After (or close to) 15 years, Japan will finally broadcast the un-aired Episodes on Sonic X in 2020.

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Mendinso, Nov 12, 2019.

  1. Mendinso

    Mendinso

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    So we got a recent update:

    Kids Station will start running 1 episode a day, twice a day. Starting on January 6th, Sonic X will starts it's reruns, with an episode at 19:30 JST (effectively 7:30PM) each day, with re-runs of that episode at 4:00AM JST the following day. It appears to be a weekday run with no runs on the weekend.

    This lines up to what I suspected for an April release of 53, provided Kids Station withholds premieres of 53+ then (as this should finish up mid-way through March). Bakugan Battle Planet will finish on TV Tokyo at the end of March, with the movie of Sonic the Hedgehog premiering on March 27th, so if I was a betting man, Sonic X 53+ will likely premiere on TV Tokyo in April, replacing the Bakugan Battle Planet time slot, with Kids Station rolling the episodes out shortly after.

    Curious that Kids Station is airing the episodes in what's essentially a Prime Time slot (or Golden Time), even for a paid cable and satellite channel. They definitely seem to be really putting a lot on this.

    Either way, we're in for a couple months leading up to the premiere of these episodes in Japan.

    Below was based off information Prior to the recent update.

     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2019
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  2. BlazeHedgehog

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    Huh. I knew 4KIDS funded the Metarex Saga but to my memory those episodes still came out fan-subbed before they released in America

    I had no idea they never actually aired in Japan
     
  3. gamerz31w

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    I thought it will be re-released on Disney+ like X-Men(1992) and Spider-Man(1994) or on Hulu like upcoming Animaniacs reboot,Family Guy.
     
  4. JaxTH

    JaxTH

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    Jack shit.
    In French.

    Not on TV anyway.
     
  5. McAleeCh

    McAleeCh

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    Interesting that they're finally airing these! I actually watched them in Japanese for the first time this year, having previously only seen the original French airing.

    New OP/ED would be awesome, but I guess that would depend entirely on whether they still have the original source assets for each episode - in many episodes the ED theme begins playing over the episode's closing scene, and in episodes 77 and 78 there's an entire scene of dialogue which plays over the ending credits.
     
  6. BlazeHedgehog

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    Oh shit, that's right, yeah! Now I remember!
     
  7. Overlord

    Overlord

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    I wonder if they'll do any more of the DVD set? I never did finish my collection.
     
  8. Mendinso

    Mendinso

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    Kinda wondering if TMS Entertainment will do it after the completion of this run (DVD or SD Blu-ray, since they're experimenting with that on some releases now for the latter). Would be a good time to do so, honestly.
     
  9. astroblema

    astroblema

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    Gosh, for a second I thought they'd make another season. I'd have a heart attack.
     
  10. Mendinso

    Mendinso

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    Definitely wasn't my intention to make anyone believe that, haha. Sorry about that!

    Funny note, though. Sonic X was supposed to have another batch of episodes (26, with a total of 104, judging from licensing information that was available at the time). They had a tentative schedule of 2006-2007 from what I recall. Ultimately, the project never happened and it was never made explicitly clear as to why. I theorized that TMS Entertainment and Sega likely moved onto Bakugan, due to the fact that had an International partner (Spin Master and Nelvana) and much more lucrative merchandising and product line to make money from.

    Sonic X was an absolute money maker, make no mistake on that. Hell, it was in the top 10 IPs that was making royalty revenue for music, according to JASRAC around 2013 or so, if I recall. But Bakugan definitely had more safety nets, money product/merchandising line, so if that's ultimately what got it cancelled, wouldn't surprise me.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2019
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  11. Overlord

    Overlord

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    The music part wouldn't surprise me - importing the OST of it (gods, I can't even remember from which site now) was I think in terms of tracks-to-cost the most expensive music CD I've ever bought. Worth it though.
     
  12. gamerz31w

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    I remember several years ago it was written in wikipedia that Sonic X was aired on Disney XD France and Japan only(according to polish wikipedia article,but currently I only found what was aired on Disney XD Japan).


    At least Sonic Underground,Sonic Boom are available on Netflix(I guess just like original Animaniacs,right?).
     
  13. Mendinso

    Mendinso

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    Sonic X's last stretch of episodes never, ever, aired on Television, to my knowledge in Japan, at least not on a national scale. I'd heard supposedly there was one local airing in Japan in one regional market (UHF or local affiliate), but I'm starting to think this for sure was debunked given Kids Station is promoting these episodes as to airing for the first time. Likely was probably due to a misunderstanding of the streaming services that were running Sonic X (both on the rental front and for the streaming subscription services). There was also misinformation recently, as AniTele streamed the episodes for free for the first time as part of it's 15th Anniversary last year.

    That aside, Sonic X aired in France and most European territories on what was known as Fox Kids and then Jetix. Eventually Jetix (for the most part formed and became) would be defunked and replaced in full by Disney XD. In the States, Jetix was only a block on ABC Family and Toon Disney. France also aired Sonic X on a terrestrial network, though to my knowledge, 53 - 78 only ever aired on Jetix.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2019
  14. gamerz31w

    gamerz31w

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    Well Sonic X was aired on Jetix even in Poland over one decade ago before it became Disney XD.
     
  15. Turbohog

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    They had the Japanese voice actors record their lines back when the episodes were originally made, right? Seems odd that they never aired them since they were complete.
     
  16. Mendinso

    Mendinso

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    So, let me explain likely what happened, and it's a bit of a long winded thing:

    - TMS Entertaiment, as mentioned before, originally produced the episodes for the foreign market, due to success of the series overseas. I do need to stress that the local ratings for Sonic X were relatively strong for the time slot, especially when you consider the competition that it was up against (ABC's 8:30AM time slot, home to well known and high performing titles at the time, which it was up against Ashita no Nadja at the time and the beginning of Pretty Cure) and TV Tokyo is notably in less homes. A lot of people think Sonic X was an under-performer and this was not the case.
    - At some point into the development of the new episodes, we had heard reports of TV Tokyo backing out of production. This would explain why Scripts and Storyboards do not have TV Tokyo's name like the earlier episodes do.
    - Originally, the plan was to air the episodes Summer 2005 and I believe Jun`ichi Kanemaru, Sonic's voice actor, confirmed this back in the day. It was likely intended to be timed to when Kids Station run was to end, but ultimately didn't come to pass.
    - What likely didn't help and given information at the time, was the leaking of Sonic X's Japanese audio of 53 through 78. Likely due to miscommunications, Taiwan likely wasn't supposed to release the episodes with Japanese audio, but as a result, the Japanese audio was made available for the remaining last 26 episodes. TMS, I recall, was in a bit of a panic and even emailed Nicknyte's website and only demanded the last 26 episodes before removed from Japanese (any other language, as well as the prior episodes before, they seemed less worried.).
    - Another thing to stress is most anime have Sponsors, on top of the studio, that buy and pay for the time slot. Since the episodes were already out in Japanese and ahead of any Japanese launching plan, it likely made it difficult to find Sponsors for the time slot at the time of the airing. This would likely explain why TMS was trying to remove the episodes in Japanese and only that specific range.

    Ultimately, along with the cancellation of the last 26 episodes, it seemed TMS and the people that be opted to not release the episodes on TV. They did eventually stream them (rental first, eventually subscription, and then a free stream on TV Tokyo's Anitele site for the 15th Anniversary), as I mentioned earlier, and was done as cross promotion for Sonic Chronicles.

    Now, this is not completely unheard of some anime never airing in Japan or at least being released years later (many of these were co-productions as well). Some notable examples below:

    - Taichi Chasers, produced by Toei Animation, never aired or released in Japan, despite originally being planned to do so.
    - Scan2Go, a show not only produced for Japan in mind (TV Tokyo was confirmed to been a co-producer and was going to air it), it even had full Japanese credits and audio. Taiwan was eventually able to release these years later on DVD with Japanese credits and Dual Audio.
    - Boukensha: The Man From Spain (sometimes just referred to Christopher Columbus and what not), took 10 years before it aired in Japan. Not only that, one of the voice actors who did a role in the series, had passed a couple years after production wrapped and ultimately his voice was heard postmortem. Show aired in Italy in 1992, as well as other countries around this time, and eventually aired on one of NHK's networks (think it was their satellite channel) in around 2002-2003.
    - Another show around the same time frame, "In the Beginning", aired in Italy in 1993. This was one of the last projects Osamu Tezuka worked on and was finished postmortem after an incredibly difficult production cycle. It would then be aired in Japan around 1997.
    - An almost entirely Japanese produced Astro Boy project, Little Astro Boy, would never air in Japan. It did, however, go direct to video, with dual audio.
    - The last season of the original Bakugan, Bakugan: Mechtanium Surge, remains unreleased in Japan in any capacity. Eventually TMS authorized streams overseas and the Chinese regions have Japanese audio, Chinese subtitles available.
    - Monsuno's last stretch of episodes never aired in Japan. It should be noted though that the episodes were apparently in production during the second season (which Japan was part way through at the time), so likely episodes were not ready. Ultimately, it never aired. Either way, it aired on a delay from the US airing, despite originally being made and produced to air on TV Tokyo first.


    And there's plenty more examples of this. Sonic X is just one of many examples of this happening with.
     
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  17. Linkabel

    Linkabel

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    Is there a source for this? I really find it interesting that this was the case since Sonic is not really big in Japan and the series doesn't strike me as something that appealed to the Japanese audience.
     
  18. Mendinso

    Mendinso

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    Give me a second. I have ratings data for this time period, and it's relatively strong to other programming at the time.

    EDIT: Here we go.

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    [​IMG]

    Sonic X (ソニックX) should be self explanatory. But to explain the networks:

    TX = TV Tokyo
    CX = Fuji TV
    EX = TV Asahi

    These are ratings that cover the Kanto area. These should give you an idea. Due to Sonic X being replaced by an Art program, rather than anime, the ratings aren't included for the follow up show, but Sonic X's ratings are comparable, if not stronger, to the rest of the TV Tokyo library at the time.

    For anyone that can't read Japanese, here:

    明日のナージャ = Ashita no Nadja
    ふたりはプリキュア = Futari wa Pretty Cure
    電光超特急ヒカリアン = Lightning Attack Express Hikarian
    ポポロクロイス = PoPoLoCrois (TMS series)
    ペコラ = Pecola
    ギャラクシーエンジェル第3期 = Galaxy Angel Season 3
    アストロボーイ・鉄腕アトム = Astro Boy 2003
    デ・ジ・キャラットにょ = Digi Charat Nyo
    マシュマロ通信 = Marshmallow Times
    レジェンズ 甦る竜王伝説 = Legendz
    金色のガッシュベル!! = Gashbell (Zatch Bell)

    EX and CX notable always did better, especially due to better network distribution and availability, though TX can do plenty fine of course. Still, Sonic X absolutely was comparable and arguably did very well in the time slot, especially comparing to other TX programming at the time.

    EDIT: One last thing to note before I forget. This was around the time where Sonic, as an IP in Japan, was still doing relatively decently. It would be some point after 2004 or so when things would start to crash in terms of sales and what not. I'd have to dig up sales data, but up until Sonic Heroes and some of the GBA/DS line, things were still relatively okay/decent for the series and some point after things, things began to fall apart.

    Unsure as to why, but I'm sure there's plenty of factors as to what caused it.

    That aside, one more add-on to this, I still, to this day, don't understand why there is so much information spread Sonic X didn't do well in Japan in terms of television ratings. DVD sales suggested a little over-estimating how much they would sell (really, kids anime often had difficulties selling DVDs in Japan, so that's not a relative indicator, for the record), but that's about it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2019
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  19. Turbohog

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    Thanks for the very thorough explanations! I really appreciate it.
     
  20. Yuski

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    I really hope someone rip those episodes, possible because there´s chances of them being remastered for 1080p