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- For the video game, see Sonic X (Leapster game).
|Studio: TMS Entertainment|
|Number of seasons: 2|
|Number of episodes: 78|
|Original airdate: 2003-04-06 — 2004-03-28|
Sonic X (ソニックX) is a animated television series based on the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise. It was animated and produced in Japan by TMS Entertainment and TV Tokyo with the partnership of Sega and Sonic Team.
Season 1 comprised 52 episodes and has aired in Japan, the US, and Europe. Soon after season 1 ended, a second season of 26 additional episodes was produced and originally aired in France from March to April 2005. None of season 2's episodes ended up being aired in Japan, but it is interesting to note that a full Japanese language track had been recorded for them, as evidenced by its presence on the VCDs released in Taiwan. The second season eventually made it to Japan through online distribution services starting with the Tokyo Movie Online (東京ムービーONLINE) rental service in 2009.
In 2003, 4Kids Entertainment licensed Sonic X for American television broadcasting, and it aired on FoxBox (later renamed to 4KidsTV) from August 2003 to May 2006. ShoPro Entertainment was also made a license holder in November 2003. Despite the series doing less than stellar in Japan, it gained popularity overseas. This prompted Sega to buy shares in TMS Entertainment, which was in danger of bankruptcy at the time.
In June 2012, following 4Kids' bankruptcy due to a lawsuit on the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise, the U.S. rights to Sonic X were sold to Kidsco Media Ventures, a subsidiary of Saban Brands. In 2015, Discotek Media took over the series' rights and released the entire English dubbed series on DVD in late 2016 and standard definition Blu-ray in 2019.
- 1 Premise
- 2 History
- 3 Characters
- 4 4Kids English Version
- 5 Episodes
- 6 Voice actors
- 7 Syndication
- 8 Production credits
- 9 Music
- 10 Merchandise
- 11 Home releases
- 12 Artwork
- 13 External links
- 14 References
The first 26 episodes of Sonic X dealt primarily with Sonic the Hedgehog and most of the main cast being suddenly transported to Earth during a Chaos Control incident at Dr. Eggman's base. On Earth, Sonic finds hospitality with a human boy named Chris Thorndyke, who provides Sonic and friends with shelter and support against Dr. Eggman's ambitions to conquer the world. Episodes 27 to 38 dealt primarily with the storylines of the Sonic Adventure series and roughly adapted them, most notably introducing Shadow the Hedgehog, although the latter does not appear again until the second season. As the first season approached its conclusion, characters such as Vanilla the Rabbit, the Chaotix crew, and Sonic's animal buddies showed up briefly in cameo appearances; the Chaotix went on to become recurring characters in the second series.
Sonic and friends finally travel back to their homeworld (which may, or may not, be equivalent to planet Mobius) by the end of episode 52. So, during the second series, they travel into space in order to defeat an army known as the Metarex, who are bent on conquering the universe. Along with the main Sonic cast, Chris finally invents a device to take him to Sonic's world – but although he designs it when he is an adult scientist, it has a side-effect of turning him back into a child again. Also, a new plant-like girl by the name of Cosmo assists them in their journey.
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|Main article: Sonic X/Development|
Sonic X first entered production as early as 2001, when TMS Entertainment, Sega, and Sonic Team produced their first pilot for the series. This episode was about 4 minutes in length and did not have a name at the time, being called simply "Sonic". The overall presentation of the pilot was also vastly different to how the series ended up. In the pilot, the series seems to take place in a fictional world, similar to that of Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog and SatAM (both of which, interestingly enough, TMS Entertainment has worked on to provide animation services) and had a futuristic look. Other than the obvious Dr. Eggman, there were no humans present in the pilot.
In the pilot, the power-ups that Sonic utilizes are crystals that have a similar appearance to the Master Emerald's shards, rather than to rings or Chaos Emeralds. Cheese did not have a finalized name; instead, the pilot simply calls him Chao. Another unusual thing is that the pilot has an English narration, as opposed to a Japanese one. It is possible that, at the time, the production team were looking at foreign markets to produce the animation, before making the decision to produce it for the Japanese market.
However, despite the fact that the pilot was never publicly revealed or announced, rumours began to circulate early in 2002 of a new Sonic animation project in the works. It wasn't until later that Sonic X was officially confirmed by a promotional flyer and a press release from the Japanese companies. The same year, TMS Entertainment produced another pilot for the series, which was much more closer in nature to the final version of the series; this pilot was shorter than the previous one, was recorded in Japanese, and gave an official name to Cheese. It was later broadcast at World Hobby Fair and Tokyo Gaming Show. Both the first and second pilots were eventually released on Hi-Spec editions of the Japanese DVD volumes 1 and 6, respectively.
On April 6, 2003, TV Tokyo began broadcasting Sonic X on its Sunday morning timeslot, at 8:30 AM. Not long after this, Sonic X was announced to be licensed by 4Kids Entertainment in the United States, who secured rights to the series outside of Asia except for France, in which Jetix of France secured the rights. As a result, France based their dub on the Japanese version, rather than the 4Kids version. In July, TF1 began broadcasting the series in France; on August 2003, 4Kids began officially broadcasting the series in the United States on FoxBox.
During its run on TV Tokyo, Sonic X lasted for 52 episodes before being replaced by Bijutsu wa Tanoshi!. However, despite receiving a full 52 episode run, the series ratings did not meet expectations. However, there is a chance this may have been due to being put up against TV Asahi's Magical Girl timeslot, which ran Ashita no Nadja, then Futari wa Pretty Cure, during its airing. Despite its subpar ratings in Japan, the series gained more success in territories elsewhere, especially throughout Europe.
On June 2004, it was officially announced that additional episodes would be produced, though it was generally thought at the time that 4Kids Entertainment secured additional episode from TMS Entertainment. It wasn't until several months later when production scripts, storyboards, layout designs, and character designs for these episodes began to show up on Yahoo! Auctions Japan. At first, it was thought to be a hoax, since neither TMS Entertainment nor Sega had officially announced these episodes. It wasn't until France confirmed additional episodes to begin broadcast in March 2005 that people started to believe this information. The first physical evidence of the new episodes was revealed in Thailand, which began to broadcast the new episodes in February 2005, but they weren't noticed until several episodes in that the broadcast station was airing them.
After Sonic X was broadcast in France on TF1, the rights to the series were bought by Déclic Images, a subsidiary of the French company Manga Distribution, which released the episodes in DVD and sold them in three different ways:
- A box containing 6 DVDs with 18 episodes (a total of four boxes)
- The sale of a DVD every month at every newsagent
- Online sale. To register, costumers had to buy the first DVD, which included a registration coupon. However, this subscription forced costumers to buy the Shaman King series DVDs (which had received the same promotional offer) at the same time. To compensate for this "inconvenience", Déclic Images decided to offer a poster with each DVD. Alternately, the poster could be from the Sonic X series or the Shaman King series.
Along with many characters from the video game series (especially those from the Sonic Adventure series), Sonic X introduces additional cast members exclusive to the anime.
- Bokkun – A hyperactive, childish robot who acts as Eggman's messenger. He loves setting off explosives in messages that he sends to Sonic and friends, and occasionally to Eggman as well.
- Chris Thorndyke – A well-off boy who helps out Sonic from the very beginning. Due to past loneliness and emotional distance from his family, Chris becomes strongly attached to Sonic.
- Chuck Thorndyke – Chris' grandfather, a mechanic and inventor of sorts. He and Tails often work together on a number of machines, including the X-Tornado, an upgrade to the Tornado 2.
- Danny, Frances, and Helen – Chris' friends who occasionally lingered with the Sonic cast during the early episodes.
- Decoe and Bocoe – Two comical robots that are constantly by Dr. Eggman's side, working at his every command while making side comments about their job. They play minor roles in virtually every episode they appear in except for episode 48.
- E-Series – Other than the ones established in the games, most E-series robots are Sonic X-exclusive and, for the most part of series 1, act as the generic monsters-of-the-week. See below for a list of them.
- Ella and Tanaka – The Thorndykes' maid and butler respectively.
- Jerome Wise – A man who used to work under the President. At first Jerome tries to prevent the President's reputation from being ruined by Sonic. He gets fired when it was found out that he made a deal with Dr. Eggman, and he ends up homeless on the streets.
- Nelson Thorndyke and Lindsay Fay – Chris' parents who are often away working, resulting in a great deal of emotional distance between themselves and their son.
- Sam Speed – Leader of the S-Team and Chris' uncle. Sam attempts to capture Sonic on the highways, but he is effortlessly outraced. Since then, he has always deemed himself as Sonic's rival. He bestows upon himself many nicknames in the Japanese version.
- Topaz – A female GUN agent who often worked alongside Rouge on missions issued by the President.
- Cosmo – A girl from another planet that first shows up in episode 53. She journeys to Sonic's planet in hopes of finding him, since it is believed that his usage of the Chaos Emeralds can help save the galaxy from the Metarex.
- Dark Oak – The leader of the Metarex in episodes 53-78 and the primary villain of series 2. As Sonic was unable to defeat him originally even in his super state, he transports the emeralds to distant corners of the galaxy, preventing Dark Oak from obtaining them.
- Dark Super Sonic – Not so much a new character as a new form of Sonic, his only appearance was in one episode of Sonic X. He is created by fake Chaos Emeralds empowered by his own anger. Eggman calms him down, stopping the new form, which is never seen again.
Note: Some of the E-Series have no codenames stated in the Japanese version of Sonic X. The names given to E-11, E-14, E-23, E-43, E-47, and E-90 in the American dub by 4Kids are the closest one can get for a name until the official source for the Japanese codenames reveals the original names.
- E-11 Beacon (episodes 4 and 12) – Dr. Eggman summons this robot to accompany him to where a Chaos Emerald has been found. Although it held Sonic at bay by bouncing him around in the air, it was quickly defeated when Sonic obtained a ring. It is later again seen during the attack on Eggman's base.
- E-12 (episode 28) – It attacks Sonic and Tails while Tails was having a dream.
- E-13 (episodes 1, 11, 12, and 13) – Minor guard robots which have no plot centered around them. All they apparently do is attack intruders.
- E-14 Sneezer (episodes 1, 11, 12, and 13) – Much like the E-13 above, their only function is to pursue intruders.
- E-18 Guerra-Hard (episode 13) – Sonic confronts this powerful, gigantic robot inside Dr. Eggman's base.
- E-21 Ballios (episode 10) – These baseball-playing robots make up Dr. Eggman's "Eggs Team" when a Chaos Emerald is discovered at the Diamond Stadium.
- E-23 Missile Wrist (episodes 3, 11, and 39 (flashback, dub only) – This is Eggman's first robot used to terrorize Station Square when he announces his intention to take over the human world. It later appears when G.U.N. sneaks into Eggman's base, this time as an empty, nonfunctional shell; later, it is brought back to the base of said shady government agency for analysis.
- E-35 Funfun (episodes 12 and 13) – While Dr. Eggman was away from his base tracking down the most recently discovered Chaos Emerald, he brought along this robot. Funfun has a powerful fan installed in him that is capable of blowing his opponents away and that Tails was barely able to hold off in his X-Cyclone, although Sonic managed to defeat it easily.
- E-38 Octoron (episode 9) – This robot causes havok at Emerald Coast.
- E-39 Quizon (episode 9) – These robots construct a theme park called "Eggman's Sea Park" ("Eggman's Scream Park" in the English version) in place of Hotel de Blanc at Emerald Coast. After Sonic destroys Octoron, they combine themselves into one gigantic robot (referred to as "Serpenter" in the dub). Although Sonic step up to fight it off, Amy Rose was the one to defeat it, using her trademark hammer.
- E-42 Torole (episode 15) – These robots show up to wreck everything in sight once Dr. Eggman's recently launched Egg Fort arrives at the mall.
- E-43 Falcon (episode 15) – These robots appear and attack Sonic when he shows up to stop the Egg Fort for the first time.
- E-45 Sumo-Man (episode 21) – He basically acts as a road block during a race between Sonic and Sam Speed. They both manage to get pass him, but apparently without paying much notice towards him.
- E-47 Pumpty (episode 5) – This robot has a clear-glass container, which it uses to capture Sonic's friends while Sonic is out fighting Knuckles the Echidna. Although Amy severely damages its main generator, Knuckles ultimately is the one to defeat it.
- E-51 Intelligente (pronounced In-tella-hen-tay) (episode 6) – A schoolteacher robot that takes over Chris' class as its new teacher, to which the children respond positively. He refuses to follow Dr. Eggman's orders until Eggman shows up in person, threatening to dismantle him. Sonic defeats him after E-51 selfishly goes back to being a mindless servant.
- E-57 Clurken (episode 16) – Attacks Sonic and friends when a Chaos Emerald has been found under the ocean.
- E-65 Gorru-Gaooh (episode 18) – Attacks Sonic while he is in Africa with Chris and Tails.
- E-66 Da-Dai-Oh (episode 22) – Attacks Sonic's friends at a Chao colony, tracking mud into the river in the process.
- E-70 Noizi (episode 11) – Guards the Chaos Emerald that Dr. Eggman stole at Diamond Stadium. It is capable of making painfully loud noises.
- E-74 Weazo (episode 23) – Attacks Sonic and friends in a movie studio where yet another Chaos Emerald has been found.
- E-77 Lucky (episodes 25, 26, 45, and 46) – Dr. Eggman sends out this petite, bell-shaped robot to look for the final Chaos Emerald. He is made out of lucky charms, but this appears to be merely dumb luck. Lucky has an apparent desire to be praised, as he willingly offers Sonic the Chaos Emerald after Sonic compliments him. Although his immediate fate was unknown at the time, Lucky is later and last seen fighting in a martial arts tournament held by the President.
- E-88 Lightning Bird (episode 24) – A huge robot that acts very much like a chicken and attacks Sonic at a farm. A piece of loose machinery from the robot falls into Sonic's ear, eventually causing him to run uncontrollably for nearly the entire episode.
- E-90 Super Sweeper (episode 8) – This robot is deployed to suck up all the satellites in space so that Dr. Eggman can launch his own television channel.
- E-91 Ku-no-i-chi (episode 17) – The only female E-Series robot, modeled after a ninja (its codename translates to "Female Ninja"). Quoted from Dr. Eggman in the Japanese version: "Sometimes she's a driver, sometimes she's a female guard, and sometimes she's a sexy dancer... but her true identity is E-91, Ku-no-i-chi!"
- E-99 Egg Emperor (episode 26) – A massive E-Series robot that is a reformation of the Egg Fort 2. Using the power of the Chaos Emeralds, he is able to move faster than Sonic himself, appearing to him as a mere blur. Although Eggman enjoyed playing around with Sonic at first, E-99 eventually went out of his control and started pummeling Sonic with full force. Because of this, Sonic was completely unable to fight him and was rendered severely injured. After E-99 seemingly kills Sonic by throwing him into the ocean, Chris (who was being held ransom by Eggman) breaks out of his restraints and accidentally drops the Chaos Emeralds into the ocean. Ultimately, E-99 is destroyed by Super Sonic, although it has proved to be one of the most fierce of Eggman's creations in the series. (Note: In the English version, E-99's codename is "Eggsterminator". Its Japanese name is shared with that of the normal final boss in Sonic Heroes, although it is unknown if this was the reason for 4Kids altering it.)
4Kids English Version
As with all of their licenses, 4Kids edited the show to satisfy broadcasting guidelines. This version of Sonic X has been criticized by some for editing out whole portions, changing the soundtrack, and re-wording certain phrases to make it more kid friendly. The quality of the New York-based voice acting was criticised as well. Reasons such as these are why many Sonic X fans prefer the original Japanese version. However, in comparison with some other 4Kids titles, the English version of Sonic X was relatively faithful to the original in terms of its overall script and episode count.
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|Main article: Sonic X Episodes|
Instead of casting the voice actors from the games, 4Kids cast their own actors as the Sonic characters. These actors would replace the actors from the games in 2005 until 2010.
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- Original Concept: SEGA, Sonic Team
- Planning: SONIC Project
- Executive Producer: Yuji Naka
- Producer: Takeshi Sasamura (TV Tokyo), Tadahito Matsumoto (TMS Entertainment)
- Animation Producer: Kenji Mizunuma
- Associate Producer: Emi Sasaki
- Story Editor: Hiro Masaki (Episodes 1-52), Kiyoko Yoshimura (Episodes 53-78)
- Supervisors: Akinori Nishiyama, Takashi Iizuka, Shiro Maekawa
- Original Character Design: Yuji Uekawa
- Character Design / Animation Director: Satoshi Hirayama
- Mechnical Design: Yasuhiro Moriki
- Mechnical Animation Director: Keisuke Watabe
- Art Director: Yukiko Iijima
- Color Design: Mika Iwami
- Background Art: Minoru Ōkōchi
- Sound Director: Keiichi Momose (Episodes 1-52), Keiichiro Miyoshi (Episodes 53-78)
- Music: Yoshihiro Ike
- Recording Engineer: Tadaharu Satō
- Assistant Engineer: Mitsue Narahara
- Sound Production: MSI (Episodes 1-52), Tohokushinsha Film Corporation (Episodes 53-78)
- Recording Studio: KSS Studio
- Sound Effects: Toshio Takano
- CG Director: Takeshi Nagata
- CG Production: ufotable
- Director of Photography: Ayumu Hatori
- Editor: Hisako Hasegawa
- Editing Cooperation: Okada Edit Room
- Editing Studio: TMS Photo (T.D.B.)
- Program Publicity: Nanae Sasahara (TV Tokyo), Yasushi Nagumo
- Assistant: Yoshie Maeda
- Literary Manager: Kōji Miki
- Production Chief: Hideaki Miyamoto
- Animation Production: TMS Entertainment (credited as Tokyo Movie)
- Produced by: TV Tokyo, TMS Entertainment
- Director: Hajime Kamegaki
- OP (Episodes 1-78): "SONIC DRIVE" by Hironobu Kageyama and Hideaki Takatori
- ED1 (Episodes 1-13): "Mi-Ra-I" ("Future") by RUN&GUN
- ED2 (Episodes 14-39, 53-78): "Hikaru Michi" ("The Shining Road") by Aya Hiroshige
- ED3 (Episodes 40-52): "T.O.P" by KP
- INS1 (Episode 26): "Kotoba ni Dekinai" ("Words Cannot Describe") by OFF COURSE (TV Broadcast Only)
- INS2 (Episode 38): "Live & Learn" by Crush 40
- INS3 (Episode 52): "Natsu no Hi" ("Summer Day") by OFF COURSE (TV Broadcast Only)
- INS4 (Episode 52): "Midori no Hibi" ("Green Days") by OFF COURSE (TV Broadcast Only)
- 4Kids produced their own opening vocal theme to replace the Japanese theme songs, simply known as "Sonic X Theme" (and popularly yet unofficially referred to as "Gotta Go Fast" by fans). It was written by Russel Velazquez, Joseph Garrity, and Norman Grossfield, and it appeared on the compilation soundtrack True Blue (strangely in place of "SONIC DRIVE"). The entire Japanese soundtrack had been removed from the 4Kids version of Sonic X.
- Jetix used their own opening theme of Sonic X for PAL broadcasts. The song is sung by a female singer repeating the show's title numerous times.
- In 2004, an original soundtrack to the series was released by Wave Master, featuring select BGM, four versions of "SONIC DRIVE" (including the full version), and "Mi-Ra-I."
- Several music tracks from Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure 2 appear as BGM in certain episodes.
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|Main article: Sonic X/Merchandise|
- In September 2005, Archie Comics started an ongoing series based upon, and named after, Sonic X. It ended at Issue #40, after which it was replaced by Sonic Universe.
- The Leapster, from LeapFrog Enterprises, has released a Sonic X-themed math game intended for kindergarten and first grade students.
- Sonic X toys and action figures were released by Toy Island. The first line was a re-release of their earlier Sonic Adventure line, only with a redesigned box and less accessories. The line includes Sonic, Tails, Big, Knuckles, and Eggman.
- The Blue Bunny ice cream company released a Sonic X themed ice cream bar.
- Other merchandise includes bedsheets, plush toys, posters, backpacks, and children's clothing.
Game Boy Advance Video
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|Main article: Sonic X/Home releases|
- Official website on TMS Entertainment (archive)
- Official website on TMS Entertainment (later) (archive)
- Official website on SonicTeam.com (archive)
- Sonic X on 4Kids.tv (archive)
- Sonic X on Kids Station website
- Sonic X on Amazon: US (1-26), US (27-52), US (53-78), UK (1-26), UK (27-52), UK (53-78)
- Sonic X on Tokyo Movie Online (archive)
- Sonic X on Netflix
- Announcement dated 17 November 2004 of Déclic Image's acquisition of the Sonic X license on their website (archive)
- Sonic X DVD collection (Vol. 1, 2, 3 and 4) on Manga Distribution online catalogue (archive)
- Sonic X/Shaman King Collection on Déclic Collection (archive)
- RUN&GUN official website (archive)
- Portuguese-dubbed Sonic X episodes (Biggs Channel version) on YouTube
|Sonic the Hedgehog television shows|
|Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog (1993) | Sonic the Hedgehog (1993-1994) | Sonic Underground (1999) | Sonic X (2003-2004) | Sonic Boom (2014-2017) | Sonic Prime (2022)|