Over the weekend, a Pikachu dance party at the Pokémon World Festival—a seemingly joyous event in Songdo, South Korea—descended into a nightmare when one particularly gifted Pikachu was dragged off the stage by a squadron of security guards, the Verge reports.
About a minute into the performance, just after the troupe transitions into an expertly choreographed routine of Nikki Blonsky's "You Can't Stop the Beat," the lead Pikachu suffers a crisis: His suit begins to deflate just as he takes center stage, and he begins to melt like the wicked witch from the Wizard of Oz.
In a matter of seconds, the massive Pokémon finds himself under assault. The moment he breaks with routine—his flaws on display—he's apprehended. One security guard rushes to the stage to drag him away, then a second suited assailant appears, and faster than you can say "Bulbasaur," nine dudes who look like members of the Crazy 88 drag him off the stage while the rest of the Pikachu gang dances around their fallen leader.
The remaining Pikachus—now knocked down to an uneven (and unlucky) 13—carry on haphazardly, their devastatingly cute smiles masking the horror they've just witnessed. But just when you think the uncomfortably long performance will never end, the injured Pikachu makes a comeback.
At about the 4:30 mark, the dizzied little guy waddles back to the pack, escorted by his tormentors. They try, desperately, to walk him to the company of his compatriots, but he just can't make it. Halfway there, his suit deflates again, and he's forced to relive the same nightmare, dragged once more into the shadows by a gang of thugs.
One would expect better for the poor critter, but this is 2017, where joy has come to die, where innocence is barely a memory, where even Pikachu can't seem to dance freely and live his life without something coming along and crushing it.
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