This Short Film About A Boy Dressed As Sonic Is Sadness Incarnate

Everything about this is bleak. Everything. Warning: the short film will ruin your day.

Serious warning: this video features images of suicide. It's not funny at all, and if that kind of thing upsets you please steer clear.

This is such a strange video, but also extremely powerful. After watching I'm not too sure precisely what happened. Is the old man the young boy in the future? Is the old man mourning a lost son? Either way this is brutal. Just brutal. To the point where I almost wish I hadn't watched it.


    Love your kids man...

    Another film worth watching in a similar 'I almost wish I hadn't watched it' vein: Princess Aurora.

    Last edited 30/04/15 1:03 pm

      If you want to board the feels train this is a good one too A sure way to get onions in the room.

        Damn onions...

          As a husband. Damn this. I could not imagine being without my wife.

            I know what you mean. This one punches me in the feels every time.

        Is there somewhere I can find more of these kinds of short films? They make me sad but I enjoy it.

          Search Vimeo for short films. It has lots of them on there. :)

    If you look closely the old man is Dr Robotnik.

    Interview with the film makers goes into more detail if you don't want to draw your own conclusion.

    I don't get it... :\

      I think it is a commentary on loneliness and games as escapism, which could be taken to an extreme over a long period, until one day you wake up and look at what you've become.

      I think many of us have experienced a similar emotion, to a lesser degree perhaps. When I was in university I lost pretty much an entire year to Starcraft. I still really really regret that, as it could have been a year filled with all the promise of university life. Instead I spent it wrapped up in my own world in a darkened room. I'm now pretty careful with my gaming time, as I don't want to suddenly wake up and realise that my kids have grown up and left home and it is too late to have the life experiences with them that I dream of.

        But it's not as if you would take your own life away becuase you had been practising a hobby - a common one anyway, regardless of whether you should have been studying instead. I mean, it's not as if suicide would right the wrongs during a brief part of one's life.

        I personally think this short film has exagerated the connections and immersion a gamer would develop between a video game property or that of pop culture in general. The older man was clearly living his own life-style choice of collecting video games and various pop culture paraphenalia, and to end his own life due to an (ostensible) perception of morribund overindulgence is baffling. He clearly had no problem living the life he had (the amount of items on display suggested he'd been collecting for decades) until he decided to hang himself, so why the capricious outlook on life?

        Last edited 15/05/15 10:30 pm

          It's not because of the hobby per se, but because of the massive regret that one might feel after many years of placing that hobby either consciously or subconsciously in a position where other aspects of life are sidelined or neglected. For example, many people regret in their older years not having spent more or better time with their families. Check out the song 'Cat's in the Cradle'. I think the old bloke in the film has had an epiphany, that all his years of self-imposed isolation have robbed him of the opportunity to have (I imagine) meaningful relationships with others. The fact that there are no other people in the entire film suggests that he has been living a hermitic life, with only himself and his pop culture for company.

    i honestly don't know what to feel after watching that. i just feel empty and sad.

    Last edited 30/04/15 2:24 pm

    It is this sudden 'emptiness' that people feel after delving too deeply into a certain fictional world (e.g. anime, game, books, films, dramas, etc.) where they do not see themselves but only the never existing other world.

    I have also felt this type of melancholy or emptiness a couple of times - none too serious - after finishing 2 of my most favourite animes (Evangelion and Haruhi FYI) and this type of sadness really lingers and stays there for quite a time. Your actual world suddenly feels like a silent and black/white film featuring nothing but yourself regretting why you have spent so much time watching something you liked so much and why it had to end at some point. It gets even more serious if that specific 'world' was convincing and enticing.

    I think that film really had put some great details about this strange new world empty feeling created by new types of entertainment and media in our technological age.
    It really kept itself from being too obvious and that is perhaps why the film spoke so loud at the end.

    Last edited 30/04/15 2:48 pm

      To the extent that some people immerse themselves permanently.

        That's not really what hikkikomori is about, it's about withdrawing from society itself rather than seeking an alternate world. Sure, there are people who withdraw from society and live vicariously through other media, but it's not the only reason for doing it. These days it's even easier for people to just pull away into isolation due to the ease at which you can order or pay for everything over the internet and earn a living through digital means.

          Sorry for the wall of text below.

          I know, but there is a big overlap between hikikomori and otaku, which has led to speculation that one of the major reasons that hikikomori has become a phenomenon is the ubiquity of manga and anime in Japanese life, which makes for a very attractive 'alternate' or 'fantasy' existence. Sure, there would be shut-ins without manga or anime, as exist in all cultures, but there are markedly more hikikomori in Japan than in any other country (although the number is growing steadily in China (and other countries) amongst the 'middle' classes, according to anecdotal evidence). Relative affluence, pressure to succeed and a ready avenue of escape into a fantasy world are the primary factors in allowing hikikomori to exist. We can speculate that the melancholy or depression resulting from a 'separation' from a fantasy world (including MMOs, RPGs, manga/anime series) encourages a postponement of that separation by prolonging the experience or transferring the attachment to a similar alternative fantasy world, thus bringing about the state of hikikomori. Studies have shown that where the time to indulge in such a fantasy world is absent and people are driven by a need to work to survive (labouring or peasant classes for example) the incidence of hikikomori is drastically lower. It may even be a chicken/egg situation, where withdrawal into a fantasy world either sparks or strengthens a hermitic impulse, but by the same token might be merely symptomatic of same. It's fascinating stuff, and is reflective of us pushing civilization further towards a 'Matrix' future, where our fantasy world interactions become predominant and there is no need for any of us to interact physically.

    I think it would have been a little more emotional if Vimeo's player didn't freeze every ten seconds. Like, c'mon, man.

    For some reason, the thought that ran through my mind at the end was "When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things." It's a rather extreme representation of letting go of childish ways but it's just one of those thought provoking films.

    Jesus. I didn't read any of what you wrote about this film, had just flagged it to come back to at home, finally got around to watching it... man. I was thinking "is this going to go there?" and then it did.

    Even after reading the interview (thanks @loadx) I still don't know why, but this had a massive impact for me.

    Just as a side note, if anyone else reads through these comments - what does the bird signify for you?

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