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Sonic Underground


Soniman
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Welp, here we are guys, the final DiC Sonic cartoon, it's been a crazy ride.

After creating AOSTH and SatAM, Sonic cartoons on opposite sides of the tone-o-meter, DiC wondered what direction they should take the next Sonic cartoon. Well, into the realm of ROCK N' ROLL OF COURSE!!!

Despite the less than reputable things ill have to say about this show, ill admit that this song kicks ass. If I was a kid, id definitely be interested in watching more (until I actually seen it).

Sonic Underground aired on September 5, 1998 and ended in May 30, 1999. Funny thing about it's air date, it was about 2 months before Sonic Adventure would make it's debut in Japan. Funny thing about Sonic Adventure was that it was the end to the "lost in translation" era of the Sonic franchise where the continuities of Western Sonic and Japan Sonic were somewhat skewed, with SA1 the same plots and mythos would be shared with both, and it also practically reinvented the Sonic Universe from the ground up.

So as you can imagine, Sonic Underground dated itself pretty damn quickly, still relying on the old western conventions for Sonic, it was pulled between the early 90s radical idea of Sonic and the late 90s/early 00 sensibilities of the new Adventure Sonic phase. Needless to say it wasn't a pretty sight.

Let's start with the plot (and stop me if you heard this before), Robotnik has taken over the planet Mobius and the rules the world with a tyrannical fist from his capital of Robotropolis. He threatens the people of Mobius with a sinister process called Roboticization, that turns the people of Mobius into his mindless slaves. All is not lost however, as there are those who are willing to fight Robotnik, they call themselves the Freedom Fighters, a global organization dedicated to stopping Robotnik.

Does that sound familiar at all? I guess it's my own fault for expecting something completely original but come on guys.

Okay, ill admit it has some original ideas. Before Robotnik fucked shit up, it was ruled by the benevolent Queen Aleena who had just given birth to a trio of special hedgehogs. Sonic, Sonia, and Manik, who were all royalty. But thanks to Robotnik, Aleena was forced to separate from her children and hide them from Robotnik's treachery. Sonic was put in a middle class home, Sonia in a high class one, and Manik in a low class home....until he was stolen and raised by thieves (nice one Aleena).

Years later, the Oracel of Delphi revealed him self to each of the 3 youngsters, and told them the prophecy of how each of them would reunite with their mother, overthrow Robotnik, form the "Council of Four", and bring peace to Mobius. So the primary goal of our main characters is to find their mother (who apparently, doesn't want to be found) so they can fulfill the prophecy.

All three of the kids were imbued with magic medallions that would transform into instruments/weapons (for some reason) which would help them time and again against their enemies.

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Sonic the Hedgehog: You know the deal by now. He's super fast, loves chili dogs, etc etc. Just copy-paste his SatAM persona (minus the humble parts) and there you go. His Medalion ability is a guitar. Once again, Sonic is voiced by Jaleel White

Sonia the Hedgehog: The "Sally Acorn" of this show, she basically plays team mom to Sonic and Manik. Being raised in a high class home, she has a very stuck up and prissy personality. Though when the going get's tough you can expect her to drop the pretense and get rough. Her special ability is super strength and her medallion ability is a keyboard that shoots lasers. Again, voiced by Jaleel White (lol)

Manik the Hedgehog: The kleptomaniac with a surfer accent. Manik was raised by thieves, and as a result steals anything that's not nailed to the ground. With his magical fanny pack (seriously) he's able to hold an unlimited number of items. Manik doesn't have an powers of his own, but his Medallion ability is the strongest of the three, able to summon a drum set which can cause earthquakes. Voiced by (you guessed it) Jaleel White.

What I find funny about Manik and Sonia is that they made recoloring/fan characters a thing before it became popular. Their designs aren't really that unique from Sonic's and there personalities are barely developed. But then again, Sonic's personality isn't all that developed either.

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Holy shit KNUCKLES is in this thing? that's actually quite the surprise, I didn't really expect anything remotely resembling the games to be featured this show. But remember when I said how Underground was torn between two eras? Well this represents in pretty damn well. Instead of living on Angel Island and guarding the Master Emerald, he now lives on Floating Island and guards a single Chaos Emerald. You'd think by 1998 this kind of thing would've been cleared up but I guess now. As for how he's represented in the show, it at least stays true to the the basic premise of Knuckles being tricked and mistaking Sonic and co for the enemy. He's rash and hotheaded, but he's at least smart enough to set up elaborate traps around his island in case of intruders. He also has a pet Dinosaur named Chomps, that's cool I guess. Knuckles is voiced by

In a later appearance he is shown to have a Great-Grandfather named Athair, no doubt an expy from the comics.

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Robotnik is more/less the same has his SaTAM persona, though he's a bit less evil this time around. Actually, his overall role in the series is greatly diminished and the actually "villain-ing" is left to his minions Sleet and Dingo. He still rules the world and what not, but he only uses Roboticization as a means of punishment, rather than a enforced rule. He usually just uses it on the impoverished people as a means of extorting money out of the richer denizens of Mobius, which is smart I guess. God knows you could just Roboticize everyone and just do whatever you want but okay. Robotnik is voiced by Gary Chalk

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Imagine Scratch and Grounder without any charm, well there you have Sleet and Dingo. Former bounty hunters who were forcibly put on Robotnik's payroll, Sleet and Dingo are tasked with finding the Hedgehog Trio and stop them from reuniting with their mother. The angle with these two is that one is the smart guy and the other is the strong dimwit, which is pretty generic. Sleet is voiced by Maurice LaMarche, Dingo is voiced by Peter Wilds.

A special aspect of this show is that for each episode they would have segment where Sonic and his siblings would sing a song (usually 2 minutes). I can only imagine how well that worked out.

Isn't that just amazing? Those angelic voices, the excellent instrumentals, and those lyrics!! Okay, enough sarcasm, this is friggin awful. Through out the 40 episodes, I can't think of a single song that was actually good, not one. This is the kind of thing you hear in television programs targeted to kids 4 and under. I would compare it to shows like Blues Clues, but that would be a insult to Blues Clues.

Sonic Underground in other media: They had one appearance in the Archie comics (Super Special 10), as an alternate universe to the main one.

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Also Sabrina

But that's about it, as you can imagine Sonic Underground isn't all that popular in the Sonic community.

Personal opinion: This should come as no surprise to you, but this show kinda sucks donkey chunks. While SaTAM was basically a "in name only" adaptation of Sonic, this was the same thing, but with MASSIVE DRUGS being involved. The whole band aspect reeked of trying to hard, Robotnik was barely an actually villain, the animation is really bad, the songs are ear wrenching, the characters aren't interesting in the slightest, not to mention the blatant coattail riding of SatAM (as you can see from the many assists it took from that show). Really the only positive I can give this show is that Knuckles was in it and his general backstory wasn't totally skewered. But really, out of all the Sonic cartoons, this is the worse of the bunch easily. While AOSTH and SaTAM appealed to different people, Underground appealed to almost no one. How can anyone stomach a concept as repugnant as this one is beyond me.

Avoid at all cost.

Edited by Soniman
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Sonic Underground. IMHO, the worst Sonic show next to AoStH. This was even more of an "In name only" adaptation than what SatAM was and that's saying something.

Most of the character designs are whacked-out and awful and make even less of an effort to conform with established character designs than most other Western Sonic media. I mean, what were the animators on when they designed these?

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They look remarkably happy for people who are about to have their bodies and minds violated blink.png

The first episode "Beginnings" was...alright, if overly sentimental in a cheesy way but the other episodes were formulaic, had terrible, terrible songs and were frankly irritating. And I don't think I'll ever understand why DiC had Sonia voiced by Jaleel White. She sounds frikkin' awful and the episodes have an unintentional comedy value to them if you envision Jaleel White talking to himself in the recording booth in awful voices :lol: Sonia's an annoying character anyway even if she had had a decent voice.

And minor nitpick, but did anyone else notice that Aleena had favoritism for Sonia? Poor Manic...

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I kind of figured she didn't give a shit about Manik when he put him in a crummy ass neighborhood and Sonia in a high class one.

I'm sure Aleena didn't want Manic to have been kidnapped but then she did put him down in a pretty seedy neighbourhood in front of a pretty low-class looking house.

Also, there are other instances in the series where the queen is holding Sonia in her lap and most of the time during these flashbacks, little Manic is off entertaining himself in a corner somewhere...

And...

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Aleena shows her disregard of Manic again (He's the little guy near her feet). Sonic and Sonia are the ones being held.

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Take SatAM. Remove any value that show might have had (and even the staunchest of haters will admit that it had some). Add THE POWER OF ROCK and ORIGINAL CHARACTERS, DO NOT STEAL before it was popular to make them. Launch this cocktail of shit after Sonic Adventure has already come out, because why not? It might as well be anachronistic as well.

Did I miss anything?

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I think the word you're looking for is neglectful.

She abandoned him in a poverty stricken neighborhood, while Sonic & Sonia got off good. Constantly evades her children at any opportunity. I'd say that's pretty abusive, even if she never outright struck them, but I do agree it's more neglect than abuse

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Neglect is a type of child abuse. It is simply a passive form. The word "neglect" also tends to carry connotations that make it seem less damaging to a child than it is.

Wait, what were we talking about again?

Edited by Tornado
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Where the FUCK was Tails?

Seriously how could even think of making a Sonic show without including Tails is mind boggling. But then again how they could think to make a show about Sonic using the REAL SUPER POWER OF ROCK N ROLL to find his mama is also pretty mind boggling. Well, actually not so much, DiC execs doing weird ass focus tests and being completely out of touch with the real world....

But seriously, how do you make a Sonic show with no Tails....

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Oh god, this show....

I'm not even sure where to start, I guess to save time and text space I'll say the few things I liked about it:

1) Sonic's attitude. Cheesy as it may be it was pretty close to what it was in SatAM as (probably largely due to the fact that he was voiced by the same actor). I like that Sonic snark.

2) Knuckles! YAY! a character from the franchise that ISN'T SONIC!

Aaaannnnd that's about it. Everything else is utter rubbish. Animation is poor, voice acting is sad, plot, other characters, it's all a bunch of ick. It's sad but I find it hard just to watch a full episode in this series. Often I can get though about halfway and then... they "SING"! Uhhhh, by all that is good what were they THINKING?

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meh, Manic was probably the only thing that kept me interested in Underground for as long as I watched it. He essentially the Tails of the show...if Tails was a hedgehog who was raised by thieves. Still, Manic was an enjoyable character, better than the Spoiled Brat, that's for sure.

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