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Scribblenog
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Re: Finally joining in.

Postby Scribblenog » Sat Aug 19, 2017 7:41 am

BlueSpark wrote:For instance, I believe Elfen Lied is tagged as horror, yet I don't think I felt frightened or even uneasy a single time watching it (I did enjoy the series for other reasons, though). Similarly, I've seen people lament the lack of horror elements in Dusk Maiden of Amnesia, criticizing the romance and (minor) ecchi focus. I never once regarded that anime as a horror show. I mean, a ghost as the female lead doesn't necessarily turn it into horror (anohana, anyone?). Well, except for the aforementioned flashback scene. That s**t twisted my stomach into a knot.

I definitely wouldn't classify Dusk Maiden as horror. Dusk Maiden built up a great sense of foreboding through fragmented memory but never went too far down the horror track.
Elfen Lied goes right for that gore category of horror I suppose. Cute girls Getting maimed. I agree it wasn't scary so much as it was...torso. I will give it props for a wonderfully portrayed emotionally abusive relationship.
Yes, yes, I really enjoyed from From the New World. Total agreement there. I felt that series did an amazing job of constraining the world early on by only allowing us to experience it through the characters involved yet still hinting that things are "off".
BlueSpark wrote:I haven't watched Death Parade, but heard a lot of good things about it; it's probably time I take a stab at it. I'm pretty sure it's available in English dub..

Its worth a watch, but please don't misinterpret what I said I'm my last post and go into it expecting a full horror show. It really leans in the direction of psychological drama. For me personally some of that psychological drama hits a bit close to home and evokes a reaction of anxiety and revulsion. I'd expound on my thoughts but I don't want to spoil anything or fill a page with spoiler tags. If you do end up giving it a go I's love to hear your interpretation.
In any case it's only 12 episodes, they move pretty fast and it does have some real moments. I wouldn't put it top five, but I liked it a good deal. I see it's on Funimation with a dub.
I watch both sub and dub myself. It depends on availability, what I'm doing while I'm watching and who I'm watching with. My exposure to anime began the dark times before the interwebs and easily accessible titles. Crappy 5th generation VHS copies of "for fans by fans" subtitled grainy piles of junk forced me to rapidly become skilled in absorbing the nearly illegible, eye-vomitingly yellow comic sans scrawl.
Compared to that today's subtitled offering are a treasure and I barely even notice it.
I will say there are some shows I do prefer dubbed. I can't think of what series it was; there was a heated argument between two characters (it may have been Haganai). At one point in the subbed version character A rudely refers to character B as a "no class woman" English dub: "skank". The extra step taken to localize for an English voice actor is appreciated as the subtitled versions are sometimes a little too spot on.
It is my dream that the Monogatari series gets a dub one day. There are some folks I'd love to share it with.

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Re: Finally joining in.

Postby BlueSpark » Mon Aug 21, 2017 7:10 am

Scribblenog wrote:I will give it props for a wonderfully portrayed emotionally abusive relationship.
Huh, I actually had to think for a moment who you were referring to, then it hit me. Yup, that was quite effectively done. Wolf Girl & Black Prince, which I just started watching yesterday, also does that (with an obviously much bigger focus). There was a moment in episode 4 or 5 that's a picture-perfect example of "He's treating me like crap and I hate his guts, but now that he's here and asking me to come with him, I guess I will."

Scribblenog wrote:Its worth a watch, but please don't misinterpret what I said I'm my last post and go into it expecting a full horror show.
Don't worry, I didn't. I think I have a decent grasp on the type of show it is after hearing about it on several podcasts and in a couple of YouTube videos. While it's definitely not in my genre comfort zone, I'm still very interested. A good dose of psychological character examination is very much appreciated on occasion (which is why I'm also keeping an eye out for a possible Re:Zero dub announcement).

On the topic of horror anime, though, our lovely hosts just released a podcast episode centered around this very topic (you're probably aware, just making sure ;)). I think it'd be perfectly legitimate to copy a large portion of your last post and make your thoughts known in the corresponding podcast episode thread.

Scribblenog wrote:I watch both sub and dub myself. It depends on availability, what I'm doing while I'm watching and who I'm watching with.
Gotcha. Myself, I started actively watching about... 13 years ago? By that time, there was already a decent selection of dubbed shows out there for me to consume. However, it wasn't until several years later that I got really invested in anime as a hobby. And by then, we were already getting what I'd refer to as 'new generation' dubs.
Scribblenog wrote:At one point in the subbed version character A rudely refers to character B as a "no class woman" English dub: "skank". The extra step taken to localize for an English voice actor is appreciated as the subtitled versions are sometimes a little too spot on.
Exactly. Many of the newer localizations, as far as I (as a non-native speaker) can tell, make use of more familiar speech, expressions and idioms, leading to a better flow and more natural feel of the dialog.
However, the two main reasons for why I prefer dubs are actually different ones: I prefer being able to watch what's happening on screen instead of having to read subtitles, and – arguably more importantly – I simply cannot stand how Japanese voice-acting sounds. Most of it feels markedly overacted to me, to the point of breaking my immersion. I'm not saying that their voice-acting is bad (which would be a questionable stance to take since I'm probably in the minority here), but it's just not my thing.

Scribblenog wrote:It is my dream that the Monogatari series gets a dub one day.
I'd be equally interested in that. Bakemonogatari has in fact been dubbed in German, but none of the other seasons / franchise entries have. I haven't touched it since I'm afraid that after seeing one, I might end up wanting more.
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Re: Finally joining in.

Postby Scribblenog » Mon Aug 21, 2017 2:54 pm

BlueSpark wrote:Wolf Girl & Black Prince, which I just started watching yesterday, also does that (with an obviously much bigger focus). There was a moment in episode 4 or 5 that's a picture-perfect example of "He's treating me like crap and I hate his guts, but now that he's here and asking me to come with him, I guess I will."

Oh I really liked that anime. I have a soft spot for stuff one could categorize as "shojo". Funny how so many of them involve a male love interest who's a manipulative emotionally (and sometimes physically) abusive jack hole. Dont get me started on reverse harems, I might lose some respect when I say I actually enjoy Diabolic Lovers.
BlueSpark wrote:Bakemonogatari has in fact been dubbed in German, but none of the other seasons / franchise entries have. I haven't touched it since I'm afraid that after seeing one, I might end up wanting more..
Hmm. From some of the recommendations you've made to me along with some of your posts I've wandered past, I think you might really enjoy the Monogatari series. It is very full of character. If you have the opportunity to check out Bake I would highly recommend it despite not being able to indulge in the rest of the series (for now). At least you'll know if it is a series you can enjoy or if the mixed media, Shaft style visual eye assault, pseudo harem rom com dialogue explosion blend that is Monagatari is too much goodness wrapped into a single show.
Thanks for the heads up on the new podcast episode dropping. Entertaing as always.
So, back to shoujo-esque anime. Are there any others that fit into this category that you've found appealing? Is this a genre you watch often?
Last edited by Scribblenog on Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Finally joining in.

Postby BlueSpark » Tue Aug 22, 2017 7:14 am

Scribblenog wrote:Funny how so many of them involve a male love interest who's a manipulative emotionally (and sometimes physically) abusive jack hole.
I suppose they do, yes. I haven't watched too many of them; in terms of classic shoujos, Peach Girl, His and Her Circumstances, Maid Sama, Paradise Kiss, Say I Love You, Nana (Actually, scratch that, this one's a josei), First Love Monster, Kiss Him, Not Me and the above-mentioned Wolf Girl & Black Prince come to mind. I dropped Boys Over Flowers after 12 episodes. I also did watch Marmelade Boy and Fushigi Yuugi a good while back, but those are different in style. I need to check my list for the ones I missed when I'm back home.

Scribblenog wrote:Are there any others that fit into this category that you've found appealing? Is this a genre you watch often?
Truth be told, this is an... 'unfortunate' topic for me. That is because I genuinely want to like them, being a huge romance fan and all. And yet most shoujo romances don't quite resonate with me – I tend to come out of these series feeling very lukewarm about them. I can't exactly put my finger on why. The one that has managed to capture me the most so far would be His and Her Circumstances. I enjoyed that show quite a bit, but that was probably at least 7-8 years ago, and I'm not sure it would hold up if I watched it again today. I liked the comedy in Maid Sama and the drama in Nana, but neither of these struck me as truly fascinating.

Which is why I'm all the more baffled at how much I enjoyed Wolf Girl & Black Prince, which I finished watching yesterday. I put my thoughts down in this post – that should give you an idea of my reaction to it. Seriously, that show is knocking on the door to join the ranks of my all-time favorite romance series. I'm still a bit giddy with excitement about it even now – good thing my feelings don't surface much, else my colleagues at work would probably give me some concerned looks.

Feel free to share your thoughts on the show, I'm very much interested – although I guess it's not quite fair to ask given that it's probably been a while since you've seen the anime.

Scribblenog wrote:If you have the opportunity to check out Bake I would highly recommend it despite not being able to indulge in the rest of the series (for now).
Is it self-contained enough to be enjoyed on its own? In that case, I think I'll go for it. At the very least, I'm fine with Shaft's style (Ef – A Tale of Memories is my favorite anime of all time), and dialog-heavy shows are generally my kind of shows.
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Re: Finally joining in.

Postby Scribblenog » Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:27 am

BlueSpark wrote:The one that has managed to capture me the most so far would be His and Her Circumstances. I enjoyed that show quite a bit, but that was probably at least 7-8 years ago, and I'm not sure it would hold up if I watched it again today.

I rewatched this series not too long ago. It deffinately holds up as a spectacular romance anime. It is very touching and has pretty much everything I look for in a romance. There is awkwardness, a bit of drama and jealousy, but it never goes over the top or feels overly cheesy. It's full of genuine feeling.
All in all there's nothing for me to recommend as it looks like you've got the genre covered as far as anime go.
BlueSpark wrote:Is it self-contained enough to be enjoyed on its own? In that case, I think I'll go for it. At the very least, I'm fine with Shaft's style (Ef – A Tale of Memories is my favorite anime of all time), and dialog-heavy shows are generally my kind of shows.

I would say it is moderately well self contained. It may be the case that the show's producers were not certain they'd get more than one season. Bakemonogatari is very much focused on character establishment and its arcs are very episodic. Nisemonogatari, the second series is the same but focuses in more on peripheral characters. The series beyond that are almost completely new stories (using the characters established in the first two series) or a flash back to deal with subjects mentioned, but not fully shown. Altogether it ties into one hugely compelling mass, but one could easily excise and watch any season as its own thing as every season has moments of absolute awesome.
If I had never known there was another season, I wouldn't have been dissapointed by Bakemonogatari. Worse comes to worse you might adore some of the characters and want very much to see more of them. I just did a little fast forward through the final episode of the first season and it is indeed a "chapter complete".

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Re: Finally joining in.

Postby BlueSpark » Wed Aug 23, 2017 7:12 am

Scribblenog wrote:All in all there's nothing for me to recommend as it looks like you've got the genre covered as far as anime go.
Well, as far as dubbed series go, maybe. Lovely Complex and Ao Haru Ride are two titles coming to mind which I sadly had to set aside because of my voice-acting preferences. White Album 2, Golden Time and The Pet Girl of Sakurasou are examples of other romance series I wish were localized. Maybe someday I'll grit my teeth and go through some of these series in Japanese – the only anime which had this honor so far is anohana (which was also released in German and is soon to be dubbed in English).
Anyway, Wolf Girl & Black Prince has thoroughly renewed my confidence that there are shoujo romances out there which I can genuinely connect with. So I'll keep a watchful eye on the market and give any promising series a try in the future.

Scribblenog wrote:If I had never known there was another season, I wouldn't have been dissapointed by Bakemonogatari.
That sounds fine, then. After all, I was perfectly OK with the ending of When They Cry season 1 (The sequel never received a dub). When I first watched that show, I actually came up with a specific interpretation of the ending. By now, I have a rough idea of what the 2nd season reveals, but my personal theory still holds up as a satisfactory explanation, so I'll just stick with that and tell myself the world is alright (well, as alright as it can be when you watch cute little girls torture and slaughter each other).

Since this is still your introduction thread, it's only proper to prod you with a few questions and find out more about your likes and dislikes.
Something that I'm always interested in: What are some male anime protagonists you have particularly enjoyed, and why?
Also: What are you looking for in a series that primarily features ecchi? What other genres does or doesn't it combine well with in your mind? Or, from a different angle, in which kinds of shows do you find ecchi elements acceptable (and to what extent)?
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Re: Finally joining in.

Postby Scribblenog » Wed Aug 23, 2017 5:54 pm

BlueSpark wrote:Well, as far as dubbed series go, maybe. Lovely Complex and Ao Haru Ride are two titles coming to mind which I sadly had to set aside because of my voice-acting preferences. White Album 2, Golden Time and The Pet Girl of Sakurasou are examples of other romance series I wish were localized.

I'll admit I forgot some of those. Others I was pretty sure hadn't been dubbed. Good shows all around, a few of them I partcularly enjoyed.
Pet Girl had an excellent "life is not fair" message.
Lovely Complex is crazy cute.
The winner for me was White Album 2. Love triangles are a bit of a thing for me, thus my appreciation for Rumbling Hearts and one of the couples from Ef (I think the dude was an illustrator?).
BlueSpark wrote:Since this is still your introduction thread, it's only proper to prod you with a few questions and find out more about your likes and dislikes.

The questions are great. Beside enjoying rambling on about one of my favorite topics it's giving me a good opportunity to learn how to post on forums (something I'm very new to).
So let's see...male protagonists. Easy enough. At the top of my list are Hachiman Hikigaya from Snafu and Oreki Houtarou from Hyouka. Both of these characters are very relatable to me as their world views closely reflect my own at a similar age.
I can very easily identify with the desire to be left alone to do my own thing, silently laughing to myself at the ridiculous antics of those "normal kids" who don't get the grand joke; all the while secretly and desperately wanting someone to spark my interest and drag me into adventure.
I'll also throw in Koyomi Araragi from Monogatari. His character is well written and I enjoy his antics greatly. The blend of quick wits, snarky attitude and wildly inappropriate perversion are near perfect.
BlueSpark wrote:Also: What are you looking for in a series that primarily features ecchi?

My criteria for ecchi is pretty simple. It needs to fit. A show that has ecchi in its description needs to play it off well or I loose interest very quickly. Something like Queen's Blade, Valkyrie Drive or more recently Seven Mortal Sins misses the point. They are ecchi to be sure, but it is too blatant and overpowers everything else in the series. Its heavy-handed use feels forced.
On the other hand shows such as Sekotai Yakuindomo and My Wife is the Student Council President are filled with lewdness to the point of satire. They never take the ecchi too seriously however, and it clicks.
Up next is ecchi as a spice. Highscool DxD and Trinity Seven are good examples here. In the former case the ecchi nears the point of satire but everything the show offers around it fits so well that all the fondling and perv seems natural. Trinity Seven's brilliant moments of ecchi serve as a delightful garnish to a run-of-the-mill magic high school anime.
The Monogatari series also has a good bit of ecchi bits in it. Those are so well written in my opinion that it's in a class by itself.
Finally there's ecchi shows that are just so ridiculous and wrong that they are fantastic. Kissxsis is just that. Slice of life meets twincest? Perfect. This series is just plain fun. OniAi fits nicely in this category, as does Lately My Little Sister Has Become Strange.
BlueSpark wrote:What other genres does or doesn't it combine well with in your mind?

Ultimately I feel ecchi elements can fit with any genre. It just needs to be used well. In my opinion there is a critical tipping point in a series where the plot line isn't strong enough, the characters are too lacking, or there is no real point to the story where the answer is "throw some ecchi and/or fanservice at it, that'll fix it right up."
If I can pull all the ecchi out of a show and still be moderately ok with the plot, that show's a winner.
Alternatively if the show uses ecchi as its hook and entertains me it is also worth my time. These shows are usually comedies. I don't feel pure unadulterated ecchi fits well anywhere else (Seven Mortal Sins, I'm looking at you.)
Well, that's probably enough for now, I was probably less opinionated on horror and romance than I was here. Thanks for the question.

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Re: Finally joining in.

Postby BlueSpark » Thu Aug 24, 2017 5:01 am

Scribblenog wrote:Love triangles are a bit of a thing for me, thus my appreciation for Rumbling Hearts and one of the couples from Ef (I think the dude was an illustrator?).
Well, if I'm honest, most love triangles tend to bug me a bit – at least on the surface. Probably because if the male character (assuming a classic "1 male, 2 females" triangle) just grew a spine and made up his mind, he could, more often than not, have a fulfilling relationship. And I like seeing fulfilling romances.

At the same time, I do think love triangles offer great potential for dramatic developments, which is something I'm always down for, as well. It's just that these potentials and their payoffs are a little more subtle, so my initial reaction is usually "Argh, darn you, girl B! Don't be a roadblock, get lost already!".

By the way, you're (mostly) right – Hiro Hirono from Ef is an aspiring mangaka. When Kei pulled out all the stops to make Miyaka "disappear" (the cell phone stunt), I was furious at her. But then towards then end, I started to sympathize more with Kei and the bitter reality she had to accept / lesson she learned. I still firmly favor Miyako over her, though.

Scribblenog wrote:So let's see...male protagonists. Easy enough. At the top of my list are Hachiman Hikigaya from Snafu and Oreki Houtarou from Hyouka. Both of these characters are very relatable to me as their world views closely reflect my own at a similar age.
[...]
I'll also throw in Koyomi Araragi from Monogatari. His character is well written and I enjoy his antics greatly.
Unfortunately, I haven't seen any of these yet, so there's nothing in particular for me to comment on. However, Hyouka's dub will be dropping soon, and I've already planted it on my plan-to-watch pile. After your recommendation, I'll probably go for Bakemonogatari as well at some point.

Personally, I have two standout examples for male leads who carried their respective shows for me: Keima Katsuragi from The World God Only Knows (hence my avatar) and Haruyuki from Accel World.
The former I see as almost inspiring in how he sticks to his own values and what he considers important in life, no matter how much other people may look down on him. At the same time, he's an accomplished individual as far as his academics go, and he proves to us that the knowledge garnered from his hobby actually has practical applications (although we also get to see cases of the opposite). Most importantly, in regard to the show overall, I admire how Keima stays in character throughout. In many, many anime series, characters who have a strong quirk like him are only milked for comedic purposes. Keima, on the other hand, is a fleshed-out individual whose personality stays consistent in comedic as well as serious moments. That's what makes him so impressive and memorable to me.
As for Haruyuki, I simply loved how he grew stronger psychologically throughout the series. The moment which established him as my second favorite male protagonist was when, in the second half, he was framed for a certain incident and subsequently shunned by virtually the whole student body. Instead of breaking down, he gritted his teeth and told himself "You've been through this before, you can handle it!". That moment of him drawing strength from the suffering he had endured in the past is what sold me on him.

There are also a couple of others I could mention, most notably Light Yagami from Death Note and Lelouch from Code Geass. I'm grouping both of these together because their roles a very similar: They're genius intellectuals who get a bit caught up in their own conceitedness and then have to deal with the fallout. I also enjoyed Arata from Trinity Seven a great deal as a harem protagonist who actually embraces the risqué situations he's being put in and admitting to the girls that he's attracted to their female charms (and 'assets') – yet at the same time, he doesn't come across as overly perverted, just a bit hormone-driven. A perfect mix which made this series very enjoyable to me.

Scribblenog wrote:If I can pull all the ecchi out of a show and still be moderately ok with the plot, that show's a winner.
Alternatively if the show uses ecchi as its hook and entertains me it is also worth my time. These shows are usually comedies. I don't feel pure unadulterated ecchi fits well anywhere else (Seven Mortal Sins, I'm looking at you.)
Thanks for the detailed reply. It's actually rather insightful, though unfortunately, the only show you listed that I've actually seen myself is Trinity Seven. I think a lot of the lesser-known ecchi animes simply don't get dubbed; others just haven't caught my interest so far (High School of the Dead, Seven Deadly Sins etc.). I am looking at Highschool DxD after hearing Chris praise it on the podcast, though (I'm still catching up with the older podcast episodes).

If I'm completely honest, when I go into a (harem) ecchi show, what I'm looking for are cute characters and fun, exciting and sometimes sensual experiences for the protagonist. I tend to automatically shut off all attention to the plot when it comes to series like Date a Live (which I enjoyed enough to actually buy the Blu-ray), Infinite Stratos or Trinity Seven. I mean, I realize that there's a plot behind the whole thing, but I honestly couldn't care less whether it's well thought-out or just something completely uninspired or incoherent.
That's why I'm actually highly intrigued by the concept of KissxSis. I very much welcome a good sibling romance: Koi Kaze offers a very serious look at the subject; Selector Infected WIXOSS also portrayed this conflict brilliantly; Yosuga no Sora's final arc is extremely controversial, but I overall enjoyed it; and Suguha is my favorite character in Sword Art Online – alas, my rooting for her was in vain. The concept of KissxSis is obviously a bit different, being more gratuitously sexual in nature. Unfortunately, the chances of it getting dubbed at this point are basically zero.

When it comes to series which feature ecchi as a side genre, this works in the opposite way for me: I tend to simply ignore the fanservice-y bits and focus on the actual draw of the show. Off the top of my head, I can't think of any non-ecchi shows where panty shots and such detracted terribly from the experience for me. But I suppose this very much deponds on one's own tolerance level. And the only things that seem to break mine are female chests of highly unnatural proportions.
Last edited by BlueSpark on Mon Mar 26, 2018 7:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Finally joining in.

Postby Scribblenog » Thu Aug 24, 2017 12:37 pm

Interesting topic, ecchi. First off I'll recommend DxD. It's plot is very typical of a shounen bad guy of the week. That aside, there are some good elements of romance involved. As it is a harem anime, all the girls inevitably fall for the protagonist but the series actually and surprisingly does a decent job of explaining why.
On the other hand, massive mammories are an ever present feature baring a couple of loli exceptions.
Warning on Kissxsis. You mentioned a curiosity towards it and acknowledged its differing tone, however, you also mentioned Koi Kaze, Yatsuga no Sora and a couple other bro/siscon situations.
Nothing similar there. At all. While the former explores a forbidden sibling relationship, and thoughtfully explores the impact of it and the later details a number of highly sexualized, but moderately "real-ish" relationships (including the incest arc), Kissxsis is just comedy smut. Twin sisters try to seduce their younger step-brother. They are joined by the brother's teacher, middle school aged kouhei, and a glasses wearing shy girl (every episode with her devolves into water sports).
It is raunchy inappropriateness from scene one till the final episode. The manga is even more ridiculous.
At a stretch one could try to make an argument that the series is about friendship and love...who am I kidding? The whole thing is absurd, but fun.
There's really nothing deeper or more meaningful or touching or thought provoking as the other two shows present.
Back to seriousness though. I did appreciate Keima in TWOGK. Arata, Araragi, Isei as too are interesting characters that acknowledge who they are and live unapologetically, displaying their odd personality quirks openly.
I can't speak much to the character in Accel World. I don't think I finished that one. All I can recall was that the black-haired girl had a complex about her blade-arms.
High School of the Dead isn't a bad show either when I think about it. Is it a lack of interest in anime zombies that makes you pause or is it the zombies plus blatant fan service? I enjoyed this one myself being a fan of zombie media and I really liked the character designs...and the absurd anatomical physics.

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Re: Finally joining in.

Postby Andrew » Thu Aug 24, 2017 9:44 pm

Scribblenog wrote:The podcast has been great. I look forward to each episode dropping and giving me a small break in the middle of my workday. Thank you Andrew, Chris and all the folks who keep the forum rolling along and ask all sorts of fun questions of the hosts.

Hello Scribblenog. Sorry for the extra long delay in welcoming you to the community. Thanks so much for listening to us, and for sticking around so long. I definitely join you in thanking our community. They not only give us great questions, but they also welcome people so well (great discussion in here!).
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