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Tangled Jack

Reflection about past cartoons and new series speculation

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So there have been talks and "leaks" of a new Sonic cartoon coming this year. Not saying it's real, even though it's basically confirmed but I'm treating it still as a rumor.

That said, what would you guys like it to be? Or, what are you expecting?

I really don't know, I'm not sure, because some things make you lose something else, I'm talking about if it's Classic or Modern. Personally, I could never get into the classic cartoons, like SatAM and Underground, because they were just different things with Sonic slapped in it, radically different from what Sonic is although they kinda didn't know in the '90s, there wasn't a real identity with the series. Even AoStH, which I watched basically every episode, I barely liked it because it was just too dumb, even when I was a kid, meanwhile Sonic X is what made me fall in love with the franchise, obviously my tastes, but everyone is written well and in-character, Sonic is a cocky badass and funny and lazy but also an action hero, Tails is pretty standard but he's nice and a genius, Knuckles is the guilible loner and Amy is the full of energy and social fangirl. Even Shadow and the Chaotix who appear less, I loved them, let's not talk about Eggman and Rouge because I think they are the best versions of those characters in the anime. Rouge is criminally underused nowadays, like most of the cast.

Sonic X was just so good for me, a mix of slice of life and continuity and main plot, that's what I want from a Sonic cartoon, Chris was useless and annoying yeah, but it worked in the way he was created for, to give kids a mirror and someone who would introduce you to Sonic, I was also lonely and admired Sonic so I channeled myself into Chris, so it worked. Though I really don't want another Chris or human who steals the show in a new cartoon.

Sonic Boom was a different thing and not really what I expect from Sonic, but I liked the slice of life type, plus comedy was really well written and clever, unlike the main series games... Eggman was on fire and surprisingly it made me slowly fall in love with Sticks, a character that would be a waste to lose now that Boom is dead. What I didn't like about it was the portrayal of Knuckles who was too dumb and just a different character, and Amy was turned into a Martha Stuart for some reason, they didn't know what to do with her. So, a mixed bag, but well written, however it had some weird decisions like the focus on comedy, action was directionless and pointless, I want more plot and adventure in a Sonic cartoon, plot was really absent in Boom. Also the side characters were really THAT annoying, more than Chris.

Now, the Classic cartoons that I DID like were obviously the OVA and Mania Adventures, because they felt right, now those felt like Sonic and what it should be in my opinion. OVA was a really good movie although sadly it lacked Amy and replaced it with a different human character, but still, great Eggman and Metal Sonic too. I loved it.

Mania Adventures was just a short webseries but really well made with lots of love and passion put into it, everyone was in-character for their classic self and hilarious, retro mute comedy was great! But yeah, it was a short series and maybe that's why it succeeded and was rather easy to create. Less episodes = more quality, although Boom proved that every episode (mostly) can be well written when you have competent writers.

Not talking about the comics because this is about cartoons btw.

And, so, after this reflection, what do we want from a new Sonic tv show? Could it be a Classic?

I highly suspect it's classic because of the huge success of Mania Adventures, although that was a FREE series, which means more accessible to people, also Boom episodes were a great success on Youtube, for some reason that platform seems popular with Sonic.

So I'd have dialogues, which is the first big difference from SMA, because I don't think you can have a full series with no dialogues, it worked for the shorts, but not here I believe. I would want it to be a mix of Mania Adventures and Sonic Boom, which means a bit of continuity, plot which moves forward AND the slice of life episodes, with lots of comedy. Now THAT I would watch immediately.

I still think it could tie into a brand new Classic game (not Mania 2, I think Mania is done, but more classics are coming for sure), which would introduce Amy as a playable character and perhaps add a fifth member, like X and Boom did.

Although I would be happy if the series featured Sonic, Tails, Knuckles and Amy as main characters, just them plus Eggman, with Metal Sonic, Mighty and Ray recurring plus new characters and some old characters returning from '90s cartoons. Why not?

But if there is a fifth member I would like it to be a female as a companion for Amy, X did it with Cream, for Boom it was Stiks which was a better fit for Sonic and comedy (I think it worked well), here who could it be... either a rebooted Sally or a rebooted Honey for me. Also if this was the case, Honey/Sally would be playable in the next classic too.
Honestly I don't know, because what bugs me about Classic Amy is that she is a bit like Cream, curious, genuine and kind, which I think it's uninteresting for her to be a generic girl type, while Honey would be energetic like Modern Amy (I prefer that personality). Instead if it was Sally, she would take the kind and smart type, while Amy would be more of an action girl like her modern self. There is also the problem of how does Knuckles tag along in a tv show, should he appear less just to be a guardian of the Master Emerald? I don't think so, I'd rather have him as a main character.

As I said, plots would be both slice of life funny filler, AND main plot arcs. I think this would be the best case.

What do you think? And what would you like to see?

Sorry guys for the very long discussion, I just wanted to share my thoughts about Sonic cartoons that I liked/didn't like and what's next.
 

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AoSTH: Best Sonic Cartoon IMHO. The wacky tone really fits the series and while I wish the original plan to include Game based Backgrounds had happened I still think it's the closest to the games.

SatAM: It's a perfectly fine if kinda generic 90's Saturday Morning Cartoon. I just don't think it's a particularly good Sonic cartoon. It decided to get rid of all the visual flare of the franchise for some generic Nature setting, reduced Tails to just a "I want to come." "You're too young." cliché and the one thing I really can't stand made Robotnik dull. Like in all the games of the time Eggman clearly had a flare. He loved Amusement Parks and Casinos. He laughed at how he was totally going to crush Sonic. He plastered hios face on everything. This guy? He sits and talks in a scary voice. There's no flare no substance he's just a generic growly villain you could rename "Dr. Baron Killeverthin" and it wouldn't make a difference because he has next to no personality to speak of.

Underground: ...Meh. I don't think it's as bad as people make it out to be. The songs are bad but some are kinda catchy. I feel it did some of the idea's of SatAM better. Like I prefer that instead of just stealing everything he uses against Sonic Eggman actually has a source of funding for his empire so he isn't just pulling stuff out of thin air. I think the Resistance concept is handled better than the Knothole Freedom Fighters. A larger group with various cells to fight the war makes way more sense than the FF thinking they were the only group fighting. Archie did that too and it makes so much more sense to me. The animation is really rough I'll admit though.

OVA: Third Best Sonic Cartoon. I wish this had gotten a full series because this movie is a joy to watch. I rented it so much as a kid because I love every set piece in the movie. Sonic and Tails running through the Land of Darkness like a Zone from the games fills me with so much glee, Sonic and Tails & Knuckles vs Metal Robotnik is fun, Sonic getting his ass kicked by Metal Sonic helps set the stakes and the final fight is just legendary. It's only Third best because for some stupid reason Sega and Toei didn't make it a full series or at least a one season Anime.

X: ...It's alright. I don't think it's really worth the trashing it occasionally gets. It's got a pretty fun premise and, I know this is sacrilege but, I like most of the human characters. They're all quirky to some degree that makes them interesting to watch. I like the Adventure adaptations and sometimes the Animation could be so fluid and just a joy to watch. Yeah the 4Kids dub isn't the best (I still hold out hope for a redub with the current cast at some point) but I think people exaggerate just how terrible the voice acting is. Some aren't great (Rouge, Cream) but other's are some of my personal favorite voice's fro the characters (Tails, Amy, Eggman).

Boom: Fourth Best Sonic Cartoon. It has such a fun sense of Meta Humor. I love how everyone is an exaggeration of their canon traits (Sonic is so vain he probably thinks this post is about him, Knuckles is actually rock stupid instead of just gullible, Eggman actually is an absolute failure nobody takes seriously) I love the rapid fire delivery of the jokes it was just a joy and I'll miss it. It's Fourth Best because while I loved it I will admit there wasn't a lot to talk about with it. Just "I liked this joke" or "That joke didn't land for me".

Mania Adventure: Second Best Sonic Cartoon. You can feel the love in these short 3 minute adventures. It's impossible to not feel just how much everyone working on this show loves Sonic and are making the absolute best product they can. The animation is fluid, the facial expressions convey the story so well, the pepperings of classic music throughout are just a joy to hear. I love Sonic Mania Adventures and I've not even played Mania it's that good.  only put it second because it's too short and I want more. The Papercraft shorts are fun too.

As for what I want from the rumored new cartoon. I want a Ducktales style reboot of SatAM. Yeah I know ironic considering what I said about it but I'd want to see it mix elements of other continuities like Ducktales is doing. Designs and settings based more on the Post-Reboot Archie Comics, Elements from the other shows thrown in (like Breezie was in the Archie Comic), Maybe even include elements of the IDW Comics like Tangle and Whisper. 

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If you asked me I prefer the more light hearted takes rather than the nitty gritty stuff so my tastes reflect on that (and also sort of limited on what I can watch and enjoy).

AoSTH is still my favorite Sonic cartoon and one of my favorite cartoons in general. I just like how silly it is yet was close to the games at the time compared to nearly every single Sonic cartoon up to Mania Adventures where it surpassed it. The Sonic and Tails partnership, Robotnik, Scratch & Grounder being the entertaining villains, the side characters aren't annoying and even though it was very early days even got Sonic and Tails characterisations "right". Sonic being the brave, cocky yet very helpful person while Tails who is his best friend who is into gadgets and yes, even becomes a hero in a couple of episodes. The animation is inconsistent where when it got good, it got good and when it got bad you could tell but it has that charm that is very hard to replicate because even the badly animated episodes usually have a good moment or two and the style gets away with it. Very few cartoons have that title. I just like how light hearted it is when even its most high stakes episode (Mass Transit Trouble) is still tame compared to a metric ton of stuff out there. Even if it is my favourite, there are still episodes that I wouldn't watch such as Momma Robotnik Returns where she abuses Sonic while she is his carer. Would have loved to see a second season but the chances of that happening or a successor is pretty much impossible.

SatAM was okay. Back in the day, I liked it just as much as AoSTH. It turns out that I only really liked Season 1 of the show with Season 2 apart from two episodes (The Void and The Doomsday Project) not very much. It might be because Season 2 wasn't aired much until it got a rerun of the show years later while Season 1 was aired more often so got to see more of those episodes. The voice acting was good and the animation was decent/good while more consistent. I did notice that it wasn't very game like however it was the case where the original TV network wanted this type of show and all things considering it still kept the loose idea of the environmental issue that the first two games had. Robotnik was just there though.

The thing with SatAM is that it is really hard to judge the show because there are 3 different styles; Heads or Tails, Season 1 and Season 2. Heads or Tails is strange because it is SatAM but feels more like AoSTH in tone including Tails. Season 1 was more balanced with the Freedom Fighters, Sonic was the main character but the others played the role fairly. While it did get dark at spots, there was still a bit of hope and adventure. Only downside was lack of Tails focus. Season 2 is where the problem lie with the focus on Dulcy, Sonic getting stupider while Sally is getting more bossier and being more of the main character, the other characters were more pushed to the wayside, the two Antoine episodes where they tried to be like comedic but missed the mark and Blast to the Past? Too depressive for my tastes. As for why I liked The Void and The Doomsday Project, the former was more of a Sonic focused episode where he is trapped so he has to figure out how to escape while the latter is the power of teamwork to stop Robotnik and a bit of an uplifting ending. Apart from that cliffhanger...

Underground was err... Well I only watched a couple of episodes. Not keen on the idea of the show. The animation was decent, not great but okay. Nothing much to say.

OVA was pretty good. What I liked about it was that it had the basic core but did so well with the Sonic, Tails and Knuckles partnership with the banter between them and Eggman. It felt like a loose Sonic CD adaptation with Metal Sonic and similar style in terms of animation but in a lower budget. The animation was quite good and was able to watch the thing without complaints because when it comes to anime, tend to be really picky for some reason. Only thing that was questionable was Sarah, she did felt out of place and was only put there because cat girls was a thing in anime at the time.

X I didn't like at all. I tried 6 episodes of the show and none of them were enjoyable with episode 1 being the closest to that mark as it that it was the only one that was close to decent. I didn't like the storylines, I didn't like how Chris was the main character, I didn't like how Sonic barely appeared in the show of his namesake and I don't think that I liked the other characters from what I remember. Maybe the Doc Brown looking Uncle Chuck was okay. The animation was awful and this is from blooming TMS, a studio that back then had a high reputation for quality animation (and still does if you count their recent work). Their work on AoSTH well the one that they did do and Man of the Year were pardon the pun miles better.

Boom I didn't really watch any episode and really only watched clips of the show. Like the bits that I saw and the 3D animation was fine but don't know whether I could watch the entire series.

Mania Adventures I liked watching but have to be in the right mood. In the right mood it is a joy to watch with its animation, only show that is game accurate so the characters are on point and the simple yet effective plot. It has a Mr. Bean type of tone but unlike Mr. Bean where the lack of dialogue is played for laughs to show the comedy more, here it is can be a damper to watch if not in the right mood. At least the episodes are short so the problem isn't as bad as it could have been.

It is a shame that Man of the Year was just left abandoned. That to me would have a really delightful Sonic cartoon. Like Mania Adventures in tone but with that lovely TMS Animaniacs style animation and then some. Decades ago, did check on Telecom's website (the animation studio involved and it was done in 1996) and apparently it was going to be a 4 parter so we don't know whether they got made or still exist.

If you asked what my ideal Sonic cartoon would be; it would pretty much be AoSTH in terms of the tone and the Sonic/Tails partnership, Man of the Year in terms of animation style, Mania Adventures in terms of game accuracy and Knuckles. Also the adventure aspect from the OVA too.

As for the new series, well we don't know much if anything so it is just a wild guess at best:

If it is Classic, then it'll be a follow up to Mania Adventures. It's simply because I can't see a 20 minute cartoon with no dialogue getting a greenlight in this day and age where kids sometimes struggle watching anything that isn't a few minutes long. So it probably will keep to the short format and same formula. As much as I like a voice acted classic Sonic cartoon, with current Sega in charge that won't happen. It is also beneficial to them as it would keep the production costs down and it is the most likely option. If it is Mania Adventures Season 2, please bring Fang the Sniper into it. Am pretty curious to see him in an cartoon.

If it is Modern however, then it could go one or two routes. The first route is an action cartoon but personally not X style. It'll be like the current comics mixed with the current games. There might be new characters especially if they have a female character who is either with the gang or with Eggman (or both) but probably will stick to the Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Amy, Shadow, Rouge, Eggman, Silver, Chaotix, maybe even Deadly Six route. It wouldn't be Cream or Blaze (even if the latter would be a good choice) because Sega have more or less retired those characters and Honey is more or less Classic Rouge as a fashion designer in the eyes of Sega considering its source material. Sticks might have appeared in the Olympics but I imagine that she's retired too. The new female character would most likely be her own character in her own way who is useful to whoever. Can't really see anyone else really... With enough content, it could be a 20 minute cartoon with a loose continuity. Enough so people won't get lost but just enough to have an ongoing plot. The second route is also likely and that is a comedic cartoon a bit like Boom but more to do with the games and maybe not as self referential, around about the same running time as that roughly 7-10 minutes each episode. Either those options, I would like to see.

There is also a possibility that it could be a movie tie-in or an anime but probably wouldn't. If it was an anime, we would have heard something and considering that the previous two attempts flopped in their home country, they really won't try for a 3rd time.

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It’ll probably be Classic. Given how conservative Sega has become with modern character usage from 2017 onwards, a modern series would be rather limited if it weren’t a comic adaptation (if that’s allowed), and i’m not sure if a direct tie-in to the movie would be feasible yet.

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Aosth: Worst one of all the bunch. not gonna lie, it felt lazy and a show that was made just to distract kids instead of engaging them in something intesting,  I couldnt stand it as a child and it did not age well when I got older. 2/10

SAtam: One of the better Sonic cartoons but some episodes didn't age very well. Biggest issue with Satam would be that its very -not-Sonic but feels like a adventurous show that just used Sonic's characters. Its design is pretty strong and the show even has some pretty emotional moments,  Sally and Sonic had a very nice dynamic. But a lot of the other characters just did't felt interesting  7/10

SonicUnderground: again another kids show that feels like it was meant for different characters and NOT Sonic, a lot of the songs are terrible but I do have to admit the show has some charm to it. It has this ''its so bad its good quality'' to it.  6/10

Sonic OVA: Hands down the best animated Sonic movies/shows from the older bunch. its fun its dynamic its funny it can get serious , its just a nice wild ride, 9/10

Sonic X: Has a lot of good and bad episodes, so its really hard to judge a show that was such a mixed bag, the biggest issue is the focus on human characters like Chris that didnt really draw anyone in. A lot of boring filler episodes where the characters hardly do anything then just sit arround, but on one hand good episodes based on the adventure games, Some character development felt flat when they seem to have been reversed by the last season. But on the other hand the last season was one of the best with a lot of important things at stake and a lot of very good character interaction, and a very good JAPANESE ost. so again its such a mix bag. 7/10

Sonic Boom: Meh, no character development, every character is ''self-aware'' there isnt any serious stake, its a comedy show but a shame they couldnt let the characters develop, The boom version of the characters are supposed to be ''new characters'' but we dont even get a proper introduction to them, but it is funny.   the humor and side jokes towards the fandom and its own franchise was its strongest point and I Love the 3d animation,  but overall I got pretty bored of it quickly. 6/10

Sonic Mania Adventures: short but sweet , great animation knows how to show and portray the characters without even letting them talk., 9/10

 

There is a strong possiblity that the next Sonic Cartoon will be Mania based because of the toy line and I am hyped for it.

 

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I appreciate Sonic Boom for, in spite of its meta sitcom-y premise and liberties with the cast, actually trying reasonably to deconstruct some of the key characteristics of at least three main Sonic characters (Sonic's altruism/ego, Tails intellect/machine obsession, Amy's charitable nature/self righteousness). Knuckles and Sticks were more basic comic relief, but not neglected outright. I never really felt like any previous series went that far with the cast, even the more serious ones just did very basic parables of the same primary traits of a handful of members at best (eg. Sonic being reckless in SatAm, Knuckles being gullible in Sonic X) or neglected developing its cast entirely for cheap hooks like romance and just external only dilemmas. Boom was also probably the best for interactions, there wasn't really any two main characters who never really had chemistry for at least a few episodes.

I'd love to see more of that, especially since Boom demonstrates you don't have to be writing any sort of elegant 'epic' to have to give such depth to the Sonic cast. It just has to be character driven. Hell Mania Adventures proves you don't even need dialogue to give the cast a reasonable amount of personality.

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AoSth: The first Sonic show I'd ever seen but not on TV. I experienced a lot of older shows through re-runs on Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon or if we happened to have VHS tapes lying around about it. When it came to this show, my parents (somehow) had access to one. It was a single tape with two episodes on it. One was about Sonic meeting a family of sloths and being hit with a slow-slow beam with a gun powered by some sort of crystal. The other was about a washed-up, fat raccoon superhero that tried to help Sonic out but kept annoying him. I only had access to those so I watched and re-watched those a lot. I didn't really get to see any other episodes of the show until I started getting into Youtube. I have a lot of nostalgia for it. I was into Sonic enough that I ended up watching just that one VHS a ton.

SatAM: Never saw it when I was young. My uncles had a VHS of some of the episodes of it in New York but for some reason, by the time I became a Sonic fan, the tape only worked when it was re-winded. As in, you could see the picture in reverse but it had no sound. Played forward, it was just a blue screen. Again, I didn't see a couple more episodes of this until way later when I got on Youtube and... I couldn't really get into it. It was tough trying to get over the fact that it was really just Sonic and a bunch of people I didn't care about. This was a much younger version of me who was high off of growing up on a version of Sonic more akin to the Adventure games, Heroes, and Sonic X. I've always meant to go back and give the show another chance but I both don't have the time and haven't been endeared much by them in the comics to feel confident in liking it. But I'm sure I'll get there one day.

Underground: This, I had no clue of its existence until Youtube. Ironically, it was the only one of these older ones I watched all the way through. I'm not entirely sure why since it had way more problems than SatAM but I think the main reason was because I just liked the idea of Manic and Sonia more than the Freedom Fighters. Plus, it had a way cooler theme song. The theme song is the only good song that show had. I liked Sleet and Dingo more than Snively (I barely remember Snively from SatAM. I remember him a ton from the comics though), and I was kind of interested in seeing the lengths they'd go to milk the fact that they weren't allowed to see their mom. Old Sonic is a very interesting thing. Seeing Knuckles show up and having him be the guardian of a single Chaos Emerald and having him own a pet dinosaur thing was weird...! Again, this was all AFTER I was already into Sonic X.

OVA: A lot of people really like it. I gotta say... sitting down and watching it the whole way through was a bit of a chore. Even when I was young and dumb. I caught a glimpse of this when I was SUPER young. At around the time I had that AoSth tape but I literally only remember one shot of this film. Just a screenshot in my head of Eggman sitting at the president's desk. I didn't even KNOW it was the OVA. It was at a daycare center and some other kid brought it in. I just thought it was a different Sonic thing. I didn't see it again until I went searching for old Sonic stuff on Youtube some YEARS later when I was at an age where I could remember things better.  When I finally saw it, I remember liking the fight between Sonic, Tails, and Metal Robotnik. I remember liking the way the dark city looked. The rest is a blur. I skimmed through a lot of it the first time and seeing it a second time didn't do much for me. Not sure why but the stars just didn't align for me on this one, sorry to say. 

Sonic X: Obviously, this is my favorite. It's the only one of these shows I caught on television. I waited week to week to religiously watch this show. I randomly discovered it while flipping through channels one boring Saturday morning and caught it when it was on it's second episode. I watched Sonic hanging with this kid and saw his journey to save this weird rabbit looking girl. At the time I had no clue who Cream was so I assume this was just before I had played Heroes or I DID play Heroes but I didn't OWN my own copy of it yet so my memory of her was vague since I only cared about playing as those cool detectives guys one of my uncles said were awesome dudes. And he was right. The Chaotix are awesome. Thanks dear uncle. 

The real hype moment at the end of Sonic X was hearing the propeller spinning outside the facility and hearing Sonic say, "The Tornado". Immediately I was like "... TAILS!" And then he BURST out of the place and landed on the plain and there was MODERN TAILS! I was a religious watcher of the show. I hadn't played the first Sonic Adventure yet so they're adaptation of it was my first exposure to the story. Adventure 2: Battle was how I got into the series so seeing that adaptation was fun and weird. I nearly had a heart attack when the Chaotix showed up because by that time I was knee deep in Sonic Heroes. Season 3 came along and I got into that too. I was digging the Tails love interest thing and was also starting to get into my more Anime side. That's when I tracked down the sub anywhere I could find it and did research about how much was cut and changed.

Watching the sub is like watching an entirely different show. The dialogue, music, and uncut scenes REALLY goes a long way to change the flow and energy of the show. All of a sudden Sonic X felt much slower and more atmospheric. The music didn't blare constantly, even when nothing was going on, and when they DID play music is actually sounded really cool and not like odd circus music. I was growing to hate 4kids anyway because of what they did to One Piece and discovering that they removed an entire scene with the Chaotix in the last episode of the show (as well as the reveal that Shadow as alive at the end of Season 3) really pissed me off. I've seen the sub so many times now that it and Sonic Drive (the Japanese opening) are somehow MORE nostalgic for me than the english dub I saw first. Oddly enough, the same goes for the japanese openings of Yu-Gi-Oh. It's weird how that works but I get more nostalgic hearing Kawaita Sakebi, Wild Drive, and Overlap than I do the "IT'S TIME TO D-D-D-D-D-DUEL!" theme. I have no clue why.

Over the years I've grown to accept the many faults it has but fuck it. Who gives a shit at this point? It was the most successful of the Sonic shows and ran on TV for more than 11 years. If there was an example to follow, it's that one. Take Sonic X and remove what didn't work about it and try that again. Anything that can pull in ratings for 11 years straight on television with only the same 78 episodes to show was doing something right. Far be it for them to find out what it was though. Might even just be the fact that it was the closest one to resemble anything reminiscent of the games. I know that's a big part of why I love it.

Boom: This was the first Sonic show I could actually watch and experience with a critical eye. It's probably the best written of all the ones, speaking purely from the comedic angle it was going for. It has the best version of Tails. It actually did a lot for Orbot and Cubot that I don't feel the games managed to. I appreciate it a lot for what it is and what it tried to do and I do think it's a shame it only lasted two seasons. Not because it wasn't popular enough though. That show was sent to die. It pulled through with that terrible time-slot and when CN realized that wasn't enough to kill the show, they kicked it to Boomerang. I have a lot of respect for this show. The multimedia push that surrounded it can burn in Hell though. 

Seriously, fuck whatever marketing stunt they were trying to pull there. They dragged the name of Sonic Boom through the mud by trying to kick things off with everything right out of the gate. You don't START with two video-game tie-ins, a toy-line, and a COMIC (that had the nerve to say "Based on the Hit series" before it was even given a chance to be a hit) when you're making a TV show. You make the show, see how it does, THEN all that other stuff happens naturally. You just look gross and dumb when you push so hard right out of the gate.

It was to the point where people were actually talking and worrying about Boom replacing the Modern Sonic series. Good God, anyone remember THAT?! isn't that HILARIOUS to think about today? 

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I have a much more recent take on these, so I'll start in kind. My first series was Sonic X. I liked it, but didn't like what they did to Knuckles and Cream, how lazy Sonic was, Chris, and how they forgot about Big halfway through the series. I think it did a lot for certain characters, and was a good addition to the franchise overall. We never got an installment of the franchise with all of the characters we've come to love before or since. It has many, many flaws, but I wouldn't want it not to exist.

The next one I watched was Sonic Underground on reruns. Now, I like this one a surprising amount. The animation is bad, but I like the version of Sonic, his siblings, I find a lot of the songs catchy, the Robotnik was decently compelling, and I was interested in them finding their mother. Knuckles had a pet dinosaur for some reason.

I got more into the fandom and watched Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog. I found it funny, and really memorable for how weird it was.

Then there came SATAM. I really didn't like this one. Sonic and Robotnik were both at their worst, Tails was sidelined, and the only tolerable Freedom Fighters were Bunnie and Rotor. 

Boom was something where my expectations were really low and it ended up being really good. Kind of like adventures on steroids. It proved that comedy in sonic can exist as long as it's actually good.

As for the future, it can go a few directions. We could have a general Sonic cartoon that advertises the games, like Pokemon, another sitcom like boom, an adaptation of the IDW comics, a weird spinoff where all the characters are babies or something, and the list goes on. I don't think we'll get anything like Mania Adventures, as they don't want Classic Sonic to talk, and we're not getting an animated silent cartoon on any TV channel in 2019.

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The future of the next Sonic cartoon kinda depends on what trend is popular at the time. If you look at all the cartoons, it seems, like they all tried to copy the formula of other successful shows at the time.

AoStH for example tired to copy the slapstick humor of The Looney Tunes and Animaniacs and also the surreal art style of Ren and Stimpy. Also, the story structure felt more like those shows, been more episodic.

Satam was more of a story-driven action show, which it seems where also popular at the same time as whacky slapstick cartoons. The art style and tone felt closer to shows like Batman the animated series and Gargoyles. 

Sonic Underground... I really do not know what they wanted to achieve with this show. I heard rumors that this show wasn't planned to be a Sonic show, but instead something original, where Sonic was shoehorned in in the last minute. That would explain why Underground felt so sidelined in terms of Sonic content. 

Sonic X is problaby the show that comes the clostes in representin a spicific era of the Hedgehog in its show. In X's case the Adventure era. But still, this anime also had some influences form other animes at the time. Because Chris was more of the star of the then Sonic, I had a bit of a Digimon and Pokémon feeling by watching this show. 

Sonic Boom seems to took inspirations by modern western cartoons, that are more simple slice of life comedies like My little Pony: Friendship is Magic.

The next big Sonic show could be anything at this point. It really depends in what people are into in the future. It could be anything.  

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AOSTH is the best one.

Mania Adventures is the best one.

Sonic OVA is less than them.

Sonic Boom is less than that.

Sonic X is less than that.

Sonic the Hedgehog is less than that.

Sonic Underground is less than that.

Despite being a small test animation, Man of the Year is also pretty enjoyable for what it is. A short cartoon where Eggman wins, what more could you ask for?

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I LOVE animation and I LOVE Sonic but these two things have never quite come together in a way that's wowed outside of some of the cooler intros and cutscenes in the actual games and the Sonic OVA which is Actually Pretty Good with a few flaws..

The cartoons are pretty drastic departures from the games aside from the obvious. I don't actually mind this and am welcome to a new interpretation but it was always a little hard to get excited about what I saw once the buzz from seeing Sonic wore off. 

I think AOSTH and SatAM have their own charms even though they're both pretty drastic departures. One is cool for how batshit insane it is and the other is a genuine attempt to build a story out of the loose concepts presented in Sonic 1 and 2. I don't really like them enough to recommend to anyone or consider revisiting though. They're some dumb 90s cartoons that had some clear amount of effort put into it and I respect that but I don't have a lot of love for them.

I don't remember much about Sonic Underground aside from thinking it was really, really bad. I'm not sure what the difference was between it an the shows above but it just felt way more obnoxious. 

The Sonic OVA is a fucking winner though. Beautifully animated, takes some concepts from the games but also does a lot of it's own stuff to stand out like build a seriously interesting concept for the world. An excellent soundtrack. The characterization is a lot of fun and gives the characters room to bounce off each-other. I love Sonic as an impatient asshole especially. It's just a weird little joy to watch. There's plenty that doesn't work. None of the new characters really add anything and this is probably the most unbearable Dr. Eggman has ever been. Seriously. I'm already not a big fan but he's just a shouty, creepy pervert in this one. The voice work is also gonna be...a manner of taste, to put it lightly. You'd think this would go without saying since this is a post about Sonic cartoons but yeah.

It's probably the only thing on this list that I enjoyed watching from beginning to end though and that's gotta count for something. If I were to pick something for the next show to be based off of I'd start here and build outward. 

Sonic X is probably the one I hold the most resentment towards but thats because of how invested I was in it. I watched week after week waiting for it to shape up but it never really did. It was nice to have a Sonic cartoon by people who seemed to actually play the games but it just never came together on the production side for me. I like the slice of life feeling for some of the episodes and thought it represented the show at it's best, but pretty much every time the show tried to set up a big action scene or payoff it failed whether it be due to lackluster animation or sloppy writing or both of those things. Sonic X spent a pretty major part of it's time on air hyping up more serious arcs and big pay off action scenes that all just fell flat because the build up was bad and the pay off was usually worse. 

The characters were really hit or miss on this one. . Chris as a point of view character does not work and I feel like he's such a detriment to the show that if he was cut out then my opinion would go from negative to lukewarm. I can't really think of a moment where I sympathized with him despite how badly the show wanted me to. He just came off as really bland and kind of spoiled. 

Boco and Deco were practically filler characters made to pad every episode out with bad jokes. Cosmo has a cool design but focuses too much on an honestly really bad love interest subplot involving Tails. I like the idea of pairing Rouge with a stiff government agent type and Chris's extended family was fun, but those characters appear far less than the problematic ones. 

The actual Sonic cast often felt kinda muted and one note with no room to be the larger than life personalities I knew them as. Tails was firmly put into the tech guy role. Sonic and Amy have some nice moments but Sonic's not a character in the position to really mature even in this series so it never really goes anywhere. Shadow felt like a ratings grabber that they never really intended on handling with any of the nuance he needs to work. Rouge was...actually kind of fun because of her new friend. Dr. Eggman was pretty true to what Dr. Eggman does but discount Scratch and Grounder bring it down a bit. Cream pretty much did nothing. Knuckles got a decent amount of focus early on but he was a bit too serious for me. I like him as a goofball.

Keep in mind that I'm basing all of this on my foggy memories the dub though. The sub seems like a notable improvement from what I've seen of it(about 10 episodes) but the show just cannot be different enough to be worth watching all 78 episodes again. Not for a show I already came out feeling kind of burned by. Sonic X is a weird one because while I think it's pretty bad on the whole there's some individual episodes and concepts that work well enough that I wouldn't mind if they took another crack at something like it. 

Sonic Boom is the one I've seen the least of and that's because I was pretty put-off from the jump. It's a pretty generic cartoon sitcom setting with Sonic characters in it. The characters are just really obnoxious to me and in a Sonic show that's entirely dialogue driven that's kind of an issue. Even if I don't always like the jokes in AOSTH it's kind of interesting to look at. Sonic Boom is probably the stiffest these characters have ever been to look at. Clips I've seen from later episodes seem like they lean harder into the wink-wink nudge nudge self aware reference please clip this and put it on twitter thing and I'll just say hard pass on that, thanks. Not my type of humor. Putting the Sonic characters in a sitcom setting doesn't have to be bad but Sonic Boom wasn't it. I feel like if I actually bothered with it it would be at the bottom of the list.

I'm excited for what might be coming because Sonic Mania Adventures scratched that Sonic itch more with the tiny bits we got than any of the above shows. The characters were sharp and filled with life without it ever feeling like too much or getting grating. I want something character driven and focused on the characters and stories that made this IP popular to begin with. 

 At the end of the day though as much as I want a cartoon that's more like the games I'd happily take any batshit insane new thing I'm excited to watch from week to week. None of these shows were really it and the only one that hit the mark for me only has two episodes worth of content.  

 


 

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4 hours ago, SBR2 said:

Speaking of the rumor I saw someone claiming it's a Modern based cartoon from the Mania Adventures crew? Anyone know how true that is?

If this is true then the show that will come out might be a bit of a cluster. Unlike the classic era, the modern cast hasn't really got an established identity yet. The modern era can be mature like SA2, can be completely dark and messed up like 06 and Shadow the Hedgehog, can be balanced in terms of story and comedy like Unleashed, can be an overall funny, simple cartoon, like Colors, Generations and Lost World, or be pseudo-dark like Forces. 

Especially Forces kinda showed me, that the modern era really has trouble finding itself. Therefore I'm not sure if we really should use the modern cast for a new show. At least not for now.

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Sonic Mania and Man of the Year are the best.

AoStH is meme magic with Robotnik and his minions being entertaining but the show isn't really much beyond that. SatAM has a dull Robotnik who's only memorable from Jim Cummings' voice work (and even then he's not really expressive enough to take advantage of it until some time in Season Two), Dulcy, an ending so ridiculous that it'd be torn apart if it happened in the modern day. Underground had a more interesting take on Robotnik than SatAM's take (namely that he's portrayed as a legit dictator who tries to appease his non-roboticized subjects or play them against each-other and also against the titular Underground which fits Underground's sorta more cynical setting) but ugh the singing, Sonia. Sonic OVA captured the look of Sonic CD's animated scenes but Sara's designed to be as loathsome as possible. Sonic X introduced the interloper named Chris who stole Tails' role of Sonic's best friend/confidant (which looks to be happening again in Sonic Movie with that cop friend of Sonic's).

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I’ve talked about these extensively before, but jotting down my thoughts, and what I want from a new series...

AoStH - I always feel like I will be alone with this opinion, but I really cannot stand it. It has a few good jokes, and memorable memes, but I really can’t stand a lot of it. The animation feels really limited and ugly, despite the fact you can tell they tried to make the best with the shitty budget DiC likely gave them, a lot of the jokes and humour for me just falls completely short, and it just begins to get repetitive and boring a few episodes in. It just feels off, and weird. And whilst that can be appealing for some, it really isn’t for me personally.

SatAM: This show is probably tied with X as the one I hold most nostalgia for because it was airing in reruns here whilst X was airing new episodes. I feel like SatAM, compared to AoStH is just the overall better show, the former felt limited with Sonic’s world and just thought “it’s weird, roll with it lol” while SatAM felt like a much better attempt to take what was there, and present it in a proper narrative. While still episodic, there were smaller arcs that did effect the show, like Chuck’s mind being freed. There was quite a lot of attempts at emotional episodes too, delving into characters’ fears, their likes, what they fight for, etc. It’s not perfect, but it’s admirable. I don’t think I would revisit it anytime soon, because it slots into the same era of weirdness as Early Archie for me, but I like it for what it is.

OVA: I love this and find it one of the best things animation wise. It feels like the same world that CD established with its intro, and bar an out of character Eggman, and additional characters who added nothing to the film or universe, it felt like a perfect encapsulation of things in the Classic universe to me, even with slight issues.

Underground: As much of a shock this might be to SSMB, I despise Underground with a passion. I have made an entire topic in detail on why I find Underground to be a completely subpar load of shit that tries nothing and still fails. It’s animation sucks, it’s story sucks and is confused, the music are cheesy and chringy, it sucks.

X: Pretty much a start on what I want - something more accurate to the game universe, and adapting and expanding upon stories in the game universe, has some pretty decent episodes and the SA1 and 2 adapts are fantastic, but it gets far too wrapped up in its own original material and spotlights it too much. Chris is also just awful as a protagonist.

Boom: I like it, even if it’s done characters a bit badly (Knuckles). It has a lot of amusing ideas and fun takes on characters and using their personalities in excellent ways. Things like Eggman bunking with Sonic and Tails is something that could only be done in this weird setting, and it’s done well. I generally regard it as AoStH done right with better focus, and better humour/animation.

Mania Adventures: Time for a hot take, I was a little disappointed with it. Episode 1 set an extremely high bar, with loads of great expressive animation, brilliant comedic timing, a lot of good character based humour, and all of it done unpredictably and silently. Then Episode 2, 4 and 5 kind of just do as you’d expect with only a few moments of gold here and there. It’s a fantastic series, but the rest of the episodes really can’t compare to the high bar that 1 and 3 sets.

As for a new series - I think it’s time to give a proper action series another shot. I know that a lot of people liked Mania Adventures, but I don’t feel like those short episodes can sustain appeal for a full long running series. What I’d love to see is something Modern based, and aiming to be a action/comedic hybrid with serious arcs and drama in the background. Basically, think something like Gravity Falls, Young Justice, Star Vs, Steven Universe, Adventure Time etc.

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Wow. I didn't expect so many comments, it really is an interesting discussion! Lots of different opinions I see, taste is really varied from what I can tell, because each show is different and has a group of fans who want different things from Sonic.

For example AoSTH is the first thing I knew about Sonic but I really can't stand it, nostalgia aside, it's quite dumb and lacks good characters. Even SatAM like X had annoying original characters so eh. But I am maybe too nostalgic of X but still I loved it, and it's the closest to the games.

Boom was its own thing and yep, a generic sitcom but still fucking entertaining, written pretty expertly and with clever jokes, unlike you dumb AoSTH. Still, Knuckles was a vastly different character and so was Amy, which makes me quite sad. I don't know, really.

What I want next is a mix of Boom's cleverness and slice of life with Mania Adventures artistic style and cast, along with some new characters perhaps and some old ones too. It should have an actual plot that Boom lacked, an ongoing story as well as fun filler episodes. And dialogues... Which is the biggest controversy here, because Classic Sonic is always mute since 2011, and I can't see Roger playing him, they would have to get rid of the Boom voice actors which would make me very sad. So I'm conflicted about this...

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pleasantly surprised to see some of the positive comments about 'adventures of sonic the hedgehog' :) it generally doesn't receive much love elsewhere. this was actually my first exposure to sonic - even before sonic 1. before I knew the triple spin was actually the spin attack, ha!

one of the things I loved was that sonic was able to use his speed in so many creative ways; he would literally leave a blazing trail behind him, whip up tornadoes, dig underground tunnels, etc. he was nearly invincible! he was on par with, or even above any superhero.

yet one of the things that separated him from them was his colourful surroundings, and the goofy exaggerated humour (I spent so many years laughing at the 'crack ups' episode!). he wasn't exactly a clown, but I wouldn't describe him as edgy either. there was a balance - which was a good thing.

he also presented a wise moral compass in the form of the 'sonic says' segments that ended each episode, and the way that he would guide his best friend tails. whose inclusion I support here as he was distinct from sonic, and not a clone like in the games. they had a genuine chemistry and friendship. one thing it had in common with the games was that it used samples of the main theme music (I instantly recognised it when I put in the sonic 1 cartridge for the first time).

Jaleel white will always be sonic's voice for me. he actually sounded like the child/teenager that the character was supposed to be (and not a grown man). he was also talented enough to carry off those impressions as sonic would don his many disguises!

this cartoon got it right the first time. the only things that have come close to matching it are the 'man of the year' short, and the first episode of 'sonic mania adventures'. 

 

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I've only really seen like...four of the animated Sonic television shows so I'll just stick to those four.

Satam- Despite trying to be serious is actually quite lackluster compared to the games. Whereas the games feel surreal and sort of alien, Satam is just too realistic and there is nothing special about the world/setting.

Sonic X- Liked it as a kid, but eventually grew to hate it when I got older. I loathed how they treated the characters. Knuckles was a bonehead, Amy was basically Chi-chi from DBZ, we're not even gonna talk about Chris, and last but not least, Sonic. Never took anything seriously before the Metarex saga. I really hated how other characters basically couldn't fight their way out of a paper bag until Sonic shows up (this seems to have carried over into the games as well *cough* Forces *cough*) just for the sake of some type of cool entrance. Too much filler, unnecessary characters, etc. I remember when I first saw this...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7AqlIp5evA

...and then compared it to what we got.

Sonic Boom- Actually not that bad. Could use some more development of characters. I just don't like how it gave in to the notion that Knuckles is some bumbling idiot who couldn't think his way out of a cardboard box. I love what they did with Amy, though and Sticks is... interesting.

Sonic Underground-  *throws up in mouth* Horrible! Moving on.

 

As for the new series, I am interested to see how they develop the characters and utilize them to their full potential. I am also excited to see the settings incorporated in the series. I hope to god, it does not revolve around classic sonic. We've been seeing to much of him. It's just nostalgia pandering at this point.

 

 

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We did just get another set of webtoons for TSR, plus it seems the paper editions will be customary from now on. I kinda expect whatever spinoff we get next to have a webtoon for it. 

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I am kinda expecting a new show to be more game loyal like Sonic X. Ideally, if they go full tilt with that, I think it'd be interesting/practical if they did light rips of the games from time to time. Maybe not things like Knuckles introduction or the Sonic Adventure Games, but something that clearly takes inspiration from them and/or the Archie Reboot.

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On 7/9/2019 at 8:23 PM, Mountaindewandsprite said:

Satam- Despite trying to be serious is actually quite lackluster compared to the games. Whereas the games feel surreal and sort of alien, Satam is just too realistic and there is nothing special about the world/setting.

How??

If anything, Sonic X fits that far more than SATam, and that’s not saying much either.

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6 minutes ago, Conquering Storm’s Servant said:

How??

If anything, Sonic X fits that far more than SATam, and that’s not saying much either.

I don't know about you, but that Kraken hit a little too close to home.

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6 hours ago, Conquering Storm’s Servant said:

How??

If anything, Sonic X fits that far more than SATam, and that’s not saying much either.

Setting wise of course, as well as character design. Instead of the checkerboard style settings from the games, we got Knothole. And since Sonic is blue, he stuck out like a sore thumb among the cast, who all have the colors of their real life species (excluding Rotor).

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I am so glad I'm not the only one who doesn't care for SatAM. I remember the dayswhen people talked like it was the best Sonic cartoon ever and for a time I bought into that hype. But after several rewatches I started seeing more and more flaws and honestly on both it and Underground I'll never forgive Ben Hurst for turning Sonic into a blithering idiot. 

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