Gamer Cinema: Sonic X: The Complete Series
There have been several cartoons based around Sonic The Hedgehog over the last couple decades (most of which are on Netflix or Hulu) and I do plan to review for this blog at some point), and actually a new one on the way next fall on the cartoon network. But Sonic X to my knowledge is the first one that follows the game series pretty closely in terms of the characters. The plot isn't based on any of the games though. Essentially Dr. Eggman, Sonic and most of his friends get transported to an alternate Earth because reasons (seriously, even the opening theme of the show says "stuck in a new location without any explanation"). Initially he is treated as a fugitive and Eggman is seen as trustworthy, which actually could've been a pretty promising premise but I guess because the core target audience is little kids they couldn't do that for too long so within a couple episodes he's everybody's hero again and working to stop Eggman with the occasional help of the government and maybe eventually find all 7 chaos emeralds and return home (honestly, they seem like an afterthought half the time even though theoretically that should be their whole motivation). That's for the first two seasons, the third and final season has Sonic & friends planet hopping and fighting weird robots called the Metarex bent on ruling the universe (I guess the writers felt him making Eggmam look like an idiot evey week got old after two seasons)
Probably the best thing about Sonic X, even with a ton of original characters introduced throughout it's 78 episode run, is that it manages to cram nearly every Sonic game character that's ever been up to that point in his history. Seriously, aside from the core cast you see Big the Cat, Shadow, E-102 Gamma, hell even the guys from the Chaotix game make several appearances. And the characters are fairly true to form. Amy is a crazy stalker who may or may not be Sonic's girlfriend, Tails is a mechanical genius, Rouge is disturbingly sexual for a little kid's show, Knuckles is a short-tempered loner, etc.
And of course therein lies the biggest problem of Sonic X. Sonic's various furry friends are mostly really annoying. Especially Cream. Her mere voice makes me cringe every time she talks (and I had to endure 78 episodes of that). You might want to say it's aimed at little kids but I think that's not giving kids enough credit. On top that, Sonic's new human best friend Chris is just an annoying brat as well.
There are some interesting and straight out weird episodes (a highlight being a very absurd tournament between most of the characters for a chaos emerald that has very little actual fighting), but mostly it's very inane stuff. It probably would've benefited greatly from shorter season runs, because I really didn't marathon this show, I've been watching it off and on since September and it still felt like it took forever to get through. The final season is a little more focused but still has LOTS of pointless filler such as Amy trying a love spell on Sonic (and again it's still ambiguous if they are dating or not even after that). Essentially this might be the series that at least in spirit sticks closest to the video games in terms of the characters and themes but it's still a mediocre kids show at best so unless you are a completely hardcore Sonic fan (and if so at this point you probably need therapy) you're better off just skipping it.
That's all for today. Admittedly game releases and news in general has slowed quite a bit, possibly for the rest of the year, but I probably will try and post something else this week.