A video from the Pokémon World Festival near Seoul shows 15 Pikachu dancing to Hairspray when the ringleader’s costume starts deflating. Then a group of men forcefully spirit the dancer away.
The occasion is the Pokemon World Festival 2017, and the setting is Triple Street in Songdo, a new built-from-scratch city near Seoul’s Incheon airport.
The Pikachu wrap up one dance number to the song “Uptown Funk”, and begin another to “You Can’t Stop The Beat,” from the musical Hairspray.
But amidst the well-choreographed shuffling and bopping, something goes wrong, and the ringleader’s costume starts to deflate. Even as the costume slowly closes in around it, the Pikachu bravely dances on, until it is accosted and yanked offstage by at least seven men in suits, looking rather like villains.
NPR have raised several questions about this.
- Who are these men hustling Deflating Pikachu offstage? A popular tweet called them “government security agents.”
- Who’s inside those costumes? Is it kids?
- Is the Pikachu punished for its deflation, or sweetly patched and refilled?
- And finally: Why Hairspray?
A second video explains (in Korean) that the first man who runs up to the Deflating Pikachu is part of the event staff. Then a security guard runs up, because he doesn’t realize the first man is staff. The second security guard runs up to tell the first security guard that the original man is staff. Though there may still be unanswered questions you still have to have respect for those 14 Pikachu who kept dancing like no one was watching.