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Do you think the Sonic series is kind of sexist?


SnooPigu
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Dr. Mechano
11 minutes ago, SnooPigu said:

Its more that in dragonball only a handfull of females can take rival the top tiers but most of the time are pushed to the side, but for Sonic, Blaze is the only female thats rivals Sonic and the the others at his level.

Despite some spiky golden aesthetic similarities, Sonic's less like Dragon Ball Z than it might appear. 

This isn't a series where conflicts are won by who can slam into each other the hardest or by who can shoot the biggest energy beam. It's not a matter of "whoever's strongest wins," because if that were true, the winner would usually be the bad guy.

Eggman's mechs and the various giant monsters in the franchise generally outclass Sonic in terms of raw strength, but Sonic is an extremely adaptable character; He wins through his ability to quickly dodge and zip around these big strong enemies, and - in many cases - his on-the-fly thinking and improvisation, such as using the environment or the enemy's own weapons against it.

Don't get me wrong, Sonic's strong in his own right, but that's not why he wins. Every playable character in the franchise has something they're really excellent at - whether it's Sonic's speed, Tails' aerial mobility, Knuckles' mobility and strength, Amy's range and versatility with her hammer (using it as both a weapon and as a boost), etc. Their key to victory isn't to just hit harder than Eggman (or the monster of the week), but rather to out-maneuver and out-wit him using their unique abilities. 

What I'm saying is, in Sonic, the whole idea of power tiers is dumb, and is hardly a predictor of who'd win in a fight with whom.

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I don't know why you guys are trying to use logic on somebody who' only cares about how "cool" a character looks. 

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A lot of people already brought up great points, however, I wanted to echo the sentiment regarding Amy: She deserves better. She has huuuuge potential as a character and it is shame that it is being wasted. When I was a little girl, it was my dream to see Amy go Super in a game. I think that a lot of girls liking the franchise would be happy to see her to join the ranks of Sonic, Shadow and Silver. Although, the franchise is targeted at male audience, I don't think this is good excuse anymore. In the last 5 years, roles of women in media that target male audience became much more prominent.

I hope that recent advances in media and popularity of Tangle and Whisper will be push for game writers to once again utilize female characters in an interesting way.

 

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I continue to believe that the "only male hedgehogs" rule is a descriptive statement, rather than a prescriptive statement.  After all, as of right now, it's perfectly true; we don't know of any female characters or non-hedgehogs who can go Super, so the statement is accurate.  Blaze is her own thing, but the simple fact that she is allowed to have her own super-equivalent form (and that the comics have free rein to use it, I think?) indicates that there's not really any particular official prejudice towards female power-ups; I think what we see is more a reticence to hand out new Super forms in general.  Mania got to do it, though!  I have no doubt that, had Amy been lucky enough to be playable in that game, we would have seen the debut of Super Amy, and she would have been every bit as interesting as Super Tails and Super Knuckles (which is to say, not at all).

Is Sonic as a series sexist, though?  To an extent, though it really comes and goes, as people have more or less noted; with Amy especially having enormous ups and downs - some of which I suspect comes from not having much idea of what to do with her.  Later female characters, designed to be playable, have had their gimmicks built-in; Cream's ears, Blaze's flames.  With Amy, everything has had to be tacked on, and as a result some of it has come and gone with the times...

Broadly speaking, I don't think there's anything wrong with Sonic being a boy-centric series any more than there's anything wrong with, say, My Little Pony being a girl-centric series; the issues with boy- and girl-centric series come from how the overall numbers of each match up with the total populace (if there are more boy-centric series than girl-centric series, there's a problem somewhere), and the respect granted to one over the other (if boy-centric series get more attention and funding than girl-centric series, that's no good either).  But being a boy-centric series doesn't give Sonic a free pass to have worse writing and presentation for its female characters, either; and some of the examples people have discussed suggest there is very much still work to be done here.

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dudebro1993
1 hour ago, Kuzu said:

How old are you my dude.

He's not wrong though. Outside of Blaze, what female character is equal to or even close to Sonic and Shadow for example?

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3 minutes ago, dudebro1993 said:

He's not wrong though. Outside of Blaze, what female character is equal to or even close to Sonic and Shadow for example?

And I'm telling you that has or never has mattered in the grand scheme of anything. Every female character has contributed something of worth to the series even if they aren't as prominent as other characters. 

So its rather reductive to downplay their accomplishments simply because they don't measure up to some arbitrary level of "badassery" that you think they need to have. 

Its childish. 

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Dr. Mechano
6 minutes ago, dudebro1993 said:

He's not wrong though. Outside of Blaze, what female character is equal to or even close to Sonic and Shadow for example?

What does this even mean?

Are Sonic and Shadow somehow definitively these unbeatably all-powerful characters who no one else could even hope to take on? Because that's a really narrow way to view capability in this series.

Both Sonic and Shadow have lost before. They've been canonically defeated, captured, and overwhelmed by enemies. Heck, Sonic's been overpowered by a bunch of standard-issue GUN robots and human cops in SA2, which shows that - with proper coordination - even non-superpowered characters could best Sonic. Forget the question of female characters; I'm saying that for characters in general, I reject the idea that Sonic and Shadow are somehow in their own special tier above everyone else. 

Sonic and Shadow have a unique pool of special abilities. Other characters have their own special abilities that these guys don't have. Winning a fight in Sonic isn't about being "more powerful" than your enemy; Like I said before, if that were the case, the final boss of each Sonic game would typically stand as the "most powerful" thing in the game, and therefore always win.

No, fights are decided by how characters use the powers they have. Whether it's super speed, flight, strength, psychokinesis, pyrokinesis, Chao-taming, mastery of weapons, etc. Which is why I don't agree with this notion that Sonic and Shadow (or Sonic, Shadow, and Blaze if you'd like) lord over the other characters as these untouchably overpowered titans who no one can hope to match. The games just don't support that.

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I think wanting the females to do more is fine. But we still shouldn't undermine what they have done as lesser than the male characters. 

Now, that doesn't mean we shouldn't ask for me. Definitely, let's have Amy go Super. Don't try to make her someone she isn't though seeing that her current character as lesser. 

What makes modern comics Amy good to me is that she feels like a natural growth of the childish fangirl of the early series who has a good tactical niche while still having elements of her crush but not being entirely dependant on her crush for Sonic. 

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dudebro1993
17 minutes ago, Kuzu said:

And I'm telling you that has or never has mattered in the grand scheme of anything. Every female character has contributed something of worth to the series even if they aren't as prominent as other characters. 

So its rather reductive to downplay their accomplishments simply because they don't measure up to some arbitrary level of "badassery" that you think they need to have. 

Its childish. 

 

8 minutes ago, Dr. Mechano said:

What does this even mean?

Are Sonic and Shadow somehow definitively these unbeatably all-powerful characters who no one else could even hope to take on? Because that's a really narrow way to view capability in this series.

Both Sonic and Shadow have lost before. They've been canonically defeated, captured, and overwhelmed by enemies. Heck, Sonic's been overpowered by a bunch of standard-issue GUN robots and human cops in SA2, which shows that - with proper coordination - even non-superpowered characters could best Sonic. Forget the question of female characters; I'm saying that for characters in general, I reject the idea that Sonic and Shadow are somehow in their own special tier above everyone else. 

Sonic and Shadow have a unique pool of special abilities. Other characters have their own special abilities that these guys don't have. Winning a fight in Sonic isn't about being "more powerful" than your enemy; Like I said before, if that were the case, the final boss of each Sonic game would typically stand as the "most powerful" thing in the game, and therefore always win.

No, fights are decided by how characters use the powers they have. Whether it's super speed, flight, strength, psychokinesis, pyrokinesis, Chao-taming, mastery of weapons, etc. Which is why I don't agree with this notion that Sonic and Shadow (or Sonic, Shadow, and Blaze if you'd like) lord over the other characters as these untouchably overpowered titans who no one can hope to match. The games just don't support that.

You both made some great points but when is the last time female characters did something useful in the games outside of the Rush games (Blaze)? The last time a female did something useful was in SA2 with Amy reminding Shadow about Maria's promise. Since then it's all been Sonic and Shadow and Blaze in the Rush games. That's because male characters are more marketable and popular. 

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Dr. Mechano
Just now, dudebro1993 said:

 

You both made some great points but when is the last time female characters did something useful in the games outside of the Rush games (Blaze)? The last time a female did something useful was in SA2 with Amy reminding Shadow about Maria's promise. Since then it's all been Sonic and Shadow and Blaze in the Rush games. That's because male characters are more marketable and popular. 

I mean, Amy was playable in Sonic 06. She saves Sonic's life multiple times in that game - once stopping Silver from killing him, and again helping track down the Chaos Emeralds to revive him.

Rouge also assisted Shadow in his adventure, and was also part of the process to revive Sonic. I'd call her contributions "useful."

Even Elise outright had superpowers that assisted Sonic in that game by means of her "Energy Field" ability, which allowed Sonic to stand on unstable surfaces like water and quicksand. Shahra deserves an honorable mention as well.

I mean, yeah, I wish they did more but it's not nothing like you're implying by asking when "the last time female characters did something useful" was.

And I mean, after 06 pretty much all non-Sonic characters - male and female alike - got sidelined from playability. The fact that nearly every adventure for the last decade has just been Sonic isn't a reflection on women not being useful in the series - it's a reflection of everyone being severely underutilized.

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Sega DogTagz

If Rouge doesn't track down Sonic on the Death Egg - Sonic dies in Forces. That's a pretty significant achievement.

She is the single and most important reason the good guys get their ace in the hole back and turn the tide of the war. Without Rouge's contribution, Eggman wins.

 

That being said, asking for the last time any side character did anything significant is a stupid question anyway considering how much the cast has been pushed to the side as a whole. This isn't a male v female question.

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12 minutes ago, Perkilator said:

I'm not really sure this topic is going anywhere.

(I hope I don't regret saying this)

Everyone seems to be in agreement that there are elements of sexism there. But now the topic seems to be transitioning to, "what measures the female characters up to the males?" Which is a hell of a subjective topic with lots of pitfalls. 

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3 hours ago, Dr. Mechano said:

The point is that Iizuka went out of his way to outright say "Only male hedgehogs can go super."

It's not merely that he's never thought to give a female character a super form, but that he mandated a rule against it ever happening in the future for no real reason. 

Whenever your explicitly say "Only men can are allowed to do this and only women are allowed do that," then sure, I feel like it's fair to call that a little sexist.

Reminds me of that stupid ass Zelda interview where Aonuma said a few years back before botw, about how “only a male Link can have the triforce of courage”, and how a female would “mess with the balance”. (Also had said Zelda couldn’t be the protagonist because “what would link do?” Which…yeah.)

 

I really don’t understand what compels these developers to outright say stupid shit like this. They KNOW it’s gonna backfire, they just have to, there’s no way they’re that dumb with that much of a lack of comprehension to understand how people will take that 

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1 minute ago, KHCast said:

Reminds me of that stupid ass Zelda interview where Aonuma said a few years back before botw, about how “only a male Link can have the triforce of courage”, and how a female would “mess with the balance”. (Also had said Zelda couldn’t be the protagonist because “what would link do?” Which…yeah.)

 

I really don’t understand what compels these developers to outright say stupid shit like this. They KNOW it’s gonna backfire, they just have to, there’s no way they’re that dumb with that much of a lack of comprehension to understand how people will take that 

Like I said, its genuine ignorance on their part. A lot of older Japanese developers are straight up ignorant of the fact that America has progressed on these outdated mindsets. The country is  that regressive in terms of progress. 

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Dr. Mechano
2 minutes ago, KHCast said:

Reminds me of that stupid ass Zelda interview where Aonuma said a few years back before botw, about how “only a male Link can have the triforce of courage”, and how a female would “mess with the balance”. (Also had said Zelda couldn’t be the protagonist because “what would link do?” Which…yeah.)

They can go on an adventure together.

That's already happened in Spirit Tracks, a game where both Link and Zelda are playable.

Like, this concept has literally already been done. We just want them to do it again, but with a Zelda that's not a ghost that spends most of the game possessing a suit of armor.

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8 minutes ago, Kuzu said:

Like I said, its genuine ignorance on their part. A lot of older Japanese developers are straight up ignorant of the fact that America has progressed on these outdated mindsets. The country is  that regressive in terms of progress. 

Like, if Sonic devs (and any devs for that matter ) wanna focus primarily on their male characters for reasons, just say it, don’t throw in some cringe excuse. I’d respect it more if they were just upfront about it in that situation. I may criticize the decision, but at least they aren’t hiding behind some contrived bs they made up themselves like “what about the triforce” or “male hedgehogs can only have super forms”

 

Like the GTAV crew just up and said they wanted a story about dudes. The FF15 devs wanted to explore the narratives around “bro-ship”, etc. it can be done, even when people may not agree, but it’s them just being upfront and saying they wanna tell a story/create a game the way they want 

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1 hour ago, Kuzu said:

I don't know why you guys are trying to use logic on somebody who' only cares about how "cool" a character looks. 

That's pretty much the point behindmy Dragon Ball comment. This guy only cares about how powerful the characters are and none of their actually canon accomplishments matter because they can't go super and be more powerful.

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CertifiedNobody

Not really. I feel like Knuckles and Tails have been sidelined probably just as much as someone like Amy or Blaze, the only difference being Amy probably gets more respect than the guy who got knocked into a tree in Generations. I wouldn't say Silver's treated much better than Blaze in the games, since the only thing he's done in the last decade is lose a fight to Infinite. Shadow getting more focus than Rouge was an inevitability due to his status as Sonic's dark and serious rival with a tragic backstory, and it would've happened regardless of gender.

I guess you could say Mania only really focused on the male heroes, but that's mainly because Amy wasn't playable until Advance and Adventure.

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Dr. Mechano
2 hours ago, CertifiedNobody said:

Not really. I feel like Knuckles and Tails have been sidelined probably just as much as someone like Amy or Blaze, the only difference being Amy probably gets more respect than the guy who got knocked into a tree in Generations. I wouldn't say Silver's treated much better than Blaze in the games, since the only thing he's done in the last decade is lose a fight to Infinite. Shadow getting more focus than Rouge was an inevitability due to his status as Sonic's dark and serious rival with a tragic backstory, and it would've happened regardless of gender.

I guess you could say Mania only really focused on the male heroes, but that's mainly because Amy wasn't playable until Advance and Adventure.

Amy was playable in a bunch of classic-era games, just not in any platformers.

And before you discount the spinoff games as irrelevant, remember that it was Sonic the Fighters that established Amy as a hammer-wielder, which has defined her style of combat to this very day.

I think it'd be totally believable to have a playable classic Amy, considering we've already had a game with her as an active combatant.

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CertifiedNobody
1 minute ago, Dr. Mechano said:

Amy was playable in a bunch of classic-era games, just not in any platformers.

And before you discount the spinoff games as irrelevant, remember that it was Sonic the Fighters that established Amy as a hammer-wielder, which has defined her style of combat to this very day.

I think it'd be totally believable to have a playable classic Amy, considering we've already had a game with her as an active combatant.

That's true actually, I'll admit I was wrong. But the game was focused on the Genesis games rather than arcade games or Game Gear. Mighty and Ray were only added in because they were famously obscure, as contradictory as that sounds. So adding in these "lost Sonic characters" brought way more attention to the Plus dlc than Amy would. Also, based on the recent classic media, i don't think Sega wants classic Amy to be as skilled at fighting or adventuring as her modern self, but I could be wrong

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Dr. Mechano
1 minute ago, CertifiedNobody said:

That's true actually, I'll admit I was wrong. But the game was focused on the Genesis games rather than arcade games or Game Gear. 

Sonic 2 8-bit's Silver Sonic appears during the Metal Sonic fight, and of course there's Fang, Bean, and Bark; even if they were just Heavy Magician disguises, it's still an acknowledgment of both Game Gear and arcade characters existing, which was pretty neat.

The officially-licensed IDW 30th anniversary special also gives Amy her hammer and lets her act as an active adventurer along with Sonic and the gang. Sega's keeping a much closer eye on the IDW comics than they did on Archie, so it's safe to say that classic Amy as an active combatant had to pass their approval process. And if it's good enough for the comics, I think it's likely good enough for a hypothetical Mania 2 as well.

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CertifiedNobody
1 minute ago, Dr. Mechano said:

Sonic 2 8-bit's Silver Sonic appears during the Metal Sonic fight, and of course there's Fang, Bean, and Bark; even if they were just Heavy Magician disguises, it's still an acknowledgment of both Game Gear and arcade characters existing, which was pretty neat.

The officially-licensed IDW 30th anniversary special also gives Amy her hammer and lets her act as an active adventurer along with Sonic and the gang. Sega's keeping a much closer eye on the IDW comics than they did on Archie, so it's safe to say that classic Amy as an active combatant had to pass their approval process. And if it's good enough for the comics, I think it's likely good enough for a hypothetical Mania 2 as well.

They referenced those things, but they were still just references. And yeah, it was pretty cool (I'll still argue that the ones who shot down the Tornado were the actual ones since they couldn't fly like Heavy Magician can.)

Also did Amy do much fighting? She went along with Mighty and Ray but I'm not sure what she did aside from help find the Emeralds using the radar.

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Dr. Mechano
4 minutes ago, CertifiedNobody said:

Also did Amy do much fighting? She went along with Mighty and Ray but I'm not sure what she did aside from help find the Emeralds using the radar.

She does attack Bark:

image.png.3758aac16fca147559d76178bb6f83c2.png

More helpfully, she uses her hammer to give Sonic a boost earlier as well:

image.png.34ec642db5de44d8bc3cdaa739a2c01f.png

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