Rossiu is all about risk mitigation (my usual point of view), while Bro, Simon, and apparently now Viral are maximizes (as I suspect LordGenome was).

This show can layer on the awesome and improbable about as well as any show since FLCL - and now that I get to watch KLK the same night, it's like a double scoop.

Edited by lathspel

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I can't believe I never noticed that Supreme OCD Guy Rossiu's uniform has the triple stripe that recalls the dress of his underground people and their priest. Great touch!

In a minor piece of realism (?), Team Dai-Gurren pulls the real Moon out from a pocket universe, so that the Earth still has tides while they're gone. That was going to be a complaint of mine, if they had forgotten.

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Much talking in this episode, allowing the audience to take a breather. Simon discovers how to teleport using nothing but fighting spirit in order to punch Rossiu in the face. A worthy cause if ever there was one, even though he prevents Rossiu from killing himself. Nice callback to the time that Kamina punched him in the face to adjust his attitude.

Leeron shows everyone the data that the computer has collated (yes, I replayed it twice to make sure that's what he said). Did the computer also fold and staple it? Perhaps he meant correlated.

Yoko is enthusiastic about the upcoming attack, in fact she endorses a full-frontal assault! And she's definitely dressed for it, not that Kitan is going to complain about her new space-stripper outfit.
 

In a minor piece of realism (?), Team Dai-Gurren pulls the real Moon out from a pocket universe, so that the Earth still has tides while they're gone.

And when you combine that with Yoko's comment above, it's suddenly it's an installment of Spacecataz:
"Commence remooning at once."
"Remooning Commence-a-con."
"Err please. Your buttocks are so small and square, it barely
reads as a moon."
"Then it’s time for full frontal!"

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I probably should've paid more attention to the secondary characters who are no longer with us. I assume they were a little better known in the manga? I only really recognize the two big lunks.

Really? Someone was surprised that Galaxy Dai Gurren turns into a mech?

And, how does the bridge crew not snicker when LordGenomeHead makes up a new hand-wavy explanation?

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I liked this weeks better than last but the show has some issues with tone.  Last week it was putting more fanservice-y Yoko moments in with the whole named characters dying.  At least this week they gave the deaths a good story beat.  

 

My only real issue with the show is some of the odd tonal issues.  It's a fun show and then suddenly goes straight to drama which it then interrupts with comedy (and not in a good way).  That said if Simon doesn't end up getting a happy ending with Nia I'll be upset.  As a show that prides itself on pulling out impossible saves if they can't save Nia it'll be bothersome. 

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