History Main / RotatingArcs

13th Sep '17 9:38:34 PM DoubleU
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* ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' was like this: Jake, Rachel, Tobias/Ax, Cassie, Marco - with Tobias and Ax switching off, every ''ten'' books. (Later, all six would take equal turns.)
4th Jun '17 5:08:18 PM TheFullestCircle
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* ''WesternAnimation/TotalDrama'' has the episode Total Drama Drama Drama Drama Island, where the cast of 22 contestants look for a breifcase containing $1,000,000. Several sets of characters team up to look for the briefcase, and it cuts between them.
26th May '17 8:07:31 PM AthenaBlue
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* ''Manga/CastleTownDandelion'' is a SliceOfLife series surrounding a king's [[MassiveNumberedSiblings 9 children]] against a backdrop of ElectiveMonarchy. As a result, this series is structured such that every chapter/segment is focused on one or two of the Sakurada siblings[[note]][[HalfIdenticalTwins Misaki and Haruka]] are often featured together, so are Teru and Shiori, who are the youngest.[[/note]]. Other siblings are often brought into the story as story requires, but there're few stories involving ''all'' of the siblings.



* ''{{Naruto}}'' filler arcs typically follow this pattern. With Sasuke having left the village and Sakura spending all her time training under Tsunade, Naruto typically goes on a mission with other squads, usually with a different character getting emphasis and development in the arc. For example, in the Mizuki Strikes Back arc, he works with Team 10 and Iruka and Mizuki's past is explored; in the Bikochuu arc, he goes with Team 8 and Hinata's growth as a ninja is explored. In some arcs, like Land of the Sea, the featured characters come from multiple teams. Shippuden follows this to some degree with its arcs (Team Guy in the Gaara arc, Team 10 in the Hidan and Kakuzu arc, and Team 8 in the Hunt for Uchiha arc).

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* ''{{Naruto}}'' ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' filler arcs typically follow this pattern. With Sasuke having left the village and Sakura spending all her time training under Tsunade, Naruto typically goes on a mission with other squads, usually with a different character getting emphasis and development in the arc. For example, in the Mizuki Strikes Back arc, he works with Team 10 and Iruka and Mizuki's past is explored; in the Bikochuu arc, he goes with Team 8 and Hinata's growth as a ninja is explored. In some arcs, like Land of the Sea, the featured characters come from multiple teams. Shippuden follows this to some degree with its arcs (Team Guy in the Gaara arc, Team 10 in the Hidan and Kakuzu arc, and Team 8 in the Hunt for Uchiha arc).



* ''Manga/CastleTownDandelion'' is a SliceOfLife series surrounding a king's [[MassiveNumberedSiblings 9 children]] against a backdrop of ElectiveMonarchy. As a result, this series is structured such that every chapter/segment is focused on one or two of the Sakurada siblings[[note]][[HalfIdenticalTwins Misaki and Haruka]] are often featured together, so are Teru and Shiori, who are the youngest.[[/note]]. Other siblings are often brought into the story as story requires, but there're few stories involving ''all'' of the siblings.



* Noticeably averted in ''ComicBook/{{Stormwatch}}'' and ''ComicBook/TheAuthority'', where the teams are really too small to divide everyone up.
** Stormwatch does a LampshadeHanging on this in "Bleed", where, after viewing a parallel world where there are several Stormwatch teams, Winter remarks "You can't put twenty superhumans in the same '''town''' without them picking fights with each another."
*** It can be argued, though, that these comics do a mini rotating arc within the issue by pairing up some of the characters: for example, in ComicBook/TheAuthority, Midnighter and Apollo, and Jack and The Engineer usually work together as well as being romantically linked while Shen and The Doctor alternate between teams/partners or work alone. Oh, and Jenny (both versions) does whatever the hell she likes.



* Noticeably averted in ''ComicBook/{{Stormwatch}}'' and ComicBook/TheAuthority, where the teams are really too small to divide everyone up.
** Stormwatch does a LampshadeHanging on this in "Bleed", where, after viewing a parallel world where there are several Stormwatch teams, Winter remarks "You can't put twenty superhumans in the same '''town''' without them picking fights with each another."
*** It can be argued, though, that these comics do a mini rotating arc within the issue by pairing up some of the characters: for example, in ComicBook/TheAuthority, Midnighter and Apollo, and Jack and The Engineer usually work together as well as being romantically linked while Shen and The Doctor alternate between teams/partners or work alone. Oh, and Jenny (both versions) does whatever the hell she likes.



* ''Literature/MalazanBookOfTheFallen'' consists of ten largely self-contained books; while Rotating Arcs is utilized in almost every one of them, the trope mostly applies to the structure of the series. Each book is part of one or more of three overall arcs, and as the series progresses, the arcs start to intermingle and eventually converge toward each other.



* To a lesser extent, LordOfTheRings, particularly ''The Return of the King'' -- the cast herds are Frodo-Sam-Gollum, Aragorn-Éomer-Imrahil, and arguably two or three crystallize around Éowyn and Faramir. They all occur simultaneously but in multi-chapter segments.

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* ''Literature/EarthsChildren'': ''The Valley of Horses'' rotates between Ayla and her pets and Jondolar and his brother.
* To a lesser extent, LordOfTheRings, ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'', particularly ''The Return of the King'' -- the cast herds are Frodo-Sam-Gollum, Aragorn-Éomer-Imrahil, and arguably two or three crystallize around Éowyn and Faramir. They all occur simultaneously but in multi-chapter segments.segments.
* ''Literature/MalazanBookOfTheFallen'' consists of ten largely self-contained books; while Rotating Arcs is utilized in almost every one of them, the trope mostly applies to the structure of the series. Each book is part of one or more of three overall arcs, and as the series progresses, the arcs start to intermingle and eventually converge toward each other.
* The ''Literature/{{Redwall}}'' books are organized like this generally. There's usually 1-3 groups off on the adventure and 1-2 groups dealing with some issue that arises back home while they are gone. At least one Villain group (depending on the number of lead villains) is usually present as well, but they also tend to get less personal attention beyond their actions relevant to the adventurers.



* The ''Literature/RedWall'' books are organized like this generally. There's usually 1-3 groups off on the adventure and 1-2 groups dealing with some issue that arises back home while they are gone. At least one Villain group (depending on the number of lead villains) is usually present as well, but they also tend to get less personal attention beyond their actions relevant to the adventurers.
* [[Literature/EarthsChildren The Valley of Horses]] rotates between Ayla and her pets and Jondolar and his brother.



* ''Series/TheBill''. Not only do we have [[CastHerd CID, Uniform and The Brass]], but several sets of external characters. These can be left hanging for months before being rotated back in, putting a strain on viewer engagement.



* ''Series/TheBill''. Not only do we have [[CastHerd CID, Uniform and The Brass]], but several sets of external characters. These can be left hanging for months before being rotated back in, putting a strain on viewer engagement.
* In its last two seasons of ''Series/TheWestWing'', the plot went back and forth between the White House and the campaign trail, but most of the StoryArc revolved around the upcoming election. Since the candidates had to comment and respond to the crises the President dealt with and the campaigners were still in touch with the characters remaining in the White House, there was a degree of overlap. It also fits the real political problem of a lame duck politician that is leaving office and therefore not as relevant as before.

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* ''Series/TheBill''. Not only do we have [[CastHerd CID, Uniform and The Brass]], but several sets of external characters. These can be left hanging for months before being rotated back in, putting a strain on viewer engagement.
* In its the last two seasons of ''Series/TheWestWing'', the plot went back and forth between the White House and the campaign trail, but most of the StoryArc revolved around the upcoming election. Since the candidates had to comment and respond to the crises the President dealt with and the campaigners were still in touch with the characters remaining in the White House, there was a degree of overlap. It also fits the real political problem of a lame duck politician that is leaving office and therefore not as relevant as before.



* ''Webcomic/FriendlyHostility'' characters can be grouped roughly into "Fox's friends" and "Collin's friends," and tend to appear as such, one group at a time. There's quite a bit of overlap though, and this is one particular comic that likes to see what happens when the separate cast herds meet.
* ''Webcomic/GunnerkriggCourt'' uses Rotating Arcs, even though the cast isn't particularly large. Characters and plot threads come and go from chapter to chapter; Antimony is the only constant, and even she gets demoted to the role of a spectator in a few chapters.
* ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'' does this a lot. Bun-Bun got his own story arcs and cast of supporting characters in "Holiday Wars" and "Oceans Unmoving." Same goes for Oasis in "Phoenix Rising." Torg has had a number of these, from the "Torg Potter" stories where he's magically transported to a corner of the Sluggy universe populated by Harry Potter parodies, to the "Aylee" arc where he and Aylee were trapped for months in AnotherDimension, to the massive "That Which Redeems" arc where he was in ''Another'' AnotherDimension for months without any of the other cast members (although he did have their AlternateUniverse versions). The other main characters have all gotten smaller versions of these, usually in shorter arcs with a little more interaction from the other cast members.
* The webcomic ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary'' does this in the "Massively Parallel" StoryArc. The mercenaries of Tagon's Toughs split into four teams while their wrecked ship was in drydock. The first arc covered Elf Foxworthy's struggle to get the ship fixed, while the megalomaniacal Fleetmind pursued its own suspicious goals behind the scenes. The second arc has Schlock and his team sent on a mission that is going toxic. Pieces from the first arc keep getting shown from the other side of the comm system. The third arc has Kevyn and Pi setting up a system of explosives and teraports for an emergency escape system (the requested work, if not what was actually planned). The fourth arc followed Tagon, the Doc, and the remaining Toughs as they worked a gig as Mallcops in a low-gravity orbital shopping center. All four segments come together at the end as they scramble to reassemble and take on an emergency job with a couple personal twists.
** At the end of Tagon's Mallcop Command arc it's pointed out that the story wrapped up a few weeks earlier than the others and the rest of the time was spent enjoying themselves at the mall while working the cushy security gig without incident. This trope is lampshaded as the narrator points out how unrealistic it would be to have all four storylines wrap up at exactly the same time, exactly when the next arc would be starting.
*** In fact, Schlock's team's arc wasn't quite wrapped up yet (the rest of his team were in jail, having been framed for some shady dealings) and as a result they get left behind for the beginning of the next arc.

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* ''Webcomic/FriendlyHostility'' characters can be grouped roughly into "Fox's friends" and "Collin's friends," friends", and tend to appear as such, one group at a time. There's quite a bit of overlap though, and this is one particular comic that likes to see what happens when the separate cast herds meet.
* ''Webcomic/GunnerkriggCourt'' uses Rotating Arcs, even though the cast isn't particularly large. Characters and plot threads come and go from chapter to chapter; Antimony is the only constant, and even she gets demoted to the role of a spectator in a few chapters.
* ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'' does this a lot. Bun-Bun got his own story arcs and cast of supporting characters in "Holiday Wars" and "Oceans Unmoving." Same goes for Oasis in "Phoenix Rising." Torg has had a number of these, from the "Torg Potter" stories where he's magically transported to a corner of the Sluggy universe populated by Harry Potter parodies, to the "Aylee" arc where he and Aylee were trapped for months in AnotherDimension, to the massive "That Which Redeems" arc where he was in ''Another'' AnotherDimension for months without any of the other cast members (although he did have their AlternateUniverse versions). The other main characters have all gotten smaller versions of these, usually in shorter arcs with a little more interaction from the other cast members.
* The webcomic ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary'' does this in the "Massively Parallel" StoryArc. The mercenaries of Tagon's Toughs split into four teams while their wrecked ship was in drydock. The first arc covered Elf Foxworthy's struggle to get the ship fixed, while the megalomaniacal Fleetmind pursued its own suspicious goals behind the scenes. The second arc has Schlock and his team sent on a mission that is going toxic. Pieces from the first arc keep getting shown from the other side of the comm system. The third arc has Kevyn and Pi setting up a system of explosives and teraports for an emergency escape system (the requested work, if not what was actually planned). The fourth arc followed Tagon, the Doc, and the remaining Toughs as they worked a gig as Mallcops in a low-gravity orbital shopping center. All four segments come together at the end as they scramble to reassemble and take on an emergency job with a couple personal twists.
** At the end of Tagon's Mallcop Command arc it's pointed out that the story wrapped up a few weeks earlier than the others and the rest of the time was spent enjoying themselves at the mall while working the cushy security gig without incident. This trope is lampshaded as the narrator points out how unrealistic it would be to have all four storylines wrap up at exactly the same time, exactly when the next arc would be starting.
*** In fact, Schlock's team's arc wasn't quite wrapped up yet (the rest of his team were in jail, having been framed for some shady dealings) and as a result they get left behind for the beginning of the next arc.
meet.



* ''Webcomic/GunnerkriggCourt'' uses Rotating Arcs, even though the cast isn't particularly large. Characters and plot threads come and go from chapter to chapter; Antimony is the only constant, and even she gets demoted to the role of spectator in a few chapters.
* ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'' starts out moving between its separate protagonists, and gets even more and larger groups as time goes on.



* ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'' starts out moving between its separate protagonists, and gets even more and larger groups as time goes on.

to:

* ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'' starts The webcomic ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary'' does this in the "Massively Parallel" StoryArc. The mercenaries of Tagon's Toughs split into four teams while their wrecked ship was in drydock. The first arc covered Elf Foxworthy's struggle to get the ship fixed, while the megalomaniacal Fleetmind pursued its own suspicious goals behind the scenes. The second arc has Schlock and his team sent on a mission that is going toxic. Pieces from the first arc keep getting shown from the other side of the comm system. The third arc has Kevyn and Pi setting up a system of explosives and teraports for an emergency escape system (the requested work, if not what was actually planned). The fourth arc followed Tagon, the Doc, and the remaining Toughs as they worked a gig as Mallcops in a low-gravity orbital shopping center. All four segments come together at the end as they scramble to reassemble and take on an emergency job with a couple personal twists.
** At the end of Tagon's Mallcop Command arc it's pointed
out moving between its separate protagonists, that the story wrapped up a few weeks earlier than the others and gets even the rest of the time was spent enjoying themselves at the mall while working the cushy security gig without incident. This trope is lampshaded as the narrator points out how unrealistic it would be to have all four storylines wrap up at exactly the same time, exactly when the next arc would be starting.
*** In fact, Schlock's team's arc wasn't quite wrapped up yet (the rest of his team were in jail, having been framed for some shady dealings) and as a result they get left behind for the beginning of the next arc.
* ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'' does this a lot. Bun-Bun got his own story arcs and cast of supporting characters in "Holiday Wars" and "Oceans Unmoving". Same goes for Oasis in "Phoenix Rising". Torg has had a number of these, from the "Torg Potter" stories where he's magically transported to a corner of the Sluggy universe populated by Harry Potter parodies, to the "Aylee" arc where he and Aylee were trapped for months in AnotherDimension, to the massive "That Which Redeems" arc where he was in ''Another'' AnotherDimension for months without any of the other cast members (although he did have their AlternateUniverse versions). The other main characters have all gotten smaller versions of these, usually in shorter arcs with a little
more and larger groups as time goes on.interaction from the other cast members.


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[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars'' has an anthology-style format, in which the show's multiple long-running {{Story Arc}}s switch in and out of focus. As such, it is an excellent example of this trope.
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8th Mar '17 3:56:38 AM Ramidel
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[[folder:Video Games]]
* The Genesis ''VideoGame/{{Shadowrun}}'' game has three main questlines that all link up at the endgame. Each questline follows a different lead on your brother's murder, and you can track each lead at your own leisure or pursue multiple leads on a single errand. One quest tells you ''what'' happened to Michael and ''why'', one tells you ''who'' did it, and the third tells you ''where'' the BigBad is now.
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8th Mar '17 3:52:24 AM Ramidel
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* The Genesis ''VideoGame/{{Shadowrun}}'' game has three main questlines that all link up at the endgame. Each questline follows a different lead on your brother's murder. One quest tells you ''what'' happened to Michael and ''why'', one tells you ''who'' did it, and the third tells you ''where'' the BigBad is now.

to:

* The Genesis ''VideoGame/{{Shadowrun}}'' game has three main questlines that all link up at the endgame. Each questline follows a different lead on your brother's murder.murder, and you can track each lead at your own leisure or pursue multiple leads on a single errand. One quest tells you ''what'' happened to Michael and ''why'', one tells you ''who'' did it, and the third tells you ''where'' the BigBad is now.
8th Mar '17 3:50:54 AM Ramidel
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* The Genesis ''VideoGame/{{Shadowrun}}'' game has three main questlines that all link up at the endgame. Each questline follows a different lead on your brother's murder.

to:

* The Genesis ''VideoGame/{{Shadowrun}}'' game has three main questlines that all link up at the endgame. Each questline follows a different lead on your brother's murder. One quest tells you ''what'' happened to Michael and ''why'', one tells you ''who'' did it, and the third tells you ''where'' the BigBad is now.
8th Mar '17 3:47:35 AM Ramidel
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[[folder:Video Games]]
* The Genesis ''VideoGame/{{Shadowrun}}'' game has three main questlines that all link up at the endgame. Each questline follows a different lead on your brother's murder.
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2nd Aug '16 9:13:23 AM JoieDeCombat
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[[folder:Roleplay]]
* Due to its take on CanonWelding, ''Roleplay/MahouMUSH'' tends to cycle its various themes in and out of the spotlight. Themes tend to generate their own StoryArcs and play them out concurrently, occasionally intersecting to greater or lesser degrees, but arc finales often as not draw in characters from across all themes due to usually escalating to a city- or world-threatening scale. When that happens, the relevant theme's core cast take primary focus for the duration of the finale, then step back out of the spotlight when the storyline is completed. [[Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica Walpurgisnacht]] and [[Franchise/SailorMoon D-Point]] are specific examples.
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5th May '16 2:32:54 PM TheOneWhoTropes
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* The ''Franchise/WhenTheyCry'' series focuses on one or a couple of characters in each episode which is helped by the GroundHogDayLoop formula. For example [[VisualNovel/HigurashiWhenTheyCry Keiichi in Onikakushi-hen]] and [[VisualNovel/UminekoNoNakuKoroNi Rosa in Turn of the Golden Witch.]]

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* The ''Franchise/WhenTheyCry'' series focuses on one or a couple of characters in each episode which is helped by the GroundHogDayLoop formula. For example [[VisualNovel/HigurashiWhenTheyCry Keiichi in Onikakushi-hen]] and [[VisualNovel/UminekoNoNakuKoroNi [[VisualNovel/UminekoWhenTheyCry Rosa in Turn of the Golden Witch.]]
22nd Mar '16 4:25:45 PM StFan
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[[AC:{{Anime}} and {{Manga}}]]

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[[AC:{{Anime}} and {{Manga}}]][[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]



* ''FruitsBasket'', in the manga's later arcs, as a necessity of [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters parents, brothers, sisters, love interests and random passers by]] getting roped into the story. Notable for splitting up the core quartet of Yuki, Kyo, Shigure and Tohru. Kyo and Tohru form an arc unto themselves, Yuki begins to appear only in his own student-council related arc, and Shigure only really has any significance when shown with Akito. And let's not get started on the lives and loves of the other members of the Zodiac, who keep the Rotating Arcs spinning around at warp speed.

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* ''FruitsBasket'', ''Manga/FruitsBasket'', in the manga's later arcs, as a necessity of [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters parents, brothers, sisters, love interests and random passers by]] getting roped into the story. Notable for splitting up the core quartet of Yuki, Kyo, Shigure and Tohru. Kyo and Tohru form an arc unto themselves, Yuki begins to appear only in his own student-council related arc, and Shigure only really has any significance when shown with Akito. And let's not get started on the lives and loves of the other members of the Zodiac, who keep the Rotating Arcs spinning around at warp speed.




[[AC:ComicBooks]]
* The ''ComicBook/XMen'' uses rotating arcs ''constantly'' - with such an enormous cast, and people [[PutOnABus leaving]], [[KilledOffForReal dying]] and [[BackFromTheDead resurrecting themselves]] all the time, it's the only way Professor X and Co. can be kept in check... and the only way that readers can keep up with everyone. Even then, the X-Men shuffle teams pretty regularly, just to keep things confusing.

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[[folder:Comic Books]]
* The ''ComicBook/XMen'' uses rotating arcs ''constantly'' - -- with such an enormous cast, and people [[PutOnABus leaving]], [[KilledOffForReal dying]] and [[BackFromTheDead resurrecting themselves]] all the time, it's the only way Professor X and Co. can be kept in check... and the only way that readers can keep up with everyone. Even then, the X-Men shuffle teams pretty regularly, just to keep things confusing.




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[[folder:Web Comics]]




[[AC:WebOriginal]]
* The WhateleyUniverse ''has'' to operate this way, since the main characters are written by different authors. The most obvious example was the 2006 Christmas break, which technically still hasn't finished since some authors are writing new stories for it. Phase had a separate novel where she went home and ran into a serial killer [[spoiler: that was really an unkillable demon from a hell dimension]]. Tennyo had a Christmas adventure with Jinn Sinclair [[spoiler: who was embedded in her stuffed cabbit]], while Jade Sinclair went home with Fey for another holiday [[spoiler: and she was stabbed to death, but she got better]]. And so on. So far, there are seven such stories, two of which haven't finished. And WordOfGod says there will probably be a couple more.

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[[folder:Web Original]]
* The WhateleyUniverse ''has'' ''Literature/WhateleyUniverse'' '''has''' to operate this way, since the main characters are written by different authors. The most obvious example was the 2006 Christmas break, which technically still hasn't finished since some authors are writing new stories for it. Phase had a separate novel where she went home and ran into a serial killer [[spoiler: that was really an unkillable demon from a hell dimension]]. Tennyo had a Christmas adventure with Jinn Sinclair [[spoiler: who was embedded in her stuffed cabbit]], while Jade Sinclair went home with Fey for another holiday [[spoiler: and she was stabbed to death, but she got better]]. And so on. So far, there are seven such stories, two of which haven't finished. And WordOfGod says there will probably be a couple more.more.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.RotatingArcs