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MetalSkulkBane

Appeal of Espio the Chamelon

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Over the course of last decade I grew to love (or at least like) everyone from Sonic "Recurring" cast (Sonic  Heroes + Silver and Blaze). Big and Omega can be really funny, Shadow or Metal are just badass, while Rouge or Eggman are just fun people to have around. The only exception to this rule is... well, you read the title.

For me Espio is just sorta there. He never gets to do anything as awesome as super-form characters nor is he as wacky as rest of Chaotix. I usually like the serious one of the comical group, because he tends to also be smart and responsible one, but that's Vector's role (which makes him my favorite Chaotix. Good mix of comedic flaws  and actual skills). It isn't helped by how rarely stories are centered around hin. Even Chaotix stories  usually give first focus on Vector. (Ironically I think I kinda liked him in Sonic Heroes, He seemed deadly serious and kinda crazy shouting things like "Where's light, there's shadow." or "Beware my ninja power!" )

With all that said I though it wouldn't' hurt to ask all Espio fans: why do you like him so much?

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Yeah, basically what they already said. Espio's quirky ninja or Chameleon based abilities are where his appeal lives and dies at.

I get where you're coming from, I think his ninja motif holds him back more than anything else, he would have so much more potential really if he got more rounded character moments than just being a strong silent stereotype. 

But the dude has: a huge tongue, invisibility, can stick to surfaces Spider-Man style, and has his own spinning technique. Beyond being ridged and underused, what's not to love?

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Espio to me, mostly plays off as the Straight Man to the other members of Chaotix. Basicallly, the only one who does his job right and has to cover up for Vector and Charmy goofing off. He probably has no real reason to go along with Vector's get rich quick schemes and zany jobs, but does so and helps out anyway since Charmy and Vector are his friends. He might be a little too serious and not at all wacky like his companions, but it's clear that they have a bond between them.

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Ooh, a somewhat uncommon thread topic. Good on ya, Skulk!

But you're right--I realized a little while ago that Espio and Charmy are seemingly the most archetypical characters in the recurring cast before the Zeti signed on(and even then, Zazz is the closest of the three that actually have).  He's alright though.

I'm sure he gets by on Rule of Cool because Ninja, plus maybe the perks that come with being a Classic character(one that was explicitly designed to be a star apparently) and arguably being the least "annoying" of the cast. Plus, spinoffs like Sonic X and especially Archie tend to do more with him, thus nominally adding to him.

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Espio was at his best in the later Archie comics, especially when his "cool, calm demeanour" slips for a second or two. 

Case in point, him getting tricked by Bean and getting defeated in the Champions arc. 

Same arc, he shows he's just as bad with money as the other two, after he confesses to gambling away his phone money. 

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1 minute ago, HywelAtTheMoon said:

Same arc, he shows he's just as bad with money as the other two, after he confesses to gambling away his phone money. 

Exactly what I had in mind.

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23 hours ago, Wraith said:

Ninjas are cool

Yeah pretty much this. I'll admit he doesn't really get a chance to actually do a lot of cool stuff though.

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Espio is among my favorite characters. I love the Chaotix as a trio, and Espio is just as important to that trio as the other two members, being both the straight-man and the badass.

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How does Espio fair popularity-wise, btw?

On 1/19/2020 at 4:54 PM, Marco9966 said:

Iizuka said when they wanted to do a game for a non-Sonic character, it was either him or Shadow. They ended up choosing Shadow.

Wonder how an Espio game would have turned out.

Oh really?

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9 hours ago, DabigRG said:

How does Espio fair popularity-wise, btw?

Depends how you count popularity, Exposure (how many people know him) or Opinions (what those who know him think of thim

1) Exposure-wise  he's on the bottom of Recurring Cast, slightly above Charmy and Omega (arguably Cream). Chaotix (especially non-Vector) just tend to get short end of a stick. Even Big is meme-popular.

2) Opinion-wise he, Vector, Omega and Blaze are only non-Classic characters without any large hatedom (to be fair I didn't heard recently any major hatedom backlashes and I hope it stays like this). He's generally well liked on the basic "ninja are cool" rule and Chaotix are acknowledged as fun and unique group in the franchise. But with all that said, Exposure influences Opinions, and I rarely see him in "Top 5 Sonic characters". I can think of 2-3 people who claimed Espio is one of best Sonic characters.

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On 1/19/2020 at 4:36 PM, Wraith said:

Ninjas are cool

Got it in one , ninja chameleon

Shits cool. He's not my fav but he's cool.

On 1/19/2020 at 4:54 PM, Marco9966 said:

Iizuka said when they wanted to do a game for a non-Sonic character, it was either him or Shadow. They ended up choosing Shadow.

Wonder how an Espio game would have turned out.

That's funny. I guess they thought he would be more popular, as did I. Turned out people liked vector the most of the three. Huh

 

Life is weird

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1 hour ago, MetalSkulkBane said:

Depends how you count popularity, Exposure (how many people know him) or Opinions (what those who know him think of thim

1) Exposure-wise  he's on the bottom of Recurring Cast, slightly above Charmy and Omega (arguably Cream). Chaotix (especially non-Vector) just tend to get short end of a stick. Even Big is meme-popular.

2) Opinion-wise he, Vector, Omega and Blaze are only non-Classic characters without any large hatedom (to be fair I didn't heard recently any major hatedom backlashes and I hope it stays like this). He's generally well liked on the basic "ninja are cool" rule and Chaotix are acknowledged as fun and unique group in the franchise. But with all that said, Exposure influences Opinions, and I rarely see him in "Top 5 Sonic characters". I can think of 2-3 people who claimed Espio is one of best Sonic characters.

As number 2 goes I think you are looking at it from the wrong angle. I don't think for two out of three of those its " Exposure influences opinions " its should be reverse. Espio for a while in the earlier 00's got his and the chaotix time in the sun , those dudes IIRC are in sonic X more than shadow is I think. And omega got the wrestle staple, "hang out with the really cool guy so you can get more popular" thing. And I just don't think it worked for either of them, not for lack of exposure. It just didn't take. Because Vector at least from what I see tends to be more popular than both of them and was put in the same position. And blaze is kind of poplar because people like her, she's about the only I would claim " exposure influences opinions " on because she wasn't exposed to too many people ( Phrasing I know ) , and she's still pretty popular and would probably be more so if she was used. The other ones were used, I just don't think espio took.

Exposure is kind of a bad example to begin with because there are multiple characters that have not been about for quite some time, and some not only maintained their popularity, in the case of silver, got more popular.

If I may say one more thing though, I don't think hatedom is relevant. In fact I think it works a bit against point a bit. Companies and most consumers don't really care about a hatedom around a character. To use very good examples, people hate broly and venom I think that speaks for itself. It largely don't matter, but I would also kind of make the argument that in some cases lack of hatedom doesn't indicate the quality of a character or how many people like it, but indicates that not enough people care about the character to hate them. While I don't think that's true for blaze, I do think that's true for the other two

And it sucks, because I think espio is cool because ninja, but I guess it doesn't do it for a lot of the audience. Is what it is I suppose

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Neither Espio or Omega get enough exposure to really be standout characters at all. Espio, along with the rest of the Chaotix, have been C-tier characters at best since their debut.

Omega never really did anything relevant beyond just be the heavy for Team Dark.

 

Exposure does influence people's opinions on you to an extent; it's why Blaze and Silver have maintained a decent showing despite not being all that relevant anymore; Blaze still has Rush (and 06...) and Silver has 06, and the added benefit of being the same species as the main character and his most prominent foil, the two literal most popular characters in the series.

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4 hours ago, MetalSkulkBane said:

Depends how you count popularity, Exposure (how many people know him) or Opinions (what those who know him think of thim

1) Exposure-wise  he's on the bottom of Recurring Cast, slightly above Charmy and Omega (arguably Cream). Chaotix (especially non-Vector) just tend to get short end of a stick. Even Big is meme-popular.

2) Opinion-wise he, Vector, Omega and Blaze are only non-Classic characters without any large hatedom (to be fair I didn't heard recently any major hatedom backlashes and I hope it stays like this). He's generally well liked on the basic "ninja are cool" rule and Chaotix are acknowledged as fun and unique group in the franchise. But with all that said, Exposure influences Opinions, and I rarely see him in "Top 5 Sonic characters". I can think of 2-3 people who claimed Espio is one of best Sonic characters.

Okay, but I meant in terms of official polls.

3 hours ago, Shadowlax said:

. I guess they thought he would be more popular, as did I. Turned out people liked vector the most of the three. Huh

 

Life is weird

It sorta makes sense.

While he undoubtedly has the cool factor, there's not much else to him. Meanwhile, Vector is one of the more dynamic and flexible characters who also breaks a stereotype of his species.

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6 minutes ago, DabigRG said:

Okay, but I meant in terms of official polls.

It sorta makes sense.

While he undoubtedly has the cool factor, there's not much else to him. Meanwhile, Vector is one of the more dynamic and flexible characters who also breaks a stereotype of his species.

You know what.  I think you hit the ...chameleon on its horn? Sounds painful. What I mean is knuckles, shadow and blaze are all varying levels of cool but they all have other interesting things that set them apart. Espio is...just a ninja. And vector while not as cool has more personality and stuff. Like being the leader, his debts, him liking vanilla in sonic x.

 

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46 minutes ago, DabigRG said:

Okay, but I meant in terms of official polls.

Somewhere in the middle I guess? I haven't seem official Sonic polls in a few years.

Voting with several choices is stinking lie anyway due to "third party voting".

Imagine poll Mario Vs Sonic. Let's say Mario wins 55 to 45.

Now I make Mario Vs Sonic Vs Luigi . Suddenly Mario fandom splits in half and Sonic wins, because people who voted Luigi harmed their own cause.

Good think we only use that voting system for silly fandom questions and not how to rule the world OH WAIT.

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It's kind of interesting if you compare Espio and Vector's character designs at face value. Espio immediately screams "disciplined ninja chameleon" but there isn't much beyond that (since his murderous/ridiculous nature was toned down a lot), meanwhile nothing about Vector really says "charitable/broke but capable detective" (I'll give them the bossy/greedy traits), as his design gives off more "Kremling" or "crocodile DJ", which is still a leftover from the Sonic 1 band. Even the Boom writers felt his headphones weren't fitting for a detective character and gave him a magnifying glass instead. So while Espio's rather simple to the point where some people seem to be fans of the archetype rather than the character, Vector got more layers but they're rarely showcased because side character, so he tends to get marked with the "big idiot" stereotype, as his design (intentionally?) doesn't show his true nature.

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That's a pretty good part of Vector's design; at a surface level, he seems like your standard loud and boisterous character. But he's not only charitable, he's pretty vigilant and perceptive of things befitting a detective.

 

He's a good case of not judging a book by its cover.

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