Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day
The Flower We Saw That Day
Jinta and Meiko on the cover of the first DVD volume
(Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai.)
|Genre||Drama, Romance, Supernatural, Tragedy|
|Written by||Mari Okada|
|Published by||Media Factory|
|Imprint||MF Bunko Da Vinci|
|Original run||March 2011 – July 2011|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Tatsuyuki Nagai|
|Written by||Mari Okada|
|Network||Fuji TV (noitamina), BS Fuji, Kansai TV, Tokai TV|
|Original run||April 14, 2011 – June 23, 2011|
|Written by||Mari Okada|
|Illustrated by||Mitsu Izumi|
|Original run||April 4, 2012 – March 2013|
|Directed by||Tatsuyuki Nagai|
|Released||August 31, 2013|
|Written by||Mari Okada|
|Illustrated by||Mitsu Izumi|
|Published||September 4, 2013|
|Original run||September 21, 2015 – October 14, 2015|
Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day (あの日見た花の名前を僕達はまだ知らない。 Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai.?, lit. "We Still Don't Know the Name of the Flower We Saw That Day.") is an 11-episode 2011 Japanese anime television series produced by A-1 Pictures and directed by Tatsuyuki Nagai. The anime aired in Fuji TV's noitamina block between April and June 2011. The anime is licensed in North America by NIS America.
An anime film was released in Japanese theaters on August 31, 2013. A novelization by Mari Okada was serialized in Media Factory's Da Vinci magazine from March to July 2011. A manga adaptation illustrated by Mitsu Izumi began serialization in the May 2012 issue of Shueisha's Jump Square magazine. A visual novel adaptation for the PlayStation Portable was released by 5pb. in August 2012. A television drama also premiered in August 2015 on Fuji TV.
A group of six sixth-grade-age childhood friends drift apart after one of them, Meiko "Menma" Honma, dies in an accident. Years after the incident, the leader of the group, Jinta Yadomi, has withdrawn from society, does not attend high school, and lives as a recluse. One summer day, the ghost of an older-looking Menma appears beside him and asks to have a wish granted, reasoning that she cannot pass on into the afterlife until it is fulfilled. At first, he only tries to help her minimally because he thinks he is hallucinating. But since Menma does not remember what her wish is, Jinta gathers his estranged friends together once again, believing that they are the key to resolving this problem. All of the group join him, though most of them do so reluctantly. However, things grow increasingly complicated when his friends accuse him of not being able to get over the death of Menma, for Jinta is the only one who can see Menma's ghost and his friends think he is seeing things. But as matters progress, it is realized that Jinta is not the only person in the group who is having trouble letting go of the past. It is revealed that all of the group members blame themselves for Menma's death and long-hidden feelings are rekindled. The group struggles as they grow from trying to help Menma move on and help each other move on as well.
- Jinta "Jintan" Yadomi (宿海 仁太 Yadomi Jinta?)
- Voiced by: Miyu Irino / Mutsumi Tamura (childhood)
- Live-action actor: Nijiro Murakami / Ryoka Minamide (childhood)
- Jinta is a childhood friend of Naruko, Atsumu, Chiriko, Meiko and Tetsudo. As a child, Jinta was the de facto leader of the self-proclaimed Super Peace Busters. Jinta was energetic and outgoing during his childhood, but became withdrawn and isolated after the deaths of Meiko and his mother. After Meiko's death the Super Peace Busters drifted apart and Jinta eventually became a hikikomori, refusing to go to school and confining himself to his home. As a child, he had a crush on Meiko but refused to admit it when asked. This started the chain of events that led to her accidental death. He initially believes that the Meiko that appears to him is not a ghost, but rather a manifestation of his stress, calling her "the beast of summer". He eventually becomes hesitant to grant her wish out of fear that she will vanish again. Nonetheless, Meiko's appearance encourages him to venture outside and reconnect with the members of the Super Peace Busters. He is a natural leader with his friends always following him.
- Meiko "Menma" Honma (本間 芽衣子 Honma Meiko?)
- Voiced by: Ai Kayano
- Live-action actor: Minami Hamabe / Kanon Tani
- Meiko was a girl of mixed Russian and Japanese ancestry who died in an accident as a child, but appears before Jinta one summer day years later. Although she is aware of her death, Meiko is talkative and lively. She greatly values the childhood memories and friendship she once shared with the others, and recalls her memories of her friends and family, including that she had once requested something from Jinta. When she appears to Jinta, she has aged somewhat, but still retains childlike speech patterns and tendencies. She is also clothed in the dress she was wearing the day that she died, and always goes barefoot. Because it isn't material to the story, she is shown only once dressed in anything but her white dress, and the only non-childish memory she recalls is that it must have been hard to have found a photo of her when she didn't flash a 'V' sign with her fingers, for the shrine to her memory at her home. Though only Jinta has the ability to see or hear her, Meiko appears to be able to interact with the world around her: opening doors, cooking food, eating, and even playing video games, with many of these activities shown in scenes without Jinta present. Characters that she embraces feel that the air around her has become heavier (Anaru), or wonder why he has gotten goosebumps (Poppo), or noting a faint scent he hasn't smelled in a while (her brother Satoshi). The others call her by her childhood nickname 'Menma', and she similarly refers to the Super Peace Busters by their childhood nicknames. Jinta has stated that she is selfless, only crying when others are hurt. Meiko does not hold a grudge towards her friends for the accident but hopes to pass on so that she can be reincarnated and once more be in the same world as her friends. She held Jinta in special regard when she was alive and still cares for him and is worried about his current state. In the last episode, he reads her letter to him that says her kind of "like" was the like where she wanted to be his bride.
- Naruko "Anaru" Anjō (安城 鳴子 Anjō Naruko?)
- Voiced by: Haruka Tomatsu
- Live-action actor: Airi Matsui / Chinami Yoshioka (childhood)
- A childhood friend of Jinta, Atsumu, Chiriko, Tetsudo and Meiko. Naruko displays a cold attitude towards Jinta, especially while in front of her friends, but is secretly worried about his wellbeing. Naruko is described as a person easily influenced by others, hanging out with and playing along with the actions of other girls around her even when she doesn't agree with them. She had admired Meiko, and strove to be like her when they were children, though she was simultaneously envious of her relationship with Jinta. She attends the same high school as Jinta and is closest to him at the start of the series, even dropping off homework for him while he refuses to attend class. She tells him that she is disappointed by his current lifestyle, but still shows lingering feelings, even painting her nails before she goes to see him. She doubts Meiko's return, but remains jealous of the fact that Jinta still looks only at her. She also feels guilty for asking the question that led to Meiko drowning. Atsumu states that both of them were left behind and are trapped by their unrequited feelings for Jinta and Meiko.
- Atsumu "Yukiatsu" Matsuyuki (松雪 集 Matsuyuki Atsumu?)
- Voiced by: Takahiro Sakurai / Asami Seto (childhood)
- Live-action actor: Jun Shison / Ruiki Sato (childhood)
- A childhood friend of Jinta, Naruko, Chiriko, Tetsudo and Meiko. In the present, Atsumu holds a condescending and hateful attitude towards Jinta. He becomes agitated whenever Meiko is mentioned and tries to hide that he is still distraught over her death. He and Chiriko attend the same elite high school, which Jinta was unable to enter having failed the entrance exams. Atsumu is handsome, athletic, and popular, but still trapped by the memory of Meiko. He keeps a white sundress similar to hers in his closet. He claims that he can also see Meiko's spirit, and even spoke on her behalf, but this 'ghost' turned out to be Atsumu himself, who sometimes wanders the forests at night dressed in a wig and the white sundress. He feels like he is to blame for Meiko's death, because he'd confessed his feelings for Meiko to her on the day of her accident, only she then told him "later," and she has to hurry after Jintan, and he believes that he is the one that should be haunted by Meiko's ghost because of it. Although he stops crossdressing after he is caught, he is still tormented by the idea of Meiko's spirit appearing only to Jinta. Atsumu tells Naruko that they were both left behind the others by their unrequited feelings for Jinta and Meiko, saying that they are kindred spirits. Atsumu has a dark, manipulative side driven by both his affection for Meiko and his inferiority complex from childhood with mild feelings of jealousy towards Jinta.
- Chiriko "Tsuruko" Tsurumi (鶴見 知利子 Tsurumi Chiriko?)
- Voiced by: Saori Hayami
- Live-action actor: Marie Iitoyo / Karen Ichihara (childhood)
- A childhood friend of Jinta, Naruko, Atsumu, Tetsudo and Meiko. Chiriko is the quiet observer of the group and has an extremely serious and logical personality. She can be critical of others, and in particular scolds Naruko for her habit of following others. She and Atsumu are the only two of the Super Peace Busters who remained close friends as the years passed. The two are seen together so often that they are mistaken for lovers by their classmates and a shopkeeper. She has feelings for Atsumu, but shows contempt for him whenever she sees that he has not gotten over Meiko's death. She retrieved the hairpin that Atsumu threw away after being rejected by Meiko, and even wears it when she is alone. At times, she plays the voice of reason for Atsumu as well as the role of a guardian. She knows of his feelings of guilt over Meiko's death and suspected that he was crossdressing as a means of coping. She often sketches while idle, even doodling Atsumu wearing Meiko's sundress. Chiriko feels indifferent over Meiko's return, doubting her intentions or if she has truly forgiven everyone. However, like all the other characters, she loves her and was deeply saddened by her death as a child, because they were good friends. She admits to Naruko that she is in love with Atsumu, but believes that he will never return her love because she cannot win against Meiko. Chiriko feels that he is irreplaceable to her, thus she aids the effort to have Meiko achieve nirvana. It is revealed that she secretly felt guilty for Menma's death for spoiling the question Naruko was going to ask as she believed it influenced her behavior. In the series finale, after everyone finds out that each of them had secret selfish reasons for helping Meiko pass on, she, like everyone else, decides to help Meiko only because she loves her.
- Tetsudō "Poppo" Hisakawa (久川 鉄道 Hisakawa Tetsudō?)
- Voiced by: Takayuki Kondō / Aki Toyosaki (childhood)
- Live-action actor: Yuta Takahata / Santa Takahashi (childhood)
- A childhood friend of Jinta, Naruko, Atsumu, Chiriko and Meiko. During their childhood, he greatly admired Jinta and frequently called him 'amazing' or 'cool'. He admits that he was always grateful to the group for including him as he was an awkward child. Although he has dropped out of school, he is a world traveler who earns money by taking various part-time jobs and lives in their old secret base when not abroad. Tetsudo is worldly and mellow. He is eager to see the Super Peace Busters get back together, immediately believing that Jinta could see and talk to Meiko. He is the first of the group to tell Meiko that he will fulfill her wish and help her spirit pass on. When the group fights, he is often the one who takes the initiative to smooth things out. However, it is later revealed that Tetsudo hides feelings of guilt for his role in Meiko's accident beneath his happy-go-lucky personality. Having witnessed her fall into the river, he blames himself for seeing all of it, from the top of the slope that Menma tumbled down, and seeing her drift further and further away down the river.
A novel adaptation of the anime written by Mari Okada was serialized in Media Factory's Da Vinci magazine between the March and July 2011 issues. The first of two volumes were published under Media Factory's MF Bunko Da Vinci imprint on July 25, 2011. A manga adaptation illustrated by Mitsu Izumi began serialization in the May 2012 issue of Shueisha's Jump Square magazine from April 4, 2012 and ended in March 2013, compiled in three volumes.
The novel and manga abbreviate the story a bit. For example, Menma in print 'shows' herself to her friends at the barbecue corresponding to anime episode 4, by lighting and waving a sparkler, earlier than the anime's episode 8.
The 11-episode Anohana anime TV series directed by Tatsuyuki Nagai and produced by A-1 Pictures aired in Japan between April 14 and June 23, 2011 on Fuji TV's Noitamina programming block. The screenplay was written by Mari Okada, and chief animator Masayoshi Tanaka also designed the characters. The sound director is Jin Aketagawa of Magic Capsule, and the anime's music was produced by Remedios. NIS America licensed the series for release in North America with English subtitles, and released the anime on DVD and Blu-ray Disc in a two-disc compilation on July 3, 2012. This series was broadcast in Italy on Rai 4.
The series uses two pieces of theme music: one opening and one ending. The opening theme is "Aoi Shiori" (青い栞 Blue Bookmark?) by Galileo Galilei, while the ending theme is "Secret Base ~Kimi ga Kureta Mono~ (10 years after Ver.)" (Secret Base ～君がくれたもの～ (10 years after Ver.) Secret Base ~The Thing you Gave Me~ (10 years after Ver.)?), a cover of the 2001 single by Zone, performed by Ai Kayano, Haruka Tomatsu, and Saori Hayami. The anime's original soundtrack was released on December 21, 2011.
An anime film, subtitled Menma e no Tegami (めんまへの手紙 A Letter to Menma?), was released in Japanese theaters on August 31, 2013. The film is set during school summer break a year after the anime. The surviving Super Peace Busters have agreed to each write a letter to Menma, then meet at the secret base to send those letters. Chiriko Tsurumi wrote her letter first and calls to remind and encourage the others. During the film there are many memory bits of the joys and trauma they went through and flashbacks, many to the events in the anime series, some new or expanding on what was previously shown. Appearing one year afterwards are the five surviving Super Peace Busters, Menma's brother Satoshi, her mother Irene, and the owner of the game store where Jinta works. Jinta's father is shown in a flashback set after the anime series. The film's theme song is "Circle Game" (サークルゲーム?) by Galileo Galilei. The song is also used for an alternate opening for the anime's rerun on noitaminA starting in July 2013. Aniplex of America released the film in standard edition DVD and Blu-ray Disc (BD) sets and a limited edition BD/DVD combo pack on July 15, 2014.
|01||"Super Peace Busters"
"Chō Heiwa Basutāzu" (超平和バスターズ)
|April 14, 2011|
|Jinta "Jintan" Yadomi is being pestered by a girl named Meiko "Menma" Honma, who only he can see. Menma says she has a wish she wants him to fulfill, but she can't remember what it was. Soon, she recalls that the dream was to have their friends all together again. One of the former friends, Naruko "Anaru" Anjō, drops by Jinta's house to drop off some homework, but is on bad terms with him. It is revealed that Jintan has poor school attendance. As Menma pesters Jinta to go after Naruko and talk to her, they both go into the city where they run into two other former friends, Chiriko "Tsuruko" Tsurumi and Atsumu "Yukiatsu" Matsuyuki, the latter of which reacts harshly when Jinta accidentally drops Menma's name. Frustrated, Jintan runs off and leaves Menma behind. Jinta begins to recall the past when he, Menma, and their other friends were part of a group known as the Super Peace Busters that hung out together when they were children. One day, Jinta accidentally hurt Meiko's feelings when asked if he liked her. He decided to apologize, but she died in an accident before he could. Back in the present, Menma visits her family's house. Jinta decides to search for Menma so he could finally apologize and he checks out their old secret fort. Here, he runs into the last of the six old friends, Tetsudō "Poppo" Hisakawa.|
|02||"Menma the Hero"
"Yūsha Menma" (ゆうしゃめんま)
|April 21, 2011|
|When Jinta tells Tetsudō about his visions of Menma, he instantly believes him. Meanwhile, Anaru ends up encountering Chiriko, though she soon breaks into tears when Menma is mentioned. It is revealed that Naruko blames herself for the circumstances leading to Menma's death. Tetsudō suggests that the wish Menma might want granted was to have a rare monster from a Nokémon video game, which Jinta buys from the game shop Anaru works at. He spends the night playing it before Menma comes back. The next day, Tetsudō runs into Atsumu and mentions what Jinta told him about Menma. He later goes around Jinta's house and mentions that they would have to trade with another Nokémon game to get the rare monster. As a result, they visit Anaru, who agrees to help them on the condition that Jinta starts attending school again. During this visit, Menma is happy to realize that Anaru still has an abundance of video games and manga, just like when they were kids. After spending the night gaming, they manage to get the rare monster, though it turns out not to be Menma's wish. Nevertheless, they are positive that somehow Menma's wish will be found out and fulfilled. Jinta, however, has found his own wish: to apologize to Menma because of the incident.|
|03||"Menma Search Party"
"Menma o Sagasou no Kai" (めんまを探そうの会)
|April 28, 2011|
|After being pestered by Menma, Jinta heads towards school, but changes his mind when faced with insults from Naruko's friends. He goes to see Tetsudō, who claims he saw Menma the previous night. Jinta arrives home where Menma had attempted to make muffins that Jinta's late mother used to make, though she claims she didn't go around Tetsudō's place the previous night. The next day, Tetsudō decides to hold a 'Menma Search Party' barbecue event for the others. When Atsumu eventually appears, he also claims to have seen Menma.|
|04||"The White Dress with a Ribbon"
"Shiro no, Ribon no Wanpīsu" (白の、リボンのワンピース)
|May 5, 2011|
|After Jinta keeps her from slipping in the same spot Menma died from, Naruko hints that he can probably see Menma because he loved her. Atsumu's claims of what Menma had told him differ from the thoughts of the Menma Jinta can see, so Jinta brings out the muffins that Menma made earlier, hoping to convey Menma's true feelings. The next day, Jinta is visited by Chiriko, who asks him to confront Atsumu about his 'fake Menma'. As the gang gets together that night, they appear to spot a Menma running around in the woods, which turns out to be Atsumu wearing a white sundress.|
|May 12, 2011|
|Atsumu blames himself for Menma's death, and Menma has Jinta tell him things that only she and Atsumu know of. Later, Chiriko explains how she caught onto his obsession with Menma. Atsumu recalls that fateful day years ago, when he confessed to Menma shortly after Jinta ran off, only to be rejected. Meanwhile, Jinta wonders why he hasn't been so focused on fulfilling Menma's wish lately. The next day, Naruko goes to a karaoke bar with her friends, when a boy forces her to a love hotel. She is saved by the timely arrival of Atsumu. On the train ride home, Atsumu asks Naruko about her feelings for Jinta. She is conflicted whether or not she 'likes' him. Meanwhile, Tetsudō tells Jinta and Menma (knowing Menma is there, though he can't see her) his theory that Menma is around because she couldn't ascend to Heaven, but this just makes her upset.|
|06||"Forget It, Don't Forget"
"Wasurete Wasurenaide" (わすれてわすれないで)
|May 19, 2011|
|Trying to figure out Menma's wish, Jinta decides to make his long-delayed return to school. However, his return is overshadowed over rumours about Naruko having been spotted at a love hotel. As Naruko becomes noticeably upset by all the nasty gossip surrounding her, Jinta stands up for her, and both leave class right away. With Naruko troubled about her parents hearing about the news, she decides to stay at the secret base, and stops attending school. Hoping to find any clues to what Menma's wish might be, Jinta, Naruko and Tetsudō visit Menma's house to pay their respects, where they meet her mother, who gives them Menma's diary, which they agree to read the next day. When Jinta mentions the visit to Menma, she becomes upset as she wanted her mother to forget about her so that she wouldn't be sad. Jinta in turn yells at her for never thinking of herself and runs off.|
|07||"The Real Wish"
"Honto no Onegai" (ほんとのお願い)
|May 26, 2011|
|Jinta, Naruko and Tetsudō look inside Menma's diary, where they find an entry about how the group wanted to make a firework to send a letter to God to help Jinta's mother, though modern laws prevent them from making one themselves. As Chiriko asks Atsumu why he didn't bring up that Menma called the others on that fateful day, he points out it was something that was to be kept secret from Jinta. Jinta's father points him towards a friend of his that can make fireworks, but it's revealed one would cost 200,000 yen to make. Jinta takes up a part time job in order to help raise the money needed to buy a firework, working at Naruko's game store part of the day and Tetsudō's construction site later the same day, sometimes swapping shifts to get better pay. Naruko and Tetsudō also work hard and contribute to the fireworks fund. (In the manga Chiriko and Atsumu sell some items on eBay and donate money. Their school forbids part-time work.) When Menma hears that Jinta is working, instead of going to school, she rushes to the secret base where she overhears Naruko talking about the firework and then sees the work Jinta is doing for her. However, the next day the gang learn that the firework maker is no longer able to make a firework for them, under orders from Honma. They jump to the conclusion that Menma's father had forbid it.|
|08||"I Wonder"||June 2, 2011|
|Jinta and the others visit Menma's mother to ask about the fireworks, but she refuses, showing anger and sadness towards them about how they were able to grow up while Menma died years ago. Afterwards, Atsumu accuses Jinta of forcing his pain onto others, so Jinta decides to try to solve Menma's wish himself. As Jinta's multiple jobs begin to have a negative effect on his health, Naruko urges him to stop. She reveals that she felt happy when Jinta badmouthed Menma back then because she had a crush on him, later saying that if he were to grant Menma's wish, she would just disappear again. The next day, as Jinta goes with his father to visit his mother's grave, the others receive silent calls from Jinta's house phone. Jinta is later visited by Menma's brother, Satoshi, who tells him about his memories of Menma. As the others confront Jinta at the secret base about the silent calls they had received, Menma arrives and makes her presence known by writing a brand new entry in her diary and dropping it on the floor.|
|09||"Menma and Company"
"Minna to Menma" (みんなとめんま)
|June 9, 2011|
|The episode starts at Jinta's house, where they witness Menma's presence first hand, though it is shown that Menma is unable to write on paper here. Afterwards, Atsumu says they should continue their efforts, going with Chiriko the next day to beg Menma's father for permission to have the fireworks made. As work on the fireworks begins, Atsumu becomes frustrated that only Jinta can see Menma, while Naruko is upset that she can't compare to Menma. As Atsumu tries to cheer Naruko up, Chiriko overhears Atsumu mention that he would go out with Naruko. After spending the evening with Tetsudō, Menma spots a carp in the river and goes to investigate, which scares Jinta when he spots her near the river, letting out that he wants her to stay forever.|
|June 16, 2011|
|As the gang holds a party in Menma's honor in preparation for next day's fireworks, Chiriko becomes cold towards Atsumu, mentioning that on that day, Menma apparently wanted to do something for Jinta. On the night of the party, Atsumu has Naruko and Tetsudō pressure Jinta into admitting his true feelings for Menma in front of everyone. Walking home Naruko laments his answer and her hopeless love for Jinta, and Chiriko reveals to Naruko her own hopeless love for Atsumu, more hopeless because Atsumu's second choice is Naruko. On his walk home Jinta asks Menma if she would rather stay here so that they could be together, to which Menma responds that she wants to be with all of them and she plans to go to heaven and be reincarnated. On the day of the firework launch, Satoshi comes to watch while Jinta has doubts of going through with it. Jinta wants to stop the firework, however, he's too late. As the firework launched, Jinta suddenly heard Menma's voice: he looked behind and saw Menma admiring the fireworks.|
|11||"The Flower Blooming on That Summer"
"Ano Natsu ni Saku Hana" (あの夏に咲く花)
|June 23, 2011|
|Jinta and the others think that Menma did not pass on because their feelings were selfish. Chiriko tells them she conspired with Menma the day she died in the hopes of getting together with Atsumu, who she secretly had been in love with since childhood. Tetsudō had seen what happened to Menma on that day and felt guilty about it ever since. One by one, each of them reveal feelings of regret over their roles in Menma's death. After everyone cries, Jinta tells everyone about Menma's dream to talk with everyone, so they suggest he bring Menma to the base. However, Menma has started to disappear, because she had made a promise. Jinta's mother had accepted dying, but was concerned that Jintan was bottling up his emotions. Menma promised Jinta's mother to help Jinta learn to cry. Jinta carries Menma to the secret base, but when he gets there, he loses his ability to see her. Menma, distressed with what has happened, calls out that this is "Hide and seek." Jinta can hear this. As the gang try to find her, Menma writes some final messages to everyone. After reading the messages, they are each brought to tears. After shouting out to her, Menma calls "You found me!" and Jinta and the others are able to see and hear her, enabling them to give their final goodbyes before she disappears. Later, Jinta starts going to school with Naruko, Naruko's friends Haruna and Aki are seen for the first time since episode six, while Atsumo and Chiriko grow closer together. As for Tetsudō, he continues working on his part-time job and also tries to study again. Jinta and his friends return to the secret base and read Menma's final message, written on the beam in the secret base, while thinking about the flower that blooms in the summer.|
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- At the 4:46 and 5:00 minute mark of the anime film, devoted to when Menma joined the Super Peace Busters, kanji taught in the 6th grade is on their class chalkboard
- The novel, chapter 2 page 17, states that five years have passed since Menma's accident. The anime film at 18:38 Jinta states that he had been a shut in for five years.
- Anime episode 6 states that Naruko Anjou attends year 1 class 3
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