So! Here's one way to deal with a city rat problem. A Japanese performance art collective called Chim Pom used nets to catch rats off Tokyo's Center Gai street -- known as "super rats" for their supposed ability to withstand human-made poison. Then they taxidermied the rats, painted them yellow, and stuck wires in their tails. Voila! Real life (dead rat) Pikachus! Gah.
For those not familiar, Pikachu is a species designed for the "Pokemon" media line, which includes video games, manga and an anime series that stars Pikachu and other Pokemon. Plus the backpacks. Never forget the backpacks. Pikachu's catchphrases range from the cute (piKAchu) to the unbearably cute (pika-piKA chu). Amidst all this cuteness, though, is the dirty secret the members of Chim Pom don't skirt: "Pikachu is also a rat."
Highlighting the latent creepy ratness in an agressively adorable overlord is exactly what Japanese art collectives should be doing. There's something very Emperor's New Clothes about it. As in, Pikachu is the Emperor, being a rat equals being naked, and Chim Pom is totally the little boy who speaks truth to power. In an interview with Ping Mag, Chim Pom member Ushiro said they're also commenting on "the type of girls that hang around Center Gai" dressed up as Pikachus. These girls are most likely tweens and sorta harmless. But also...they dress up as Pikachus. Soooooo yeah. Boo that type of girl!
Chim Pom slapped the exact right title on their taxidermied Pikachu project ("Super Rat") and released it just in time for the filming of Pharrell's Tokyo documentary for Palladium shoes. What timing! And now we've got a behind-the-scenes clip on the making of. Watch out for the rats.