Trippy: Video of a Man Walking Backwards Through Tokyo Played in Reverse

When you first play the clip above, you might wonder why this guy is the only one walking normally in a world of backwards walking people and backwards driving cars… and then it hits you: he’s the one walking backwards, and the video is being played in reverse.

The clip is actually from a 9-hour production — yes, a full 9 hours of this — called Tokyo Reverse that was played in its entirety in France as part of some strange new television trend called ‘Slow TV.’ And while we wouldn’t want to watch 9 hours of this, five minutes did keep us pretty much glued to our computer screens.


As pointed out by DIY Photography, this is a neat effect but it isn’t actually new. It’s usually used as a filmmaker trick to make a person’s walk seem… eerie. What makes the video above stand out is that the man is so practiced at it that he seems to be strutting almost normally through the streets of Tokyo.

  • Jeremy Madore

    The part where he convinced/asked the group of women to take a selfie with him was one of my favorites – they played along well and added a nice element to the film.

    He walks pretty good for walking backward. I grimaced when he hit that pole though.

  • dodude

    nice and pretty real looking…except for the part where a person was pouring water from a bottle. I didnt like that because asside from that, everything looked real.

  • Marcelo Teson

    My roommate in college did this for a student film, he filmed the actor walking normally first, then reversed the footage in the editor and gave it to the actor to mimic. Then he filmed the actor’s mimicked and practiced backwards walk while everyone was going to the USC football game. It looked flawless.

  • Sid Ceaser

    I think video game makers used this video to learn how to animate characters walking. Especially the Resident Evil people, because they walk exactly like this!

  • Gimmeabreak

    Would be a lot better without the water bottle dude.

  • hhoffh

    DePalma did that for Amy Irving’s walk to Carrie’s grave at the end of Carrie.

  • cas_e

    This is really cool.

    I think The Pharcyde did it even better though in their music video for The Drop –

  • Edmond Leung

    Been done with better concept and editing many times before. This one is boring.

  • Fullstop

    Groundbreaking. What would be really neat is if someone could do selective coloring of a red rose and the rest of the image is in black and white.

  • Matias Gonua


  • Matias Gonua

    Had me laughing quite a lot. Awesome comment.

  • Matias Gonua

    The best part was the music. Anyone know what is it?

  • Cloke

    As if foreigners have to stick out even more in Japan. I wonder how many times “gaijin” was muttered at this guy as he was looking like a weirdo.

  • Mak Wa

    Japanese schoolgirls.

  • ChristianRudman

    Interesting. Definitely don’t see 9 hours of this happening. But, as mentioned already by cas_e is the best use of this concept was the Pharcyde video by Spike Jonze.

  • Justin Bannah

    Back in the mid seventies, the Australian children’s show Here’s Humphrey did something similar, with Humphrey B Bear walking through Rundle Street in Adelaide while the lunchtime crowds around him were all going backwards. Sesame Street also did one similar.

  • Larissa

    Does anyone else feel that seemed like an abnormally large amount of water that went back into the bottle?