Sonic X (Japanese: ソニックX Hepburn: Sonikku Ekkusu) is a Japanese anime television series created by TMS Entertainment and based on the Sonic the Hedgehog video game series published by Sega. Sonic X initially ran for fifty-two episodes, broadcast on TV Tokyo from April 6, 2003 to March 28, 2004. A further 26 aired in regions such as the United States, Europe, and the Middle East from 2005 to 2006; those same episodes aired in Japan on Kids Station in March and April 2020 as part of a tie-in to GMW. The show's American localization and broadcasting were handled by 4Kids Entertainment, who edited it and created new music—until 2012, when Saban Brands obtained the rights to the series, and in 2015 by Discotek Media.
Series 1 (Seasons 1 & 2; Original)
Sonic the Hedgehog and his friends accidentally get teleported to a world that's parallel to their's via Chaos Control, the only difference about it is that it's populated by humans. Sonic's arch-enemy Dr. Eggman has been teleported there too, and plans to establish his Eggman Empire to dominate the planet. Now Sonic and his friends along with their new human 12-year-old friend named Chris Thorndyke who is letting them stay with him and his wealthy family in his mansion as a form of shelter, must stop Dr. Eggman and his plans to dominate the planet, and keep him from gathering all of the Seven Chaos Emeralds.
Series 2 (Season 3; 4Kids Entertainment only)
Six months after Sonic and his friends return home, a race of villainous robots known as The Metarex plan to steal the Seven Chaos Emeralds for unlimited power, and steal the objects that allows planet life to flourish known as the Planet Eggs to depopulate all known life. So Sonic and his friends along with a new friend named Cosmo must stop The Metarex from eradicating all known life by going on a journey into outer space and gathering all the Chaos Emeralds and Planet Eggs before The Metarex does. And around the same time, six years have passed back in Chris's world, and he is now 18-years-old and has become a scientist and an inventor like his grandfather, and has built a teleporter that will allow him to travel to Sonic's world. Although Chris succeeded and was able to travel to Sonic's world, his body loses six years of growth, and is now stuck in the same 12-year-old body of which he last saw Sonic. And after having a little reunion with Sonic and his friends, Chris decides to tag along on the journey to help them defeat The Metarex.
Why It Rocks
- It is extremely well faithful to the video game series it's based on. In fact, the show actually adapted the plots of Sonic Adventure, Sonic Adventure 2, and some parts of the plots of Sonic Advance, Sonic Advance 2, and Sonic Battle in the second season with some changes that were an improvement (like the scene of Shadow's redemption).
- Though this is because it's created by Sonic Team, the company that develop the Sonic games.
- The plot is cool and easy to follow. As it follows the same usual plot from modern games and has some new plots to give it more originality.
- There is some great writing for the episodes.
- The animation is considered awesome by most people (it sort of depends on your view).
- It often has some good morality. Like this scene for example.
- The dialogue often had some cleverness and intelligence. There were even some in the 4Kids dub.
- Amazing music that uses tons of songs from the video game series. Like the scene where Sonic and Shadow stop Space Colony Ark from plummeting to the planet and Live and Learn (From Sonic Adventure 2) plays in the background.
- Great character designs that look almost identical to the 2D designs of the Sonic characters on the cover art of the modern games.
- All of the characters from the modern part of the video game series appear in this show, (even the Chaotix) and they all kept their original personalities. However, there were some slight changes with Knuckles and Amy's personalities.
- All of the characters have some good connections and relationships with one and another. Especially Tails and Cosmo.
- Some of the new characters are well developed. Especially Chris Thorndyke and Cosmo.
- Some hilarious moments. Like when Knuckles accidentally enters a club with belly dancers and runs out embarrassed.
- Despite Amy's flanderization, which is going to be mentioned in the Bad Qualities, the series seems to push the idea as Sonic and Amy as a future pairing, unlike the canon series, or games where their relationship is mostly one-sided. (Though, it's mostly on your view). It also seems to push the newfound development of the viability of the Chaotix crew as well.
- Awesome villains. Especially Dr. Eggman and Dark Oak.
- Great voice acting. The voice cast from the games reprises their roles in the original Japanese, French, and voice actors from 4Kids voice them in the English Dub. It went as far as to Sega let the 4Kids voice actors voice the characters in Sonic games from 2005-2010.
- Both the American and Japanese theme songs are awesome. The French dub of the original Japanese theme song does the same thing and it's very faithful.
- All of the seasons have a great climax that is both spectacular, heartwarming, and tearjerking.
- It's the first (and only) Sonic show that actually has Sonic go into his super form. It's also the first that accurately implements the Chaos Emeralds, which were poorly represented in Adventures of Sonic The Hedgehog and Sonic Underground, and it's the first to feature the recurring ability in the video game franchise known as Chaos Control.
- Though this is because it's created by Sonic Team (The company who develops the games).
- Tons of great fight scenes. Like the ones involving Sonic and Shadow.
- It has the first and only appearance of the fan-favorite, Dark Sonic.
- The voice cast (especially Jason Griffith as Sonic and Shadow, Dan Green as Knuckles, Amy Palant as Tails, Lisa Ortiz as Amy, and Mike Pollock as Dr. Eggman) for the dub is very spot on. The other characters including Chris and Cosmo were well cast, too.
- Mike Pollock's career as voicing Dr. Eggman in the video games started because of his role as Dr. Eggman in this show, and he along with the other 4Kids voice actors that were voicing the characters at the time were cast to voice the characters in the video games starting with Shadow the Hedgehog, and he was the only voice actor that wasn't replaced when all of the characters were recast in 2010.
- There are tons of heartwarming moments. Like the scene where Sonic gives Chris one last run around the lake before using Chaos Control to return to his world.
- Tons of tearjerking moments that are very memorable.
- There are a lot of memorable scenes. Like this flashback of Chris' adventures with Sonic.
- Despite the obvious censorship to make it more kid-friendly during the transition from east to west, it still stayed faithful to the original Japanese version and ended up being one of the best and most successful 4Kids dubs, managing to stay on the air for all 78 episodes without any of them skipped.
- All of the seasons had excellent finales at the end of each one of them.
- Despite the show revolving around Sonic and his friends, there have been a few episodes where the focus is more on the human characters instead, and there have been episodes where Chris Thorndyke gets more screen time than the other characters due to his role as a surrogate by the writers. However, the main plot of the show is Sonic and his friends fighting against Dr. Eggman, with Chris being the character the audience can identify with, which is the reason he often gets a little more screen time than the other characters.
- Also, despite being the main titular protagonist, Sonic's role as the focus of the show is often shifted towards one of Sonic's friends, or Chris.
- There are a few plot holes. For example, we never got to know how Dr. Eggman ended up in Sonic's world if he was born in Chris' world, and why he had to go back to Sonic's world in order to stop time from freezing. The removal of Maria's death in the English dub also comes off as a plot hole regarding Shadow's goal to destroy the planet as Maria was shown to be kidnapped and the plot change means Maria might still be alive.
- It had some horrible episodes like Sunblock Solution/Eggman for President.
- Knuckles and Amy have been somewhat flanderized. Knuckles became short-tempered, and Amy became hotheaded, lovesick, and overbearing, to the point of even having a page on Loathsome Characters Wiki.
- It can occasionally get mean-spirited, usually when Knuckles is the butt-monkey, or when Amy acts so selfish and overbearing.
- The animation, while awesome (sort of depends on your view), can get off-model occasionally. It is also more restricted than most anime, as TMS was given a smaller budget (most likely due to Sonic’s lack of popularity in Japan compared to the West).
- On top of that, there are many errors, such as Knuckles having fingers in a couple of shots while his hands resembles boxing gloves with two spikes on each.
- The music in the English dub is rather poor compared to the Japanese version's soundtrack.
- While most of the characters were well cast in the English dub, Kathleen Delaney was kind of a miscast as Rouge as she sounds more like a woman in her mid 30's than a 17-year-old, and she has a few times gave very dull deliveries. Tails' voice also sounded too girlish in season 1, and Cream's voice sounds way too high pitched.
- In Brazil, it was distributed by Spot Films, which is actually none other than an alternate name for AMW.
- Out of all the Sonic cartoons, this one for odd reasons has the lowest rating on the Internet Movie Database, despite it being so popular in the US and France, and it's often considered the best Sonic cartoon out of all of them.
- The voice actor for Sonic at the time, Ryan Drummond, offered to voice Sonic for the dub but was rejected by 4Kids for not living in New York. Eventually, Drummond was removed as the voice actor for the Sonic games, after Sega of America decided to replace the entire voice cast for the games with the 4Kids cast shortly before the death of Deem Bristow, the previous voice actor for Dr. Eggman. Allegedly, he was only told when he asked if he would be needed for voice recordings in CGW from the beginning. Even though Drummond wanted to continue voicing Sonic, he was rejected from voicing him for Shadow the Hedgehog, which resulted in many complaints from fans of the previous voice cast.
- When the first thirteen episodes of Series 2/Season 3 were released on DVD in the US, they were packaged as The Complete 5th Season (with thirteen episodes being a "season", and those episodes being the fifth division of thirteen episodes); also, the cover art to the DVD resembles the poster for the movie Firefox, with the Blue Typhoon in the same space as the MiG-31, the movie's titular jet fighter.
- Sonic X once had the most number of episodes among the Sonic television series at a total of seventy-eight until it was surpassed by Sonic Boom with their episode "Robots From The Sky Part 2".
Sonic X received a mixed to positive reception. It has a 6.1/10 rating on the IMDB, a 6.5/10 on MyAnimeList, an 8.3/10 on TV.Com, a 3.7/5 on Common Sense Media, 3.1/10 on Hulu, and a Metacritic User rating of 8.2/10 based on 53 reviews.