Easy come, easy go, again and again.

If you’re a young kid, writing your name on your stuff is just a matter of common sense. After all, there’s no better way to maximize the chance that someone will find, and return to you, your lost jacket, notebook, or, most importantly, video games.

So way back in 1996, when Yuki Tanaka (who goes by @gorox2darax2 on Twitter) got a copy of Pokémon Green as a present from his parents, the then-five-year-old grabbed a marker and carefully wrote his name on the back. An avid gamer, Yuki burned through a pack of AA batteries a week searching for and training Pocket Monsters on his Game Boy, but as time went by, he eventually started playing newer titles more often.

Still, Pokémon Green remained one of his favorites, so much so that, even two years after receiving it, he had the game in his pocket on a family trip to Tokyo Disneyland. Unfortunately, all the excitement of being at the theme park meant that Tanaka didn’t notice when the cartridge slipped out of his pocket. Once he realized it was gone, he immediately began searching the park for it, tears streaming down his face. Alas, it was nowhere to be found, and the seven-year-old Tanaka went home heartbroken.

Fast forward to today, and Tanaka is now a graduate student at the University of Tokyo. Having been accepted to a post-graduate program at the most prestigious school in the country means he must be a pretty sharp guy, and he no doubt knew that after 18 years, ever finding his lost Game Boy game was virtually impossible.

Of course, virtually impossible technically means it’s not impossible, and Tanaka’s Pokémon Green turned up in a surprising place: online marketplace Amazon. And not the Japanese Amazon, but the American one.

PG 1

Amazon user Jeramy posted a review of a copy of the Japanese version of Pokémon Green that he’d purchased. While the game itself seemed to be in good working order, Jeramy was upset that the seller had described the cartridge as being in “very good” condition when in fact the casing was covered with markings. In his review, he complained that “it came with horrific markings on it,” and “I tried to rub off the marker…but all that did was make it purple.” As proof, he even uploaded a couple of pictures of the cart.

Somehow, the review came to the attention of Japanese Twitter user @kgpravda, who, thanks to his native language, immediately saw that the “horrific markings” were in fact Japanese text. And what did the text say?

“Yuki Tanaka”

PG 2

On April 14, @kgpravda sent out the following tweet.

“Yuki Tanaka, are you doing well? Your precious treasure, Pokémon Green, is on Amazon America right now…It’s still doing a great job keeping people entertained.”

Eventually, word got around to Tanaka, who recognized the handwriting as his own. Excitedly, he fired off a few tweets in English, trying to contact Jeramy.

https://twitter.com/gorox2darax2/status/720548985375555584 https://twitter.com/gorox2darax2/status/720549165432877060

Amazingly, it only took a day for the message to find its way to Jeramy, who promptly responded to Tanaka’s message. Considering the fact that Jeramy was less than satisfied with his purchase, it’d be reasonable to expect him to be willing to part with it, especially given the sentimental value that specific cartridge has to Tanaka. After 18 long years of separation, it seemed that Tanaka was finally about to get his Pokémon Green back.

Until he read Jeramy’s message, and learned the game had slipped through his fingers.


Unfortunately, Jeramy had written his review in January, and in addition to Tanaka’s cosmetic additions, the cartridge also turned out to have a dead battery, meaning that the player’s in-game progress can’t be saved. Since neither of those issues meshed with the seller’s claim that the game was in practically perfect condition, Jeramy had returned it, and gotten a refund, before Tanaka had ever learned it had temporarily been in his possession.

“Well, back to square one,” tweeted Tanaka. But if nothing else, his story shows that there’s something to be said for hanging on to any last shred of hope, and hopefully with all the attention his cartridge has recently gotten, it won’t be 18 more years before he catches another glimpse of it.

Follow Casey on Twitter as he continues to believe that someday the Ranma 1/2 karaoke CD that was stolen from him 15 years ago will find its way home.

Source: IT Media
Images: Amazon U.S.A.