Reviews: Sonic X
An onslaught of mediocrity
How can a butchered series of video game plots and filler squeezed into a short span of time with characters barely anyone can tolerate outside those most cherished by us who only serve to steal the spotlight be made any worse? Let 4Kids edit it. Sonic X was a series many fans were excited about. An anime version of a beloved video game mascot seemed like a match made in heaven, especially with the way Japanese animators and story tellers excel at keeping our attention and taking risks. What we got instead, while not complete crap, was so disappointing that it still makes fans rage like bastards. Sonic X tries to tell the story of Sonic and friends accidentally teleporting themselves to Earth during a clash with Eggman. I couldn't have been alone in celebrating that plot point; for me it felt like the acknowledgement of an old childhood fantasy with my favourite video game and cartoon characters. Anyway, you'll notice I said "tries". That's because once the episode ends, we're introduced to the show's attempt to intoduce an original character who the audience can relate to, Chris Thorndyke. From then on, the series becomes more focused on him and his interactions with Sonic and co. Not only is said character completely intolerable and incompetant, he also breaks the same rule Michael Bay is notorious for and completely steals the spot light, making this more of an anime about this one brat who wants Sonic's man love. While the original japanese dub takes a few more risks, some better soundtracks and works to get better after the Season 1 and 2 flop, 4Kids just completely over-kidifies it with a mass of edits, some more pointless than others, and continues to treat Sonic fans like complete morons. I think the notorious "I don't like the way you attacked Chris and Cosmo" scene sums up my beef with 4Kids the best. This isn't the worst thing they do but it is indeed close. To its credit, Sonic X is nice to look at and its designs of Eggman's machines as well as the Metarex are imaginative and sometimes very sleak and awesome. Unfortunately for what plots it tries to retell from the games, it completely fails at. I wouldn't recommend Sonic X to anyone unless you watch the Japanese dub. With its focus mainly on the human cast and tons of filler, it'll likely piss you off.
Review of Episode the Last 2 Episodes
Episodes 77 and 78. These episodes suck... even in the original Japanese version. I know what you all are going to respond with, "that was an amazing tearjerker, don't hate on it!" I respond to that with, "The only "amazing" thing about it is the voice acting, and it never excuses the atrocious writing." as well as the rest of this review. This is mean-spirited and cruel EVEN FOR A TRAGEDY. It's clear that this would be a Tails Toture Porn (which I wouldn't be surprised if Sonic Boom starts doing often, considering Tails is at the receiving end of most jokes in that trailer) had they played it for laughs... and they only didn't because it was the finale and because the show hasn't done a torture porn prior. They have Tails kill someone who he is really close to... and another person he's close to smiling as it happens. What in the name of...? Sonic's character has been butchered by this episode, and very little of it is actually enjoyable. Then... we have the 4kids dub... which makes everything I've pointed out WORSE and removes the charm of the voice acting... There is very little good that came from this episode other than people crying... and is that really what you want to do with entertainment? Cry? No, you want to either be entertained, or have your heart warmed... not broken, and if it has to be broken - give the moment a reason. Episode 68 of this show develops a character, Romeo and Juliet (I think it's pretty weak by Shakespeare standards, so it's a safe comparison) proves a concept wrong by playing it realistically and tragically, Samurai Jack uses these moments for both reasons and to show how Samurai Jack has developed, Avatar The Last Airbender episode "Tales of Ba Sing Se" uses it to show why Iroh was developed, etc. This episode does none of that. This episode derails characters, and fills the entire third season with dread and unfortunate implications. Why do people like this episode so much? Why did I like this episode so much (as a kid)? I'll never truly know...
Sonic X Review (mostly S3)
This will be my first review and on something I liked as a kid. I will focus on S3, but the Shadow arc was good (though S1-2 are riff fodder in general). Season 3 is a rather great for what came before (and unorthodox for anything Sonic since Sat AM), taking the thing to space and a new, persistent character as well as a competent foe. I enjoy the effort to give a bit of drama (and hence, stakes) to the series after this long into it, although many stuck in their ways will still hate it for trying it, which due to some writing issues is understandable. On the Sub vs. Dub debate, both have merits, with Dub being of decent (if slightly annoying at times) quality and narm charm. Sub, for me at least, was hit (voice quality ranging from "eh" to "astounding") or miss (music and sound not always matching up). Pour example, Black Narcissus went from being Cobra Commander's cousin to having a voice kissed by Satan during his stint in Eden, that of pure smooth oil. And it also allowed Molly's death scene too, and complete with muted noise and piano solo, something American children had to wait on until the very end. With that done, the series went well. I don't know why, but Tails has always been a favorite, and seeing him get more importance and even a love interest is gratifying for fans and lava to the ears for frothing fanboys/girls. However Sonic himself gets the most development out of this season than any other previous one, finally paying attention to his f***ing girlfriend and even spelling out his philosophy in a way that gets some decent respect points for not being all that irresponsible after all. And of course Cosmo's death scene (and she did die in the Dub, we got the picture, we weren't fooled) was a nice good emotional heart plucking (and not bad despite another review to the contrary that will not be named), giving a sort of star crossed closure to what ultimately could not stay canon while still having impact and a sadistic choice for Tails. On a whole, the season was the best, as a person who grew up with 1-2 as a kid and only relatively recently saw 3. It gives teeth to the series that 1-2 lacked, even giving a few awesome moments to Eggman of all people. In short: dramatic, engaging, challenging (for the right ages), and worth at least something to look back as Sonic goes an...interesting direction.
Sonic X Season 3 Review
[I'm reviewing the Japanese version... the voices in English are too irritating...] This is a great improvement from season 2 (the season of failed adaptations and a story arc of failure - an easy 3/10), season 3 offers a few great episodes, a few good episodes, the majority of the episodes being "meh" but close to good, and 2 bad episodes that could easily be treated as one. I already reviewed those two episodes on this page, so let me tell you what I feel about all of the others: Episode 53, 62, 68, and 74 are great episodes. Some of the best episodes of the entire show. Episode 53 is on par with the first episode of the show... the first 2 thirds are great, but then Chris shows up. The only difference is that Chris isn't nearly as much of a problem. Episode 62 has some of the most clever writing in the show, and watching it again reminds me of why I consider Tails to be one of my favorite characters... it also makes me want to play a Sonic X Season 3 Video Game... Episode 68 is a definitive example of tragedy done correctly. This is where it develops the characters (giving Shadow something to fight for, and helping him to become a good hero... even without his memory returning), creates a beautiful story (I'm not spoiling anything, watch it yourself!) and has the best dialogue, as well as the placing of it, that Hiro Masake (the writer of all this shows' season 3 episodes) has ever written. Episode 74 isn't as good as episodes 62 and 68, but it's still a really good episode. It develops Cosmo's character by teaching her to be grateful for what Tails did for her an episode prior (I'll get to that) and shows the backstory of the Metarex... it's done rather well. The good episodes of the show are episodes 55, 57, 58, 60, 61, 64, 65, 69, 73, and 76. I'd talk about all of them, but it's best you watch them for yourselves... but I will talk about episode 73. Imagine this: Tails vs. Shadow in a similar fashion to the Samus vs. SAX parts of Metroid Fusion... and Shadow being almost like a mix of SAX and the Terminator. How could that not be awesome? Anyways, Tails is determined to protect Cosmo from being killed by Shadow... now you get what I meant when talking about episode 74, right? Last of all, the "meh" episodes; pretty much everything else (with the exceptions of episodes 77 and 78, which are bad episodes) This is a good season