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The Art of Spirited Away

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The Fantasy Continues The Art of Spirited Away collects color illustrations of Spirited Away (Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi) for the first time in an English edition! This book includes paintings and designs from the new animated film from the director of Kiki's Delivery Service and Princess Mononoke. Large-size, hardcover coffee-table book featuring artwork from the renowne The Fantasy Continues The Art of Spirited Away collects color illustrations of Spirited Away (Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi) for the first time in an English edition! This book includes paintings and designs from the new animated film from the director of Kiki's Delivery Service and Princess Mononoke. Large-size, hardcover coffee-table book featuring artwork from the renowned animated film, Spirited Away, directed by Hayao Miyazaki. Features commentary, color stills, sketches, storyboards, and illustrations used to envision the rich fantasy world of the film. Also includes a complete English-language script.


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The Fantasy Continues The Art of Spirited Away collects color illustrations of Spirited Away (Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi) for the first time in an English edition! This book includes paintings and designs from the new animated film from the director of Kiki's Delivery Service and Princess Mononoke. Large-size, hardcover coffee-table book featuring artwork from the renowne The Fantasy Continues The Art of Spirited Away collects color illustrations of Spirited Away (Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi) for the first time in an English edition! This book includes paintings and designs from the new animated film from the director of Kiki's Delivery Service and Princess Mononoke. Large-size, hardcover coffee-table book featuring artwork from the renowned animated film, Spirited Away, directed by Hayao Miyazaki. Features commentary, color stills, sketches, storyboards, and illustrations used to envision the rich fantasy world of the film. Also includes a complete English-language script.

30 review for The Art of Spirited Away

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jo (The Book Geek)

    I read "The art of My neighbour Totoro" recently, and this book is just as good, if not a little better. Spirited Away, is an incredible anime film, and it is definitely one of my favourites. The story manages to touch me so deeply, and no matter how many times I indulge in watching the film, I still become pretty emotional. This book, is not just for those that love the actual art of the film, but for those who love the story being told. There is an interesting, short introduction, at the begin I read "The art of My neighbour Totoro" recently, and this book is just as good, if not a little better. Spirited Away, is an incredible anime film, and it is definitely one of my favourites. The story manages to touch me so deeply, and no matter how many times I indulge in watching the film, I still become pretty emotional. This book, is not just for those that love the actual art of the film, but for those who love the story being told. There is an interesting, short introduction, at the beginning of the book, which was written by Miyazaki himself, and he tells us what he wanted us to gain from the film, and where his influences came from. The book contains all of the amazing concept art from the actual film. Some of the art is so similar to the final film, and I felt like I was watching it again, for the thirtieth time. I love the books in this series, and I love Miyazaki's works.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jin

    I have the Korean edition of this one and I still LOVE it. "Princess Mononoke" is one of my favorite movies and I also liked "Spirited Away" so when I saw this artbook in the bookstore, I had to buy it. It's a large sized, thick book in full color. Everything is arranged and printed in high quality and no space is wasted. It's absolutely full of everything you want to know about the art building of Spirited Away with character development, storyboards, concept arts and comments from the creators I have the Korean edition of this one and I still LOVE it. "Princess Mononoke" is one of my favorite movies and I also liked "Spirited Away" so when I saw this artbook in the bookstore, I had to buy it. It's a large sized, thick book in full color. Everything is arranged and printed in high quality and no space is wasted. It's absolutely full of everything you want to know about the art building of Spirited Away with character development, storyboards, concept arts and comments from the creators. In the end, it also includes a full script of the movie which was a nice addition. I wished there would be more books like this for animated movies! This is not only for "Spirited Away"-fans but also for any person interested in animated movies.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Neil R. Coulter

    Two hundred forty pages of artwork and writing about one of my all-time favorite films? Sure! Miyazaki’s introduction clarifies what he sees as the important themes in what is one of the most complex and fascinating animated films ever made.I would say that this film is an adventure story even though there is no brandishing of weapons or battles involving supernatural powers. However, this story is not a showdown between right and wrong. It is a story in which the heroine will be thrown into a p Two hundred forty pages of artwork and writing about one of my all-time favorite films? Sure! Miyazaki’s introduction clarifies what he sees as the important themes in what is one of the most complex and fascinating animated films ever made.I would say that this film is an adventure story even though there is no brandishing of weapons or battles involving supernatural powers. However, this story is not a showdown between right and wrong. It is a story in which the heroine will be thrown into a place where the good and the bad dwell together, and there, she will experience the world. She will learn about friendship and devotion, and will survive by making full use of her brain. She sees herself through the crisis, avoids danger and gets herself back to the ordinary world somehow. She manages not because she has destroyed the “evil,” but because she has acquired the ability to survive. (15)This summary of Spirited Away reminds me of a comment Miyazaki made later, in a 2010 interview at Berkeley:To have a film where there’s an evil figure, and the good person fights against the evil figure and everything becomes a happy ending—that’s one way to make a film. But then that means you have to draw, as an animator, the evil figure, and it’s not very pleasant to draw the evil figure. So I decided against having evil figures in my films.It’s a very interesting perspective, partly because it’s an intriguing ethos to guide storytelling, and partly because it forces me to look at Spirited Away differently, so much am I in the habit of identifying the “good guys” and “bad guys” in any story. Anyway, after the introduction, we get to see Miyazaki’s concept sketches for the film, which are beautiful—sometimes almost exactly what the final film looks like, and other times very different (in the case of No Face, for example). The next section is a selection of backgrounds and character designs. These are great because it’s like pausing the film and really looking at all the details in each frame. The book concludes with an explanation of the ways digital technology was used in the film; and then the entire script (in English). For any fan of Spirited Away, this book is pure pleasure. Highly recommended!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    For this book I cannot sing its praises high enough. The animated films from Studio Ghibli are world renowned translated in to multiple languages and back from the likes of Walt Disney in their distribution and recognition. The artwork and storyline blend together to form a timeless story which you cannot help be transported away with, from the world of Howls Moving Castle to the forests of Princess Mononoke to the magic of My Neighbour Totoro, Studio Ghibli have an uncanny ability to tell stori For this book I cannot sing its praises high enough. The animated films from Studio Ghibli are world renowned translated in to multiple languages and back from the likes of Walt Disney in their distribution and recognition. The artwork and storyline blend together to form a timeless story which you cannot help be transported away with, from the world of Howls Moving Castle to the forests of Princess Mononoke to the magic of My Neighbour Totoro, Studio Ghibli have an uncanny ability to tell stories like no other. This book written in part by Hayao Miyazaki captures much of the art work used in the film - with explanatory notes and comments. As such the book is sumptuously illustrated with full and double page illustrations. For anyone who loved the film this is a must but it also appeals to anyone who appreciate artwork and the beautiful of a well crafted story told through images.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Amy Lutchen

    This book was an eye opener. My initial reaction to receiving the book: "Oh my God, I LOVE Studio Ghibli! Everything is awesome (Yes, as in Lego awesome)! It's all so cute." Read book. Ending reaction: "Dear Lord, who the hell knew so much work went into creating an animated film? The amount of rejected ideas and work, the storyboards, the number of COLORS used in his distinctive films... It's all so overwhelming." I've always adored Miyazaki's work, but now? I respect him so much more for his hard This book was an eye opener. My initial reaction to receiving the book: "Oh my God, I LOVE Studio Ghibli! Everything is awesome (Yes, as in Lego awesome)! It's all so cute." Read book. Ending reaction: "Dear Lord, who the hell knew so much work went into creating an animated film? The amount of rejected ideas and work, the storyboards, the number of COLORS used in his distinctive films... It's all so overwhelming." I've always adored Miyazaki's work, but now? I respect him so much more for his hard work, his genius, his ability to fulfill a child's dream while locked in an adult's body.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Parka

    (More pictures at parkablogs.com) The copy I'm reviewing is a Chinese version. The English version from VIZ Media Publishing is essentially the similar in content. Some of the English versions end with movie scripts, some don't. As usual, there are lots of beautiful sketches on character design and concept art for the environment. They are all painted in traditional media. The bath house on one full page on its own is just breathtaking. There are only a handful of movie stills. Captions below (More pictures at parkablogs.com) The copy I'm reviewing is a Chinese version. The English version from VIZ Media Publishing is essentially the similar in content. Some of the English versions end with movie scripts, some don't. As usual, there are lots of beautiful sketches on character design and concept art for the environment. They are all painted in traditional media. The bath house on one full page on its own is just breathtaking. There are only a handful of movie stills. Captions below the sketches describe the scene and ideas behind. At the end of the book are is a short write up on how they used computers to composite some of their cel animation onto the big screen. I like the movie very much and this book is a perfect complement to it. If you collect Studio Ghibli movie art books, there's no reason not to add this to your collection. Note that there's another book called Spirited Away Picture Book. It's essentially the movie published as a book. It comprises only off movie stills and the story is written for kids. I actually made the mistake of buying that book before The Art of Spirited Away, which is the real art book. PS - Oh, the soundtrack for the movie is simply fantastic. One of my all time favourites as well. This review was first published on parkablogs.com. There are more pictures and videos on my blog.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Irene

    A wonderful collector's book for anybody who loves Spirited Away. It's one of my favourite movies not only because of the story, but as visual work of art. This book shows you the storyboarding throughout the film with notes about the production process and the last section goes into the use of CG as a tool that Miyazaki finally embraced with some reluctance. The result was stunning. I read this from a library copy and I can't wait to get my own so I can peruse it from time to time at my leisure A wonderful collector's book for anybody who loves Spirited Away. It's one of my favourite movies not only because of the story, but as visual work of art. This book shows you the storyboarding throughout the film with notes about the production process and the last section goes into the use of CG as a tool that Miyazaki finally embraced with some reluctance. The result was stunning. I read this from a library copy and I can't wait to get my own so I can peruse it from time to time at my leisure.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ben

    This book is stunning. The quality of the printing and the weight of the pages make it feel like something special and well worth the money. The early production sketches and the comments from the Ghibli staff are greatly appreciated and provide a decent amount of insight into the creative process. Whilst the amount of film stills could be off putting to people who want to see things they haven't before, the images look so good on the glossy paper, particularly the full page ones, it's hard to i This book is stunning. The quality of the printing and the weight of the pages make it feel like something special and well worth the money. The early production sketches and the comments from the Ghibli staff are greatly appreciated and provide a decent amount of insight into the creative process. Whilst the amount of film stills could be off putting to people who want to see things they haven't before, the images look so good on the glossy paper, particularly the full page ones, it's hard to imagine anyone feeling too disappointed. The inclusion of the film script to finish out the book was a nice unexpected bonus too. The only problem I have now is trying to put out of my mind how good the entire Ghibli Library would look on my shelf...

  9. 5 out of 5

    Joey

    The Art of Spirited Away is jaw-droppingly stunning. I have been a huge Ghibli guy since I saw the original Fox English dub of My Neighbor Totoro in second grade. Miyazaki is probably my favorite artist of any medium. This collection details the tedium and love put into one of the best animated features of all time. It goes into depth about how the animators integrated CG to improve layering and to improve upon the hand-drawn designs and models as well as realistic lighting. This book also include The Art of Spirited Away is jaw-droppingly stunning. I have been a huge Ghibli guy since I saw the original Fox English dub of My Neighbor Totoro in second grade. Miyazaki is probably my favorite artist of any medium. This collection details the tedium and love put into one of the best animated features of all time. It goes into depth about how the animators integrated CG to improve layering and to improve upon the hand-drawn designs and models as well as realistic lighting. This book also includes a copy of the English screenplay, which is actually printed on a less glossy paper than the artwork pages. High praise.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lee

    These two books (I read the Totoro one recently too) mark the begin for of a rather expensive collection that I just need to carry on with, because holy hell. STUNNING.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Toby Walker

    Really thorough, though accessible, examination of the art style and parts of the production process as well, coupled with character sheets, location designs and layouts. Really exciting were a few of those famous watercolour storyboards that have been so (rightly!) mythologised as part of Miyazaki’s process. There’s some entertaining interviews and descriptions from the art and animation team which animation/Ghibli (esp Miyazaki) fans will find amusing, and aspiring creators will find instructi Really thorough, though accessible, examination of the art style and parts of the production process as well, coupled with character sheets, location designs and layouts. Really exciting were a few of those famous watercolour storyboards that have been so (rightly!) mythologised as part of Miyazaki’s process. There’s some entertaining interviews and descriptions from the art and animation team which animation/Ghibli (esp Miyazaki) fans will find amusing, and aspiring creators will find instructive and illuminating. When there are stills from the film, they’re well-chosen, high quality and relevant to the chapter- not haphazard. There’s a good balance of writing to pictures, feeling neither like the publishers got stingy about putting full colour printing throughtout, nor that they threw together a bunch of pictures and added text to justify releasing a book at all (I’m looking at you, Star Wars and Disney tie-ins!). Studio Ghibli seem to have put real effort in making this book. The only aspect I felt could’ve been done better were explicitly showing the artistic and folklore influences that the creators drew from for creature design and story. For the 20ish years I’ve loved this film, I’ve slowly pieced together some of the yōkai (Shinto spirits or cryptids), ukiyo-e (traditional woodblock art) and traditional folklore that might be more obvious to a Japanese audience but is wonderfully mysterious to myself as a British fan, but one day I would love to see some of those influences spelled out more explicitly. Honestly one of the best books I’ve gotten all year, would work as a gift for an arty kid or to go on a film connoisseur’s coffee-table.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Leslie Hester

    So this book lets you dive deep into how Miyazaki and the ghibli team made spirited away. The artists would work in tandem with the cgi editors to make the background and then eventually add the characters making the scenes come to life. Even though Miyazaki didn’t want to get rid of cel films, he learned to appreciate cgi and what it could do. At one point, he got so into using cgi, he was asking them to deep the background color rather than asking the background artists to do it. He eventually So this book lets you dive deep into how Miyazaki and the ghibli team made spirited away. The artists would work in tandem with the cgi editors to make the background and then eventually add the characters making the scenes come to life. Even though Miyazaki didn’t want to get rid of cel films, he learned to appreciate cgi and what it could do. At one point, he got so into using cgi, he was asking them to deep the background color rather than asking the background artists to do it. He eventually found a harmonious blend of his way of creating with modern inventions.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lore

    five stars duh PLUS the bonus script at the end… AMAZING!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kaśyap

    I wish there were more initial concept sketches and storyboards present...But this is still a gorgeous book.

  15. 5 out of 5

    ivanareadsalot

    Stunning illustrations, concept sketches, screenplay and character designs for the Academy Award winning Studio Ghibli film, Spirited Away. There is also a surprising amount of information about the incorporation of software and digital elements to the beautiful paintings done by the art department. Gorgeous and satisfying book that is especially thrilling for fans of Studio Ghibli and Miyazaki-san's awe-inspiring creativity! Stunning illustrations, concept sketches, screenplay and character designs for the Academy Award winning Studio Ghibli film, Spirited Away. There is also a surprising amount of information about the incorporation of software and digital elements to the beautiful paintings done by the art department. Gorgeous and satisfying book that is especially thrilling for fans of Studio Ghibli and Miyazaki-san's awe-inspiring creativity!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Diz

    For Ghibli fans, this is a beautiful book. There are many illustrations from the production of the film Spirited Away. I particularly like Miyazaki's hand-drawn watercolor illustrations of the locations and scenes from the movie. Miyazaki is really skilled at world-building and this comes through in his art. For Ghibli fans, this is a beautiful book. There are many illustrations from the production of the film Spirited Away. I particularly like Miyazaki's hand-drawn watercolor illustrations of the locations and scenes from the movie. Miyazaki is really skilled at world-building and this comes through in his art.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Nadia Fong

    Spirited away is my favourite movie/book that Hayao Miyazaki made!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    As much as I adore the movie, unfortunately this book fell very flat. I'm glad I didn't purchase it and just rented it from the library. There is a decent introduction essay by Miyazaki, and a fascinating chapter about the details of the digital animation, but the rest? Backgrounds and character sketches with bare labels and without commentary, and a SCRIPT. Who cares about the actual script??? I wanted to hear more about the inspiration behind characters, especially the plethora of spirits and As much as I adore the movie, unfortunately this book fell very flat. I'm glad I didn't purchase it and just rented it from the library. There is a decent introduction essay by Miyazaki, and a fascinating chapter about the details of the digital animation, but the rest? Backgrounds and character sketches with bare labels and without commentary, and a SCRIPT. Who cares about the actual script??? I wanted to hear more about the inspiration behind characters, especially the plethora of spirits and their connection to youkai. I wanted to hear more about the behind the scenes process. I didn't just want to look at the pretty backgrounds.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kayla

    Spirited Away is one of my favorite movies, so I treated myself to this art book and it did not disappoint! I loved seeing the concept designs/sketches and the art broken down in each scene. There’s also a section on how scenes were formed digitally, which was fascinating. This is a great addition to your library if you’re a fan of the film and want to see how the artistic elements developed into the final product. I’m definitely keeping an eye out for the art books focusing on other Studio Ghib Spirited Away is one of my favorite movies, so I treated myself to this art book and it did not disappoint! I loved seeing the concept designs/sketches and the art broken down in each scene. There’s also a section on how scenes were formed digitally, which was fascinating. This is a great addition to your library if you’re a fan of the film and want to see how the artistic elements developed into the final product. I’m definitely keeping an eye out for the art books focusing on other Studio Ghibli films now!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    Overall it's a great book, but if I'm comparing it to the other "The Art of..." titles I would say this one has a lot less commentary than The Art of Howl's Moving Castle". Overall it's a great book, but if I'm comparing it to the other "The Art of..." titles I would say this one has a lot less commentary than The Art of Howl's Moving Castle".

  21. 5 out of 5

    Musharrat Zahin

    A book filled with pretty illustrations! It's so beautiful and almost real! A book filled with pretty illustrations! It's so beautiful and almost real!

  22. 4 out of 5

    ItalianWith AShotgun

    Loved it! It was fantastic, but I wish it had more of the original concept art and less stills of the actual movie. Overall amazing tho!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sophie Crane

    Beautiful hardback book. The pages are glossy and thick. I also didn't know it had the script for the film at the back! That was a nice surprise. It doesn't give too much detail of the making of, as the book it made up of clips from the film with a descriptuon underneath, but there are some storyboard drawings in there too. I wouldn't recommend if you're wanting more info for the making of. But I'd definitely recommend as a gift for any Ghibli fan and as beautiful well presented book. Beautiful hardback book. The pages are glossy and thick. I also didn't know it had the script for the film at the back! That was a nice surprise. It doesn't give too much detail of the making of, as the book it made up of clips from the film with a descriptuon underneath, but there are some storyboard drawings in there too. I wouldn't recommend if you're wanting more info for the making of. But I'd definitely recommend as a gift for any Ghibli fan and as beautiful well presented book.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

    I love anything Hayao Miyazaki. Anything and everything. He's a genius. I love anything Hayao Miyazaki. Anything and everything. He's a genius.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    I felt privileged to get a look into the behind the scenes creativity of this masterpiece. Beautiful, interesting, thought provoking.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Molly

    Impossible not to enjoy. Miyazak = The Best.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kayla

    GORGEOUS. THIS MOVIE IS A MASTERPIECE. I originally got this book because I've been on an art journey, and Spirited Away is my favorite movie of all time. But gd. This book really goes to show how incredible Spirited Away is. I've always known (after a brief attempt at creating a comic) that it takes a lot of knowledge to create a fictional universe, but wow. This book really showed it all: the character sketches, the thought that went into the facial expressions, mannerisms, clothing, shapes. F GORGEOUS. THIS MOVIE IS A MASTERPIECE. I originally got this book because I've been on an art journey, and Spirited Away is my favorite movie of all time. But gd. This book really goes to show how incredible Spirited Away is. I've always known (after a brief attempt at creating a comic) that it takes a lot of knowledge to create a fictional universe, but wow. This book really showed it all: the character sketches, the thought that went into the facial expressions, mannerisms, clothing, shapes. From the decadent exterior of the bathhouse to the functionalities and routines contained within the bathhouse, every pocket and corner, every adornment and vase, every hallway, atrium, floorboard, texture, all of it was so excruciatingly intentional and well executed, I weep in both despair and inspiration. In addition to all the sketches and notes on the intentionality behind the visuals, this book also goes into some detail about the challenges presented by the usage of CG in this movie. I was thoroughly impressed by the amount of effort put in to blend the explicit nature of CG with the abstract nature of cel-animation. And having watched this movie more times than I can count, I can testify that their efforts did, in-fact, produce magic (like the scene when they broke the conventional immobility of backgrounds in animation. ugh incredible). All in all, this book was everything I hoped it'd be, and I'll be studying this endlessly as I continue to build up my art skills. To end, here's a quote from the brilliant Miyazaki, describing Spirited Away as a story where the heroine to survive "not because she has destroyed the 'evil,' but because she has acquired the ability to survive." Incredible. 10/10

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jaimie

    Spirited Away was such an integral film during my high school years (thanks Mr. Paravantes' Japanese class) that it's impossible not to get nostalgic over a book like this one. We get to explore the art behind the scenes, the digital processes, and the story development - straight from Studio Ghibli itself. What disappointed me a bit throughout the book, though, was that because the film was digitally produced we got a lot less of the concept artwork than I was expecting. Maybe there was just ph Spirited Away was such an integral film during my high school years (thanks Mr. Paravantes' Japanese class) that it's impossible not to get nostalgic over a book like this one. We get to explore the art behind the scenes, the digital processes, and the story development - straight from Studio Ghibli itself. What disappointed me a bit throughout the book, though, was that because the film was digitally produced we got a lot less of the concept artwork than I was expecting. Maybe there was just physically less of it, or maybe the studio didn't want to put as much out for this film as for the other movies, but it did end up being a lot more digital stills from the finished film than expected. We have the film (and the comics, which draw screen captures to make the graphic layouts) so having the majority of the book dedicated to rehashing the material left me a bit wanting. It was interesting seeing how they used digital techniques to add to the film though, and the best part was undoubtedly the commentary by the artists, designers, and Miyazaki himself. And the tid-bit about how the bath house was inspired by a real place? Definitely a nice addition to my travel wishlist on the Studio Ghibli tour of Japan!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Imogen

    This added to my appreciation of the film and I would love to see books on the other films too. It helps you understand the story and characters a little better, but I would've liked more from Miyazaki himself, and I didn't like the fact that half the book is the screenplay. It could've done with some more storyboards and initial concept development in my opinion, rather than just popping the screenplay in - I know the screenplay off by heart already pretty much from seeing the film so many time This added to my appreciation of the film and I would love to see books on the other films too. It helps you understand the story and characters a little better, but I would've liked more from Miyazaki himself, and I didn't like the fact that half the book is the screenplay. It could've done with some more storyboards and initial concept development in my opinion, rather than just popping the screenplay in - I know the screenplay off by heart already pretty much from seeing the film so many times! Still, it's pretty, and I'd recommend this to anyone interested in anime art style.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Valleri

    First, I'd like to begin with saying I love Spirited Away and pretty much anything Studio Ghibli puts out. Hayao Miyazaki is a mastermind and captivating storyteller/artist. This book illustrates that fact to a "T". The way the characters interact and the story unfolds is so intricate and serves to direct the path of our heroine perfectly so that Chihiro must look within herself to muster the courage and cleverness to gain her freedom. First, I'd like to begin with saying I love Spirited Away and pretty much anything Studio Ghibli puts out. Hayao Miyazaki is a mastermind and captivating storyteller/artist. This book illustrates that fact to a "T". The way the characters interact and the story unfolds is so intricate and serves to direct the path of our heroine perfectly so that Chihiro must look within herself to muster the courage and cleverness to gain her freedom.

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