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Misaimed Fandom: Anime and Manga
Examples of misaimed fandom in anime and manga.

  • This seems to happen a lot with especially shady characters in Kubo Tite's works.
    • Ranewater Calder in Zombie Powder had many female fans despite him being a complete raving sociopath who liked to cut off innocent people's fingers just so he could get a hold of eternal youth.
    • Grimmjow from his most popular series, Bleach has a huge fan following. You know, the guy who's basically an Ichigo/Renji hybrid minus any sense of morality.
      • The treatment that people like Gin Ichimaru or Ulquiorra Cifer get from rabid fangirls is just as bad. According to them, Gin's decision to stage a very bloody revenge on Aizen for having stolen part of the soul of his Only Friend Rangiku totally justified actions as bloody and cruel as verbally taunting Rukia For the Evulz and causing her an Heroic BSOD with words alone when she was at her lower point, gleefully bifurcating Hiyori Sarugaki or causing the aforementioned Rangiku decades of emotional pain for a revenge that she would've likely been opposed to. Similarly, Ulquiorra's more insane fans like to gloss over how he killed Ichigo twice and horribly maimed Ishida, or how he contributed to Orihime's Break the Cutie process (how much of it was his doing is another matter...and let's leave it at that).
  • Ah! My Goddess has this in spades. Some fans take Keiichi's laid-back attitude as a sign that he's weak-willed and would be subservient to any of the other members of the main cast, despite the fact that the series wouldn't work if that was true.
  • Axis Powers Hetalia was intended to parody National Stereotypes. With this in mind, the amount of Misplaced Nationalism in the fandom (especially in regards to characters like America and Poland) looks ridiculous.
  • Bakugan Battle Brawlers has the Doom Card, a symbol of evil that basically sent losing Bakugan to hell and was an implement of the Big Bad and all around made people do nasty, terrible things. The kids LOVE the Doom Card...
  • Black Butler: Word of God says Ciel and Sebastian are villain protagonists who have no affection for each other and shouldn't be pitied. However, a lot of Yaoi Fangirls want them to be Happily Ever After.
  • Considering that Candy Candy is a shoujo manga from The Seventies, it had pretty revolutionary 'messages': "Be honest to yourself", "Don't throw away your own beliefs", "Work hard to earn what you get in life", "Romance is important, yes, but not the end and be all to a woman's life". The fandom, however, ignores almost all of them (and specially the last one) only to focus on the romantic part of the plot, and specially on loudly complaining because Candy and Terry didn't end up together. Even older fans in their 30's and 40's, who should know better, fall into this trap.
  • Code Geass:
    • In a similar vein to Zeon (and the various factions of other Gundam series in general - it is a Sunrise series), Britannia is often gets portrayed as significantly less evil in the fandom than in the series. Even the series humanizes The Empire to a degree in R2, seeming to forget that they're, you know, evil aggressors. Much like Zeon, the soldiers themselves are often pretty decent (albeit with a number of racists), and even the leaders (Princes and Princesses) are often shown to genuinely love and care for one another - to an extent.
    • Lelouch is a prime example of Misaimed Fandom. Lelouch is a pragmatist who keeps his head and makes the best use of any situation, even if it involves killing bystanders/foolish allies or disgracing those that he loves, but he's obviously not happy when his subordinates or friends die, and his end goal is to replace the current system with one that's kinder and not as exclusive. On the one hand, many fans tend to forget this and paint him as a monster who cares for no one but himself, overlooking his more noble qualities which includes becoming the object of the world's hatred and dying in order to create world peace...all for the sake of his baby sister. On the other hand, there are fans who refuse to admit that their baby Lulu isn't above lying, manipulatingnote , or even expending people around him to achieve his goals, and his carelessness has resulted in some pretty nasty consequences for himself and for the people he wants to help (including said baby sister). On both ends, it seems Fan Dumb is Not So Different.
  • Death Note has a lot of this:
    • Fans who root for Light even through his most callous casualties and perceive him as the god proxy he touts himself as (as opposed to the insane serial killer Near paints him as) is this, as in Death Note 13, both creators say they consider Light to be evil. The infamous "Manga Murder" case (in which a Belgian man murdered people whose names he wrote in a "Death Note" replica, presumably imitating Light) is the Most Triumphant Example of this possible Misaimed Fandom. That said, there are SOME who cheer him on because he's so brilliantly twisted and evil who don't qualify here, but for those who actually believe he's The Hero... they definitely qualify here. Note that this even extends to the Director of the anime. He's gone on record of saying part of him was pulling for Light to be the victor of the manga, despite his evilness. This is in contrast, however, to the Director of the live action movie adaptations, who has said that one of his goals (particularly in the second film) was to convey Light's evil properly like he felt it was conveyed in the manga. It's also suspected that the reason his downfall at the end of the manga was made so devastating was specifically as a Take That to the fans rooting for him.
    • In an inverted example, a lot of fans who dislike Light seem to pick upon his declaration of divinity as one of his crowning sins. Now, whilst this does show his tremendous ego and doesn't exactly do his audience sympathy many favours, you'd have thought that being a bit arrogant and offending some viewers' religious sensibilities would be kind of small fry compared with murdering hundreds of people a day, including some for just getting in your way, for several years running.
    • Also, in another instance of this, similar to the Rei Ayanami example, there's L, the socially inept, disheveled, insomniac rival to Light, who was admittedly designed to be ugly and unpleasant looking. The massive fangirl following massively disagrees. Death Note 13's "How to Read" also reveals that Takeshi Obata tried to complicate the morality of the series by purposefully giving L an ugly character design that no one would be attracted to.
      • Acknowledged by the author when, during one of L's rare public appearances, one young woman is smitten with him despite/because of his disheveled appearance. The woman's friend wonders what is wrong with her.
  • Dragon Ball Z:
    • Many fans like to paint Vegeta as a victim who doesn't cause any trouble, and try to blame other characters for his actions throughout the series, ignoring the fact that he is a selfish asshole who makes his decisions by choice. Even the Funi dub gets on this, by trying to scapegoat Frieza for his actions.
    • Some fans may see Nappa as misunderstood for teaming up with Vegeta, ignoring the fact that he is at least 20 years older than Vegeta, and that he is old enough to resist peer pressure, and he often takes glee in hurting people for fun.
  • An Eye Shield 21 fan basically has to introduce him/herself first as either a fan of the football games, or a fan of the boys, before talking at all about the series.
  • Believe it or not, fans of Franken Fran, but Fran isn't evil. Nor is her sister Veronica supposed to be good. If you truly pay attention, then you'll notice that they are both intended to be neutral. It's especially apparent with the OVAs, where no violence happens and its slapstick fun. Fans can't just let the kids live normally.
  • A very spoileriffic example from Fullmetal Alchemist. Roy destroying Envy in the most painful way possible isn't supposed to be enjoyed by the audience. Although Envy is a psychopath who had it coming for killing Hughes in the meanest way possible, and other characters like Riza and Edward do agree that he has to die and has done everything to deserve it, you're supposed to be worrying for Roy's sanity (killing Envy to avenge Hughes would completely destroy Roy's lifelong dream to purify the country/military and atone for the sins of the Ishbalan war), not cheering for him to kick Envy's ass. The Brotherhood anime clears this up a bit, largely with the way the voices sound: Roy's tone is clearly that of a savage madman who is completely losing his sanity, and Envy sounds like a scared ten year old.
  • Grave of the Fireflies has been hijacked by some Japanese nationalists to fuel talk of how cruel America was to Japan in World War II. Meanwhile, detractors have accused it of feeding into this rose-tinted view of Imperial Japan as the innocent victims forced to go into war. The film's fame comes from being praised for portraying how war is absolutely terrible and horrific for anyone caught in it, whichever side they may be on. Ironically, none of these factors are what the director intended. In an interview with Animage in 1988, Isao Takahata stated that there is no anti-war message at all in the film. He was actually aiming to shame the contemporary generation of rebellious (at least by Japanese standards) Japanese teens/young adults by reminding them of what their parents had to endure before the economy was rebuilt.
  • Gundam:
    • Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny fans who think either Blue Cosmos/LOGOS or Well-Intentioned Extremist Durandal were right. Word of God is that Durandal thought what he was doing was right, which some fans have exaggerated into claiming that it outright states that Dullindal/Durandal/whatever translation you use was right in the first place. but he was going to use a weapon of mass destruction against the countries who were against his Destiny Plan! This is one of those cases where fan claims about Word of God must be taken with a grain of salt. Also, in Char's Counterattack, there are quite a few fans who maintain that Char was the hero. Despite, you know, his trying to drop an asteroid on Earth. Char himself considers this act Necessarily Evil, but evil nonetheless.
    • If you want an example of Misaimed Fandom for the series, look no further than the Principality of Zeon from the Universal Century. Later series play up the space Nazi aspect so much that the only difference between Zeon battle flags and Nazi ones is the replacement of the swastika. But Zeon has a truly staggering fan following, both in Japan and in the Western world, who admire Zeon soldiers as the pinnacle of manliness and loyalty. While Gundam is all about Gray and Gray Morality, and it's the leaders who are the greedy scumbags while the common soldiers run the gamut, it doesn't change the fact that Zeon's default response to anything was to throw a WMD at it, whether it's a Colony Drop (original series, 0083), biological weapon (Rise from the Ashes), or nuclear missiles (0080). This isn't helped by the fact that several stories like 0083 and 0081 focus on the interactions of close-knit groups of Zeon soldiers and try to gloss over the fact that they want to (and did) kill millions of innocent civilians in the name of independence.
      • The fact Zeon is still labeled as having fought the OYW over "spacenoid independence" shows how misaimed the Gundam fandom really is on the subject. Gundam backstory has long established that Zeon, specifically Side 3, had gained independence from the Federation long before the One Year War took place (how could Zeon Zum Daikun form the Republic of Zeon without it?), while Zeon's method of "liberating" the other colonies from the Federation was either to gas or nuke them out of existence; only Side 6, which chose to remain neutral (though secretly supporting the Federation), and Side 7 (which was on the other side of the planet) remained untouched by Zeon's genocidal onslaught. Basically, Zeon fought for spacenoid independence the same way Nazi Germany fought for European freedom and liberty, yet it's still seen in the same light as the American Minutemen by a large contingent of Gundam fans.
    • Gundam also has viewers who didn't get the memo and missed the fact that one of the franchise's key points is War Is Hell; these people can usually be identified as the ones who say things like "The giant robots are great, but I wish they'd shut up with all that talky philosophy bullshit and just fight each other!"
  • Gunslinger Girl was taken by many to be a deconstruction of lolicon. Turns out, not so much...
  • In Higurashi no Naku Koro ni a lot of fans seem to dislike whenever nothing "scary" or gory happens. They're completely missing the point of the series. We're supposed to be happy that there is nothing wrong and that everyone can just go on with their lives.
    • In fact, the authors of the Higurashi Visual Novels were heavily influenced by Key's Visual Novels such as Kanon, which work by contrasting simple, happy scenes which build up to plot twists and extremely emotional sad scenes, and were very effective at bringing players to tears. Higurashi's authors adopted a similar pattern of happy scenes and horror scenes to give the horror more impact: hence, the happy parts are integral to the overall horror effect.
  • While Sora Naegino from Kaleido Star did go through quite the Break the Cutie at times, her boss Kalos Eidos was a Stern Teacher at most and her second season May Wong got to befriend her after being subjected to quite the Break the Haughty. To the fandom, however, Kalos and May are abusive and monsters who masturbate to the possibility of Sora failing, and Sora should be spoon-fed success and stardom even when she has to re-shape her Wide-Eyed Idealist ways into a somewhat more mature stance, so she can both keep believing in the best of people and not crush under the pressure of being the star of the Kaleido Stage. Sora is a deconstruction of the Purity Sue archetype... but the Kaleido Star fandom actually seems to actively want her to be a straight example.
  • Kujibiki Unbalance was a Show Within a Show in the anime Genshiken made to parody nearly every romance anime by following all of the tropes. Kujibiki Unbalance was too spot on; it became a highly successful spinoff, while Genshiken itself almost didn't get a second season. (It was delayed almost a year.)
  • Some parts of the Loveless fandom actively ship pairings that are canonically stated to be abusive (eg- Seimei/Soubi), either ignoring or fetishizing the fact that they aren't healthy. Also applying Draco in Leather Pants to Seimei and Nisei.
  • The ending of the Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch manga was supposed to insinuate that love wasn't as important as personal fulfillment: Hanon and Rina know they will eventually have to choose to rule their kingdoms instead of staying on the surface. (This is analogous to the original "The Little Mermaid" story, except Lucia gets to keep Kaito.) Fans generally ignore this and give them future children with Nagisa and Hamasaki (Masahiro).
  • Naruto:
    • Many fans wanted to see Naruto kill Pain/Nagato just for the sake of revenge. The entire point of the arc (and most of the series) is that revenge is a form of cheap satisfaction that never solves anything, which just leads to more revenge, and that some problems are best solved without violence (and if Naruto killed him he would have proved his belief that people are incapable of overcoming their hatred or showing mercy to those that have hurt them to be completely right). Oddly enough, these fans also seem surprised by his tragic backstory, even though it had already been mentioned, and even though Naruto never accepted Freudian Excuses as justifications for misdeeds, often criticizing the logic behind them.
    • Another example is that whilst many Naruto fans see Sasuke as a Smug Snake who eats babies and enjoys kicking puppies, others see him as a Bad Ass with absolutely no flaws, who is not emotionally unstable in the least and who simply does bad things because he's "cool" and "badass" and "evil". Both sets of fans are wrong, as it's pretty clear that while he's supposed to be sympathetic, or to have been sympathetic once before he crossed the Moral Event Horizon, most of his life choices are shown in quite a negative light.
      • In an interview, Kishimoto finally weighed in on what he thinks of Sasuke's Misaimed Fandom; While he denies Sasuke being an actual villain, he also slammed anyone who tried to rationalize his actions and said they were not justifiable.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: Since NGE was basically created by committee with no clear goal at the start, it is one series where these claims of specific deep and meaningful "authors intent" definitely needs to be taken with a grain of salt.
    • Rei was intended to be a creepy and wrong Deconstruction of the anime fandom's fetish for a perfect, obedient woman. Hideaki Anno instructed Yoshiyuki Sadamoto on Rei's character design that "Whatever else, she needs to be painted in as a bitterly unhappy young girl with little sense of presence". Instead, she became one of the Ur Examples of Moe. She also created an entire character archetype. This may be because she's portrayed as a sympathetic Woobie. In addition, the fandom declared her to be pure straight Fetish Fuel, and later merchandising and marketing began to play up this aspect of her.
    • Much of the same occurred with Kaworu - he was also supposed to be creepy and somewhat disturbing, but as a Bishōnen who seemed to have chemistry with Shinji, he didn't have a chance against the Yaoi Fangirls. As with Rei, this aspect became Ascended Fanon, with his Rebuild Of Evangelion incarnation becoming more sympathetic.
    • There is also an astonishing number of people who walk away thinking that piloting an EVA would be the coolest thing in the world. This is despite the fact that the show repeatedly beats you over the head with the idea that EVA pilots are basically Child Soldiers, and that no sane person would ever want to live that life.
  • Ouran High School Host Club was intended to make fun of the school romance/bishounen harem genre. It includes many common character and plot tropes; however, many fans don't seem to realize or care that the tropes are not being played straight. Other fangirls are capable of self-deprecation. Still others see it as the best of both worlds, with the cuteness of a romantic comedy and the funnier humor of an Affectionate Parody. note 
  • In the Pokémon anime, the rival of each series induces one of these. While they're normally a jerk to Ash instead of a friendly competitor, a lot of people cheer them on for this, saying that they're much cooler than Ash and better trainers. This is most evident in Paul, the Sinnoh rival. Yet people still cheered him on when he abused his Pokemon in order to make them stronger. This is because Paul's methods are quite similar to the methods the competitive video game players use to obtain their Pokémonnote , making him an instant foil to Ash's friendship-and-love approach and a Take That to those players. Instead, Paul became an Audience Surrogate for some of these players and an anchor point to the normally unwatchable-for-them anime.
    • Gary Oak in the original series is more a YMMV though. Yes, he was two steps ahead of Ash for most of said series, but he also suffered crucial failures as well. Adding salt to the wound, Ash succeeded in some of those said scenarios. Gary losing to the preliminaries that Ash got through in the Indigo League? Check. Being owned by Giovanni's Mewtwo? Check. Gary losing to Ash himself during the Johto Tournament. Indeed, check.
  • In The Prince of Tennis, people who think that An Tachibana has a Crowning Moment of Awesome when she confronted Kirihara for having injured her older brother in the anime-only Senbatsu arc are massively missing the point of said sub-plot and the consequences it brought for the charas involved. An's actions were NOT supposed to be seen as commendable, as she was consumed by rage and she had tried to attack Kirihara some days before and was restrained; not to mention, her second attack on Kirihara finished on him taking a Staircase Tumble that could have been fatal, and for worse Akira Kamio was wrongfully accused for said fall and almost kicked out of the Senbatsu. While Kirihara himself decided to not tell who attacked him as he was shit scared of the consequences and didn't want more problems. However, "feminist fans" often praise the girl and say she's badass and strong for physically attacking a man, horribly missing how her supposed Revenge was simply not worth it and it only caused Kamio, Kirihara and the poor girl herself lots of pain. (To the point of breaking down in tears and apologizing for the consequences!)
  • Despite the fact that the entire latter half of the anime was supposed to showcase how awful being a Magical Girl can be, there are still quite a few people who walk away from Puella Magi Madoka Magica thinking it would be the coolest thing in the world and wanting nothing more than to make a contract with Kyubey.

    Sayaka Miki was supposed to deconstruct or at very least criticise tropes like Love Martyr, Unrequited Tragic Maiden and Patient Childhood Love Interest, as well as the unrealistic concepts of love and romance they rely on. This is evident even at the start of the series, when she implies that she wants to be a Magical Girl and use her wish to heal the Ill Boy she has a crush on, and Mami immediately points out the self-interest behind such an intention. Fandom, however, embraced Sayaka as a straight-up example of the tropes she was created to "attack", and still believe Sayaka is entitled to the Ill Boy's affection and that he is the ONLY reason for her Face-Heel Turn.

    Homura's love for Madoka, though initially well-intentioned, is an all-consuming obsession that endangers Homura and others- to say nothing of the trauma and self-hatred that fuels it. But shippers have to ship, so Homura/Madoka ended up the show's Fan-Preferred Couple, and when the third movie dared show just how unhealthy Homura's feelings are...many fans rebelled.
  • Revolutionary Girl Utena has this in a bunch of different flavors, which was sort of bound to happen. A big part of this is either focused on whether Anthy is a villain or The Woobie, whether Utena should be a prince or a princess, the Prince and Princess Tropes in themselves (since both concepts are deconstucted and shown as unrealistic, but fans insist it's best to be a "gallant prince" than a "stupid princess") and shipping wars. Oh, the shipping wars...The ironic part is that the show makes a large part of deconstructing these arguments and pointing out that no person would have such flat motivations. But it wouldn't be a Misaimed Fandom if they listened.
  • Many Robotech fans completely ignore the point that Robotech is supposed to be a multigenerational epic. This means that characters come along and leave (either through death or simply time passing) when their stories are finished. A large number of them are obsessed with Rick Hunter as though he were the central main character of the Robotech Universe. He appeared briefly in the 2007 followup Shadow Chronicles film as a barely recognizable, aged, white haired version of himself (Actually, he looked far older than what he was supposed to be). This naturally upset fans who wanted to see Rick, Max, and the others flying their Veritechs and kicking serious alien ass like in the original Macross Saga despite the fact that Shadow Chronicles takes place about 35 years later.
    • That's not the whole story. The fans are right to ask for it, and the Studio behind Robotech is quite willing to deliver further adventures of Rick, Max, Lisa & co. They even tried to produce a Robotech II: The Sentinels TV series back in the 1980's which would detail what the Macross characters got up to during seasons 2 and 3. This just didn't work out, and later on Harmony Gold lost the licensing rights to the Macross materials due to court challenges from the Japanese creators. Robotech was mashed together Frankenstein-style from 3 unrelated series. They still have the rights to part 3, Genesis Climber Mospeada, so all further Robotech works only reference visual designs from Mospeada. Believe me, Harmony Gold would spew out 10,000 episodes of "Rick Hunter adventures", if they (legally) could.
  • Rurouni Kenshin fans who complain how much it sucks that Kenshin doesn't kill anyone, despite this being a major, plot-critical character trait. Some fans have intelligent criticism of the series' simplistic take on morality and violence—but many do seem to think it'd be cooler if Kenshin would kill people, or don't care. The author included an in-universe example of this viewpoint: Saitou Hajime not only thinks it'd be better if Kenshin reverted to his old ways, but is also continually trying to force him to do so. When Kenshin finally resolves his last issue with his past, Saitou rejects his challenge because he was searching for something that Kenshin can no longer provide.
    • Rurouni Kenshin as a whole was supposed to be a deconstruction of the Jidai Geki fiction, showing the bitter consequences of being a samurai in the Meiji Era — the times when samurai totally lost their influence in Japanese society. Seems some people definitely missed that message.
  • With Serial Experiments Lain, producer Yasuyuki Ueda hoped to stir a "cultural war" (seriously) between traditional Japanese and American values, due to the latter's perceived negative influence on post-WWII Japan. His hope with Lain was to create a story that would be interpreted differently in the East and West and spark discussions on their cultural differences and perspectives. American fans interpreted the plot the same way as Japanese fans, which suggests that either Lain wasn't enough of a Mind Screw for his purposes, or Americans and Japanese are not that different at all... Misaimed Creator?
  • The anime Shiki has this big time. The show is supposed to be a morally gray spin on the vampire genre where both sides could be considered in the wrong and there is no real good or evil side. It is a simple battle of two species who cannot coexist. Both sides end up doing horrible things by the end of the show just to protect their species and community from destruction. Despite this being somewhat clear many people don't get this (the entire point of the series) and seem to act like one side is clearly good and the other is pure evil. The Shiki supporters tend to be more self aware but the human supporters are down right militant with their view of the Shiki being pure evil and the humans being fully justified. They will even claim that the holocaust of the Shiki at the end of the show was perfectly justified while the Shiki feeding on the humans to survive is complete, pitch black, evil. The show seems to be too intelligently written for the typical audience that views anime though so the show's nuanced morality may go over the heads of most. This is not helped by the fact that both sides have a few bad people on them.
  • The Wandering Son fandom can be this at times. A lot of the fandom seems to be under the impression that either, or both, of the protagonists are just gay despite the fact that the manga explicitly states several times that they are Transsexual, and even has a post-op like Yuki who they compare to. Other fans think it's a romance Shojo where Takatsuki and Nitori are going to end up in the end, despite it being marketed as seinen instead. They may or may not end up together, but the manga isn't about that.
  • Welcome to the N.H.K.: Believe it or not, many people want to become hikikomori after watching it. Yeah. The implication that a cute girl will show up to help you out is probably the main reason, even though the girl in the show is even more mentally messed-up than the protagonist. This continued even after the author wrote in the afterword of the original novel that the point of the story was how horrible this lifestyle was for him. Most importantly, this is ignoring the fact that two hikkikomori nearly died because their support got cut off; they even had an aesop saying one has to work if they want to live.
  • Wolf's Rain fans who sympathize too much with the wolves, claiming that "They don't really want to hurt anyone," even though many killings happen on-screen. The only one who shows any remorse is Toboe. Kiba, the human-intolerant leader, gets squeed over as well—but even if he were human, he would still be a messed-up, violent, bad-tempered misanthrope. It's not that he's bad—his issues are extremely understandable and he does grow to genuinely care about the others—it's just unlikely that The Power of Love alone could cure his issues. Especially if she's human. But as their human-looking forms are all Bishounen, it's completely understandable. Wolf's Rain also happens to be a social and religious allegory. Some fans ignore this in favor of fawning over how pretty the wolves are.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • According to series creator Kazuki Takahashi, the main point of was intended to be friendship. Unfortunately, the children's card game (that is almost always one-on-one) element got out of control and is now the dominant aspect of the franchise.
    • Another example is that over the course of the anime/manga, there are fans who still view Seto Kaiba as The Woobie, even though he's long since become self reliant, and that Yugi and his friends are jerks who don't understand what he's been through, or fawn over Kaiba's badass traits so much that they will overlook or pardon his jerkass moments. Even the Toei staff working on the anime seems to feel this way. In the manga though, it should be clear that outside his few redemptive moments, Kaiba's behavior should not be idolized or emulated and that, while you are supposed to sympathize with Kaiba's troubles, you're not supposed to think that excuses the crap he pulls.

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