Evangelion 2.0 CRC: Enokido Interview

Discussion of the new series of Evangelion movies ( "Evangelion Shin Gekijōban", meaning "Evangelion: New Theatrical Edition").
The third installment debuted in Japan on November 17, 2012.

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Postby 1731298478 » Tue Nov 16, 2010 7:14 am

I was wondering.... does anyone feel like taking pictures of and posting any of the CRC 2.0 interviews? From what I've seen written on 2ch they contain some really interesting things. If anyone is willing to post any of them I'll try to summarize them as soon as possible and then post a translation later on. Once there is something to work with others can add corrections etc.

Someone did post some excerpts of the Enokido interview, so I've tried to translate them here. As there will surely be mistakes, please point out any mistakes you see ^__^ Enokido is most famous as the head scriptwriter for Revolutionary Girl Utena and FLCL. He also did some work on the original Evangelion series and he's credited in Rebuild as a scriptwriting consultant. In this excerpt from the interview, we learn that he was originally responsible for the concept of the film's final scene (which may explain some of the Utena parallels ^^). Also, this excerpt gives us an understanding of why Rei's suicide was storyboarded.

---------

Excerpt 1: http://img258.imageshack.us/img258/226/enokido1.png

Enokido: Because "Rebuild of Evangelion" is basically a reconstruction of the TV series, we presume that sooner or later Rei II will die. If Shinji-kun were to save Rei II it would mean a significant departure from the TV series. However, I believed that the last scene of the film had to be an earth-shattering climax. When I had this idea, it was impossible for me not to communicate it. I remember, on the third day [of the sessions], performing a solo play in front of everyone using hand gestures and body movements entitled "this is how it ends!"

-- So, in this play, you performed actions like [Shinji] pulling [Rei] up and out [of the Angel]?

Enokido: Right. Rei gets completely absorbed by the Angel. It's just as though she has died and entered the netherworld. The audience is thinking that Rei is dead. Despite this, Shinji pilots Unit-01 again in order to save Rei. He cries out "Ayanami!" and reaches forward, with an awful noise, through the front of the entry plug. He must establish some means of descending to the underworld. Finally, having grabbed (the unclothed) Rei’s hand, he pulls her out with a sudden movement. I feel I demonstrated this method of rescue with all my might. I completely transformed into Shinji. I think everyone was staring at me very coldly (laugh).

Excerpt 2: http://img10.imageshack.us/img10/9607/enokido2.png

Enokido: ... I felt the development of the second half of the TV series was incredible. Only, I was a little saddened by death of Rei II and her replacement by Rei III. For myself, I wanted that Rei who had repatedly shared battles and encounters with Shinji to go on to the end. But the original scenario for "Break" was, naturally, similar to the TV series, with Rei II self-destructing. On the morning of the third day [the production team] stayed together, I suddenly had the thought: "What if, in the final scene, Shinji happened to save Rei? ... It would be incredible!" I worked myself up into a frenzy. Among the reasons for my enthusiasm was the recognition that this would completely overturn the expectations of the audience. When we speak of the most important “catharsis” provided by film, we might say that a film creates in the audience a sense that the characters are in danger, only to overturn it: we go from, “this character is in danger and surely will be badly hurt,” to “it can’t be!” This constitutes, so to speak, a betrayal of the audience in the form of a sudden change. This “salvation” is the essence of the final scene.

Excerpt 3: http://img833.imageshack.us/img833/7826/enokido3.png

[Note: I couldn't quite work out the complete meaning of the first two sentences of this part without knowing the question Enokido was asked, so I left them out. They seem to relate to Anno and his assistant Todoroki "taking over" the concept.]

Enokido: ... At that time I had only decided that Shinji would save Rei II. Afterwards, as I was performing and speaking more or less off the top of my head, I was entering a kind of trance state. As is typical of me, when I reached the climactic scene where [Shinji] cries “Ayanami!” and begins to walk forward, just as I grabbed [Rei’s] hand and pulled [her] upwards, I suddenly came back to myself (laugh). “Now what happens?” I wondered. Now, in the film, when Shinji saves Rei, Kaworu-kun suddenly descends from heaven and impales him with a spear. When I was enthusiastically performing the "saving" scene, I couldn't envision anything except Kaworu-kun stabbing me with something sharp and screaming "That's Enough! Act Responsibly!" (laugh)

---------

For the other interviews, I think Anno will of course be interesting, but I think in Tsurumaki's interview we get the full reasoning behind placing Asuka in Unit-03 (apparently to ensure there was no risk of her becoming a "minor character"). Also Masayuki, Sadamoto, Higuchi (very big Asuka fan??), and Enokido are supposed to have very good interviews. Thanks very much to anyone who feels like doing this ^__^
Last edited by 1731298478 on Thu Jan 20, 2011 1:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Nonoriri » Tue Nov 16, 2010 9:54 am

View Original Post1731298478 wrote:I couldn't envision anything except Kaworu-kun stabbing me with something sharp and screaming "That's Enough! Act Responsibly!" (laugh)

:rofl: :rofl:

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Postby SaltyJoe » Tue Nov 16, 2010 11:35 am

View Original Post1731298478 wrote:Translated interview snippets

You're my new hero.
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Postby Azathoth » Tue Nov 16, 2010 12:13 pm

So Enokido came up with that? I wa shock; I'd figured that for one big Anno-designed Ultraman reference. I guess it really was a Utena thing, then.
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Postby Lucretius » Tue Nov 16, 2010 12:18 pm

I hope this interview puts the lid on all of that "the ending is a deconstruction of Gurren Lagann!" nonsense, at least. :P

He shuddered a bit, remembering the somewhat creepy level of detail Kaji had gone into, while rubbing a watermelon in a disturbingly sexual way.

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Postby gwern » Tue Nov 16, 2010 12:48 pm

View Original PostLucretius wrote:I hope this interview puts the lid on all of that "the ending is a deconstruction of Gurren Lagann!" nonsense, at least. :P


I dunno, doesn't the 'act responsibly!' bit sound like a criticism of crazy Gurren Lagann heroics? He doesn't actually say that it was supposed to be more Utena-ish than Lagann-ish.

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Postby Azathoth » Tue Nov 16, 2010 12:58 pm

View Original PostLucretius wrote:I hope this interview puts the lid on all of that "the ending is a deconstruction of Gurren Lagann!" nonsense, at least. :P


No one was arguing that the plot of the ending was a reference to Gurren Lagann - "I must save the girl to the exclusion of my own/everyone's safety" is far older than that, and it doesn't really happen in Gurren Lagann anyway. Rather, its visuals are riffing off super-robot cliche - and that's something that it appears (at least from that interview) that Enokido did not come up with. The glowing eyes, the trippin-balls active background, the fire-out-of-fucking-nowhere are all references to TTGL, as far as I can tell - and of course TTGL didn't come up with them, but it's the most recent and relevant comparison for Anno to make.
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Postby Lucretius » Tue Nov 16, 2010 1:29 pm

The bit about "salvation" seems rather inconsistent with most of the readings circulating on egf, though.

He shuddered a bit, remembering the somewhat creepy level of detail Kaji had gone into, while rubbing a watermelon in a disturbingly sexual way.

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Postby SaltyJoe » Tue Nov 16, 2010 1:38 pm

^ True, but that's what Enokido thought about when he came up with the scene. Doesn't mean that Anno was in the same mindset when he implemented it. 1731298478 thank God for ctrl-c/ctrl-v even mentioned something about Anno and his assistant "taking over the concept", but sadly he couldn't translate that part properly.
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Postby Azathoth » Tue Nov 16, 2010 2:24 pm

View Original PostLucretius wrote:The bit about "salvation" seems rather inconsistent with most of the readings circulating on egf, though.


Because the "salvation" reading focuses on Rei, while the final version of the scene (/the movie) focuses entirely on Shinji. Rei's salvation isn't considered because her presence in that scene is entirely irrelevant. It could be anyone down there - Asuka, Mari, Misato - Shinji doesn't give a fuck who it is, as long as they don't cause him pain, and Rei is entirely clueless about what's going on - doesn't really get a choice, even:

Shinji: Ayanami GET THE FUCK OUT HERE
Rei: But I'm dead.
Shinji: I DON'T GIVE A FUCK GET OUT HERE
Rei: I'm okay with being dead, actually...you know I can be replaced and all that, right?
Shinji: Actually, no you can't, because the world's going to end and even if it doesn't an angel ate your soul. Which would make it a little hard to put it in a new body.
Rei: Wait, did you just actually show some evidence of sanity?
Shinji: Whoops, sorry, my bad. Ayanami, TAKE MY HAAAAAND
Rei: Well, if you're going to yell about it...

I'm not even exaggerating that much - Rei mentions that she's not really interested in going with Shinji, Shinji yells louder, and suddenly Rei's alright with it. What the fuck? I suppose the general incoherence of the scene makes a little more sense if it's a concept written by Enokido and then appropriated for a different meaning by Anno, though.
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Postby 1731298478 » Thu Nov 18, 2010 8:42 am

Thanks to Reichu, I have access to some more of the CRC 2.0 interviews, so I will be posting translations in sections over the next little while. The following disclaimer applies: the translations are certain to contain at the very least some mistakes or misinterpretations, so please keep that in mind. In this case, I have reproduced the Japanese text relating to Tsurumaki's comment early on; lacking the context of Tsurumaki's interview, I am not 100% sure what he meant by this comment and thus how to render it, but perhaps someone will have a better insight. If anyone is interested in looking at the original Japanese and correcting or modifying the translation please let me know. Please look forward to further translations ^__^

This is part one of Youji ENOKIDO's interview.

------

"A Request to Perfect the Screenplay"

--- We recieved a strong demand from Anno-san that an interview with Enokido-san be included in the "Complete Works Collection."

Enokido: I see! If that's the case, I'll answer enthusiastically (laughs).

--- When we were gathering information from (Kazuya) Tsurumaki-san before the premiere, he told us that, in "destroying" Eva, your ideas are being incorporated everywhere [1]. So we're interested [to talk to you]. Do you remember the first occasion when [Anno] reached out to consult you?

[1] 公開前に鶴巻(和哉)さんに取材したとき,「エヴァ」を破壊するにあたって榎戸さんのアイデアが随所に盛り込まれているとうかがったので,興味があります。

Enokido: The document [produced as a result] still exists, so I brought it.

--- Thank you. The story of the exact moment contains a strange "pattern," right?

Enokido: It was two years ago, so I think there are parts I've started to forget. The first talk was in 2007, I think in late September or in October.

--- So just following the premiere of "Prelude" ["You Are (Not) Alone"]?

Enokido: Yeah. I went to see the movie, as a fan, soon after it opened. As I watched the preview trailer after the ending, I thought, "So, from the next film forward we get new developments? This seems interesting."

--- You saw it as "a complete outsider," right? (smiles)

Enokido: That night I receieved a call from "Khara-san" [Anno]. "What do you want to do for the second film?" "Huh? Me?" I remember a conversation along those lines.

--- The fact that you had seen the first film just before that ... it seems predestined , right? How did you view it?

Enokido: It was very interesting. I think it was a kind of conformation. To this day I still haven't asked [Anno], but I wondered, "why choose me for 'Break'"? I thought it was either because of my collaborations with Tsurumaki-san on FLCL and Gunbuster 2, or else I had been called because of my contributions to the scripts of the original "Eva" series as a rotating staff member.

--- When we were conducting other interviews, we got the feeling that the project reached a "limit," followed by some kind of major change. It seems like Enokido-san's ideas were relied on more than what had been developed previously.

Enokido: When I was called, there were already scheduling pressures. At that time I also heard that two different versions of the last scene had been storyboarded and scrapped.

--- That being the case, did you have the impression of seeing things from completely outside of the "Rebuild" project?

Enokido: Yes. Because I worked as a scriptwriter on four episodes of the original TV series, I am credited in the "Rebuild" films as a "screenplay consultant." However, I did no work at all on "Prelude," and at the time I was called to work on "Break," a complete draft of the film's script already existed. As Anno said he wanted further changes, I was sent a copy of the script before a meeting between us was even arranged. So first of all I read the script, and found it very interesting.

--- What sort of things seemed interesting?

Enokido: To begin with, considering that "Prelude" has to recreate episodes one through six in less than two hours, I think they did an excellent job organizing the film and maintaining balance. The story development is the same; it's okay if they crowd out the details. That being the case, when I thought about "Break," I expected that they would do a good job if they managed to cover episodes eight to thirteen or so. But when I realized they were attempting to treat everything up to episode twenty-three in one go, I couldn't understand how they would do it. However, when I read the script, I saw how amazingly skillfully things had been organized. "Just as I expected!" I thought. "Indeed, if they do it like this, the entire series becomes a single episode."

--- And yet, despite doing so well, they had lost their bearings, and asked you to fix things?

Enokido: Right.... I had recived the impression that Mari's character development was not yet complete. Furthermore, I think that there were parts that still retained the atmosphere of a "summary film." Because an outside observer often sees further than the participants, I thought it would be good to begin by pointing out these sorts of things. I wrote an entire "plan of organization" or "plan of revision"; I believe it was this document here (Dated October 13; reproduced in CRC 2.0 pp. 236-237). To the extent it discusses the plot no changes are made; it's a "compositional memo." I submitted the memo shortly after the script arrived, and after that a meeting was arranged, but the location was not Khara-san's studio. I was ordered, "Come to Atami!" and I was led away as though I were being abducted. It's as one expects from "Eva," right? (laugh)

--- That was the "Atami Retreat," right?

Enokido: When I asked, "Why Atami?" I was answered, "If we are to arrange a proper meeting, we should go where the food is delicious." That's a very Anno-like proposal. As the script had already been written, there were not supposed to be any major changes, and so I had thought that when I sent the memo, that would be it. When we began the "Atami Retreat" on October 31st, I was wondering what on earth was going on.

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Postby Azathoth » Thu Nov 18, 2010 10:58 am

View Original PostEnokido wrote:But when I realized they were attempting to treat everything up to episode twenty-three in one go, I couldn't understand how they would do it.


Fucking knew it.

Of course, having seen the movie, I still can't understand how they were planning on doing that, but whatever, maybe the script looked better.
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Postby Ornette » Thu Nov 18, 2010 2:05 pm

^ That snippet could be completely misconstrued without its context.

View Original PostEnokido wrote:But when I realized they were attempting to treat everything up to episode twenty-three in one go, I couldn't understand how they would do it. However, when I read the script, I saw how amazingly skillfully things had been organized. "Just as I expected!" I thought. "Indeed, if they do it like this, the entire series becomes a single episode."


The fact that they squeezed stuff from episodes 8 to 23 into a movie is not disputed. If anyone were to be told this, they would probably wonder how it could be done. But the context is that he thinks it is being treated as a single episode, for better or for worse.

I guess that's an interesting way to put it.

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Postby 1731298478 » Sat Nov 20, 2010 4:43 am

Here's the second part of the Enokido interview. The same disclaimers apply; please regard it as a very rough draft to be corrected. There was one sentence here where I couldn't work out the intended meaning, so I have just taken a guess at it and included the Japanese alongside. Hopefully someone understands it a bit better ^^

------

"The Overpowering Characters of Rei and Asuka"

--- So big changes were being intended at Atami.

Enokido: The truth is, the day before I went to Atami, I recieved a call from (Toshimichi) Ootsuki-san, and I was told that they would leave the content alone, and there was only one matter they wanted to pursue. At that time, based on the current screenplay, the film was projected to run between 130 and 140 minutes, and the aim was to reduce it to less than 120.

--- Besides yourself, who were the members of the retreat?

Enokido: There were the directors, Anno-san, Tsurumaki-san, and Masayuki-san, as well as (Ikki) Todoroki-san, who was performing secretarial duties.

--- So you begin the Atami Retreat with the assumption that you would be deepening Mari's character a little and fine-tuning the screenplay to reduce the length of the film, but what was the reality?

Enokido: Concerning the matter of strengthening Mari's character, Anno-san had already been asking me if I had any ideas, so I started to investigate the problem. However, as I worked through it, the twosome "Rei and Asuka" was such a powerful combination that they seemed to stand in the way. When I tried to investigate what made this pair so strong, I realized that this combination followed the archetype of the so called "harem anime," and that all the desires, lusts, and dreams of young men were bound up in them.

One "type" is the girl who was a childhood friend, who has always been with you since you were born, and with whom there are no new or strange feelings. Rei is established to resemble a "mother" in some respects, and so she produces in young men a feeling of distance [from things?] as though they were still half in the womb. [1] Now, Asuka's particular type is that of the girl who comes from a foreign country. This also produces a very good feeling. Probably it is the male instinct to think, in some respects, that girls from another world are better than girls who are familar and close to hand (laughs).

[1] 綾波レイってどこかお母さんに似ているという設定ですから,男の子からすれば半分子宮の中にいるような距離感です。

--- Certainly, if we assume that there is a male instinct to "spread" DNA, or propagate the species by mixing heterogenous elements.

Enokido: The sadness and happiness of young men is bound up in the fact that they always possess these two contradictory wishes. The so-called "Harem Anime" genre is for the most part intended to satisfy these desires. In "Urusei Yatsura," Shinobu is the Japanese girl who was one's childhood friend and always by one's side, and Lum is the "alien girl". We say "alien," but [such characters] perhaps [have] an "American" image. Rei and Asuka exactly fit the pattern of this "perfect lineup."

Now, coming up with a plan as regards the third girl who must compete with this "ultimate combination" seemed to me a very difficult job. In addition, Director Anno had not, up to this point, developed anything himself, but, expressing the desire for a completely new character, had left Mari's development to others.

This being the case, my first proposal for an additional type was a Sapphire (from [Tezuka Osamu's] "Princess Knight") type. If Rei and Asuka are completely different types, I wondered if a "neutral," lighthearted type who battles with an "innocent" image would be good. At this point, though Anno-san agreed that it would be good, he thought a Wato (Chiyoko) type (from [Tezuka's] "The Three-Eyed One") would be more realistic, and he got quite excited about it.

However, Tsurumaki-san, who had been listening nearby, was looking at us with a distant expression. It looked as though he was thinking, "It's a pleasant conversation [for you], but just who is going to be saddled with the difficulty of placing that character in the world of Eva?" (laughs) I think the result of finalizing Mari's appeal was that Tsurumaki-san was made to suffer with storyboards.

--- Since viewers were heavily anticipating a new character from the first film's preview, you want to give Mari more to do; was that the atmosphere [at Atami]?

Enokido: As we had many conversations relating to Mari, I think it was. As for other images, there was the part of a Miko-san [shrine maiden] channeling the gods. She is not "practical" like Asuka, but thinks about "deep" things, like someone who somehow can see mysterious things like those connected with the gods. She is not "unworldly" to Rei's extent and she talks a lot. As nothing had yet solidified, we had these sorts of discussions about ideas.

--- I have a feeling that those ideas influenced the final film. What other discussions did you have about Mari?

Enokido: We didn't just discuss her character traits, but we were also tangled up in discussing to what extent she should appear in the film. I remember that this caused everyone a great deal of distress. If we wanted to increase her appearances we could, but, because we were limited by the running time of the film, the number of scenes depicting the activity of other characters would be reduced. Even watching the completed film, there are selections we made at the last minute. If we added more Mari, we would have to further cut strong scenes involving Rei and Asuka, but if we didn't, then there would have been no point to putting Mari in the second film [to begin with]. In the end I think we were impressed with her character and have high expectations for her in the future.

--- In the original scenario Mari was the daughter of a distinguished English family who kept dogs and cats, and so on; what were the circumstances [relating to that]?

Enokido: Speaking of that, I also remember conversations like, "What if we gave her tattoos of the names of all the pets she's kept up until now?" For example, we would insert a bath scene where we see the area from her chest to her stomach is completely covered in tattoos. If she gets asked, "Why do you have them?" she'd answer something like, "They're the names of all my pets that have died up until now. The tattoos ensure I don't forget them, and that they still 'live' with me."

--- That's a striking character trait.

Enokido: Did this development survive or die off? Because Mari hasn't undressed yet, nobody knows (laughs). With things like this, we tried too hard to develop Mari's character traits; when I think back on it, we were only discussing "forced" or "absurd" things. In asking "how can we beat Rei or Asuka?" we had a tendency to get a little bit too much into an "impact contest".

--- After all, if you want to insert Mari somewhere, you have to leave out Rei or Asuka. We also heard about this difficulty from Tsurumaki-san.

Enokido: There were versions of the unfinished screenplay where Mari appears only at the beginning, and doesn't participate in the battle at the end.

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Postby SaltyJoe » Sat Nov 20, 2010 6:17 am

View Original Post1731298478 wrote:At that time, based on the current screenplay, the film was projected to run between 130 and 140 minutes, and the aim was to reduce it to less than 120.

So there IS a good version of the screenplay :tongue: . But seriously, i always suspected that 2.0 is an oddly compressed version of a film that should have been longer. It's their call, but i have to wonder what motivated them in doing so? Did they fear that production costs might get too high? I hope that another interview addresses this in greater detail.

In addition, Director Anno had not, up to this point, developed anything himself, but, expressing the desire for a completely new character, had left Mari's development to others.

Aha, Mari really isn't an "Anno based" character.

Miko-san [shrine maiden] channeling the gods. She is not "practical" like Asuka, but thinks about "deep" things, like someone who somehow can see mysterious things like those connected with the gods.

This bit is still clearly present with her talking to the Evas and such.

Also, that Memento: Pet Cemetery Edition bit sure is weird.

All in all, though, i must say that i got the impression that the main reasoning behind the creation of Mari is the need for a character who would become popular, who "sells". Oh well, yet again, thank you 1731298478!
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Postby esselfortium » Sat Nov 20, 2010 12:56 pm

Thanks 1731298478! It's interesting to finally get an actual look on the inside at all this stuff we've just been speculating blindly about for the past year and a half.

..
At that time, based on the current screenplay, the film was projected to run between 130 and 140 minutes, and the aim was to reduce it to less than 120.
[...]
because we were limited by the running time of the film, the number of scenes depicting the activity of other characters would be reduced. Even watching the completed film, there are selections we made at the last minute.

Why does none of this surprise me in the least.

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Postby LiLi » Sat Nov 20, 2010 1:05 pm

Thank you very much for your hard work, 1731298478.

All the insight sounds pretty interesting... I would certainly like to get my paws on that book... time to stalk amazon, I guess!
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Postby Azathoth » Sat Nov 20, 2010 1:10 pm

There's some serious what the fuck in there, and I can't help but think of Star Driver.
Nothing is so valuable that it need not be started afresh, nothing is so rich that it need not be enriched constantly.

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Postby Lucretius » Sat Nov 20, 2010 1:47 pm

View Original Post1731298478 wrote:Enokido: The truth is, the day before I went to Atami, I recieved a call from (Toshimichi) Ootsuki-san, and I was told that they would leave the content alone, and there was only one matter they wanted to pursue. At that time, based on the current screenplay, the film was projected to run between 130 and 140 minutes, and the aim was to reduce it to less than 120.


Insert Groundskeeper Willy "I warned ye!" image macro here.

He shuddered a bit, remembering the somewhat creepy level of detail Kaji had gone into, while rubbing a watermelon in a disturbingly sexual way.

Life is a continuous nut-kicking contest where your turn comes last if ever. -majlund

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Postby 1731298478 » Sat Nov 20, 2010 4:35 pm

Edit: probably an overreaction ^^
Last edited by 1731298478 on Sat Nov 27, 2010 3:18 am, edited 1 time in total.


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