As you probably know, the newest iPhone was released last week to much fanfare the world over. Now, usually a new iPhone would be big news for our Japanese writers, who seem to have a bit of an addiction to Apple gadgets and can’t resist lining up to get them on day one But, as you may have noticed, we don’t have photos of Mr. Sato in a weird costume grinning with the new device this time round. What happened? Did we forget to write the article?

Well, no, we didn’t forget to write it…but someone did forget one important detail. In particular, Mr. Sato forgot where he was supposed to be waiting.

Our long-time readers will surely remember Mr. Sato beaming both last year and the year before as he stood shoulder-to-shoulder with actors Ken Watanabe and Maki Horikiata and Docomo president Kaoru Katou. Dressed in his best Slime costume (because why not troll a media event like this?) our very own Mr. Sato has twice been first in line to get the newest iPhone…and get close to his crush Maki Horikita.

▼ But not too close…


After two years in a row, this was becoming a bit of a RocketNews24 tradition—one we wait all year for, like summer vacation but without showering for a few days. And yet, we don’t have any photos of Mr. Sato with a new phone or within waving distance of Maki Horikita. So what went wrong?! Was the camera broken? Has Mr. Sato finally seen the light and decided to try a Palm Pilot instead? Did he decide he just didn’t need a new phone this year?

Well…no. But let’s back up a moment and start at the beginning.


First, on September 10, Mr. Sato found out that preorders for the new iPhone would be accepted starting on the 12th of September at 4:01 p.m. But here is where our esteemed Japanese writer’s hubris began, leading to his ultimate downfall. Instead of making the reservations himself, he left it to Yuichiro Wasai, another of our Japanese staff, sending him instructions online. The message included a URL for reservations and specifically told Wasai to make a reservation for Docomo’s Ginza location.

And, as instructed, young Wasai got online and attempted to make reservations at 4 p.m., but the writer found himself struggling to place an order due to network trouble. Mr. Sato, frustrated with the Wasai, told his fellow writer to call the store directly. Twice! Hey, no one gets between a Sato and his iPhone!

Finally, at 5 p.m., after an hour of fighting with the Internet, Wasai sent Mr. Sato a message with a screenshot of the reservation confirmation for the Ginza Domoco location. Now, all that was left to do was to be first in line!

▼ “Waiting in line! Yaaaaaaaaay!”


Several days later, on September 21, Mr. Sato sent Wasai and Seiji, yet another RocketNews24 Japan writer, a message instructing them to meet him the following day at the Maru no Uchi Docomo location at around 3 p.m. Not the Ginza location, but the Maru no Uchi location. You would think that either Wasai or Mr. Sato would notice that something was amiss here, but we suppose all the excitement over spending three days waiting outside for the new iPhone had made them careless.

And, as you can see from the photo above, everyone looks pretty pumped for the wait, especially Mr. Sato. Come on, who could resist getting swept up in the excitement with that adorable grin beaming at you?! But despite totally ignoring one very important detail, it seems Mr. Sato couldn’t help being a stickler over other details, like pestering his globe-trotting colleague Hatori Go about the location of the blue sleeping bag even after finding a perfectly usable green one. Maybe he was hoping to match the sleeping bag to his slime costume?

▼ Though even the beautiful costume can’t hide the awkwardness in this photo.


And then there was nothing to do but wait. For two long days, Mr. Sato, Wasai, and Seiji sat at the Docomo Maru no Uchi location, exposed to the elements and killing time until Mr. Sato could be first in Japan to wrap his hand around a shiny new iPhone. Until, that is, a fateful message arrived for Mr. Sato from RocketNews24’s tech manager Kawarano.

“It’s kind of late, but I just wanted to check. Your reservation is for Ginza, but are you picking it up at the Maru no Uchi location? Just wondering if you’re at the wrong place.”


After waiting for days, after sitting in the rain, after getting his hopes up to meet Maki Horikita again and be the first in Japan to get the new iPhone, after dragging two other writers to suffer with him downtown, Mr. Sato realized it had all been for nothing.

▼ Well, not nothing. The other writers got a good laugh out of it.


With the launch now less than 24 hours away, there was nothing to be done. All that time was no better spent than if they had been seeking an attendance with Godot! Shamed, humiliated, and disheartened, Mr. Sato made the journey back to the office, his dreams of being first in line for the new iPhone three years in a row dashed upon rocks like Icarus after flying too high.

Our normally confident and sexy Mr. Sato could only hang his head and apologize. He even admitted to being a bit deflated, saying it was a mistake that never should have happened.

▼ Our hero smarting from the sting of a downfall brought about by his own hubris.


But this is only one mistake! As surely as winter snows will melt in the spring, there will be another new iPhone, another chance for Mr. Sato to pick himself up and charge forward! Forward into glory! Forward into…waiting several days outside to get a new version of a phone he already owns. Well, it might not be slaying a hydra, but this hero’s tale is hardly over.

Wait on, Mr. Sato! Wait on!

All images © RocketNews24