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 Post subject: The Return of LD! (Or rather, the closest we'll ever see)
PostPosted: 07 Dec 2015, 05:12 
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Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin is an OVA (direct to video) series currently in production. So far two episodes have been released, scheduled for every six months. I think the target number of EPs is 5, but as we saw with Unicorn, if the show is a hit I wouldn't be surprised if they made it longer. Each episode is an hour. The mecha are CG. That's about all you need to know.

The release format is similar to Gundam Unicorn. There are both Japanese and English tracks, stereo and DTS 5.1. Subtitles in seven languages. The DVD has no world release, only the BR. There is only one Bluray disc world wide and this time those in the US can only purchase the collectors edition. It is an import in everything but name, only sold by Right Stuff. I guess Bandai figures thier target audience would want nothing else than the maximum package, and I think they are correct. With Gundam Unicorn Bandai did eventually make compilation DVDs for a massively reduced price just for American cheapskates. I'm not sure what's neutered about them, but I'd assume a lower bitrate than the JP DVDs, not that anyone buying DVD in the age of BR would care...anyway. I assume Origin will get a similar release. There are also a bunch of ways to see it online but I don't know what any of them are. :)

When you load the disc you see this:

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You choose what language you want (for menus) and the episode starts. The soundtrack and subtitles will default to your BR player's preferences, so for me it automatically started in Japanese with English subtitles. (No need to fumble for the language buttons on the BR remote to turn off the Canadian valley girl boys, which is nice.) There are some FBI/INTERPOL things here, but otherwise you paid for an episode of Gundam and that's what they gave you. No extraneous hucksterism. There is a full on DVD style menu but you only see it when the show is over.

I'll leave judgement of the show to the rest of the internet. I will say though that I like it. I wish the mecha were still hand drawn, but since they aren't that important to the show really I guess I don't care. Bandai does still seem to be making shows with hand drawn mecha, but for some reason this wasn't one of them. I assume it had to do with available staff. Anyway, the show is pretty good. Episode 2, IMO, was excellent and it gives me hope that the show will continue to entertain.

Anyway, the real reason for this post is the packaging, which is clearly meant to evoke the LD mystique.

They come with outer shipper boxes with air pockets all around. They were designed to ship straight to everyone's house. Of course RS puts it in another box so the thing that shows up at your house is pretty humongous for something that's on a 5" disc.

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Does this look like a couple of LDs?

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How about now? (Gundam Formula F-91 (1991) (Uncut) [BELL-449] shown for comparison)

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So what's in the box?

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Well, EP 1 came with a little book that has most of the major line art and also the direction for the entire episode. You know, in case you want to...animate the entire thing again yourself? Well, its fun to look at, and these days most animation productions don't really produce enough concept art to fill a decent art book so this is at least something that was hand drawn and very human looking.

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You also get another little book that shows how scenes were originally composed as manga pages and how they look once animated.

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The box itself is very much like small LD series used to be (like super sentai shows) but everything is flimsier by a large margin. The obi is one step up from fax paper and the box is maybe half the weight of a good LD box. However, its a nice gesture.

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Episode 1 was supposed to come with some sort of clear plastic thing that would lineup nicely with the clear plastic thing that came with the HG Char's Zaku Origin model kit, but I bought both of these things and received neither freebee. I assume it must have been a handout in Japanese shops only.



Episode 2 was a bit fancier, just a bit.

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You get this large format (but very thin) book of select key animation frames. You also get a fake cel. I never understood the appeal of them, but here you go.

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Some nice drawings.

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You also get a 12x12 copy of the outer box art sans logos. This isn't very exciting, I'm afraid.

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Inside you get the same sort of thing you got with EP 1.

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A book with character designs and full direction.

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And other book with the comic layouts technique layed out.

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All in all I'm pretty happy with it. The only thing that I'm not super pumped about is just how flimsy every single thing in these boxes feels. Its soooo thin. They also either shrink wrapped or baggied every single dumb thing in these sets. The BRs themselves are shrinkwrapped into an outer sleeve thing which is then shrink wrapped itself to sit in that pocket with the thinner of the two books and the obi thing. Opening one of these produces a XMas day sized pile of plastic. Its all kind of "pretend" and false but I'm probably the only one that would see it that way. Other than that, this is exactly how I like my OVAs delivered. No commercials, no waiting around for YEARS for a US version, and a nice package that really puts you in the mood of the show.
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 Post subject: Re: The Return of LD! (Or rather, the closest we'll ever see
PostPosted: 07 Dec 2015, 05:55 
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 Post subject: Re: The Return of LD! (Or rather, the closest we'll ever see
PostPosted: 07 Dec 2015, 07:57 
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 Post subject: Re: The Return of LD! (Or rather, the closest we'll ever see
PostPosted: 07 Dec 2015, 11:38 
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signofzeta wrote:
Anyway, the real reason for this post is the packaging, which is clearly meant to evoke the LD mystique.

Does this look like a couple of LDs?


Yes they do.

Thanks for posting this.

Cheers :thumbup: .
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 Post subject: Re: The Return of LD! (Or rather, the closest we'll ever see
PostPosted: 07 Dec 2015, 23:35 
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nice, but expensive as all hell per volume i'd bet.

i mean, GUNDAM is great and all, -especially Z and 0083- but dammit, people like me
have multiple passions in their life, and so very little disposable income to split among them.

for those fans such as myself, Anime on DVD, and the folks often disinterested in it due to the divine HD miracle of BRD,
are in themselves often a godsend to us poor peon Anime fans suffering perennially tight pocketbooks...
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 Post subject: Re: The Return of LD! (Or rather, the closest we'll ever see
PostPosted: 07 Dec 2015, 23:57 
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Well, these episodes clearly cost at least $2M to make. Somebody has to pay for that. If they didn't, you wouldn't have Crunchy Roll and torrents and $10 DVDs with 13 episodes on them.
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 Post subject: Re: The Return of LD! (Or rather, the closest we'll ever see
PostPosted: 08 Dec 2015, 15:51 
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As a very casual fan and observer, I have to say the packaging is fantastic. Also looking at the colored drawings, I'm impressed with how good the animation is.
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 Post subject: Re: The Return of LD! (Or rather, the closest we'll ever see
PostPosted: 08 Dec 2015, 16:26 
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Nice packaging and yes they do look like laserdiscs.

The only thing I would say though is this style of premium packaging has been the norm for music related titles for a long time. Pretty much all super deluxe (or better) music releases that have been issued in the last 10 years come in packaging like this with large boxes that can easily accomodate a set of 180gram gatefold vinyl records, posters, an exclusive hardback book, prints, stickers, badges and a mountain of CDs/DVDs/Blu-rays. In fact they have become so common in the music world that many manufacturers have been trying to outdo one another with ever more lavish packaging. For example some of the boxes I've seen are made from real wood with lockable hinges, with female releases sometimes including jewellery and clothes etc. It probably doesn't cost that much more to pad out the packaging in this way.
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 Post subject: Re: The Return of LD! (Or rather, the closest we'll ever see
PostPosted: 08 Dec 2015, 17:39 
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signofzeta wrote:
Well, these episodes clearly cost at least $2M to make. Somebody has to pay for that. If they didn't, you wouldn't have Crunchy Roll and torrents and $10 DVDs with 13 episodes on them.


they must look absolutely incredible with that sort of budget, at least i certainly hope that they do...
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 Post subject: Re: The Return of LD! (Or rather, the closest we'll ever see
PostPosted: 08 Dec 2015, 18:25 
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Not really. It is Japanese animation after all. Pixar spends $100M per hour. It's good, just not amazing.

The advantage of the user buying direct like this is the same as it was in the golden age of OVA. Because fans of this show will pay $500 for five episodes we don't have to see this plot stretched across a 49 EP TV series making it padded and boring. The financial risk of of a potential theatrical release is avoided and if they want to change the running time or number of episodes they can do so. The cheaper means of distribution don't allow this. They allow for shows like Gundam 00; a show so boring no human can watch it.

While this may be hard to grasp for kids who spent almost nothing to own hundreds of hours of anime, keep in mind that this is not a new model. It has existed in Japan for 35 years and it's where all your OVAs come from. Giant Robo only costs $35 for the whole series *now* but it was $50-100 per episode to make originally. Bubblegum Crisis was $100 an episode in 1988...back when the American minimum wage was $2.25 an hour. The alternative is threatrical anime (virtually extinct) or 200 episode series based on Jump comics toys or something.
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 Post subject: Re: The Return of LD! (Or rather, the closest we'll ever see
PostPosted: 08 Dec 2015, 19:47 
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laserdisc_fan wrote:
Nice packaging and yes they do look like laserdiscs.

The only thing I would say though is this style of premium packaging has been the norm for music related titles for a long time. Pretty much all super deluxe (or better) music releases that have been issued in the last 10 years come in packaging like this with large boxes that can easily accomodate a set of 180gram gatefold vinyl records, posters, an exclusive hardback book, prints, stickers, badges and a mountain of CDs/DVDs/Blu-rays. In fact they have become so common in the music world that many manufacturers have been trying to outdo one another with ever more lavish packaging. For example some of the boxes I've seen are made from real wood with lockable hinges, with female releases sometimes including jewellery and clothes etc. It probably doesn't cost that much more to pad out the packaging in this way.



Its true. I have LPs that are 50 years old that use this same basic format. There were also a few early DVDs from Bandai Visual that openly aped LD packaging. I know they did The Royal Space Force and Macross: DYRL. These were terrible DVDs, btw, but I assume that since LD was still being made at the time that at least the boxes would be thicker.

My favorite giant 12x12 box set from recent years is probably either the Numero Group's Best of the Best show or New Order's Music Complete (the 8x12 ver).
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 Post subject: Re: The Return of LD! (Or rather, the closest we'll ever see
PostPosted: 09 Dec 2015, 13:13 
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Guess they wanted to make the old-school fans feel nostalgic. I'm not much of a Gundam fan (though I've reviewed two movies already, but I did it mostly since my friend gave me the LD's as presents), but I like the idea of LD-sized blu-ray boxes. :3
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 Post subject: Re: The Return of LD! (Or rather, the closest we'll ever see
PostPosted: 09 Dec 2015, 20:47 
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signofzeta wrote:
While this may be hard to grasp for kids who spent almost nothing to own hundreds of hours of anime, keep in mind that this is not a new model. It has existed in Japan for 35 years and it's where all your OVAs come from. Giant Robo only costs $35 for the whole series *now* but it was $50-100 per episode to make originally. Bubblegum Crisis was $100 an episode in 1988...back when the American minimum wage was $2.25 an hour. The alternative is threatrical anime (virtually extinct) or 200 episode series based on Jump comics toys or something.



yeah, but wasn't AnimEigo's U.S. release of BGC the first the U.S. ever saw? weren't they like $30/40 single episode VHS initially,
with four $40/$50 dual episode LDs following sometime into the early to mid 90's or so?


anyhow, i'm almost 34. though i was still quite young in the 80's, i recall when the average U.S. VHS home video release was $80/$100.00,
and looking back, mostly via old JPN Anime and hobby magazines i've been acquiring here and there,
it seems the average JPN Anime home video release was at least something close to $100.00,
and some, such as the BETA release of 1984's MACROSS; DO YOU REMEMBER LOVE? were apparently something closer to $140 or so.

i know this stuff was never cheap, -except in the U.S. from around 2001/2009, give/take a year or two on either end-
but dammit, the U.S. Boom era was a hell of a fun free ride while it lasted...
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 Post subject: Re: The Return of LD! (Or rather, the closest we'll ever see
PostPosted: 09 Dec 2015, 21:52 
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Beautiful set :clap:
I hope it doesn't dissapoint when discovering a small Blu ray inside ;)
Not into anime myself but I can see the angle.
Keep us posted about these :thumbup:
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 Post subject: Re: The Return of LD! (Or rather, the closest we'll ever see
PostPosted: 10 Dec 2015, 23:08 
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tasuke wrote:
signofzeta wrote:
While this may be hard to grasp for kids who spent almost nothing to own hundreds of hours of anime, keep in mind that this is not a new model. It has existed in Japan for 35 years and it's where all your OVAs come from. Giant Robo only costs $35 for the whole series *now* but it was $50-100 per episode to make originally. Bubblegum Crisis was $100 an episode in 1988...back when the American minimum wage was $2.25 an hour. The alternative is threatrical anime (virtually extinct) or 200 episode series based on Jump comics toys or something.



yeah, but wasn't AnimEigo's U.S. release of BGC the first the U.S. ever saw? weren't they like $30/40 single episode VHS initially,
with four $40/$50 dual episode LDs following sometime into the early to mid 90's or so?


anyhow, i'm almost 34. though i was still quite young in the 80's, i recall when the average U.S. VHS home video release was $80/$100.00,
and looking back, mostly via old JPN Anime and hobby magazines i've been acquiring here and there,
it seems the average JPN Anime home video release was at least something close to $100.00,
and some, such as the BETA release of 1984's MACROSS; DO YOU REMEMBER LOVE? were apparently something closer to $140 or so.

i know this stuff was never cheap, -except in the U.S. from around 2001/2009, give/take a year or two on either end-
but dammit, the U.S. Boom era was a hell of a fun free ride while it lasted...


You really have an extremely US-centric view of the anime business.

When I refer to the "original" release of something I'm talking about the 1st time it came out. The money generated from the original release of BGC EP1 is what paid the bills so that episode 2 could be made.

Back in the 80s Animeigo did release BGC episodes on VHS. They were very nice releases, totally embarrassing the badly photoshopped cardboard slip case crapola that eventually would be the only way to buy anime in the US aside from extremely few and far between LDs. These VHS releases used only original hi res art, no dumb overly saturated composites. They had clamshell cases and were sold for $40 an episode. The music episodes were somehow cheaper or bundled or something, I don't know, I never saw them. When the US LDs first came out they were all re-subbed...very well, IMO, but these were from around 1992 so theystill used the original masters so quality wasn't anywhere near what you see on the box set that hit Japan in the 90s. There were four of these LDs and they were $65 each and included the music episodes but NOT the Bali special (you don't need it) so they were much cheaper than the tapes in the long run and of course much better looking.

However, it's important to understand that BGC was cancelled right about the time Animego started putting these things out (for non-financial reasons). Revenue from weird foreign versions of things was still basically just gravy back then, not what actually paid the bills. The *original* BGC series release was in Japan and nobody there ever had even the slightest idea that it would go to the US. This is evident from how much American stuff gets totally ripped off in the show! :) The original release hit VHS and LD at the same time, and the price was 9800 yen for the LD. VHS was most likely priced for rental (i.e. as much as %50 more) but a quick Google search didn't turn up anything.

What this translates to in dollars is hard to say. The yen was massively increasing in value during this time. In 1980 a dollar would buy 250 yen. By 1989 it would only buy 127 yen. This was one of many factors that led to things from Japan costing whatever somebody wanted to charge for them. If you could find a 9800 yen Japanese home video release for less than $100 at any time from the era of BGC up to now you're usually doing pretty good, and 9800 yen was an extremely common price for an OVA.

At some time in the early 90s the industry started to produce quite a few longer and more corporate LD series like Tenchi Muyo and Gundam 0083. These were usually priced lower, like 4800 yen, ran longer, and actually stuck to their schedule. Most of these are actually pretty lame though compared to the anything goes Wild West of Project A-ko, Cream Lemon, MADOX, Birth, Aim for the Top!, or Angels Egg. Giant Robo was probably the last of the old fashioned OVAs, and even it was corporate backed. It did fluctuate in running time like the old shows though, with episodes ranging from 30-60 minutes. Most episodes were 9800 yen, I think one was only like 4800 though for being so short.

I'm only saying this because in the mad dash to constantly cheapen and comodify every single thing in existence to make life easier on ourselves, we sometimes don't seem to realize how much worse everything gets because of it. The anime industry is a hollow shell of what it was in the 80s, and one of the reasons is that it can't pay its employees. This lead to outsourcing most stuff to Korea, which completely tore apart the once extremely close nit and regional nature of the business, which makes new talent hard to find, and leaves us with a scene where nowadays kids can't name a single character designer, have no idea how anime is made, and are more concerned with running time than quality.

A 20 year old today would consider me an idiot for buying The Wall or Tommy for the fifth time when I can just use Spotify. Likewise I consider him and idiot for not realizing that if Spotify had existed in the 70s there's no way we ever would have had The Wall or Tommy in the first place because Spotify doesn't pay musicians.
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 Post subject: Re: The Return of LD! (Or rather, the closest we'll ever see
PostPosted: 23 Jan 2016, 12:08 
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Just a noob question here. How much was one of these box sets ? Amazed be the package.

To get back with the vinyls, I think this competion in making package as big and fancy as possible is so over done nowdays. I mean, I buy a vinyl to listen to it, some seem to have forgot this. So they put it in a huge box set, making 3x45 speed lps, so I have to turn the sides 6 times. I mean come on! And they making 6 different limited editions, then they release the same one on RECORD STORE DAY.

Just make a lp in a nice sleeve with a nice insert, so its easy to open up and play. I dont need books, posters cards.

But I loved these box sets, so nice looking.

And I also respect this, that the buyers are paying a high price, they are a direct part of the episodes being made.
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 Post subject: Re: The Return of LD! (Or rather, the closest we'll ever see
PostPosted: 23 Jan 2016, 16:20 
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To be honest, I suspect modern vinyl is often bought more to appreciate the box than to actually listen to. It wouldn't surprise me if a significant minority of vinyl purchases are by people who don't have a turntable and don't intend on getting one! I mean, CDs are (when well-mastered and not crushed) superior to vinyl in terms of sound quality (lack of background noise being the main factor in this), so if you're serious about listening to some modern piece of music in the best possible way (and aren't a pseudo-scientific audiophile) you'll be buying the CD anyway (or, even better, using some modern lossless standard with a better dynamic range and frequency response — though obviously the audibility of such differences is debatable).
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 Post subject: Re: The Return of LD! (Or rather, the closest we'll ever see
PostPosted: 23 Jan 2016, 18:16 
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muzer wrote:
To be honest, I suspect modern vinyl is often bought more to appreciate the box than to actually listen to. It wouldn't surprise me if a significant minority of vinyl purchases are by people who don't have a turntable and don't intend on getting one! I mean, CDs are (when well-mastered and not crushed) superior to vinyl in terms of sound quality (lack of background noise being the main factor in this), so if you're serious about listening to some modern piece of music in the best possible way (and aren't a pseudo-scientific audiophile) you'll be buying the CD anyway (or, even better, using some modern lossless standard with a better dynamic range and frequency response — though obviously the audibility of such differences is debatable).


Oh dear there's a can of worms!!!! (though in terms of just exploiting marketing opportunities I agree)

muzer wrote:
I mean, CDs are superior to vinyl in terms of sound quality (lack of background noise being the main factor in this)


And that's about it for many - just the lack of surface noise I mean - not the sound quality at all! I tend to begin to perhaps be able to agree with this sentiment for some more modern lossless (or even low-loss!) formats thesedays.

But music on my TT sounds great and better than the other (although 'easier') listening options I've explored. With the big qualification that's for well mastered/manufactured vinyl.

Here's the thing, I've thought it before - but actually expressed by a "salesman" trying to sell me down a model (can you believe it) of tone-arm.

Recorded music sounds nothing like the real thing - in fact most people don't even know what real music sounds like because even at a live concert we hear it microphoned and amplified through a speaker system - but even if you know the real thing we're grasping at some approximation of it, and then of course the law of diminishing returns sets in for the whole recording and reproduction chain.
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 Post subject: Re: The Return of LD! (Or rather, the closest we'll ever see
PostPosted: 24 Jan 2016, 15:36 
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Well. Sound quality or not, I love the sound I get from vinyls, it shouldnt be 100% perfect sound. I simply just love wax, and big fancy sleeves. But boxes no thanks, 1 album with 10 extra items in for 150 usd, no thanks. Not that I have anything against paying much for an original record. But not for a new record. Give me a regular album.

Oh and 180g suck, it makes nothing for the sound, the grooves that are stamped are exactly the same. The only result from 180g is that it tear that poor sleeve apart. If its not ringwear its seam splits. Never understood it.

But to get back to the question I had. What is the retail price of these lovely things ?
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