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Can a good Sonic anime be made?


Ryannumber1gamer

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To be brief: yes. If Sonic can have good story, then there is no reason he can be made in any form of media, would it be comic, movie or anime. Sonic CD proves that Sonic speed can look amazing in Japane animation and if's going to be aimed mostly for western audience it won't be a commercial failure.

And I like few things about Sonic X, but Dr Chaotix already covered them.

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8 hours ago, shdowhunt60 said:

But a lot of the liberties that DiC's cartoons took ended up being recurring and endearing elements throughout the course of the franchise. Sonic and Tails bromance?

The bromance was always there. It was just expressed in ways made possible through the capabilities of gaming technology at the time.

 

7 hours ago, Phos said:

I almost feel like the Adventure games made it harder, they created the expectation, or at least the precedence of a level of self seriousness, but they still had video game stories.

I'm confused. Are you saying that it's odd for something that takes itself seriously to revolve around video game stories?

7 hours ago, Phos said:

By that, I mean the plot, in movie terms, is basically just a set up for a several drawn out action scenes.

But...that's what the action genre is, isn't it?

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16 hours ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:

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latest?cb=20130329201537

True, the second, and third versions used in the video are fanmade alterations placing the original theme into the anime. HOWEVER, the first one that plays is the original version of the anime, so Cornered does play! And furthermore, it's played multiple times in the anime, as I've seen all of the episodes thus far!

As for the frame, I've seen the exact same thing happen with Dragon Ball Z, as in individual frames are used for examples for ugly animation, despite the fact that quite a lot of these frames are only used for a brief second, or as transitional shots into another animation.

latest?cb=20130329201539

Furthermore, while some of the game's funnier moments have been taken out, plot points that were rather stupid, or new jokes have been added that base itself on aspects of characters we didn't see originally, case and point, Sal's Fanservice fantasy of Maya as the Pink Princess, Larry's """attempts""" at impersonating Edgeworth to buy time, and more. The parrot scene may have some of the comedy removed, but I find that the anime places in original jokes that take full advantage of the animation, and are funny in their own right.

Except I'm not talking about individual inbetween frames of animation. I'm talking about still frames it focuses on. Half of all the episodes are filled with still frames like that and it just looks bad. Sometimes there are scenes that are surprisingly well animated, but those are by far the exception rather than the rule.

Also the fanservice fantasy scene isn't exactly a good example of good added comedy. I'll give you Larry impersonating Edgeworth though.

And I didn't say the anime never uses the game's music, I said it barely ever uses it. If anything your video showed it doesn't use the Cornered music nearly enough, with how two out of three times it had to be added in by the uploader. :V

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I think a Sonic anime series, or movie, could definitely work. Sonic the Hedgehog OVA worked for what it did, despite some of the issues, but it shows that it can work. Sonic X had potential, but they kinda squandered all of it in favor for Chris imo. It could be aimed towards the west, then there shouldn't really be a problem for bombing. As long as they have the right people that can handle the characterization of the established characters close to their game counterparts while giving them proper character development in the meantime. I would really like for it be a light hearted adventure with a good story that can have a balance of action, comedy and drama, among many other things. I'm not sure which animation studio they could go with in order for a Sonic anime, maybe Toei Animation (the ones that made the Sonic CD opening and ending scenes) or Production I.G (the ones that made that opening to Sonic Riders).

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Sonic X is fine for the audience it's aimed at. It has a lot of kid appeal while still being faithful to the games and their characters (for the most part; they flanderized Eggman and Amy too much for my tastes). And it had my favorite characterizations of Sonic and Knuckles, especially when you look at that latter's characterization in Sonic Boom and his post-SA2 flanderized self.

 

But as for a more "universal" good Sonic anime. Take Sonic X, remove Chris and most original human characters, replace the "mundane adventures" and monster of the week formula with a more serialized format, remove the Japanese pop culture references, de-flanderize Eggman and Amy, give Sonic more screentime, don't let 4kids dub it and presto! You have the perfect Sonic anime.

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5 hours ago, Azul said:
 

 

I'm confused. Are you saying that it's odd for something that takes itself seriously to revolve around video game stories?

But...that's what the action genre is, isn't it?

The expectation of self seriousness is a problem in my view because I don't think it suits the franchise.

Action movies typically have more plot than an action game, but then you have movies like Hardcore Henry which do have a lot more in common with a videogame plot. 

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5 hours ago, Phos said:

The expectation of self seriousness is a problem in my view because I don't think it suits the franchise.

Ah, so you're pinning for a tone along the lines of the more recent games. Am I wrong?

5 hours ago, Phos said:

Action movies typically have more plot than an action game, but then you have movies like Hardcore Henry which do have a lot more in common with a videogame plot. 

That's generalizing. There may be some plots more specific to one medium than the other but action games, especially more recently with the improving technology, aren't so lacking in the plot department that they have to be differentiated from action movies in terms of content. Additionally, action movies can't be put on the same boat regarding the depth of plot since there's so many different movies with varying levels of plot-to-action ratio.

A lot of movies and even TV shows easily translate into video games. I can't say the same vice-versa but it's a possibility and it has been done before. A lot. Writing a Sonic show would be no different than writing a Sonic game. Just substitute the gameplay for scenes.

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I can't say that I'd want it to take the tone of the current games because I can barely find a tone outside of "Sonic tells a kind-of-joke sometimes".  Sonic X had to follow up Advanture 2, which had a story that was self serious, threadbare, and frequently didn't make that much sense, like tails needing to get on board the president's limo to trace the source of Eggman's transmission, it comes together to not really be much of a guide for making a show. 

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Just now, Phos said:

...frequently didn't make that much sense, like tails needing to get on board the president's limo to trace the source of Eggman's transmission...

How does this not make sense, Eggman's sending a signal to the President and Tails needs to track it to find out where Eggman's hiding...just change the setting from Limousine to the White House and Boom it makes perfect sense.

 

Tails somehow getting in the Limo from the plane is the only thing that doesn't make sense.

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I feel like ascribing Sonic to "would it make a good anime" is ignoring the larger question of "would Sonic make a good serial animated action series?". I feel like regardless of it's Japanese animators who take it on or a Western studio, Sonic is absolutely well suited for a well-done and focused adaptation of the games into a serialized action series. I feel like what the Archie comics are delivering post-reboot are giving us the absolute closest to what something like that might look like - plenty of new characters to make the universe feel more rounded while still sticking mostly to the plot of the existing games and centering things on the characters we know and love.

There are some failings of other Sonic series that I feel would need to be addressed in tackling a new one. Boom and Adventures both pursue the path of comedy, and while that's fine, I feel like the series we've had that have attempted to scratch the action itch have been lacking for one reason or another. SatAM is completely its own thing and absolutely has its own trappings, one of which being it is only a Sonic the Hedgehog series by the most tenuous of means. The OVA succeeds in portraying the game characters, has excellent music, and great animation, but fails to introduce a truly compelling expanded universe. Sonic X has a litany of flaws that have already been discussed in this thread, though the Adventure arc comes really close to what I think a good, strong Sonic action series would look like. 

I feel like strong animation would be essential, and instead of bothering to introduce new locations, using the zones from the games (a la Archie) would be the strongest way to start. I also feel like using musical queues from the game wherever possible would make the series stronger, and it would be something that other Sonic cartoons have shockingly not done yet. I'd also like to see the VAs from the games continue to reprise their roles, as I think the current voice cast is the strongest we've had since Adventure.

Sonic is exciting, charming, engaging, and light-hearted. It's really unfortunate that there isn't yet a series that really captures that and pays homage to Sonic's rich lore and character. 

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On 6/23/2016 at 2:53 PM, Dere said:

Sonic X is fine for the audience it's aimed at. It has a lot of kid appeal while still being faithful to the games and their characters (for the most part; they flanderized Eggman and Amy too much for my tastes). And it had my favorite characterizations of Sonic and Knuckles, especially when you look at that latter's characterization in Sonic Boom and his post-SA2 flanderized self.

Took someone long enough to say it. Out of all of Sonic X's myriad flaws, flanderization is probably the worst to me. Amy's maniacal Sonic fangirling was turned up to 11, as was (sorry, Dere) Knuckles' stupidity. Worst of all, those overblown traits somehow got carried over into the games. 

Oh yeah, and speaking of overblown, what about the characters' strength? Amy's hammer could send an Eggman airship reeling, and Sonic was able to push Eggman mechs off of him more than once purely using physical, non-ring/emerald-powered strength. Lazy writers.

And now I'm having memories of the horrible Sonic Battle storyline. "Hey, let's have a fighting tournament with absolutely no standards over who can compete! Sure, why not let a fat maid and a disgraced hobo compete against Sonic and other dangerous superpowered rodents for a Chaos Emerald? THAT'S not a stupid idea!"

Gah, I could hate on Sonic X all day...

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I'll be honest, I don't think the game material (in its entirety) is good enough to translate into a compelling animation. Different medium often requires changes to be optimal at what it should do. As for asking for adaptation, consider that you may want to tune in to a fresh new plot rather than a retelling of what you already saw previously, lol.

That said, I'm not sure what I want for a Sonic animation. Something akin to a shounen adventure would probably be what resonates with me best, but I know that a few people think that it would be too serious.

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1 hour ago, FlameStream said:

I'll be honest, I don't think the game material (in its entirety) is good enough to translate into a compelling animation. Different medium often requires changes to be optimal at what it should do. 

I feel like the Unleashed adaptation in the comics right now are evidence that there absolutely is a way to turn the games into compelling, expanded plots with a larger variety of characters and entertaining B-plots. It's not 100% faithful - enough details are changed to make it feel deeper and give it greater depth - but it's faithful enough to remain recogniazable and true to source. The Shattered World Crisis has managed to make Unleashed's plot work for nearly two years worth of comic issues. I think this could be done with animation, too.

I'm picturing a series, 26 episodes of a half hour each, that set about to tell the story starting from Sonic 1 up to S3K, with Doomsday Zone being the big finale. Season 2 would capture Adventure 1 and 2. I feel like this could be a really strong series with tons of great character and an interesting, fleshed-out universe if done correctly.

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Yeah, I think it's possible to make a good sonic anime. The series is a perfect fit to the blood-pumping action anime genre. The only sonic show that comes close to that is sonic ova. The action and animation was done pretty well. (Sonic riders intro is an another great example of how an sonic anime should look like).It also has that retro anime cheese that I love so much. That's why I considered it my number one favorite sonic-related cartoon. However, the biggest issue I have with it is that the characters aren't that interesting or the setting. If the your characters aren't developed then I'm not engage in the plot or struggles the characters are going through. That can quickly kill my interest. 

Sonic x doesn't even close. Putting aside it's lackluster animation, there are so many issues with it's characters, decisions in writing, and action. Seriously, watching it nearly puts me to sleep at times. It's super boring and the unnecessary characters aren't making it any better. 

The prefect sonic anime, in my opinion, will have over-the-top action and be engaging at the same time. Similar to the shows that Studio Trigger makes. An anime that looks awesome and have awesome characters. 

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Yes it needs to be more action, more adventure, and to be truer to the source material

Fights need to be more dramatic, imaginative, substantive and fights between major characters should be more martial arts like (Sonic vs Metal, Sonic vs Knuckles etc). Some strategy should be employed that uses weaknesses, strengths and the environment and serious moves should be used (and Sonic should not be defeating monster robots with headbutts, his signature finishing move is his spin attack, and any other attack is a setup or an attempt at defeating via some weakness) - look at other fighting anime for inspiration (for easy examples early Naruto, One Piece, early Dragon Ball). Smaller fights can be resolved within one episode but bigger ones can go for 2 episodes, or if the fight is justifiably extended by being on top of other fights it can reach 3 episodes.

Although the show needs to be truer to the source material, it must also expand on it in a number of areas because of lack of narrative in a number of them - for example the original classic trilogy. But it is possible to overcome this problem - mostly by taking barely used characters and repurposing them.

For example the first story arc could be Sonic 1 - the introduction of the Chaos Emeralds. Sonic and Ray the Squirrel go to South Island in the Tornado because Sonic heard Dr Ivo Robotic (or Dr Eggman as Sonic calls him and gets everyone else to call him) was building his base there and Sonic hates how Eggman destroys freedom by imprisoning helpless animals. While there they discover Eggman is after the 6 Chaos Emeralds and another group composed of Bark and Bean is also after them. Ray is tends to be a coward who panics in danger, Bark is a chauvinistic jerk agent for a government run by Merlina and Shahra, Bean is his bomb crazy prisoner he was forced to bring along by circumstances - all of them should lead to lots of humor. Bark takes immediate dislike of Sonic and the two fight against each other allowing Eggman to get a few of the Emeralds himself, despite how Eggman is often taken by surprise by Sonic and unprepared for battle himself using makeshift attacks. Sonic takes off without even Ray to confront Eggman but Eggman uses a trap to send Sonic plummeting into the sewers of his base, when the others confront Eggman they are in danger until Sonic frees himself and fights to victory.

Then the next story arc would be Sonic 2 - the Death Egg. Sonic and Ray refuse to give Bark the Emeralds so he takes them to twins rulers, Merlina and Shahra. Sonic meets Tails just like described in the Sonic2 JPN manual, Amy is also introduced. Eggman steals the 6 Emeralds from Sonic but then they learn of the 7th Emerald and race for that. Tension grows between Sonic and Bark as Bark becomes jealous of Sonic because Bark likes one of the twins but the twins consider Sonic a bigger hero. The ending is pretty much the game: Tails flies Sonic up to the Wing Fortress in the Tornado, Tornado shot down while Sonic attacks the Wing Fortress and hitches a ride on Engman's escape "X-wing" to the Death Egg where the big climatic battle with the Death Egg Robo happens (I imagine it being similar to Sonic X's After the Attack on Engman's Base where DERobo is aided by Emeralds until Sonic steals them) and brings the Death Egg down.

Obviously the Sonic 3 & Knuckles story arc is next as the Death Egg crashes on Angel Island and forces it into the ocean. The team is alerted to something odd about the Death Egg's crash by the massive wave bigger than it should have been and heads to the source where they find the island. Sonic races ahead and gets attacked like in game and the 7 Emeralds are stolen by Knuckles. A flashback reveals everything described from the Sonic 3 manual of how Knuckles is tricked by Eggman about the prophesised dragon egg that will spell disaster for the island. As the team goes back and forth with Knuckles and Engman's army, there is foreshadowing of future events and Sonic and Bark come to blows ending with Bark going off on his own (well with Bean) and getting his butt kicked by Knuckles. And of course the climax is when Sonic finally takes on Knuckles in a big climatic battle that is interrupted by Eggman stealing the Master Emerald. Knuckles teams up with Sonic to stop him but they are not able to stop the launch of the Death Egg so Sonic turns Super Sonic for the first time to completely destroy it. Afterward the Emeralds scatter in a similar way as they did in the good ending of the Sonic 1 game.

After this would be a Tails Adventure (use elements but I don't think it should be as loyal to the manual) and a Knuckles Chaotix (loyal to the JPN manual) arc, there would be a Sonic CD arc too but I'm not sure where it should go (before Chaotix to use Metal Sonic accurately or move Mecha Sonic from S&K to Chaotix for an epic Super Mecha Sonic battle there, maybe even bump Silver Sonic to Sonic 3&K). Then there would have to be one more Classic story arc (Triple Trouble probably but not so loyal - also Fang the Sniper hates his real name Nack the Weasel and it like a berserk button to him) to change up the status quo in preparation for the Sonic Adventure story arc and so on. The destruction or failed attack of Eggman's latest weapon changes Classic Sonic to Modern Sonic - later Classic Amy gives herself a makeover and starts wearing green contacts to become Modern Amy, etc). The group splits with Bark turning traitor (with Bean going along since he's Bean).

It's tone has to be like the original Sonic games, with Sonic being both awkward and cool, mixed with good humor and epic drama like Sonic Unleashed. I mentioned in another post that the perfect Eggman characterization would be both a humorous character that can still be taken as a serious threat...

... and that would work perfectly here

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19 hours ago, kadybat said:

I feel like the Unleashed adaptation in the comics right now are evidence that there absolutely is a way to turn the games into compelling, expanded plots with a larger variety of characters and entertaining B-plots. It's not 100% faithful - enough details are changed to make it feel deeper and give it greater depth - but it's faithful enough to remain recogniazable and true to source. The Shattered World Crisis has managed to make Unleashed's plot work for nearly two years worth of comic issues. I think this could be done with animation, too.

Adding to this, ZiggyFin's SA2 comic, in my opinion, also shows how Sonic can work in a purely narrative-driven medium using only material from the games.  The comic basically gives you all you eally need to understand the plot, even if you haven't played the game.  You don't really need an huge, expansive universe and large extended cast from at the start.  You just need a setup, location, and basic familiarity with the characters currently at play.

I do think some creative liberties will have to be taken in order to incorperate what are otherwise relegated to gameplay mechanics (things such as rings), but not so much that you have to add a lot of unnecessary padding and fleshing out like Sonic X and Archie/SatAM do.

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On 6/23/2016 at 1:16 PM, Omega Pipe said:

I'm not sure which animation studio they could go with in order for a Sonic anime, maybe Toei Animation (the ones that made the Sonic CD opening and ending scenes) or Production I.G (the ones that made that opening to Sonic Riders).

Production I.G is a nice choice, but i don't know about Toei, though, as it has been on some nonsense lately. I believe they're working on Dragon Ball Super at the moment, and while they have some shining moments like the Goku vs Hit fight....majority of the animation in most episodes may have you questioning how it was ever green lit. Considering that the Dragonball franchise was their cash cow, I'd expect you'd be praying stuff like this were the key-frames from the A-tier division if they were working on Sonic.

I'm not the most up to date with these things as I should, but like some have already mentioned, I'd like to see studio Mir get behind adapting Sonic (the guys who did Boondocks/Legend of Korra/Guardians of the Galaxy). They seem to really care about how their work comes out as I've read up somewhere that they didn't want a studio like Pierrot run down Korra with shoddy animation and continued working there while working on The Boondocks at the time.

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For me the ova is what i always wanted in a sonic anime. I loved it. It was perfect and i loved the characters. Sonic x was a stain to the series for me. Why? Chris. Flipping chris and his family. You take them out I would have enjoyed the show. If they stuck with the nazo plot I would have loved it more. Also topazxrouge was neat.

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2 hours ago, StriCNYN3 said:

Production I.G is a nice choice, but i don't know about Toei, though, as it has been on some nonsense lately. I believe they're working on Dragon Ball Super at the moment, and while they have some shining moments like the Goku vs Hit fight....majority of the animation in most episodes may have you questioning how it was ever green lit. Considering that the Dragonball franchise was their cash cow, I'd expect you'd be praying stuff like this were the key-frames from the A-tier division if they were working on Sonic at most.

I'm not the most up to date with these things as I should, but like some have already mentioned, I'd like to see studio Mir get behind adapting Sonic (the guys who did Boondocks/Legend of Korra/Guardians of the Galaxy). They seem to really care about how their work come out as I've read up somewhere that they didn't want a studio like Pierrot run down Korra with shotty animation and continued working there while working on The Boondocks at the time.

I'm soooooo glad someone said this! Studio Mir would be perfect for Sonic!! I've been watching Voltron: Legendary Defender and I can't tell you how much I'd like to see that sort of love and care out into a Sonic cartoon.

I feel like the Steven Universe team would also make a great fit? Considering how much Sonic influence shows up in SU, it wouldn't be a lapse of logic to see Rebecca Sugar showrunning a Sonic series.

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On 28 June 2016 at 7:12 PM, PC the Hedgehog said:

Took someone long enough to say it. Out of all of Sonic X's myriad flaws, flanderization is probably the worst to me. Amy's maniacal Sonic fangirling was turned up to 11, as was (sorry, Dere) Knuckles' stupidity. Worst of all, those overblown traits somehow got carried over into the games. 

Oh yeah, and speaking of overblown, what about the characters' strength? Amy's hammer could send an Eggman airship reeling, and Sonic was able to push Eggman mechs off of him more than once purely using physical, non-ring/emerald-powered strength. Lazy writers.

And now I'm having memories of the horrible Sonic Battle storyline. "Hey, let's have a fighting tournament with absolutely no standards over who can compete! Sure, why not let a fat maid and a disgraced hobo compete against Sonic and other dangerous superpowered rodents for a Chaos Emerald? THAT'S not a stupid idea!"

Gah, I could hate on Sonic X all day...

I remember watching the later points of Sonic X and thinking most of the cast weren't really gripping. They were either bland (Sonic, Tails, Chris), one note gags (Amy, Knuckles) or glorified inconsistently handled douchebags (Shadow, Rouge). Only Eggman and his goons stayed enjoyable which was dumbed down by how ineffectual and loose to the plot they had become in favour of the super dull doomsday villain the Meterax.

It fell too much to standard obnoxious anime cliches as well, even in it's earlier better days. Sonic was just an aloof ace that didn't really need anyone, Tails was his 'in name only' best friend that everyone else just sort of liked, Amy was a standard abusive yandere with an obnoxious temper, and Knuckles was the butt monkey loner that everyone used and bullied into knowing his place. Oh, look, even Cream broke character to treat him like crap, hah hah, that's her personality gone too (whatever she had anyway). There was a constant underlying moral about friendship and teamwork despite the fact most of the cast barely developed much of a proper bond with each other.

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Its not a question whether they could (of course they could), it's whether they would. And they won't, which is the problem.

Same can be said for any Sonic media, really. Sega doesn't really want Sonic to have any sort of TV show, comic book, movie, alt media, etc without throwing in some kind of major change to the art style, mythos, character portrayals, main cast lineup (such as making many new characters), or what have you.

We can't just have a purely Sega!Sonic thing outside the games because I guess Sega fears the people they outsource it to will mess it up.. even if they themselves have no room to talk on that issue. :v

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17 minutes ago, Azoo said:

Its not a question whether they could (of course they could), it's whether they would. And they won't, which is the problem.

Same can be said for any Sonic media, really. Sega doesn't really want Sonic to have any sort of TV show, comic book, movie, alt media, etc without throwing in some kind of major change to the art style, mythos, character portrayals, main cast lineup (such as making many new characters), or what have you.

We can't just have a purely Sega!Sonic thing outside the games because Sega fears the people they outsource it to will mess it up.. even if they themselves have no room to talk on that issue. :v

I'm not convinced it's because of them being afraid that they'll mess up the SegaSonic universe so much as them wanting to avoid any possible confusion and contradiction between different mediums, or at the very least "the game universe is for the games, you guys make your own thing." As a kid, I never got the comics confused with the television shows or the games, (except Christmas Blast, what was Sally doing there?!) because they were pretty different from one another. Contrast with Sonic Boom and how there's no clear continuity between the Wii U and 3DS games and the cartoon series. Same characters, same setting, but different events and stories that are incompatible. (They meet Lyric for the first time in both RoL and SC, and he's absent entirely from the cartoon), so I can see why they may want to keep it as different as possible. But that's my take on it, I don't think a SegaSonic influenced anime is impossible, but how it'll use the same characters and settings without becoming nothing but mere adaptations of the games or it's own series of events entirely is lost on me. The former is boring and predictable, the latter would result in a different canon anyway. 

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I wouldn't find it boring or predictable at all. Sega utilizes their game canon so little that we might as well see a different media make a straight take on it just to see anything of worth come out of it.

For example, Archie's current post-reboot series carries a fully fleshed out mythos with objects and environments completely relevant to the games, and EVEN nails the character personalities and interactions to a tee.. but then last-second dodges being a true adaptation by making Sonic a permanent member of a team of Freedom Fighters (that have never once been in an actual Sonic game don't you say spinball i swear to chekov) that have screentime second only to Sonic himself. Sure, they're written well, but when I am looking to get into something with the name "Sonic the Hedgehog", I'm kinda expecting what the games gave me and more, not something that feels completely different.

And when something gets that close but no cigar, it can be a little frustrating.

And yeah, new stories would have to be written for an adaptation (thus making it a different canon from the games), but I don't mind that at all! A series branch-off on par with how the original Full Metal Alchemist anime differs from the manga/Brotherhood is (imo) a much better situation than feeling the need to twist the entire concept harder than M. Night Shyamalan at a sock hop. 

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