Hideaki Anno, the director of Evangelion 2.22, knows the viewers are transitory, but fans are forever. It doesn’t matter if you call them true believers, or plain otaku. The fans are the twenty-somethings who sit in the cinema through the lengthy credits of Thor or Captain America, just so they can see the prelude to the next Marvel spectacular. In Tokyo, they’re the people who queue at seven o’clock on a Saturday morning at a Shinjuku cinema, as they did when the first bigscreen Eva reboot – Evangelion 1.11: You Are (Not) Alone - opened in 2007.
How important are “true” fans to a franchise like Evangelion? Very. Apart from a small number of family anime that get less press abroad, like Sazae-san and Doraemon, and a handful of big hitters like Naruto, anime largely remains a marginal phenomenon – shunted into the late-night and early-morning slots. The new Evangelion films are made for the cinema – and it shows! – but it doesn’t make them equivalents of a Hollywood comic-book film like Thor or Spider-Man. Those blockbusters count on millions of patrons who’ve never read a comic-book in their lives. In contrast, the Evangelion moviesmust play to the cognoscenti who’ll go out and buy the robots, heroes and heroines – especially the heroines! – in picture-book and action-figure form. The new girl in Eva, Mari Illustrious Makinami, is spectacularly introduced in 2.22’s first scene. From a commercial point of view, though, her real career will be as a curvaceous figurine.
However, it’s great that Evangelion 1.11 was made so that a younger generation of viewers can plunge straight in, like the rebooted Doctor Who and Star Trek of recent years. (Evangelion 1.11 is in sharp contrast with the previous Eva film, End of Evangelion, which required its audience to have sat through the complete TV series.) But the new versions operate on multiple levels. When Vulcan is destroyed in Star Trek, or Gallifrey is destroyed (allegedly) in Doctor Who, old viewers will react differently to new ones. That’s also true of the whole of Evangelion 2.22, where the “old” fan reaction is likely to consist of: “Who on earth is she… He didn’t behave like that… Blimey, I know that didn’t happen!”
But there’s more to it than that. Evangelion didn’t come out of nowhere; it was made by fans in turn, who threw in references to anything they liked. Characterdesigner Yoshiyuki Sadamato, whose work recently graced Summer Wars, modeled Gendo and Fuyutsuki in Evangelion on Commander Straker and Colonel Freeman in Gerry Anderson’s live-action series UFO, down to their dress sense. Some of these references – notoriously the eschatological Christian ones – would be picked up by Western fans more easily than their Japanese counterparts, leading to a decade of cultural confusions.
Others… Well, in Japan, Evangelion followed a generation of “robot” anime, going way back to 1970s titles such as Mazinger Z and the first Gundam. (You can go back further if you want, to that grand old 1960s mecha Tetsujin-28.)So, think about it… The Akira generation of British fans who received Eva as an “early” title were in a position not dissimilar to a young comics reader who innocently picks up Watchmen or The Boys without first absorbing the heritage of Superman and Batman.
Um, remind us again… exactly who is the newbie here?
Costumer Kara Hook appears at the recent Kitacon attired as the Homonculus Lust, a femme fatale from Fullmetal Alchemist. Most cosplayers plump for the protagonists Edward and Alphonse, with alchemists themselves another popular choice thanks to their rather dapper uniforms. But Kara has gone for the bad-girl look. “From the moment I saw FMA it had to be Lust,” she explains. “She’s cool, cold-hearted, beautiful and strong. Everything I aspire to be.”
Tom Smith reports on the band bucking the Bleach trend.
Many of the artists who perform the many themes of Bleach can attribute their entry to mainstream success to the famous anime series. And if not to Bleach, then to anime in general. That was until the five-strong pop squad Aqua Timez entered the scene.
Even before their first two singles under a major label featured as endings in anime movies (their first being ‘Ketsui no Asa ni’ in Brave Story and ‘Sen no Yoru wo Koete’ in Memories of a Nobody, the second Bleach film), the group already had over a million sales under their belts. Proving that ‘successful indie-pop’ isn’t an oxymoron, Aqua Timez’ independently released EPs were a huge success, with their last one, Sora Ippai ni Kanaderu Inori, entering the official charts at number one before they signed to Epic Records, a subsidiary of Sony Music Entertainment Japan, in 2006.
Suffice to say, with the backing of a major label, the group went from strength to strength – the single from the Bleach movie alone topped over 1.2 million sales, including mobile phone downloads. Yet, oddly enough, it wasn’t until 2009 that the group, consisting of Futoshi on vocals, TASSHI on drums, mayuko on keyboard and OKP-STAR and Daisuke taking bass and guitar duties, got their first number one album under a major label; The Best of Aqua Timez, a 26-track, two-disc compilation of their most popular songs, released on the unit’s fifth anniversary.
Included in the collection is the band’s fourth single ‘ALONES’, which saw them return to the world of Bleach, and not for the last time. The pop soaked anthem hijacks the opening theme to episodes 121-134, which can be found on the Bleach series 6, part 2 DVD. The song title is a result of Japan’s love for playing with the English language, regardless of its rules. The logic behind it is that ‘alone’, singular, is limited in that it suggests a single person is feeling alone or experiencing loneliness, where as the newly created noun ‘alones’ with an ‘s’, can refer to an large number of people feeling sorry for themselves.
Bleach isn’t the only massive franchise Aqua Timez have contributed their audio-waves to, the group’s more recently credited in Naruto Shippuden with their upbeat ballad ‘Mayonaka no Orchestra’, their first single of 2011 which features way off in the endings of episodes 193-205 of the series. If you can’t wait until then, they have one more Bleach-based romance scheduled to hit the UK, though not until series ten hits the shelves. Their eighth single, the fantastically optimistic ‘Velonica’ features as the series opening and, despite the language barrier, the song still manages to convey a degree of the positivity that Futoshi is famous for penning.
Bleach, season six part 2 is out on UK DVD from Manga Entertainment on 13th June, featuring the Aqua Timez single ‘ALONES’.
If you thought Maximum the Hormone was a black market miracle serum, and not the name of one of Japan’s finest genre-bending noise outfits, then you have my condolences. Not only does it suggest that your music collection is lacking an essential purchase in the name of Japanese rock (the band’s album Buiikikaesu, their fifth LP), but it equally suggests that you have yet to experience the animated version of “arguably one of the biggest manga series to come out in the past five years or so” (so says IGN). The series is Death Note, attributed with propelling Maximum the Hormone to the dizzying heights of mainstream success.
The band’s not without a sense of humour. This year marks their return from hiatus after drummer Nao was forced to take a break during the pregnancy of her first child (medical experts had to pry her from her kit). The group marked their comeback with the announcement of their first European headlining tour, as well as their first single for four years.
Since their last record, the band had gone from selling a couple of thousand copies per album, to over 200,000 for Buiikikaesu, the CD containing Death Note opener ‘What’s Up People?!’ and closing track ‘Zetsubou Billy’. The big question on the lips of fans was if the group’s time in the spotlight had resulted in the hardcore unit toning down their heavy riffs and neck breaking breakdowns in favour of cute and cuddly manufactured fluff. See the results for yourself in the video below, the first minute or so of which was originally shown on Maximum the Hormone’s homepage as a teaser trailer for their latest single – tease being the operative word.
It was clearly a joke, and those that suspected otherwise soon had their fears quashed when the video was replaced with the extended teaser found above. The triple A-sided single that includes the main track of that video, ‘Greatest the Hits 2011–2011’, went on to be the group’s first number one single with its 23 March release, rocking the top of Japan’s official single chart for two consecutive weeks.
You can celebrate their return on the 20th of June at O2 Islington Academy, the foursome’s first headlining show in the UK. Previously, they played support slots for Brit electro-metallers Enter Shikari in Exeter, Southampton and Folkestone before the two-date finale in London in 2008, not long after Enter Shikari supported them on the Japanese gig circuit.
If you can’t wait until then, and the idea of importing Buiikikaesu isn’t financially viable, you can either crank the band’s themes each time Death Note ends and begins, or nab the original soundtrack from the UK iTunes store. It contains the TV-sized editions of both Maximum the Hormone themes for 79p each. Bargain.
Andrew Osmond finds terror tactics, national disasters and rogue states in King of Eden.
[Spoiler warning: this piece gives away some story points from the original Eden of the East TV series.] The story begun in the anime serial Eden of the East continues in King of Eden, the first of two feature film sequels by director Kenji Kamiyama (Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex) and Production I.G. Of course, we’re mainly watching to find out what will happen next to the main characters: Akira Takizawa, the daffily spontaneous player of a game to save Japan, and Saki Morimi, who fell into his adventure and then for him. Of course, we do find out what the pair do next; but Kamiyama also wants to show us what’s been happening to Japan.
At the end of the Eden TV series, the Japanese villains launched a missile strike against their own country. One of the perps was an angry young man taking revenge on a system that let him down (as it let down Saki in the series). Another had a grand scheme to “redo Japan from the postwar era,” downsizing the country, removing the idlers and gerontocracy and increasing Japan’s global competitiveness. The missiles launched, but Akira and his allies blew them up before they hit their targets.
In King of Eden, Saki tells us what action films rarely do; what happened next. “The politicians started getting nervous. The markets tanked... All across the globe, Japan was ridiculed for trying to commit ‘national suicide.’ As a result, we lost all influence on the global stage... For the younger generation, who never lived during Japan's bubble economy, this was the first time their own country’s problems mattered to the international community. Somehow, not knowing what will happen tomorrow is both nerve-racking and refreshing. No-one said it out loud, but ever since that day, the lingering, suffocating feeling had changed into a quiet optimism.”
We’ll have to wait to see how this is extended in the second Eden film, Paradise Lost. However, the speech is something to treasure for any anime fans interested in how Japanese people view their own country. Not that Kamiyama represents “the Japanese,” of course; he’s very much his own man. According to him, he spent years feeling like Holden Caulfield in Catcher in the Rye, and trying to understand dissidents and “terrorists” such as Yukio Mishima and the teenage Otoya Yamaguchi (who murdered the head of the Japan Socialist party in 1960). In the Eden of the East serial, Akira compares going NEET, the state of not being in Employment, Education or Training, to an act of terror. “Naw, I wasn’t doing anything so cool!” simpers his companion.
Several films prefigure the ideas in King of Eden. Kamiyama’s thinking was also shaped by Mamoru Oshii, with whom he worked at Production I.G. Eden’s political dimensions echo those of Oshii’s 1993 Patlabor 2, another film which features smoke-and-mirrors terrorism and state-of-Japan monologues (Oshii mocks Japan’s phony “pacifist” status in a world of war). The more recent Vexille, directed by Fumihiko Sori, presents an extreme vision of Japan going it alone in the world, becoming a North Korea-style evil empire. One of the most intriguing things about Vexille is that it switches to a foreign viewpoint, with an American heroine investigating the inscrutable country.
Meanwhile, uncomfortably close to reality, there’s the live-action The Sinking of Japan. It’s based on a 1973 novel by Sakyo Komatsu, who imagined a quake to end all quakes, threatening to destroy Japan completely. But if Japan were to be annihilated, Komatsu asks, could the Japanese still be Japanese? For Komatsu, Japan’s volcanoes, hot springs and wooded mountains created the Japanese character, along with the constant threat of earthquakes and tidal waves. Komatsu wondered if a disaster could erase what’s essential to Japan; for Kamiyama, more than a quarter-century on, the uncertainty of a national disaster might be liberating. In the months and years after Japan’s worst twenty-first tragedy, who will prove more right?
Eden of the East: King of Eden is out on UK DVD and Blu-ray from Manga Entertainment.
Katsuhiro Otomo's anime classic Akira is going on a UK tour -- your chance to catch the remastered, hyper-sonic anniversary digital print in a real cinema. Help us celebrate twenty years at the top by seeing the one that started it all. And keep celebrating at home with the Blu-ray...!
Photographer Paul Jacques on the 7th Cosplay Corner Competition.
Alexandra Gilbert: Neytiri
Manga Entertainment’s bi-annual Cosplay Corner Photo Competition seeks to encourage genre fans to deploy the best of what they have secreted in their anime, manga, or gaming chiffonier and pitch it against their peers in friendly competition.
Now in its 4th year and 7th contest, the competition has become a permanent fixture at the London MCM Expo, with many a costumer making a bee-line for the photo booth upon hall entry. Although we've always tried to keep the stress levels as low as possible for the cosplayers, there is still an element of high tension that inevitably follows – the judging.
Ben Clingan as Cmdr Shepard
Pity the poor souls who have to plough through hundreds of photographs, just to pick out a few Best of the Best. Far from being a glamorous life, a judge’s lot is not a happy one. The breadth and standard of modern cosplay is jaw-dropping. As such, I imagine some heated debates swirl around the judging table over this cosplayer’s make-up or that cosplayer’s sword. And all the time the judges know, in the back of their minds, that they too are being judged, as people will invariably disagree with the final results.
The judges only see the cosplay photos, as I never tell them names or characters of people involved (keeps things impartial). They most certainly can't tell which cosplay was made or bought. Also this competition has never been biased towards itself, that is Manga Entertainment never choose their own characters over others – everyone is equal. Thus, it's quite normal to see a 'Lolita' next to a 'World of Warcraft' next to 'Gundam' next to 'Vampire Knight' next to generic 'Steampunk'. It’s not easy for anyone to pick the winner from such an eclectic line-up.
Connor MacLeod (from the Clan MacLeod) was often heard to say, "There can be only one." In our case we like several, and several will win "the prize". Of course not every great cosplay gets to win, but everyone who makes the effort to celebrate their love of cosplay at a public event is already a winner. So whether you win or not, celebrate your passion -- Viva Cosplay!
Stephanie, Carla, Tanya & Rachel as Kai, Tyson, Max & Ray
To check out images of all the Winners, Runners-up and Honourable Mentions from the recent Cosplay Corner competition, check out Paul's Flickr folder here.
Tom Smith goes to the top of the class with lower-case popsters abingdon boys school
If Manga Entertainment formed a band, it would probably be something like Japan’s school-uniformed rock squad, abingdon boys school, and not because the last Friday of every month is school uniform day in the office (no, it isn’t – Ed).
The group is fronted by the 90s J-pop god, and long time anime nut, Takanori Nishikawa, which in itself would be impressive enough. But he’s not the only big name in the unit, as he’s joined by guitarist Hiroshi Shibasaki from Wands, a band responsible for themes featured in Slam Dunk, Dragon Ball GT and Yu-Gi-Oh!; keyboard player and programmer Toshiyuki Kishi, who has produced tracks for the likes of D’espairsRay and the legendary Yellow Magic Orchestra, as well as the entire soundtrack for Dragon Ball Z: Budokai – Tenkaichi. And last but not least is guitarist Sunao, who despite lacking in terms of anime experience, makes up for it with over ten years as a support member of T.M. Revolution and other pop bands, including the massive J-pop duo KinKi Kids.
More than half of abingdon boys school’s singles have featured as themes to anime in Manga Entertainment’s catalogue; their debut single ‘Innocent Sorrow’ kick started each episode of the exorcism romp D.Gray-man, followed by ‘Howling’ in the supernatural thriller Darker than Black – a track regularly requested at the J-rock club night, Japan Underground.
The recently released Soul Eater had a double dose of Takanori, with T.M. Revolution supplying the opening theme and abingdon boys school’s ‘Strength’ acting as a closing. Even Manga’s samurai brawler Sengoku Basara features the band, with the song ‘JAP’.
“We create theme tunes on a case-by-case basis,” Takanori explains. “For example, for ‘JAP’, we were playing it live and a games creator happened to be passing by and he wanted to use it in his current project.” The game was Sengoku Basara: Battle Heroes on the PSP, beginning a long relationship between the band and the franchise, with the song eventually included in the anime, too.
It’s not always down to chance meetings that their tracks find their way into anime and games, sometimes they’re influenced from the series. “There always needs to be a connection between what we do and what the animation creators do. For ‘Howling’ I found Darker than Black’s lead character really interesting, so I wanted to show his inner complexities [in the lyrics] – though the music itself was composed by our guitarist Hiroshi Shibasaki.”
“Our first single ‘InnocentSorry’ was very much like typical Japanese pop,” Hiroshi adds. “So for our next one, ‘Howling’, we wanted something a bit different. At the time I’d been listening to, and experimenting with, heavier and harder music, so I decided to put those elements into it.”
abingdon boys school has had moderate success outside of Japan, including a sold-out show in London on the 12th of November 2008 as part of their first European tour. But if you’re a fan of their themes, you’ll be please to know that Gan-Shin Records released a European exclusive album from the band entitled Teaching Materials, which includes the group’s best-known tracks.
Something big is coming up for Dragon Ball fans.... and Matt Kamen’s got game.
Despite Dragon Ball’s fractured past in the UK – interrupted airings on satellite-only channels, never gaining the terrestrial exposure it deserved and only minimal amounts of merchandise available, just to scratch the surface of its woes – the series can still lay claim to an active and passionate fan base, even years after it ended. But like many ‘evergreen’ properties, Dragon Ball is kept alive through video games. So when we heard of a mysterious “Dragon Ball Game Project” coming out later this year for PS3 and Xbox 360 from Namco Bandai, we were eager to learn more.
Akira Toriyama’s original manga focused on Son Goku, a naive but super-powered young martial artist who later learns he’s one of the few survivors of an all-conquering alien race, going on to defeat a procession of increasingly deadly enemies with help from his similarly powerful mates! With such source material, it seems only natural that so many previous games in the DB series have been beat-em-ups.
However, while Namco Bandai is keeping the specifics of the latest game close to its chest, other details have been creeping out. It’s another hugely expansive 3D fighter, and Japanese developer Spike, Co. – the shepherd of Dragon Ball in all things digital over the last six years – is once again helming the secretive game. Fans can expect another bustling roster of characters from the manga, from heavyweight champions Goku, Vegeta and Cell to more obscure figures such as Mr Satan. The various combatants all sport memorable moves from the series, with Saiyan able to trigger changes into Super Saiyan forms, a power-up signified by blond, spiky hair and a glowing power aura. Other races, such as the lizard-like Namek, Piccolo, bear their own unique abilities. The main gameplay will take place in open fields, which are fully destructible with the awesome combat skills you’ll be wielding.
The game is also going to sail close to Toriyama’s original work and the anime series it inspired. Designs for cast and locations alike have been painstakingly recreated in impressive 3D, familiar pieces of music are to be used and members of the Japanese voice cast are set to return to their famous roles. The single-player mode will retell the core moments from the Dragon Ball Z saga – whether elements from the original Dragon Ball or anime-only sequel Dragon Ball GT will be included remains to be seen – as well as a “special mode which allows the player to experience a brand new age of Dragon Ball Z”, while multiplayer will bring familiar one-on-one brawls to your TV screen.
It won’t be long before more information is revealed, as Namco Bandai is giving the game its first public reveal at Paris’ Japan Expo from 30 June. Expect more details – including the reveal of the name! – very soon!
Tom Smith gets ready for the first UK performance from gothic Lolita icon Kanon Wakeshima
Cello-wielding songstress Kanon Wakeshima is backed by one of the big names in Japan’s Gothic Lolita and visual kei scenes. Mana, leader of the group Malice Mizer was also the man responsible for rocketing the superstar Gackt to fame. Now, Mana feels like he’s found a new star.
“I instinctively knew she was the one,” he states. “As a lover of classical music, it was the fact that she sang and played the cello that I sensed a world of future possibilities.”
These possibilities first materialised as Kanon’s debut single ‘Still Doll’, the ending theme to the first series of Vampire Knight, and a song not too unlike Kanon. It features mature, gothic style melodies and combines it a sweet and youthful veneer. “She has a very mature side for a teenager, but at the same time, she’s likely to wear a ring in the shape of a cookie or a piece of candy,” comments Mana. “She has both the air of a mature adult and a child-like side which is what makes her such a unique individual.”
Likening her to manufactured pop isn’t entirely fair, music has been a big part of life. She was born into a music-loving family where she was encouraged to play the cello at just three years of age when she was barely bigger than the instrument. Even her name has a musical background, coming from the word 'canon' and the kanji meaning ‘the sound of flowers’. And until she caught the attention of Sony Music at an audition, she had been in bands throughout high school.
Now, Kanon will hold her first UK concert at Hyper Japan this July where she will hold two charity performances; one on Saturday 23rd and the other one Sunday 24th. She will also be on the judging panel to select the cutest candidate for the UK Kawaii Star of the Year competition. Fans can also ask her questions during a Q&A session on Friday 22nd.
Kanon Wakeshima’s second single ‘Suna no Oshiro’ is the ending theme to Vampire Knight Guilty, available now on DVD by Manga Entertainment.
Andrew Osmond quizzes the lead voices in Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.
The two Alchemist anime share some of the same voice-talents, both in Japan and America. In Japan, the brothers in both versions are played by two women, Romi Park as Edward and Rie Kugimiya as Alphonse. Casting adult women as boys is a common practice in animation, especially TV anime. It’s even spoofed in an episode of the American cartoon Avatar The Last Airbender, where the young hero – who is voiced by a boy – is shocked to find a woman playing him on stage. However, when the first Fullmetal Alchemist series was dubbed in America, Alphonse was voiced by 12-year-old Aaron Dismuke, alongside the grown-up performer Vic Mignogna as Edward.
Mignogna and Dismuke played the Elric brothers through the first series and the Shamballa film. However, by the time Brotherhood came around, nature had taken its course, Dismske’s voice had matured and another Alphonse was needed. The dubbing director Mike McFarland director chose actress Maxey Whitehead, who had previously played Antonio in Romeo x Juliet; her other parts include Crona, a supporting character in Soul Eater. With Mignogna back as Edward, we effectively have an “old” brother paired up with a “new” one, although Dismuke can be still heard in Brotherhood as a young version of the boys’ dad.
According to Mignogna, the return of Alchemist was completely unexpected for the dub team. “I don’t think anyone had any clue. I did a couple of anime conventions with Seiji Mizushima, who directed the first series and Shamballa, and he made it clear he would not be doing any more Alchemist,” Mignogna remembers. “He didn’t say why, but my guess is that he felt really good about the way Alchemist ended, and he had told the story he wanted to tell.” Indeed, Brotherhood has a new director, Yasuhiro Irie.
“We were surprised and excited, and to be honest we were also a little concerned,” Mignogna says. “The original series had turned out so well; could the new series replicate the same combination of writing and characters?” One difference between the old and the new shows is that Brotherhood has far more comic interludes where Edward shouts out his frustrations, often related to his pipsqueak size. Mignogna ruefully agrees there are more scenes designed to rip up his vocal cords. But, he points out, “The comedic moments are often right in the middle of serious, heavy-duty scenes. From the point of view of the plot, Brotherhood is much darker than the first Alchemist; it starts out feeling like comedy, but gets heavier and heavier and heavier. The comedy is there for precisely that reason.”
Whitehead, meanwhile, came to Alchemist entirely new. How does she see her character? “I love Al!” she says with obvious affection. “He’s sweet, but at the same time he’s really strong. I love that he is so brave, how he bounces back with such resilence, and the way his goodness can bring out the really good things in other people. He’s been through so much; he’s lost his mum and dad and then his whole self, and the fact he can be the sunshine among the crazy dark stuff is great for people of any age to take away from the show. It’s an honour to be voicing him!” However, Whitehead stresses we see Al growing up, and having to be less dependent on Edward. She cites an early battle between Al and a serial killer called Barry the Chopper, who causes Al to doubt his brother and question his own identity. “He has to become his own person,” Whitehead says.
The actress has inherited Al’s famous bowl – a small metal mixing bowl (“a bit bigger than a cereal bowl”) that’s set up on a music stand for the actress to speak through. It gives Al’s soft voice its characteristic metal timbre, befitting an animated suit of armour. Of course, any actor or actress playing Alphonse has a huge advantage over the rest of the cast. As Al’s head is only a metal helmet (except on the occasions when we see Al as human), there are no pesky mouth flaps to match!
On the soundtrack, Whitehead’s Alphonse sounds startlingly similar to Dismuke’s. “There were times when I was recording to her lines and I forgot that it wasn’t Aaron,” says Mignogna (as is common in anime dubs, the actors record their lines separately). However, Whitehead chose not to listen to Dimuske’s performance in the earlier series. “I sound like Aaron just being myself,” she explains. “If I spent too long listening to his Alphonse, then I’d be an impersonator.”
Mignogna points out that Al in Brotherhood will go through different twists, turns and changes than those that anime viewers have seen before. Mignogna is especially fond of a “crazy” adventure he’s dubbed where Ed and Al find themselves in a monster’s stomach!
And, being meanies, we have to ask Mignogna the unfair question: which of the two Alchemist anime does he prefer? Naturally, he declines to answer. “Even when Brotherhood is over, I don’t know if it would be possible for me to pick one over the other,” he says. “But if the ending of Brotherhood is just unbelievably dynamic and impactful...” Let’s hope, for Mignogna’s sake, that it’s stunning.