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The OVA's Supplementary Characters


Dr. Mechano
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Hi, guys. It's Gordo time again.

As we all know, each derivative iteration of the Sonic franchise takes creative liberties with Sonic and his world. The most prominent of these liberties are arguably the extra characters that are created to interact with the game cast. AoStH's SSSSS Squad, SatAM's(And later Archie's) Freedom Fighters, Underground's siblings, X's whiney brat and surprisingly cool robots, etc.

But one short chapter in Sonic history continually captures my attention with its presentation and handling of its additional characters, and that would be two-part OVA simply titled Sonic the Hedgehog, or "Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie" as it was dubbed in its English release.

At only an hour long, the OVA did a good job of focusing mostly on the game characters- Sonic, Dr. Eggman, Tails, Knuckles, and Metal Sonic. The new characters introduced specifically for the OVA never outshined their game-based costars, and tended to stay in the background. Yet at the same time, they were more than forgettable extras, and managed to contribute to the plot in their way. This topic's for them- My analysis of the Sonic OVA's "extra" characters.

Sera

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Perhaps the most prominent of the OVA's new characters was Sera, daughter of the President of South Island.

I don't know why, but I just love this character. She's very materialistic, self-centered, egotistical, whiney, ditzy, and manipulative- Just about every quality about her is detestable, and that's exactly what makes her so endearingly hilarious.

Compared to other lead females in other portrayals of the Sonic series, Sera is not a lovestruck young girl or a hypercompetent assistant. No, she's merely a part-time damsel in distress and full-time spoiled brat. But her antics are so boisterous, so over the top, and so fraught with inconsequential silliness that none of that matters.

And of course, the character she interacts most with isn't our hero Sonic, but rather everyone's favorite mechanical megalomaniac, Dr. Eggman! Throughout most of the show, Sera is Eggman's hostage(Though she playfully threatens to stop being that once), and the two have plenty of time to... Well, just sort of hang out. Unlike typical villain and damsel interactions, Eggman and Sera just kind of chitchat and casually pass the time. Whether it's playing videogames(Which she's no good at), discussing Eggman's plans, or even going for a drive in Eggman's latest combat mecha, the two act more like a couple of friends than a villain and his captive. And I always found that sort of charming.

Of course, this subtext becomes text when it's revealed that Eggman harbors deep feelings of romance toward the girl, and wishes to marry her. Although Sera loves the wedding dress by her own wording, she doesn't share Eggman's feelings of love, and flatly rejects him. But that doesn't stop their amusingly-casual relationship, as by the end of the film, Sera hitches a ride in Eggman's hovercraft, and he gladly gives her a lift to catch up with Sonic. Aww, at least they're still, uh, "friends."

The President

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This is my favorite take on the ubiquitous President role in the Sonic series. Compared to the stern and serious President of the games, or the somewhat befuddled but still rather strong President of Sonic X, OVA's President takes the cake with his amusingly cowardly nature.

He's quite different from his daughter- The man is meek, fearful, and easily intimidated by bigger, badder threats (Read: everyone).

But he's meek in a very... pronounced and extroverted way. His speech is delicate, yet very loud. He's cowardly, yet haphazardly leaps into danger, flying his ship to the north pole to aid Sonic... though he fails to do so, and only ends up complicating matters after crashing. Still, he tried, and that's what counts.

The poor guy is out of the loop too. After everyone else is preoccupied with stopping Eggman and Metal Sonic from destroying the Land of the Sky, we get a scene where the President determinedly ponders the whereabouts of Black Eggman, who was revealed to be a smokescreen for Eggman's real plan some time ago.

He's too passive for his own good, and is quick to give in under pressure. When Black Eggman bursts through his office, while he does try to persuade Sera not to leave with Eggman, his faint cries are ignored and the two go madly rocketing away with their destructive new ride to the Land of Darkness. Though as soft-spoken as he usually is, even the President can't help but express his frustration at the Old Man's antics, unceremoniously calling him "that idiot."

In the end, the Prez is well-intentioned but sadly ineffectual guy. He's that "lovable loser" character archetype that I can't help but sympathize with, and for what little he did, I really enjoyed his role.

Old Man Owl

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Where do I begin with this guy? Old Man Owl is awesome. He had no point, no meaningful contributions to the story, and no reason to be involved in the circumstances surrounding it. And yet, that's the simplistic genius of his character.

What we know is that Old Man has a past shrouded in mystery. Once "quite the racer" by his own wording, the fowl of the fast-lane was allegedly quite the ladies' man as well.

This backstory of glamor and glory, coupled with his descent into a cooky old weirdo, serves as a reminder that even the most astute and beloved heroes must all grow old eventually, and that not even Sonic- "quite the racer" of his generation- can run away from the fate of life's natural progression. Perhaps on a deeper level, Old Man instills in us a somber message of the inescapable cycle of life and the fragility of one's youth... Perhaps- Nah, Old Man was just a goofy comic relief character.

But at that, he succeeded.

He also gets points for having a ship that looked more like the Eggmobile than Eggman's own ship did. What the heck?

Butler

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Okay, I admit it. This guy was just an extra, incidental character. But really, what a snappy dresser! With only two lines, "Mr. President, you need to see this!" and "Sir!", the butler didn't leave much of an impression, sadly.

As I said, I like these characters because they're funny, likable, and contribute well the the overall production without ever overshadowing the characters from the games themselves. While the OVA's extra characters were never as popular as those of the other Sonic cartoons, they'll always have a special place in my heart, and I hope this topic can potentially foster some good discussion about them.

What did you think of the OVA's new characters?

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I loved the Owl. How I wish that if Sega ever puts animals in the game as NPCs like humans, they'll follow this formula. Wacko and fun, who don't belong in the spotlight stealing squad.

I loved the president as well. Cowards and meek characters make excelent characters IMO. Sera could have been better without the Sonic craze, but since she forgets it half an hour in (and Sonic doesn't even aknowledge she's there) it's fine. I do agree that she is good because she's that detestable though.

I didn't even remember the buttler. :$

Edited by redmenace
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Ha, count me as a butler appreciator! I remember it annoyed me that he wasn't credited at the end of the movie (though I sincerely doubt they got a seperate voice actor to do his lines of course, lol).

I love the OVA, and all the characters that come with it pretty much for the same reasons as you E.G.G. They really riveted me to the point that the whole thing felt like it's own little world and story, rather than an "adaptation", or being untrue to the games.

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A butler?? Dammit, that completely slipped my mind! Heil all butlers! \:lol:/

Especially this one! \(^o^)/♪ You cannot not love the design! ゜∀゜

On-topic, OVA has the best secondary characters out of all non-game continuities.

Buuuuutleeeeeeeeeeeers!! \( ̄▽ ̄)/ /(¯¬¯)\

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Not to get too into a Sonic '06 debate, but I think that Sonic '06 would have GREATLY benefited from lifting characters from the OVA. Imagine Elise as a spoiled brat who hilariously interacted with Eggman and the king of Soleanna as the comically meek leader (throw in a scene of the King teleconferencing with the President of the United Federation for some sort of link to the previous games). Heck, even toss in a fully rendered Old Man Owl for the tutorial!

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Not to get too into a Sonic '06 debate, but I think that Sonic '06 would have GREATLY benefited from lifting characters from the OVA. Imagine Elise as a spoiled brat who hilariously interacted with Eggman and the king of Soleanna as the comically meek leader (throw in a scene of the King teleconferencing with the President of the United Federation for some sort of link to the previous games). Heck, even toss in a fully rendered Old Man Owl for the tutorial!

This would have been amazing.

And now I'm sad that it didn't happen, because I love the OVA cast so much. They're such a lovable bunch who compliment the game characters so well, and I'd love to see more stories featuring them. A single hour of their antics simply wasn't enough.

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And now I'm sad that it didn't happen, because I love the OVA cast so much. They're such a lovable bunch who compliment the game characters so well, and I'd love to see more stories featuring them. A single hour of their antics simply wasn't enough.

It's sad because Sonic '06 was so friggin close to being in the same setting with the same characters as the OVA, and yet they didn't go the extra few yards to do so! Had '06 been an adaptation or sequel to the OVA, it would have been much better. Yes, it would've been different, but it would have been better than what we got.

I actually just bought '06 last week (technically it was free in a buy 2 get 1 deal), and as I started to play it I felt some sort of nostalgia. I couldn't pinpoint where this nostalgia was coming from as I found the setting of Soleanna to be a soulless city populated with nameless NPCs, and I found the "original" characters to have little personality and likability. Yet in the back of my head something was there that made it very much a Sonic game.

It wasn't until this post that I've realized that '06 is a cheap imitation of the OVA, lacking the humor and eccentricities that came with the film. Kingdom set in the modern day? Check. Princess kidnapped by Eggman? Check. Doting father of Princess? Check.

Even Eggman has the same reputation in '06 as he did in the OVA.

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The Old Man Owl, the Pres, and Sera were always the best in the movie, besides you know. They just added to the story so much without even doing much.

And this is what I love about them.

I found SatAM's Freedom Fighters and X's Chris to be very overbearing and intrusive, often getting as much focus- and sometimes even more focus than- the game characters did. What I love about the OVA's extra characters is that they fulfill their role of secondary cast, without ever overshadowing the characters from the games, while still leaving a strong enough impression as characters in their own right.

I'm not trying to turn this into a "Bash the other cartoon characters" thread, but I admit this trend does frustrate me to no end, and the OVA is one of those rare cases where the extra characters were handled in a way that not only satisfied me, but genuinely interested me as well.

In the end, it makes me all the more curious about Planet Freedom and the possible stories that take place there. And I just really like that.

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Oh, I LOVE the extra characters in the OVA.

Especially Old Man Owl.

He was just AWESOME.

'Oh yes I was very popular with the llaaaadddiiieeessss hoo hooo'

Then there's that classic quote...

'Ah, what a perfect night for lying on the beach. Hmm? Oh, master Sonic, I didn't expect to see you back so soon! ....Master Sonic? Is there something wrong? Wait, what are you doing? SSSTTOOOPPPP!'

Best.

Line.

EVER.

Then there's the 'what really happened', where he's wearing Sonic's favorite clothes. That is just so out-of-the-blue(Bad-um-bsshhh) it's HILARIOUS.

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