「クリスマス」 (Kurisumasu)

You could’ve had it all!

When you place a majority of the main characters in one room, shenanigans and some serious development is bound to happen. Every character received ample time on the screen– though more so than others–all without making the episode feel too packed and rushed. I give some serious props to the staff for executing this episode with style. Now, to address the many points brought up this episode…

Dealing with Haru

I know a whole lot of you are going to give so much crap about Haru and his psycho violent ways, and that’s absolutely okay. I remember that someone expressed the idea, “It’s fun and all to watch them from a distance, but to actually be in that situation would be hell.” I find myself agreeing with that after initial hesitation after this episode, since I would probably tell off Haru constantly–even more than Natsume–for being such a friggen idiot! I know why you’re an idiot Haru, but jeez, I want to shake you so hard and get the message through that thick skull of yours! He’s a clingy character that has overly protective and paranoid tendencies–obviously terribly qualities for boyfriend material. Haru may view Shizuku as a precious person who he needs to protect, but that protection ultimately stems from jealousy and an unhealthy selfishness. Rather than protect Mitty for protecting her as a person, he instead shields her from any and all competitors so that he can keep her, mainly because “I found her first” (a terrible line to say, EVER).

That protection even extends to threatening serious violence against Yamaken, well beyond the stages of a manly brawl or a few punches. However, this is where we have to start exercising empathy–this is not a black and white issue. Haru has had a terrible past, one filled with bullying, being ostracized, and above all else, a lack of friends. Yamaken was part of said past, but from what we know, he wasn’t exactly a positive force in Haru’s life either. Growing up in this environment, it becomes understandable that Haru has some warped perceptions about the world, such as developing an aura of distrust and paranoia.

Thus, when Shizuku, the first friend that Haru has EVER made outside of his family, is explicitly being “taken away” by Yamaken, a carry-over from his dark past, it is obvious that Haru does not want said past to take away his current happiness. The distrust causes him to trust neither Yamaken or Mitty, and the protectiveness triggers our “scary” Haru which, at this point, would do anything to keep his source of happiness safe. Obviously this isn’t a healthy way to go about things, but it is entirely understandable. Once Haru realizes the blindness of his actions, that he has to drop ALL his walls around Mitty, then our current conflict can be resolved. I predict in the next few episodes, the interactions with Yamaken will reveal a significant amount about Yamaken and Haru’s past, allowing Mitty to adjust from “Stop being such a clingy bastard!” to “Don’t let the past affect you: trust me.”

Haru may be acting like terrible boyfriend material, and you guys who have a serious dislike for him are justified. However, that’s what defines this show: daring flaws that aren’t afraid to show themselves.

Everyone’s Got Problems, but No One Is the Bad Guy

Haru’s a nutcase. Mitty’s too distant. Natsume is too interfering. Yuuzan is an asshole. Yamaken is an opportunist. Ooshima’s too conforming to normality. Sasayan needs to dare. Mii-chan is oblivious.

Everyone on this show has their problems, but it makes the ride so much more realistic in an unrealistic setting. Obviously many of these characters represent caricatures that don’t exist commonly in real life, but they do reflect an organic interaction that’s reminiscent of how real life functions. I’m going to cheat a little and borrow something I said in the comments an episode or two ago. What I love about this show is how the author is not ashamed or afraid to make her characters have truly unlikable traits. Now, I’m not talking about “flaws” which in reality are moe points (prime examples: clumsiness, Yamaken’s tsundere), but serious flaws that can impact the perception of a character heavily. It’s a huge risk, A HUGE ONE as seen by the reactions of various people, but in my honest opinion, it’s a risk paying off well.

With the numerous flaws amongst the many characters, there lies a new level of story that can be explored, one that the romantic comedy genre needs to explore more often. Relationships aren’t easy, far from it. Anyone who’s ever been in a serious relationship can more often attest to this than not. It’s all fun and games during the first phase of a relationship, where all the wonderful qualities are fresh and all the silly mistakes are forgivable, but when actual problems arise…that is where the strong survive and the shallow relationships crumble. Mitty and Haru are full of the flaws that make relationships hard, making it easier to illustrate the “real” struggle to make a relationship work. The show isn’t making it easy for them to find peace–they actually have to work towards that stability, despite their flaws, which is hard work that I appreciate fully. It’s been a journey seeing how the characters have evolved their perceptions, seeing how their good traits eventually trump their bad ones. Everyone here deserves to find their happiness and lover, because no one here is the “bad guy”–they’re just a bunch of kids who are trying to navigate the dramas of romance, making many mistakes and successes along the way.

Haru and Mitty are caring. Natsume sticks up for her friends. Yuuzan is smart. Yamaken is truthful when the time comes. Ooshima provides a level-headed perspective. Sasayan is calm. Mii-chan is naturally a cool guy.

Above all else though, all the characters, to varying degrees, have an active perception of another person’s actions.

Everyone Sees Something, Metaphors are Cool

One of the things that’s given me hope for Tonari’s characters despite their flawed nature is their ability to perceive the subtle. Sasayan is a prime example, though he shows his reactions most subtly of all the characters. He acknowledges Mi-chan’s suaveness, but keeps his cool and character–an oasis of stability amongst all the crazy and volatile characters! However, all the other characters, even Mi-chan and Haru, have exercised their perceptions to beneficial effect. Too often do romances create characters who require everything be spelled out for them for any reaction to occur. In reality, subtlety, whether intended or not, is picked up on, affecting our perceptions in some shape or form. Tonari relies heavily on the observant nature of the characters, as many of the developments of our cast rely on changing attitudes from these quick glances and realizations.

Once these observations have been made though, Tonari goes a little poetic and outside of reality, making interesting use of various metaphors to express various feelings. Whether it’s the koi in the pot, a seesaw, or more recently a string, the writing that’s made to express these metaphors is beautiful and provides some food for thought for us to ponder. For me, some of the metaphors still do not clearly make sense, but instead I attribute that to my own terrible interpretation of metaphors (and generating them no less). Instead of straightforwardly explaining the situation in a monologue, using metaphors gives our characters, especially Mitty and Haru, added depth and reflection to their thought processes, appealing more to our emotional interpretation of these objects rather than their physical properties. I’ve seen that many of you have noticed this as well, and it makes me glad to see an appreciation for said artistic devices.

Again, I’m sure there’s so many other things to talk about, but I leave it to you guys to comment and discuss this important and significant episode. Speak up, positive or negative, about what’s surely one of the more complex shows this season! Christmas is a time of giving, so it’s about time you give your opinion for everyone to read! ^_^

P.S. – Alt-text is back! Hover over the images galore!

Full-length images: 21, 23, 27, 29, 32.





      1. well all I can say is…damn! Someone obviously is on edge. Plus when a person says “Well its just a matter of my opinion” etc. they’re just advertising the fact they actually want people to care about their opinion in an unneeded fashion, there’s better ways in doing so.

      2. by opinions i meant “everyone got one so mine doesn’t matter” so people wouldn’t get butthurt from me liking one show more than other, but hell you guys managed to hate me even despite that

      3. What marsh said.

        Seriously, mate, you need to chill. Karmafan wasn’t even attacking you or anything, he was just stating his opinion to your opinion in a civil and inoffensive way. In fact, he’s AGREEING with you about how Sukitte is a great series.

        If you feel he has misunderstood you, there’s no need to get all uptight and accuse him of lacking sufficient knowledge of the English vocabulary. Surely there’s other ways to tell him that.

        Kinny Riddle
    1. They’re more than good….they’re GRRRRREEEAAT!
      -Tony the Tiger on Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun, Episode 10

      Also: just because saying Tonari is good doesn’t say anything about how it compares to Sukitte. I love both!

  1. Honestly I just can’t take the I love you’s of the main couple seriously anymore even if Haru’s extreme reaction is definitely interesting but the Natsume scenes were the funniest and carried this episode for me.

    Chicken! Chicken! I am a chicken! … if I said what would happen?

  2. I am forever cursed with liking the other guy way more. every. time.

    yamaken, you sweet blessed beautiful boy. shizuku doesn’t like you back? don’t worry, i will love you ;-;

    man, these authors always go so much more in depth with the other guy. and they always have some sort of amazing back story that you just HAVE to be sympathetic for lol (which it looks like that’ll be the next episode.)

    1. When you know about Haru’s past more, you’ll regret saying that. I myself am more like Haru, sure clingy and overprotective. The girl I liked ended up hating me. But have you guys ever consider the fucking feelings of the person who is clingy? There is a reason for everything and yes I have grown out of it, but I desperately tried to express how I felt and how lonely I am. I grew up in a single family for 3 years. Not much friends and always play by myself. I became overly jealous when guys try to approach the girl I like because I don’t want her to be taken away. It’s true, no one love me in my damn life. Why would I risk anything? Not to mention those guys were doing it to piss me off and create entertainment, I was just too stupid to fall for it again and again. The least the girl can do is at least try to understand the guy’s feeling and why they do that, not say “Fuck you, you’re annoying.” Ya amen is interfering in someone else’s happiness, which is why I hate him so damn much. I hate rich people who think they’re so good and have the right to butt in. I also hate girls who are too self-centered. If you think hating someone just because they’re clingy without finding out the reason is a good thing, you’re so wrong. You’re being self-centered and selfish as well, it’s the same for Shizuku. She isn’t bothering to understand how Haru feels, all she cares is her own feelings. The best solution is to communicate, kick the fuck out of Yamaken and reach a solution.

      1. You hate Yamaken for interfering…why, exactly? He is pursuing a single girl. Haru and Mitty are not going out. They have yet to try. He isn’t doing a single thing wrong. He and Haru aren’t really friends. He has no reason to simply walk away just because Haru likes the same girl he does. You hate Yamaken for being human. For doing something all humans do, which is seek their own happiness.

        Which he doing by going after a girl who is SINGLE.

        It seems you’ve had your hard past. You relate to Haru because of it and want him to succeed. You want his happiness. Yet you condemn Yamaken for doing the same thing. Wanting his happiness.

        Maybe I’m reading too much into the phrase “Interfering in someone’s happiness” and you really just meant Haru because you’re a hardcore Haru/Mitty shipper. That’s perfectly fine. But if it goes beyond that, you’re being pretty silly. Everyone interferes in someone else’s happiness to achieve their own in some way.

        As for Mitty…sounds like you’re projecting a more personal experience so I won’t touch that =P

        Honestly now that I’ve finished typing this thing, it seems rather unnecessary. But I typed it so I’m posting it lol

      2. Look for those who disliked my comment. Why not read the manga? I said once you get to know Haru’s full fucking story. And I mean past chapter 32, into chapter 40+.

        Why I said Yamaken is interfering is because both their feelings are mutual. Why ruin it for someone? Huh? The thing disgusting about Yamaken is he attempts again after sigh if I say anymore it’ll spoil. Can’t anyone who have a the same experience or actually read the damn manga give a reply? I’m tired of ignorant faggots thumbing me down when they don’t know shit.

        I wouldn’t try to pursue a girl if she likes someone else and their feelings are mutual. I don’t want to be a dick to ruin it when they are so close to getting in a relationship, this is a moral. Why would I go and fuck someone up and tell them “Sorry, you were so close, but I just had to do this because I want to be happy myself.”

        You guys talk about Haru being self-centered, but is Yamaken not? Blind fanboys pisses me off. Also Haru doesn’t hate Yuuzan, he is more caring than most of you people think. Gosh

      3. That point about Mitty being single is invalid later on. This point is invalid.

        What piss me off is that people defend Yamaken yet bash Haru. Why wouldn’t I defend Haru more?

        Hey, so if a girl likes you and some guy tries to butt in just when you’re about to start a relationship, is it ok? Because she is still single? Can you honestly tell me you’re 100% cool with it and just let him do whatever the fuck he wants? Sure Haru is scary, but please don’t disregard his feelings. He is violent because he snapped. If Yamaken has the right to pursue Mitty for his own happiness. Haru has the right to do defend himself as well, no matter how extreme.

        It is unfair if you shit on Haru and let Yamaken do what he wants. Why don’t you go get the girl you love stolen from you first then come back and tell me how that feel?

      4. Actually, let me apologize for being rude. I’m really frustrated lately because I’m stuck on this damn hospital bed. Most of my reasoning comes from personal experience, and I know fully understand what kind if person Haru is.

        So I’ll be rational this time. Haru is like a child, like I was once. However, one thing positive about it is his straightforward and earnest feelings. He is quite loyal as well, never once actually swaying away from Mitty. While overly clingy is annoying and not appealing at all, you rarely find people who are straightforward with their feelings. It is actually quite easy to communicate with them if you try and most of them meant no harm.

        I want to explain Haru’s past and my own to give you a better idea, so if you’re willing to, then read the spoilers. Show Spoiler ▼

      5. Yes, it’s a perfectly fair game. And a couple of years, and if Haru really pulls one of his threats, he’s just going to jail => yay for Yamaken and all the future Yamaken-wannabes.

      6. while i have no personal experience like Extremist or anything against Yamaken i don’t get why so many dislikes on his post, the points he makes are quite reasonable and provides a different perspective to the majority.

      7. @Extremist
        Show Spoiler ▼

      8. Extremist, I’m sorry to hear that you’re bedridden right now. I hope that you get better soon!

        I won’t respond directly to your comment because I tried my best to skip over the spoiler material, but at least to me, it’s interesting how you resonate with the story and specific characters. I do hope you find better happiness with another person, one who will reach a compromise and talk with the inner you. However, I also hope that you can also find even greater patience and trust to make that compromise mutual. I used to be an amateur “Dealing with Crushes” counselor (kind of like Natsume, heh heh), so I truly hope the best for ye!

        Of course, keep coming back and exercising your opinion. I might not agree with all of your points, but it definitely is interesting to see another perspective like yours. It would be nice if you could have a calmer discussion like your longest post–that’s where I really saw your point of view most clearly ^^.

        Thanks for sharing btw~

      9. I don’t hate Haru because he is clingy ( and I don’t hate Haru at all). I hate him as pair with anyone because I don’t think a) threatening to rape someone is ok b) trying to push someone down the way he was ready to do with Yamaken is ok.

  3. Natsume is my favorite. She is clearly meddling too much. But I find it really endearing because it is so selfless. She really just wants to do everything she can to support Mitty.

  4. I’m glad there are people out there that get get something out of a show like this – & NO I’m not badmouthing it or anything. I’m just watching/skimming through it like any other half-ass viewer seeing if it keeps up with the manga. This stuff is way too funny for me to be trying to get anything out of it.

    Maybe I’ll run through it again for that purpose, when it’s done. At least it should have an ending, unlike the manga.

  5. I’m not sure if the author perceives Yamaken’s lack of hesitation to grab Natsume’s head as an ‘unlikable trait’. I dare to say in this show such behavior is normal. We have the ‘cute’ Haru hitting Shizuku (even if accidentally) several times and not being seriously called out on this. Such scenes are clearly used as gags and it’s some viewers, who find them disturbing or not acceptable.

  6. I loved Tough Girl Natsume! She was so cute! She is quickly becoming my favorite character. But it’s hard not to like anyone in this, aside from Yuuzan, who I didn’t hate in the past.

    Yamaken’s mysterious feel dropped for me, and now, I consider him a good entertainer like the rest of the characters in this XD. But damn…Haru…was he really about to give him the FACEPALM OF DEATH and chuck him over the railing? o.O

    I was waiting for this….Dat confession….*sniff*….I…I was so happy

    And my tears for happiness turned into tears for laughter because of Haru’s squeeky voice yelling at Mitty in the next scene XDDD

    1. rather than saying he’s a bad person i think Haru psychologically operates at a more basic level than most of us(which has positives and negatives like anything else), he doesn’t have preconceptions like most of us, as how to do things, how to treat your girlfriend/people, how to ‘act’ like a boyfriend, he simply takes action based on the limited number of things he knows for sure, such as the fact he likes Mitty and wants to be with her.
      so obviously he wouldn’t fit into our mold how people should be, which is what i find quite interesting about his character.
      while he may not be perfect, couple of things you can count on his character to be honest and direct.

      oh, and i copied this from a earlier post of mine since it’s simpler than writing a new post to address the same issue.

      Haru is not a ‘normal’ guy(so don’t expect him act normal), it should have been obvious from the first ep, why suddenly take issue with his character?

  7. Certainly, what separates Tonari from other generic shoujo is how characters are so much more observant. In reality, we don’t need everything to be said out loud; we pick up signs. I hated how the characters in Shoujo manga are always oblivion to situations (and sometimes dishonest) until someone has to burst and yell and stuff. On another perspective, Tonari seems more like a slice of life than Shoujo to me due to heavy character developments. I don’t know if it is me, but I don’t get that sweetness I had from previous episodes.

  8. – Neg points for Haru for lowbrow intimidation methods. He needs to grow up a little.
    – Was just reading an article about how KFC is popular in Japan during the festive season because it’s a more accessible alternative to turkey. Lol’d when they went to buy buckets of fried chicken. The Japanese sure know how to live it up.
    – Mi-chan sets the standard for looking good in a santa suit.
    – Natsume sets the standard for being an adorable air-head. BE MA WAIFU, DAMMIT!
    – Looks like Sasayan’s intentions are out in the open. FAITO! So I can self-insert myself in your position and make Natsume-chan my waifu!
    – Poor Ooshima can’t quite keep up with the pace. Priceless reactions all around.

    … I somehow find myself emulating Stilts. =s

    1. Oops,
      – Also, good job with the mighty fine chart!
      – Lol, Nagoya in the preview. Rather than guiding anyone to the exit, I think it saw the buckets of chicken they bought for the party.

    2. Now that you mention it, I’ve concluded that Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun is actually subliminal messaging/advertising for us to buy more chicken, with Natsume as prime spokesperson.

      Actually, if KFC did a commercial with Natsume advertising…I’d go for a meal!

      1. I’d imagine Natsume and Nagoya fans would go berserk and start riots should that ad ever be displayed. But Natsume in a small santa suit… Yes, I’d get some fried chikin myself.

  9. christmas pary ep yea as usual same old give haru bit more “want” shizuku give see blonde guy could steal shizuku.

    give haru so to point shizuku tell haru QUIET especially in front of everyone during cram school area.

    very case of he said she said doing all over on holiday season.

  10. I loved Haru throughtout the series but this episde made me scared of him. Did he really intend to throw Yamakin off? I admired Yamakin’s attempt to stay out of Haru’s relationship, but I tink if smeone feels a crush against someone, and tries to pull away, but is cnstantly brought back, he will soon snap. I like Yamakin more, if anything he will help Mitty with what she wants but Haru stirs her emotions. So I wonder if that ever would become a factor in another context, when Mitty makes her decision.

    Thaks for the post, your review is good. I love Haru and at moment, I admire yamakin.

  11. LOL at the ever changing chart status. Though I wouldn’t pull the curve so low down to pre-Episode 1 levels that quickly after Haru’s overprotective antics at the end of this episode.

    Rather, the curve ought to be back on the level seen earlier this episode, somewhere around “Haru’s Guard”, which is about 5.5 to 6.

    Kinny Riddle
    1. I would argue for lower, since “Haru’s Guard” wasn’t enough to trigger an emotional reaction from Mitty, whereas now…it’s an extended pissed-off mode, the likes of which we haven’t seen before.

      I’d say they’re at an all-time low, dontcha think? :3

    1. I know most people disagree with me. At first, the story is really interesting in episode 1 till 8 and until episode 9, the show is getting boring. I find Haru is really annoying. If Yamaken is the MC instead of Haru, the show will be more interesting.

      1. lol, there won’t be anything to show if Yamaken was the MC.

        pls don’t assume this is because i dislike Yamaken’s character, i actually like his character, but honestly what would you show about him and Mitty having a relationship? it’d be pretty boring.

  12. in the end, it was the author who duped us all. Im sure when haru said “so youu wouldn’t be attending the prep school part” in real life, it wouldnt have gone jump to scene where mitty is going to prep school while haru is protesting, i mean they couldve talk more about it clearing up misunderstandings and arriving at a mutual conclusion, just another quirk for the viewers, not that i hate it, its fiction for selling of course. hehe

  13. the fact that yamaken asked haru if he would exchange mitty for him as a friend already says one thing: this show is cruel, and yamaken is cruel!
    but i still love him!
    for haru, i think violence is instinctual, it’s like asking why a male lion fights for his mate. it just doesn’t make sense that way. he isn’t aware of the full extent of his strength, and i think that isn’t a irrefutable flaw, it’s a part of him growing up. so people, do not hate on him when you haven’t seen what he can become! 🙂
    i would love to see the moment when mitty actually has fun! just feed her alcohol or something!

  14. Not gonna lie. When I read the manga, I freaked out when Haru had that murderous intent on Yamaken. https://randomc.net/image/Tonari%20no%20Kaibutsu-kun/Tonari%20no%20Kaibutsu-kun%20-%2010%20-%20Large%2028.jpg

    I can get when ppl don’t like Haru: he’s aloof, crazy, and selfish. He’s like an animal!?! But I like that realistic attribute of Haru. Seeing someone sheltered with lack of empathy and sympathy from people shows you what is of Haru. He doesn’t know how to feel: love, compassion, and understanding; therefore, Haru is dense and bad at relationships. If Haru suddenly knew how to treat a girl nice then I wouldn’t believe the sh**hole of a past Haru had. It wouldn’t make sense, so I loved that the author realized that.

    Oh, and I agree yamaken is a definite opportunist, but he’s a cute, silly one too 🙂

  15. Since it’s a/ all over this week then…

    About Haru, consider the following:

    – autistic
    – extremely violent
    – extremely possessive
    – talks about Shizuku like she is an object
    – threatened to rape her, twice
    – punched her in the face, twice
    – used an innocent girl as hostage just to get away from his brother

    1. In a nutshell: he’s got problems. LOTS of problems.

      However, that’s the risk this show takes to make an interesting plot. We’ll see if all these bad traits get outweighed in the end.

    2. rather than saying he’s a bad person i think Haru psychologically operates at a more basic level than most of us(which has positives and negatives like anything else), he doesn’t have preconceptions like most of us, as how to do things, how to treat your girlfriend/people, how to ‘act’ like a boyfriend, he simply takes action based on the limited number of things he knows for sure, such as the fact he likes Mitty and wants to be with her.
      so obviously he wouldn’t fit into our mold how people should be, which is what i find quite interesting about his character.
      while he may not be perfect couple of things you can count on his character to be honest and direct.

  16. It breaks my heart that I root so much for the “other” characters (Ooshima, Sasayan(?) and esp. YAMAKEN!) when I know how series like this will end. No I don’t read the manga but having watched pretty decent amount of anime, it’s written in stone that Haru will win. I don’t hate Haru but ehh, I don’t like him as well so…

    Anyway, this is why fanfictions exist but it’s still so sad!

  17. This show is so full of win!
    First off, characters are able to stumble and fail, big time in the way Haru went off the edge with his jelly.
    Mitty on the other hand is totally failing to even consider jealousy, and as Yamaken observes shes so lucky to have really no reason for it.
    Yamaken and his tsundere ways… too bad he’s totally friendzoned.
    Sasayan YO DA MAN! kudos for helping Ooshima to get courage to get to the party, and standing up to Mi-chan.
    speaking of Mi-chan, I can forgive him his obliviousness, being adult he probably doesnt register Natsume on his love radar…
    and kudos for Natsume for inventing the party in the first place! You go girl! but you dig yourself deeper and deeper in the scene with Yamaken and Ooshima…

  18. I really enjoyed this show at the beginning with its quirky characters and unique love story. Everything was very cutesy and fun to watch. Unfortunately, with all the back and forth “I like you, now I don’t, now you like me, and now you don’t” over and over and over, it’s kinda lost me. I can understand once or twice, being that they’re young, inexperienced, and probably a little afraid of what falling in love truly means, but by this point, it’s pretty ridiculous. And now there are so many extra side characters who also have feelings for the main characters and one another that it’s getting unnecessarily complicated.

    I still like the show as a whole, but it’s a lot less fun to watch than it used to be. I’m kinda looking forward to the end so all this silly drama can come to an end.

    And yes, it also doesn’t help that they introduced Ooshima into the story and I feel a lot more for her character than anyone else, probably due to the fact that I have, on multiple occasions, harbored an impossible crush, shyly keeping it to myself for years and years. Poor Ooshima, lol

  19. You also gotta keep into consideration that these sorts of relationships, to some extent, is what most girls crave in a relationship here in Japan. Jealousy is abound everywhere from both parties. Women say they like someone and take it back and boys are becoming more feminine by the day *glances at the makeup commercial for men airing in the background*.

    From most Western standpoints, this is all really shitty stuff to have in a relationship. But if you take out Haru’s violence, a lot of girls actually dig this stuff.

    1. Interesting perspective! It’s kind of hard sometimes to keep in mind that certain cultural norms and likes may be different. Please keep sharing your perspective as we enter the last few episodes, it’ll be interesting to see how norms differ!


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