Screenshot: Twitter

The children cannot see Pikachu die. Pikachu is an important icon of the massively successful, decades-spanning Pokémon franchise, which has spanned many video games, TV shows, and films, not to mention plush dolls, apparel, and every other variety of merchandising sold throughout the world. Pikachu is an important global icon, and children around the world cannot see him die. They cannot watch as Pikachu crumples over, the life slowly leaving his body; Pikachu must be immortal in the eyes of children.

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Thus, when a Pikachu began to deflate during a performance at the Pokémon World Festival in Songdo, South Korea, a series of highly trained individuals swooped in with tactical, military-style efficiency to rescue not just the performer in the deflating Pikachu costume but also the very sanctity and lives of the children viewing it. If one child sees a Pikachu die, it deals a blow to the very nature of childhood; the concept of human innocence itself was threatened by the rumpling of Pikachu’s upper torso, the vision of tiny hands reaching out from within Pikachu in a desperate attempt to hold the deflating rubber body in place.

Today, at least, good has prevailed. Pikachu lives. The fate of the dancer within Pikachu remains to be seen.

Watch the whole performance below.

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