22 November 2011

'Sonic X'

Found on mobianlegends.com
"Goodnight! Have sweet dreams!"
Uh oh.

It's bad enough that the Sonic fanbase is split into so many factions and the last thing we needed is yet ANOTHER show. In terms of likability the very general consensus appears to be that The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog was a drug-induced wonderland, Sonic the Hedgehog (aka Sonic SatAM) was epic and short-lived, Sonic Underground was denied for its stupidity, and Sonic X was "meh." Yet in the world where only my opinion matters [but is ignored anyway], this was amazing... depending on the version.

Sonic X is a three season, 78 episode anime that debuted in 2003 and still airs in Europe and North America. With it being an undead zombie outside Japan, easily it can be considered as the most popular and successful Sonic show ever made. Seeing how much video game shows and movies are crucified for being absolute crap, this really is a gem. Depending on the version.

Yes, it really matters if you watch it in Japanese or in English.

The English version, dubbed by the Intergalactic Empire of Evil known as 4Kids Entertainment, is despised by many. If you watch it, prepare for the abysmal voice acting (Shadow, Rouge, and most of the human characters are the worst), horrible script with confusing details, and absolutely no death at all! And since the plot of Sonic Adventure 2 was adapted into this show, the once well-executed drama is completely childish, stupid and pointless. That's nothing in comparison to other cases. Worst of all, so much was censored or altered for the sake of Sonic X being "appropriate for children."

*Gasp!* A grave?! Oh, God!
The children will be traumatized
by the concept of DEATH!
  • The writting is severely thumbed down to stupid puns, braindead common sense, and annoying tantrums by characters that had no such abuse in the Japanese version. (Shadow is significantly more "emo" in this version. "MARIAAAAA!!! T-T")
  • The once decent dialogue has been completely deconstructed and built up to have little to no resemblence to the original. (Oh I don't know where to begin... how about from start to finish?!)
  • Certain scenes were eliminated outright for being too "violent," "mature," or "depressing." (two minor character deaths were completely eliminated and poorly handled)
  • Some of these edits are so obvious that many characters have completely different personalities. (Sonic is far more incompetent, Amy's more of a bitch, etc.)
  • Must I repeat the voice actors suck? (Dan Green as Knuckles was a tolerable, but unfitting exception. And don't get me started on Jason Griffith...) 

In comparasion, the Japanese version is uncut and is much easier to follow. The adaptations of Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure 2 are very faithful and translate very well. This version of Sonic X makes fun of itself and repeatedly demolishes the fourth wall; yet it gets serious in the most appropriate events. Despite my not knowing a lick of the Japanese, the voice actors give believable and natural performances across the board. From a technical standpoint, this version is far more mature, honest, and open then its sophomoric counterpart.

Amy shall destroy all Mary Sues.
HOWEVER, both versions have a large problem. Sonic X is a decent piece of fanfiction: it has good ideas behind it, but the execution is lackluster. Character development tends to be an alien concept in more recent Sonic games and thankfully this show attempt to bring it back. Still, the cast is all over the place in terms of quality. The general human cast is practically useless and forgettable and it crosses in both languages. Only Sonic and the gang are the most likable overall with interesting interactions and conflicts. As for the human kid Chris? Typical Mary Sue in a piece of fanfiction who wants the fabrics of imagination come to life and befriend them.

Is it worth saving these humans?
When one puts this next to other anime, Sonic X is pretty bland and uninteresting. In a way this is an anime that doesn't quite seem like an anime. Season one is a chore to watch with Filler Episode Syndrome until everything picks up from then on out. Some plot lines are left hanging and episode 78 leaves a gaping hole inside. The animation is generic overall with some CGI effects and a low budget finish at the end. Numerous anime series are like that; however, Sonic X is toned down enough for those new to the style can be headache-free.

At the end of the day I strongly recommend every English-speaker to sit down and learn to read subtitles and watch the superior version of this show. Your intelligence will thank you for it. Sonic fans might enjoy the few music samples from the Adventure games that appear at times, otherwise it's up to them. As for the casual viewer, this show is not horrible, but not great.

Yes, Sonic, there are giant mecha in your show.

4Kids, thanks for introducing this to me when I was young, but man you love to kill any anime you get your hands on, do you? No wonder otaku and other anime fans avoid anything licensed by you.

Just take this as an introduction into anime. The action is decent enough in this overhyped but entertaining ride. And as a show based on a video game series, this ain't bad.

2.8 out of 5


KK said...

So, this is totally unrelated, but I've been listening to some of Emilie Autumn's music, and I really like it. :)

Melanie~"Fangirl"~Light said...

it's no problem! comments are always nice. :D

yayz! *hugs* she's strange, but very interesting and I'm glad you like her stuff so far! from a old review of it, Enchant is my favorite of her albums.

KK said...

Yeah, I've been listening to a lot of the stuff from Enchant. I like! :)

Anonymous said...

For those who still complain about this show: http://imgur.com/qj8sDfw

Melanie~Light said...

If you like the English dub, that's fine. I don't particularly care for what 4Kids did to it, but I still like Sonic X. You can enjoy it in English; I can enjoy it in Japanese with subtitles. Win-win.

Anonymous said...

Well excuse, Mademoiselle, but how can I like the english version when people like rant and bash it death.

It's just a show!

And why does the censorship bother you and everyone else that badly.

I'm kind of sensitive to negative words.

Anonymous said...

Also why do you and those fanboys make a big deal about human characters? What are we then racists?

Anonymous said...

Sometimes I wonder people like you or any fan understands the definition of the term "it's just a show".

Honestly, Even I have better things to do than just say "I hate Chris Thorndyke this and that".

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