Eccentric auteur Yoko Taro, the creator perhaps best known for philosophical android action game NieR: Automata, has lost his iconic Emil mask. If you live in the L.A. area and come across a freaky, grinning skeleton-like mask, maybe keep it? We're sure he's got plenty of others.
As reported by Kotaku, the saga began when Taro lost the mask (which he typically wears in public settings to conceal his face and depicts a recurring character from the NieR series) the night before he was due to appear on a panel at Anime Expo 2023, promoting his work on KamiErabi GOD.app. Out for drinks with a producer from Fuji TV in an L.A. bar, the two apparently misplaced the outrageous headpiece over the course of the evening (why it came out with them in the first place was never addressed, and is more awesome for it).
Taro then charged the hapless (and likely worse-for-wear) producer with procuring a replacement mere hours ahead of the panel's commencement. Failing to find an actual Emil mask to replace the missing monstrosity, they apparently did one better (in Taro's reckoning, at least), presenting something even more terrifying. Taro describes the scene:
"Leave it to LA to have this specialist store just for masks. And so we went into that store, and there was the biggest mask, like literally the biggest one they had was one that was sitting up on the shelves and had been there for 30 years."
Apparently gifted to the store by the owner's grandmother, Taro managed to convince the owner to part with the artefact. Taro, drawn to the item for reasons unknown and apparently unaware of its Irish connotations, said, “It’s gotta be possessed or something like that. … It has to be cursed or possessed. There’s something going on with it."
Taro's staff have suggested it is perhaps in everyone's best interest for Taro to return the mask from whence it came, and we would heartily concur. What do you think of Yoko Taro's Californian escapades? Let us know in the comments section below.