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MetalSkulkBane

Who's Amy Rose?

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Amy has always had specific character traits. She is Devoted, Determined and capable of touching others. Her biggest problem is that Sonic serves as a focusing lens for each of those traits, and when he is around they tend to lop-side to their most illogical extremes, changing into obsession, stubbornness and paranoia.

 

To fix these problems, we just need to see her continue to be herself outside of Sonic. Easier said than done considering he's the main character, but sometimes its just that simple. The shattered Arc back in the Archie days saw her paired off with Knuckles for a bit, and their interactions shed some wonderful light on the parts of her character that just get buried when Sonic is around. We need more of that. Let her tackle her own missions, alongside other members of the cast and give her some room to shine.  Amy's empathetic nature gives her almost exclusive access to a role in series that few others can breech.

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On 1/17/2020 at 10:14 AM, Sega DogTagz said:

Amy's empathetic nature gives her almost exclusive access to a role in series that few others can breech.

Except for Cream, like in Battle or Rush.

Ironically, those two besties are sorta in war who's gets to be "the emphatic nice one" of the group. It's don't think it's accident that Amy is most hot-headed and self-centered in stories she's with Cream (Free Riders, Battle, Rush, Heroes). On meta level it's easy to imagine Amy talking to Sega executives and suggesting Cream is too young to appear in Forces or  drive car Team Racing.
But to be fair, she still has positive moments in 3/4 of those games (keeping spirits up in Heroes, Cream calling her " toughest woman I've ever known" in Battle).

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I did say "almost" exclusive

but non-withstanding Cream is still very young and naive. Her call to action is empathy for empathy sake. Because she was taught and believes that being nice is the right thing to do, so it should be done. Amy, as something closer to a learned adventurer and seasoned socialite, can reach deeper and convey empathy in ways Cream cant. She can leverage past history or current events. She can reach people that are too stubborn or blinded by their own mission or ideology. Cream is too young to be as insightful as Amy, which puts obvious limitations on what she can accomplish in that role. Amy has no such limits and has a conversion rate second only to Sonic to show for it.

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Doubling back a little, and maybe explaining why I see Amy a bit differently than others and why I find the major toning down of some of her traits jarring, lets go back and take a look her from what type of character she was created to be. 

So according to cutegirlmayra on tumblr (this post here) Hoshino designed Amy to be a cute character as well as going on to say her mind is always on Sonic and Sonic's mind is always on what's next, the adventure. So he created someone who would work for Sonic's lifestyle, always happily chasing after him as he happily chases after the next challenge or danger to his world. He then proceeded to ask if that isn't more interesting in response the question that prompted all this being about her outfit and if the aim was for Amy to be a tomboy but the audience he was talking to was simply confused. The event in question was the Sonic Boom 2013 Q&A panel and cutegirlmayra provided a link to this video 

 

and said to go around 38:40 or so.

So, now with that out of the way, at the beginning at least, Amy was supposed to be a character who happily chases after Sonic and works with his lifestyle, while also being cute. Regardless of how well this has been executed, Hoshino still perceives her that way even as his perception of eth character goes over the heads of most Westerners. I'm not surprised with how alien Japanese culture is to a lot of Westerners, but his vision of Amy still falls within what I expect from her. But then we look at where SEGA has taken her, and IDW in particular, and her ever needing to be prodded by Sonic to do exactly what she was created to do is baffling to me. It's why I comment that I have no idea who she is supposed to be anymore.

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Amy wouldn't be the sole major character who's intended vision is at odds with how Sonic's current handlers apparently see the character now. I posted plenty in the movie thread on how the blue boy himself as envisioned by the trio and as depicted in Adventure or OVA doesn't really look to fit how they want Sonic to be anymore going from both Classic Sonic in Forces and the already mentioned movie.

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8 hours ago, StaticMania said:

She could be a spunky genki girl. Someone who's got significant determination to do the right thing as well as being the cheerful oblivious type, which she is.

Being kind and sweet in the way that she used to be only meant that she had more compassion than...everyone else, but even back then she wasn't Cream. She wasn't polite or kind just as general character traits, she could be rude, take a "call to action" without needing much push (even if Sonic not helping was definitely a big push in SA1) and I'd say Sonic's so-called short temper would be given to her since one of the traits she then had would be getting angry pretty easily.

I'd say Amy's biggest problem is as @Sega DogTagz said, all of her traits just get kinda buried when Sonic is around. If she could just be herself when he isn't around, it'd go a long way of letting her stand on her own as a character.

But Sonic is the main character, so her relationship with him will be the most important at the end of the day and most of Amy's worse traits show when she acts on her feelings, to the point where she becomes a hindrance to Sonic.

That's not to say she's a bad character for it, but I do want to point out that her most significant moments in the Adventure games are mostly; tagging along the group, getting kidnapped as leverage against Sonic, just complaining how she doesn't get to do anything, and being ignored while the boys handle the real business.

Like, she got the raw end of the deal back then.

 

If she was able to pull her weight, her personality wouldn't have come off anywhere near as grating and she'd be much more accepted by people.

27 minutes ago, Sonic Fan J said:

Doubling back a little, and maybe explaining why I see Amy a bit differently than others and why I find the major toning down of some of her traits jarring, lets go back and take a look her from what type of character she was created to be. 

So according to cutegirlmayra on tumblr (this post here) Hoshino designed Amy to be a cute character as well as going on to say her mind is always on Sonic and Sonic's mind is always on what's next, the adventure. So he created someone who would work for Sonic's lifestyle, always happily chasing after him as he happily chases after the next challenge or danger to his world. He then proceeded to ask if that isn't more interesting in response the question that prompted all this being about her outfit and if the aim was for Amy to be a tomboy but the audience he was talking to was simply confused. The event in question was the Sonic Boom 2013 Q&A panel and cutegirlmayra provided a link to this video 

 

and said to go around 38:40 or so.

So, now with that out of the way, at the beginning at least, Amy was supposed to be a character who happily chases after Sonic and works with his lifestyle, while also being cute. Regardless of how well this has been executed, Hoshino still perceives her that way even as his perception of eth character goes over the heads of most Westerners. I'm not surprised with how alien Japanese culture is to a lot of Westerners, but his vision of Amy still falls within what I expect from her. But then we look at where SEGA has taken her, and IDW in particular, and her ever needing to be prodded by Sonic to do exactly what she was created to do is baffling to me. It's why I comment that I have no idea who she is supposed to be anymore.

Yea, this is another point; Amy's character probably makes a lot more sense from a Japanese POV. Japan being a very traditionalist country, a character like Amy, who consistently chases after and supports the object of her affections in his endeavors even as he actively ignores her, would probably be seen as romantic.

 

But that type of personality has been discredited and seen as very archaic from a Western POV; females are expected to be able to stand on their own and alongside their male peers as equals in the West. So Amy can (and has) come off as very grating to Westerners since all she does is follow Sonic around and little else.

 

So Amy's recent outings have probably been American writers trying to "modernize" her character to be more acceptable in the West

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The funny thing about that is by saying you have to act only within the confines we say you can actually is even more controlling and demeaning of women on a whole. if anything, I agree with you more that if Amy was just on everyone else's level her personality and support of one of her friends would probably be better addressed. But of course instead of propping her up and putting her on that level and seeing how it plays out, she obviously has to be "corrected". A shame correcting her has only muddied who she is and stripped her of any purpose or direction, and has made her even more of a tag along than she already was.

As it is, in IDW there really isn't anything for her or any of the characters that tells us why they are friends with Sonic. his lifestyle is so vastly different from theirs, which is ironic in Amy's case, that he wouldn't even normally interact with them if they don't follow him around. Of course that likely doesn't bother fans of SatAM and Archie as they are more used to a stationary Sonic who always goes back to the same place, even as that goes against his never look back mentality. He's supposed to be a character always moving forward, so hanging around doing the same thing over and over again is a curious approach.

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I feel the point is that Archie!Sonic is treated as more of a traditional American comic hero like Superman; he has a primary place that he stays to protect and it's where all of his loved ones are.

 

However, Sega of Japan interprets Sonic as a drifter, someone constantly going out and seeking the next big challenge or adventure (sound familiar!) and never staying in one place for too long. Hell, the ending of Sonic Forces is him literally going off on his own after everything is said and done.

 

 

So yea, there is a difference in how the character is portrayed depending on the region and medium.

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13 hours ago, Kuzu said:

I feel like all of this contention on the ways Amy and Shadow have been written mostly stems from their characters and personalities have just been largely undefined for so long. 

I'm not sure I'd say undefined exactly, as its pretty clear how they generally act and in Amy' case, what she's motivated by. 

13 hours ago, Kuzu said:

To be perfectly blunt, she was the Sakura Haruno of the group and I don't think I need to tell you what that means.

Oof. It's been a while and I remember she got better, but I still flinched just a tad.

13 hours ago, Kuzu said:

So now Amy's defining trait is largely gone, but now you have the problem of how do you define her character now? Stuff like putting her in the leader role feels like Flynn's awkward attempts at actually giving her a role that doesn't revolve around Sonic, and obviously the results are..iffy.

 

 

So Amy is kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place; her main defining trait largely made her unpopular for so long, but without that trait, the character is kind of boring and barely recognizable and I don't know how you fix that. But no, I don't think this some conspiracy of Flynn to just put Amy in a role he doesn't want to deal with, but he's facing the same problems every other writer has had in actually trying to define and give Amy a purpose that doesn't return her to her original role as "Sonic's crazy stalker".

Essentially, though he honestly started out near perfectedly and just seems to have trouble finding places to proceed with that.

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14 hours ago, Kuzu said:

 But no, I don't think this some conspiracy of Flynn to just put Amy in a role he doesn't want to deal with, but he's facing the same problems every other writer has had in actually trying to define and give Amy a purpose that doesn't return her to her original role as "Sonic's crazy stalker".

Flynn was writing her just fine for whole Archie run. Even IDW works well (say #2) if you can completely ignore everything about leading the RES-group... which is sadly the majority of her screen time.

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14 hours ago, Kuzu said:

 

Without her crush on Sonic, Amy largely...has no character, outside of superficial ones like being "kind" and "sweet".  

 

 

6 hours ago, MetalSkulkBane said:

Except for Cream, like in Battle or Rush.

Ironically, those two besties are sorta in war who's gets to be "the emphatic nice one" of the group. It's don't think it's accident that Amy is most hot-headed and self-centered in stories she's with Cream (Free Riders, Battle, Rush, Heroes). On metal level it's easy to imagine Amy talking to Sega executives and suggesting Cream is too young to appear in Forces or Team Racing.
But to be fair, she still has positive moments in 3/4 of those games (keeping spirits up in Heroes, Cream calling her " toughest woman I've ever known" in Battle).

I seem to recall this coming up before and honestly, I don't see how that's such a problem and it unfortunately kinda leans on the idea of SonicTeam not really knowing how to write two characters that are vaguely similar at the same time.

Like, Kuzu's right--being admirably goodhearted and inspiring others to do the same? That's about as close to a modus operandi that a hero has and female characters tend towards that area as well. But by the same token, how a character carries themselves and goes about doing that is rather easy to differentiate or even complement.

Even at face value, Amy and Cream handle those situations differently and if anything, it can be an area where they can generally agree but approach for different reasons. From what I saw of the Battle story for example, Cream encouraging Chaos Gamma came after he finally had to accept that he couldn't keep them there and they each expressed confusion at how they could've bested him & why it was so important for him in the first place; I'd imagine Amy wouldn't have bothered because he already proved he had no problem holding them prisoner as well as personally desiring to destroy Emerl, and thus he already would've been smashed entirely. By contrast, I see Cream handling the Gamma & Shadow situations differently, pleading with him not let Eggman get Lily from the get go and either assuming Shadow wouldn't help or even getting angry with him not caring about what's gonna happen to everyone.

7 hours ago, Sega DogTagz said:

I Amy  has a conversion rate second only to Sonic to show for it.

...Wut?

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31 minutes ago, Fire-N-Space said:

To bad Amy didn't stay thinking about Sonic all the time that would have been great to watch in Sonic Boom and after.

Literally one of the things she says at the end of Classic Sonic's last level in Forces is how dreamy it is to have 2 Sonic's. As for Boom her crush is played down but still clearly a thing. She keeps pictures of him and coos when he does something sweet and has a doll made to look like him which she "uses for not creepy reasons".

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43 minutes ago, MetalSkulkBane said:

Flynn was writing her just fine for whole Archie run. Even IDW works well (say #2) if you can completely ignore everything about leading the RES-group... which is sadly the majority of her screen time.

I mean, she was largely minor in Archie besides arcs like TTT. For the most part, she was just the muscle of the Freedom Fighters. Sonic had a much more closet emotional connection with Sally, for obvious reasons.

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2 minutes ago, SBR2 said:

Literally one of the things she says at the end of Classic Sonic's last level in Forces is how dreamy it is to have 2 Sonic's.

That was only one line when compared to any game before Colors Amy had a lot more lines about Sonic. 

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Again, not terribly familiar with the IDW comics (I've only read the first three issues), so that's gonna effect this next little thought piece but some more of this discussion has peaked my interest.

I do like the idea of having her going on adventures of her own, with characters she doesn't interact with on a terribly consistent basis, to reveal some more hidden depths and whatnot or just generally expand on what we do know of her. That being said, I don't think Sonic being around has always resulted in her dropping those traits and becoming a bland non-character. Depends on the game, much like the rest of her writing. In Generations, she just wanted to force hugs on and flirt with him. In Forces, she barely had any dialogue or screentime to go beyond the most basic showing of her compassionate side or leadership skills (aside from this one particular line that contradicts how she's written in the rest of that game.) If you want a good example, she uses the sweet/caring attributes she has to stand up to Sonic himself when he was gonna finish Gamma off in SA1. She's the first one to give him a Chaos Emerald when Perfect Chaos wrecks Station Square, not to romantically impress him, but on the off-chance it might make a difference in the situation which plays to her helpful and determined sides. She finds and breaks Sonic out of prison in SA2 which plays to her competence and level-headedness, even if she did try to pull a fast one on him for info on Shadow (which could possibly be read as a joke; she did immediately relent when he said "no", like, it really wouldn't be like her to go "Welp, stay here and rot, you stuck-up bitch" and leave him there.) She didn't get a whole lot of interaction time with him in some of the other good examples of her writing I've mentioned, but I'll also raise that comment she made about sticking by him no matter what he looked like in Unleashed (which, for those who remember, hit him a bit when they first ran into each other that game) as a point for her sensitivity and kindness; she said it not to impress him, but to make him feel better (at least, as far as I remember; it was optional text-only dialogue.)

I see Amy as a character whose eyes were opened to the good in helping others and being selfless by Sonic's acts of heroism. I don't think that really changes depending on whether or not Sonic's in the vicinity (keep in mind, again, my knowledge of the comics is very low.) She's also a character that goes about her acts of heroism in a more personal way, as a part of her being bubbly and friendly. Sonic might just save someone, ask if they're alright, and then be on his way. Amy's interested in getting to know those she helps a little and making sure they'll stay alright after the deed is done, which is why I don't mind the idea of her sticking in one place for a while during the aftermath of a worldwide crisis like Forces, or think that it contrasts with the original vision of her character. If she's gonna be part of the restoration effort, she's one I imagine who would wanna double-check that it was done right and make a connection with those she was helping out, then go adventure with Sonic. :P

Lastly, in terms of how open or secret she keeps her crush on Sonic...that's a tough one to tell. I liked the second issue of the IDW comic where he got her to rattle on a little bit about it and catch herself embarrassed; I think it's best if she doesn't mind outright saying she likes him, but also doesn't wanna be a bother about it.

I'm sorry if I misread or misunderstood some of the previous points of discussion I was responding to with this one; I'm fighting sickness at the moment and am kinda out-of-focus because of it. XD

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The problem with Amy Rose, greater or lesser depending on the game, is that her personality is to some degree tied to having an agenda, which in simple episodic plots, tends to be unsatisfying.  Accordingly, it’s usually the villains who have agendas in these plots; that keeps it from being a problem that their agenda isn’t likable and that it’s fated to fail.  In turn, most game heroes, like Sonic, Knuckles, Mario and Mega Man, may or may not have things they impulsively do, but in game plots their main role is in reacting to the villains’ agendas.  Amy is actively seeking something Sonic, which in itself annoys many people, but even those who are on board with her and Sonic becoming an item will get annoyed that it doesn’t ever happen. 
 

To be fair, Amy’s ambitions aren’t always limited to becoming Sonic’s girlfriend; sometimes she wants to make him respect her, and while it’s fair to say SEGA would never let them become a couple, I think Sonic coming to respect her might have been possible, had the games stuck a bit more with ensuring character development stuck, and also with Amy being playable.  Given the backlash against the less Sonic-like gameplay in Sonic Adventure, a more athletic Amy was looking to be the norm, as was her genuinely friendly persona when it wasn’t being undermined by stalking tendencies. They could easily have spun this into respectability without having to write any deep plot, but with her out of both playable status and and often even chances to interact with other characters, that development has been dropped.

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On 1/17/2020 at 9:45 AM, Kuzu said:

That's not to say she's a bad character for it, but I do want to point out that her most significant moments in the Adventure games are mostly; tagging along the group, getting kidnapped as leverage against Sonic, just complaining how she doesn't get to do anything, and being ignored while the boys handle the real business.

Assuming you're counting Heroes and Shadow as Adventure games.

Adventure: Amy, still reminiscing of Sonic CD, is dependent on Sonic until she's forced away from him and has to rely on herself in order to protect someone else. (She had a similar arc to Tails'.)

Adventure 2: Amy, having grown in Sonic Adventure, takes the initiative and rescues Sonic from a high-security military prison by herself. (Again, similar to Tails.)

Heroes: Amy, now leading her own group of friends, set out to find out what happened to their other friends themselves.

Shadow: Amy is in full blown Hero Mode and is tackling Eggman on her own.

That's a character arc. She ended up a different person than she started and it happened organically.

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Yeah, it may have gone a bit unnoticed by some, but there has been a progression to Amy's character.

She started as a damsel in distress, then saw Sonic's heroism and became both enamored and inspired. This led to her actively pursuing him and eventually ending up getting caught up in the act of doing good and saving people. This also led to her developing her skill set to include stealth like infiltrating a prison and snatching the key to Sonic's cell on her lonesome, developing her own unique style of fighting in Sonic Battle, and teaching herself how to wield a hammer with maximum proficiency. And now? She's graduated to being a sort of leader and taking hold of a situation, and in that, I see the empath in her maturing and strengthening. She's reached the point where she can use her ability to take in a situation and analyse the causalities to full effect in a role where it's most needed, and she's grown into a person that can perform that role with a fluidity and level-headedness on par with the most skilled and experienced in the group.

 

And her crush on Sonic? It hasn't gone away at all. It petered out in her energetic attempts of wooing Sonic and swooning over him, but it's definitely still there even as of Forces and shown in IDW as well. I don't think she's out of character at all. Personally, I believe Amy has had the most development out of the core cast in recent times; conversely, Sonic has stayed relatively the same and/or has had certain traits dialed up to eleven, Tails is outright regressing as a character in the games, and Knuckles is in a weird limbo but otherwise pretty consistent.

Though, I do agree that the next step in her character progression is having her own solo experiences and branching out from Sonic and actually trying to strengthen her ties with the other characters. Having Amy tag along with a Team Dark character in one of the games could be really interesting if done well, and it could help Amy see things without rose-tinted - or should I say blue-tinted - goggles on.

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