Edogawa Rampo is the Grandfather of Japanese Mystery Literature
Hirai Taro, the real name of famed author Edogawa Rampo, was born October 21, 1894. Rampo took inspiration from Western mystery writers such as Dolye and Poe (among others). In fact, his nom de plume is dedicated to Edgar Allan Poe as it is a direct verbal translation of Poe’s name. Existing in a time between critically acclaimed Agatha Christie and Edgar Wallace, Edogawa Rampo was instrumental in shaping the modern day mystery genre in Japan.
Like many authors, Edogawa Rampo did not take up writing as an occupation at first. Upon his graduation from Waseda University in 1916 with a major in economics, Rampo would spend the next six years bouncing between a myriad of jobs ranging from accountant to soba peddler. It was not until 1923 that Rampo would begin his writing career and change the face of Japanese literature.
At this time there was only one publisher of mystery stories, Shin Seinen, a magazine that featured only translations of famous Western works. Rampo, having been an avid reader of mystery literature and now jobless, decided to send in his first short story, “The Two-Sen Copper Coin” to the publication. To Rampo’s surprise, not only did they publish the story, but he was also invited to continue writing more stories for the publication.
This would be the beginning of Rampo’s rapidly growing reputation as the first weaver of modern mystery yarns and a hallmark in Japanese history. From here, Rampo’s thirty-one year career culminated in twenty full-length books, fifty-three short stories/novelettes, ten full-length books for children, and six volumes of essays all devoted to mystery stories (Japanese Tales of Mystery & Imagination Preface).
At this point, you may be wondering what any of this has to do with the anime Rampo Kitan: Game of Laplace. I assure you, it has everything to do with said anime. You see, Rampo Kitan was created to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Edogawa Rampo’s death in 1965. Loosely adapting some of the various stories written by Rampo, such as “The Human Chair,” Rampo Kitan featured several interesting tales set in a modern day Japan. While it’s true that you don’t have to have read any of Edogawa Rampo’s work to watch the anime, it certainly doesn’t hurt.
How I discovered, and then subsequently decided to watch this show, is an interesting story. At some point in time, I was watching an anime on Blu-ray from Funimation and had seen the following trailer.
It’s not hard to see why this grabbed my attention. Visually, the show has a striking aesthetic and there is enough intrigue built up in this trailer that I wanted to know more. To me, this looked like it was going to be about a girl who murdered people to relieve herself of boredom and a clever detective would have to stop her. I was pretty wrong with my initial opinion, but still, it was enough for me to gain interest.
After some initial looking into the show and not really having a good vehicle to watch it without buying it (with middling reviews, that wasn’t going to happen without at least a sample), I decided to put it on the backburner where I promptly forgot it existed. About a year later, now having access to Funimation’s dubs for streaming via VRV, I inexplicably remembered this show. At this time, my friend and I were looking for something “quality” to watch and I had remembered that Rampo Kitan would likely fit the bill.
We started it up and I must say that I was not disappointed. Rampo Kitan was a flawed, but entertaining show. Upon completion, I became quite interested in consuming some of the referential work from the author that the stories were based off of. Thus, here we are.
Prior to getting into the actual experience of reading Rampo’s work, it is imperative that I actually discuss the show itself in some detail. Referring back to my flawed assumptions as to what this show would be about upon seeing the trailer, the show actually isn’t really about any of that. For those unfamiliar with the series, let me give you a general synopsis and setup for the anime.
Rampo Kitan follows Kobayashi, a young boy (though he doesn’t look nor act it) who inexplicably wakes at the scene of a crime, murder weapon in hand. The scene is his classroom, whereupon he discovers his teacher dead, taking the form of an abstract chair. Fortunately for Kobayashi, genius detective Akechi believes he may be innocent. This set of circumstances has never been so exciting and interesting for Kobayashi and he initiates a wager with the aloof detective; if Kobayashi can solve the murder, than Akechi will take him on as an apprentice.
This set up is well and good; It’s interesting and certainly demands attention. Visually, there is a lot of information communicated to the audience that is particularly innovative in just this first 2 episodes alone, but I’ll get back to that a little bit later. Naturally, Kobayashi is successful in his endeavor and he (as well as his kind of annoying childhood friend Hashiba) begin working with the brilliant detective Akechi.
Each episode explores a mystery, but mainly focuses on the psychology behind the motive for a criminal’s actions. Special emphasis is placed on the theme/commentary of the difference of justice and crime, particularly the fine line that separates the two. Eventually, this comes to a head with an overarching plot that is somewhat predictable in nature but provoking enough in commentary.
Several episodes of the series were especially interesting to me. Specifically, any episodes involving Shadow-Man (the single best character in the series) and the Twenty Faces narrative. While the second half of the series is weaker than the first, I still found enough there to enjoy and recommend. Overall, the series would garner a strong 7, maybe a light 8 out of 10. I suggest streaming the show through VRV, but you could do so with a Funimation subscription as well.
Keep in mind, from this point on I will spoil aspects of Rampo Kitan. Just wanted to give you a heads up if that sort of thing bothers you; I know it does me.
What many people seem to fail to realize going into Rampo Kitan is that the show is not at its core a mystery series. Rather, it is largely a tone piece that captures the nature of Rampo’s writing. Making several alterations to the method of delivery for the anime in order to provide a comprehensible narrative, but nevertheless staying true to key concepts and ideas with little exception. Best explaining this is a short video done by YouTuber, “The Canipa Effect” that I encourage you to watch for both context and the fact that it summarizes what we’ve discussed so far. Additionally, this video will prime us for where we are headed.
As Canipa discussed, the change in Kobayashi was an excellent decision. Additionally, getting back to that thing I said I would before, having the background characters viewed through the lens of the various characters (the silhouettes in Kobayashi’s case) was simply ingenious. Unfortunately, Canipa made this video while the show was still airing and never did a full look at the series. Despite this, his thoughts regarding the series and its surprising level of dedication to detail (though it is easy to miss if you haven’t done any research beyond the surface level) are something that I definitely agree with.
The Human Chair (Publication date: Oct. 1925)
Finally, we are ready to start talking about the book I read, Japanese Tales of Mystery & Imagination. For the first story, “The Human Chair” I would like to compare and contrast the more substantial aspects related to both its written story and the anime’s first two episodes.
Whereas the anime’s version of the story follows the murder mystery narrative with a subtheme of sexuality, the original story does no such thing. This is a clear and important distinction between the two. Sexuality plays an important role in Rampo’s work, and as such, is front and center in the original version. Instead of a mystery narrative, the reader is presented with a slow burning scenario that becomes more horrific as you delve into it.
“The Human Chair” begins with a normal everyday type scenario. A woman, who happens to be a famous author, begins her day in the study she shares with her Husband. He leave for work, and she begins her routine of reading through her fan mail. It’s all rather plain. Suddenly, an intrigue is thrown to the reader. She has received a manuscript, though not in-and-of-itself unusual, its size and the woman’s strange feeling towards it is.
She begins to read. She tries to pull away. Why? It turns out that the “manuscript” is pretty creepy. For it is not a manuscript, but rather, a long-winded letter written by an admirer. The letter explains his crimes, for she is the only one worthy of his confession.
Alas, she continues onwards, captivated by the tale woven by the man who wrote the letter. It is explained that he is an incredibly ugly chair maker who dreams of living a life of luxury and decadence. You see, he is exceptionally skilled at crafting chairs for those in the life that he so desires. Thoughts of these desires become mixed with thoughts of being loved, to be fawned upon by many tantalizing women.
Normally, his fantasies would suffice. That is until the day he finishes what he deems his penultimate creation. He must never let this chair from his sight! Thusly, he does what any of us would do; the man conceals himself within the chair.
This series of events reaches a point where he states, “…For those who were as ugly and as shunned as myself, it was assuredly wiser to enjoy life inside a chair. For in this strange, dark world I could hear and touch all desirable creatures.”
Eventually, this pleasure becomes defined. He no longer desires jus any person, particularly women, to sit upon him. No, he wants one of his own kind, a Japanese to sit on his chair and love him. His wish is granted when the chair is soon sold and bought by a Japanese man for his wife. The chair is placed in the study the husband and wife share, and as time passes, the women uses the chair with more and more frequency.
The man within the chair falls in love with the woman. If only they could meet but once, he is sure that this would be enough. He must know if she loves him as well. For you see, he has been taking the upmost care for her when she sat with him and his chair. Surely, she would return his love.
Of course this is not natural. The man does know this, but it simply can’t be helped. He must. This is when he experiences a most euphoric event. People begin to sit upon the chair, with him concealed inside. He can feel them, smell them, see their shoulders, and ultimately get to “know” them. It is a most sensual experience.
The man within the chair falls in love with the woman. If only they could meet but once, he is sure that this would be enough. He must know if she loves him as well. For you see, he has been taking the upmost care for her when she sat with him and his chair. Surely, she would return his love.
Rampo Kitan differs by having literal human chairs. Featuring a serial killer who shows his love for beautiful women by turning them into chairs. These women want this and ask this of the killer. Still an example of perverted love, but with a more mystery centered story compared to “The Human Chair’s” more horror focused narrative.
Naturally, a key question here is why is there such a drastic change in the adaptation to begin with? To that I would indicate that I’ve already given the answer. You see, Rampo Kitan has a continuous narrative. It isn’t just a bunch of little vignettes like the book’s collection of short stories. In order to have any semblance of a narrative that makes sense, this shift from horror to mystery isn’t even all that large.
Let me explain. Despite “The Human Chair” taking a psychological horror perspective, there is still an ever-present mystery that is inherit to the story itself. When the woman reaches the conclusion of the man’s tale within the stories’ narrative, the mystery and suspense comes from the unknown danger that the woman was in throughout the story. The question that persists for the reader is, “How will this story end?” which is the critical element to focus on. While the reader is likely sly enough to sleuth out the fact that the man in the story has been describing his concealment and hidden love for the woman, the twist ending may seem like a bit of a cop-out for proper resolution.
Simply, this would be a false sentiment. A nagging thought, “Could this tale not be true? Was he in-fact concealed within the chair?” is left in the mind of the reader (for was in mine and anyone I asked). One would certainly hope not, but there is room for doubt. I feel this question illustrates the ability to capture tone within the narrative. Tone is the true focal point of this story after all, and the same can be said for the Rampo Kitan. This is how the anime honors the work that Rampo has done; by capturing tone and conveying simple mystery in how things will end.
For the remainder of the stories in the book, I shall speak to them on their merits alone and no longer discuss the anime. Rampo Kitan is actually quite good at its goal of capturing Rampo’s style, and my point in that regard has been made clear, requiring no further discussion beyond this point.
The Psychological Test (Publication date: Feb. 1925)
Following the previous tale is “The Psychological Test.” This story details the events of one Fukiya who sets out to commit the perfect crime. Eventually, this develops into a cat-and-mouse type story focusing on a detective who slowly begins to suspect Fukiya. Previously, Fukiya’s friend Saito seemed the likely culprit. However, now at an impasse as to which man is guilty, we arrive to the end game scenario, the titular, psychological test.
This is the real meat of the story and is quite interesting. Expectedly, this tale focuses on the psychology of the perpetrator. Intensely, Fukiya begins to prepare for an array of psychological tests ranging from word associations to a lie detector. More interestingly, this is the introduction of Akechi, a genius detective, who in this case is taking on the role of a Dr. Akechi was quite a prevalent character in Rampo’s future writings.
Living up to all expectations, Akechi decisively and expertly comes to the correct conclusion. Think in the lines of Sherlock Holmes, which you may recall, is a character that Rampo drew much inspiration from. Without spoiling, Akechi brilliantly traps Fukiya with but the most minute of details. The whole scenario is rather clever.
Inversely to the previous tale the question is not, “How will this end?” as this is known from the start but rather, “How will we get there?” Which done properly, is the far more interesting question. Why both pieces maintain a sense of strong tone, the latter story was far more developed and intriguing.
Had I only read “The Human Chair” I would have noted that I was not overly impressed. You see, the writing was good. Its strong point largely being tone. However, there was some lacking in word choice, composition, and other small details that had me somewhat disappointed. Still, “The Psychological Test” suffered far less and leaves a stronger impression. Funnily, “The Psychological Test” precedes “The Human Chair” for the date in which each story was published (source ). I suspect that is because Akechi makes an appearance in “The Psychological Test” and is a character that surely was seen to have potential in Rampo’s eyes.
Akechi is a fascinating character after all. He is cunning, learned, and just fantastical enough to be believable. It is not hard to see how such a character would be latched onto by any writer, especially that of the mystery genre. Hardly surprising though, as I did note, he was modeled after Sherlock. Akechi made for the perfect vessel to delver the main point of this story: pride can often be one’s own undoing.
If I had to indicate a small disappointment with the second story in this book, is that it was a rather cut-and-dry mystery type scenario. There was no exploration of perversion or even a deviation from the general mystery/suspense genre which is what Rampo later became most known for.
The Caterpillar (Publication Date: Jan. 1929)
Leaping a few years into his work comes the third story in Japanese Tales of Mystery & Imagination titled, “The Caterpillar.” While still revealing in what appears to be the mundane, I could tell just by the start of this story that it would be vastly different compared to the first two that I had read thus far. The first indicator to this fact was that the story featured a woman as the main character.
“The Caterpillar” wastes no time setting the tone. The subtheme of sexuality is present from the very start and my interest was piqued. Shortly into the piece, it is made clear that the distinguishing feature of “The Caterpillar” would be how macabre it was in nature. The language much more grotesque, and the imagery superbly visceral. The juxtaposition of the outer narrative and the woman’s thoughts was also a marked improvement compared to Rampo’s previous works highlighted in this book.
A tragic tale. Though, perhaps not relatable in the traditional sense, is wholly relatable in what it depicts. With ease, anyone could picture the plight told here. Of the three tales that I have read thus far, at this point in the writing, this would be the one I recommend most as to best display Rampo’s skill.
If you are inclined to enjoy the work of Poe, “The Caterpillar” will surely have you enraptured! I wish not to spoil the events, so trust when I speak to its quality. A dark and dismal tale that lacked any sense of mystery, but instead offered only horror. Needless to say, I was quite impressed.
The Cliff (Publication Date: March 1950)
After seeing the dramatic difference in quality of Rampo’s writing in just a few short years from “The Human Chair” to “The Caterpillar,” the fourth story in Japanese Tales of Mystery & Imagination, “The Cliff” had quite a lot to live up to. In some ways, this story is a let down. It lacked impact, and was even predictable from the onset.
I’m getting a bit ahead of myself, however, as “The Cliff” did provide a most unique deviation from the stories told so far. This specific tale was written as a bare bones screen play. As a written story, it is ineffective, even cliché. Though, as a short one-act play with the proper staging and presentation, it would make for a fairly compelling drama.
Risking to seem contrary, I know that this may come off as an odd sentiment to hold towards this work. I can imagine as the man and woman in the story set the scene, dimly lit as if in the moonlight. The tale of the past begins, the spotlight comes to life in the foreground of the stage, and new actors portray the events of the past as they are narrated by our present characters.
Things begin innocently enough. The conception of the perfect crime, simply a way to enjoy each others company and pass the time. Though one dwells and a plot develops. It starts as a harmless joke, but quickly turns to something all too serious.
Suspense builds. It builds until it can no longer be contained. Murder!
Though murdered not is the one who set out to commit it, rather the tables were turned. The spotlight flickers off. The soft lighting brings back into focus our original actors who have since been motionless in the background, lamenting this tale.
It is over, or so the man thinks. The tale continues onward. The man becomes afeared. They move into the foreground towards a cliff. The woman continues her tale, not even batting an eye or looking back at the man as she stands precariously upon the cliff’s edge. The man grows ever closer, tension rises, until—the man plummets unexpectedly. The woman turns, giving a telling smile.
Can you not see it? While I didn’t go into great detail as to the full nature of the plot, surely it can be seen how this would make for a compelling stage production. In this way I find Rampo’s writing here ingenious, despite the, what would otherwise be, less-than-interesting narrative.
Again I note a theme of perverted love, though this time this idea takes center stage instead of flirting in the background. The whole story is about this. The woman in “The Cliff” loves to kill. Though, did she really do anything wrong? In her telling she acted in only self-defense, but clearly she is a twisted individual! Up until this point, and forgive me for bringing up the anime briefly, this idea seen in Rampo Kitan that the line between that which is criminal, and that which is just, is quite thin hasn’t really appeared in any of the other stories featured in Japanese Tales of Mystery & Imagination.
Through my limited research, I know this was a staple idea that Rampo enjoyed placing focus within his novels. Unfortunately for me, I am only able to read this collection of short stories. I am sure that these glimmers shown in “The Cliffs,” of this prevailing idea of criminal and just acts, would be extraordinarily interesting and well developed in Rampo’s novels.
The Hell of Mirrors (Publication Date: Oct. 1926)
We now bounce back to an earlier work. What is one part Distubia, one part Willy Wonka, and all wrapped in illusion is, “The Hell of Mirrors.”
A massive disappointment.
This is the only story in this compellation that I have outright disliked. While it is most clearly the work of Rampo, it is a completely dull story. It’s only real point, obsession can ruin a man. The obsession comes in the form of optics, specifically mirrors. The character described in “The Hell of Mirrors” is in love with all forms of mirrors and eventually goes crazy. It was boring and largely uninteresting. It had a moment where I questioned how it might end, but quickly realized my folly as it was uncreative in all aspects of its conception.
The Twins (Publication Date: Oct. 1924)
I started in on “The Twins” after taking a few days off from reading Japanese Tales of Mystery & Imagination. After the disappointment of the previous story, “The Hell of Mirrors,” I was less enthused about my continued pursuit in recording my thoughts on this book. My trepidation was unwarranted.
In stark contrast to the previous story, this tale has the main character afraid of mirrors and reflective surfaces. I thought that following up a story strictly about mirrors with this one was slightly humors. “The Twins” is about a man who committed murder, but not just of any old person, no. It was his twin brother! Thus the fear of mirrors.
Like the previous story, “The Twins” was pretty simple. The difference, I actually found this tale to be somewhat interesting. It had clear themes, literary allusion, and was generally well constructed. At its core, this story is that of the prince and the popper, but with murder. That, in and of itself, is interesting and carried the otherwise fairly straightforward narrative. There was a certain charm to this story that “The Hell of Mirrors” utterly lacked.
Had only this portion of the story existed, that would be all of my thoughts. However, this is actually the tale of two murders. The second half being as I have now come to expect from Rampo. This portion of the story was immensely interesting to me and was a proper mystery narrative, containing a twist and all.
Confident and reassured that I would enjoy myself further in this reading, I carried onward.
The Red Chamber (Publication Date: April 1925)
Shockingly, the story of “The Red Chamber” takes place in a chamber that is smothered in red velvet décor. Herein, members of a secret society gather to exchange horror stories. Reminded me of Twin Peaks a bit. Again, shockingly, in Rampo fashion, the tale turns to murder. Pretty routine, but the setup was interesting enough.
The premise of how the murders start was amusing. You’d really have to read it for yourself but it brought me back to a previous story featured in this book, “The Cliff.” Rampo seems to like the idea of innocent guilt, which is to say, being the direct cause of a crime, indirectly. I know that sounds a bit weird, but I really don’t have a better way to explain it.
Point being, it is an interesting idea that is explored with more detail within this narrative. Whereas “The Cliff” explores the idea of the perfect crime by killing in self defense, this tale explores the concept of killing through circumstance. As the character in this story describes:
Supposing, one day, you notice an old country woman crossing a downtown street, just about to put one foot down on the rails of the streetcar line. The traffic, we will also suppose, is heavy with motorcars, bicycles, and carts. Under these circumstances you would perceive that the old woman is jittery, as is natural for a rustic in a big city. Suppose, now, that at the very moment she puts her foot on the rail a streetcar comes rushing down the tracks toward her. If the old woman does not notice the car and continues across the tracks, nothing will happen. But if someone should happen to shout “Look out, old woman!” what would be her natural reaction? It is superfluous for me to explain that she would suddenly become flustered and would pause to decide whether to go on or to step back. Now, if the motorman of the streetcar could not apply his brakes in time, the mere words “Look out, old woman!” would be as dangerous a weapon as any knife or firearm. –Japanese Tales of Mystery & Imagination
It’s an interesting idea to say the least. Rampo continues to surprise even in these final stories. For now though, let us continue to discuss this current story.
This concept of innocent guilt is fully explored, listing several examples. Alone, this would be enough for me, but this story offers a bit more. Most notably was the length of this tale and its conclusion.
Compared to several of the stories in this compellation, “The Red Chamber” is fairly long. Of course, some of the other stories could have been equally long, but I noticed this fact where I did not, if they were at all, in regards to the other stories. Length benefits Rampo’s writing, it has time to breathe and develop. This only makes me want to read one of his actual novels even more but I am unfortunately unable to do so.
I’m not sure what I was expecting, but the ending of this one surprised me. Perhaps it ought not have, but I am very glad that it managed to catch me off guard. I was able to deduce the ending, but only in its approaching moments. The ending demonstrated the key idea with perfection and was thoroughly entertaining. A twisted twist, truly stunning. This story is likely my favorite of the bunch for this reason.
Two Crippled Men (Publication Date: June 1924)
Focusing on sleepwalking and talking, this tale, to literally nobody’s surprise, asks the following question: What if I were to commit a crime while walking and talking in my sleep? As silly as this was, it still managed to be interesting. “Two Crippled Men” is a prime example of the examining of the psychology of a man as opposed to emphasizing events like most mystery stories routinely do.
I found it interesting that this tale took a look at the difference in physical and mental deformity, hence the titular two crippled men. The duality of such a topic is inherently interesting but coupled with Rampo’s writing style it is even more so. Sadly, the idea is not explored with much depth. This story also had some dialog in it as well, which is pretty rare in most of these stories.
The actual story itself is fairly plain and straightforward, unfortunately. Of note, the story does spin Rampo’s usual structure and the twist regarding the narrator’s particular perspective was refreshing in this instance. Had this been any other author, it would feel somewhat plain, but given the context of so many stories thus far, ended up feeling rather innovative.
The Traveler with the Pasted Rag Picture (Publication Date: Aug. 1929)
For whatever reason, I thought the previous tale was the final one held within the book Japanese Tales of Mystery & Imagination. I had a nagging feeling that something didn’t seem right as I was both reading and writing for “Two Crippled Men.” Turns out, this was because there was one more tale that had avoided detection until I reached the actual end of the previous story.
As you may have realized, I have been writing these as I progress through each story but I flip through each story once over beforehand. The purpose of this is to ensure that I have enough time to read the story in each given session as well as to note a few other things like the amount of dialog. When doing so for “Two Crippled Men,” I thought it took up the remainder of the book, which would have made it the longest story with a dense amount of dialog. I had written a great introduction to the story noting these facts, read through a majority (or what I thought to be) of the story and began writing up some of my more immediate thoughts. However, come the next page I discovered my folly and had to rework the whole last bit! So here we are with a “bonus” story. A bit of an introduction, but I found this to be somewhat amusing.
The actual final story grabbed my attention almost immediately by having an unreliable narrator. Stories with such a narrator are often fascinating to me, so I was excited to see how this one would play out. This final tale was extremely captivating, despite how silly some of it seemed. “The Traveler with the Painted Rag Picture” is a bit tricky to talk about due to the unfamiliarity many people have with what a painted rag picture is. Here is an example for context.
Reminding me of a strange version of The Picture of Dorian Gray, this story depicts how a man came to reside within a painted rag picture. I really can’t explain, nor expect you to fathom why it was so peculiarly interesting, but I assure you that it was.
Having all the elements necessary to spark an urban legend, something I could discuss at length as it was a topic I studied for nearly two full years (this article is long enough though, so another time perhaps), “The Traveler with the Painted Rag Picture” was among the most believable in this book. It wasn’t my favorite, that would still belong to “The Red Chamber,” but I am more than satisfied with this being the concluding story for Japanese Tales of Mystery & Imagination.
I’m Glad That I Took the Time to read Some of Rampo’s Work
And in that vain, I am glad that I took the time to watch Rampo Kitan: Game of Lapalce. I never would have ever thought to seek out any of Rampo’s work without the anime pointing me in that direction. I’m not Japanese after all, and would have had no idea of Rampo’s existence, let alone his significance, without having stumbled upon him through sheer happenstance.
I would recommend checking out Japanese Tales of Mystery & Imagination, even if you wouldn’t normally seek out mystery or horror stories. While some of the stories feel a bit cliché by today’s standards, each story offered something unique and interesting. I was excited to see what the next story would be about, and each time, with only one exception in “The Hell of Mirrors” (though I’m sure it would appeal to others), this book delivered. Rampo was truly an exceptional writer.
Let me know what anime, or even films or TV shows, have inspired you to seek out the original material that they were based on. I’m quite pleased with my adventure here and would love to hear about yours. With that, I’ll take my leave of you. Be sure to like the article if you enjoyed it or found it informative and I hope I’ll see you around here again soon!