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WATCH: Deflating Pikachu Gets Tackled, Hustled Off Stage By Suited Men

It's Friday. There's been plenty of news this week.

So here's something ... else.

A video, which will probably be a meme by tomorrow morning, shows 15 inflated, dancing Pikachu, a species of Pokémon. 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.

Do you have questions about this? I do.

  • 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?
  • Let's look at this from another, cuter angle.

    This 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.

    I still have unanswered questions. But I have a deeper respect for those 14 Pikachu who keep dancing like no one is watching.

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    Laurel Wamsley is a reporter for NPR's News Desk. She reports breaking news for NPR's digital coverage, newscasts, and news magazines, as well as occasional features. She was also the lead reporter for NPR's coverage of the 2019 Women's World Cup in France.