For a little while now, Sonic the Hedgehog fans have known that 2024 is the year of the blue blur’s angsty rival, Shadow the Hedgehog. He’s getting his own story in the Sonic Generations remaster, he’s starring in the third live-action movie premiering in December, and he’s even getting his own IHOP pancake order. But now, after all these features, Sega has officially dubbed 2024 Fearless: Year of Shadow. Sorry, Swifties. Fearless is ours, now.

Sega made the announcement through a short video depicting a young girl who recently moved to a new place drawing sketches about missing her old friends and worrying about fitting in with the kids in her new neighborhood. She then starts drawing Shadow, who throws down some knowledge about being yourself, knowing you’re enough, and being fearless in the face of new challenges. Then she does some sick tricks on her bike and impresses all the new kids. It’s wholesome and still punk rock enough to feel in line with Shadow’s character. He’s broody and shit, but he also is all about self-acceptance and being yourself in the face of adversity. So yeah, I’m eating that shit up.


This is part of a larger fan celebration campaign to pay tribute to Shadow with events over the course of 2024. Some of these are already laid out on the official Sonic website, including some known happenings like Sonic X Shadow Generations and the Lego figurine of Shadow on his motorcycle. But Sega is also hosting Fearless events on mobile games Sonic Forces and Sonic Dash to unlock Shadow variant characters, including Super Shadow, Vampire Shadow, Sir Lancelot, and Dragon Hunter Lancelot. The Sonic Symphony concert will now be performing songs from Shadow’s games and levels, and the Sonic Speed Cafe in Chino Hills, California, will feature Shadow products and photo ops, as well as Shadow-themed items on its menu.

On top of all this, Sega is bringing a custom, Shadow-themed motorcycle on tour, starting with an appearance at MotoGP Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas in Austin, Texas, from April 12 to 14. Bring it to New York, Sega. I won’t ride that death trap, but I will sit on it for a photo op.

All of this makes me wish I could be in multiple places at once because I want to be part of all the Shadow celebrations. But it also makes me happy to see Shadow get his due after the Sonic franchise bastardized him in recent years to be nothing but an edgelord background character instead of a playable pillar like he was in the early 2000s. Maybe it’s time for a critical reevaluation of his god-awful 2005 game. It had ideas, dammit!

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