Sep 27

By JQ magazine editor Justin Tedaldi (CIR Kobe-shi, 2001-02). Justin has written about Japanese arts and entertainment for JETAA since 2005. For more of his articles, click here.

As the summer winds fade into fall colors, the weeks ahead are shaping up with these exciting events, ready to be enjoyed all through Halloween.

This month’s highlights include:

GKIDS

Sept. 25-28

Howl’s Moving Castle

Various locations/prices

The penultimate pick for this year’s Studio Ghibli Fest is an Academy Award-nominated fantasy adventure for the whole family from acclaimed director Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away). Sophie, a quiet girl working in a hat shop, finds her life thrown into turmoil when she is literally swept off her feet by a handsome but mysterious wizard named Howl. The vain and vengeful Witch of the Waste, jealous of their friendship, puts a curse on Sophie and turns her into a 90-year-old woman. On a quest to break the spell, Sophie climbs aboard Howl’s magnificent moving castle and into a new life of wonder and adventure. The Sept. 25, 27 and 28th screenings are dubbed in English, and the Sept. 26 screening is presented in Japanese with English subtitles.

Elektra Music Group

Friday, Sept. 30, 7:30 p.m.

ONE OK ROCK

Hammerstein Ballroom at Manhattan Center, 311 West 34th Street

$60-$132.50

Beloved at home in Japan and worldwide, Fueled By Ramen band ONE OK ROCK have released their anxiously awaited new full-length album, Luxury Disease (stream it HERE). Featuring the lead single “Save Yourself” (see the Tanu Muino-directed video on the band’s YouTube channel), additional album highlights include “Let Me Let You Go,” and “Vandalize,” which will serve as the ending theme for SEGA’s upcoming game Sonic Frontiers, releasing on November 8. Produced by Rob Cavallo (Linkin Park, My Chemical Romance), Luxury Diseasefinds ONE OK ROCK embarking on a North American headline tour which will see the group returning to stages in the U.S. and Canada for the first time in over three years.

Courtesy of jrocknews.com

Saturday, Oct. 8, 7:30 p.m.

MIYAVI

Le Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker Street

$30-$100

Celebrating his 20th year in the music industry, MIYAVI embarks on a 20-city tour across the U.S. and Canada. In this intimate venue, the samurai guitarist known for his unconventional style of guitar playing—performing not with a pick, but with his fingers in a method dubbed “slap style”— plans to perform fan-favorite tracks, material from last year’s Imaginary LP, and new music he will be debuting live for the first time!

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Aug 19

JQ Magazine: Nippon in New York — August Anime Roundup

By JQ magazine editor Justin Tedaldi (CIR Kobe-shi, 2001-02). Justin has written about Japanese arts and entertainment for JETAA since 2005. For more of his articles, click here.

In the dog days of summer, it’s best to escape the heat in a place that’s cozy and cool. For those into both cutting-edge and classic anime, this month offers a diverse trio of theatrical premieres—all in the comfort of indoor air conditioning.

This month’s highlights include:

©2021 “INU-OH” Film Partners

Opens Aug. 12

Inu-oh

For Village East by Angelika screenings, click here

From visionary director Masaaki Yuasa (Mind Game, Ride Your Wave), hailed by IndieWire as “one of the most creatively unbridled minds in all of modern animation,” comes a revisionist rock opera about a 14th-century superstar whose dance moves take Japan by storm. Born to an esteemed family, Inu-oh is afflicted with an ancient curse that has left him on the margins of society. When he meets the blind musician Tomona, a young biwa priest haunted by his past, Inu-oh discovers a captivating ability to dance. The pair quickly become business partners and inseparable friends as crowds flock to their electric, larger-than-life concerts. But when those in power threaten to break up the band, Inu-oh and Tomona must dance and sing to uncover the truth behind their creative gifts. Featuring character creation by Taiyo Matsumoto (Tekkonkinkreet, “Ping Pong the Animation”) and awe-inspiring vocals by Avu-chan (Queen Bee) and Mirai Moriyama, Inu-oh is a glam-rock ode to the power of music and a forceful statement on artistic freedom from one of animation’s singular talents. All screenings are presented in Japanese with English subtitles.

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Jul 27

WIT Life #365: New York Asian Film Festival

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Professional Writer/Interpreter/Translator Stacy Smith (Kumamoto-ken CIR, 2000-03) presents WIT Life, a periodic series about aspects of Japanese culture such as film, food and language. Stacy starts her day by watching Fujisankei’s newscast in Japanese, and here she offers some interesting tidbits and trends along with her own observations.

The New York Asian Film Festival taking place at Lincoln Center is one of my favorite annual events, and it’s coming to a close this weekend. This year the festival celebrated its 20th anniversary, and it was back in person for the first time in two years. Over the first week, I was lucky enough to interpret for several actors, producers and directors. Particularly thrilling was being able to work with the actor Hiroshi Abe, of whom I’ve been a longtime fan. He attended the festival to receive the 2022 Screen International Star Asia Award and participate in the Q&A for his film Offbeat Cops, which had its world premiere at the festival.

My sharp-eyed friend in Japan was up early watching Fuji’s Mezamashi TV, and she was able to capture this photo of me on stage with Abe and Offbeat Cops director Eiji Uchida (to my left/right respectively in the picture). Abe plays a hard-boiled detective named Naruse who gets shunted off to the police band, and ends up going on a journey of self-discovery as a result (and learns how to play the drums, as the actor had to in real life!). During the Q&A, Uchida expressed his desire to make a sequel where Naruse has a showdown with the NYPD Police band, and to the delight of the crowd Abe said that he’s be up for it.

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Mar 31

WIT Life #362: Drive My Car gets its Oscar!

Professional Writer/Interpreter/Translator Stacy Smith (Kumamoto-ken CIR, 2000-03) presents WIT Life, a periodic series about aspects of Japanese culture such as film, food and language. Stacy starts her day by watching Fujisankei’s newscast in Japanese, and here she offers some interesting tidbits and trends along with her own observations.

The Oscars this past weekend were memorable in more ways than one, but I’d like to focus on Drive My Car winning Best International Feature Film! As I mentioned in my previous post, DMC is the second Japanese film to receive this honor since Departures (おくりびと or Okuribito) in 2008. I was proud of director Ryusuke Hamaguchi for giving his acceptance speech in English, though I wish they hadn’t tried to play him off the stage twice (his finger raised to ask for more time was golden).

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Feb 28

WIT Life #361: Making Oscar History with Drive My Car

Professional Writer/Interpreter/Translator Stacy Smith (Kumamoto-ken CIR, 2000-03) presents WIT Life, a periodic series about aspects of Japanese culture such as film, food and language. Stacy starts her day by watching Fujisankei’s newscast in Japanese, and here she offers some interesting tidbits and trends along with her own observations.

I enjoyed watching the SAG Awards last night and it got me excited for the Oscars, which will take place in exactly one month. Drive My Car is the first Japanese film ever to be nominated for Best Picture in the ceremony’s 94-year history! In addition, Ryusuke Hamaguchi picked up a Directing nomination, as well as one for Adapted Screenplay with his co-writer Takamasa Oe. The film’s fourth nomination in the category of International Feature Film is the one it has the best odds of winning. If the many awards Drive My Car has already picked up at Cannes and other major film festivals are any indication, Hamaguchi and his team will be going home with at least one gold statue.

Interpreting for Drive My Car director Ryusuke Hamaguchi during a remote interview last year
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Nov 30

JQ Magazine: Fathom Events Bring ‘Totoro’, ‘Macross’ to the Big Screen

By JQ magazine editor Justin Tedaldi (CIR Kobe-shi, 2001-02). Justin has written about Japanese arts and entertainment for JETAA since 2005. For more of his articles, click here.

A longtime partner of classic and current theatrical anime releases, Fathom Events is showcasing two enormously influential films in theaters nationwide this month that were first screened in the U.S. a generation ago.

© 1988 Studio Ghibli

Kicking things off as a capper to this year’s Studio Ghibli Fest 2021, My Neighbor Totoro returns to the big screen Dec. 5, 6 and 9. Directed by Academy Award-winning legend Hayao Miyazaki, the titular Totoro is a gigantic but gentle forest spirit who can only be seen by children. When the young Satuski and her sister Mei move to a new home in the countryside with their father, Totoro and his friends introduce the girls to a series of adventures, including a ride in the extraordinary Cat Bus!

Originally released in U.S. theaters in 1993, this edition features exclusive bonus content. The 2005 English-language dub screenings on Dec. 5 and 9 feature the voices of Tim Daly, Lea Salonga, and real-life sisters Dakota and Elle Fanning. With over $1 billion from licensed merchandise sales worldwide and a top spot on many “best animated film ever” lists, don’t miss your chance to catch this unforgettable tale of magic an adventure for the whole family!

© 1995 BIGWEST/MACROSS PLUS PROJECT #MacrossPlus_US

From the past to the not-too-distant future comes Macross Plus Movie Edition, a theatrical sequel to the groundbreaking Macross (Robotech in the U.S.) 1980s TV staple. Originially released a four-part video series in the mid-’90s, Macross Plus features a Who’s Who of anime talent: Directed by series creator Shoji Kawamori and Shinichiro Watanabe (Cowboy Bebop), music by the legendary Yoko Kanno (Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex), and the vocal talent of Megumi Hayashibara (too many to mention), among others.

In this one-night-only (Dec. 14, subtitled) theatrical event, viewers will be transported to the year 2040 on the distant planet Eden, where former childhood friends Isamu Dyson and Guld Bowman face off in both love and war as mecha fighters and potential suitors for Myung Fang Lone, who has returned as the manager of Sharon Apple, an artificial intelligence pop star and the galaxy’s biggest singing sensation—which becomes self-aware and takes control of the Macross battle fortress itself!

For all upcoming Fathom Events anime screenings and tickets, visit www.fathomevents.com/categories/anime.


Oct 22

Celebration of JET Alumni – October 28

October 28 at 8 PM ET / 7 PM CT / 5 PM PT
Japan time: October 29 at 9 AM JT

Register free to get the access link:
https://usjetaa.wildapricot.org/event-4528144

In the lead up to next year’s 35th anniversary of the JET Program, join USJETAA for a creative program celebrating JET through the success of the alumni. Highlighting the contributions of JETs to the U.S.-Japan community, this variety show brings together the diverse community of JET alumni with snapshots into their experiences with arts, culture, research, and more!



Oct 5

Ushiku Film Screening and Q&A

JET Alum Thomas Ash (Tochigi 2000-2003) has made a documentary film about the issue of the long term detention of refugees and asylum seekers in Japan.

The film is called “Ushiku” and it will be featured in the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival on October 9th. This year, the festival will be entirely ONLINE, and tickets can be purchased to view the film and Q&A session from anywhere in Japan.

“Ushiku” is currently on the international film festival circuit and has recently been screened in Holland, Belgium, Austria and the US and it has been awarded grand prizes in festivals in Korea and Germany.

Screening Details:

ONLINE Festival: Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival (YIDFF)
Program: Perspectives Japan
Film: Ushiku
Date and Time: Oct 09 [Sat] at 14:00 (film is 87 minutes + followed by Q&A)
Festival Information: https://online.yidff.jp/en/film/ushiku/

Tickets on sale from October 1 at 19:00 JST: https://yidff.jp/2021/info/21info-e.html#tickets

Synopsis from YIDFF Catalogue:
Based on interviews with foreign nationals detained for long periods of time at the immigration center in Ushiku city, Ibaraki prefecture, this film reveals the violation of human rights by the authorities. This is work of watchdog journalism that sounds the alarm about state power run amok.

Film Website and Trailer: https://www.ushikufilm.com/en/

More about Thomas’ films at https://www.documentingian.com


Apr 23

Posted by: Doug Tassin (Fukushima-Ken ALT, 2007-2010 & Krewe of Japan Podcast Co-Host)

This week on the Krewe of Japan Podcast

Jennifer & Doug unsheathe their verbal katana as they talk about Netflix’s hit documentary Age of Samurai: Battle for Japan. Notably, the documentary introduced a cast of overlooked historical figures who played a prominent role in the Sengoku Period, the Lady Samurai. Tomoko Kitagawa, a narrator featured in Age of Samurai & Japanese historian, joins the Krewe to highlight the impact of these influential women, as well as share some stories of her journey from study abroad student to world-renown historian and best-selling author. This is an interview you won’t want to miss!

The Krewe of Japan Podcast is a weekly episodic podcast sponsored by the Japan Society of New Orleans. Check them out every Friday afternoon around noon CST on Apple, Google, Spotify, Amazon, and Stitcher.  Want to share your experiences with the Krewe? Or perhaps you have ideas for episodes, feedback, comments, or questions? Let the Krewe know by e-mail at kreweofjapanpodcast@gmail.com or on social media (Twitter: @kreweofjapan, Instagram: @kreweofjapanpodcast, Facebook: Krewe of Japan Podcast Page, & the Krewe of Japan Youtube Channel). Until next time, enjoy!


Dec 28

WIT Life #349: 今年の漢字

Professional Writer/Interpreter/Translator Stacy Smith (Kumamoto-ken CIR, 2000-03) presents WIT Life, a periodic series about aspects of Japanese culture such as film, food and language. Stacy starts her day by watching Fujisankei’s newscast in Japanese, and here she offers some interesting tidbits and trends along with her own observations.

2020年の漢字

We have come to the end of this crazy Covid year, and that means it’s time for 今年の漢字 (kotoshi no kanji, or kanji of the year). 密 (mitsu, or close, dense and crowded) was selected, reflecting Japan’s initial response to the virus by promoting avoidance of 三つの密 (mitsu no mitsu or sanmitsu). These are also known as the 3Cs, and refer to 密閉 (mippei, or confined, poorly ventilated spaces), 密集 (misshuu, or crowds of people) and 密接 (missetsu, or close-contact settings). Japan was able to control infection rates to an extent this way, but as in the U.S. there are worries of a surge early next year as a result of gathering during the 年末年始 (nenmatsu nenshi, or year-end holidays). Runners-up to 密 included 禍 (ka, or damage, as in コロナ禍) and 病 (byou or yamai, or disease and illness).

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Nov 17

JQ Magazine: Nippon in New York — Home (Media) for the Holidays

By JQ magazine editor Justin Tedaldi (CIR Kobe-shi, 2001-02). Justin has written about Japanese arts and entertainment for JETAA since 2005. For more of his articles, click here.

As fall turns to winter, some spiffed up favorites, holiday hits and new discoveries are coming your way to close out the year.

This season’s highlights include:

VIZ Media

Available Nov. 17

Mermaid Saga Collector’s Edition, Vol. 1

392 pp, $24.99

From Will Eisner Comic Awards Hall of Fame inductee Rumiko Takahashi, the legendary creator of Ranma 1/2 and Inuyasha! Yuta became immortal when he unwittingly ate mermaid flesh, and now he seeks a way to become human again. Hundreds of years later, he encounters a volatile and determined young lady named Mana while searching for a mermaid. Could this mysterious woman hold the key to saving Yuta’s humanity?

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Aug 28

Professional Writer/Interpreter/Translator Stacy Smith (Kumamoto-ken CIR, 2000-03) presents WIT Life, a periodic series about aspects of Japanese culture such as film, food and language. Stacy starts her day by watching Fujisankei’s newscast in Japanese, and here she offers some interesting tidbits and trends along with her own observations.

In recent days the Japanese news has been buzzing with news of PM Abe’s frequent hospital visits, and he officially resigned his post during today’s press conference. In the midst of the coronavirus crisis, Abe determined that stepping down due to a flareup of ulcerative collitis was the prudent choice. Intense speculation is taking place as to who within the LDP will be named as his successor, to serve out the remainder of his term through next September. Abe holds the record as Japan’s longest serving PM.

If this news brings you to tears consider crying therapy (涙活 or ruikatsu), which I’ve previously introduced in this column. There are a slew of Japanese words that have been coined with the kanji for “activity” as a suffix (活 or katsu). Some examples are trying to get pregnant (妊活 or ninkatsu), job searching (就活 or shuukatsu), and planning for one’s death (終活 or shuukatsu. Incidentally, this has the same pronunciation as the previous one so be careful!). Ruikatsu is the subject of the NYT featured op-doc Tears Teacher. Clocking in at less than 11 minutes, this short film is definitely worth a watch. Enjoy and stay safe out there!


Mar 4

JQ Magazine: Nippon in New York — Dai Fujikura, ‘Tokyo Godfathers,’ Japan Nite

By JQ magazine editor Justin Tedaldi (CIR Kobeshi, 2001-02). Justin has written about Japanese arts and entertainment for JETAA since 2005. For more of his articles, click here.

Stay warm this winter with some hot local events, from live showcases that will transport you to another time and place, some new anime screenings, and a rock showcase you won’t want to miss.

This month’s highlights include:

Courtesy of Millertheatre.com

Thursday, March 5, 8:00 p.m.

Dai Fujikura: Composer Portrait

Miller Theatre, 2960 Broadway

$7-$30

The works of Osaka-born Dai Fujikura are performed with regularity by conductors such as Gustavo Dudamel and by some of the most acclaimed orchestras and ensembles in the world. As one of the leading voices of his generation, his signature “high octane instrumental writing” (The Guardian) will be exhibited in this Portrait featuring International Contemporary Ensemble, longtime champions of Fujikura. A selection of recent chamber works provide a glimpse into his unique soundworld, including Minina—inspired by the birth of his daughter—and abandoned time, written for electric guitar and ensemble.

©-bozzo
©-bozzo

March 6-7, 7:30 p.m.

Fruits borne out of rust

Japan Society, 333 Easy 47th Street

$32, $25 members

Isolation, contagion and instability: Fruits borne out of rust, conceived of and directed by internationally known Japanese visual artist Tabaimo, uses drawings, video installations and live music to probe these unsettling themes that lurk beneath daily existence. Her intricate animations transform the stage into a wood floor apartment, a large birdcage that traps the dancer with a dove, and a line of tatami mats that swallows the dancer whole. Tabaimo’s collaborator, award-winning choreographer Maki Morishita, mischievously blends the subtle movements of the dancer’s fingers and toes with the dynamic drive of her limbs and torso, enhancing Tabaimo’s peculiar and introspective world. The March 6 performance is followed by a MetLife Meet-the-Artists Reception. The March 7 performance is followed by an Artist Q&A.

GKIDS

March 9 & 11, 7:00 p.m.

Tokyo Godfathers

Regal E-Walk 42nd Street 13, 247 West 43nd Street

AMC Empire 25, 234 West 42nd Street

AMC Kips Bay 15, 570 Second Avenue

$14-$20

Tokyo Godfathers, the acclaimed holiday classic from master director Satoshi Kon (Paprika, Perfect Blue), returns to theaters in a brand-new restoration. In modern-day Tokyo, three homeless people’s lives are changed forever when they discover a baby girl at a garbage dump on Christmas Eve. As the New Year fast approaches, these three forgotten members of society band together to solve the mystery of the abandoned child and the fate of her parents. Along the way, encounters with seemingly unrelated events and people force them to confront their own haunted pasts, as they learn to face their future, together. Co-written by Keiko Nobumoto (Cowboy Bebop) and featuring a whimsical score by Keiichi Suzuki, Tokyo Godfathers is a masterpiece by turns heartfelt, hilarious and highly original, a tale of hope and redemption in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. The March 9 screening is presented in Japanese with English subtitles, with the March 11 screening presented in English.

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Feb 19

JET Alum Filmmaker Unveils ‘Nourishing Japan’ Feb. 20 in NYC

Click image to view article

From the February 8 edition of Shukan NY Seikatsu. Join Alexis Thursday, February 20, 7:00 p.m.- 9:00 p.m. at the Museum of Food & Drink (MOFAD), 62 Bayard Street in Brooklyn. General admission $25; purchase tickets here. For more information, visit https://nourishingjapan.com.

Embark on a delicious journey from farmer’s field to school classroom that celebrates how one country has re-imagined school lunch and food education. At the heart of Japan’s 2005 Food Education Law are the incredible people whose daily work nourishes the next generation’s relationship to food, the earth and one another. Join documentary filmmaker Alexis Agliano Sanborn for the public premiere of Nourishing Japan in conversation with Yoriko Okamoto and Susan Miyagi McCormac of JapanCulture•NYC.

Opening remarks will be given by Jennifer L. Pomeranz, Assistant Professor of Public Health Policy and Management at NYU. Reception with light food and beverages to follow. Alexis Agliano Sanborn is an independent researcher, food advocate, nature enthusiast and an award winning artist. With over twenty years’ experience studying Japanese culture, she directed/produced Nourishing Japan, a documentary short which explores food education and the Japanese school lunch system. Alexis also maintains the website Food Education International which monitors developments of food education from around the world.

Alexis previously served as NYC Program Coordinator of the Wa-Shokuiku Project, an after-school culinary exchange program inspired and informed by the educational philosophy, flavors and foods of Japan. She received her Bachelor’s degree in East Asian Studies and Japanese from UC Santa Barbara (2008), a Master’s in Regional Studies of East Asia from Harvard University (2013) and a Masters of Public Administration from New York University Wagner Graduate School of Public Service (2020). She lives in Washington Heights, New York City.


Feb 18

JQ Magazine: Nippon in New York — ‘Ride Your Wave,’ ‘Nourishing Japan,’ ‘Children of the Sea’

By JQ magazine editor Justin Tedaldi (CIR Kobeshi, 2001-02). Justin has written about Japanese arts and entertainment for JETAA since 2005. For more of his articles, click here.

Stay warm this winter with some hot local events, from live showcases that will transport you to another time and place, some new anime screenings, and a theatrical performance you won’t want to miss. This month’s highlights include:

GKIDS

Wednesday, Feb. 19, 7:00 p.m.

Ride Your Wave

Various locations and prices

From visionary director Masaaki Yuasa (The Night is Short, Walk on Girl, Devilman Crybaby) comes a deeply emotional new film that applies his trademark visual ingenuity to a tale of romance, grief and self-discovery. Hinako is a surf-loving college student who has just moved to a small seaside town. When a sudden fire breaks out at her apartment building, she is rescued by Minato, a handsome firefighter, and the two soon fall in love. Just as they become inseparable, Minato loses his life in an accident at sea. Hinako is so distraught that she can no longer even look at the ocean, but one day she sings a song that reminds her of their time together, and Minato appears in the water. From then on, she can summon him in any watery surface as soon as she sings their song, but can the two really remain together forever? And what is the real reason for Minato’s sudden reappearance?

Courtesy of Nourishingjapan.com

Thursday, Feb. 20, 7:00 p.m.

Nourishing Japan: Food Education & School Lunch in Japan

MOFAD (Museum of Food and Drink), 62 Bayard Street (Brooklyn)

$25

Embark on a delicious journey from farmer’s field to school classroom that celebrates how one country has re-imagined school lunch and food education. At the heart of Japan’s 2005 Food Education Law are the incredible people whose daily work nourishes the next generation’s relationship to food, the earth, and one another. Join documentary filmmaker (and JET alumna) Alexis Agliano Sanborn (Shimane-ken, 2009-11) for the public premiere of this film. After the screening, Alexis will be joined in conversation with Yoriko Okamoto and Susan McCormac of JapanCultureNYC. Opening remarks will be given by Jennifer L. Pomeranz, Assistant Professor of Public Health Policy and Management at NYU. Reception with sake courtesy of SOTO and bites courtesy of Bessou and Kokoro Care Packages to follow.

GKIDS

Friday, Feb. 21, 6:30 p.m.

Children of the Sea

SVA Theatre, 333 West 23rd Street

New York International Children’s Film Festival

Various locations

$17.50

East Coast premiere for the New York International Children’s Film Festival! Adapted from the acclaimed manga comes this visually dazzling, mind-bending aquatic mystery. Ruka’s dad is so absorbed in his studies at the aquarium that he hardly notices when she befriends Umi and Sora. Like Ruka, the mysterious duo has the unique ability to hear the call of the sea and its endangered creatures. Together, can they save them?

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