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REVIEW: Kids on the Slope Blu-Ray


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walw6pK4Alo



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2013 11:00 pm Reply with quote
Rinkwolf wrote:
Anyone else notice how fast this series got a R1 release. I mean the series just started Airing in April 2012 and finished in June 29 2012. Let alone the whole R2 BD/DVD release cool down period.

Hope this keeps up. They have a lot of shows licensed this season and they stated that they are going to release them later this year. Hope this comes to fruition.


The general feeling floating around is that licensing so much crap and having such a quick turnaround is biting them in the ass with QC errors which in turn pisses off customers.
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JesuOtaku



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PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2013 11:22 pm Reply with quote
Animerican14 wrote:

And yeah, that there are some decidedly different tastes when it comes to dubs among ANN staff/contributors isn't ultimately surprising. For instance, Angel Beats' dub, according to Key when he did his review of that series, is about on the same caliber as the original Japanese audio, whereas JesuOtaku (whom I consider to be of a critical mindset very similar to Zac's) thought it was gawdawful and couldn't/can't understand how anyone could like that apparent failure. There's also a bit of a proclivity towards hostility regarding Foster dubs among a decent number of ANN staff/contributors and anime fans, to consider.


Yup! Diff'rent strokes for diff'rent folks and all that! ...Because I too thought the Kids on the Slope was absolutely awwwwwwwwfulllllllllll. X__________________X

To be more specific, it's all typical Foster problems. Some actors are better than others, the VA for Sentaro is straight-up unlistenably OTT and awkward, sucking all the humor out of the character apart from unintentional laughs at how bad the performance is. Several of the other characters are okay-ish acting-wise, but the adaptive writing is so stilted and awkward and the mispronunciations (inconsistent ones!) of every other name so laughable...yeah, sorry Key. I dunno how you made it through that dub, I barely made it through episode 1 before getting genuinely angry at the sloth of the attempt. ^^;
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Key
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PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2013 12:54 am Reply with quote
JesuOtaku wrote:
To be more specific, it's all typical Foster problems. Some actors are better than others, the VA for Sentaro is straight-up unlistenably OTT and awkward, sucking all the humor out of the character apart from unintentional laughs at how bad the performance is. Several of the other characters are okay-ish acting-wise, but the adaptive writing is so stilted and awkward and the mispronunciations (inconsistent ones!) of every other name so laughable...yeah, sorry Key. I dunno how you made it through that dub, I barely made it through episode 1 before getting genuinely angry at the sloth of the attempt. ^^;

Okay, you've totally lost me on this, as I cannot understand at all how you're possibly getting such a vitriolic reaction out of the same dub that I listened to - especially concerning Sentaro. I have heard truly horrid and utterly irredeemable dubs before (Fantastic Children, anyone?) and even if I did accept that I was overrating this one, it's not even remotely close to being in the same ballpark as the true trash out there. I listened to every second of the series dubbed, and the only problems that I heard were the couple of name pronunciation issues that I mentioned. I will not ever wreck a dub's evaluation just because of something like that, especially when it happens infrequently enough that it's not a major burden on the show. (Or do we really want to start a discussion about how often Japanese cast members can't pronounce Western names correctly, and yet people let them slide on it all the time?)

And I'd better end my comments at this point, as I'm getting dangerously close to going into Rant Mode. I'll just add that I encourage everyone to try out the dub for themselves (and I mean a couple of full episodes, not just a couple of minutes of isolated snippets) and see who they think is right.
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Stratum



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PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2013 2:46 am Reply with quote
Key wrote:
do we really want to start a discussion about how often Japanese cast members can't pronounce Western names correctly, and yet people let them slide on it all the time?

The English dub has the original language track to figure out how the names are pronounced so there's less of an excuse, but as long they are consistent with how they pronounce them it probably won't bother me too much.
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dtm42



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PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2013 3:14 am Reply with quote
Key wrote:
I will not ever wreck a dub's evaluation just because of something like that, especially when it happens infrequently enough that it's not a major burden on the show.


And no-one expects you to. Not if it's just for mispronouncing names. But JesuOtaku had more complaints than just mispronunciation.
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Key
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PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2013 9:19 am Reply with quote
dtm42 wrote:
And no-one expects you to. Not if it's just for mispronouncing names. But JesuOtaku had more complaints than just mispronunciation.

Some have in the past, actually.

And as I indicated in my previous post, I almost entirely disagree with her other complaints, too. I have heard dubs that Foster has directed that have been stiff, ill-timed, and/or loaded with awkward filler phrasing, and this is not one of them. (Of course, I'm also apparently one of the very few people who doesn't think that Voices of a Different Distant Star was utterly wrecked by Foster's dub, so whatever.) I am also firmly convinced that problems seen with Sentai dubs/subs are much more a product of them being rushed and not carefully error-checked than an inherent problem with any particular director.

Stratum wrote:
The English dub has the original language track to figure out how the names are pronounced so there's less of an excuse. . .

And the average Japanese adult has had considerably more exposure to English (because they've studied it in school, even if not enough to be fluent) than the average Westerner has been exposed to Japanese, so that's balanced out.


Last edited by Key on Fri May 10, 2013 1:01 pm; edited 1 time in total
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willag
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PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2013 10:23 am Reply with quote
Rinkwolf wrote:
Anyone else notice how fast this series got a R1 release. I mean the series just started Airing in April 2012 and finished in June 29 2012. Let alone the whole R2 BD/DVD release cool down period.

Hope this keeps up. They have a lot of shows licensed this season and they stated that they are going to release them later this year. Hope this comes to fruition.

Yeah, no. Not if they keep coming out with such shoddy releases with only "acceptable" dubs and QC errors. Quality over quantity, I say. I'd rather wait extra months to get better releases than quick, subpar releases.

Sentai is already the Low Man on the Totem Pole. If there are releases out there I want to buy, and I'm limited on my funds, Sentai's releases are the last on my list... even for series I really want. Their extras and packaging are already minimal, and I also have to deal with QC issues? Eff that.

Let's see, in about a year's time, the number of series/movies I bought from each company:
AoA - 1
Bandai - 2
Funimation - 3
Media Blasters - 2
NISA - 4
Nozomi - 5
Section23 - 3
Sentai - 3
Siren Visual - 2

In comparison with the number of series they release, three isn't all that much. And the three releases I bought from Section23 are all old solicitations. In comparison, I bought more releases from NISA and Nozomi, who release a lot fewer that are higher quality.
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Reibooi



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PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2013 11:11 am Reply with quote
I want to say/ask something here and it may be a bit off topic but I am going somewhere with this so bear with me.

To those who violently hate one version over the other. Which version did you see first? Was this a show in which you had seen the entire thing while it was streaming? Did you just see it for the first time and had heard the sub and dub at the same time?

I ask because I have noticed that there is a big tendency to hate the other version if you have seen one already. Meaning you are more likely to hate the dub if you have seen the whole thing subbed and more likely to hate the sub if you have seen the whole thing dubbed. A good example of this is Fate/Stay Night for me. I had played the entire original Visual novel with Japanese voice over and when I went to watch the anime the dubbed sounded horrible to me. A friend had a similar reaction to K-ON. He saw all of the Japanese and when I got him the Blu-ray he hated the dub.(this is someone who watches like 99% dubbed)

Now I know some people are immune to what I'm talking about here but to me it explains alot of the critic says the dub sounds good and the fans say they are crazy because they hate how it sounds.

For me personally on Kids on the Slope I had not seen anything regarding the sub or dub. I tend to do what Zac does and wait until a DVD or Blu-ray so I can see it all at once. My impression in the first episode was that some of the characters were mis cast and as a result didn't sound how I think they should have based on the way they looked. That said the acting itself wasn't terrible it was a bit stiff and of course there was the name pronunciation thing both of which go away as the series goes on. Was it the best dub ever? Certainly not but it wasn't the worst thing ever certain people seem to think. I do think the show would have very much benefited from a higher quality dub that someone like Funi is capable of putting out but lets not wander into that topic.

Anyway wrapping up. Just throwing my two cents into the argument. Maybe I'm wrong I often am.
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yuna49



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PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2013 12:51 pm Reply with quote
Key wrote:
Stratum wrote:
The English dub has the original language track to figure out how the names are pronounced so there's less of an excuse. . .

And the average Japanese adult has had considerably more exposure to English (because they've studied it in school, even if not enough to be fluent) than the average Westerner has been exposed to Japanese, so that's balanced out.

I don't see that as a valid comparison at all. We're not talking about "average Westerners," we are talking about professional voice actors who are working on over-dubbing a show that was originally in Japanese. I think they have a professional obligation to listen carefully to the original performances and pronounciations for things like character names and try to reproduce them as closely as possible.

I remember watching the English dub for Noein after watching the original version, and I was shocked that the characters mispronounced the name of one of the main characters not more than a minute or two into the show. It was almost as if the English voice actors had never listened to the original Japanese.

Maybe they hadn't? Does anyone know if it is a common practice for the Engish actors to first watch the show they are dubbing in the original with subtitles?
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Keichitsu0305
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PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2013 1:16 pm Reply with quote
Reibooi wrote:

To those who violently hate one version over the other. Which version did you see first? Was this a show in which you had seen the entire thing while it was streaming? Did you just see it for the first time and had heard the sub and dub at the same time?

Let's see: I had received my DVD copy a few days ago and decided to watch the whole thing. I saw KOTS streaming on Crunchyroll first because I like watching a show (legally 90% of the time) online first before I buy; I never blind buy DVDs/BDs. From what I've heard, I didn't like it but, I really did not like Sentaro's voice. At all. Or Jun. Or Ritsuko. =____=

Here are two clips for those who haven't heard the dub: http://www.youtube.com/​watch?​v=​uKLHNkX_Z2Q
https://www.youtube.com/​watch?​v=​kWz_COS2mvI (edit; thanks for pointing that out ^^Wink

I will agree that sometimes when I hear the Japanese before the English, I will compare the two. But I will never hate the English unless there is at least, one or two performers that do a good job. For KOTS, Chris Patton sounds the most natural; he knows how shy Kaoru is yet, he has enough energy to give when Kaoru's upset. Everyone else is so stilted; they hardly match the lip flaps; they start talking but, then there are odd pauses in their line reading.

And yes, the parts where they leave in the Japanese singing in are awkward but, I suppose either that or have the cast members sing the songs themselves. I'm sure, it would be just as bad.

True, people will usually prefer one with the other but, in this case, the Japanese was better. The English, for me, sounded too awkward and stilted. I don't' hate it but, this dub just didn't sit right with me.


Last edited by Keichitsu0305 on Fri May 10, 2013 5:13 pm; edited 1 time in total
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dragonrider_cody



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PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2013 1:33 pm Reply with quote
I just don't get the arguing over dub preference. It all just comes down to personal preference. I think everyone has a dub that they can't stand despite a generally good consensus from most people. One of my best friends can't stand the dubs for FMA and Brotherhood, and after finally watching the Japanese versions, I can now understand some of her complaints, though I can't agree with her overall hatred for it. I despise some other Funimation and Bang Zoom dubs with a fiery passion, though some of them seem fairly popular.

The pronunciations usually don't tend to bother me much, as long as the characters are consistent. I've seen some American dubs where actors have struggled with the pronunciations of English words, like the medical terms in Shiki, so I can usually forgive having issues with Japanese words. Not to mention, as Key brought up, that many Japanese VAs have an even harder time with English despite a greater exposure to it.
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Key
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PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2013 1:43 pm Reply with quote
yuna49 wrote:
I don't see that as a valid comparison at all. We're not talking about "average Westerners," we are talking about professional voice actors who are working on over-dubbing a show that was originally in Japanese. I think they have a professional obligation to listen carefully to the original performances and pronounciations for things like character names and try to reproduce them as closely as possible.

And the same could be said for seiyuu, so I don't see why this isn't a valid comparison.

Reibooi: What you're talking about is a widely-recognized phenomenon, although a lot of people who regularly knock dubs are reluctant to admit that it could be influencing their evaluation. It is, I think, a basic psychological reaction to regard the first way you hear something as the way it should be, which is also why a lot of song remakes don't sound "right" to people who were familiar with the original version when it first came out.

Although this isn't universally true, I've noticed that I am more apt to be critical of a dub if I've seen the whole series in English first. That's why I generally watch a series dubbed first (if I haven't seen it subbed before) when preparing a review. Granted, there are some performances that just obviously suck even without the comparison (again, see Fantastic Children), but that's not common in my experience.

With KOTS, I saw a couple of episodes subbed back when the series was first streaming, so I did hear at least some of the Japanese dub first. As a result, the heavy knocks here mystify me even more. Here's a challenge to those who have been critical: if Sentaro is really that badly-cast, then which North American VA should have voiced him instead? When I first heard Sentaro speak in the dub, my first thought was, "well, duh, they put Andrew Love in this role," as his vocal quality makes him seem like a natural choice to me.
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bs3311



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PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2013 2:24 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
I don't see that as a valid comparison at all. We're not talking about "average Westerners," we are talking about professional voice actors who are working on over-dubbing a show that was originally in Japanese. I think they have a professional obligation to listen carefully to the original performances and pronounciations for things like character names and try to reproduce them as closely as possible.


No, we are talking about regular voice actors that know how to work a mic with audio ads and commercials which are "average Westerners". If Dubbing Anime was a well paid/fanbase respected proffesion, then maybe we would have some directors or actors paying closer attention to detail instead of the quality in more high paid jobs. These VA's have at least a part time job alongside with dubbing Anime to balance there living. Multiple jobs lead to stress in work times or "half-assing".

Why can't they get at least some of half the pay of disney VA's or Live Action VA's while dubbing these Japanese Cartoons? Because Anime is less exposed to the public therefore the non-falical fact is that japanese culture, words, games, and anime has less exposure in the West. Sure, pokemon had its run but where is the popularity now? In its repetative games, not its Japanese animated TV show.

Besides, the japanese creators seen and aprove majority of dubs in the united states so obviously they cared more about the work of the japanese dubbing process and let the dub slide a bit because they suspect the anime viewers to still watch the japanese.

I like the dub and beleive I have a solid opinion since I watched KOTS in Japanese first after watching 7 episodes and I acepted the so called, "dubbed change" thinking how the dubbed will be made.

Quote:
I just don't get the arguing over dub preference. It all just comes down to personal preference.

O SO AGREE! Cool
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Animerican14



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PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2013 2:50 pm Reply with quote
Wow. Good conversation going on here. I think there are some things I'd like to add, but for sake of personal time, there's just one thing I'd like to point out for now.

Keichitsu0305 wrote:

Here are two clips for those who haven't heard the dub:
http://www.youtube.com/​watch?​v=​uKLHNkX_Z2Q
http://www.youtube.com/​watch?​v=​OrQI96Q2O20 (in this scene, Kaoru sounds almost like Greg Ayres to me)

That last link you posted there, the one I bolded... that's a frakking fandub from 2012. Though you probably didn't really mean to or realize you were doing so, please do not ask others to sample a dub's quality by showing a link to a more amateur dub effort.
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JesuOtaku



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PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2013 3:28 pm Reply with quote
Key wrote:
JesuOtaku wrote:
To be more specific, it's all typical Foster problems. Some actors are better than others, the VA for Sentaro is straight-up unlistenably OTT and awkward, sucking all the humor out of the character apart from unintentional laughs at how bad the performance is. Several of the other characters are okay-ish acting-wise, but the adaptive writing is so stilted and awkward and the mispronunciations (inconsistent ones!) of every other name so laughable...yeah, sorry Key. I dunno how you made it through that dub, I barely made it through episode 1 before getting genuinely angry at the sloth of the attempt. ^^;

Okay, you've totally lost me on this, as I cannot understand at all how you're possibly getting such a vitriolic reaction out of the same dub that I listened to (...)

And I'd better end my comments at this point, as I'm getting dangerously close to going into Rant Mode. I'll just add that I encourage everyone to try out the dub for themselves (and I mean a couple of full episodes, not just a couple of minutes of isolated snippets) and see who they think is right.


Whoa now, let me back up a little here. I was in no way trying to criticize Key's assessment of the dub or come down on you for your own opinion or claim that it wasn't valid. Anime dazed I'm sorry for flustering you, that was not my intention. The only reason I mentioned your name specifically was to draw a contrast between someone who could stand the KotS dub and someone who couldn't, again, diff'rent strokes for diff'rent folks. Since I like watching things dubbed so much, I do wish I could be more tolerant with a lot of that stuff, particularly what's coming out now from Sentai, because there's a lot of it.

But I'm not trying to be overly critical or a spoilsport. It just sounds *bad* to me, and I can't ignore it or think about it "in a different way" or parse out why oftentimes, because of my own "process for judging a dub," which I'll go into below so you can understand where I'm coming from, because...lord knows if Foster keeps doing these hackjobs, I'm probably going to keep having to gripe about them. I've got my eye on Space Brothers with great trepidation, let's say...

So. This was mentioned earlier in the thread:

Reibooi wrote:
I have noticed that there is a big tendency to hate the other version if you have seen one already. Meaning you are more likely to hate the dub if you have seen the whole thing subbed and more likely to hate the sub if you have seen the whole thing dubbed.


I can say in full confidence this is not my problem with these dubs. It is common in anime fandom, yeah, but for me specifically, it's not the case. I saw both Death Note and Ouran and became very attached to them in Japanese first, but since they came out in English, I've seen both of them multiple times in the dub and really have no desire to watch either of them subtitled again, especially Death Note, which is overwhelmingly more fun in English to my ears. I could name several other anime I saw in Japanese first and now easily watch in dub, but those two leap to mind as the ones I would have been the most picky over, and obviously the gap between languages was bridged just fine. Death Note is magnificently OTT in English, and Ouran is a rare genuinely funny *and* faithful comedy dub, I have no complaints.

I would also say I'm not so picky that one voice or one issue ruins a dub for me. I love seeing the effort of a dub (which take a butt-ton of work n' money to make happen) completed to begin with, want to hear the best out of any material, and really don't think I'm that picky at all. Durarara!! was another show I saw in Japanese first. So was Higurashi. In both cases (same ADR director) the adaptive script is really awkward and not too great in the dub (ESPECIALLY in DRRR!!) but that didn't stop me from watching the whole dub with just some minor grumpiness. And in both cases there were some grave miscasting and just straight-up terrible acting (ESPECIALLY in Higurashi) but once again, I made it through the whole dub and just grimaced when I saw the more poorly acted characters appear onscreen.

So what is my "process" for determining whether a dub is "good" or "bad" that makes me such an apparently harsh judge toward Foster or Sentai's recent output in general? Honestly: I just *watch* the show, attempt to put my preconceptions aside, and see if I can get lost in the atmosphere of the moment. And this *never* happens with Sentai's recent output. Nobody sounds like a normal human. The adaptive scripts are stilted, awkward, and sound nothing like a sentence a normal human would spit out casually (this is particularly important for KotS.)

(That said, not every anime dub has "normal humans" in it, I know that. Every project has a different tone and while KotS' dub requires people to sound extremely naturalistic, I don't expect that from everything. Soul Eater's dub, which again, I was not so picky I couldn't sit through all the way, had the opposite problem of too-naturalistic reads for outlandish, monstrous characters who could have used some more "Death Note"-y style acting and casting than the more "average Joe" Funimation approach.)

But that's all I want. To hear characters talk in a way that gets me lost in the experience and not question an awkward line read, a bad mix, a horrible mispronunciation, etc. And I definitely don't want to feel like the dub is mocking me, which, unfortunately, Foster's dubs have a habit of doing. I don't know how he achieves that, but he does. I can hear the "screw you, anyone trying to enjoy this faithfully" seeping through those reads.

I'm not nestling into my couch, drumming my fingers impatiently, waiting to be disappointed if characters don't sound "JUST LIKE I HOPED!!!" ...on the contrary, I'm willing to accept any number of creative decisions in voice choice or timbre or dialogue phrasing as long as it seems "real" to me. Foster's dubs sound like a thing forced out haphazardly by a man who's overworked and doesn't care. That's why I blanket judgments on a lot of his work instead of individually. (Although I do give all those dubs a chance individually! And Kids on the Slope sounds better than several other things he's done recently, like Penguindrum or Angel Beats!) But I blanket those judgments a little because these dubs DO all sound the same. They sound either vacuous and emotionless ("COULD it BE Brother JUN?") or campily over-emotional perhaps because Foster thinks that's funny ("Jazz is the only music for me!" or whatever the thing he said before the drum solo was that made me laugh for...the wrong reasons.)

That's it. Vic Mignogna is a huge departure from Mamoru Miyano's Tamaki in the Ouran dub. But that doesn't bother me because it works for their rendition, his interpretation of the character is hilarious and genuine. Brian Drummond is a huge departure from Nakamura Shido's Ryuk in the Death Note dub. But that doesn't bother me because it works for their rendition, his interpretation of the character is gleefully creepy. How Kids on the Slope once sounded in Japanese doesn't matter to me. How it sounds in English, however, is so far from anything I can get immersed in that it becomes invalid. It becomes something I can't judge or nitpick on or forgive little issues within. It's not believable. The characters have reverted to drawings with confused actors saying words with no verisimilitude to them over their flapping mouths. (Oh that's another thing! Foster doesn't match flap too well at all either. Nitpick but still, they're straws on a struggling camel.)

That's what it is. That's why I keep talking about his work and why it bothers me. Because he doesn't seem to care, and he seems very proud of the fact that he produces work so lackluster it feels like the actors don't become the characters at all. I'll take the hammy overacting and charming missteps of a New York dub from the 90s over that attitude any day. That's just my gut reaction, ain't nothin' I can do about it.
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