Thursday, 18 December 2014

The Plaza's Pikachu Paparazzi!

Thousands of Pikachu fans gathered at Dongdaemun Design Plaza in Seoul, Korea, that weekend hoping to take selfies with this cuddly looking Pokeman character. In their yellow suits and wobbly making their way around the Plaza, they were swarmed by the huge crowd.

Unfortunately, although those ten Pikachus walking through the crowd were not overwhelmed, the staff of the Plaza were. They had to cancel the mini-parade.

Instead of parading these Pikachus, they assigned specific areas (five, I think), where the fans can have their photos with the character in a less crowded atmosphere. The fans just had to line up.

The cancellation of the mini-parades was due to safety concerns. The people behind the event might have been worried about any stampede and unmanageable crowd. I think they were right. With all these accidents in Korea happening this year, it was wise for them to instead change their plans. 

This event was actually held to celebrate a Korean whamming the Pokemon world championship, and they chose the Dongdaemun Design Plaza as the venue where they could parade these characters.

As I stood there watching and taking photographs of the fans posing with Pikachu, I noticed that every after a few minutes, the Pikachu went inside the building and came out again. I was thinking that, with the heavy Pikachu costume, whoever was inside needed to rest from this costume, which didn't seem to have an obvious ventilation. I later learned from the news that they required women who were about 160 centimeters tall to fit inside the Pikachu costume.

If you're the person inside the costume, you would also need to sit, eat, drink and the most important thing of all, unload your bladder! Obviously, in that costume, sitting is impossible. You would need to get out of it. Worse, you wouldn't be able sit on a loo with that!

So, as everyone had fun posing and taking selfies with the Pikachu costume, I wondered what the woman inside it must have been thinking. Or feeling. I was sure, comfort wasn't one of them. It's a tough job.

Around the Myeongdong shopping area, I'd also see costumed characters inviting shoppers and tourists into a store or restaurant. This I see even during the scorching summer season.

For those of you who enjoyed and posed with Pikachu at the Dongdaemun Design Plaza, I hoped you were able to thank the person inside the heavy, uncomfortable costume for your photo, which I am sure became popular in your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or blog accounts. 

And for those ten ladies inside the Pikachu costume, good job, ladies! 

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