Sonic the Hedgehog (manga)
From Sonic Retro
|Sonic the Hedgehog|
|Country of origin: Japan|
|First issue date: 1992|
|Last issue date: 199x|
Sonic the Hedgehog (ソニック・ザ・ヘッジホッグ) is the name of a manga series based on the Sonic the Hedgehog video game series during the early 1990s. It was not released as a stand-alone product, but was instead serialised in issues of Shogaku Yonensei, Shogakukan's long-running magazine aimed at Japanese schoolchildren aged between 9-10 (or "fourth grade").
The series follows the adventures of Nicky, a young, bookish-looking hedgehog who through some manner is able to transform into the actual hero of the story, Sonic the Hedgehog. When being the blue hedgehog, he is joined by Miles "Tails" Prower, his protégé, and the two work together to stop Dr. Eggman and whatever evil schemes may be up his sleeve.
While the escapades of Sonic were the highlight of the strip, his alter-ego Nicky was provided with his own full cast of supporting characters. Nicky lived in a world similar to modern day Japan, along with his family and friends. His parents were named Paulie and Brenda (Paulie, the father, dressed in clothing reminiscent of a fighter pilot), and he also had a little sister, Anita. Outside of his home life, Nicky's best friend was a pudgy hedgehog named Little John, and he also had a girlfriend, a blond colored hedgehog named Amy. It was this character that would be the inspiration for the game character Amy Rose, albeit not in the same function.
Rounding out the cast were the lizard brothers Anton and Matt Brooke, who would do nothing but try and cause trouble for Nicky and his friends. An early version of Charmy Bee was also featured in the comic, although it is unknown what role he played, beyond being a friend toward Sonic and/or Nicky.
Except for Tails, nobody knows that Nicky is actually Sonic the Hedgehog, including himself.
The Sonic the Hedgehog manga is thought to have been the first Sonic-related storyline created outside the direct influence of Sega, giving its writers a freedom that the games would not be otherwise able to traverse. All issues were written by Kenji Terada and illustrated by Sango Norimoto.
Sega were, however, involved in the production process, with Naoto Ohshima and others being involved in the creation of some characters (such as Charmy Bee).
Very little is known about this manga series, as copies of the original strips are extremely rare. Unlike the Dash & Spin series done years later by Shogakukan, the strip was never collected into volumes, remaining as a Shogaku Yonensei exclusive. It is also unknown how many issues the strip ran for, the only concrete fact being that there were at least six produced.
- Sonic the Hedgehog Book - A book with strips featuring the Sonic manga characters, which may or may not have been in Shogaku Yonensei.
- Sonic the Hedgehog 2: Mega Drive Official Guide Book - Contains an adaptation of the Japanese Sonic 2 prologue. Drawn by one of the artists of this manga series, but closer to the story line of the video games.