So we are all familiar with our favorite little pink hedgie I'm sure. Loves Sonic, acts as an empathetic soul by which the hearts of people are reached, has a hammer, etc. However, some things have always drawn out my curiosity about the character. I wont waste much time listing them because we will be doing more than enough of that down the road, (because this is going to be a deep dive) so I'm more or less gonna jump into it. My research started when I was reminded of a seemingly odd but nonetheless standout ability the character was given in an a certain game. In Sonic 06, Amy seems to generate pink energy and then a series of pink rings goes up and down her body before she is made invisible. I say this comes off as odd because to a lot of people, this is incredibly random and out of the blue. Amy is known for using a hammer and hasn't been known for doing things like this at all.....right? Well, maybe not? I'm by no means the first to posit this first idea, but lets just say the rabbit hole went pretty deep. As we are all to familiar with at this point, Amy has been introduced in Sonic CD as a romantic foil for our blue hero. There we learn that she is fascinated Fortune-telling, card-readings, downswing, as well as having interest in mysterious things in general. It is actually through her tarot cards that she learns of her meets with Sonic on Little Planet to begin with. The "divine message of the cards" telling her of her destined encounter with Sonic. This association with Amy and this kind of "divine fate" is often seen as something that is just a case of early character writing that doesn't have any merit when evaluating her modern interpretation. But this couldn't be further from the truth. These elements are still in late profiles of the character, and even as recent as the latest Olympics game, Amy's hobby is referred to as being Fortune-Telling. Examples of using theses characteristics include her searching for Sonic in games such as Sonic Heroes, Sonic Rush and Sonic 06, itself. What's more is her use of her card divination were even explicitly referenced in Sonic Battle and Sonic Chronicles explicitly. This element is even referenced as late as her appearance in Sonic Forces, with her talking about how she has dreams of Sonic still being alive, only to exclaim how she was right when Sonic is confirmed to be on the Death Egg But what about her Hammer? Well, you may or may not know this, but her PikoPikoHammer is actually referred to explicitly as a "Magical Hammer" in its introductory game Sonic The Fighters. Additionally, The hammer appears to itself be MADE of Magic, and Amy has been shown to generate Hammers of all kinds of shapes and sizes. in the Advance games in particular, we can even see them leave a trail of hearts before visibly vanishing after being swung, implying the hammer isn't so much a physical object Amy carries around as it is a magical tool she creates or conjures. Given how often it is said to "come out of nowhere" explicitly, this makes a lot of sense. Now the idea of Amy having some kind of magic power isn't exactly new topic of discussion. However, I've seldom seen discussion in regards to the deeper implications on Amy's design concept it implies. After all, if we agree she has em, we have to ask why she has these abilities, where do they come from, etc. Well, after a bunch of research I think I have a pretty solid hypothesis. I posit that Amy, from the beginning, was and always was based around Magical Girls. Magical Girls 魔法少女, mahō shōjo, I'm sure you are familiar with is a genre of popular Japanese media featuring young girls with magical powers. Popular examples include of course, Sailor Moon and Cardcaptor Sakura. Common themes in magical girl media is the heroine(s) fighting for love and justice and helping people with their every day personal problems and insecurities. It is very common for the heroine to save the day by speaking to the villains inner humanity. This is very much inline with Amy's character as it has been portrayed and applied in the series, whether it be her speaking to Gamma and getting him to rebel against Eggman, her being the voice or reason that gets Shadow to remember Maria's wish, or her helping Cream and Big find their pets. Even her feeling sorry for and subsequently being kind enough to bring Metal Sonic back to Eggman in Sonic Mania Adventures episode 6 follows this. Even in 06, Amy is speaking to Silver and getting him to rethink his decision to end Sonic to save the future, as well as helping Elise with her feelings for a guy she likes. Earlier works in the genre (usually distinguished as "makkojo" or "Little witch") typically focused on more fairytale like depictions of magical abilities used by otherwise ordinary girls, and a consistent element is the use of things popular with girls at the time. They also tend to focus a lot more on the mischief the girls get into with their newfound abilities. (Rosie the Rascal indeed). One in particular, often considered the progenitor of the genre, is a show called Himitsu no Akko-chan. (Akko's Got a Secret) The premise is that of a young girl named Akko, who obtains a magical compact which allows her to change form by chanting a magic incantation while staring into it. The only rule was she had to do so in secret or she would lose the power forever. With it, Akko-chan would do things ranging from playing pranks on people, to using it to solve problems in her neighborhood and helping her friends and family. Now beyond the fact that it is obviously very influential, the series actually got several adaptations since its original launch in the 60s. Including one that aired in the 80s. In it, Akko's compact is specifically granted to her by a fairy godmother like figure with the power of her hopes and dreams reviving and transforming a mirror she loved since she was very little. Mor eimportantly, Akko-chan's transformation got a spiffy animation that I think is, to put it lightly, worth noting... Yea, look familiar? Pink energy and rings? Sparkly particles? Its a dead ringer. Amy's invisibility much like Akko-chan's compact, at least in concept have the same ability of "masks her appearance" as well. The concept of invisibility even aligns in spirit with the concept of Akko-chan having to hide to use her compact in secret. While this was pretty big, I continued to dig and only found more and more things I think are really fascinating. Obviously, a lot of concepts found in Magical Girl works involve things associated with women's hobbies, hence things like Akko-chan's compact. Other examples though include things such as Tarot chards and divination. In fact, popular Magical Girl Anime, Cardcaptor Sakura is very much based around the concept of magical tarot cards. So the connection between this sort of fairy tail destiny concept and magic is very much a thing. But that wasn't enough for me. Cardcaptor Sakura would not see the light of day until a few years after Amy was conceptualized. While I knew I was on to something at this point, I wasn't satisfied once this came to my attention, so I continued to research and boy was I glad I did. After some digging I eventually landed on a show called "Mahō no Sutā Majikaru Emi" or Magical Emi, the Magic Star, and I can already feel some of the more perceptive of you raising your eyebrows in surprise in realization of the connection on the merits of the name alone. For those of you not in the know, Amy Rose's name in Japanese "エミー・ローズ" is actually romanized as "Emī Rōzu" That's nice and all, but I assure you names aren't the only connection I found between this series and everyone's favorite pink hedgehog girl. Airing in the mid to late 80s around the same time as the Akko-chan remake I mentioned earlier no less, Magical Emi is the story of Mai Kazuki, a sweet, energetic, optimistic but feisty tomboy klutz who has a tendency of getting herself into trouble. Additionally, she is a huge fan of magic and has aspirations of becoming a magician. Its even a part of the family business. However, being young, she is still not very good at it and thus can't participate to the extent she would like in her family's show. One day, a fairy appears before her and through the power of her hopes and dreams, she is granted a magic bracelet that allows her to transform into an older idealized alter-ego version of herself who is able to perform real magic in order to do magic tricks. This alternate persona she refers to as Emi. (The name being base doff of her Hero Emily, a famous magician she aspires to be like.) Now right off the bad, Mai's personality is a almost impossibly similar to that of Amy's as she is described in her profiles in CD and in general. Energetic Tomboy, Optimistic. With Amy's fascination with mysterious things calling back to Mai's fascination with magic. Even then, later in the show it is revealed to us that Mai actually does have a strong belief in wishes and loves writing charms. That's all nice and dandy, but the real kicker here is their designs. Amy's classic design is practically an exact recreation of Mai's. The skirt is the first immediate give away, but even her top has the same design principles, with the notch at the bottom of Amy's calling to the partition in Mai's , and the white ends being shot for shot like the yellow ends on Mai's. But the biggest nail in the coffin for me is the shoes. Classic Amy's tennis shoes are litterally the same design as Mai's but Blue instead of Yellow. Even the lace bows are the same. Its uncanny. Now if that shocks you, you haven't seen anything yet because the correlations I found only continue from here. For starters, there is the main male lea in the show, the significantly older Shou Yuuki. I start with the fact that he is significantly older because among other things that immediately jump to me, it very much mirrors the difference in age Amy and Sonic had when CD was originally conceptualized and released. As you might have guessed, Shou serves as both a role model of sorts, as well as main love interest for Mai here. While his consistent wearing of the color blue is perhaps low hanging fruit, what isn't is his striking similarities personality-wise to Sonic. You see Shou is actually very talented at magic, but in defiance of this and in wanting to carve out his own way, he instead focuses on boxing even though others around him don't agree with it, which is very in line with Sonic's "my own way" attitude. Also, like Sonic, he enjoys going fast on his motorcycle and is willing to relent on his desires when someone is in need. Not huge but I thought it was worth adding. While I'm not necessarily saying Sonic himself is based on this character, I nonetheless find the similarities interesting given the dynamic between the characters. While Mai isn't a lovesick puppy in the vein of Amy, they do very much share the dynamic of Mai consistently chasing after him to get involved in his personal business, as well as her comically hitting him when he does something to upset her. And like with Sonic and Amy, the romantic dynamic is mostly one sided. (Shou ends up having a thing for her older alter-ego without knowing the truth). Oh, did I also mention that Emi's first act of magically induced prestidigitation is her summoning flipping golden Warp Rings? No seriously, she conjures a bunch of golden hoops with which she uses to make the rest of the Magic Carat disappear. No joke! Also, and I bring this up because its an observation I made that I think corroborates my correlation mind you, but much like Amy, Mai has a tendency of exposing her panties as a result of all the running, jumping and climbing she ends up doing. Now this could just be something that stems from her conceptual origins being related to Minnie Mouse, who also has a similar tendency, but it nonetheless was something that stood out to me. Heading back to Amy's design for a bit, another thing I noticed in my research was the consistency by which I would notice Magical Girls having red/pink hairbands identical to how Amy has one. I don't know if this is a trend of the genre or just a case of others doing it because predecessors did it, but nonetheless I don't think Amy's incorporating it into her design and it still even now being present is arbitrary. From what I can tell, This eventually evolved into more ornate hairbands which eventually gave way to Sailor Moon's iconic tiara. In sum, I posit that not only was Amy conceptualized around Magical Girls and that her Magical Abilities are a thing and always have been, but that her original design was based off of Magical Emi in particular. And this makes sense. Just as Sonic himself takes queues from popular Shonen media, namely DragonBall, it would seem the team thought it logical for their main lead to take queues from popular girls media in Shoujo and Magical girl shows. Also this is a bonus as my research ended up cross intersecting with another research inquiry I had, and the results are something that some might find pretty profound, though they do border on wild theory going forward as opposed to most everything up to now which I believe to be pretty conclusive. Spoiler So before I started THIS particular bit of research, I actually was doing something else as a result of me noticing correlating elements between Modern Amy's design and a certain scrapped human love interest we are all too familiar with at this point. Take a look. Now this seems rather surface level on its face perhaps. And that's all it started as, a neat idea. But then I came across a French article that made me think there is more to it than meets the eye. https://www.sega-mag.com/forum/suje...s+de+Sonic+vu+par+ses+createurs-1915-67-1.htm (unfortunately it would seem the article is no longer up, however I am fortunate enough that I so happened to have a screenshot of it before it was torn down. While I don't have the screenshots in French, I do speak French myself and can confirm the accuracy of the translation. As you can see, it would appear that according to Ohshima himself, characteristics of Madonna were integrated INTO Amy when they designed her, as Yuji Naka and Ohshima were still married to the idea of Madonna being Sonic's love interest even if the idea had long since been abandoned. The question then would be "what were those characteristics?" Well the main one I would posit is her massive fangirl crush on Sonic and tendency to chase him. Why? Because of this other statement by Ohshima. It would seem then that Amy's personality was created as a sort of marriage of these concepts. Okay so, what does this have to do with everything else I've been going on about? Well, MAYBE I'M just seeing things at this point, but while Madonna's design is clearly inspired by Jessica Rabbit of Who Framed Roger Rabbit Fame, I now also suspect aspects of Magical Emi's design also went into her. To me at least, the general Hair style , facial composition, etc is strikingly similar. In addition, is this would lend credence to the idea that Madonna's design elements were incorporated into Modern Amy's design. Why? Well, as I said before, idealized older alter-ego is Magical Emi's whole concept, and as we all know, Amy was aged up from 8 to 12 alongside her redesign, of which very clearly had the intent of trying to make her more mature and feminine. In that way, it would be the design concepts all coming full circle. From a certain angle, one could posit that at least in concept, Amy's age-up Modern design is her magical girl aged up alter ego transformation/idealized version of herself, true to the genre. Its certainly a funny thought at the very least. Now I don't think this one in particular is conclusive or anything, but I did find it so fascinating. So much so I felt the need to share it. So after ALL of this, where does that leave us? Well with a pretty big question for starters. if this is very much all part of her design, why is this not more readily available and apparent? Why would such seemingly integral element sot her character be completely lost on most people? Well I have 3 hypothesis, the second being the most likely but the third being my personal fave. Its stuff that was, whether intentionally or unintentional, lost in translation It is so overt and on the nose in Japan, that further elaboration is completely unnecessary. Its on purpose, as the mystique of it all is part of its intended appeal, playing to the themes of the genre. And, at least for now, that's all I got. I am SUPER curious to see what everyone's thoughts are. Am I on to something? Lay it on me!