evangelion 2.22 you can (not) advance

“A world where I’m forced to do horrible things.”

“There were some good things, but they always get destroyed in the end.”

Jun Maeda… one thing I’m really enjoying about this reboot is that we really don’t know what will happen in the end. Gainax said it would surprise us. Are they going to follow an ending similar to the previous movie? Are they going to pull an Endless Eight by doing low budget cartoon doodles and white text on black for the last sixty minutes? It’s all in play, and I couldn’t be giddier for Evangelion Q Quickening. But seeing that there’s been like seven thousand reboots of Eva already from Dantenroku to Girlfriend of Steel to Iron Maiden to Ayanami Raising Project to Shinji Ikari Raising Project, why not let Jun Maeda take a stab at it? I mean, it’s a perfect setup for him… five children… each with their own deep issues in a magical world that can only be solved with giant robots– tada– playing softball! I think it’s perfect. Replace Megumi Ogata with Kamiya for the seiyuu as Shinji, have Asuka/Rei/Mari start their own girl band, and we got a reborn franchise! We even have a gay friend for Shinji with Kaworu.

(Best part… Megumi Ogata’s current role is Naoi on Angel Beats. I would so watch a Jun Maeda version of Evangelion.)

Nakkid apron… fail. Asuka was still wearing clothes! Come on. Do it right. You’ll never win over Shinji like that.

(Another reason I’m excited for movie three? Shinji might evolve into a Simon-class character! Beat up the bad guys and score the ladies. Okay, that’s far-fetched, but certainly not as far-fetched as me entering my seventh year of blogging. But, strangely, I’m not as perplexed this time around as to why Asuka and Rei would compete for Shinji. Weird, hun?)

Misato Katsuragi… one of the favorite characters. But I miss the flirting between Misato and Kaji… like when Kaji shot back, as an insult, how Misato didn’t want to do anything but have sex when they were dating. It seems like Misato and Kaji are just old friends instead of ember flames. Worse yet, there’s no Asuka fawning over Kaji! What the heck?

(The only reason this item got an up arrow… well… you know… fanservice, fanservice.)

Gainax animation… wow, they really went all out for Rebuilt of Evangelion. Best animation in an anime movie to date, surpassing Production IG’s Eden of the East and the final Gurren Lagann movie. Though Gainax’s next project is Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt… and it looks like Powerpuff Girls. I hope this doesn’t start the K-On!-ification of Gainax. OH GAINAX NO!

The collision… come on, is this how Shinji meets every other Eva pilot? He collided with Rei (albeit in bad cartoon doodle world), he collided with Unit-02’s foot earlier, and now he’s colliding with Mari. And he was penetrated by Kaworu.

(Also wondering why the mecha are referred to as “Unit-Zero-Two” instead of “Unit-Two”. I know we’re going to at least eight… but Unit-12 isn’t “Unit-One-Two” but “Unit-Twelve.”)

Mari Illustrious Makinami… I’m all for more bouncy female pilots that fulfill more moe modes. Meganekko? Check. I can’t wait for movie three to introduce a new meido-based Evangelion pilot with movie four introducing the yandere pilot. Though Mari’s melonpan does revert Asuka to being the DFC role for this franchise now.

(Why are the European pilots part Japanese? If there were American pilots, would they be Miley Cyrus Taiho? And Gary Coleman Unryu?)

Unit-05… thought the Code Geass-inspired rollerblading Evangelion was neat-o. But… it seems like everything Mari pilots up end being totaled. There’s only wreckage left of Unit-02, and Unit-05 was a total loss. Can we be sure that Mari isn’t inspired by Yoriko-sensei? The glasses! Must be the glasses!

Asuka Langley Soryu Shikinami… no fucking clue why her name was changed, but I was like *GASP* when her plug was crushed. Yet she’s alive. And back wearing a lovely eyepatch. Um, it would have been a great and ballsy decision to kill Asuka first… she was the second most popular pilot, and she was one of the two survivors in the original, so it would have been very interesting to see her offed so soon. But I am heavily disappointed she’s not as tsundere-ish as I remember, warming up to Shinji way too quickly, and, worse yet, no rhythm synchronization battle! That was one of my favorite battles from the original series! How could they cut out Shinji and Asuka doing Dance Dance Revolution while wearing clothes from Afterschool Tea Time’s Listen!! video.

(Also disappointed Asuka didn’t expose herself during the entrance. The little things, Gainax, the little things. And showing brief Mari side-boob doesn’t make up for it.)

Spine… Shinji! Grow one!

(Have I mentioned that all defense are shot, all mainline Evangelions are down, and only ten of the seventeen angels have been defeated… with two movies to go? Okay pop quiz, what’s wrong with that previous sentence. If you said, “You’re wrong! There are eighteen angels, with humanity being the final one!” you’re absolutely wrong. If you said, “You’re wrong! There are eighteen angels, with Kanade Tachibana being the final one!” You’re absolutely right. Hand Sonic Version 6 is really Unit-13.)

Test plug suit… swiftly approved.

The Genko Ikari pose… swiftly approved.

Oyashiro-sama… swiftly approved.

Kyoto Animation… anything that reminds me of the hot springs episode of Fumoffu just makes me sad. I also don’t understand how Pen Pen can live in Japan when almost all of the world’s wildlife is extinct. Pen Pen is more perplexing than Brian the Dog from Family Guy.

(I like the more subdued commercial product placements. It’s good to know that Panasonic will still be around after The Second Impact… at least there’s no Doritos or Pizza Hut.)

Technology… I’m glad to see cell phones make it into Evangelion! They advanced the state of technology from 1995! Mari even had the same phone Morpheus and friends were using in the first Matrix. Though I like how Shinji had a cop-out reason for having the tape player as it was his dad’s… it would have been wrong to see Shinji emo-ing over a Zune. I just hope he isn’t listening to a continuous tape of his mom’s final voice mail a la Shinn Asuka.

(Music… interesting. I think Gainax’s musical bgm choice was basically, “Let’s find the least appropriate music for a scene, and then run that.” Which is basically the opposite of their approach for Gurren Lagann. And, yes, Gurren Lagann was Gainx’s high water mark for bgm… they’re not surpassing it, much like how Final Fantasy will never surpass the music from Final Fantasy VI. Though I did like all the piano music… Jun Maeda would definitely be fine fit for this franchise.)

“The newlyweds are fighting again.”… one of my favorite lines made the cut.

More wasteful government spending… can someone explain to me how all of this is built 15 years after The Second Impact, when most of life on earth was wiped out and the oceans unable to sustain life? No, not because of Angels… but because the Deepwater Horizon leak never got plugged… but, anyway, where did all this money come from to build such a fantastically awesome transforming mega-fortress city? Higher taxes? Borrowing from future generations? Like how would they sell treasuring bonds for Tokyo-3? It’s a city that is ground zero for human extinction? Only a handful of mentally unstable kids stand between us and total destruction? I just want to know… in a world where survival is so difficult, what country can devote so much resources into building such a city.

OH GEASS NO!!! His soulmate is Kaworu, not Kaji! GAINAX!!!

Slightly better… forgot to mention that in addition to glasses, Mari has twin ponytails. Sure, Asuka has them too, but compared to Mari? It’s like comparing Shana to Yoshida.

(Having Megami Hayashibara voicing Rei and Maaya Sakamoto voicing Mari with Yuko Miyamura as Asuka is like seeing Derrick Fisher run the floor with Kobe and Gasol.)

Rei Ayanami… I’m pretty sure many Ph.D. theses could be written concerning Rei’s popularity, but I would still consider the original Rei/Asuka dynamic to be the anime fan’s Mary Ann/Ginger debate. But it’s 2010 now. I think it was the right thing to do in introducing Mari… after all, the modern dynamic involves three women: the quiet, capable type pioneered by Yuki Nagato (Rei fits this profile), the spunky confident lonely type pioneered by Haruhi Suzumiya (Asuka fits this profile), and the potential fanservice machine pioneered by Mikuru Asahina (stretch role for Mari). As a character, Rei’s growth isn’t as fast or dramatic as Yuki’s, but the two share a lot of qualities. It’s just interesting to see Evangelion, a unequivocal anime pioneer, try to fit in today’s norms– norms it pioneered. And Rei’s part of that. Evangelion made those archetypes, Evangelion made mecha more than just burning desire and special attacks, Evangelion made it okay to be an anime that crossed boundaries.

Today? Anime has continued to evolve. “If I have seen farther it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” Evangelion was one of those giants… but, today, as I watched the horribly named 2.22, I can’t help but wonder that Evangelion is no longer a pioneer. It’s not fresh. The characters have been used extensively over the past fifteen years. Mindfucks abound in anime. And why? It’s trapped by the Evangelion name. It’s no longer the hot shot that came out from nowhere. It has its base. It’s following, and it has to pander to them. There is an expectation with the Evangelion name the same way there’s an expectation for “iPhone” or “Dragon Warrior” or “Tiger Woods.” It’s become big, flash, and pretty, like a Hollywood movie. It has to live up to the name. Rei can’t be anything but the Yuki type. Unit-01 can’t be anything but Yui’s soul. They can’t be anything else. Evangelion— it cannot advance. Part of me wants the crappy ending of the TV series… sure, it was sub-optimal, but it was unique and uniquely Evangelion. It was hard to forget the TV series. This movie? I’ll probably be happily blogging about K-On!! and Highschool of the Dead in a few weeks, completely having forgotten this movie.

But, still, we’re half way through this tetralogy, and there’s a lot more angels to be defeated. Come on movies three and four. I’m ready for you. Just make it memorable.

38 Responses to “evangelion 2.22 you can (not) advance”

  1. Well, the change in Asuka’s name was an artistic decision apparently, to make it more similar to Ayanami and Makinami — both of whom were named after ships of the Ayanami class of WW2 destroyers.

  2. Damnit, curse you lack of Edit function!

    I’m one of the old-hands that are anticipating the next two movies, instead of getting bent out of shape over the fact that Anno’s going over the franchise with a much brighter outlook instead of the depression-tinged angst fest that was the TV series. So what, for example, if they changed Asuka’s surname?

    Instead of looking at the Rebuild movies with an open mind and fresh eyes, it’s disappointing that many so-called ‘fans’ are gnashing their teeth and wishing that time had stopped. And Anno was still on medication.

  3. *Spoiler*

    The best part of this movie is seeing Shinji finally growing a spine, kick the Angle’s ass to kingdom come, rescue Rei, and being a general badass all by himself without curling into the ball and asking for his moth…, eh, I mean Unit 01 help. It’s… strangely cathartic seeing Shinji, the anime poster boy of wuss for well over 10 years, start kicking ass and take name, Simon style.

    Needless to say, I was very surprise by the developments in this movie (in a good way) and I’m looking forward to what curveball Anno will throw at us next time. Can’t wait! :D

  4. So they changed it. Waaaah. I wanted two episodes of shill text back! Not.

    I approve of the changes. Shinji has a little more spine, Mari has glasses, mekonpan, and crazy proto-yandere characteristics, and they bumped up the animation quality. About the only thing to top this is an Ikari Shinji Raising Prohect anime with more Mana reprising the type of character/competition Mari is acting as now.

  5. @Myssa: actually the Ayanami-class destroyer line that includes Makinami and Shikinami was launched in 1957, so they’re not WW2 ships at all.

    Incidentally, I think I enjoyed this more than the portion of the original series that covered the same material.

  6. I’ll wait when all the movies are out to watch them completely only saw the first one I’m not really hyped/enthusiastic about them not because of where it is going or the differences with the original, just that I’ve never been much interested about Evangelion.

    >>”Evangelion made mecha more than just burning desire and special attacks, Evangelion made it okay to be an anime that crossed boundaries.”Well said, but even if I’m grateful for it I don’t have even a grain of expectation about it like I said first. Just saw some scenes here and there when my brother was watching it. Like 30 minutes of it.(He’s a lot more an eva fan than than me), and judging from the screams and everything I heard, looks like the brightslap effect of srw on Shinji became canon. And I’m happy there’s no more “who I am” questions that only the japanese ask themselves, at least for now.
    And about the music you’re right (both about the bgm choices and Final Fantasy) they even dumped that track from KareKano.

  7. Negative Zero: Negs!

    Actually that was why I was cursing the lack of edit function here, as it makes even the most minor of brainfarts permanent. o_o

  8. There are definitely still Doritos. http://karmaburn.com/?p=241

  9. Two things I didn’t like about the movie, one: Even though I will always a Rei fan but I feel that the production staff kind of disregard Asuka for the plot of the movie. Felt wrong on why did they did that but I guess I have to watch the third movie find out on this subject. Two: I actually forgot about Utada Hikari “Beautiful World”. Which was kind of nice a but the song is like 2 years old. Like they couldn’t afford to put a new single in the credits just for dvd quality.

    On a side note, I am always a fan for Engrish every time they include that in a series……..

  10. Evangelion has been getting better, yet the posts I read about it haven’t changed. It’s the same bs every time. I started skimming when ‘potentially ballsy decision’ was put above ‘coherent story’ (and I don’t mean old story). Oh well. Movie was freaking brilliant, so was the music (including the new ED mix). Off to rewatch it a 4th time this week~

  11. Whenever they reboot EVA I’ll be there to watch, armed with my deepest curiosity.
    It still stands alone like a pillar in the middle of anime world, and great progress has been made with computer animation integration. All the EVAs images are CG developed from sketches and it’s impressive (look at the featurette).
    It cannot be new, no. It’s the same old story, told in a better, and clearer way, leveraging on what any fan knows by now, and using this to trigger amazing surprises.
    There’s a big emotional energy always surrounding EVA, more that any other anime.
    And Bayonett…ehm Mari was a good new angel ass-kicker !

  12. What? No mention of Kaworu’s last line? I thought you would be all with it with all sorts of speculations and analogies.

    The best part is that I finished movie 2.22 last night, few hours after that, this blog post pops up. Coincidence? :P

    I am pretty damn sure that somebody from somewhere who got involved with TTGL was also involved with 2.22 in some sort of way. Neo-gar Shinji, do want.

    And the best part? Shinji has a harem now.

  13. I have a lot of concerns over your last paragraph:
    “I can’t help but wonder that Evangelion is no longer a pioneer.”
    Hell, yeah, Evangelion is no longer a pioneer in 2008. And that is fine – it isn’t Evangelion’s place to be.
    “There is an expectation with the Evangelion name”
    Just a

  14. (Curse my fingers!)
    Just as there is an expectation with every anime license Рcan Mio be anything but our hottest barnacle-hating bassist? can Lelouch have place for anyone but Suzaku? can Haruhi be anything but Cthulhu made Mo̩?

    “I’ll probably be happily blogging about K-On!! and Highschool of the Dead in a few weeks, completely having forgotten this movie.”
    Can you say anything else for series such as Bakemonogatari, Durarara!!, Eden of the East? Do they prevent you from forgetting them and blogging about other series? Did Haruhi and K-on prevent you from happily blogging about other series while waiting for the sequel? (You say that you “couldn’t be giddier for Evangelion Q Quickening” – that must account for something.)
    Hell no they don’t, and they shouldn’t – you are an anime blogger, you have to march on and explore new horizons. And thank you for that.

    Tl;dr: I feel that your impressions of Eva 2.22 in your last paragraph could have applied to just about any established franchise.

    Anyway I loved reading that post. Thank you.

  15. Pardon my ignorance, but what is this movie called? I just recently started on the first Evangelion, and I decided to get em all while I can. *keep in mind that during my early years, my parents were 110% against anime. now i live by myself, so i got a lot to catch up on*

  16. The title of the post is the movie title verbatim.

  17. I can’t believe you didn’t talk about how Shinji manned the fuck up at the end of the movie.

    Also, according to Wikipedia, there are (around) 12 angels in Rebuild, not 18.

  18. Gainax isn’t involved with Rebuilt of Evangelion…those new series were all done by Studio Khara founded by Hideaki Anno in 2006.

  19. they recycled a ton of tracks from Kare Kano. (If the piano track you’re talking about is when they talked about Ritsuko’s past, they also used it in epi 12 of KKNJ when they talked about tsubasa’s past). Although I thought it fit alright, I do wish they could have spent a bit of money making new tracks for non action BGM. I also wonder if they are going to packages this into a new OST… that’ll be a pretty bs product.

  20. I see what you did there… Putting in a shot of the Level 4 from the most recent chapter of KamiNomi as the first pic. That’s one hell of a recolor, though… ^_^

  21. That test plug suit looks like it would be uncomfortable to sit down in. Shows off her ass nicely though.

  22. I don’t really have anything to add – still waiting on the bluray to arrive. I just had to make my presence known – I can’t be the last EFML person to show his face here, I know that. I just didn’t expect Myssa to be the first to comment… Where’s Axel, Rhine, and Rakna when you need em?

  23. Axel shows here on occasion; Rhine I haven’t seen on for a but. Rakna’s dropped off the net entirely

    Also, if anyone follows Datenroku (licensed as Campus Apocalypse by Dark Horse for some reason)… Rei!!!

  24. At the end, when Kaworu said, “This time, I’ll definitely make you happy.”, I wondered what he meant by “this time”. Could it be that the entire Rebuild series takes place after the end of the original series after everyone dies and is now reborn as history repeats itself in a sort of time loop scenario in which Kaworu somehow retains his original memories?

    Or maybe Kaworu met Shinji before when Shinji was little but came on too strong and made him cry, and is now back years later to correct his mistake, for which he is now amply prepared.

    Also, is it just me, or does Kaworu’s new unit slightly resemble a USAF Flag from Gundam 00?

  25. Haesslich and Tetsuei: Actually I see Alain all the time on Guild Wars. We do some of the more difficult missions together, though I never went beyond the casual level ahaha. I also chat with Douglass Weeks regularly, but he’s discovered that I’m pretty much the bane of his existence as I keep on shoveling new shows down his throat…

    As for Axel, ah, well we got into a big fight over, when you think of it, a pretty minor issue. It’s a bit awkward between us these days.

  26. As being an old school Asuka fan I was sad that they didn’t include the rhythm battle since it was the best from the original series. Now with Rebuild I think I love Mari more just I wish she had done more.

  27. Yeah, I too am disappointed they left out the ‘dance off’ battle. It was epic. Perhaps too much so to repeat? As a member of Team Asuka (from the old days, as well), I was horrified at the prospect of having two more films without her, but I also wouldn’t have been surprised.
    I think they are doing that “End of Evangelion” thing with the weird music choices for epic disturbing battles. While it was genius in EoE, I felt like it missed the target here. Otherwise, the music has always been one of the selling points of this franchise for me.
    And apparently, judging from your first paragraph, I need to send you a copy of a fanfic I wrote about ten years ago. You may find it amusing.

  28. @torinotsu351: the music during the epic fight scenes especially during the fight between eva 03 and eva 01 actually worked for me. i had goosebumps during that scene. the combination of the light airy music with its lyrics while eva 01 was decapitating eva 03 sent shivers down my spine.

  29. There are only 13 angels in this telling. That means three left for the next film, and then the final film is EoE. And considering Karou is already here, it means there will be two unidentified angels left.

    As for Evangelion being stale… you aren’t reading between the lines. Stop by 4chan some time(gasp) and you’ll see that the flame has been rekindled by this film. People are madly speculating where this is all going to go. conspiracy theories are flying everywhere. Fans are enjoying that fire again. I am too.

  30. (Having Megami Hayashibara voicing Rei and Maaya Sakamoto voicing Mari with Yuko Miyamura as Asuka is like seeing Derrick Fisher run the floor with Kobe and Gasol.)

    Funny how that happened last night. 11 points in quarter 4? WTF!

  31. It’s good to see shinji become badass,
    so the only thing needed to change the whole story is just one girl wearing glasses Lol
    Oh, forgot to mention some small name change :p

  32. I enjoyed the music choices. How is a sad piece not appropriate for Shinji ripping Asuka’s Eva 3 apart against his own will?

    I missed Asuka’s cocky entrance and the dance training too. Two of my favourite episodes from the original show. It’s effective but cruel what happened to her this movie, Rei’s definitely being favoured. Like you say she seems rather different this time, whether by choice, or by necessary compression. She’s less…bouncy than I remember her as well.

    New girl Mari, I’ll be watching your career with interest. Especially when you sing in the EVAs cockpit, berserk along with it, and total the giant expensive toys they let you pilot.

    It’s nice to see Rei grow too, I’m liking the talking and smiling. It’s funny that Rei influenced Nagato, who now influences Rei again.

    I like what they’re doing with Rebuild, it’s good to see the old characters and story back again with some new twists. Hopefully it will be third time lucky with the ending too, but even if not the ride there will be a good one. The need for an exciting climax to each film is also forcing Shinji to man up, which is never a bad thing.

    Unit-01 can’t be anything but Yui’s soul.

    They may be paying less attention to that soul thing now or have modified how it works, since we see Asuka and Mari piloting 2 different EVAs, where only Shinji and Rei could interchange EVAs before (Kaworu only moved Unit 2 through his angel hax). Ritsuko also mentions pilot redundancy to Asuka.

  33. I just realized something mental, this is not a remake but a continuation of the plot of the original evangelion. SPOILER ALERT, the red mark on the moon is uber rays blood after her throat splits at the end of the ‘end of evangelion’ on top of that at the end of the first rebuild film Kowru mentions why is it always the second child that catches his attention and at the end of 2.22 he says this time i promise i will make you happy shinji, wow someone tell me if im wrong but im pretty sure that this is meant to be a sequence of events that happen similar to the events of the original but still coincide with the predictions of the dead sea scrolls as mentioned in 2.22 with slight deviations. This is actually a furthering of the plot? Also there are several other odd things in light of what Kowru says at the end of 2.22 this whole rebuild seems to be going allot brighter, shinji is less depressing Auska is less suicidal and Rei survives (or at least sort of) maybe this is supposed to be the eventual positive outcome that Kowru originally promised shinji

  34. i havent finished this anime yet, but mental of shinji too weak for heroes in my opinion. until i see some episode.

  35. This really seems to be a rewrite of some of the old plot from ep1-26 and eoe so they can continue the story. while i loved all the changes, i do wonder about someone who’s not into the series who just watches this movie. they get the same experience alot of us got with ep 25-26.

    Anyhow few things i want to mention:(SPOILERS Below ;).

    Shinji: i like the fact the main hero isnt just a walking ego with arrogance and looking like Arnold. However in ep 1-26 and eoe, while depressed the story went too far with it imo. 25-26 seemed very rushed and EoE, heh that ending was unique but damn. This ending was 1000s of times better, shinji risking all for Rei.

    The one thing that did annoy me was shinji could of at least had some dialog with Asuka in the bed scene, even if they just hugged(0 sexual intention). continue this in my asuka part.

    Asuka: i want to see this @#@#@ break down and need someone just once! it’s honestly keeping me watching ;). However she at least showed some emotion this movie rather then the look at me attatude all the time(it got old). she appears to be cast aside and hurt for a future plot setup.

    however not before the battle where she realized she can’t do it alone, finally.(still not a break down, but it will do for now…)

    I do hope in the next movie/series(not sure whats planned), that shinji and rei are there when she wakes up, if only realize that some ppl may care for her or at least make her try to consider working in the team.

    Rei Ayanami: I honestly think fans wanted to see more of Rei 2’s emotions, in ep1-26 she showed it right before sacrificing herself to save shinji and a bit in eoe. i liked the new rei they made her human.

    Mari: mehh, seems to be brought in to pilot eva 2 while Asuka’s plot is that she is in contamination for something in the next movie. she pilots eva 2 to set up the whole rei sacrificing for shinji scene again.
    This chic bites…

    Overall this was alot better and anything can beat the ending of End of evangelion, alot of changes and hopefully the story develops past the first 12-16 angels(i realize there’s only mean to be a limited number, but pft change that w/o rewriting the story for the 10th time).
    this is a movie and alot of things didnt make the cut, however the story has changed significantly enough that the next movie/series should have at a unique enough plot that it is considered “new”.

  36. @Malthus:
    About Asuka not breaking up…
    Her EVA was ripped into shreds. While she was being synchronized with it. And she got into that EVA so that Shinji’s surprise could go on.
    Why do you wish her to break up more? Does she deserve it in that movie?

  37. Yeah, the lines of Kaworu, the red waters (in the original the sea was blue). All the cluies indicates that the events of the series happened. So, someone pushed the reset and all started again.
    There is only one conclusion possible. Oyashiro-sama! Im pretty sure that the Third Impact killed Rika, again. And Hanyuu was “Au au auuu, not again, nanodeshu” and do her time repeat thingy.

  38. In this Evangelion rehash, is the Human Instrumentality Project still the goal of Nerv? If so, why should I get this series & cheer for a bunch of characters who (In my estimation.) want to bring humanity to a fate worse than death? To me, it’s like rooting for the nazis ’cause the reds are so bad & vice-versa.

    Some thoughts about such “do-gooders” & other menaces here:


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