If you happen to see a blue octopus by the name of Gar, please contact them immediately.
When kids lose something dear like their favorite toy or doll, we as adults understand how distressing it can be and do our best to cheer them up, sometimes inventing clever methods to help them get over the loss.
Three-year-old Nora hails from the country of Basque and has been with her blue octopus plushie Gar ever since she was a baby. The inseparable pair were never far from each other, traveling (with help from her parents, of course) to various regions and experiencing the world.
▼ Whether it be Amsterdam…
Eguberrion denoi Amsterdametik! https://t.co/PjU9QHT7Nr
Nora&Gar 🌎 zehar! (@NoraEtaGar) December 25, 2018
▼ …or Italy, Nora and Gar are always together like peanut butter and jelly.
Bultza Gar! Ezin da dorrea erori!
Mi sa che siamo innamorati dell’Italia!
A presto 🇮🇹 ❤️ https://t.co/Fur4NlYs0Q
Nora&Gar 🌎 zehar! (@NoraEtaGar) April 22, 2019
But things took a sudden turn when Nora visited Tokyo on July 22. The toddler and her parents were out enjoying the sights of Kanda Shrine and Ueno Park when, in the crowded streets of Ame Yokocho, the girl suddenly realized her travel buddy was not in her arms anymore. Her Twitter account was updated with a post that read: “I arrived in Japan on the first day of my vacation and lost Gar. Happiness has turned into sadness.”
▼ A follow-up sentence in Japanese said, “Where are you, Gar?”
Gaurko zoriontasuna, oporren lehenengo eguna zela eta, tristezia bihurtu. Japoniara ailegatu eta Gar galdu egin da.… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Nora&Gar 🌎 zehar! (@NoraEtaGar) July 22, 2019
Nora’s Twitter account did not have many followers, and so the post initially went largely unnoticed. A stroke of luck, however, brought her heartbreaking plight to the attention of Japanese manga artist Yukari Takinami a few days later, who was searching for all things related to soft toys at that time. Imploring her fans for help, the post gathered momentum and saw retweets numbering more than 38,000 in a single day.
Her message was simple:
▼ ”We must not let them get separated in Japan!
Has anyone seen this octopus?”
瀧波ユカリ🍖Ekodachan author (@takinamiyukari) July 27, 2019
Under the hashtag of #ガーちゃんを探せ and #SearchForGar, word spread among netizens like wildfire and eventually reached the manager of Ueno Information Center, who personally combed the areas Nora had been sightseeing and even reported the matter to the local police station. Finding no leads, the manager contacted Nora’s father and reassured him that netizens were still on the lookout for Gar.
▼ People helped out in their own way,
either by drawing cute art to spread the message…
のだかおり イラストレーター (@rioka_dn) July 30, 2019
▼ …or heading out to conduct their own searches.
MAYU (@MAYU48334698) July 30, 2019
▼ Nora’s predicament was even featured on TV.
米 (@komebako) July 29, 2019
▼ An all-out octopus hunt for Gar was put out,
looking for a 50-centimeter (20-inch) eight-legged blue plushie with polka dots.
skylark kakako (@hentekodo) July 29, 2019
▼ Yet despite everyone’s efforts to find him,
it was time for Nora to return home. (Translation below)
私は帰国しています。ガーは私達と一緒に帰ることはできませんでしたが、きっと日本が彼にとって、素晴らしい場所になるだろうと感じています。 皆さんが私達を助けようとしてくださったことに感謝します！ またお会いしましょう！ https://t.co/62y1OJMm8A
Nora&Gar 🌎 zehar! (@NoraEtaGar) August 01, 2019
“I’m going back to my country. Gar might not be coming with us, but I’m sure he finds Japan a marvelous place. Thank you for helping me look for him! May we meet again someday!”
Japanese netizens still held up hope for a happy ending to the tale:
“I couldn’t find it either. Please don’t give up.”
“We’ll find Gar for you. Just you wait.”
“It’s still not over. I’ll go look for it tomorrow.”
“I’m sure he’ll turn up any time now!”
“Please come to Japan again, Nora!”
Should you wish to embark on a search for Gar to reunite the two close buddies, the stores around Ame Yokocho or Ueno Park are good places to start, not to mention some of the local museums as some of them might be holding onto lost property. So if you spot a blue octopus plushie with colorful spots on its eight legs, please don’t hesitate to contact Nora’s Twitter account immediately.