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The Annotated Series is a YouTube series that lampoons TV shows and public service announcements, such as Ctrl+Alt+Del: The Animated Series, The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3, and Captain N: The Game Master via YouTube's annotation feature.On October 3rd 2009, CurtDogg uploaded an episode of Ctrl+Alt+Del: The Animated Series and included a link to the video's annotation editor in the style of the channel UnoriginalContent, which had been going for a few months by this time. It caught on and The Annotated Series was born. Under the name beeupyou, CurtDogg continued to upload the rest of the series before moving onto other video game-related cartoons. However, YouTube eventually discontinued the collaborative annotation feature, forcing the move to the shared channel, TheAnnotatXperiment.The Annotated Series is presented in a regular episodic format, usually in the original order of the series in question, with a break in the middle or end of each season. Each break is marked by an intermission in which group members annotate something completely unrelated but generally of similar poor quality as the main attractions.A third account, HammerNationTime, is used for material that is considered too risky copyright-wise for the main channel.In mid-2014 two strikes were leveled against TheAnnotatXperiment, resulting in a channel move. The new main channel is TheAnnotationStation while TheAnnotatXperiment will serve (for the time being at least) as an archive for old works.During October 2014, annotators posted Five Years: The Annotated Anniversary Special! on TheAnnotationStation, celebrating all of the content covered in the previous five years with a montage of key scenes for participants to annotate anew.The Annotated Series has its own Shout-Out page which can be found here. Also has a page covering its many Running Gags available here.Attention: Please do not add links to the annotated videos. The annotators have asked to avoid linking from other websites, in case potential copyright claimants were to find them. You wouldn't want to be responsible for shutting down the channel, would you?
Material they've annotated, in chronological order:
Annotated Fan Fiction (Practice) — Has basically become a roast for Irrelevant where people get to deliver sweet payback to him. (Not that he's not okay with that.) Explanation Irrelevant402 testing the waters for a pet project where he wants to write a fan fiction, claiming to be a Crisis Cross Over and then having it read over by Microsoft Sam. This is merely him reading the first two pages before deciding on the Sam approach. Claims he wants it for an early/late anniversary gift/a valentine towards the experiment in general
Added Alliterative Appeal: Cheatsy Koopa once says "I'm the Emperor of Eavesdropping!" Every scene he appears in afterwards has at least one annotation with a new alliterative title for him. And every once in a while he seems to be reincarnated into another show briefly.
Alas, Poor Villain: A meta-example: With the knowledge that the penultimate episode of Sonic Underground marks the final appearance of Sleet and Dingo, most of the episode's YouTube comments consist of sorrowful send-offs for the pair.
At the middle and end of each season the channel does intermissions and warmups, with works like Bibleman and Bouchedags.
"MK4 - The Annotated Gold" has the distinction of being the first feature to be focused entirely on video game cutscenes rather than cartoons.
"Annotated Sex Is The Best!" is actually a Web Video parody which channel visitors voted to upload, much to the Annotators' dismay. It's unknown whether they'll put future material up to public vote.
Irrelevant's upcoming project/valentine/salute for the channel "Annotated Fan Fiction" was partially introduced by "Annotated Fan Fiction (Practice)".
"Club Mario" segments replace the usual Lou Albano segments for episode 31 of The Super Mario Bros Super Show due to Hurpdurpmanguy being unable to find an English version.
Angrish: In the early days when anybody could contribute, any moment of particularly horrible quality would result in the screen being filled with derogative remarks. Viewers usually need to pause the video in order to see them all. This still shows up occasionally, typically because of perceived Canon Defilement or something being seen as so stupid or nonsensical that a rational response is impossible. Often combined with Big "WHAT?!" and Sarcasm Failure.
Angst? What Angst?: Lampshaded. In Super Mario Bros. 3, a kid named Junior ends up in the Mushroom Kingdom by accident and remarks on how he's instantly, effortlessly come to terms with his situation. invoked
Apocalypse How: Kevin's destruction of a football-themed world* (Kid Icarus helped, but it might have been a net arrow, so what was the point of zapping a football?) is interpreted as a class 5 planetary extinction and gets a lot of comments. Later on, annotators call him out for worrying about Faxandu being destroyed by The Evil One but showing no compassion for Football World.
"Wow only Kevin could manage to turn a game of football into an apocalyptic situation like this." "And so the N-Team completely obliterated the grassy world of American Football...World." "Our heroes just killed millions of football players! Even as a nerd I am disgusted!" "Kevin, you just quite possibly made the 9/11 of Video Land. And you're going to pop jokes?"
Near the end of Captain N, MrGuyPwnsYou begins making Kid Icarus: Uprising references whenever he gets the chance.
Author Tract: They've popped up but the authors are polite and have them last a mere second. So if anyone wants to read them they need to go back and hit the pause button. The Armor Of Light invoked a lot of these.
Batman Gambit: Irrelevant threatened to upload an episode of The Nutshack as a last-resort solution in case nothing else was uploaded for the weekend between the Captain N finale and the start of Sonic Underground and The Super Mario Bros. Super Show. Hurpdurpmanguy pulled out all the stops to make sure Dr. D's sequel and a few other things got uploaded. Until...
In episode 7 of Savage Dragon, when Frank asks Dragon what else cops think about when their partner is down, an annotation responds "Donuts? The meaning of life? The meaning of donuts?"
In Darkstalkers episode 7, one annotation says that the Morrigan/Harry teacher/mentor subplot could be interesting "if this show weren't written by morons. And intended for children." "And written by moronic children," another annotation adds.
Breaking the Fourth Wall: Invoked whenever a character looks towards the camera and pauses. Many of the characters' speech bubbles address the show's content from an unusually Genre Savvy standpoint too. Basically everyone can be Deadpool if the Annotators will it.
Call Forward: Since Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World were annotated first, the Super Show run occasionally references them.
Calvinball: Referenced in Captain N season 2, episode 8, where Simon is made to say "All of our games turn into Calvinball" after being attacked and having his pants pulled down by Duke.
Cameo: Speech bubbles from characters from previous works show up, usually without a name but instead color-coded, making them almost an In-Joke. Character allusions not from works they've annotated have included slowbeef, Electrical Beast, and BillyMC, as well as other Retsupurae references.
Censor Box: This appears any time something appears suggestive. In Captain N they frequently appear over where Duke's anus would be.
Cerebus Syndrome: If the show they're annotating turns particularly low in quality, dark or just plain offensive, people will stop making jokes and instead offer serious critical analysis on why the scene is bad.
Subverted with "Tricky People". It went to some dark places, which meant that there were a number of awkward moments where none of the annotators said anything. Some feel that it was one of the darkest things the annotators have faced so far. But then by the end, the sheer Narm of the whole thing essentially gave the annotators a Heroic Second Wind, resulting in the jokes coming back.
Child Hater: If an episode has a child guest character or involves the cast being turned into children, the annotators won't much care for it.
The closest exception is Julio from the Paperboy episode of Captain N. He was mocked (like everything else) for selling newspapers that he knew brainwashed people. But many were touched that he would let his grades go to hell to make money for his family in secret after his dad lost his job. And even with the Unfortunate Implications the annotators agreed that Julio's illiteracy was genuinely topical.
Mocked. In particular, the last episode of Street Fighter with Ryu and Ken has an annotation where Ken says that he's "borrowing" Blanka's technique since Blanka's no longer in the show. Also see Left Hanging.
Many of the intermissions; while some of them have established timeless running gags like the Dr. Rabbit cartoons, others are relatively forgotten. Sometimes subverted when annotators drop a joke or two to reference the obscure shows. Even then, this tends to happen only during other intermissions.
Polaris: Quit the daydreamin' Pancada, you know I feel about you-u!
Collective Groan: Pretty common. The biggest ones include the "red/blue segregation" episode of Super Mario Bros. 3, the return of The Nutshack, The Little Panda Fighter, and the first Dingo Pictures production.
Speech bubbles usually match up with their attributed characters.
Annotator comments often are as well, to make them somewhat identifiable. In general:
Avirosb: Green background with white text.
Irrelevant: Started with weird combos then settled on black-white (sticks to the right) with Captain N.
ReloadXPsiPlays: Blue/cyan (lower right).
MrGuyPwnsYou: Started with light blue, now light purple (tends towards the top).
ZetsubouSensei005: Transparent/black (top left).
HurpDurpManGuy: Started with multiple colors, finally settled with dark blue on the lower right.
Cyberguy64 Cyan, (top right)
VonClutch Slightly different Dark Blue (top left)
Comically Missing the Point: During the eponymous song and dance number of "Tricky People", a lot of sympathy was shown for the man asking for help finding his lost puppy. When offered free cash by a potential child molester, all the annotators had to say to it was "Well hey, free cash."
Companion Cube: Starting with Super Mario Bros. 3, random black specks on the screen have come to be known as Doug the Bug.
At first it was changing the words on the Ctrl+Alt+Del title card, after which it was changing the title cards of absolutely everything, including any writing credits.
The Super Mario Bros. Super Show episodes also have the end credits in every episode, with another song often replacing them. Most often, this is a foreign-language version of "Do The Mario" or the Sonic Underground opening. Overlaps with Credits Gag.
Crazy Enough to Work: The reason for the word "experiment" in the name of the first shared-account channel — nobody was certain that having multiple people log in and annotate simultaneously would actually work.
Once per series, the end credits of the show are displayed for everyone to annotate. In Ctrl+Alt+Del, the credits were left in every time to lampoon the episode-specific credits gags. More recently, the credits are shown twice per season, once at the start and once at the season finale.
As mentioned under Couch Gag, The Super Mario Bros Super Show ends most episodes replacing the song "Do the Mario" with another theme song, often a foreign-language version. They typically come complete with misheard lyrics — or completely original ones if the replacement tune has none to begin with.
Crisis Crossover: Of a cosmic religious sense. Pastor Daniel from the Super Kids was able to not only annoy his very own God with his constant rambling but also much of the major Greek Gods demanded he shut up, the Siddhartha Gautama was disgusted, Allah wished for some of those misguided kamikaze extremists to kill him, Odin was ready to pucture his last eye, Ra suffered trauma, Raiden woed making Daniel a guardian of the Earthrealm and Xenu found the ending ridiclous.
Curb-Stomp Battle: Luigi vs. King Koopa's army in the "Ice Capades" video. Hell, Koopa himself just blows up when he's surrounded by kids. The first part was actually pretty awesome.
Darker and Edgier: The "Tricky People" riff, which was kind of unavoidable given the subject matter.
Deadpan Snarker: Sometimes it's all you can do to break down the formulaic plots of these cartoons.
Delayed Reaction: In an episode of Ctrl+Alt+Del, Ethan's Everquest character sets Lucas's on fire. The first two times Lucas just stands there in silent horror as his entire body is consumed by flames. The third time he reacts more reasonably, to the annotators' amusmement.
"Oh? Third time's the charm apparently."
Department of Redundancy Department: Often happens unintentionally; the same joke or bit of Fridge Logic will appear multiple times, since the annotators didn't see each other's annotations while setting up their own. For example, in the ninth episode of The Super Mario Bros. Super Show, there's a chorus of variants on "what could possibly go wrong?"
After wanting to do The Nutshack and Beauty and Warrior, Irrelevant402 had an "oh crap" moment when Dingo Pictures reared its ugly head.
Sure, the annotators love to make "come get some candy in my van" cracks, but when an actual pedophile is the antagonist in "Tricky People" there are zero jokes in his defense and even some cheering for Yello Dyno when he takes matters into his own hands.
Typically they dislike child characters and scrappies, yet shockingly, many announced how disgusted they were with the death of the Gold Dragon in the second Dragon's Den episode of Captain N. Yes this is even after the Gold Dragon's baby form was a palette swap of the dreaded Puff. Basically, the writers killed off a five-minute-old creature with zero thoughts of the implications.
Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Played straight most of the time by simple adding "The Annotated Series" at the end of a title, with the notable exception of the Mortal Kombat cartoon ("Defenders of the Annotated Realm") and many of the intermissions.
Expospeak Gag: In the Cartoon All-Stars special, there's a very long and roundabout description of Mel Blanc rolling in his grave after a certain line from Bugs Bunny.
Thus far CurtDogg, Irrelevant, Bauglir100, ReloadPsi, and DayDream have been the only ones to show their faces.
Avirosb, MrGuyPwnsYou, Hamsteere, Irrelevant, Bauglir100, Hurpdurpmanguy, and creatorofGandP are not at all shy about posting their opinions on the channel
Fan Fic: Mouse Police: The Annotated Edition includes a side story in which Raiden's Defenders of the Realm incarnation (one of the annotators' favourite characters) imprisoned each series' scrappies and forced them to watch this, breaking their wills until they either were trying to kill themselves or became babbling, nervous wrecks. The final glorious list:
The Hero: CurtDogg (The one who started it all way back.)
The Lancer: jmr48080 (Personality wise the opposite of CurtDogg plus really funny.)
The Smart Guy: Avirosb (Saves videos and cleans up annotes that hang around a few seconds too long. Makes a good Hero for starting the second generation.)
The Big Guy: ReloadPsi (Appears for real in one of the videos and is, well, rather large.)
The Chick: Irrelevant402 (Gets the angriest fastest but also is the one who made a list of frequent commentors and started the sucky process of sending single note after note to try to unify people after the annotation system could no longer allow guests. Another duty is he is the one who scans for frequent comment posters who want to join in on the group. When Avirosb is the hero he is his lancer.)
From Bad to Worse: First there was Bouchedags, then there was The Nutshack, then there was Jay's Life. Similarly, Doctor Rabbit could never have prepared them for Dr. D.
Flat "What.": Many times, but the most triumphant was from The Hobbit when the narrator announces Bilbo's sudden growing love for the clearly pre-teenage princess.
Ye Goode Olde Days: Very often mocked since highlights and improvements (from hunter tribe culture to the 50s) in gender, race, sexual orientation, medicine, science and video games have made life better. Sometimes subverted in which a few things were a bit better back then.
Heroic BSOD: Sometimes the material is just that bad that some Annotators give up partway, or at the very least are so lost for witty remarks that they instead post annotations expressing their disbelief at the quality.
Hijacked by Ganon: Enforced in one episode of The Legend of Zelda: The Annotated Series, when annotators start to add annotations of Ganon discussing "his" evil plans, after they get impatient waiting for Ganon to show up in the actual episode, which never happens.
"I mean what kind of idiotic group would enjoy overused DiC stock music?"note (Referring to the ever-popular Surf Music.)
I Am Legion: Since the axing of the collaborative annotations feature, it's no longer possible to hover over an annotation and see who added it, making it pretty hard to tell who's saying what. This has led to some viewers believe this is a solo project. Aside from color-coding their annotations, the annotators don't do very much to make themselves recognizable among one another, either. Among a list of almost fifty annotators, only a few stand out:
CurtDogg for originating the concept.
jmr48080 for being considered one of the funniest annotators during the beeupyou era.
Irrelevant402 for always picking horrible intermissions.
Avirosb for recording episodes and getting the ball rolling with the TheAnnotatXperiment channel.
ReloadPsi for essentially putting himself in some of the videos.
hurpdurpmanguy for being the main uploader.
Hamsteere for being considered one of the funniest annotators during the Annotation Station era.
Informed Ability: One of the many things they love to rip on. Especially when the antagonists are so vaguely on the cusp of victory — The Armor of Light is one of the most triumphant examples of that.
Pastor Dan: Now you all know that we face a very DANGEROUS enemy.
Annotation: Perhaps we could take a few minutes to establish WHY they [NME] are so dangerous?
Inner Monologue: Sometimes inserted when a character is just standing there saying nothing.
Insistent Terminology: Don't call it a monster, call it a "kaibutsu". (Taken from an early episode of Street Fighter.)
Insult of Endearment: Captain N Simon was called "Faux-Simon" since he was very little like Simon's established character in the Castlevania games. As the series went on, the nickname was kept merely to tell the two versions apart with a lot less malice behind it.
YESH! (Based on one of Bison's most famous scenes)
Kick the Dog: Sometimes even the Annotators see some dog-kicking. One exception is in Captain N when Wombatman calls out Kid Icarus on "that 'icus' problem" — supposedly a cruel moment but lots went crazy over the in-universe acknowledgment of an annoying character trait.
Left Hanging: Street Fighter, in which every unresolved plot thread is listed during the final scene.
Leitmotif: If DiC replaces a licensed song with the "surf music" these people jump all over it — especially after it returns after a long absence in the first episode of Captain N.
Lull Destruction: Expect any scene without dialogue to be filled with speech bubbles.
Pointed out repeatedly for Tricky People, which involved both a singing yellow dinosaur and uncomfortable scenes of implied child molestation.
Pointed out during the beginning of Bibleman: A Fight For Faith where a group of thugs are robbing a factory full of bibles with the intention of burning them, and are cheerfully dancing around while loading them up.
Annotation: Read your Bible everyday- or THIS COULD BE YOU
Morality Pet: Sometimes the annotators serve as these to one another to keep everyone in line, calling out child molestors or horrible ethnic stereotypes. In particular, Irrelevant tries to befriend all religions, and mocks extremists in general.
Ms. Fanservice: The Dark Queen from Battletoads and Alyssa Milano from the Ice Capades special both have "DAT SHOULDER."
My God, What Have I Done?: Sometimes Irrelevant thinks he goes a little too far... sometimes. He admitted that he played up Game Boy from Captain N as the worst thing ever, based on memories of hating Game Boy as a kid but tolerating Kid Icarus and Mega Man.
Mythology Gag: Given that just about every Captain N episode gets some element of the games wrong, correcting remarks flare up all over the place.
Occasionally, one or two commentators will compliment the plot in general for being (relatively) well-thought-out and interesting.
At least one commentator complimented Ganon teleporting to his throne, and even more so when he teleported to stand sideways on the wall.
While others mostly disliked it, Captain N season 2, episode 8 had small praise for its ending, where the Dwarves and Elves go back into fighting right after settling their differences, judged as realistic by at least one annotation and comment due to problems like racism taking a long time to fix.
Some dramatic lines are complimented for good writing and delivery.
Some viewers have approved of DK's singing voice in Donkey Kong Country.
Sonic Underground in particular loved to point out the animators obsession with fucked up model sheets, blatantly wrong perspectives, and creepy Sleet close-ups.
Oh, Crap: The somewhat unexpected appearance of parts 2-4 of The Nutshack, and later The Little Panda Fighter.
Once an Episode: Certain shows get this treatment. "X sez/says", as a tribute to Sonic Says, appears in the Mortal Kombat cartoon whenever a character has a moral to teach.
Out of Order: They swapped episode 5 and 7 of the third season of Captain N. Why? Because episode 5 was the final episode where the entire main cast as well as Mother Brain, King Hippo, and Eggplant Wizard appeared together.
Overly Long Gag: The title of Sonic Undergound will invariably have any or all of the mondegreens "On The Ground", "And A Graph", "Rubber Band", "Sir Nick The Rebel", "It's Annie Clarabel", "Kinda Growled", and "So Nick Ander's Crown" tacked on.
Pac Man Fever: Mercilessly lampshaded at times, especially considering 99% of these cases are in cartoons based on games — something you'd expect to get it right!
Playing Pictionary: Annotators have fun trying to identify strange or out-of-place shapes. Examples:
Xbox 360 games packaged in VHS cases in an episode of Ctrl+Alt+Del.
Mother Brain's army wielding giant pizza cutters in Captain N.
Pyrrhic Victory: Because Irrelevant didn't know how to upload he clamored/whined for Beauty and Warrior to be annotated... and he finally got it! Only problem is what came before it was Mouse Police — a film that made less sense, had poorer animation, and was dubbed awfully, all of which helped to make Beauty and Warrior shrink to So Okay, It's Average during the same weekend intermission!
Retirony: When CurtDogg was uploading Street Fighter: The Annotated Series on the beeupyou channel, the collaborative annotation feature was discontinued with only two episodes to go.
Red Oni, Blue Oni: Just about any pair of annotators. For example, Irrelevant believes in being aggresive and striking at as many works as possible, while Avirosb prevers focus firing when intermissions occur.
Rhymes on a Dime: The ad-libbed lyrics for the surf music throughout season 1 of Captain N don't usually rhyme until the chorus.
Serious Business: Apparently The Nutshack and a number of other horrible shows are akin to nuclear weapons. Make a threat with one and people will do whatever it takes to stop them being uploaded. Or maybe they're just playing along with the gag.
People will sometimes throw in actual production tidbits into their annotations.
"X does not work that way!"
During the Captain N episode Videolympics, Kevin is made to suggest "Swimming gala?" when Mother Brain issues her challenge. The letter "N" on a letterman jacket signifies being on a school's swimming team. Naturally the annotators were delighted to learn he really was on the swimming team.
General consensus is that the bottom of the barrel is "Bouchedags" and The Nutshack. The latter caused an Oh, Crap moment from most of the Annotators when the rest of episode one was uploaded.
Anything from Video Brinquedo/Toybox Video is doomed from the start.
Popeye and Son was so awful and bland people said they'd rather annotate Dingo Pictures.
Sophisticated as Hell: Sometimes there are well thought-out analyses of pacing problems and inconsistent characterization, with some swear words thrown in.
Spared by the Adaptation: Ironically subverted by having Cheatsy Koopa, one of their favourite characters, run into some kind of death portal in his final scene. Given that they annotated Super Mario Bros. 3 after Super Mario World, the original canon had him going on to make many appearances in the next series.
If a plot point is brought up it will be highlighted.
Sonic Underground's "Will the prophecy come true?!" was met with "NO" and "Spoiler: They never find their mother."
Spoof Aesop: The moral of Cartoon All-Stars is apparently "take drugs and all your favorite cartoon characters will show up to talk to you."
The DS Lite sketch from Ctrl+Alt+Del episode 5: eating disorders make you beautiful!
Episode 9 of Donkey Kong Country has "BUY ATARI" as the moral (as a reference to that episode's commercial breaks being nothing but Atari commercials).
Status Quo Is God: Mocked a lot since they're not big fans of episodic series without story arcs. When there are continuity nods or signs of character development the praise is heaped on.
Sudden Downer Ending: HurpDurpManGuy wrote some very depressing endings to the members of the N-Team in credits of the final Captain N episode. The only characters he gave mercy to were the Ensemble Darkhorses — Simon, Duke, King Hippo, Eggplant Wizard, and Game Boy.
Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Many new series and intermissions will have the main characters' names in the opening credits replaced by the names of characters from Ctrl+Alt+Del.
Sword of Damocles: Before an intermission that looked to be sparse, Irrelevant threatened to upload The Nutshack — leading to several other uploads.
Take That: Admit it, of the shows these guys annotate, even when you were a child you thought they were a bit rubbish.
Aside from this, when the star of "The Annotated Bunny Rabbit Movie" begins to dance in an awkward fashion, it's said to still be "better than the dance from Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland".
"Youtube Copyright School" gave many annotators a chance to call out on YouTube's unprofessional standards on what is considered "copyright infringing".
Team Dad: beeupyou and Avirosb for the Annotators.
Mayor Of Tetris: Well I'll be a son of a cube! You're round faced! Annotation: Hmm you're different from us. Are we going to have to chase you out like those Muslims, queers and blacks? ... Mayor: We haven't had any round faces for hundreds of years! Annotations: And we're going to keep it that way! / We can start a lynch mob, just like the old days! / Because we killed them all!
The Unintelligible: During season 2 of Captain N, Mother Brain seems even harder to understand.
Up to Eleven: When hurpdurpmanguy uploaded Super Hornio Brothers, a spoof porno of the Mario series, many of the members thought it was going to be the last video they annotated.
Series Fauxnale: The sheer amount of annotations (The Hobbit, Foodfight!, Doug Live) ending with the climax of Hornio Brothers would have made a good finale. This wasn't the intention, but the channel stayed up despite expectations.
Villain Decay: Complained about with Arachnid in Savage Dragon, who started off as fairly creepy and menacing, but his first appearance in season 2 features him as far more humorous and comical.
"I remember when Arachnid was slightly more terrifying than now.."
What Happened to the Mouse?: Brought up whenever some plot point or bit character is seemingly forgotten. Because the Mario cartoons were done in reverse order, Oogtar's disappearance was explained as "eaten for nourishment" while the heroes were traveling through snowy lands.
With Lyrics: Captain N episode 2 and onward gave lyrics to the surf music. Then in season 2, episode 8, they heard the real lyrics. Reaction was mixed, with some loving it and others being disappointed. Also those willing to click the "Bonus Feature" annotation that shows up at the end of some of them get an interesting treat.
Victory Is Boring: According to alternate character interpretation, Eggplant and Hippo decide to "fall" for the heroes' ploy of I Surrender, Suckers because they prefer the challenge of being villainous sidekicks.