That feeling you get when you finish a book, anime, or video game.

Yeah, that feeling.

A sinking, depressing feeling in your chest. It’s bittersweet. Sweet – because the journey brought you places and set more emotions ablaze in your soul that you could possibly hope for, and yet bitter – for the journey has finally come to a closure, and those times would never come again.

As I close the final pages on my adventure, either trailing off the final lines of the epilogue or watching the credits roll, these feelings creeps up. It’s a fluctuating dual-emotion – if there is even such a thing. I couldn’t find the word for it, even after scouring for hours on the internet and punching comparable words into

“You know you’ve read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend.”

– Paul Sweeny


The feeling you get when you finish a book
It strikes you, like reminiscing the lost of a loved one. Woeful for the illnesses and circumstances that bereaved you of your time together, but contented that they were in your life.

It pierces you, both alike and yet, unlike a knife. It punctures deep into your soul without warning as you stand helpless, watching it sear its mark onto you. Though, the pain is not as cold and uncaring.

And it completes you.
But not entirely – you’re left with a tiny gap.


And as the days go by, something bores into your very being. What started as a tingling feeling is all grown up; engulfing. The little gap expanded – first into an opening, then to an all-out rift as it swallows and occupies every fraction of your thoughts.

It leaves you reeling, perplexed by its persistence. It fuels interpretation, and the search to quench this thirst begins. Perhaps not to end this feeling, but for a satisfactory explanation to the mechanism behind such sundering. It makes you a little restless, even.

It’s funny how a collection of words and make-believe could drive a man’s psyche into two – polarizing, and yet harmonious. Sometimes we come to terms with it, other times we don’t.

Hmm. Maybe I should try combing the dictionary.

And yeah, it’s probably because I just finished Transistor.


What are the books, games or other media that have left you feeling?

9 thoughts on “That feeling you get when you finish a book, anime, or video game.

  1. I always feel that pain/feeling/dual-emotion worse with games over anything else (books or films), which I find quite strange, given I’m not really a ‘gamer’ at all. I can’t even remember the last time I played a game. I used to quite a bit, when I was younger, and it was always RPG games, and I just got so lost in them! So when the credits came rolling, I was like “NOOOOOOOOOOO, back to bitter reality D: ” Heh 🙂

    1. I know! It’s sorta like watching a painter’s strokes on a blank canvas. Every streak of paint splattered and smeared on the canvas is part of a masterpiece. You peer over the painter’s shoulder and marvel at every single stroke, watching its magnificence unfold right in front of your eyes. It then reaches its climax with the final stroke, and the masterpiece is completed.

      You take a deep breath and fall into its warm embrace… then it slowly fades away.

      You can buy the masterpiece and hang it up at home, adorn it with a lavish frame and take good care of it everyday, but it can’t take you back to the time you were watching it unfold for the first time…

      1. Very true!! And very well put. Oh, how saddening. I get such a nostalgic smack in the feels with the game Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion over anything else. But, as you say, like a painted masterpiece, you can marvel at it all you wish, but it will never be quite the same as when you watched it being painted, being born before your eyes.

        But then, better to have known that once than never. Is it one of those situations?

      2. Undeniably so! But still, sometimes I wish I could forget everything and play/read/watch something for the first time – again.


  2. You could not have found any better words to describe that wrenching feeling of leaving behind an adventure so beloved.

    I’ve wept many a tear for the end of things–the end of book series, the end of exceptional video games that were all too brief, and especially the end of characters’ lives. It’s incredible, how these stories made by someone else’s hands can have such a powerful impact on our own emotions, but isn’t that the point of stories, and art in general? To create an escape from reality that engages the emotions we don’t typically have an opportunity to use? To play with our hope, pride, despair, and relief?

    I’ve found that even the process of creation can bring me to tears. I guess that’s also the point. How can I elicit any response from my readers if I haven’t felt it myself?

    Alas… as much as it sucks to leave behind our dear new friends, it’s a soul-filling thing to recall how wonderful the adventure was 🙂

  3. You sum up the feeling of loss and yet joy at the end of all manner of great art pretty well. I get this feeling every time I finish a great story, told through any medium.

    One of the toughest emotional runs I felt was when I finished Season 1 of Tell Tale Games The Walking Dead. That game was an emotional time bomb!

    Great article.


    1. Oh my gosh, TellTale’s The Walking Dead is just too nerve-wracking. Puts me on the edge every single time, and then it all comes crashing down at the end. It was definitely not easy on the heart!

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