Battle Arena Toshinden

Battle Arena Toshinden (Batoru Arīna Tōshinden) is a fighting game for the PlayStation. It was one of the first fighting games to boast polygonal characters in a 3D battle arena, rather than the traditional side-to-side fighting space that had been popular since Street Fighter II. The player could use the L/R trigger buttons to step "toward" or "away from" the camera to dodge attacks or get a better angle for an offensive strike. It was an early killer game for the PlayStation, and Sony promoted it eagerly. However, they soon left the series, which was published by Playmates Interactive. By that time, fighting games like Tekken started emerging and Battle Arena Toshinden quickly lost popularity and was completely forgotten by the public after spawning Battle Arena Toshinden 2, 3, and 4.

Battle Arena Toshinden was the first 3D weapons fighter, and was succeeded in spirit by Soul Edge and other games of the genre.

Battle Arena Toshinden also had an anime based on the game.

For one year, Master Swordman Eiji Shinjo has been haunted by the memory of his battle with the renegade champion, Gaia - a battle that was cut short by the forces of the malevolent syndicate known as "The Organization." Denied victory, Eiji left the tournament followed by his opponent's mocking laughter. Worse still, Eiji walked away no closer to finding his long-lost brother, Sho.

But now, a mysterious warrior is hunting down the champions of the previous tournament and using their own moves against them.

Who is this powerful, new foe and who will be his next target? Eiji and Kayin - his closest friend and greatest rival - attempt to unravel the mystery before they, too, join the ranks of the defeated. The answer lies at the heart of the Organization and its plans. At last, the ultimate battle between the greatest fighters in the world may be decided.


Basilisk is a Japanese manga and anime series. The manga was authored by Masaki Segawa and published in Japan in 2003 and 2004, based on novel The Kouga Ninja Scrolls by Futaro Yamada published in 1958. The anime, produced in 2005 by GONZO Studios closely follows the manga aside from a handful of distinctions. The manga won the 2004 Kodansha Manga Award.

The story takes place in the year 1614. Two ninja clans, Tsubagakure of the Iga and Manjidani of Kouga, battle each other to determine which grandson of Tokugawa Ieyasu will become the next shogun. The deadly competition between 10 elite ninja from each clan unleashes a centuries-old hatred that threatens to destroy all hope for peace between them.

Although the anime follows the original manga almost exactly in storyline, there are a few slight differences. The most notable being flashbacks (such as the one in episode 1 as to how Ogen and Danjou's love came to an end) as well as addional scenes which occur only in the anime; both of which serve to expand on the characters and the backstory.

Other differences include fight scenes happening in a different order (i.e. in the manga, Oboro uncovers Jingoro's attempt to assassinate Gennosuke before stopping Akeginu and Jousuke's duel whereas in the anime the situation is reversed), and exposed breasts being obscured in the anime by some form of covering whereas the manga tends to be less censored. Although, toward the end of the anime, bare breasts can be seen on a number of occasions.

The Kouga Ninja Scrolls (Kouga Ninpōchō) is the first book in author Futaro Yamada's "Ninpōchō series of novels. His work also served as the inspiration for the 1993 hit anime movie Ninja Scroll (Jūbei Ninpūchō) and Basilisk feature similar and occasionally matching characters. For instance; both feature a character named Kagerou, a female ninja from the Kouga Clan whose ability is to poison those in sexual contact with her, and who is in love with the main character. Basilisk's antagonist Yakushiji Tenzen is similar to the villain of Ninja Scroll Himura Genma in that both possess powers of regeneration and pursue their own objectives outside of their superior's knowledge. And Rousai's ability to stretch and contort his arms is replicated by Ninja Scroll's Dakuan. However, Ninja Scroll didn't credit Yamada.
The anime/manga's title is a reference to the basilisk; a mythological dragon whose gaze was said to cause death. Likewise, both Gennosuke and Oboro possess the deadliest techniques in the series which are exercised through their eyes.
Some characters are designed around concepts of animals. Rousai's large, gourd-like head and lengthy limbs are meant to evoke an octopus. Similarly, Shogen has six red dots on his forehead, meant to evoke the multiple eyes of a spider. Most obviously, Jubei's prehensile tongue and limbless body are meant to evoke a snake. A less obvious example is Hotarubi who controls clouds of glowing butterflys; a possible reference to how her name is the Japanese word for firefly.
In addition to the Basilisk anime and manga, Futaro Yamada's book has been adapted for the live action film, Shinobi: Heart Under Blade which was released on DVD for American audiences in February 2007 by Funimation, the same company that distributed the dubbed version of Basilisk.
Del Rey Books, the company that publishes the Basilisk Manga in English, released an English language version of the original Kouga Ninpocho novel in late December 2006, shortly after releasing English volume 3 of the manga.
The Funimation English dub of the anime keeps many of the original Japanese honorifics.
The Funimation English sub of the anime uses the original credits written in Japanese honorifics when played.
The Basilisk manga is printed using a method unique among other titles in that very little of the background is actually drawn. Instead, a good deal of the manga is comprised of the various characters superimposed over black and white photographs of real world landscapes.
In the Nintendo DS videogame Pokémon Diamond and Pearl. One of the enemy Ninja Boys near Snowhead City will ask if your character is Kouga or Iga.

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Tooru Soma was a member of "Steppen Wolf", a group of hackers. The group decided to do one more hacking attack by attempting to hack into FLAK, a major military organization run by the United Nations to prevent cyber terrorism. However, they were discovered quickly, which resulted in the death of Yuuya, Steppen Wolf's leader and Tooru's friend, as well as their arrest. In order to avoid a long term in prison, Tooru ultimately decided to join FLAK, in order to find out who killed Yuuya. While Tooru tries to find the murderer of his friend, he and his new teammates are to defend the wired world from Fei Dao, an extremist group who threatens to disrupt the stability of the wired world.

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Burst Angel

Burst Angel is an anime series produced by GONZO animation studio set in a world sometime after 2020. The Japanese name for the anime Bakuretsu Tenshi is loosely translated to "Exploding/Explosive Angel", shortened to Bakuten and is also known as Burst Angel and Crazy Burst Angel. Burst Angel features character designs by Ugetsu Hakua. Funimation licensed and released all 24 episodes of Burst Angel on six DVDs in North American from October 10th, 2005 through February 21st, 2006. There is also a 3 episode OVA entitled "Tenshi Sairin", or "Burst Angel Infinity" in English, which was released on DVD on March 3rd, 2007 in Japan.

In the future, there are major crime issues in Tokyo. The main cause of this is because it has become legal to possess firearms in Japan (this was partly due to an unusual rise in crime prior, and the gun control laws were repealed in order for lawful citizens to protect themselves). And because of this, it has reached the point where the police force charged with protecting the citizens (known as R.A.P.T., as an acronym for 'Recently Armed Police Taskforce') has resorted to exterminating criminals rather than arresting them.

The story opens with Kyohei Tachibana, a student at a culinary arts school with dreams of someday becoming a patissier (pastry chef). Motorcycling down an inner city street and becoming caught up in a shoot-out between a mysterious white-haired woman and a couple of gangsters. Kyohei escapes unharmed and ends up cooking as a cook for a group of four girls named Jo, Meg, Amy, and Sei in an effort to gather up enough money to travel to France. The girls, ranging in ages of eleven to nineteen, turn out to be pseudo-mercenary agents for a larger international group known as Bai Lan.

The anime focuses on the group as they investigate a series of mutated human monsters with odd glowing brains that cause various amount of mayhem mostly throughout the Tokyo, Japan, area. There are also a couple of side characters (namely the group's Mecha, Jango, that is maintained by a man named Leo) along with various third persons that occur throughout or in specific parts of the series, such as a new Japanese Prime Minister that takes over via an assassination of an early, newly-elected Prime Minister nearing the end of the series.

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Ayashi no Ceres / Ceres, Celestial Legend

Ceres, Celestial Legend , is a 14-volume shōjo manga series by Yūu Watase, the creator of the popular manga/anime series Fushigi Yūgi and Alice 19th. There is also the anime with the same title, which runs in 24 episodes in length. The manga is published in English by VIZ Media.

Ayashi no Ceres was serialized from 1996 to 2000 in the bi-weekly Japanese manga magazine Shōjo Comic. The original Japanese title is Ayashi no Ceres - Tenkū Otogizūshi, which the literal translation is "Bewitching Ceres - Heavenly Fairy Tale". The original title was changed for North American release.

The story revolves around a teenage girl named Aya and her twin brother Aki, members of the wealthy and powerful Mikage family.

On their sixteenth birthday, they are called to gather in their family home to be given a special present. The present was actually some sort of test -- which Aya failed. She is proven to be a reincarnation of a tennyō (celestial maiden), and when her hidden memory is jogged, she will transform into Ceres, the tennyō. According to the legend, if left to live, the reincarnation of Ceres will bring ruin upon the Mikage family. Aya quickly finds she is being hunted by her own family who plans to kill her. She is saved by Suzumi Aogiri, another tennyo descendant, Yūhi, a very energetic teenager and Suzumi's brother-in-law, and Tōya, a mysterious man with whom Aya soon falls in love.

Events escalate as Aya struggles to control Ceres and her brother gains the ability to manifest as the "Progenitor", the ancestor of the Mikage family who happen to have stolen Ceres' hagoromo (celestial robe) that will help her open the gate of heaven.

As Aya's allies increase, which include two tennyo like herself and the Aogiri family, and Tōya, she manages to reach a compromise with Ceres such that Ceres will not manifest herself without Aya's approval so long as Aya manages to recover Ceres' lost hagoromo.

Aya's quest to find Ceres' hagoromo wavers as she attempts to avoid her family, the advances of the Progenitor, and forces that threaten to tear her apart from Tōya, whose lost memory may be the key to finding Ceres' hagoromo. Toya soon learns that he was the organism that was created from the "hagoromo" or mana and his purpose was to return the mana back to Ceres. His love for Aya set him apart from everyone else.

The name of the goddess comes from Ceres in Roman mythology. However, this story is completely unrelated to the grecoroman mythologies concerning Ceres and has nothing to do with the duties, powers, and rank of that goddess.

Ceres: Celestial Legend is based on a famous folktale that has appeared in various versions in the world, from Japan, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, and China, all the way to Scotland and Ireland and among the Plains Indians of North America.

The story always remains consistent in that a man (a fisherman, farmer, or woodcutter) will find an item belonging to an unearthly maiden (a tennyo, fairy, star fisher, merrow, selkie, etc.) and keeps it. The maiden is not able to return to her world because the man possesses the item (usually a garment) she needs (a celestial robe, a feathered cloak, a hat, a seal-skin... etc) and reluctantly marries him. However, she always recovers the item (often as a result of her children discovering it) and she returns to her world. Sometimes her children from earth will be taken with her and sometimes her husband will join her. Once the maiden returns to her world, she never returns to the earth.

This folktale is referenced in both manga and anime. Ceres is one such example. Others include the Korean Manhwa Faeries' Landing and the Inuyasha the Movie 2: Castle Through the Looking Glass.

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Ayane's High Kick

Ayane's High Kick is an OVA anime produced by Nikkatsu Corporation. It follows the story of a girl who wishes to become a wrestler, but due to series of events, she instead becomes a kick boxer instead. It was released to video in Japan in 1996, and in the United States on DVD by Central Park Media on January 27, 2004.

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Japanese Anime: Avenger

Avenger is an anime series, produced by Bandai Visual, Bee Train and Xebec, and directed by Koichi Mashimo. It is set on post-apocalyptic colonized Mars.

The series premiered across Japan between 1 October 2003 and 24 December 2003 on the TV Tokyo network. It was later licensed for North American distribution by Bandai's distributive unit across the region, Bandai Entertainment.

The story is set on a colonized Mars at some unspecified point in the future. The majority of the human population is divided up into a number of small domed city-states. Those who live outside the domes in the harsh wildernesses of the planet are known as Barbaroi. Resources are scarce, and supplies are divided out between cities based on the outcome of gladiatorial battles between representative fighters from each. Adding to the problems of the colonists, no children have been born on Mars for a decade. The cause of the inferitily is unknown, but people have turned to robots called dolls as a substitute for the presence of children in their lives. And a red moon, Earth's moon, hangs over Mars, drawn towards the red planet after the destruction of Earth and ravaging it with lunar storms caused by gravitational fluctuations between Mars and its unwelcome satellite.

The protagonist of the story is Layla, a barbaroi gladiator with a mysterious past and follows her quest to defeat Volk, the ruler of Mars. She is accompanied on her journey by Nei, a strange doll, and Speedy, a "doll breeder" (or repairman).
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Armitage III

Armitage III is a 1994 cyberpunk anime series based around Naomi Armitage, a highly advanced "Type-III" android.

The series began with the 4-part Original Video Animation "Armitage III" and spawned two anime movies. The first film is a shortened version of the OVA entitled Armitage III: Poly-Matrix, redubbed in English. The second anime movie, Armitage: Dual-Matrix is a sequel set some years after the original story.

The year is 2179. The overpopulation of Earth has lead to the colonization of Mars - with the aid of the "first type" androids, men were able to begin terraforming the unfriendly environment of Mars and build the city of Saint Lowell. Seventy years after the start of colonisation, the city is completed and inhabited by great numbers of people and "second type" robots, much improved versions of the "first types".

The story begins with a space shuttle nearing the destination of Saint Lowell's space port. On board is Ross Sylibus, a middle-aged cop from Chicago, USA, Earth. Syllibus asked to be transferred to Martian Police Department to escape from his past and haunting memories of his beloved one being murdered by a robot. At the Saint Lowell's space port he is to meet his new partner - a young Naomi Armitage from MPD.

The cover of the DVD release.On the same shuttle as Syllibus, travels Kelly McCannon - "the last country singer in the Universe". As the shuttle nears the terminal, a mysterious man is seen entering the cargo section; soon after this, the intruder is noticed and the alarms go off.

Later, as Ross finally gets off the shuttle, he witnesses a disturbing scene at the airport. First he gets bumped into by the mysterious man with a big suitcase and two guards. Soon after that, a young woman with a gun orders the men to stop and get their hands up. Puzzled, Ross notices a few drops of blood spilling from the mysterious man's suitcase. A shootout between the young woman (who turns out to be Ross's new partner, Armitage) begins. The two robot guards are killed by Armitage and the mysterious man is wounded, but manages to escape. However, he leaves his suitcase behind - inside of which is a dead body of Kelly McCannon. To everybody's surprise and horror, McCannon turns out to be a robot - a new, never-seen-before "third type" android, that cannot be told apart from a real human.

Later, the mysterious man hacks into the public TV system and broadcasts the material taped by shuttle's security cameras. The tape shows the man murdering Kelly McCannon and reveals the fact of her being a robot to the entire city. The mysterious man, who introduces himself as Rene D'anclaude, reveals unbelivable news - the "third types" have been among the regular people for a long time and nobody can tell them apart from humans. He also reveals a list of "thirds" - it turns out, that a lot of well-known people are actually robots. Riots begin in the city as people start to capture and burn all the "thirds" they can find. Meanwhile, Rene D'anclaude proceeds with his extermination of the "thirds". The two main characters start their investigation and eventually find out, that the victims are women... only women.

One of them, in a brief moment just before dying, sends out a message with the list of "thirds" to save them from being slaughtered. Armitage receives it and goes her way to stop D'anclaude - and reveal a few secrets in the process.

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Japanese Anime: Earth Girl Arjuna
Earth Girl Arjuna is a thirteen episode anime series created by Shoji Kawamori that was originally aired by TV Tokyo between 9 January 2001 and 27 March 2001. The series was also later completely broadcast by the anime satellite television network Animax.

Arjuna is set in Kobe, Japan, where the protagonist, Juna, is attending high school. The story opens on her telling her boyfriend, Tokio, she feels too cramped in the city, and deciding to take a trip to the Sea of Japan. On the drive, they get in an accident, and Juna dies.

As her spirit leaves her body, Juna sees the Earth suffering, visualized by worm-like creatures, the Raaja, entwining the planet. A young boy, Chris, appears to her, and offers to save her life if she will help the planet. She agrees, and is resurrected.

As is clear from the title, Arjuna, the series is highly influenced by Hinduism, as well as Indian culture in general. The story was inspired by the Bhagavad Gita, most notably in the character of Chris, who is modeled after Krishna.

The setting for the show, Kobe, was chosen by creator Shoji Kawamori for his personal fondness of it,[6] and the city itself plays a prominent role, with famous buildings such as the Kobe Meriken Park Oriental Hotel and nearby Ferris wheel showing up as common backdrops. The idea of living in a city is a main theme, with both Juna and the Raaja rebelling against how removed from nature modern life is.

An idea which Kawamori emphasized was natural farming. Not to be confused with the mere absence of chemicals that is often meant by "organic farming", natural farming involves letting nature grow as it will, not removing weeds or bugs, or using any fertilizer. The old man Juna encounters in episode four explains the need for this return to nature in order to sustain life in the long term, a sentiment directly from Kawamori himself.

Another theme of the show is that of the disconnect between emotions, thoughts, words, and actions. In episode seven, "Invisible Words", Juna is able to read the words in the minds of everyone around her, yet still cannot understand their intentions. She sees in Tokio's mind that he has been asking Saiyuri about a ring, and assumes that he has been cheating on her, when in fact the ring had been for her. Juna and Tokio's, feelings never reach each other successfully. In episode eight, while talking on the phone, Juna finds her spirit in the room with Tokio. But despite her even embracing him, he has no understanding when she tries to say that she with him. At the same time, Tokio actually says he loves Juna for the first time, even though he is at the same moment not feeling her love at all. This idea is later visualized in episode 10, when Tokio is having an argument with his father. Juna is able to "see" their angered thoughts flying at each other, and entirely missing, neither of them hearing or understanding the other.

The ninth episode of Arjuna, "Before Birth", was not aired during the series' original run in Japan across TV Tokyo. This episode contains numerous controversial subjects, as well as images that were deemed inappropriate for airing on TV

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Japanese Anime: Aria

ARIA is an ongoing manga and anime by Kozue Amano. It is serialized in Mag Garden's monthly magazine Comic Blade, and has been collected into nine tankōbon volumes to date with more releases planned in 2006. It is actually a sequel series to the two volume series, AQUA, which is an introductory series to Aria and tells of how Akari comes to AQUA.

ARIA takes place in the twenty-fourth century, on the planet Aqua (formerly Mars), which has been terraformed into a habitable planet covered in oceans and seas. The town of Neo-Venezia, where the story occurs, is based on Venice both in terms of art and feel, and despite the futuristic time period, there is very little science-fiction to the manga at all.

The manga stars Akari, who is an apprentice gondolier with ARIA Company, one of the three most popular gondola companies in the city. She is training to become a full-time gondolier (or undine, as they are called in Neo-Venezia).

The style of ARIA is very laid-back, taking a "slice of life" approach to the story and is not plot driven. Most of it is devoted to the lush expansive art, as Kozue Amano frequently will take pages and pages to draw an environment, showing the wonder of both everyday activities in Neo-Venezia as well as one-of-a-kind events. It is very similar in tone to Yokohama Kaidashi Kikō.

The first three volumes of ARIA were released by ADV Manga in 2003 and 2004; however, the series appears to be on permanent hiatus. In 2006, Tokyopop announced it acquired the licensing for both Aqua and ARIA; the first three volumes of ARIA are to be republished before Tokyopop publishes further unreleased English volumes of the manga.

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Japanese Anime: Argento Soma

Argento Soma is a 25-episode anime series produced by Sunrise.

In an effort to learn more about the aliens that have been plaguing the planet for the past years, Dr. Noguchi and his assistant Maki Agata, revives an older version of the alien that they had scavenged. They recruit Takuto Kenishiro, Maki's boyfriend, into this project because of his talent for metallurgy. While Takuto is unhappy with Maki keeping secrets from him again, he reluctantly helps with the project. However, in the process of reviving the monster, that Dr Noguchi has aptly called Frankenstein (Frank for short), unidentified soldiers invade the Morgue facility, somehow causing an accident in the lab killing both Dr. Noguchi and Maki while leaving Takuto scarred and heart-broken.

Emotionally distressed by his ordeal, a mysterious man, Mr. X (who has the freaky habit of appearing and disappearing just as quickly), offers Takuto a chance to get his vengeance on the monster he blames for destroying everything and everyone that he cared for. Months later, Ryu Soma, reborn from the ashes of Takuto's soul, joins Funeral. It is the military organization which deals with the attacking aliens and also had managed to recapture Frank who had escaped during all the commotion at Morgue. Here, Ryu meets the other personalities behind Funeral and a child who carries the face of the woman he loves.

The Japanese release uses Greek in the title: AΠHENTO ΣOMA.
The title is Greek for The Silver Body.
Argento Soma was loosely based on Frankenstein, and was the second in a series of animes produced by Bandai which reimagined classic novels (the first was Infinite Ryvius, based on Lord of the Flies.) Neither show was a big hit, and thus Soma was the last in the series. It is unknown whether or not a third novel-inspired series was planned.
In the first episode the name on the side of Morgue's building reads "Morugue" as this is how the name of the group is pronounced in Japanese.
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Japanese Anime: Arc the Lad

Arc the Lad is a series of video games and anime. There were three games released for the Sony PlayStation, Arc the Lad, Arc the Lad II, and Arc the Lad III. These were RPGs whose battle system was turn-based strategy. Working Designs brought the three games to the U.S. in the form of Arc the Lad Collection in 2002. Two games have been released on the Sony PlayStation 2, Arc the Lad: Twilight of the Spirits (2003), and Arc the Lad: End of Darkness (2005).

The anime was broadcast under the Japanese omnibus satellite television show Anime Complex; it was translated and licensed for sale in North America by ADV Films and broadcasted on the Anime Network. The anime follows the story of Arc the Lad II, on which it is based.

The anime follows Arc the Lad II, with Elk (voiced by Namikawa Daisuke) as the main character. The world is also similar to the game, full of technology, but with magic and beasts as well. An evil corporation secretly controls this world and produces powerful monster (sometimes human) creations called chimera. Elk gets caught up in this mess when he rescues a young, female beast tamer from the corporation. Her name is Lieza (voiced by Horie Yui).
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Japanese Anime: Appleseed

Appleseed is an anime film, directed by Shinji Aramaki and originally released in Japan on May 17, 2004. It is based on the characters created by Masamune Shirow in the original Appleseed manga series that was published in 1985. Although it shares some characters with the original series, this film's storyline is not connected to it.

Set in 2131 AD, Deunan Knute, a young legendary female soldier is a survivor of the Third World War which has brought Earth to the brink of destruction. Alongside her former lover and comrade Briareos, who is now a cyborg, Deunan is brought to a Utopian city called Olympus, also inhabited by a genetically-engineered species called Bioroids. There, she integrates into the prestigious ESWAT organization to serve as the city's guardian. But what she discovers is not the promised land of peace, but rather a deadlier, more elusive battlefield than before.

Bioroids have a lifespan much shorter than those of humans, due to the suppression of their reproductive capabilities. When the fluid that is used in Bioroid life extension processes is destroyed by the Olympus Regular Army in a terrorist attack as part of its demonstration of fear and hatred for the Bioroids, a crisis which requires immediate resolution is formed, and the Appleseed data is revealed to still exist, even though most thought it destroyed.

Under the surface, as we can see, Olympus is plagued by conflicting factions. Some believe that Bioroids are a threat to the future advancement of mankind, whilst others believe that humans themselves are the threat. The ultimate question is over everyone's right to life, and whether or not one group deserves life more than the other. At the centre of this battle is Appleseed, the data that is able to extend Bioroid life, by restoring reproductive functions.

Director Shinji Aramaki will also be directing the sequel to the 2004 movie, titled Appleseed Saga Ex Machina, which is set to be released in fall 2007 in Japan. The movie will once again feature animated computer-generated imagery and John Woo is fully involved in the production.

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