In an adorably informative video for Vox, producers Alex Abad-Santos and Dion Lee talk about the cultural phenomenon that is Gudetama and why it resonates so loudly and clearly with so many people. A character of the Sanrio clan, Gudetama is a somewhat anthropomorphic egg yolk who would prefer to remain indifferent to the world outside its egg white blanket. Despite Gudetama’s lazy, childlike manner or perhaps because of it, the little yolk has found immense popularity and captured hearts all the way around the world.
It may seem weird that an idle egg could inspire such widespread affection. But the response stems from a combination of the character’s relatability, its need to be cared for, and the way it challenges us to rethink what we find cute. Gudetama and its popularity are part of a more expansive cultural movement — a reaction to life that’s been punctuated by uncertainty, turbulence, and outrage.