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[COLOR=Gray][FONT=Courier New]Well, I just watched the first episode of said series, and I must say: despite its outlandishness, I love it so.

The opening theme is simply [I]magnificently random[/I] (or so it seems now...I'm sure it will make sense later on--like the Narutaru one), and begins with the greatest line in opening theme history (in my opinion). Well, after the random, Lion King-like yelling, that is.
[I]"Oh, what a wonderful mushroom cloud in the sky...!"[/I] Pure gold, my friends, pure gold.^_~

As far as animation goes, the style is very appealing (I love the noses), and the movement itself is akin to that of Gunslinger Girl. Which makes sense, seeing as they were made by the same studio. That is, I think they were...
The only thing I didn't like was the last shot in the ending theme. It was simply disturbing. O_O But that's just my opinion... Want to know why? Watch it. There is no way to describe it without turning any one off the show for life.

I was delighted to see that, in the online messages used, every one's favourite faces were used. [I]Par example[/I], "I was so upset, I stayed up all night crying!!!!!(T_T)". This isn't really a significant aspect of the show, but it just makes it that much more loveable--it's accurate. Also, the main character's working for a toy-making company is pretty cool.

Paranoia Agent seemes to be making a statement about the use of cel-phones in Japan. Watch the opening scene, and I'm sure you'll aggree. Well, that and the untrustworthiness of people...

>_> <_<

In conclusion: Paranoia Agent=Great Fun.


I just watched episode two of Paranoia Agent and I still love it. However, there has been alot of mix up over the first line of the opening. By this, I mean that it has been tossed around by subbers, and every one knows it has something to do with a mushroom cloud. However, Anime-kraze subtitled the first (second) line as, "The Lost Children are a mushroom cloud in the sky.", while other sources have simply translated it as, "What a wonderful mushroom cloud in the sky." or something of that nature.
I am inclined to believe Anime-kraze, not only because they're the most reputible when it comes to translations, but because it actually makes sense if you listen closely. You can make out that the second sound-clump is actually a word and a particle.^_^

This show is getting weirder as it goes along, and I must say: it's awesome.

(Skippedry, I swear, you would love it.)

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o_O ......Wow.......... Paranoia Agent is [i]incredibly[/i] ****** up, but I guess that's what makes it so appealing. Some aspects of this show have a certain realism that you just won't find in most other anime--you already referred to the cell phone segment, which I thought was extraordinarily well done. When the girl (ugh, I'm so bad with names) falls, she actually scrapes her knee, and when she begins to cry, her nose turns red. I guess I really appreciate small details like those and the ones you mentioned. ^_^

The character designs obviously aren't going to have anybody swooning, but they do make the show seem more down-to-earth. They're unusual in the sense that they use mobile, highly expressive mouths to indicate the small emotional shifts that take place during a conversation (whereas the majority of series rely more on eyes and eyebrows). In any case, I was almost impressed by the frog-faced guy's sheer hideousness. Some of the people seen in episode 1 look vaguely similar to characters from PLANETES, which made me wonder whether the same artist might have worked on both series.

I agree about Paranoia Agent's animation: Madhouse's rich shading and general awesomeness are also in evidence here. Although I have no clue whatsoever where the show is heading, I look forward to seeing more. Great recommendation, Godel. ^_^

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[COLOR=Gray][FONT=Courier New]: D

Haha--I'm on episode four, and I have no idea where the show is heading. It's not that it isn't going anywhere, it's just that it's so...well, weird. Unpredictable.

Haha--yeah, the way they succeeded in making certain characters simply impossible to like is extremely impressive.

Too bad it's so hard to find anything past episode five. *cries*

And from Anime-Junkies, too...well, episode five is. *triste*


Don't you simply ADORE the opening??[/FONT][/COLOR]
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From the great review the two of you have been giving this series, I decided to try my hand at downloading it. I have to say... wow. :eek:

This is the first time in a long time that I have viewed anime like this. ^-^

The animation, though simple compared to the popular bishounen or even bishoujo style reminds me of something I'd expect out of a full length movie.

The characters are deep and mysterious, the story is unnerving, and although at first I thought the music to be kind of corny I found it totally freaky!

I can't wait to see the next episodes, but I have to watch this again first...


ps. That big guy (frog eyed DaggerIX1 called him?) really scares me... Though he [i]seems[/i] like a good guy...
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I hadn't really considered it until now, but this show has many things in common with Boogiepop Phantom, which happens to be among my favorite anime. If you haven't seen Boogiepop, you should definitely check it out. Paranoia Agent's storyline is more linear (not to mention far less convoluted), and it uses flashbacks judiciously rather than liberally. Yet as is the case with Boogiepop, each one of PA's episodes seems to focus on a different main character. These people are connected to each other in a number of obvious and not-so-obvious ways.

More importantly, both shows revolve around a string of serial attacks. The perpetrators (Shounen Bat and Boogiepop) appear to strike at random, moving unnoticed through the city until they encounter their next victims. And although Shounen Bat isn't quite an angel of death, he too has evolved into a figure of near-mythological proportions.

Paranoia Agent's artwork is smooth, polished and occasionally caricaturish, while Boogiepop's aims primarily for a stark kind of realism. But the characters in each look refreshingly normal and human. I guess what I'm trying to say is: despite the fact that PA was obviously influenced by Boogiepop, it remains a unique and fascinating series. I really enjoy comparing the two shows, since they're outstanding examples of their genre and of anime in general.

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[COLOR=Gray][FONT=Courier New]I just like the sound of "Boogiepop Phantom". Has a ring to it. I'll have to look into that...

What impressed me the most, for sure, about PA was that it [I]was[/I] so realistic. The characters are imperfect, and sometimes downright ugly.
It does not glamorize its characters, but rather earns your approval through down-to-Earth-ness. And it does this without being boring.

I can't wait to see the rest of it!!

My favourite character has go to be Sagi. Or that police guy in the grey suit. ^_^

He's cool.

That doll freaks me out though. O_O[/FONT][/COLOR]
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Some interesting information about Paranoia Agent:

Masashi Andou, who used to be part of Studio Ghibli and contributed to famous films like Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away, was in charge of its character designs. I can definitely see this; certain people in PA bear a slight resemblance to minor characters from both of those movies. The smooth, high-quality animation serves to highlight such similarities.

The show's script writer, Seishi Minakami, also worked on Boogiepop Phantom (that explains a lot, heh). I sincerely hope that I can (a) get my hands on episodes 5+, and/or (b) wait patiently until Paranoia Agent is released here in the States.

By the way, the eyecatches are super-awesome.... yet another point in PA's favor. ^_^

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[COLOR=Gray][FONT=Courier New]That explains it! I thought that some of those characters looked like the spirits from Spirited Away. You know, the frog man, the sick cop...they look like some of those extras that were running around at the bath house.


Skippedry always enlightens.

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So I've just finished watching the first four episodes of the series and [i]wow[/i] what a cliiffhanger.

These are my theories and attempts to understand the series so far.

1. All the victims in this series are [spoiler]crazy. Schizophrenia, multiple personalities, delleusions, paranoia, you name it one of the victim's have got it.[/spoiler]

2. All the victims in this series are [spoiler]being relieved form something when attacked by Shounen Bat. This is probably the most obvious. Even one of the police have said it. Something like... 'These victims all seem to be relieved that they were attacked.'[/spoiler]

3. The little pink doll is [spoiler]evil. Her master noticed the boy on television and tried to remember where she knew him. The doll turned the terebi off and insisted that she didn't try. Hmm... I wonder why...

The doll always [i]seems[/i] supportive. Notice how she was encouraging her in Episode 1 (listen to how the voice actor is talking) but how manipulative is she? Especially that last shot in the ending is very suspicious...

4. Hm~ still wondering what [spoiler]510 has to do with the first victim. 1 can relate to the young boy because his nickname was 'Ichi" meaning 'one'. But 510? gohyakujuu... What were the two characters written before 510 during the first episode? They could be "7=" or "A(Katakana) Ni(Katakana)[/spoiler]

*shrugs* That's just what I could think of. I'd like to see the opinions of whoever else saw this series. :)

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Guest bachiboy402
I've just started watching "Paranoia Agent" and can't help but feel excited by it. It's got a lot to offer in terms of analyzation, and I love that about anime. But analyzing aside, the story is stands on it's own (so far, at least). With a combination of that, good animation, and careful attention to detail, I'm sure that it will have a great ending.

BTW, ArV, [spoiler]510 is reference to two things. First, it's the room number that Sagi Tsukiko is stays in. Second, it's her apartment number [/spoiler]

Also, research the names [i]in detail[/i], they do a lot to reveal the connections between the people involved (at least according to my analysis). And [i]DON'T[/i] ignore the Dream Gazing at the end. The old man's words are more than they seem.
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BTW, ArV, [spoiler]510 is reference to two things. First, it's the room number that Sagi Tsukiko is stays in. Second, it's her apartment number [/spoiler]
Very Good Eye there Bachiboy! You're looking in places I'd never search in! I'm sure you'd be great at escaping the Takagism red room! ^-^ (look it up on google if you don't know what I'm talking about, you seem like you'd enjoy it)
Also, research the names [i]in detail[/i], they do a lot to reveal the connections between the people involved (at least according to my analysis). And [i]DON'T[/i] ignore the Dream Gazing at the end. The old man's words are more than they seem.[/QUOTE]
Yes, I realized this when in a later episode the pointed out the relation between a character and the man's ramblings. I started to go back to the older episodes just to watch the Previews of episodes I've already seen!
Fox, Cow, Butterfly... With knowledge of which term relates to which character, the old man's jargon actually starts to make sense! Kinda scary... o.O
If anyone hasn't seen Episodes 5 and 6 yet, I suggest you watch out... Those two really play with your mind. o.O

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  • 4 weeks later...
[COLOR=Gray][FONT=Courier New]Just watched episode eight. Man...I have mixed feelings about it. It came out of nowhere. [Spoiler]Not only was Shounen Bat the only character we knew who was present (aside from Kazuko), but I simply wasn't expecting what happened to happen.[/Spoiler] Talk about spontaneous.

The old man's ramblings at the end are important, say you?! WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL ME SOONER, DAMN YOU?!?!!!! *is all huffy*

[Spoiler]I really didn't want to see Zebra or the other's die in that episode--I was sitting there thinking, "Hullo! You've got friends!" I also found myself disliking Fox more and more as the ep wore on.
I think it was an interesting idea for the script-writers to play with--the part about Kamome (That's her name, right? Damn, my memory sucks right now..._ _U) being a little girl made me laugh, for obvious reasons.^^

Zebra's cool, don't you think? I was sort of surprised that no mention of Kamome's parents was made, though. I mean, what would [i]you[/i] do if your eight-year-old suddenly dissapeared? o.o""[/Spoiler]

In regards to ep seven (workin' backwards today, are we, Godel?)...

[Spoiler]I always liked Kazuko, and was rather upset to see him die. Maniwa and Shounen Bat (Sagi, too, I guess) are still my favourite characters, though. [/Spoiler](It's kind of funny--with a baseball cap on, PrincessGoneral looks JUST like SB!!!)^_^

Ah, **** you, Arvie. XP[/FONT][/COLOR]
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XD Godel-san, you forgot the [/spoiler] tag.

But didn't ruin anything for me... I'm currently waiting for Episode 8 to download at the very slow speed of 30 Kbps. =.= Says I have to wait another hour and a half.

I really liked Episode Seven. Every episode i this series just throws you a new twist and turn. I especially liked the ending to the show. That last shot was just totally unexpected. I hope Episode 8 will have that same factor.


Edit: Episode Eight

This episode was definately different from the pervious seven... The characters this episode focused on were not the main characters revealed in the OP or ED of the show, and none of those characters even cast a face, except for the ever popular pink dog doll. Where in previous episodes the story would greatly involve and interest the two detectives, this episode gives them a well deserved break. They are neither needed or shown in this episode [spoiler]except perhaps a little cameo by Horse?[/spoiler] and they'd probably want to keep it that way.
The humourous music and enjoyable scenes made it seem like a walk in the park rather than an episode of death, and I really liked the occassions where they would discuss things via chat and message boards instead of by voice. The first scene, the meeting, was definately very cute and fun... but after watching this whole episode my spider-sense tells me there's confusing below the layer of story that we've seen.

My theory: [spoiler]The three in this episode; Zebra, Fuyubachi and Kamome are already dead, and only Fuyubachi knows this, but doesn't believe it.[/spoiler]

I have great confidence in this. Please, review the evidence as follows.
[spoiler]I was first confused by Fuyubachi's little act at the end. I was wondering what he was doing and why it was so dramatic... Hm... I'll develop on this scene in a bit.

The next strange thing that caused a little red light to go off in my head was the amount of crows in this episode. Crows are a symbol of death... hmm...

Third, was the Shounen Bat. A person who could walk through walls and usually killed those who needed release (a) hesitated and (b) ran away; when seeing the trio. Very suspicious...

Finally, the pills. After being chased by Kamamome, Fuyubachi took his last pill. And again at the end of the episode Fuyubachi had his... last pill?

Well, this theory would explain why the girls at the end didn't notice the loud trio walking up behind them. It might explain the scream if the film actually caught the image of ghosts...

Only after rewatching the episode did I note and confirm a few things.

1. The birds only appeard after the building collapsed.
2. The man jumping infront of the train... nobody noticed his exit... another ghost?
3. The lack of shadows. What Fuyubachi was freaking out about... the lack of shadows... The clincher.[/spoiler]

Well, sorry to burst your bubble Godel-san. ^^

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[COLOR=Gray][FONT=Courier New]Haha--you so wont believe me, but I was thinking something along the lines of that, too.
I was wondering about the pill thing, and why they didn't "die" after injesting all those fumes and drugs. O_o"

Is it just me, or did the guy who jumped in front of the train look like Maniwa?![/Spoiler]

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o_O The same theory occurred to me as well! Of course, for a few moments I [spoiler]automatically thought it was a glitch in the Matrix or something... damn deja vu. I assume the trio died as the building was being torn down, but that doesn't explain why they didn't receive any noticeable wounds (unlike the guy who jumped in front of the train).[/spoiler]

Watching episode 8 forced me to re-examine the similarities between this series and Boogiepop Phantom. The fact that it's relatively unconnected to the remainder of the show and has no obvious place on Paranoia Agent's timeline (we don't know how long it's been since [spoiler]the fake Shounen Bat[/spoiler] was killed) brings BP's loosely episodic structure to mind. As in BP, innocence and death are both powerful overarching themes. However, episode 8 is creepy by virtue of its dark comedy; Boogiepop is just plain... well, creepy. The script remains deathly serious throughout all twelve of its episodes, which is totally not the case in Paranoia Agent.

Satoshi Kon directed Tokyo Godfathers, right? I haven't rented it yet, but I know something about the movie's basic plot, and I can't help believing that this episode was meant to satirize its set-up. Frankly, I can't come up with any other reasons for Paranoia Agent abruptly crossing over to comedy. Moreover, both episode 8 and the film revolve around [spoiler]a group of three main characters--an old man, an energetic young girl and a gay guy.[/spoiler] That just can't be pure coincidence.

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Tokyo Godfathers... I have a Fansub for it, but I haven't watched it yet.
I guess I should watch it and make notes to see if Dagger-dono is correct?

As for the abrupt switching to comedy, although I was smiling and laughing throughout the epsidoe, something deathly eerie kept the same feeling I get when I watched any of the other Paranoia Agent episodes. Thus, I couldn't really feel as dramatic a switch as Dagger-dono spoke of.

The point made was very good... Why did we see no injuries? But rethinking it, could there have been something to do with the [spoiler]gasses they inhaled before the destruction of the building? Would that have affected the young girl?[/spoiler]

I'm sure whatever the meaning behind the Episode, it will be explained in upcoming episodes. Unless this is like Lain... *grr*

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[COLOR=Gray][FONT=Courier New]YOU DON'T SAY?!

[Spoiler]I mean, since when does inhaling poisonous gas and O.D.'ing within thirty seconds cause death? : O Psh.[/Spoiler] Come on, Arvie.

Hm...Tokyo grandfathers, eh? It looked kind of...boring last time I was at the video rental store, so I neglected to take it out. Maychance I will next time, though, now that Skippedry has suggested its being mocked by PA.^_^

[Spoiler]While the episode had funny parts, there was this constant feeling in the gut of "I shouldn't be laughing at this." Well, for me, at least... Dark humor can do that sometimes.

Another thing their having died in the building would explain was why they were unable to commit suicide later on. After all, dead people can't die, right? (Unless you exorcised them, of course.)[/Spoiler][/FONT][/COLOR]
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  • 2 weeks later...
Hmm... I was a wee bit disappointed by episode 9. It's well-executed, but the underlying message is sort of simplistic and--at least in my opinion--shouldn't have consumed nearly half an hour of precious screen time.

I did enjoy the story about the [spoiler]dying girl. The artistic style remained basically the same, but the fact that the new characters' eyes were drawn differently succeeded in making them look like a stereotypical shoujo couple.[/spoiler] Overall, though, I thought that most of the women's anecdotes seemed somewhat lackluster and were interesting only because of their inherent irony.

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  • 5 months later...
To my delight, Amazon sent me the first volume of Paranoia Agent earlier this afternoon. So far I've only managed to watch episode 1, but that alone was more than enough to assure me that this show's dub is going to be spectacular. The English-language track was done by the same studio responsible for R.O.D the TV and Texhnolzye, two other notable recent dubs, and I am immensely pleased with how they've treated Paranoia Agent.

For one thing, Maniwa is played by my absolute all-time favorite English voice actor; as always, every one of his lines sounds completely natural. Maromi is voiced by the wonderful Carrie Savage, who's perfectly captured the Japanese seiyuu's pitch and, if anything, improves upon her performance. To my amazement, even the phrase "Lil' Slugger" actually [i]works[/i] and feels like an appropriate substitution for Shounen Bat. It's certainly better than "Bat Boy." I know Geneon got a lot of flak for translating Shounen Bat (and believe me, I also thought it was an idiotic decision until I started watching the dub). However, now I feel as though they made the right choice.

The show itself obviously looks magnificient on DVD. Any fan of Satoshi Kon should run out and buy Paranoia Agent--I stopped watching the fansubs around episode 10, and am really eager to find out how it ends.

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  • 6 months later...
It's come to the states and now I'm curious. Obvious question first, were there any edits to the first ep.?

This anime is very well detailed and I really like the point made at the beginning of the first ep.

Man the opening and ending themes bother me a lot. The opening is just so creepy, and the ending gives off a weird impression that I can't explain.

Since I've watched Lain I gotta compare the two rght off the bat, no pun intended. Things just don't make any sense, I already have my guesses and I'm sure I won't know the answer for another 12 weeks.

That reporter guy was sleezy, but ya gotta hand it to his investigative abilities, and that part when he recounts what the coworkers said was cool. They did a good job making the guy a hated character. [spoiler] I wonder how bad he would have been if he didn't get whacked in the first ep. [/spoiler]

[spoiler] That doll is just plain scary, how the hell did that become a best seller? [/spoiler]

This anime should make for an interesting couple of months.
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[quote name='Noside']It's come to the states and now I'm curious. Obvious question first, were there any edits to the first ep.?[/quote]

I haven't seen the English versions (I have to get them as soon as I can) so I can't tell you if there were any changes.

But I love this series. I'll agree with you on the Opening and Closing. ^^ I had to get the songs for them after seeing the series. XD

As for the comparison to Serial Experiments Lain, I don't think there's much similarity except maybe at the beginning. For one, PA follows more than one character's story line, unlike SEL, and some episodes add more setting than plot.

Also, the ending for SEL just seemed to make everything worse and more confusing (of course it was years ago I saw it, I'll have to rewatch it properly >.<). PA's ending gave it a sort of closure...

On the topic of the ending, I can't say I was entirely pleased with it, but it wasn't a disappointment either.

[b]gundampali23[/b]: Paranoia Agent is a story of Tokyo(?) in the not too distant present. There has been a mysterious string of attacks in the city and they seem to be revolving around one girl.

It's an interesting series, and it might be my favourite. I have yet to decide.

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[url=http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/columns/edit-list.php?id=299][u]The Edit List - Paranoia Agent Episode 01[/u][/url]

[quote name='r2vq']On the topic of the ending, I can't say I was entirely pleased with it, but it wasn't a disappointment either.[/quote]
I watched the fourth DVD pretty recently, actually. I have to say that I liked the ending a lot, and seeing it really improved my opinion of Paranoia Agent. For some reason I nearly always enjoy anime which use that particular plot twist, heh. Or maybe I just have a fondness for [spoiler]cycles.[/spoiler]

For me, the biggest "holy ****" moment of the entire series came in the last episode, when [spoiler]a connection was established between Maniwa and the old man.[/spoiler] Which leads me to my question--is [spoiler]"Maniwa" still present as his young self in the new cycle established at the end of PA? Wouldn't that make him the only character able to exist on two different levels at the same time (as Maniwa and as the prophet)?

The ED leads me to believe that he may instead be the only character who eventually passes out of the cycle--that is, the Maniwa of one cycle becomes the prophet of the next cycle, and a comparable character comes in to play the role of the original Maniwa while Maniwa plays the role of the prophet. And then the prophet is eventually replaced by the young man who took Maniwa's spot.

Of course, if the young Maniwa is shown[/spoiler] during the final scene, I'm obviously on the wrong track. Perhaps I should go double-check episode 13.

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[quote name='Dagger]Which leads me to my question--is [spoiler']"Maniwa" still present as his young self in the new cycle established at the end of PA? Wouldn't that make him the only character able to exist on two different levels at the same time (as Maniwa and as the prophet)?[/spoiler][/quote]

Episode 13 Spoilers ahead. Do not highlight unless you've seen it.

[spoiler]Just another warning, BIG SPOiLERs.[/spoiler]

Dagger-dono you just made me curious enough to rewatch the last two minutes of my fansub. (Can't wait for the money to get DVDs >.<)
I checked and no, he wasn't in the last scene there. Actually, it was during that scene that my girlfriend (we were watching at the same time) noticed he was missing. The next scene was the greatest Holy ***** moment for the two of us [b]ever[/b]. Of course... when you say 'last scene' you mean the scene where you see [spoiler]a mirror of the first episode. The cellphones and whatnot. And a few characters rebuilding their lives, right?[/spoiler]

I always noticed that [spoiler]Maniwa was different in the Ending theme, but I always thought that it was just shaped like a question mark. I love your theory, it makes so much sense. Maniwa is the only person that doesn't seem to be falling back into Society and the same cycle. In fact, in the entire series, he's the only one that recognized any sort of truth. It would only be logical that he had the Buddha like enlightenment and break the cycle.[/spoiler]

You know... I would love to see this being done with real actors.

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