Mr. Sato sets out to spread joy and feel the love for the adorable Olympic panda…maybe?

Mr. Sato was deep in thought. As SoraNews24’s ace reporter, he knew a lot of people loved him…and yet, he was also painfully aware that “a lot of people” isn’t “all people.”

“Somewhere out there, there are people who don’t love me.” The thought kept repeating in his head. Part of him knew that the mature thing to do was to make peace with this fact, focus on living life on his own terms, and not feel bound to the whims of others. But another, more powerful part of his psyche couldn’t help craving the elation of universal popularity. Wondering how he could achieve such a thing, he realized he needed a role model, and after a bit more rumination, he knew just who turn to.

▼ “That’s it!”

▼ “Bing Dwen Dwen!”

The competitive nature of the Olympics means that crowds will always be divided depending on which nation’s athletes they’re rooting for in any particular event. But as an overall ambassador for the games themselves, everybody seems to like the Beijing Winter Games mascot Bing Dwen Dwen.

So if Mr. Sato wanted to experience what it’s like to truly be loved by everybody, all he had to do was transform himself into the cute, cuddly spokes-panda. And if “transform into a panda” sounds like too crazy a scheme to carry out, you must not know Mr. Sato very well.

With his mind made up, he sprang into action, panda-ing up from the feet up.

▼ Why yes, it is cold in the SoraNews24 office…why do you ask?

“Perfect! Now I’m an exact match for Bing Dwen Dwen!” Mr. Sato congratulated himself.

Now, some of you might be thinking this looks an awful lot like Mr. Sato’s alter ego Panda Sato. However, while the outfits might look the same to the untrained eye, Mr. Sato’s Bing Dwen Dwen recreates the Olympic mascot’s ice visor/helmet.

Since the old Panda Sato costume didn’t have this helmet, Mr. Sato is certain that this is the one and only difference for the difference in popularity between Bing Dwen Dwen, the official mascot of a globally publicized sporting event, and Panda Sato, a character he made up as an excuse to justify getting our boss to pay him for eating a bunch of bamboo leaves.

Still not convinced that Mr. Sato was now a dead ringer for Bing Dwen Dwen? Then let’s take it to the streets and hear the voice of the people of Tokyo!

SoraNews24 HQ is just a short walk from Shinjuku Station, the busiest train station in the world. There are always people milling about the rail hub, and Mr. Sato was confident that as soon as he showed up, Bing Dwen Dwen, and thus Mr. Sato himself, would be showered in squeals of joy. Being the big-hearted guy that he is, he even made a sign and carried it with him with “Would you like to take a commemorative photo with me?” written on it, since fans would probably be too shy to approach Bing Dwen Dwen without an invitation.

Before long, Mr. Sato was at the plaza right in front of the east exit of Shinjuku Station, right across from the Alta shopping center, one of the most famous meet-up spots in all of Tokyo. And just like he’d predicted, almost instantly two people approached him and asked for a photo together!

Wanting to hear the warmth in their voices as they said the Beijing mascot’s name, Mr. Sato coyly asked them “Do you know who I am?”, and the two gentlemen responded with:

“Uh…some kind of Dalmatian?”

OK, let’s call that one a draw, since they didn’t know who Mr. Sato was dressed as, but they still wanted a picture. Surely someone would come along soon enough who recognized the mascot of the Olympics, right?


40 minutes passed without a single other person taking Mr. Sato up on his photo offer. As a matter of fact, people seemed to be actively avoiding eye contact with him, which wasn’t all that hard for them to do since his mask was getting increasingly fogged-up on the inside.

But just when Mr. Sato was ready to admit failure and pack it in, a schoolgirl walked up to him!

“Ah ha!” he thought. “It all makes sense now! I’ve been standing out here for almost an hour, but it’s a weekday afternoon, when schools are in session. Everyone knows it’s schoolgirls who are the real arbitrators of what is and isn’t cute, and now that they’re done with classes for the day, my Bing Dwen Dwen outfit will start getting the recognition it deserves!”

Sure enough, the schoolgirl asked if she could take his picture. “Of course!” Mr. Sato replied, and she snapped the shutter button on her phone.

Then, as she waved goodbye, she said:

“Thanks, Glalie! You’re one of my favorite Pokémon!”

▼ Glalie

Ultimately, Mr. Sato isn’t sure whether his cosplay was a success or not. A grand total of zero people realized he was dressed at Bing Dwen Dwen, and as such, he didn’t get to experience even an iota of the good vibes being directed at the character while the Olympics are going on.

On the other hand, he managed to bring smiles to the faces of two dudes who apparently really like Dalmatians, and also to a Pokémon fan with a soft spot for a Pocket Monster species that gets next to no attention from the franchise’s fanbase or merchandisers, and that’s definitely something he can feel good about.

Photos ©SoraNews24
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