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What if 4Kids never got Sonic X? Alternate Universe Scenario



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It would've been Funimation if that was the case, or ADV since they had a prior relationship with SEGA. But the reason 4kids got the job over those two was because 4kids paid well for the property, and their reputation with Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh prior had made them a very profitable partner when it came to dubbing children's anime. 

4kids had a lot of ties to marketing firms and were able to get lucrative contracts on an international scale that many other anime companies at the time just couldn't which meant the show reached more children, which is really what SEGA wanted, the original product be damned, it was just a cartoon.

But if that wasn't the case, it probably would've gone to ADV who, despite being long in the tooth still had a prior relationship with SEGA and their anime properties. They probably would've done a broadcast on Toonami, if only because the block was growing in popularity, and KidsWB was on its way out at the time. 

It's possible ADV would've brought in the original cast, but I highly doubt it. ADV stuck to a lot of their own local cast which were the actors in New York, just like 4kids. 

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16 minutes ago, VO.SUPER said:

It would've been Funimation if that was the case, or ADV since they had a prior relationship with SEGA. But the reason 4kids got the job over those two was because 4kids paid well for the property, and their reputation with Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh prior had made them a very profitable partner when it came to dubbing children's anime. 

4kids had a lot of ties to marketing firms and were able to get lucrative contracts on an international scale that many other anime companies at the time just couldn't which meant the show reached more children, which is really what SEGA wanted, the original product be damned, it was just a cartoon.

But if that wasn't the case, it probably would've gone to ADV who, despite being long in the tooth still had a prior relationship with SEGA and their anime properties. They probably would've done a broadcast on Toonami, if only because the block was growing in popularity, and KidsWB was on its way out at the time. 

It's possible ADV would've brought in the original cast, but I highly doubt it. ADV stuck to a lot of their own local cast which were the actors in New York, just like 4kids. 

What about Saban?

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1 hour ago, The Great Egg Emperor said:

What about Saban?

By the time Sonic X was on the market in Japan, Saban was being sold to Disney and rebranded. And the Saban of today is only a shell of what that company was.

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The only real candidates other than 4Kids would be Funimation, Viz, or ADV. Any of them would be technically possible, but as long as 4Kids existed there was no way any other company was gonna get it. Sega saw what 4Kids did with Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh! and wanted some of that too.

If Funimation got it, there's no guarantee the dub for it would be good. This was still during a time when they insisted on replacing the music, rewriting the scripts, and changing terminology for the Dragon Ball series. Their other shows were starting to get treated better at the time, but that's because they knew they could market it to adults. Part of the issue is Sega really wanted whatever dubbing company got it to push it hard to children, and any time they got kodomomuke anime (which means it's intended for children, so a lower age demographic than shonen) they heavily altered the scripts to be serviceable to adults because there wouldn't be any other way to sell it. Crayon Shin-Chan is the biggest example of this, and Keroro Gunsou too. Both of these shows never really got far because their schtick got old fast.

Viz could have done a good job with some decent voice actors, but their biggest issue is, at least at the time, they had a habit of not finishing shows. Especially once they got Naruto, things like Konjiki no Gash Bell, Prince of Tennis, etc. only had either a handful of half the amount of episodes dubbed and then was seemingly dropped. They also had some experience with dubbing kodomomuke anime, like Hamtaro.

Then there's ADV, whose days were limited at the time. I'm sure they could have done okay, but they didn't have that childrens' anime flare that 4Kids had that Sega was looking for.

What they all have in common, though, is that none of them would have carried over the game's voice cast. These companies, especially at the time, worked with voice actors locally who were already on their roster. As for where it would air, Toonami isn't a guarantee especially since it was just moving to Saturdays at the time and its hours were cut down severely, so my guess would be it could air anytime on Cartoon Network on their weekday diet Toonami block, Miguzi. Nickelodeon or Kids WB would also be candidates.

But at the end of the day, in terms of marketability and success, 4Kids was the best thing to happen to it. It was super popular and was on a syndicated block at a decent time, which meant it reached more people than cable channels like Cartoon Network or Nickelodeon. It even remained one of their top shows even as 4Kids evolved (or devolved) their block over time, and it was a staple that they could always rely on. Sega was also incredibly happy with it at the time, and even carried the cast over to the games. There's no guarantee that they would have done the same thing if another company got it, but it's likely considering their reasoning was "consistency amongst the brand."

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Yeah there are a few things to remember. 

One is that this is the early/mid 2000s when we weren't as globalized as we are today (e.g. most kids watching aren't aware of an unedited foreign version) and most anime for kids are edited. In the US especially (for whom a lot of the dubs were made by), most kid shows didn't even dare to go to TV-PG at the time. Anything higher than TV-Y7 would change the perception of who the target audience is. 

A lot of the edits that 4kids made for example were not out intentional disrespect for the original show as much as broadcasting restrictions for content and runtime. So chances are a lot of the edits would be the same barring perhaps music.

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Yeah exactly. Lots of kids at the time didn't know the show had poor edits until they went online and people who knew better told them so.

Speaking of Saban, they were one of the bigger editors too, at least when they dubbed anime like Samurai Pizza Cats in the early/mid 90s. It's a common misconception that they dubbed Dragon Ball Z (it was Funimation), they just helped Funimation get it on the air, ways to censor it, and music. The unfortunate thing is a lot of the nasty dub stuff from that era is still heavily present in the Dragon Ball dub being sold today. So Saban's hypothetical involvement in Sonic X wouldn't have resulted in a product too different from the one 4Kids made. These dubbing practices were incredibly common back in the late 90s and early 2000s so that's why I think even if another company got it, even if it's one that's highly respected today, it still wouldn't have been all that great.

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On 4/7/2022 at 12:32 AM, VO.SUPER said:

By the time Sonic X was on the market in Japan, Saban was being sold to Disney and rebranded. And the Saban of today is only a shell of what that company was.

Who currently owns Saban? 

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One thing I have always wondered is this: What if Toonami got Sonic X instead of 4Kids? I mean, think about it. There would probably be less censorship, since Cartoon Network is a cable channel. Plus, they would probably be able to mention death, and the original soundtrack would be intact. ADV or Viz would most likely be in charge of the dub. Viz could have even brought back the VAs from the games, since both Los Angeles (where most of Viz's anime are dubbed) and San Diego (where the games were being recorded) are in California. 
Oh, and one more thing, Toonami would have made some kick-ass promos and commercials for it. 
Sounds like a dream come true, right? Let me know what you think about this.

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1 hour ago, The Great Egg Emperor said:

One thing I have always wondered is this: What if Toonami got Sonic X instead of 4Kids? I mean, think about it. There would probably be less censorship, since Cartoon Network is a cable channel. Plus, they would probably be able to mention death, and the original soundtrack would be intact. ADV or Viz would most likely be in charge of the dub. Viz could have even brought back the VAs from the games, since both Los Angeles (where most of Viz's anime are dubbed) and San Diego (where the games were being recorded) are in California. 
Oh, and one more thing, Toonami would have made some kick-ass promos and commercials for it. 
Sounds like a dream come true, right? Let me know what you think about this.

4kids also put their shows on Toonami in licensing deals. This is what inevitably happened to One Piece when 4kids moved the Alabasta and Drum Island Arc to Toonami in an attempt to boost ratings. And it should be noted, while the show retained a lot of censorship; certain moments of pure violence were indeed retained for the transition. 

The same could have been done for Sonic X, but Sonic X, unlike One Piece was hugely successful on the Fox Box. And even though Saturday mornings were dying. 4kids had a golden opportunity of their block being on a TV station that all kids had access to, even ones without cable at the time, or a plan that covered Cartoon Network. (And, their block being the only one left for kids to watch Saturday morning cartoons.) 

Had they put the show on Toonami, they probably could've been less censored. And Sonic X, despite certain absurd moments in the Japanese version (like Sonic saying "shit") is still pretty much a kids show, with very minimal blood and inappropriate moments by even the standards of the day. But there still would've been music changes I bet. 

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One Piece, Yu-Gi-Oh GX, Dragon Ball Z, and more got music changes and lots of dumb edits while they were on Toonami. If you're talking strictly about Viz, if I remember correctly Viz used to mess around with some OSTS at the time too for certain shows, but I can't be 100% certain on which ones. Maybe Gash/Zatch Bell?

Both Viz and Sega being in California means nothing actually. This does not guarantee that the game's cast would be carried over as I mentioned earlier in this thread. Dubbing companies today are much looser with who they hire, but back then each company their own (more or less) specific pool of voice actors that they stuck to. It's all contractual and financial stuff and they do what works for them. It's the same reason Ryan Drummond got rejected when he offered to move to New York to work for 4Kids.

If Sonic X got on Toonami, it likely would have performed well but the cool promos and bumpers you're likely thinking of were mostly a thing before it went to Saturdays only because it had more air time. Sonic X started airing pretty much at about the same time Toonami left the weekday afternoon rotation anyway, so cool promos for it would have been minimal. And 2 years later once Naruto would inevitably debut, Sonic X would get the shaft as Toonami just turned into a glorified Naruto block until it got cancelled in 2008.

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1 hour ago, Muglés said:

One Piece, Yu-Gi-Oh GX, Dragon Ball Z, and more got music changes and lots of dumb edits while they were on Toonami. If you're talking strictly about Viz, if I remember correctly Viz used to mess around with some OSTS at the time too for certain shows, but I can't be 100% certain on which ones. Maybe Gash/Zatch Bell?

Both Viz and Sega being in California means nothing actually. This does not guarantee that the game's cast would be carried over as I mentioned earlier in this thread. Dubbing companies today are much looser with who they hire, but back then each company their own (more or less) specific pool of voice actors that they stuck to. It's all contractual and financial stuff and they do what works for them. It's the same reason Ryan Drummond got rejected when he offered to move to New York to work for 4Kids.

If Sonic X got on Toonami, it likely would have performed well but the cool promos and bumpers you're likely thinking of were mostly a thing before it went to Saturdays only because it had more air time. Sonic X started airing pretty much at about the same time Toonami left the weekday afternoon rotation anyway, so cool promos for it would have been minimal. And 2 years later once Naruto would inevitably debut, Sonic X would get the shaft as Toonami just turned into a glorified Naruto block until it got cancelled in 2008.

I forgot that. 

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