Metal Gear Solid V’s “9-year coma scene” becomes a meme in Japan, Kojima responds

Written by. Nick Mosier based on the original Japanese article (original article’s publication date: 2022-03-01 15:23 JST)

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain’s “9-year coma scene” has become a recent meme among Japanese Twitter users. And with so many people tweeting and retweeting the meme, it looks like even series creator Hideo Kojima knows about it.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is an action game that released in 2014. Among the many noteworthy points in the game, one scene that especially left an impact is when Snake, the protagonist of the game wakes up from a 9-year coma at a hospital in Cyprus. Sprawled out and unable to move, we’re left staring at the ceiling from a first-person perspective when the doctor comes in. The doctor then tries to explain the situation while keeping his patient calm. But after learning he was in a 9-year long coma, Snake of course becomes very upset before being calmed down with an injection. The scene also made it into an official trailer and has likely remained in fans’ minds since the game’s release.

It’s this scene that suddenly inspired a meme in Japan in February of this year. The genesis of the meme’s popularity appears to be a tweet from Twitter user @Shirakami_Amaki on February 16. As of this writing, the tweet has over 40,000 retweets.

Tweet Translation:
“Are you okay? Try to relax. During the 4 years you’ve been asleep Hunter x Hunter still hasn’t started up again.”

And then on the 18th, YouTuber Earl Enigma posted a video version of the same meme where they impersonate the voice actor of the doctor, Houchu Ootsuka (in the Japanese version). Jouji Nakata, another voice actor, also retweeted the video complementing Earl Enigma on the impression.

Tweet Translation:
“This person is good. They really captured Houchu Ootsuka’s characteristics.”

Since the tweet, tons of other users have been posting their own variations. It’s mainly used to show something you’ve been anticipating that still hasn’t happened yet. Like a game or movie series not getting a new title in recent years.

It looks like all the posts even got the attention of Metal Gear series creator Hideo Kojima. On March 1, Kojima commented that he had been sent lots of images of the awakening scene. “I wondered why I was being sent the Cyprus hospital scene so much recently and it turns out it’s become a meme.” MGSV:TPP came out in 2015, around 7 years ago, so it was probably surprising for Kojima to see that scene suddenly become a meme.

One reason for the coma meme is likely because that scene has remained in players’ minds after all these years. As for the Metal Gear series, it seems like a new mainline entry would be tough, especially considering Kojima has gone independent. Maybe in two years we’ll see the meme show up again to remind us of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain’s 9th anniversary.