RIP to Simagurutchi, the first Tamagotchi I had on my Tamagotchi Uni. If I’m being honest, your loss won’t weigh heavily on me, but please know, you were a blast to bring to my friend’s wedding.
Mine and Simagurutchi’s union started out as a work assignment — Bandai Namco sent me a unit for review — and it quickly morphed into a bit. Determined to make the most out of my new Tamagotchi Uni, I decided that I would wear it as much as possible during an upcoming trip across the country to a friend’s wedding. Luckily for me, Tamagotchi technology and fashion have continued to develop over the years, and the Uni is no different. This particular model of the portable pet care toy comes with a rubber band so I can wear it as a watch with the world’s least sexy silhouette.
I wore it to the airport. I wore it on the plane. To my surprise, I didn’t even have to take it off for TSA. But wearing my Tamagotchi in public became the start of its deadly malaise. I was riding in the very back of my friend’s 2008 Honda Odyssey when the watch let out a shrill beep. It was one thing to bring a Tamagotchi on a trip; it was another to forcibly expose everyone else around me to its sharp cries.
Once silenced there was no turning back. I have attention problems, so without the obnoxious beeping to remind me when to feed the pet, I might as well have chucked my Tamagotchi into a black hole (despite having worn it on my wrist for the majority of the weekend). The feedings were few and far between, and I didn’t realize it, but the well-being of my pet was slowly slipping away.
I wore the full Tamagotchi, clunky wristband and all, to my friend’s wedding. It just so happened that it perfectly matched my rainbow french-tip nails and the colorful floral dress I deemed worthy for a California wedding. For something so big, and let’s be honest, tacky-looking, it somehow kind of pulled the entire fit together with one big pop of pink. I was wedding ready. If only I could have said the same about Simagurutchi.
Far from feeling overly stuffy, my Tamagotchi watch felt at home at the whimsical wedding. All the wedding attendees went to a nearby park after the ceremony to take photos. Kids and adults twirled ribbons tied to wooden dowels. Another group of friends created giant puppet replicas of the groom and bride that loomed over the party ceremoniously. A man wearing brass goggles played a giant music box, and a stuffed monkey with matching brass goggles sat atop, bringing joy to the guests. While taking a group photo, the photographer told us all to stand windowed, “prom style.” Naturally, I stood Tamagotchi side out, as instructed by my supportive friends.
I chatted it up with a college friend and although I was slightly nervous to talk to them, I was prepared with the ultimate icebreaker: my Tamagotchi. I wanted to show them a minigame that takes advantage of the pedometer in the watch, and challenges you to mirror dance like some Wii minigame. I tried to click into the screen, but all I saw was the image of a ghost with big lips and a single tear running down the side of its face. It was Simagurutchi, and it had passed away.
I huddled with a friend and my partner, let out a collective “Oh nooooo,” and promptly got to work figuring out how to get a new pet. No combination of buttons seemed to work, until a friend recalled their Tamagotchi-having days as a child and realized there might be a small button on the back to reset it.
I took off the watch and flipped it around and there it was, the tiny, pen-tip-sized button on the back. The only issue was that we were at a park and didn’t have a pen. We asked a lady in all black and thin angular sunglasses if she had a pen; she didn’t. We asked the man playing what appeared to be an enormous music box decorated with tiny dioramas of carnival-goers — he didn’t have one either. We went from person to person to no avail, until a friend looked into their black leather fanny pack. He didn’t have a pen, but he did have a fine-toothed comb. As I held the Tamagotchi, my friend spread the comb and used a tooth to press the button.
Within moments, we reset the toy and reset our lives. I opened a new egg and took on a new underdeveloped blob, and I cheered in the California sun with my friends.