Sonic X

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Sonic X
Sonic X DVD vol 1.jpg
Cover art of the Spanish-language DVD of Season 2. In center: Sonic. Clockwise from bottom-right: Chris, Cheese, Amy, Cream, Ella, Chuck, Knuckles, Big, Bocoe, Eggman, Rouge, Decoe, Shadow, Froggy, and Tails.
ソニックX
(Sonikku Ekkusu)
Genre Action-adventure, Comedy-drama, Science fantasy
Anime television series
Directed by Hajime Kamegaki
Produced by Matato Matsumoto
Takeshi Sasamura
Written by Kouji Miki
Music by Yoshihiro Ike
Studio TMS Entertainment
Licensed by
4Kids Entertainment (2003-2012)
Saban Brands (2012-present)
Network TV Tokyo (2003-2004)
Kids Station (2004-2005)
English network
Network Ten (2004)
Seven Network (2005–2006)
YTV (2003-2008)
CBC (2003-Present)
Radio-Canada (2004-Present)
TVNZ (2003-2004)
MediaCorp Channel 8 (2011-Present)
CITV (2004–2006)
Jetix (2004–2008)
Fox (Fox Box) (2003-2005)
Fox (4Kids TV) (2005-2008)
The CW (The CW4Kids) (2009-2010)
The CW (Toonzai) (2010-2012)
The CW (Vortexx) (2012-present)
Original run Series 1:
April 6, 2003
March 28, 2004 (Japan)
Series 2:
March 12, 2005 –
April 18, 2005 (France)
Episodes 78 (52 aired in Japan) (List of episodes)
Game
Developer Torus Games
Publisher LeapFrog Enterprises
Genre Educational
Platform Leapster
Released May 5, 2005[1]
Portal icon Anime and Manga portal

Sonic X (ソニックX Sonikku Ekkusu?) is an anime series based on the Sonic the Hedgehog video game series. It was created by TMS Entertainment and it began airing on TV Tokyo's 8:30 time slot on April 6, 2003, originally belonging to Ultra Lightning Express Hikarian. The series' last episode aired in Japan was broadcast on March 28, 2004, and the timeslot was used to broadcast Bijutsu Hata no Shitsu. Further episodes aired in France and the United States, and Sonic X was rerun on Kids Station from 2004 to 2005. In the United States, Saban Brands[2] currently owns and manages the copyright and branding of the series. The series introduces various original storylines, as well as incorporating adaptations of video games such as Sonic Adventure, Sonic Adventure 2 and Sonic Battle.

Plot[edit]

Several years ago, Earth was a single planet until a cataclysmic event split it in two, sending them into two worlds (Sonic's and the humans'). After being transported to Earth by the seven Chaos Emeralds while rescuing Cream from Doctor Eggman's clutches, Sonic the Hedgehog and his friends meet Chris Thorndyke, a young human boy who lets them stay at his house. Despite their initial conflicts with the police, Sonic and his friends are hailed as heroes.

However, as Sonic and his friends were transported to Earth, the two worlds start to remerge, cancelling out their respective time lines and freeze time itself forcing Sonic and friends to return home. Six months later, a new villain, Dark Oak, attempts to get the Chaos Emeralds from Sonic, but Sonic scatters them across the galaxy to prevent Dark Oak from using their power. Meanwhile, six years having passed in the human world, Chris uses a portal to travel to Sonic's world, where only six months had passed, but ends up in the form of a twelve-year-old. During their reunion, Dark Oak and his Metarex army attacks and steal the "Planet Egg" from Sonic's planet. Without the Egg, all the life on the planet goes away. Sonic and his friends venture into space to retrieve the Chaos Emeralds with Dr. Eggman following soon afterwards with his ship: The Crimson Egg.

Sonic and his friends end up on several different planets, searching for the Chaos Emeralds and restoring life to almost barren planets. Eggman joins up with the Metarex and becomes one of the five Metarex commanders soon after, along with: Pale Bay Leaf, Black Narcissus, and Yellow Zelkova. It is later revealed that Dr. Eggman was stealing technology, he, along with Decoe, and Bocoe, were later captured by Pale Bay Leaf and detained. Sometime later, Chris shows up and tries to save him, only for Dr. Eggman to point out that he never needed any help breaking out, and the crew proceed to escape.

Cosmo is eventually unveiled as an unwilling spy for the Metarex, who are part of the same race of anthropomorphic plants as Cosmo. When Dark Oak, Pale Bay Leaf, and Black Narcissus enact a plan that could destroy the galaxy, Cosmo sacrifices herself with the help of Super Sonic, Super Shadow, and Tails. Her essence is manifested in the form of a seed, which Tails plants once they return to their own planet. With the Metarex destroyed, Eggman helps Chris return to his home, implying he may never be able to return. Soon thereafter, Eggman revives his previous rivalry with Sonic, and everything returns to normal.

Cast and characters[edit]

Original characters[edit]

  • Christopher Thorndyke (クリストファー・ソーンダイク Kurisutofā Sōndaiku?): Christopher, or Chris (クリス Kurisu?), is a boy who becomes a close friend of Sonic and his friends. He is raised by his grandfather, Chuck, his butler, Mr. Tanaka and his maid, Ella. He lets Sonic and his companions stay at his mansion, and he helps them find the Chaos Emeralds. After they return to their dimension, Chris spends six years working on a gate that will allow him to transport himself to Sonic's world. Voiced by: Sanae Kobayashi (child) and Masakazu Morita (adult) (Japanese), Suzanne Goldish (child) and Michael Sinterniklaas (adult) (English)
  • Chuck Thorndyke (チャック・ソーンダイク Chakku Sōndaiku?): Chuck is the paternal grandfather of Chris Thorndyke. He is a scientist and inventor, who bonds with Tails due to their shared interest of inventing. Voiced by: Bin Shimada (Japanese), Jerry Lobozzo (English)
  • Lindsey Thorndyke (リンゼー・ソーンダイク Rinzē Sōndaiku?): She is a beautiful famous actress and the mother of Chris. She initially had trouble accepting Sonic and his friends since they weren't human. Voiced by: Naomi Shindoh (Japanese), Jennifer Johnson (English)
  • Nelson Thorndyke (ネルソン・ソーンダイク Neruson Sōndaiku?): Chris' father who is the wealthy owner of a computer and housing business. His father is Chris' grandfather, Chuck. Voiced by: Ken Yamaguchi (Japanese), Ted Lewis (English)
  • Ella (エラ Era?): Ella is Chris's maid. She befriends Amy and Cream after discovering their existence. She enjoys her job, but is very hotheaded. Voiced by: Kujira (Japanese), Mike Pollock (English)
  • Edward Tanaka (エドワード・タナカ Edowādo Tanaka?): Tanaka is Chris's butler, who discovers that Chris is hiding the existence of Sonic and his companions. He is a skilled martial artist and he works with Topaz on occasions. During the six years (or months in Sonic's world) he taught Chris martial arts (which prove ineffective when he reverts to a kid). Voiced by: Naoki Imamura (Japanese), Darren Dunstan (English)
  • Helen (ヘレン Heren?): Helen is one of Chris' closest friends, and one of the few who readily accept Sonic and his friends from the start. Helen was born with a condition that restricts her to a wheelchair and has spent much of her life a paraplegic. Despite this, Helen thrives for adventure - she showed very little fear when Sonic pushed her chair faster than anyone else. Six years later, Helen is seen to be in a relationship with Chris and she has gotten new wheelchair she can control with a joystick. Voiced by: Noriko Hidaka (Japanese), Amy Birnbaum (English)
  • Frances (フランシス Furanshisu?): One of Chris' friends at school. She is notable for wearing deep salmon pinkish-red overalls. Voiced by: Yuka Shioyama (Japanese), Kerry Williams (English)
  • Daniel (ダニエル Danieru?): Daniel, or Danny (ダニー Danī?) One of Chris' friends at school who occasionally helps Sonic. He fights and loses to Chris in the Battle Tournament. Voiced by: Naomi Shindoh (Japanese), Rachael Lillis (child) and Greg Abbey (adult) (English)
  • Stewart (スチュワート Suchuwāto?): Stewart, or Mr. Stewart, is a government agent posing as a school teacher assigned to watch Sonic and his friends by the President. He is a fan of Chris' mother, Linsey Thorndyke. He always looks out for Chris and the other kids in his class. Voiced by: Michio Nakao (Japanese), Andrew Rannells (English)
  • Decoe (デコー Dekō?) and Bocoe (ボコー Bokō?): Decoe and Bocoe are Eggman's personal humanoid assistant robots. Decoe is tall, slim and gold-colored, while Bocoe is short, stubby and silver. They are almost constantly seen with Eggman, helping him pilot his machinery among other things. They are somewhat clumsy and stupid, and they constantly reflect on their failures and insult Dr. Eggman behind his back. In Japanese, the word Dekoboko (凸凹?) means uneven, bumpy, jagged. The symbols on Decoe and Bocoe's chests represent the two kanji in this word. Their character designs are based on the villains Omega and Epsilon from previous TMS series Kinkyū Hasshin Saver Kids. Voiced by: Ken Yamaguchi (Decoe) and Bin Shimada (Bocoe) (Japanese), Andrew Rannells (Decoe) and Darren Dunstan (Bocoe) (English)
  • Bokkun (ボックン Bokkun?): Bokkun, sometimes referred to as "Messenger Robo" (メッセンジャーロボ Messenjā Robo?) is one of Eggman's workers who sends messages to Sonic that come in a form of a TV that blows up in the recipient's face. Bokkun is constantly mistreated and abused by Eggman, though he still is very loyal to him (In one episode where Eggman left a bomb in the town square, Bokkun was ordered to stay and countdown for it, even though this meant that he would be destroyed in the blast as well; knowing this, Bokkun still complied). He enjoys using bombs to annoy people and he flies using a jetpack. He has a weakness for sweets, as seen in episode 44, the Sewage Search, when he was bribed by Chris' friends to call for Sonic's help in exchange for Ella's apple pie and strawberry shortcake. Bokkun was also forced into helping Rouge the bat when she found out a secret of Bokkun's in episode 56, which she used to blackmail him. She found a heart shaped locket with a picture of Bokkun's crush, Cream. Voiced by: Yumiko Kobayashi (Japanese), Andrew Rannells (English)
  • Cosmo the Seedrian (コスモ Kosumo?): Cosmo is a young member of a plant-like alien species known as Seedrians, whose homeworld was destroyed by the Metarex. She escapes to Sonic's homeworld after the attack and meets Sonic and his companions. She has the ability to empathize with plants, trees, or the planet and determine their state of life. She also can decipher the Metarex language. Her skirt allows her to jump to high heights, and gently float down to the ground. She falls in love with Tails later on. Voiced by: Etsuko Kozakura (Japanese), Amy Birnbaum (English)
  • Metarex (メタレックス Metarekkusu?): The Metarex are a group of five robotic cyborgs, Pale Bay Leaf (ペールベイリーフ Pēru Bei Rīfu?), Black Narcissus (ブラックナルキッソス Burakku Narukissosu?), Yellow Zelkova (イエローゼルコヴァ Ierō Zerukovua?), Red Pine (レッドパイン Reddo Pain?), and their leader, Dark Oak (ダークオーク Dāku Ōku?), who use an endless army of robots to rob worlds of their "Planet Eggs," the source of all life, leaving the worlds dying in their wake. They later reveal that they are the masculine members of Cosmo's species, who turned their back on their own kind after using their own planet's planet egg to become extremely powerful, which eventually corrupted them. In his first appearance, Dark Oak easily outmatches Super Sonic (though it should be noted that Sonic was, by his own admission, holding back). Dark Oak is voiced by Jouji Nakata in Japanese and Matt Hoverman in English.
  • Scarlet Garcia (スカーレット・ガルシア Sukāretto Garushia?): A reporter for SSTV news in Station Square and the granddaughter of one of the researchers aboard the Space Colony Ark. Voiced by: Yuka Shioyama (Japanese), Megan Hollingshead (English)
  • Sam Speed (サム・スピード Samu Supīdo?): Sam is Chris's maternal second uncle and the leader of the Speed Team, a special unit of the Station Square police force that uses high-performance Formula racing cars. He forms a rivalry with Sonic. In the Japanese version, in every appearance he makes, he has a different nickname. Voiced by: Souichirou Tanaka (Japanese), Greg Abbey (English)
  • Topaz (トパーズ Topāzu?): is a GUN agent and the human partner of Rouge the Bat. She initially disapproves of Rouge, though they later become friends, and their main assignment is to retrieve the Chaos Emeralds from Eggman. When Rouge departed back to her own world, She gave Topaz a gem to remember her by and tells her to be thankful because she hardly gives away anything. She also has feelings for Tanaka. Voiced by: Yukari Hikida (Japanese), Kayzie Rogers (English)

Localization[edit]

Months after the first episode was broadcast, 4Kids Entertainment licensed Sonic X for the United States, with the series being distributed on DVD by FUNimation (US), Alliance Films (Canada) and Warner Home Video (UK). The episodes were heavily edited for content and length. 4Kids used their in-house voice actors. Mike Pollock, the current voice actor for Doctor Eggman, stated during an interview that he was provided samples of the game's voice overs as a reference.[3] The original 4Kids cast included Jason Griffith (as Sonic and Shadow), Suzanne Goldish (as Chris), Lisa Ortiz (as Amy), Amy Palant (as Tails), Dan Green (as Knuckles), Rebecca Honig (as Cream), and Mike Pollock (as Dr. Eggman). They eventually became the official cast for Sega's English localizations of the Sonic games from 2005 to 2010.

When asked about any prior experience with the Sonic franchise, producer Michael Haigney replied, "I've never played the game, seen the series or read the comics."[4]

In July 2009, 4Kids uploaded a preview for a subtitled episode of the Japanese version of Sonic X. More recently, the Japanese opening and closings were added to 4Kids' YouTube channel. On June 7, 2010, 4Kids had begun releasing Season 1 in Japanese on their YouTube channel. By June 11, 2010, the dubbed version of the complete series and the first season in Japanese with English subtitles became available on 4Kids' YouTube channel, but were later removed in August 2012.

In June 2012, Saban Brands's Kidsco Media Ventures acquired the Sonic X license from 4Kids.[5] Since then, the series airs on The CW's Vortexx block.

Music[edit]

In the original Japanese version, Sonic X features four pieces of theme music; one opening theme and three ending themes. The opening theme is "Sonic Drive", performed by Hironobu Kageyama and Hideaki Takatori. The first ending theme, "Mi-ra-i" (ミ・ラ・イ Future?) by Run&Gun, was used for the first thirteen episodes. The second ending theme, "Hikari Michi" (光る道 Shining Road?) by Aya Hiroshige, was used between episodes 14 to 39 and again for episodes 53 to 78. The third ending theme, "T.O.P" by Uru, was used for episodes 40 to 52. The series soundtrack was composed by Yoshihiro Ike.

The English language adaptation by 4Kids Entertainment replaces the music with an original soundtrack, with the opening theme "Gotta Go Fast", performed by Norman J. Grossfeld, Joseph Garrity, and Russell Velázquez, used in North America. A different opening theme was used in the United Kingdom and other European countries.

Other media[edit]

A Sonic X-themed math game was developed by Torus Games and published by LeapFrog Enterprises for the Leapster. McDonald's released a set of Sonic X disk launchers one with Sonic, one with Tails, one with Knuckles, and one with Shadow on the launchers and the disk themselves. Toy Island also made action figures in 2006 and 2007, some of which were, too, slightly altered re-releases of figures from a Sonic Adventure line and larger molds of part of a series of Gashapon figurines. Jazwares has also made a fairly new version of these figures now available in stores. A Sonic X Trading Card Game was also created.

Comic series[edit]

Sonic on the cover of the first issue of the Sonic X comic series published by Archie Comics

In September 2005, Archie Comics, publisher of the North American Sonic the Hedgehog comics started a Sonic X comic series based on 4kids' dub of the anime. It began in September 2005 and was originally meant to be a four-part series. However, due to the positive reaction to the series' announcement, it was extended to ongoing status before the first issue premiered. The comic ended in December 2008 with issue #40.

Sonic X is unique among Archie's Sonic-related series in that it does not take place in the same fictional universe as the comic book Sonic the Hedgehog, but rather as one of many parallel universes to that continuity. The comic exists in the expanded universe of the Sonic X fictional universe, existing to supplement the stories from the show. All the stories in the series' run occur between the "Chaos" saga, to sometime before episode 52. Up to issue 15 of the series, it was usually written by Joe Edkin and pencilled by Tim Smith III, but other pencillers such as Tracy Yardley, David Hutchinson and Steven Butler have been featured. Ian Flynn wrote issues 16 and 17, although Edkin returned with issue 18. The comic's editor is Mike Pellerito. Stories from the comic were also published in the UK's official Jetix magazine for a brief period.

Reception[edit]

Sonic X has had a mediocre retrospective reception; Conrad Zimmerman of Destructoid cited its "horrible localization" as a main reason.[6] Tim Jones of THEM Anime gave Sonic X a mostly negative review, calling it "mediocre". He praised the show's music, backgrounds, and first episode in general, but derided the use of "annoying" characters like Chris and Amy, Sonic's bland characterization, the use of CGI for Sonic's homing attack, and the English voice acting.[7] GamesRadar praised its closeness to the formula of the Sonic games and the theme song, but criticized its characters, in particular the addition of humans.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Sonic X International Releases". Giant Bomb. 2005-05-05. Retrieved 2013-08-27. 
  2. ^ "Statement /NOTICE OF (I) SUPPLEMENTAL ASSUMPTION AND ASSIGNMENT, AND (II) REMOVAL OF CERTAIN EXECUTORY CONTRACTS AND UNEXPIRED LEASES (related document(s) 588) filed by Michael B. Solow on behalf of 4Kids Entertainment, Inc.. (Solow, Michael)". Epiq Systems. 2012-06-16. Retrieved 2012-06-16. 
  3. ^ "Episode 42 - The Doctor Is In". Wha-CHOW!. Retrieved 2008-01-30. 
  4. ^ Rasmussen, David (2006-02-12). "Mr. Michael Haigney Interview (4Kids)". Anime Boredom. Retrieved 2008-01-30. [dead link]
  5. ^ "Konami to Get 4Kids' Yu-Gi-Oh! Assets Under Proposed Deal". June 16, 2012. Retrieved January 17, 2013. 
  6. ^ Zimmerman, Conrad (April 4, 2010). "Watch Sonic X on Hulu This Easter". Destructoid. Retrieved April 6, 2014. 
  7. ^ Jones, Tim. "Sonic X". ThemAnime. Retrieved April 6, 2014. 
  8. ^ GamesRadar_US (June 23, 2012). "The absolute worst Sonic moments". GamesRadar. Retrieved April 6, 2014. 

See also[edit]

External links[edit]