This will undoubtedly go on to become the most disturbing thing you've ever read.
You've been warned.
Sonic X: And All That Could Have Been
*Are you sitting comfortably? I will advise you now to please turn on some decent music and perhaps shuffle your buttocks around until you are fully ready to sit back, relax, and have your mind turned to mush. This is not a short post, and the rants continue on, scattered around, on various pages afterward.*
In 2003, there came an anime featuring everyone's favorite hedgehog.
No, not Alfred Hedgehog. I mean, what the hell- why are you even bringing...
At least Alfred actually does stuff. I'd rather him than Chris.
No, I'm talking about Sonic the Hedgehog, the same blue critter who ran into our hearts at supersonic speed just an inch over a decade before. He gave sound itself a run for its money, as well as the Nintendo titan, Mario. In the early 1990s, Sonic was the underdog everyone wanted to win- he didn't sell anywhere near as many game copies as Mario (up until this resurgance of popularity of Sonic, the best selling Sonic game had been Sonic the Hedgehog 2, selling 6 million copies), but he became even more recognizable than Mickey Mouse, a statistic Mario can't boast even today. In the frame of time between 1991 and 2003, a total of three Sonic cartoons and several non-serial animated media were produced, everything from an OVA to a movie to even a Christmas special. Many fans today are (if you know the state of the fanbase, not surprisingly) divided on the quality of these shows- legions of fans worship SatAM, the moniker a show called "Sonic the Hedgehog" adopted over the years, and believe that it is the highest quality Sonic show to ever grace the airwaves. At the same time, a sizeable number of fans despise everything about the 'toon and believe that it was the worst thing to happen to Sonic's TV outings (when it comes to SatAM, it tends to be a love-hate relationship, unlike most other Sonic cartoons). Some think Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog was the greatest- or at least best-willed- Sonic show. A few even believe Sonic Underground was the best. A number of fans want a continuation of the Sonic OVA, or a sequel to the Sonic the Hedgehog movie.
The gyst of it all, however, is that the 1990s was the heyday of Sonic cartoons- non-video game media of Sonic the Hedgehog was at it's peak just as his video game outings had been.
By 2003, however, it had all calmed down. Nothing had been heard out of any of the cartoons since the new millenium, despite the fact Sonic recently made a resurgance of interest following Sonic Adventure. To give you a brief backstory, Sonic the Hedgehog began in 1991, on the Sega Genesis, and, for three years, released a series of timeless and classic games. After 1994, the franchise's frantic release of big-name Sonic games calmed down, where numerous low-quality, low-key, and oft rushed Sonic games were put out on the Saturn until the 1998 release of Sonic Adventure on Sega's short-lived Dreamcast console. After Sonic Heroes, the quality of Sonic games fell once again, until, like clockwork, Sonic rebounded in 2008. Thus, we're repeating the same cycle since then, but there's no known news of a new Sonic series as of yet.
That being said, the announcement of Sonic X in 2003 broke a half-decade long period of silence- the last Sonic cartoon before it, Sonic Underground, aired in 1997 and was gone by 1998.
I'm also a fan of all types of anime, from the big budget, well animated bad boys to the corny, lo-budget, must-be-somewhat-educational kidime styles, so the fact that Sonic X fell extremely deep on the latter side of the pool initially didn't bother me. If anything, why should anyone have expected anything different? Sonic is Sonic, not Afro Samurai or Durarara!! or Naruto. Nothing resembling blood ever appeared in the franchise and curse words? Please. Sonic fans would do the cursing if Sonic or a Sonic character ever said 'Damn' or 'Hell' everytime that same character got hit or fell into a bottomless pit... but what were the chances of THAT happening?
Let's take it from the top, from the pilot "Chaos Control Freaks." Perhaps a bit of foreshadowing for the future, but we open to Big the Cat (who is, coicidentally, the most despised character in all of Sonic mythology) but he and all other characters outside of Sonic, Tails, Amy, Eggman, and Cream have no speaking roles this time around. (A hint of what's to come- be thankful). After that useless beginning, the action really kicks up. In a Sonic fashion, Sonic attacks Eggman's base on what appears to be an Earth-like planet at night (Mobius?). Mechs (similar in style to those seen in Sonic Adventure 2, but not too similar as to retcon what we see in a later saga) defend Eggman, and we learn why Sonic's harassing the man- Eggman has captured Cream. Awww, poor Cream! Get'im, Sonic! Right? Right. This episode is pretty much the high point of the first ten episodes, and it peaks when we see Sonic looking epic, a golden light illuminating him like an angel. And don't worry- Tails and his trusty Tornado help out Sonic. This is so awesome! Tails helping Sonic, all of Sonic's friends... This will be awesome! But then something bad happens (in the series, that is) when Eggman is shown to have captured all 7 Chaos Emeralds. Instead of pressing the button, he decides to taunt Sonic.
Now, in any other series, that's pretty dumb and unrealistic. In fact, in any Sonic game, that's something Eggman wouldn't do. I scratched my head, as I mentally screamed "Eggman. Don't do this. Just press the damn button. You have him. You have them all. Why make fun of Sonic. He could easily have struck you down mid-sentence. Heck, probably before you even uttered the first word." As I come to discover- this is Sonic X. There will be none of that...
So Chaos Control chaos controls. Yyyyeah, don't ask. Sonic awakens in a strange new world where creatures that look similar to Eggman (as in, the same species) rule and no one knows who he is. He's on Earth, and these creatures are humans! Luckily for the episode, it's all humorous from there: you have clueless humans who think, despite the blue fur, huge eyes, and sneakers, that Sonic is a normal hedgehog. I mean, I knew people were dumb if they kept thinking Shadow is Sonic, but can they not see these humanoid features?! When he stands up, does it not disturb them that he has legs and human hands? And at one point, Sonic even tells the kid viewers not to do one of his ridiculous stunts, when on top of a high powered formula one race car. That's so Sonic. Nothing too brutal, nothing too deep, nothing too juvenile. He's blue, and he's got a 'tude. He ain't Barney. He ain't Beavis and Butthead. He ain't Bogart. He ain't Goku. He ain't James Dean. He's Sonic. Sonic X was on the path to becoming the best Sonic series ever, and it just might, one day, be giving the great Yugioh! or Pokemon a run for their money! Sure, there were a few character and animation problems here and there, but certainly the sheer awesomeness of the series would render this nothing Sonic couldn't handle!
SONIC THE HEDGEHOG!
...but then we meet Chris Thorndyke when Sonic, after humiliating the chief of the speed police by going super sonic, lands in his family's swimming pool. Somehow, he nearly drowns. Yeah, he can't swim, I can understand that, but he can run underwater, TMS. The series teases that, some how, by way of plot device, he suddenly can't. This obnoxious kid, who happens to look EXACTLY like Sora from Kingdom Hearts, will be tagging alongside Sonic for his most of his adventures, utterly replacing Tails as Sonic's best friend.. He is such a dull, boring, uninspired character that I can't even criticize him because he's that bland, as are his stereotypical Japanese butler and stereotypical Latino maid (who, of course, is fat. Remember, we have to be politically correct, my fellow plants) He only serves to slow down the pace of the series and point out the obvious to the audience. So what if that's an anime cliche? The sheer level Chris takes this is quite... irking. To say the least. We see something (usually poorly drawn and even more poorly animated) on the screen- it's screaming at us- but no. Chris HAS to tell us what's abusing our eyes. Sometimes Sonic too. In fact, at some point or another, every character is going to point out the obvious. Better yet, the worse-off characters (like Chris and Sonic) are going to point out the obvious in a way that it actually confuses us as to what we're watching. Now some out there might say, “Well that’s a common trope in media! Look at 3CPO and R2D2 in Star Wars- they were on the sidelines pointing out the obvious too!” True, but 3-CPO and, if you understood him, RD2D, also offered their own opinions on the main characters. They saw what was going on and commented on it, delving into what they were thinking, so we see what happened through their own perspective. Chris just sees something happening to Sonic/friends and repeats it back to us to make sure we saw it too without offering any mote of opinion save ‘I hope Sonic’s alright.’ Read on...
So what's the story about? Basically- Sonic pops in for two seconds, says something corny in some failed and horribly malformed attempt to sound cocky and on top of everything (that makes all 6 year olds think he's cool and 16 year olds sweat nervously as their peers snicker, shake their heads, and plan their ultraviolent mockery at school on Monday), disappears, then lets his friends, Tails, Amy, Cream, Cheese, and Knuckles, take over- with Chris at the helm of course! And not forgetting that Japanese dude and the Latino lady, and some of Chris's politically correct human friends (white girl, black boy, paraplegic girl...). That's right. Yes, you read right. FRIENDS. Chris- the same kid who mopes like a rich emo dope all series about how he has no friends actually has three of them. Three. Minimum. Oh, and Chris has an inventor uncle-er, grandfather named "Chuck", and he becomes Tails's new best friend to fill the pain filled void that must exist because of Sonic's utter abandonment of him. Although most fans might find it a homage to the Uncle Chuck of SatAM, believe you me, it was just a coincidence. Then, a Chaos Emerald or some other pointless plot device (such as the Sonic Adventure-debut and unlawfully cute Chao creatures or a speed vendetta with Chris's obnoxious and speed obsessed uncle, Sam. Uncle Sam, get it?) comes about. Eggman somehow, by way of unrealistic plot device, decides to exploit/add on to the first plot device. Eggman then attacks with a tired, uninspired robot. Sonic's friends fail in epic proportions to stop the tired, uninspired robot. Sonic, deus-ex machina-esque plot device (that interferes with Eggman's plot device-interfering plot device) bringing him to the fight out of nowhere, battles the tired, uninspired robot. Sonic destroys the tired, uninspired robot, and all the while stupid fluff with Chris occurs. (The plot devices wind up canceling out in the end, effectively rendering the entire episode a complete and absolute waste of your time) Rinse, lather, repeat until an important plot point occurs. Which, may I add, doesn't take place until 26 episodes in. I'm serious, the series doesn't even become remotely interesting until a third of the way in. The robot of the day formula, by the way, is extremely boring, mostly comprised of lame robots who were no doubt "inspired" by various mecha series and Sailor Moon. If these were revamped robots from old Sonic games, that would be okay, but they're just generic robots TMS threw together, looking completely out of place in the series. *sigh* Meanwhile, the second season (episodes 27-52) is mostly taken from the plots of the two Sonic Adventure games (as well as an obvious commercial plug for Sonic Heroes in episode 40 with the first animated appearance of the Chaotix characters from the ill-fated 32X game), and the third *wild* season is set mostly in space.
Season 1 is the series' attempt to look bright, light-hearted, corny, and cheery. Basically, as you just read, it's just the same episode over and over again- just with lessons for kids to learn, of course. Out of all three seasons, it is the hardest for anyone over the age of 6 to watch just because it's so juvenile. It is 90% Filler, 9.9% Kid 'Toon Cliches, .1% Killer. If you're thinking about buying the first season for yourself on eBay or Amazon, be warned. If you're so masochistic that you, in your iron-willed might, can stand the 7-and-under oriented puns, jokes, and themes, the lame action, a bizarre, emotionless, and OOC Sonic, Sora's lame, rich kid brother, and stupid and bland robots, then you'll be able to stand season 1 and probably the rest of Sonic X. Liking it is another matter entirely. Let me save you the trouble. First, Sonic rips off Vegeta with a scouter (but luckily we don't get the infamous "Over 9000" line, although it looked like Sonic was dying to blurt it out at a few points). Then there's something with a 'missile wrist.' Skipping around, we come across our first Chaos Emerald. The episode here should've, could've been better, but, looking back, was probably the best episode before episode 10 (PS- there's nothing special about episode 10) . What next? Why not a good bit of cartoon violence between Sonic and Knuckles? That'll be interesting to watch, right? Not if this is Sonic X. I wasn't asking for a furry version of Dragon Ball Z. Seriously, I wasn't. But what disgraced my eyes in that pathetic excuse of a fight- no excuse for that. NO. EXCUSE, TMS. NONE. Limited animation, crap-poor dialogue, more limited animation, weak attacks, and a sad (in a bad way) side-story, I ended "Cracking Knuckles" with a scowl on my face, a depressed scowl with dark thoughts pervading my mind, vicious threats on the verge of rendering me a clinical psychopath.
"Techno Teacher" was actually better, believe it or not, if never actually going anywhere plot wise until Sonic shows up to destroy the robot of the day. Really, I wonder how these robots feel about Sonic destroying them all the time. And don't forget the CGI explosions, smoke, and Tails's new "Tornado X/ X Tornado" (what's with the X???), which has been "beautifully" "rendered" in CG..... So, let's see, Knuckles and some dude named Hawk go on a decently crappy adventure that was... actually kind of decent- one of the better episodes of the series, more political correctness when Sonic and friends save a wildlife preserve, the heroes and villains play baseball and we see even more cliches, we get to see Rouge's boobs as well as more butchery of all I loved about Sonic, some ghosts haunt the gang, some war against Eggman is waged, Cream saves the day, Sam Speed returns, people stare at Sonic and friends a lot, Knuckles fights some female ninja-bot (same episode as the decent one), Knuckles also falls fool to plots that it's pathetically obvious Eggman is lying, and we- eventually- see Super Sonic for about... three-tenths of a second. The last episode in the first season was the only decent one. The animation was pretty good, the dialogue was marginally better (if you can stand Sonic's and Rouge's utter lack of any character or tone in their voices), some attacks had weight, and we did see Super Sonic. Also, Chris cries. It's always a good episode- and a good day- when Chris cries. All of this goes without any mote of character development- although, sometimes, they will try to push it on you that they "do" develop, trust me. Even by episode 78, characters are still acting the same, so any lesson they learned, they must've forgotten pretty damn soon.
In the end, the theme is juvenile. At least in Dragon Ball Z there were genuinely heartwarming scenes where you truly felt for the characters, their struggles, their pasts, and their fights (early on at least) had tremendous weight behind them. Just watch the whole fight between Goku and Vegeta, from the start of the saga to the finish. There's a whole bunch of scenes where chills crawl up your spine because of how desperate the situations get. In Sonic X, there's nothing. The characters don't have enough emotion to create any heartwarming scenes, like a kid stopped coloring in a coloring book too soon. The theme is too childish for any decent dialogue, ever. The animation and sound job is far too bad for you to feel any attacks, which already looked weak to begin with. And sometimes, it looked like they just took Sonic or some other character and moved them across a static background rather than animating the whole thing. In Sonic X, there. Is. Nothing. Nothing.
Where you're supposed to think the action is epic, you feel trolled. (Yeah, Sonic can act cocky and on top of things to lighten a situation, but that’s no excuse for the lack of a general hopeless atmosphere and a lack of power behind attacks) Where there is supposed to be world building, you just get a bland city calling itself "Station Square", and looped mountains, plains, and oceans. It's like Sega and TMS were trying to create something epic, but because they were worried about making Sonic too deep or anything, they made the ridiculous mistake of skinning the franchise and packaging what's left in 22 minute episodes. There's no reason to try. There was no freaking reason to try if Sonic X was the result. There was no point to any of these episodes. I could be just as much of a Sonic fan, if not more of a Sonic fan, and not have seen Sonic X.
Season 2 makes the well-intended attempt to cover the Adventure games, Heroes, and Battle (less the latter two), but doesn't do them much justice. Or any justice. At all. Many elements from the games are left out or are so distorted as to cause projectile vomiting. Kids who watch Sonic X then play Sonic Adventure don't even complain that the game doesn't follow the series's path- the game's too much better for them to care. The idea of adding a deeper government conspiracy in the ARK saga might sound interesting and a cool path for Sonic to take, but remember- this is Sonic X. Even a deep, twisting government conspiracy is shallower than a deflated kiddie pool.
What, you want another one?? No. *Sigh* Fine. So it begins with "Pure Chaos", singlehandedly the most pispoorly written and animated piece of crap I've suffered through all series. For an episode meant to kickstart what, by that point, was the "greatest Sonic game ever" by reason of critics and fans of the time, this was a true abomination. For years, fans wanted to see the actual games adapted into a cartoon. Now I know why no one wants it again, at least from 4Kids/TMS.
From the get-go, the whole adaptation was screwed up beyond all human efforts to repair it. Only two episodes in, and we see a terrible homage to the Sonic Adventure name, marred by the worst voice acting in the entire series, the worst animation and CG "rendering" behind it, and guess what- we still have five more episodes to go! And want something that'll totally turn you off? There was no effort- NONE- to follow the game itself. The only thing it follows- it begins and ends with Station Square, Tikal appears to annoy the characters, the same characters that had been in Sonic Adventure are in the episodes, and... that's it. Gamma shows up with a ear-wrecking voice I didn't even know could physically exist, but I won't deal with the VAs for right now. But after that, the director must've picked up Sonic Adventure, said "F' that", and re-organized it in a manner he thought was better for the kids. Which it's not. Don't play Sonic Adventure if you think how it went down in Sonic X is how it should've happened. Better yet, stop watching Sonic X. Trust me, when we suddenly saw Sonic AND Knuckles fight Chaos 2... And where was the Egg Hornet? Sonic and Tails were separated, so why were they sitting in the same room watching TV?? I'm not going fanboy because I liked the way the game set it up, I'm going fanboy because the way the game set it up was a way that actually made logical sense. (Logical in a Sonic way...) I guess some of the stuff could be excused, but definitely not all of it. I do think it's a good thing that at least it was Tails who conked his head. How irate we'd have been if Chris is the one who we got to see the flashback of...
What happened between the end of the first saga (now named "New World" saga) and the beginning of the second, I don't know. Company-wide budget cuts maybe? Oh, and there's still no emotion. And Big pops up, too. "We are in tr-ouble!" Really, I can't get that out of my head now. *Sigh* Moving on, the best part of the Sonic Adventure/Chaos saga was the final battle between Super Sonic and Perfect Chaos. It was decently done, at least, but way below par. Below the depressing standards season 1 set.
Of all the ranting I've done and will do, this is the one true point where it is fully heart felt, where it transcends a mere fanboy’s deranged rants to become scathing criticism- I. Cannot. STAND. I cannot stand the Sonic Adventure saga of Sonic X. The creators let it all out for this one. Everything's been done wrong, even the most minor of details. As if everyone got lazy and stopped trying because they knew everyone hated Sonic X by this point, the show is pushed along pretty much with what looks like a budget smaller than an 8-year-old's weekly allowance. The Sonic Adventure 2/Shadow saga proves slightly better. Chris moves to a new, unnamed city and meets a new friend (whom we never see again. The whole problem of the series is that "I Have Three Friends Who Don't Exist Because I Don't Have Friends" Chris 'doesn't have any friends.' Can't have him suddenly making friends at Sonic speed now, can we?). Luckily, the series makes a better effort to follow the game than it did Sonic Adventure. However, whatever problems Sonic Adventure 2 had were amplified and marred by bad voice acting, bad sound effects, even worse special effects, depressingly poor action, and pathetic CG. Wait, the whole series has pathetic CG... and poor action... and bad effects and voice acting... Well to say the least, nothing improves during the Sonic Adventure 2 saga. Perhaps the biggest booms in Sonic to date- the destruction of Prison Island- is replaced by what looks passingly like something that's trying to be a CG version of what might be something like a failed atomic mushroom cloud. Oh wait, there is a bigger boom- to destruction of half the moon. So it's basically an even less impressive 'boop' that turns pieces of the moon into paper thin slate. Or... wait, was that the ARK? OK, so maybe the moon's was a bit better. Just a bit.
Sonic versus Shadow, the second round, makes no sense. It was supposed to be a race to the Eclipse Cannon, but instead, Sonic's now in some piston and gear room, and- if you pay attention- the series hints that Shadow's trying to destroy the ARK and sabotage the plan even when we know that wasn't what he was trying to do... Wh-what? Maybe not to everyone, but that's what I picked up. And, in typical 4Kids fashion, we don't see Shadow falling to Earth. That wasn't a macabre death scene to begin with. In fact, the first time I saw that, I didn't even know that was supposed to be the death of Shadow. In that case, you can say Sonic Team screwed that part up. But trust me, no one can screw anything up worse than 4Kids. No one. The way it was presented, you'd think Shadow just flies off into the depths of space, never to be seen again, and that the heroes are just mourning his 'sacrifice' because he inexplicably became good. Also, in one scene, Shadow taps Chris's wrist. See, Chris was in perfect condition beforehand, but, as soon as he gets back up, he looks like he just got chewed up by the hedgehog. If you watch the Japanese version, you'd know that he really does get beaten up by Shadow, but the geniuses over at 4Kids/TMS decided that anthro-on-human violence was going too far for Sonic X. Actually, any violence would be going too far for those little tykes who were just fragging each other in Call of Duty: Black Ops a few minutes ago. Can't show any blood to their apathetic eyes, now can we?!
Is... Is Sonic actually heiling Hitler with his leg? I didn't even know that was possible until Sonic X redefined 'bad art.'
Immediately after the "Shadow Saga" (AKA, the Sonic Adventure 2 plug) ends, we see a few more episodes of Season 1-esque filler, with no killer. It begins with the "Eggmoon Saga", where Eggman feels sorry for destroying the moon and rebuilds it (how the hell is everyone believing him?!) When the moon blocks the sun across the whole planet (how's that for logic...), Eggman saves the day by selling Sunshine Balls. When Sonic attacks some solar light plants, he's made out to be the villain, and Eggman, the hero. In fact, the sunshine balls are subliminal mind-control devices. Eggman winds up becoming president, overthrowing the currently nameless fat guy in a coup. For a single gag, the series is renamed "Eggman X". So insidious, isn't it!? Very interesting, probably should've been the basis for Sonic Adventure 3, huh?
NO. N. O. NO. It. Is. Not. The twists honestly don't make sense. Physics is hopelessly defied- and this time, you can’t even use “Sonic logic” as an argument of defence because this was supposed to be an educational moment. Let's take it from the top- the solar eclipse that's supposed to deny us Earthlings light supposedly occurs throughout the whole of the United States of the Boring Federation. Sonic- yes, Sonic and not astronomers or actual geniuses like Tails or Eggman- tries to explain using astronomy, but winds up making even less sense (well what did you expect?! A hedgehog had to freaking teach billions of us moron, imp-minded humans basic, 2nd grade astronomy). A full solar eclipse only occurs in a specific spot, usually no more than a hundred miles across, if even that. The moon's shadow should be no more than 50-100 miles across. So how is this global? Did the moon suddenly grow 250 times overnight? Prolly would've made a better plot than the one we were left with- "In a stunning defying of the laws of physics, Eggman makes a 50-mile shadow span the entire globe".
HOLY COUNT TOPPER AXL EATER, I WAS DEAD ON!
WHAT JUST HAPPENED THERE.
Total Solar Eclipses and the Path of Totality
If the Moon's inner or umbral shadow sweeps across Earth's surface, then a total eclipse of the Sun is seen. The track of the Moon's umbral shadow across Earth is called the Path of Totality. It is typically 10,000 miles long but only about 100 miles wide. It covers less than 1% of Earth's entire surface area. In order to see the Sun become completely eclipsed by the Moon, you must be somewhere inside the narrow path of totality.
Like I said, Sonic isn’t a logical franchise, but when there’s a lesson to be learned- it’s good to make sure that everything is right. And the way Eggman just throws the president out of office... the way he explains that he brainwashed- I MEAN, THERE WAS NO BUILD UP TO THAT. NOTHING. Normally, that sounds like it could work. The ultimate plot twist is the one you can't possibly expect, right? But this is one of those that refuses to make sense, no matter what. Because there was no tangible build up, the whole thing falls freakishly flat- and the whole saga is freakishly boring. Really, the whole world is against Sonic no more than one episode after they had just been shamed to believe he was evil and yet, the world is also worshipping Eggman, believing him to be president, even after years of constant harassment. Yes, we’re desperate creatures, but we are also suspicious animals as well. At least some murmuring of “Eggman’s probably dooping us again, but as long as he’s helping...” Nope. Nothing that sinister and deep should ever be in a Sonic cartoon or game. *Disgruntled sigh* Why was TMS recycling these failed plots? Oh, and the Chaotix does make their entrance, but I just don't want to talk about it. If there were ever a more bungled entrance into a series by likeable and cool characters of any franchise, it's of the Chaotix Detective Agency in Sonic X. Again, in a filler episode. So more "Amy loves Sonic" bullcrap, more nonsense.
And then Emerl shows up. This was a true surprise and it was cool seeing him appear, but not in Sonic X. Anything but Sonic X. Please, God, why disgrace this character so? There's a whole lot of ways Sonic X could have continued screwing up Sonic the Hedgehog. A Sonic Heroes adaptation, a Sonic Battle adaptation, and Sonic the Fighters adaptation...
But no. Instead, Sonic X actually has the sheer audacity to rip off DRAGON BALL Z by plugging in the World Martial Arts Tournament. In the form of the World Chaos Tournament, don't worry. Unlike the World Martial Arts Tournament, which was actually epic in Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z, the World Chaos Tournament is more abuse for my eyes. Lez'see... Chris fights what'shisname, the black kid, one of the better characters in the series, who's his friend (sad that the BACKGROUND HUMANS are more interesting than the main characters, like the President's aide. His Shakespearean story from the top of power to poverty is THE BEST in the series... well.. Shakespearean is kinda... pushing it)... Tails fights Rouge... The Latino chick was supposed to duke it out with the Japanese butler, but that was cut out for... for... I-I don't even know why. Seriously! Why! But the whole thing is about one episode worth 'a stuff split in two different episodes. The characters are all supposed to be fighting to obtain a Chaos Emerald. So why are all the Sonic heroes taking part in this?! Why??????? If just one could get the emerald, then why would they all bother participating? Somebody help me. My mind. My mind is mush. Please, somebody. Emerl goes crazy though, and tries destroying Station Square in a scene that it's further shown that TMS is trying to rip off Dragon Ball Z in a failed plug to get Z fans to watch X. All I see are Dragon Ball repulsion techniques. If I were a Dragon Ball Z fan, Sonic X wouldn't be a series I'd enjoy watching, it'd be a series I'd enjoy making fun of for trying to pass itself off as a kiddier version of Dragon Ball Z (and, eventually, GT.) Earlier, didn't I say Sonic isn't Goku? Yeah, don't worry, none of that in Sonic X anyway.... Anyway, it's Cream and Cheese that stop him. I actually have to admit, this scene is almost epic. Almost. Cream's glass-shattering voice and the complete, absolute, and utter lack of anything resembling emotion in the series keeps this from being fleshed out. Of course we can't have emotion! Kids don't like emotion! They want cheeriness and everyone smiling all the time, also speaking that friendship overcomes everything and that friends- the same wretches who sell you out years later and sleep with your girlfriend- are the source of all that is good in the world.
Then it's time for Sonic and friends to go home. Why these idiots didn't just work on such a thing from the start, I don't know, but Tails and Chuck create a dimensional worm hole generator. Right before Sonic steps back into his world, Chris abducts him. Selfish c----. Finally an end to this monstrosity, and, of course, the worse anime character in the past 20 years is the one to ruin it. We get to see senseless fluff with Chris, but with just Sonic this one time, before Sonic finally goes back home.
FINALLY. IT'S THE END.
Season 3, perhaps the best season of the series, makes the least amount of sense out of them all. It starts with this talking PLANT, Cosmo, fortelling of a great danger and that only Sonic can save them. Actually, it starts with a lackluster battle between Super Sonic and a bland-looking evil bot with a torn cape (the torn cape reinforces that he's evil) named Black Doom- er, Dark Oak. To be honest, this is the epitome of cliche in anime, but it's already doing better than the crappity crap crap we've collectively cried and whimpered through for the past 51 episodes. Chris then appears
In his world, he's 18, but just because he crossed over into Sonic's world, he becomes 12 again. (The kids won't be able to relate to an 18 year old!) More useless things are explained, it finally looks like we'll see some action on X-Mobius (or whatever X this X planet is X named) But no, it's gotta be ruined... In order for the heroes to get the Chaos Emeralds, they have to take Tails's spaceship, the Blue Typhoon, and embark on a star trek unlike any other, hopping from planet to planet that is, unsurprisingly, not at all unlike Dragonball GT.
Sonic GT, anyone?
So, what's the verdict on Season 3? It's better, don't get me wrong. In fact, if you're old enough to know better, then it kind of feels like Sega intentionally made this season ridiculous(ly dark) just to mess with 4Kids. It backfired, though, in that it winds up becoming nearly unwatchable. Not that the first two thirds of Sonic X weren't unwatchable, it's just that this part has been so heavily cut that you wonder how as many episodes made it past the editing room as they did. I really think the point Sonic X completely veered off into complete, absolute, and utter nonsense (if it hadn't already), however, is when Cream and Cheese, both of whom are little children, are turned into professional starship pilots and, when evading missiles and evil space ships, act like one too. But still are and act like little children when not fighting. Yes, I get it, Sonic's a kid's franchise- and Sonic X is obviously a kid's show- but this is just getting too weird for my tastes. And I'm a weird person. (Evidence- this thread.)
Like in the early part of Dragon Ball GT, the heroes hop from planet to planet to get the Chaos Emeralds. However, unlike GT, this sequence takes place for over 25 episodes, with a new planet or so every episode (unless it just takes place in space.) There's a lot of mystical junk here and there, and the heroes constantly visit planets that look like they would have been better suited to be regions or areas on Mobius. Why bother, I mean! And where are the characters going anyways? They just blindly meander every which way until they get attacked by the Metarex. Frackin' buttknobs deserve it if you ask me. Shadow and the Chaotix make their way back into the series, but they don't do any good. In fact, the latter just add more corny dialogue to ruin what might've been genuinely decent scenes. The former is only in this part of Sonic X to look bada--. I am warning you now- no other reason. Shadow serves no good purpose to the third season at all except to make stuff difficult and confusing. True to form, though, he's lost his memory. Luckily (or maybe unfortunately) he doesn't pull as Shadow the Hedgehog to get the Emeralds to recover his memories. Imagine if Sega really did push forward a Shadow season. How much fun 4Kids would have editing that one! Just pick up that Swiss Battle Axe over there and start hacking away at episodes. What was once 14 full length episodes are now only 3 2-minute ones, if that many episodes and/or minutes. And decent dialogue? Yeah right. They'll find a way to plug Big/the Chaotix/Chris/Sonic in so that they can butcher, no mutilate the standards of decent voice acting. Back on track, the Metarex debut in season 3 to a less than stellar performance. They're obviously a murderous group, but anytime anyone actually dies/they destroy a ship, the camera immediately pulls away, sometimes even before the actual event occurs. Chris takes more of a backseat role this time around, letting Tails have his time to shine... with not Sonic but Cosmo. In season 3, we meet the same, lame Cosmo- who is obviously a Blaze plug in. Why they didn't use Blaze instead of this more-than-useless piece of dead weight who winds up b------dizing Tails and adding a new pairing to the franchise is one only God knows. I bet god wouldn't even care. I'd love to have seen Blaze in Sonic X... wait, no I wouldn't! Why would I want to desecrate one of the few good characters to have come out of the last generation? She was already in Sonic 2K6 anyway. OK, so Cosmo's in her element. But seriously- Tails? Cosmo's probably 100-somethin' years old, judging by the storyline of the third season (......), and Tails is, at most, 9 by the end. That's like Shadow going with Cream.
This isn't even funny anymore. If I was being forced to watch Sonic in a space adventure, at least leave the bad romance on Mobius. The two hook up for no reason and go nowhere until the last few episodes.
Dark Super Sonic represents all the things that Sonic X could have been, as well as all the good things about Sonic X. He's gone within 10 seconds.
Super Sonic and Super Shadow repeatedly fight for stupid reasons, as does Sonic and Knuckles. A fight that's been simmering, I can understand, a fight that has been brewing for ten episodes. But, in both cases with Shadow and Knuckles, it's just pushed that the characters have to fight, and they fight. Sonic and Knuckles were pretty much best friends 10 minutes ago, but just because of stupid, pointless, and horribly set up plot device reasons, they're bashing each other. At least actual fight build-ups happened in Dragon Ball GT! You heard it here folks. Dragon Ball GT- marginally better than Sonic X. Yes, don't worry, my disgruntled followers. Limited animation galore! As seen in pretty much 99% of all the fights in Sonic X, most of the fight is limited animation or just a 'No animation' piece. You might as well be watching a comic or DC comic toon when a fight starts in Sonic X. At least in Dragon Ball Z, they made the attempt to loop the attacks, and the DC Toons happen to be quite awesome in their no-animation fight scenes, since they are actually based on comics. Not in Sonic X. Maybe 2 punches are thrown in a 20 minute battle, and the rest is just talking or running, or random spin dashing. It's all 2 dimensional to me, and, in Sonic, that should be a good thing.
But it's not. And like I said, anime cliches galore. In Sonic X season 3, we get it all- mechs, space travel, bad romance, talking animals (by default), mystical powers and amulets... But look on the bright side- Vector knows how to lay down some good piano notes!
Besides that, what really annoyed me about Sonic X was how they portrayed Sonic himself. In season one, Sonic really only shows up at the beginning and ending of each episode for the most part, only showing himself for the most part when Eggman's robot of the day needs to be destroyed. Thus, you're left with Chris and squad for most of the episode. Yyyyeah... No, no problems, it's just that I thought the name of the episode was "Sonic X", not "Chris X".... And what's with the X? What's the X supposed to represent? There's no X in the series. Just Zzzz.... Someone brought concept "Sonic" anime to Sega, and they stamped an "X" to tell them that they wouldn't let crap like that on TV, but the studio thought it was called "Sonic X" and ran with it. Or something like that. Back to Sonic, the hedgehog is always shown running, but it's rarely shown where he's running to or why he's running. Is he running because he's a free spirit? Because he wants to enjoy the wind in his quills? Or... he just wants to get away from Chris? The series tries to make it look like he's a free spirit, but it really comes across like he's just aimless wandering. A super sonic hobo. It's only during season 3, when he runs the least, does he become likeable. Throughout 78 half-hour episodes, we probably see Sonic for a grand total of 50 minutes. Of course, Sonic always get a ring from Tails, always does a homing attack (why he needs the ring is beyond me), which is always the solution to any problem involving any of Eggman's robots. Yawn. Weird thing is, at more than one point in the series, it's shown Sonic is perfectly capable of taking on an enemy without a ring! Bigger yawn. In one particularly crappy scene, he's actually flinging a GUN bot around and around, and, during another, a single punch knocks off some huge mech. But no- a moderately large robot that wouldn't even register 400 points in a Sonic game cannot be beaten by a ringless Sonic- nor by his friends, it seems... Biggest yawn. What happened to the take-charge Sonic, instead of the pain-in-the-butt, "I'm gonna run around downtown until something exciting happens and use a stinking Ring to defeat my enemies while you get to watch stupid Chris and friends talk about Chris's problems for most of the episode" Sonic we have now? Man, even the Sonic from the American cartoons was more exciting and entertaining than this. He was a punk then. A true punk who rocked hard and always had some cutting wit. In Sonic X, Sonic's this "Doy, I'ma gunna maka you watcha Chris, my new best frienda. Tails, who's Tails. Wanna watch me talk about running?"
What about Tails, Knuckles, and the other Sonic characters? Well, the show pretty much abandons Knuckles and Rogue for the most part (although it goes way out of its way to make 6 year olds think Knuckles is awesome by having him in various bada-- poses that really don't fit him very much. Also, every single time Rouge appears, even for a second, some sexy jazzy saxophone always plays, and, although it's kinda cool at first, after a while of complete overuse, it ruins any semblance of atmosphere Rouge may have had and just gets so freaking annoying...), and Shadow only appears briefly in season 2. Surprisingly, he actually seems a bit cooler than usual, although the animators made his model a bit to close to Sonic's in one scene. Also, Shadow smiles/smirks way too much, to the point it's just out of character. He does reappear in season 3, but only to pretty much appease Shadow fangirls since he doesn't do anything else save act as a paper weight. This leaves Tails, Amy, and Cream to be the tag-along characters on Sonic's (mis)adventures. Why one of the most annoying characters in all of Sonic lore (Amy) is given even a slight role is beyond me, because she's as obnoxious in animation as she is in the games. Oh yeah, and, like I said, big ol' Big's in the series somewhere as well. Tails is a common face in the series, but, just like how Sonic abandons him for Chris, Tails decides to hang out with first Chuck then Cosmo. Cream is notorious for her voice. That same ear-drum annihilating squeal we hear in the games from now on until 2010 first appeared in Sonic X. Otherwise, Cream's voice in Sonic Heroes was actually pretty tame, if not fitting. The only thing I can say about Cream is, 1- she kiddifies the series to levels it can't be possible by being the third worst 'point out obvious' offender and, 2- HOW THE *^*&#(%* IS SHE FLYING AN INTERGALACTIC SPACE SHIP?!
When it comes to villains, Dr. Eggman (he's called Dr. Eggman, yes) is the campy one who is never replaced. Some days, he's just a failure who is pro-peace but pro-world-domination. Other days (particularly, but not surprisingly, during the Sonic Adventure and Adventure 2 adaptations) it's as if he doesn't care if he kills millions of innocent people, even destroying the planet, for as long as he gets his empire. Then, right after that, Eggman's back to being "Hurting people is wrong!"... Dark Oak should have been the series's villain the whole way through. He was actually a bit intimidating at times, although TMS was trying too hard to make him look dark and foreboding. The Metarex are a good idea, but perhaps going Star Trek to fight them wasn't the best way to do it. (Cream piloting an intergalactic spaceship...Seriously, think about that for a minute)
He sucks largely because he is a character added solely for the audience to empathize and understand the characters and plot without having prior knowledge of the Sonic series. Such characters are usually filler characters or gain abilities and character development to make them a proper member of the show. Chris Thorndyke neither goes away after a number of episodes or grows as a character until the third season, and instead is kept as if the story was a children's elementary school show, ala "Sonic and Friends." and as if Sonic was his pet hedgehog.
When this is used in a series of action and adventure, and with postmodern trappings of Government intervention in the supernatural, he ends up being the least dynamic or interesting character, and yet the anime is forced to follow his perspective, even on adventures (all of them) that do not feature him as the subject. He is unfortunate that he is the one to point out the obvious the most (while all characters are guilty of it to an extent), and that his characterization falls flat especially for a super rich kid.
He is typically unbelieveable, his intelligence wanes between savvy 10 year old to immature 5 year old, and he has no abilities of his own (he doesn't even use his monetary prowess) Chris is merely an observer, and any things he does is purely ineffectual or done to make up for his earlier mind-numbingly stupid errors.
The most pointed out failure of Chris is that the writers found a problem incorporating him into later plots, especially considering his use as being the "lens" for the audience's perspective for the show, for the events that occurred within the game canon and for new stories that focused on characters who don't normally get enough focus. The writers end up making HIM the primary point of the episode and giving him actions and dialogue that are stripped from the original doers and speakers, particularly Tails who suffers the most from the anime as a character.
Those that disagree will have to admit that the many episodes where Chris is not a factor and the plot follows the perspective of the main anthropomorphic characters behaves and feels like a proper Sonic cartoon as in SatAM and feels just like the game's scenarios, and have better dialogue and less suspension of belief.
The fact that the third season could have kept Chris out all together suggests that there was executive meddling to keep Chris in the show even when the show was losing popularity in Japan mostly because of Chris, and the fact the third season wasn't aired in Japan puts a nail in the coffin for Chris in Sonic X.
Chris is less important in the Sonic X comics, which make use of a more proper percentage of character placement, with Chris's importance as a character shifting from issue to issue.
Chris could have been a much more interesting/likeable character if they had given him much more development and did not attempt to strengthen his importance in the show by stealing from other character's importance in events. The show would have been significantly better if say, Chris was given his own means of fighting Eggman and actually came to someone else's rescue instead of being a damsel in distress more times than most damsels in the show. When Chuck, named after Sonic's uncle in the original series, is more popular than the boy Sonic hangs around, they're doing something wrong and must fix things.
Also if Chris didn't significantly say the most RETARDED things to Sonic consistently even in episodes where everyone was clearly suffering from lead poisoning (Shadow Knows, for example) he could have stood more of a chance. But dear god, expensive 3rd grade classes at some posh school paid for by his Movie Star mom and CEO Dad should have at least given him some INTELLIGENCE.
A not too off the wall theory suggests that in reality, Chris used his Mother's movie star connections and his father's wealth to pay off the show's directors and give himself a major role, and that Chris is really a spoiled brat who has just paid everyone off to make himself seem like a nice wholesome, modest character.
Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Why_does_C...#ixzz1yvoBJMN0
A pretty good summary of Sonic X.
Art-wise, the Sonic characters mostly look like their Sonic Adventure-era designs for the most part, though nowhere near as well drawn. Various times during the series, the art actually goes entirely out the window and looks as if the team drew and animated the scene in about 10 minutes. The art and backgrounds are typical kids anime fare, and are sometimes nice to look at, but nothing exceptional. It would've been slightly nice to see Sonic X use that "hazy, detailed" style that most anime use nowadays, but I guess getting more than 2 animators was too expensive for the show's .1 cent budget. Outside of the normal choppy animation, the only problem I had was the blatant use of CG whenever Sonic used his Homing Attack. Couldn't they just animate it in 2D, or at least make it look like the Sonic Adventure games' Homing Attack? Oh well, it's pointless to complain, I guess. In the end, just as with all the other anime on 4Kids' morning block, the animation suffers horrible frame rate problems. Watch the Japanese uncut version- if it feels a lot smoother, that's because it is.
What the hell! What's so hard about drawing Sonic's quills down his back? Why are they always pointing to the side???
The (Japanese) music featured the same rock-style stuff used in the Dreamcast games, though they were times where pretty piano music was used too. It was all good, though. The opening is done by the "legendary" Kageyama Hironobu, and the ending theme is done by the Japanese band RUN&GUN, and they're both catchy. The Japanese voice cast is the same as in Sonic Adventures 1 and 2, so whether or not you liked the voices in those games will affect your liking to the voices in the anime. The 4Kids dub is..well, 4Kids. The American music is just poor synth orchestral tracks and occasional techno songs that have no real emotion to them. Some lame electric guitar always kicks in for a single distorted chord whenever a remotely actiony sequence occurs (such as when Sonic throws a punch. Not a super awesome Falcon Punch, not a mountain busting punch, just a punch). This weird synth crescendo also plays when Sonic uses a spin dash- actually, that was OK and even kind of cool the first five times he did it, but when it plays for every single spin dash/homing attack, it just starts getting old. Did I mention the jazzy saxaphone playing whenever Rouge appears? I did? Good. "Gotta Go Fast" easily ranks as possibly the most annoying Sonic theme song to date, even beating the Sonic Colors theme. It's really annoying how all the recent Sonic games use these untalented actors/actresses in their dubs, because they make the original English voices sound like award-winning performers ("Watch Out, Tails, You're Gonna Crash! Ahh!" has nothing on pretty much everything Sonic says in Sonic X.)
(No, seriously. Think about Cream piloting an intergalactic starship...)
(No, seriously. SERIOUSLY. Think about Cream piloting an intergalactic starship...)
The music in Sonic X sounds like someone downloaded a shady freeware off the Internet and tried creating something that's trying to call itself music. Like Sonic Chronicles.
I was really hoping for something in Sonic X, in all honesty. Instead I get an annoying human character tagging with something blue and fast that masquerades as Sonic the Hedgehog, but eliminates pretty much everything I liked about his character and adds bad filler and mediocre art on top of that. I'm told the Japanese version picks up the further along you go, but honestly I don't care. Sonic X is a disappointment to the Sonic name, no better but possibly worse than all the other crummy video game anime out there. Maybe I don't want a super deep anime overflowing with twists and soap-opera drama coupled with Dragon Ball Z/Naruto styled action and extensive character development, or maybe I do, but Sonic X is basically just a high speed Kirby without any of Kirby's magic or interest. There is nothing here. You can be a Sonic fan and never have seen Sonic X. That's the most important part. The other Sonic series', with the possible exception of Sonic Underground, you really should watch if you call yourself a Sonic fan, but Sonic X is by no means anywhere near the same league of, say SatAM. An 'action-packed gaggle of high speed laughs' anime trumped by a Western toon that never even featured real cartoon violence. Shame, much?
Ain't they cute? It's always a nice thing to imagine, a fox humping a flower.
Most disturbingly, Sonic X showcased the decline of Sonic. From 2003 to the abysmal 2006, Sonic's quality, in both cartoon and video games, sunk faster than a mountain in quicksand. During this same period, Sonic X disgraced the airwaves and presented what would be Sonic's less than stellar voice actors for the next decade. To be a Sonic fan in the 2000s was to be an iron-soul braveheart who knows how to take constant abuse. Featuring horrendous voice acting, pseudo-convoluted plots, a spot light that pretends to be on Sonic, a human tag-along replacing Tails, and constant ridicule and mockery to all Sonic built over 12 years, Sonic X is the epitome of this suck spiral Sega sent Sonic on, like Sonic Next Gen spread out over a three year period.
A far less than mediocre anime that would be totally overlooked if it wasn't for the word "Sonic" in its title. — Tim Jones, with the SHM's added and possibly, if not certainly, useless opinion.
I know, this was excessive, but few people have the cajones to really rant like this, at the fear of just getting weird stares all day. I think we Sonic fans needed this.
Now here come the inevitable edits....
I both enhance my hatred, as well as concede to some truths.
1- The character development aspects.
Turns out that, yes, I do now believe that there are developing characters, that the cast do change from episode 1 to 78. It is terribly gradual considering the things they do, but I can no longer deny that there is something about them that changes. It is perhaps more or less just the side characters- the things between the likes of Knuckles, Rouge, Becoe, Decoe, Bokkun, and the like- rather than the main ones. Chris does also get a bit more, er... "tolerable" during season 3.
EDIT: NO. NO. I'm watching it once more, and I'm realizing that the character development that's there: it's FOR THE FREAKIN' WORSE. For one, Amy goes from tolerable and even snarky in the early episodes to a plain B to the freaking itch by season 2. And there's still a season to go!
2- The dialogue.
Not as pipp-poor as I thought it was, especially after hearing the stuff from previous cartoons and like kid anime. I guess that, compared to more "detailed", "expensive", and/or "Western" cartoons/anime, Sonic X has unpassably poor voice acting. However, amongst the tons of kid anime that had been on 4kids before its conversion to Vortex (Hallelujah!) and flood Cartoon Network, Nicktoons, and Disney XD (....), Sonic X is decent at absolute best. I still say the likes of Redekai or Beyblade have better examples, but it's really OK. Not the dialogue, the situation. Low budget kid anime tend to have such, so it's best to either: get a high budget Sonic anime or a Western Sonic cartoon. Actually, I bet any modern Sonic anime will probably be Amerianime unless it's a really low-budget anime, or another OVA.
3- The art and animation.
Even worse than I thought. This is below Saturday Morning Anime levels. I'd even argue that Pokemon- all bajillion of the different series on syndication/on air- have better art/animation. This is really low quality. I mean really low.
EDIT: I'm COUNTING the frames. As they happen. I know anime tends to be low-budget: the average cost of an episode's, what, $120,000? But it's just so...so...so bad! Good.... GOD! Especially the CGI. Who did this CGI! Oh my god! This is horrible! Oh no! This isn't good at all. I'm sorry, but I've seen better CGI on DeviantART. You can tell they superimposed this onto cels POORLY. Everything feels like a background image, like a thumbs up version of Sonic Underground.
During the action scenes, it's just... Wow. How does anyone think this is good. There's no power to any of it. And it's so off model so many times.