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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


    I'm Who I Am. Oldbie
    No problem! Just glad I'm able to provide some level of more in-sight with the series.

    Realistically, I don't expect them to do too much for these episodes, outside of maybe remixing some elements. Your best best is us getting a new Opening and Ending, as well as getting proper credits for these stretch of episodes, provided TMS still has this data archived somewhere (hopefully they do, as they've been generally pretty good at keeping masters as a whole, especially during the digital era, but we'll see).

    It's really rare for companies to keep the original composites for their shows. Occasionally you hear stories of this, notably Sunrise doing it whenever possible (see: Gao Gai Gar OVA and Gundam Seed's HD remasters), but I'd imagine these could succumb to Digital Corruption and what not. Not to mention, for all we know, the original composites were also tossed after completion of production.

    Either way, we'll see. I'll be able to get recordings of this airing, thanks to a friend, so I'll report on this situation as it airs.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2019
  2. Thanks for the information. It really makes me happy to know that X didn't bomb in Japan. The Japanese version of X is honestly my personal favorite animated adaptation of the series, alongside the Sonic OVA.

    I'm guessing the episodes will be cropped to 16:9 like Dragon Ball Kai to meet with Japanese broadcasting regulations. Either way I'm excited to see if anything's different this time around. Maybe if it does well it could drum up interest to revive the show or finally give us a proper physical Japanese release, even if it's just a DVD release or an SD Blu-ray release. I'm not going to hold my breath, though, since the Sonic franchise isn't nearly as popular as it used to be; especially in Japan.
  3. Yuski


    Dragons, dragons everywhere! Oldbie
    Would be nice to see a new opening animaion (even if they keep Sonic Drive, which isn´t a problem for me) and credits.

    Will wait for news~
  4. Epsilonsama


    Not going to be a fan of changing the OP and ED due to how integrated their use was in the series, the ending song for example usually started seconds before the actual end credits is shown which was a pretty cool thing I have rarely seen anime do.
  5. Mendinso


    I'm Who I Am. Oldbie
    Some more information.

    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.

    EDIT: Updated first post with most recent information.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2019
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  6. Sir_mihael


    Thanks for keeping us in the loop! I'm pretty keen to see what they do with a new OP and ED - even if it's just a new song on top of existing footage or a compilation of clips.
  7. Mendinso


    I'm Who I Am. Oldbie
    This might be more appropriate to post here, so I figured it'd be worth mentioning.

    So there was a recent interview, which Comic Book had with the Director of Animation at Sega earlier this year. However, this tidbit was not mentioned or released up until about now (which makes me wonder if this was withheld due to NDA agreements and/or requests):


    Considering the timing of Japan finally airing the remaining episodes in Japan come this Spring, I can't help but wonder about this if it's related at all. Plus curious that 53+ was being restricted from Netflix streams, despite remaining episodes have been released online. Could even be a new project all together.

    Either way, onward to Spring when the Episodes finally air in Japan!
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  8. Mendinso


    I'm Who I Am. Oldbie
    Giving this a minor bump.

    So Sonic X's re-run has begun on Kids Station. We have schedule information up to the end of February, with Episode 38 (Battle on the Space Colony: Ark) airing on February 28th. Provided there is no preemptions, the first series run will wrap up on March 19th. Still no word how exactly the airing for 53 onwards will be handled, but I'll update that later once we get more information there.

    I do however have some interesting information about the Kids Station run.

    First off, a video of the Kids Station run, which includes the dead end of the Ending, commercials, preview, and Sponsor + End Card (which may be the first time anyone has seen this before):

    Please note for any viewers in Japan, the video has been blocked by TMS Entertainment and I have no real intention of contesting this. Video is also unlisted.

    Second, some general notes I made:

    - Just 2 Ad breaks (after Opening, after Ending and before Next Episode Preview)
    - Sponsor Cards (blank) are there. Blank Sponsor Cards are not that unusual for Kids Station airings, for the record.
    - End Card is also there, which may be the first time the general Sonic community has seen this.
    - Masters do appear to have been sourced from a TV master, as certain video changes are not present on the episode, however...
    - Non-Composite, unlike Streaming Masters (which affected all Japanese Netflix versions, including France and Korea), which have been composite since the series started streaming since back around 2009 or so. These also used TV masters with minor video corrections (likely UHF airings that happened 4-5 weeks after the TV Tokyo airings).

    Last point is a bit interesting, given it was assumed all broadcast masters were composite. However, this does not appear to be the case and now I'm very curious what this would mean for 53+, as some episodes for streaming were from composite masters for select episodes.

    And for the record, here's a high quality image of the Ending Card, since I'm sure people would be interested in:

    Either way, Sonic X is oddly relevant again for Japanese viewers! Let's hope this leads to some interesting things this year!
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  9. Shakidna


    Rehash Rampage Member
    It's really strange to me that 4kids commissioned the 3rd season, but still replaced all the BGM and made a bunch of censorship/time/other edits themselves. Why not just have TMS produce it in a format ready for US television instead of paying to make more work for themselves?
  10. Ayu Tsukimiya

    Ayu Tsukimiya

    UGUU~ Member
    Man, this thread is interesting. I've never heard anything about the production of Sonic X until very recently (besides the third season being commissioned).

    EDIT: And apparently even that was wrong.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2020
  11. Mendinso


    I'm Who I Am. Oldbie
    It needs to be stated, but 4Kids did not commission a third season (or Series 2). This is a misconception. TMS Entertainment and Sega paid for the production of the "Series 2". Plus, these episodes were likely made with the conception of the audience being slightly older (we believe Sonic X started at 8+, but these episodes were likely intended for 10+, which is enough of a difference in terms of subject matter and content, and Japan is known to do this sorta thing with productions that are ongoing). However, because 4Kids kept their rough 2-8 target demographic for the show, they edited it within those ranges, and well, you know the story there.

    It's true that these were made for the International market, due to further success of the show in overseas territories, but these were not paid to be made by 4Kids Entertainment.

    That said, 4Kids Entertainment did the same thing with Toei Animation's of Kinnikuman Nisei/Ultimate Muscle, which this is true that they themselves did pay for. The only thing they requested so it was easier for them, was removing the Japanese text from characters heads and stuff. Everything else was handled status quo (replacing the music, re-writing scripts, etc.). This was just standard practices for 4Kids Entertainment.
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  12. Mendinso


    I'm Who I Am. Oldbie
    Will do a formal update/write up soon.

    TL;DR, Sonic X Series 1 will finish up on March 24, 2020. The following day, Series 2, Episode 53, will start on March 25 and will continue the usual schedule. There's been a couple times the show has taken a break, and it will also not air on March 30th, as well.

    Either way, seems the schedule will do day to day (skipping weekends), per usual. No other information at this time.

    One add-on, since it's worth mentioning, TMS has begun adding Sonic X to Youtube subtitled. First episode is (technically) up.

    You can check out their tweet here.

    Video is currently (and mistakenly) privated right now, but should be resolved, hopefully soon.

    EDIT: Video is now working. I'll need to figure out what regions are available, but should at least by North America.

    EDIT #2: Wow. As of right now, it's available world wide. I'm not sure if this intentional, but current region lock outs only apply to Japan. So anyone should be able to watch this outside of Japan.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2020
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    It's funny. I've been doing a comparison of 4Kids work on the Pokemon franchise, vs their other shows.

    For all the hate the studio gets, they actually did remarkably little censorship on the Pokemon franchise overall during the initial Kanto run. Though music timings were often changed, they used the original OST almost constantly in the first 100 episodes, and only began writing their own music later. The scripts for the first 50 episodes were largely accurate (aside from Pokemon company mandated name changes, and a few dumb things like the infamous rice balls = jelly donuts bit), and edits for content... though a few are very infamous, and a few episodes were dropped, were actually quite small.

    It was when they released the first Pokemon movie that things started to change, with major rewrites to the scripts and large changes to the OST (though the film itself was also largely uncensored, and the US soundtrack was of very high calibur, often even redoing the same japanese themes with different instruments in some parts, bizarrely), likely due to how much money they were banking from the franchise.

    After this, they started butchering other shows heavily, and the attitude of "Americanize it" became the norm, though Pokemon always got put through the least of this compared to their other works.

    Sonic X naturally got edited quite heavily for extra commercial time, more than anything. The new OST was vastly inferior to the original (though I'm sure some people enjoy it, which is fair), and though I actually like the cast, there was a lot more censorship and lost humor as well. This was typical 4kids fare.

    It is what it is.
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  14. Yash


    CHOCOLATE! Member
    I'm guessing Nintendo had a much tighter leash on Pokemon than 4Kids was given with their other series. The creeping Americanization in Pokemon (later episodes didn't use nearly as much of the Japanese bgm, a practice that still continues to this day with the series, even though 4Kids hasn't been involved in years) I think has to do with Warner Bros.' involvement.

    The clearest explanation I heard was from one of the 4Kids composers who did an AMA in Reddit - they did another show later, Dinosaur King (which incidentally also had some involvement from Sega) that retained some Japanese music similarly to Pokemon, and the composer mentioned this was due to some contractual obligation with the original producers. I'm sure Yugioh, Sonic X, One Piece etc. all could have had their original music kept by corporate mandate if the Japanese producers really wanted them to, but they simply didn't care. In fact, given what we know about Toei's stipulations for 4Kids dubbing One Piece, they seemed to favor the hackjob approach as they believed that was 4Kids' special sauce in making Pokemon, Yugioh etc. successful.


    Yes, I have connections within the anime industry who have confirmed as much regarding the infamous One Piece dubbing. Almost everything that was despised about it was Toei approved since they, at the time, thought the edited version would catch on with kids, and they wanted the brand recognition of one of their bigger IPs to take off here. Obviously, it failed miserably.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2020
  16. Yash


    CHOCOLATE! Member
    Yeah, given the way 4Kids' reps talked about it beforehand (saying they didn't want to "make changes for the sake of it," running all the major decisions with casting, scripting etc. past Toei for approval etc.) and showing off an English-dubbed version of We Are! at trade shows and conventions (which I honestly prefer to Funimation's version), I think they knew they had something big on their hands and it'd require a more faithful approach than usual.

    That being said I won't ever buy the "oh we never really wanted it, it was a package deal with Kinnikuman and Doremi" talking point, One Piece was a very hot license at the time that every company was after. I do totally believe their higher-ups probably only watched a few early episodes and figured it was kid-friendly enough, only to realize they bit off way more than they could chew with how heavy the content gets later on, but that's corporate dumbassery for you. Having to edit it down to Saturday morning levels of acceptable was always going to bite them in the ass, they should have shipped it off to Cartoon Network from the beginning.

    Just to bring this back around to Sonic X, I wish Sega had put stricter guidelines in for 4Kids' dubbing of the series. I'm not a huge fan of the original either, but the music and story edits make it substantially worse. I remember as a whiny preteen being outraged they didn't use the game cast, but ultimately that was hardly the real issue with it. But who knows, maybe Sega didn't even have much say in it.
  17. Overlord


    Now playable in Smash Bros Ultimate Moderator
    Long-term happiness
    Honestly, had they kept the original music in most of my issues with the dub would have evaporated. That was the single biggest issue with it.

    Related: while talking on Discord today with people, I was reminded that THIS was a thing, only a few of the older Brits might remember this (including those on CulT's Sonic X subforum). @SSUK , you still about? =P

    That fucking hat still is unbelievable and it's been 16 years now.
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  18. Mecha Sally

    Mecha Sally

    I think I feel the same way. The original score was so perfect and yet they replaced it with very meh music, and I'm pretty sure there was ALWAYS music playing which didn't allow for quiet moments. The lack of "Live and Learn" in the last ep of the SA2 arc was also a huge letdown. Somehow I get the feeling the people that worked on the show never played a single Sonic game...
  19. Blue Spikeball

    Blue Spikeball

    4kids thought that "Chaos Control" referred to the name of Eggman's base in the first saga, leading to one of the dub's biggest plot holes (along with Shadow's butchered backstory). Of course they never played the games.
  20. Turbohog


    Hahaha. That's why Knuckles says "That used to be chaos control" in the very first episode. I figured it was just another bad translation like "Is that what chaos control is?" in Adventure 2.