Latest Newsletter🍵 Chinese History Month in WARead


One of Japan’s Most Popular Cartoons is an Egg Suffering From ‘Crippling Depression’

    Asian America Daily - in under 5 minutes

    Get our collection of Asian America's most essential stories, to your inbox daily, for free!

    Unsure? Check out our Newsletter Archive

    Sanrio, home of the fun-loving cartoon gang of the Hello Kitty lore, has a cartoon that seems like a complete departure from its original characters’ usual positive vibe.  

    Introduced in 2013, Gudetamathe “misanthropic egg” suffering from “crippling depression,” has become another massive hit for the studio, according to PRI. His name is a play on “gude gude”, a term used for someone who has no energy or strength, and “tama” from tamago, or egg.

    In his bio, Gudetama is described as “hard to motivate and has a negative, defeatist attitude.” On his official Twitter account, he says that tweeting is troublesome but he only does it because “great people” told him to. Despite his negativity, the cracked egg yolk who spews cold one-liners that reflect the dark realities of life is becoming more and more popular in Japan. 

    Japanese pop culture expert and co-founder of AltJapan, Matt Alt, said that Japan has had a long history of “personifying and anthropomorphizing inanimate objects.” While Western mascots and cartoons have traditionally been geared toward cheering people up, Japanese characters have been known to deviate from such constructs, not shying away from “uncomfortable” emotions, such as Gudetama’s dark and sad thoughts.

    The depressed egg’s popularity in Japan may also be seen as reflective of its younger generation’s diminishing self-esteem and growing unhappiness. Described as the “withdrawn” generation, today’s Japanese youth have been observed to show a general lack of interest and unwillingness to take risks.

    At least they can identify with a character like Gudetama.

    Check a sample of a Gudetama clip and see if you can also relate:

    Support our Journalism with a Contribution

    Many people might not know this, but despite our large and loyal following which we are immensely grateful for, NextShark is still a small bootstrapped startup that runs on no outside funding or loans.

    Everything you see today is built on the backs of warriors who have sacrificed opportunities to help give Asians all over the world a bigger voice.

    However, we still face many trials and tribulations in our industry, from figuring out the most sustainable business model for independent media companies to facing the current COVID-19 pandemic decimating advertising revenues across the board.

    We hope you consider making a contribution so we can continue to provide you with quality content that informs, educates and inspires the Asian community. Even a $1 contribution goes a long way.  Thank you for everyone's support. We love you all and can't appreciate you guys enough.

    Support NextShark

    Mastercard, Visa, Amex, Discover, Paypal