Posts Tagged ‘adaptation’

Imagine a world where your psychological condition is constantly monitored; where you, and everyone around you, are placed in a perfectly suited job perfectly; where crime is pretty much a thing of the past. This is the Tokyo of Psycho Pass, watched over by the benevolent/intrusive eye of the Sybil System – the computerised system that monitors the psychological conditions of on all the citizens within the Tokyo environs.

Of course this isn’t the idyllic utopia that the concept suggests, refusal to seek treatment for a cloudy ‘psycho pass’ [the name given to people’s mental health] can result in time in a dentition centre, or psychotic outbursts due to the fact the citizens of Tokyo can no longer tolerate even the slightest amount of stress. Those with severely clouded psycho passes are locked up, considered to be latent criminals aka it’s only a matter of time until they give in to their immoral urges and commit a crime.

Poster for Psycho Pass

Poster for Psycho Pass

The protagonists of this show work within the Public Safety Bureau’s Criminal Investigation division. Akane Tsunemori is a new Inspector, assigned to a team in the pilot episode. Meanwhile Shinya Kogami is an Enforcer, one of a select few latent criminals who have been released from detainment facility under the mentality of ‘use-a-thief-to-catch-a-thief.’ In this way the inspector’s psycho passes are protected from the corruption of needing to think like the criminals they are trying to arrest.

Oh and I should probably mention the gun too, the dominator, a weapon controlled by the Sybil System which can change modes depending on the level of force the Sybil System deems necessary. The trigger is locked on people whose psycho passes are within safe levels, next up is a non lethal paralyser mode followed by the lethal uber-destructive body-exploding mode for those who are no longer worth saving.

Wow, that took a long time to set up. And by now you are probably wondering what western text this is an adaptation of. Brave New World, perhaps? 1984? Both these texts are quoted in various episodes and the antagonist even carries copies of these books around with him. But no, I offer up that Psycho Pass is actually a cyberpunk version of Sherlock Holmes.

Sherlock Holmes? Really? Yes, really. Now Mr Holmes has been riding on the wave of an extensive revival in recent years with the BBC’s contemporary adaption Sherlock, CBS’s also contemporary, but transported to America, Elementary and Guy Ritchie’s rather more violent masculine, steampunk film versions. Even I have had my hand in the Holmes cookie jar, with a theatrical site specific version of The Speckled Band which was performed at The Treasurer’s House, York and Ripley Castle. [Here’s the trailer for those interested.]

Why so much interest now? Well I think all these adaptations tap into the sense audiences these days are constantly being forced to act like the great detective in their everyday lives. We are bombarded with infinite information that we have to analyse and investigate to find the truth, or our truth; the useful from the red herring. But more on that another time, perhaps.

Now how is our cyberpunk, sci-fi show, this Blade Runner meets Minority Report via Brave New World, related to the great detective?

Well, like many crime stories it owes much to the format established by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. A genius detective, who might be a little sociopathic or at least bad with people; his loyal, emotionally understanding companion, who might also be pretty good with a gun; and finally a sociopathic, manipulating criminal mastermind as the big bad to be eventually faced and hopefully defeated, often at the cost of our great detective’s own life.

Shinya Kogami - Cyberpunk Sherlock

Shinya Kogami – Cyberpunk Sherlock

Shinya Kogami is our Sherlock, once a normal Inspector, he let his obsession to solve the case and his ability to think like a criminal get out of hand, leading to his demotion to Enforcer. As a latent criminal, he works with the police, but he is not one of them. In this capacity he can do things a rule abiding officer could not. His deductive powers, keen ability for observation and ability to see the bigger pattern from the minutiae also place him firmly in the Sherlock mould. In particular episodes he is not afraid to abandon the constricting law system to pursue the criminal and the truth.

Akane Tsunemori and Shinya Kogami  aka Watson and Holmes

Akane Tsunemori and Shinya Kogami aka Watson and Holmes

Kogami find his loyal, emotionally switched on, moral back up in the form of Akane Tsunemori. This Watson is a woman, but refreshingly her gender is not made the main interesting point about her. She never acts in a traditionally ‘feminine’ role. [Unlike Lucy Liu in the pilot episode of Elementary.] There may be a current of attraction between Akane and Kogami—isn’t there always something a little more between Watson and Holmes—but it is never made a main plot point. Instead Akane is a stalwart of the right, moral decision. From the pilot where she shoots her Holmes to defend an innocent woman, who the system has wrongly deemed unfit for existence, she is set up as the defender of justice. Not to mention a sharp shooter, who misses Kogami’s vitals when she paralyses him.

Shogo Makishima aka Moriarty

Shogo Makishima aka Moriarty

And finally the third side of the triangle: Moriarty. Shogo Makishima is the asymptomatic [he commits psychologically damaging things without any effect to his psycho pass] Homme Fatale. Yeah, you read that right, homme fatale, the man who turns up and emotionally manipulates the protagonist into a downward spiral that could result in his death. Move over Irene Adler, it’s Moriarty who really gets under Sherlock’s skin. [Somewhere the fan girls all cheered, but that gay romance isn’t exactly what I’m getting at.] Even Makishima’s character design fits this idea of the Homme Fatale. He is seductive, but with a sense of elegance; his movements are sensual which is even evident in his fighting style in the gripping scene where he and Kogami face off for the first time.

Makashima, like Moriarty, acts as an enabler for others. As the scanners never pick up a fluctuation in his psycho pass he can move at will, setting up the perfect situations for those who would normally set off the Sybil System’s alarms. This reminds me of a quote from Sherlock Holmes in the story The Final Problem:

“The man pervades London, and no one has heard of him. That’s what puts him on the pinnacle in the records of crime. I tell you Watson, in all seriousness, that if I could beat that man, if I could free society of him, I should feel that my own career has reached its summit, and I should be prepared to turn to some more placid line in life…”

The final episodes of this show draw on the narrative structure of Sherlock Holmes and Moriarty’s explosive encounter at the Reichenbach Falls, and spoiler alert, may have a similar conclusion.

Kogami and Makashima

Kogami and Makashima

Another, final interesting point to raise is the similarity of the settings. The dark, twisted alleys of Victorian London metropolis are, plus some more tech, pretty much the same squalid urban spaces that criminals in sci-fi noir inhabit. But like Sherlock Holmes, Psycho Pass’s settings also include the higher end of society, elite academies [like Sherlock story The Adventure of the Priory School] and the palatial homes of the rich and famous. Of course the urban labyrinth has been home to the detective and his criminal antagonists since Edgar Allen Poe, so it is only natural that in its futuristic guise it plays host to a new set of villains and heroes.

My only final note is that at some point in the future I might blog about Psycho Pass in even more detail as it is one of the shows on my PhD viewing list.

In part one I set up the reason for my visit to the Kubrick Archive and highlighted one of the first drafts of the A.I: Artificial Intelligence script which Ian Watson wrote. In part two I discover just how many permutations of the story Ian Watson did… Short answer: a ludicrous number.

Filled with a delicious lunch from the Japan Centre, including a matcha green tea [a real energy boost] I descended once more into the archives to try and make some more sense of the process through which the film A.I: Artificial Intelligence was created.

For my second day trip to the archive I placed the boxes of materials in as close to chronological order as possible and picked out the earliest box. Most of the materials, which were not in order, [why would anyone want to make my life easier] were from drafts in 1990.

Through reading a series of faxes I began to see how the writing relationship between Ian Watson and Stanley Kubrick worked. It seems that almost every day Watson would fax a new iteration of a section to Kubrick, which would be read, notes made and faxed back with ideas for changes and edits.  As a writer the very idea of working like this made me want to collapse with exhaustion. I’ve had experiences of turning out very quick re-drafts of treatments but nothing on this scale—I think this went on for about eight months.

Ian Watson has a fantastic article on his own website about his time on A.I. which gives more of a sense of the pressures and inventive freedom of working with Kubrick which can be found here.

What continued to surprise and delight me as I read through the numerous iterations of A.I. was the sheer inventiveness of Watson. There are some thoroughly wonderful visual and thematic ideas that just never made it near the end film—ideas that I would love to turn into movies in their own rights.

There are robot oracles stuck in abandoned reactors, where the area around has turned into a crystal encrusted tomb; Rouge city as noir a gangster controlled nightmare Las Vegas with dark secret revolving on eternal life; there are robot cults of various types who worship or sacrifice David, our little robot boy. The crystalline imagery does make it to the final film as the Blue Fairy statue frozen in ice after many centuries have passed.

Any of these ideas sound more interesting than the final film? Yep, that’s what I thought. Although at the same time I see how much of a risk they would have been to film; robot popes, I’m imagining, have always been a hard sell. Then there is always the question of audience, it seemed that Kubrick initially wanted this to be a general audience film that the whole family could see… it is clear that some of these darker, sordid drafts didn’t conform to this image. Nor did the final movie which got awarded a 12 certificate in the UK or PG-13 in the USA.

Another fascinating element that emerged from trawling through these different drafts is how Watson would get attached to a motif which would appear in various versions, each time slightly changed, to fit the new agenda. I’ve found I have a tendency to do the same thing when I’m writing. I get attached to an image or a concept which doesn’t work, I cut it out and then when another story comes along I try to mold my cut motif into the new story.

Bell Tower at Reschensee - Image fro

Bell Tower at Reschensee – Image fro

I’ve been trying to get the town under the man-made lake at Reschensee into a screenplay for about four years now. The location has been in my mind far longer, from tales my grandparents told of this underwater town and others like it. At one time or other this place has featured in three projects, from which it has been cut each time because, although it is beautiful/ haunting/ making a statement of man vs nature, it has never been quite right. I’ve always felt that I’ve been shoe horning it in somehow. One day, Reschensee you will be the location for a touching romantic moment or more likely, a stirring action sequence. I did see a Miyazaki, The Castle of Cagliostro, which has a similar location in after I wanted to write about this place, so at least someone has managed to make the image work.

With Watson it is a different image, a pit that bores deep into the ground that repeats. It is a source of eternal torment and punishment a la Dante’s Inferno, or a mysterious location which could great immortality. See how the image modulates in the different iterations, same location, very different purpose.

It’s the same with characters. Often as I start a new story my gut tells me I need a character in a particular moment to move the plot along, but that character might be drastically changed by the time the drafting process is over. The same thing happens in Watson’s drafts for A.I. The boy robot, David, and his friend Gigolo Joe need a sympathetic helping hand to push them on the quest, that much is clear, but who that character is alters dramatically from journalists to recluses.

There was so much potential in that tiny box, only a fraction of the creative output that went into the movie. To a lover of science fiction, Watson’s drafts are a real demonstration of the power of an imagination to generate different variations under pressure of tight deadlines. I’m the kind of writer who also functions best, sometimes, when the deadline looms like the blade of a guillotine.

Whether this brief trip to the archive was completely useful to my own research is up for debate. There was one very noir version which I would love to find in its entirety to read, and perhaps there is a conversation to be had with Ian Watson about it in the future, and I would love to know which anime he recommended to Stanley Kubrick.

However, visit has inspired a desire to read multiple drafts of the film scripts from my core texts: Blade Runner, Gattaca, Dark City, The Matrix to see how they developed into the final films. Perhaps there are gems in these drafts that, due to various elements of economics or risk, never made it to the final product.

As a screenwriter it has made me think about early drafts and that perhaps I need to be more inventive, maybe I need to go that extra step outside the box and be more experimental in the early story stage. Because even at my strangest, I have nothing on some of the things I’ve read in the Kubrick Archive.

To finish here’s the theatrical trailer for A.I.

Location: University Archives and Special Collections Centre
London College of Communication
Elephant and Castle


Here is part two of the blog series where I take a look at creative adaptation through showcasing some anime adaptations of western books. In the first post of the series I explained a little of my love for anime and then analysed Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo.

This time I’m looking at one of the most well known anime adaptation of a western book, Howl’s Moving Castle [2004] directed by Hayao Miyazaki based on the book of the same title by Dianne Wynne Jones [written in 1986]. I’m tackling this next because a) this is the adaptation that got me thinking about this little series and b) I have just finished reading the book, kindly lent to me by the person who also sparked the idea for examining anime adaptations.

English version of the trailer

Howl’s Moving Castle follows the story of Sophie Hatter, aged 18 until she falls foul of The Witch of the Waste who places a curse on her, aging Sophie to around 90. Unable to stay at home, Sophie sets out to find a way to break the curse and finds herself  pretending to be a cleaning lady in the Moving Castle owned by Wizard Howl, a selfish character who eats woman’s hearts, apparently. Soon Sophie is involved in breaking more curses than just her own.

Poster for Howl's Moving Castle

Poster for Howl’s Moving Castle

Doesn’t that image fill you with a sense of charmed whimsy? Of course it does. Miyazaki’s visuals for this film capture the spirit of Jones’ novel perfectly as does the swirling score by usual Miyazaki collaborator Joe Hisashi. [My favourite tracks on the OST have to be Flower Garden and The Boy Who Drank Stars.] The attention to detail that Miyazaki demonstrates in all of his films, the idyllic country imagery and panache for animating magical worlds really brings the flavour of Wynne Jones’ writing to life.

Howl's Moving Castle Poster

Howl’s Moving Castle Poster

And that is the secret of a successful adaptation in my mind, not to mention the thing you will be told over and over by teachers of screenwriting. Capturing the essence of the book is the trick. It is nigh on impossible to get the visuals to match the varied pictures the readers will create in their heads, but if you can convey the feeling the book creates for the reader than a good sixty percent of the battle is won in the adaptation. Of course there will be people who disagree with this, after all, the creative medium is a subjective one. No right or wrong answers here, only opinions and debate – and box office sales figures if you are cynical.

Unlike the last example of book to anime adaptation, Howl’s Moving Castle is a feature film which means it has a much shorter time to tell the story than the 24 episodes of Gankutsuou. It’s only natural then that characters and subplots are cut and moments modified to tell a coherent story. Gankutsuou’s strength came from having the breathing space to explore all the convoluted elements of The Count of Monte Cristo, Howl’s Moving Castle on the other hand like most filmic adaptations had to pick and chose what stayed and what went, which drawing out new themes that were relevant to the audience watching in 2004.

Brief warning that from here on be spoilers

Thematically, Miyazaki has drawn out one of the less mentioned, but still present, ideas of impending war in the book to become a major motif. It is a motivator for Howl’s actions and a way for Miyazaki to explore his own anti-war feelings around the period where American, British and European troops were involved in the contentious period of the war on terrorism, in Afghanistan and Iraq. It was not until very recently that I found out there were also Japanese troops in those regions so it is little wonder that Miyazaki who has such a strong anti-war feeling in many of his movies [starting as early as Nausicaa and The Valley of the Wind] should pull this element out.

Bombing raid

Bombing raid

War makes monsters of us all, despite good or bad intentions the film seems to say by literally transforming the court wizards into horrific flying creatures loaded in bomb bays of mega airships. [Airships, another Miyazaki visual motif and fascination that places his stamp not Wynne Jones’ on the adaptation.]

Howl loses control in action

Howl loses control in action

From a plot point of view this changes some of the motivations of the characters. Howl is running away from war and his old tutor Wizard Suliman, who is a character hybrid from the book, as she wants him to fight. The presence of warships at Porthaven replaces the fantastic magical battle between Howl and the Witch of Waste, which loses something.

But the Witch of the Waste [pictured below] gets the usual Miyazaki villain treatment; she is no longer purely evil. She is another woman who fell in love with Howl and was scorned seeking revenge, so far, so like the novel, but then she is reduced to her own old age and inducted into the gang who live in the moving castle. She becomes a lonely old lady searching for comfort and companionship and is thus redeemed through the film.

Witch of the Waste - image from

Witch of the Waste – image from

Other characters are changed and merged to deal with the tighter scale of a film. Sophie remains true to the novel’s protagonist, but she loses a sister, Martha, and a little of her complex about failing because she is the Eldest. However, her charm, resilience and determination still captures the heart of all around her, including many inanimate objects like the bewitched prince scarecrow. [One of the more abrupt reveals at the end of the movie which loses from the missing prince not being overtly introduced earlier in the film.]

Calcifer too remains very true to the sarcastic fire demon in the book, despite his visualisation being quite different.

Calcifer - image taken from

Calcifer – image taken from

“A thin blue face… very long with and thin, with a thin blue nose… curly green flames on top are  definitely your hair… purple flames near the bottom make your mouth… curiously enough the only orange flames were under the green eyebrow flames.” [Wynne Jones p.47]

Wizard Suliman has one of the greatest transformations.

Madame Suliman - a character merger of Wizard Suliman and Mrs. Pentstemmon

Madame Suliman – a character merger of Wizard Suliman and Mrs. Pentstemmon

No longer is he another visitor from our ordinary world Wales, turned magician, and come to think of it he’s no longer even male, Madame Suliman is a merger of Howl’s tutor the formidable Mrs. Pentstemmon and Ben Sullivan/Wizard Suliman the royal wizard. As the Wales-as-Howl’s-native-birthplace subplot is gone—replaced with a lonely childhood of study to make his and Sophie’s lonely upbringings relatable and provide a beautiful set piece of the flower garden on the edge of the wastes/marshes where star demons fall—it seems a natural and sensible merger of character. It does not detract from the plot for those who do not know the novel, and it is understandable for those who do know the original.

In losing the youngest sister, who was Michael’s love interest, Michael now Markl, can also become a younger character; someone Sophie can look after and who can add youthful energy to the story, and still seem ridiculous as he attempts some sense of authority. The character of the dog remains but is no longer part of the Suliman/Prince Justin hybrid the Witch of the Waste was building as her ideal man.

Sophie cleaning

Sophie cleaning

Finally I just want to draw attention to the fact that Miyazaki manages to bring in flavours of Japan to the adaptation. Sophie, when cleaning, ties her dress to keep it out of the way which is a blur of Japanese and Western styles, reminiscent of the way the characters in Spirited Away tie their uniforms out of the way to clean.

I guess this blurring of East and West sums up the magical animated worlds of most of Miyazaki’s creations. There is so much more to write but this post is already very long so, to end, here is the Japanese trailer for the movie which has a bit of a different tone to the English one.

One of the comments on the last post got me to thinking about some anime adaptations of western material I’ve seen in the past few years and how innovative they have been. Now I will wax lyrical about the genre bending bliss that is anime and how that has influenced and given freedom to my own creative writing. In fact last year I did just that, on camera for Auburn Thought and One&OtherTV and if you are interested you can watch the video here…

Just as the last post on adaptation emphasised imagination on overdrive so some anime adaptations have taken western source novels and transported them to brave new worlds. In the course of a few posts I want to highlight a couple of anime that re-imagine the source material in interesting ways.

I’ll try to keep these as spoiler free as possible but the nature of analysis means some mild spoilers.

Gankutsuou – The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)


Gankutsuou promotional poster

The lavish and unusual visual style of Gankutsuou is only the tip of the iceberg for creativity in this adaptation. The texture heavy layering of image, the opulent colours and vivid patterns seem perfect for Dumas’ tale of betrayal.

The first big change is the time period, Mahiro Maeda’s story is set in the future which still has the trappings of eighteenth/nineteenth century life mixed in with high technology and some duelling mecha. There is also something of art nouveau movement in the shapes and objects that fill the cavernous settings.

gankutsuou second generation

From right to left: Albert, Franz, Eugenie, Beauchamp, Raoul de Château-Renaud, Lucien Debray, Valentine, Maximilien Morrel

The next great leap is the change of focus. Instead of following Edmond Dantes as he struggles for revenge on his so called friends, the anime chooses the second generation as its protagonists. Albert de Moncerf is the young naive hero who, along with his loyal friend Franz d’Épinay, is sucked into The Count of Monte Cristo’s web as he longs for adventure, love and a life bigger than his own. We are also brought into the mind spaces of Eugenie Danglers, the spirited pianist who wants independence and sickly Valentine Villefort who longs for a different kind of freedom.

The Count of Monte Cristo, himself, gets a gothic makeover as a sort of vampiric creature [See promo poster image]. Like the vampires of nineteenth century literature he carries the scars of a tragic past, drawing the naive Albert and Franz, but also like nineteenth century vampire he is a consummate schemer and manipulator. This character alteration visualises the theme of a man hollowed out by revenge, his passions and life force switched to darkness.

The flip of focus onto the innocents, the children of Moncerf, Danglers and Villefort naturally changes audience sympathy. We see these lives torn apart by the schemes of the Count from the perspective of the younger generation. Although some are spoilt and deserve to be shaken up, others are kind and demolished indiscriminately. This is the ugly face of revenge, it has consequences on all involved. From our position, in Albert’s shoes, there is more pathos in the discovery of the treachery of his father and the cruelty of his new friend The Count.

This adaptation still embodies the themes of the original text and surprising transformations on most of the multitude of subplot lies from the book, but it also presents a vibrant, futuristic vision perhaps more tempting to a teenage audience than Dumas’ book.

Here’s the Japanese trailer to give you a sense of the imaginative style and hopefully inspire you to watch the series.

Adaptations are the bread and butter of the script writing trade at the moment. Get them right and you promote the source material (usually a book) and gain support for your own work. Get them wrong and the source material’s fan base will rip you to gooey little shreds and plaster your insides across the interwebs. The stakes are high folks.

In my very short experience as a writer I’ve already tackled two adaptations; one for screen, which never crawled out of development, and one for stage which I was received pretty well by the audience, which means I did my job right.

Yesterday, I attended my first Script Yorkshire workshop on the hot topic of adaptation, run by Lavinia Murray  who has a lot of experience in adapting various materials, especially for radio. The session got me thinking about my first adaptation and the errors I made through lack of confidence in the value of my creative voice.

I was attached to my first adaptation within a year of graduating from my MFA, I’d found an agent and she had been sending my family adventure script around as a writing sample. One producer liked what I did and we had a chat about adaptation projects they were interested in. I bought the book the next day, eager to prove I was a proactive and enthusiastic new writer. It was a children’s book set in a near and alternative future.  Elements of the story resonated with me immediately and there were certainly sections that were incredibly cinematic. I told my agent, she told the producer and I was given a chance to produce a treatment.

The error I made, because this was my first go, was to stick too closely to the book. I performed mannerist feats of story sculpting to keep all the original plot and character elements in but it just wasn’t working. The producer was exasperated [who could blame them] and I got a very stern call from my agent telling me that if I didn’t pull it out of the bag I was going to lose the job.

That’s when, super stressed, I confessed that I had different ideas about adaptation, but didn’t feel I had the authority to just rip the book up. My agent told me to throw the book away and tell the producer my own take.

I should have had the confidence to take the story my own way from the start.  I realised I could keep my integrity to the soul of the story without keeping all the elements. I had a lot more fun working on the film once I could express my own interpretation, removing elements that worked in prose but were clunky for a screen story. The ultimate failure of the project was a due to the myriad of factors that are in play when working on any large budget production. I can’t say that I wasn’t disappointed, very disappointed, but my time on that adaptation taught me an awful lot about the industry.

Which is a very long set up for the Lavinia’s adaptation workshop which emphasised the script writer’s interpretation of the source material and encouraged us to think well beyond the box in what we could do.

Based around a short story by L.Frank Baum The Glass Dog   Lavinia started the day with a discussion about the parts of the story that we liked and disliked. It’s always surprising how much you can draw out of a seven page short story; the hollows and gaps in the piece allowing for each reader to bring in their experiences to the piece.

Then we were tasked with picking a genre, any genre, and then adapt the short story to fit that genre. A terrifyingly daunting idea. We were given lunch to stew in our creative panic.

To help us along Lavinia had a useful website handout and, as usual with workshops, I found out about a great online resource I hadn’t heard of before, behold the periodic table of storytelling… hours of good old procrastination for all scribes.

After lunch the workshop was silent as we all scribbled away, figuring out what would need to be changed to fit the genres chosen. Then Lavinia dropped the next bomb, she wanted us to write the first scene of our genre-ized adaptation for radio.

Radio? I’ve never done radio before. How does it work? Panic!

Lavinia’s main writing experience is in radio and she gave a wonderful, short explanation of the differences and advantages of this medium. I calmed down instantly. Radio seems incredibly creative and freeing once you get your head around how much you can do with sound. I feel I might dabble in radio, when I have time, in the future.

By the end, when we began to share ideas, I was stunned by number of really different interpretations: a ghost story, a comic American gothic, a western and my own little contribution in sci-fi noir [what else would it be?].

Of course I shouldn’t have been that surprised, my research trip to the Kubrick Archive to read some of the early drafts of A.I: Artifical Intelligence,  based on the story Supertoys Last All Summer Long by Brain Aldiss, had shown me how weird and wonderful the imagination can be once allowed to experiment [more on that in another post]. Then there was Frozen [see my thoughts here] which was a very creative re-imaging of Hans Christian Anderson’s Snow Queen.

The thing is we all bring our very different, individual voices to writing which are shaped by experience and everything we’ve ever read/watched/heard and loved, or hated.