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White Snake is a Chinese Wuxia All CGI Animated Film released on January 11th, 2019. It was directed by Amp Wong and Zhao Ji, with animation by Light Chaser Animation. The movie's co-producer Warner Bros. distributed the film in other major countries.

Set in the late Tang Dynasty the film takes place 500 years before the famous Chinese fable, Legend of the White Snake serving as a Prequel to the original tale.

The story follows the titular white snake, Xiao Bai/Blanca a snake demon and a member of a snake clan that loses her memory after she failed to assassinate the Daoist leader targeting snakes for his dark rituals. She wakes up in a snake catcher village, under the care of the human snake catcher Ah Xuan.

Assuming she's a human they both embark on a journey to recover her memories, with both falling in love in the process. During their journey, they're pursued by the Daoist forces and her previous snake clan members, such as her younger sister, the green snake-demon Xiao Qing/Verta who is strongly displeased by her sister newfound fondness for humans.

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Not to be confused with The Sorcerer and the White Snake, which is also based on the same myth, or the band White Snake.

SPOILERS ARE UNMARKED.


Tropes in this film include

  • All Asians Wear Conical Straw Hats: Unlike Blanca and Vertam Chang Pang cannot take a human form, so he hides his snake form with a giant conical straw hat before ambushing Xuan and Blanca.
  • All-Loving Hero: Xuan is a caring, selfless young man who does everything in his power to save everyone. He also wants to quit his snake hunter profession to become a doctor.
  • Action Girl: Blanca is very skilled with both magic and physical combat.
  • Animal Motifs: The General and his enforcers are associated with cranes.
  • Arms Dealer: The Precious Jade Workshop is a world-renowned supplier of demonic and magical weapons. Xuan and Blanca visit the shop since Blanca has amnesia, and the jade hairpin is the only clue to her identity.
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  • Badass Normal: Xuan is a normal human that manages to keep up with all the supernatural characters in the movie via his agility and guile.
  • Bathtub Bonding: Blanca and Verta bathe together in a lake at the opening, with Verta hugging her distressed sister from behind, as Blanca tells her about the odd visions she's been having.
  • Beam-O-War: Blanca and the "Little Daoist" fight at the start of the film ends with one, with both blasting their magic at each other via energy beams. The "Little Daoist" wins, throwing Blanca out of the boat and into the water, where she passes out and is later found without her memories by Xuan.
  • Beware My Stinger Tail: Snake clan member Chang Pan is a rattlesnake demon, with his tail being quite deadly in his snake form. Blanca's snake tail is shown to be even sharper when she cuts him in half.
  • The Big Bad Shuffle: The General is presented as the sole Big Bad for most of the film, but after he's defeated, The Master takes over as the new Big Bad and orders the snake clan to slaughter all humans, and later betrays all of her snake clan to drain their essences and power herself up.
  • Bishōnen Line: When the snakes get more powerful and gain more Life Energy, their appearance becomes more human. It can happen in reverse, too.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The snake hunting village is saved and the antagonists are dead. Blanca is saved by Xuan but nearly sacrificed his soul to do so; Blanca does save his soul and he is reincarnated. However, this also means that Xuan couldn't properly part ways with Dudou or the villagers. And 500 years later, with the help of her now redeemed sister, Blanca manages to find Xuan's reincarnation with the implication that they will be together.
  • Black Magic: The General and his apprentice practice a form of Taoism associated with evil and darkness and fuel their powers by taking essence from other beings, especially snakes.
  • Bloody Murder: Played With. While it likely wasn't his intent, after Chang Pang is cut in half by Blanca, he spills his Alien Blood all over her and his blood is seemingly so cold it actually severely injures her when she's splashed by it, and she would have died if Xuan had not made an effort to warm her up via Intimate Healing.
  • The Brute: Chang Pang for the snake clan, being a giant and brutish rattlesnake demon that is unquestionably loyal to The Master, being sent to assassinate Blanca after the clan believes she betrayed them.
  • Canine Companion: Dudou is this for Xuan, and is very loyal as a result.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Blanca wakes up sitting up in a panic several times as a result of her visions and memories returning to her.
  • Changing Clothes Is a Free Action: When Blanca sneaks into The General's boat disguised as a maid, she changes out of her maid uniform into her white robes instantly by flinging the uniform into the air.
  • Color-Coded Characters: Blanca, the White Snake is associated with white and light blue. Her sister Verta, the Green Snake is associated with black and green.
  • Combat Haircomb: The jade hairpin Blanca possesses is actually a powerful magic weapon made by the Jade workshop. Not only it serves by being a deadly Flying Weapon, but also has the magical ability to absorb magic powers.
  • Crippling Castration: A subversion. The Fox Spirit hints that she will have to castrate Xuan to turn him into a demon. However, when he and Dudou go to check to see if it happened after, they are relieved to see Xuan's penis is still there.
  • Cute Monster Girl: Quite a few:
    • Blanca and Verta's half-snake forms are just as beautiful as their fully human forms, being gorgeous women with serpentine lower bodies, slit-pupiled eyes, Femme Fatalons on their hands and scales decorating parts of their faces.
    • The fox spirit is a rather odd example, looking entirely human (if strangely erotic) save for the fox head behind her human head.
    • The fox spirit's workers include a bunch of dragonfly women who help harvest essence and make magic weapons. They normally appear as attractive fairy-sized women with dragonfly wings and dragonfly lower bodies, but can increase their body size and use their tongues for a Kiss of Death style draining (though it doesn't result in death).
  • Dark Action Girl: Verta is a proficient warrior for the snake clan, has a lot of Fantastic Racism against humans, and doesn't have any of Blanca's kind nature. Her loyalty to Blanca ultimately makes her an Anti-Hero.
  • Deader Than Dead: Happens to anyone killed by the General's "Instant Death" Radius trap device. This is the fate of The Master. This is narrowly avoided by Xuan, who is killed but Blanca manages to save his soul just in time and he is able to reincarnate.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: Xuan is frozen to death while still hugging onto Blanca to protect her from the cold. She manages to save his soul from being destroyed by The Generals contraption.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: The Fox Spirit, although given her nature as a witch she could be closer to a Magical Barefooter.
  • The Dragon: The "Little Daoist" is The General's apprentice and his main enforcer. He also shows hints to be a Dragon with an Agenda, trying to capture Blanca on his own so he doesn't have to share the credit with The General.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: In The Stinger, two men on a boat are distracted by the Jade Workshop owner, only to collide with another boat.
  • Dynamic Entry: The audience (and Blanca's) first impression of Xuan is when he dramatically jumps on the village gate as it's closing. The coolness factor is mitigated when he doesn't stick to the landing and ends up bumping around the village until he ends up crashing into Blanca.
  • Energy Absorption: The jade hairpin can sap energy from others to be absorbed by its user. The Fox Spirit explains this can have collateral effects on the one doing the absorption (due to Blanca asking that the hairpin be altered so she could control it for battle), such as memory loss, explaining how Blanca lost her memory upon using it in battle. When Blanca and later The Master use it to absorb energy again they turn into giant pythons and seem to get Drunk with Power.
  • Evil Makes You Ugly: Use of Daoist Black Magic takes its toll on the body of its users. The General is already wrinkled and disfigured, and the "Little Daoist" uses a mask to cover the disfigurement on his lower jaw.
  • Evil Matriarch: The Master only pretends to be a benevolent leader, she's actually planning to suck the energy of all her subjects once the threat of The General is gone. She motivates her people to become more powerful and share their energy for this purpose as well.
  • Fantastic Foxes: The Jade Workshop owner is a fox spirit and has the mannerisms down though she doesn't actually really trick anyone in this film. She's more of a magical Arms Dealer. Though if The Stinger is anything to go by, buying her services does seem akin to making a Deal with the Devil.
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • The snake clan are firm believers that Humans Are Bastards, especially the snake catchers. Even Blanca vouching for Xuan doesn't stop Verta from attempting to kill him.
    • Humans themselves tend to view all demons and supernatural beings as inherently evil, turning on Xuan after he turns into a demon.
  • Feet-First Introduction
    • Our first look at the three head crane mount is of its feet stomping as it enters snake catcher villages.
    • The General has a slow pan up from his feet up when we see him for the first time.
  • Flight of Romance: Xuan and Blanca fly together across the cliffs after she enchants his umbrella to be capable of Flight. They even Accidental Hand Hold while clutching the umbrella.
  • Foreshadowing: When Xuan goes to the Fox-Demon so that she could turn him into a demon, she claims that unlike with humans, it's every demon for themselves. After the General is defeated, the Master immediately turns on her own snake-demon army, sucking the life out of all of them and turning them into regular snakes.
  • Giant Wall of Watery Doom: When Chang Pang ambushes Blanca and Xuan in the river, he uses magic to surround them with giant walls of water, presumedly to stop them from escaping. It fades away after he's killed.
  • The Glomp: Xuan gives a tackling hug to Blanca after she attempts to chase him away to keep him safe.
  • Glory Hound: The "Little Daoist" misleads the General on Blanca's whereabouts so he can capture her on his own and won't have to share the credit. Naturally, this doesn't end well for him.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: The "Little Daoist" is revealed to have a nasty facial scar on the left side of his face, seemingly as a result of his use of dark magic.
  • Gorgeous Gorgon: The Master's humanoid form is a beautiful older woman with snakes for hair, resembling a gorgon.
  • Grappling-Hook Pistol: Xuan uses the rope at the end of his snake catcher rod to traverse the cliffs around his village, using it as an unconventional grappling hook.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Chang Pang is killed by Blanca, being cut in half by bladed snake tail.
  • Handy Feet: After surfacing out of the lake she was bathing, we have a shot of Blanca's bare legs as she walks up to her robe and picks it up with her feet before bringing it up, with the robe serving as Scenery Censor as she quickly gets dressed while the camera pans up.
  • Happiness in Slavery: The Jade Workshop owners servants are constantly grinning happily even as she physically and verbally abuses them and rub themselves against her legs like pets.
  • Hates Being Touched: Blanca reacts badly whenever someone touches her, usually slapping their hands away.
  • Head-Turning Beauty: Several of the villagers take notice of how beautiful Blanca is.
  • Hey, You!: Verda only refers to Xuan as "Snake Catcher" or "Little One" to express her distaste of him.
  • Hidden Elf Village: Played With. The snake catcher village location is known, but it was built in a remote place, on top of cliffs, to stay out of reach of the demons that roam the land.
  • Hypocrite: The Master hates traitors but she ends up betraying her whole clan.
  • Identity Amnesia: Blanca loses her memories after failing to assassinate The General. She ends up in a human village and even assumes she's human herself until she has a Traumatic Superpower Awakening when attacked by Chang Pang.
  • Immortality Seeker:
    • The Emperor of China craves eternal life, and The General fell out of favor with him for being unable to fulfill that desire. He now captures snake to fuel his power, knowing serpents are associated with immortality.
    • Blanca and Verta also seek to live forever, although this isn't elaborated in the film itself, being a part of folklore behind "The Legend of the White Snake".
  • In a Single Bound: Blanca can jump incredibly high with speed and grace, surprising Xuan who has to keep up with her with his grappling device. When Xuan becomes a demon, he can jump like this, too.
  • "Instant Death" Radius: The General's magic trap device creates a magic barrier that freezes anyone caught in it, which shatters them and destroys their souls. He uses it to defeat Blanca in her giant snake form, but is tricked by Verta into turning it off so he may feast on their essence instead. After he's mortally wounded, he manages to turn it on again before dying, catching The Master, Xuan and Blanca in it.
  • Interspecies Romance: Xuan (a human) and Blanca (a snake demon). Possibly averted after Xuan makes a Deal with the Devil to become the lowest form of a demon to be with her.
  • Intimate Healing: Xuan hugs a freezing Blanca after she's exposed to Chang Pang's freezing blood, getting over his fear of snakes in the process.
  • Irony:
    • Blanca (a snake demon) is saved and later falls in love with the human snake catcher Xuan.
    • Xuan, a snake hunter, is afraid of snakes and ends up falling in love with a snake demon.
  • I Will Find You: The ending shows Blanca swearing to find Xuan's reincarnation. She does.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: As smug as she was being, Verta turned out to be correct when she told Xuan that his villagers would turn their backs on him when they found out he was a demon.
  • Kick the Dog: Being an actual dog, Dudou gets literal example of this — He's harshly kicked by Verta and then roughly manhandled by two of the Jade Workshop owner's lackeys.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: After Blanca absorbed a lot of magic energy with the jade hairpin it ended up having the side effect of erasing her memories for some time.
  • Light Is Good: The titular White Snake, Blanca, is a kind and sweet young girl who falls in love with a human male.
  • Long Haired Prettyboy: The "Little Daoist" actually used to be this, as shown when Verta rips of his silk veil, which he wears to hide how the use of his Black Magic is starting to deteriorate his face.
  • Lost in Translation: In the original Chinese version, "The General's" title is that of GuoShi, meaning "Teacher of the Emperor/State", which was a real honorary title granted to famous and trusted religious participants by emperors in ancient China. Since there isn't a neat counterpart for the position in English, the dub simply refers to him as The General or Dark General.
  • Magical Barefooter: The Fox Spirit is barefooted is all of her appearances.
  • Maybe Ever After: Blanca is able to find Xuan's reincarnation and the latter's reaction indicates an instant attraction.
  • Meaningful Name: Blanca (The titular White Snake) means "white" and she's dressed in an all-white robe. The same for Verta, except with black.
  • In Medias Res: The film opens with Blanca distraught being unable to remember something important, until Verta gives her the jade hairpin and Blanca recovers her memories about her adventures with Xuan.
  • Mêlée à Trois: The final battle has three sides. The Emperor, the Snake Catcher Village, and the Snake People.
  • Ms. Fanservice: The film has white a lot of Fanservice, all of it from it's female characters.
    • Blanca is a Head-Turning Beauty wears a form-flattering silk robe for most of her screentime, while also showing some skin while bathing and making love with Xuan.
    • Verta is curvier than her sister and multiple times shows an aggressively seductive attitude toward both Blanca and Xuan, coiling about and caressing them.
    • The Fox Spirit is a scantily clad young lady withthe camera paying special attention to her bare legs. She also has a flirtatious and domineering attitude.
  • Multiple Head Case:
    • The Jade Workshop Owner has white fox face on the back of her head and can swivel her head 180 degrees to let it speak. This results in her appearing to have fox ears turned the wrong way when the human head is speaking. They don't seem to have different personalities, though.
    • The "Little Daoist" mount is a three-headed crane beast based on the Chinese mythical bird called "Qi-Yu" (鵸余) which said to have three heads and six tails.
    • The Master's giant snake form possesses a head in both ends of her body.
  • My Sister Is Off-Limits!: Verta, Blanca's younger sister, is protective of her old sister and doesn't want her and Xuan to be together. Even when Xuan turns himself into a demon she thinks he must have simply been charmed by Blanca's beauty and that there is no way he could really be in love after knowing her for a relatively short time, let alone that he could love her when she looks like a giant python. She comes around once she sees just how genuinely devoted Xuan is.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • In snake-catcher village, Blanca became clearly uncomfortable when she was near realgar wine. In traditional Chinese culture, realgar was considered to be a medicine which could be used for driving away insects, snakes, and evil spirits. In the original folktale "Legend of White Snake", the White Snake is poisoned by realgar wine and reveals her true form as a white snake to her husband.
    • A villagers offhandedly mentions Xuan prefers to study Healing Herb than to catch snakes, a hint to Xuan's professions as a herbalist in "Legend of White Snake".
  • No Name Given: Several characters are simply referenced by their titles, such as the "The Master" for the snake clan leader, or "The General" for the general of the emperor's army. Even Blanca goes unnamed for half of the film, since she has Identity Amnesia until she reunites with her sister. The most notable example is The General's The Dragon whose rank is unclear and is only mockingly called by Verta as "Little Daoist".
  • Paper Master: The General makes heavy use of Daoist Fulu paper for his magic, being able to immobilize Xuan with them and using them to craft giant Crane monsters made of them. His army was also partially made of magical origami soldiers.
  • Parasol of Prettiness: In the ending, Blanca and Verta walk along the bridge with their fancy parasols when they meet the reincarnated Xuan, just like the beginning of "The Legend of the White Snake" tale.
  • Parasol Parachute: After Blanca uses her magic on Xuan's umbrella it becomes capable of flying, and the two take a romantic flight over the countryside while clutching the same umbrella.
  • Power Degeneration: The use of the Daoist Black Magic seems to take its toll on its users. The "Little Daoist" lower face shows signs of deformity and The General's entire body seems to have before disfigured, his entire skin being grey and wrinkled like tree bark.
  • Prequel: The story serves as a prequel to the Chinese fable Legend of the White Snake, turning it into a Reincarnation Romance story where Blanca meets and falls in love with a previous version of Xuan than the one from the tale.
  • Reincarnation:
    • Because Blanca saved Xuan's soul with her hairpin, he was able to be reincarnated.
  • Reincarnation Romance: Possibly. Blanca is looking to do this with Xuan's current reincarnation, and the movie ends with the two meetings.
    • The voice actor of Dudou is the same voice actor of Xu Xuan's Brother-in-law in the last scene, hinting that he may be Dudou's reincarnated.
  • Rescue Romance: Xuan saved an amnesiac Blanca from the river. They soon fall in love in the journey to get her memories back.
  • Scaled Up: The members of the snake clan can turn into large snakes for combat. Blanca and Verta also discard their humanoid forms for combat.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Just before Xuan meets Verta for the first time, his living lantern runs back the way they came.
  • Sequel Hook: The Stinger shows the Fox Spirit giving something in a box to a dark shadow beneath the water.
  • Serpent of Immortality: Snakes and serpents are associated with immortality. Knowing this, The General orders the farmers to catch snakes in exchange for tax exemption, and the snakes are used as fuel his Daoist powers and rituals. This is actually based on real-life, in the late Tang Dynasty farmers used to hunt snakes to pay their taxes, not because of magic, but because court physicians found a peculiar kind of snake that can be processed and used as medicine.
  • Sexy Discretion Shot: There's an implied sex scene between Xuan and Blanca when they're in the abandoned temple. They start kissing, she takes off her robe, and they fall to the floor kissing as the screen fades to black.
  • Sexy Surfacing Shot: Downplayed, when Blanca surfaces from the water after bathing, there's only a brief Toplessness from the Back shot before the camera cuts away... although it cuts away to a shot of her bare legs as she steps away to get dressed.
  • She-Fu: Blanca and Verta perform a lot of acrobatics while fighting, especially in their true half-snake forms.
  • Shoulders-Up Nudity: Both Blanca and Verta are show from the shoulders up while they bathe together.
  • Simple Staff: Xuan wields a snake catcher rod, a staff with a rope at the end to capture the snakes.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Blanca and Verta. Where Blanca is gentle, learns to love humans, and dressed in fine white robes, Verta is more of an aggressive Dark Chick who believes all humans are cruel and untrustworthy. Even their names mean Black (Verta) and White (Blanca).
  • Silk Hiding Steel: Despite looking like a proper and kindhearted young woman, Blanca is a snake demon and very proficient in both combat and magic. She even actually wears a white silk robe for most of the film, in contrast to her sister Verta who wears armor and looks much more dangerous as a result.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Blanca falls deeply in love with the kind, brave, selfless Xuan. In fact, her love for him is a key factor in changing her earlier views on humans.
  • Sissy Villain: Downplayed as he doesn't necessarily behave super feminine, but The "Little Daiost" is a vain wizard wearing elegant clothes, lounges in thrones as he is carried around and covers his wrinkled Lower jaw with a silk veil.
  • Sliding Scale of Anthropomorphism: The Snake People appear all over the scale. The more Life Energy they have, the more human they look. The least powerful snakes look exactly like snakes, with more powerful ones having arms, a defined torso, and a snake tail. Only the most powerful snakes, such as The Master, Blanca, and Verda, can take fully human forms and get Scaled Up at will.
  • Snake People: The Snake Clan is a group of snake demons that shift between snake and half-human half-snake forms. Their most powerful members, The Master, Blanca and Verta are able to turn into full human forms.
  • Snakes Are Sexy: Both Blanca, Verta and The Master are attractive Snake People but it's more prominently with Verta who acts like The Vamp in her snake form, coiling around Xuan and caressing him teasingly.
  • Snakes Are Sinister: In-Universe most people are terrified of snakes and snake demons in particular. Verta, Chang Pang and the giant snake forms of Blanca and The Master do indeed show they can be quite terrifying when they want to be.
  • Spikes of Villainy The Master's giant snake form is covered with black spikes, in contrast with Blanca whose scales are shining white.
  • Spin Attack: Blanca and Verta do this as a Combination Attack, both coiling around themselves and ramming the "Little Daoist" Feathered Fiend mount.
  • The Stinger: The Fox Spirit gives something in a box to a dark force beneath the water.
  • Tail Slap: A common form of attack from the snake characters. Of note, Blanca gives a hard one to the Daiost's mount, sending his Feathered Fiend mount flying.
  • Talking Animal: Dudou becomes this after Blanca magically gives him the ability.
  • Took a Level in Badass: While he was physically fit, Xuan was still an ordinary human at the start but becoming a demon by the Fox Spirit (even if the lowest kind) drastically increased his strength, speed, and acrobatics.
  • Toplessness from the Back: Twice, the first when Blanca surfaces from the lake after bathing and later at the temple when she lowers her robe before sleeping with Xuan.
  • Two-Faced: The Fox spirit has a female human face and a fox face on the back of her head. She can turn her head 180 degrees to use the other face and speaks in a much older and deeper voice. She also acts more animalistic, such as starting to crawl instead of walking, like a fox.
  • Undying Loyalty:
    • Dudou is willing to go through dangerous situations for Xuan's sake.
    • Xuan is this towards his village, Dudou, and Blanca. He will risk anything to protect any of them.
  • Uplifted Animal:
    • A downplayed version. Blanca gives Dudou the ability to talk but he still acts like a normal dog despite that.
    • The snake demons themselves appear to be some version of this. At their lowest level of strength they seem to just be normal snakes, and it takes a great deal of time and effort for them to gain speech, shapeshifting and other powers. Taking on a fully human form is noted to be something only their most powerful individuals can do, said forms being sought after for the various advantages they bring. When Blanca saves Xuan's soul it takes so much power from her to do so that she is reverted back to a regular snake and it takes her centuries to regain her powers.
  • Vain Sorceress: Rare male example with The "Little Daoist" who dresses elegantly and is a Long Haired Prettyboy, but has to wear a silk veil to hide a deforming scar on his lower jaw. He gets extremely angry when Verta calls him an "ugly little man" when she sees it.
  • Waif-Fu: Blanca and Verta are shown to be extremely strong despite the lean body type they possess.
  • Waking Up Elsewhere: Blanca is defeated by The "Little Daiost" and is thrown into the water, passing out as she sinks. The next time she wakes up she's at Xuan village, having been rescued by him. Curiously she's wearing the exact same robe despite it probably being wet after Xuan rescued her, Averteding Undressing the Unconscious.
  • What You Are in the Dark:
    • Xuan is notably surprised about Blanca being a snake demon but still saves her from dying.
    • Despite wanting to leave Blanca in poor conditions and then running away after Xuan refused, Dudou ultimately returned out of loyalty to him.
    • Xuan keeps his promise to rescue the villagers from a rampaging Blanca even though said villagers turned their backs on him for now being a demon.
    • Verta, the one who was trying to keep Xuan away from Blanca, kept the jade hairpin that held the memories of him in order to give it to Blanca someday.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Despite being supposedly working as a snake catcher, Xuan is actually afraid of snakes and usually spends his time gathering and studying Healing Herbs instead.
  • Would Hit a Girl:
    • The General and his enforcers have no problem fighting Blanca, Verta, or their female snake master.
    • Xuan hits a couple of female snake demons in defense of his village.
  • Would Hurt a Child: The "Little Daoist" has his soldiers threaten to kill a baby to make snake catcher villagers give him information on Blanca.


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The General's Paper Magic

The General makes use of magic paper and Origami soldiers in combat.

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