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Sonic Prime (Netflix Animated Series)

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by The Joebro64, Dec 10, 2020.

  1. Nova


    I agree - I don't necessarily see why a 'fractured' fanbase is necessarily a bad thing. Lots of people enjoy lots of Sonic(s)! Great! As I've thought about it more and more, I really don't see what anyone could posit as an alternative - a completely unified fanbase? It's a laughable notion, honestly. I like SatAM for what it is, I like the movie for what it is, I like the games for what they are. They don't need to necessarily all converge and really I don't think I want them to.
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  2. Azookara


    yup Member
    Sonic is pretty much a series that was intended to be like Mario ie where there's an obvious core and other media about it follows it's basic aesthetic and narrative through-line, but has ended up like TMNT ie where every other series is an intense departure from the last. I think the people who like that about Sonic are valid, because it obviously works for other things and has led to versions of Sonic they can enjoy on it's own merits, but I think it's not great that Sonic has no real consistent identity to latch onto.

    It's funny. There's such a "broken base" here that there's a divide in people who are alright with it being "broken" or not. lol
  3. Metalwario64


    My design preference is Uekawa's designs and a more Adventure era aesthetic. I feel like since around Unleashed that Tails, Knuckles and Amy have had bad models and Sonic himself lacks the "coolness" with the rounder features and increasingly shorter quills. I just feel like in a 3D space that Uekawa's redesigns work better, and even in 2D, the Advance 2-3 sprites are some of my favorites, only really outclassed by Mania's.

    Basically, I just think the cast needs new, better looking models of their modern designs, and this show could be a good opportunity for that.
  4. Blue Blood

    Blue Blood

    Man, don't get me started on the rubbish looking models and animations that SEGA have been using in recent years. The characters have lost so much of their sharper edges and distinct shapes for a softer, rounder look. In particular you can notice it really well with Sonic's eyebrow-ridge, which was so prominent previously but now it barely even exists. The models used in-game the storybook, Olympics and Sumo racing games are infinitely better. And the animations... God they're just so stiff and sterile. In Unleashed these new models looked refreshing, but they've aged badly; character design revisions (like Sonic's shorter quills and thicker torso and limbs) don't look good, and previously good animations have been replaced by much worse ones. And some characters have never looked good in the new style; Rouge and Tails for example are just plain ugly. SA2 still has the best looking character models. The series needs a fresh injection of artistic vision.

    This just brings me to think about what designs the this new Netflix series is going to use. I think that "current", as in Forces, it's the most likely provided we're not looking at something based on the movie. And although that's not my first choice, it'll be fine as long as it's animated well. There's just not enough information about this new show to even begin speculating.
  5. RDNexus


    Oh, crap... What if it's some sort of tie-in to the movieverse?
  6. ICEknight


    Researcher Researcher
    Classic Sonic pls. Without the now kind of tired multiverse gimmick, even.
  7. Azookara


    yup Member
    A Sonic series that isn't afraid of pulling aesthetics and ideas from both classic and modern eras would be nice.

    Pretty exhausted with Sonic having to be of one style or the other, or something different entirely. The need to put dividing lines everywhere on the source material is one of the most exhausting things about Sonic in the past decade.
  8. VectorCNC


    CNC Sculpture/Artwork
    I can’t understand this response, or the 7 people that agreed with it…

    First of all, I clearly said “human civilization” so anything you stated in response which only indicates previous instances of the inclusion of “a human or two”, is not a response to my statement. Clearly I recognize that humans have existed to a degree, I mean, Robotnik is human, or human-like, after all.

    Nonetheless, I think what we are disagreeing on is, how significant has the inclusion of humans been in Sonic’s world? I do not believe that prior to Sonic Adventure, that Sonic’s world was ever intended to have a significant human presence. I’ll address each example you gave and why it’s misguided:

    Archie, Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog (Sat-am), and the classic trilogy, and probably a lot of other media and examples I’m less familiar with, portrayed a world in which humans were either never shown, or basically never shown, with the exception of Snively and Robotnik. I’m sure someone will find an odd example or two where I am wrong, but it should be agreeable that humans were generally absent from all of these. However, along comes Sonic Adventure, and from there on we have Sonic existing within human civilization. What cartoon comes out next?.. Sonic X, taking place within human civilization. And suddenly Sonic helping the president (Sonic Adventure 2), Sonic is kissing human women (Sonic 06), and visiting Greece and China (Unleashed)… So let’s not play dumb and pretend that a marked shift hadn’t occurred here, let’s not pretend it was always like this…

    Next, you say that human civilization was present in the classic trilogy because of… architecture (“buildings, cities, ruins…”). Well, do I honestly need to point out that creatures in an anthro world may also have buildings and their own history and civilization (Knuckles, hello)? For that matter, you purport these to be evidence of the existence of humans, and yet for all that supposed evidence we don’t actually see any humans, just Robotnik and lots of other animals. Yet, after Adventure, we literally have Sonic surfing down the streets of San Francisco. So, again, it’s obvious that a dramatic shift happened in terms of the inclusion of human civilization in Sonic’s world. It literally begins to merge with our world.

    Next, if we look at your next example, the Sonic OVA, again we see almost NO humans. We have that princess, which is a hybrid, she has a monkey tail, and then we have the president (who has elf ears), and Robotnik (humanoid). So 2 potentially-full-humans in that entire movie, one of which is Robotnik. So again, humans have a very minimal existence in Sonic’s world at this point.

    Next, the inclusion of Madonna. Oh wait, no! Madonna wasn’t included, Sega decided that character wasn’t a fit for whatever reason. No point awarded.

    Next, the inclusion of humans in Sonic commercials. We’ll I think it’s pretty obvious that promotional materials serve a purpose of their own, which is apart. Having a human pick up a Sega cartridge and start running as fast as Sonic isn’t really intended to be more than part of an advertising gimmick. A lot of the promotional materials Sega produced had ties to human civilization (like Sonic Screensaver), but this appears to have been more in the context of promoting Sega Corporate. Like saying, “We are SEGA and this is our mascot, Sonic”. That’s why you will literally see corporate branding in these images, like a blimp that says, “SEGA”. I don’t think I need to address this issue further. Sonic eating at McDonald’s, or driving down main street while moonwalking to promote Sonic 1, was not intended to confuse people that Sonic lives in our world and eats McDonalds.

    The only example you gave which has any legs is “Man of the Year”. Some responses to this would be… First of all, I’m not sure what the intent of this clip was. Perhaps it was also corporate in nature. It’s also odd that it never saw much light until Sonic Jam, was their some reason for this? It doesn’t really fit into anything, and it isn’t promoting any particular product. It’s also possible that this was an instance where Sega just messed up the Sonic Universe a little, I mean with all the various media being produced, it’s reasonable to expect occasional inconsistency. This was also made by a French animation studio if memory serves me correctly. In any event, the mountain of evidence makes clear that human civilization was never meant to play a prominent role in Sonic, until Sonic Adventure when they united.

    Let’s compare man of the year and it’s inclusion of humanity, with that of Mario… Mario was said to be a plumber, and maybe even from Brooklyn. They also had those live-action shorts. But these were minor deviations from the established lore that Mario lives in the Mushroom Kingdom. Acknowledging a few missteps in Mario’s past, or in Sonic’s, does not make them equal. Sonic now appears to exist within human civilization, whereas it didn’t before. Meanwhile, despite a couple abbreviations, Mario is clearly living in the Mushroom Kingdom apart from humans.

    Therefore, in my opinion, Adventure was indeed a marked departure from the norm. It coincided with a massive shift in Sonic’s universe, the normalization of human and inclusion of human civilization, which in my opinion harmed the brands identity in many ways.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2021
  9. Azookara


    yup Member
    SatAM and etc are exactly what I was referring to when I said "western canons". The idea that Eggman and Snively are the only humans on an animal-only world was a concept only crafted for the SatAM/Archie story. AoSTH even has other human-esque characters everywhere too (the amazonian lady, Professor Von Schlemmer, etc), alongside various animal people. It's a mix of crazy characters that have no real grounding in reality, for that one, so it's not like there's a lot to stand on with that in the first place.

    And about the OVA: trying to call Eggman a "humanoid" (???) and the other two (three counting the receptionist) in the OVA as non-human is you intentionally trying to tiptoe around what is clearly supposed to be the equivalent of a human cast. Plus, again. Eggman? "Humanoid"? Come on, man, that's just denial.

    The echidna civilizations is the first undisputed sign of seeing Sonic animal-people civilizations, which is exactly why I mentioned Sonic 1 and 2 and not 3K. The intent of what the places were in the games preceding it are far more ambiguous, and as far as presentation for the games go, there was really not much if any usage of animal-people besides Sonic and Tails, just animals. They could've been made by animal-people, but it's just as reasonable as to assume humans could've made them too, considering other stuff I've mentioned about pre-production.

    Speaking of that, while Madonna was never in the games, it proves the intent from the get-go was that Sonic wasn't supposed to be out of place when seen alongside humans. Same goes for the commercials; they were comfortable enough with his presence around non-animal characters that they used it in an advertisement for him. Which also counts Man of the Year, if you're going to consider that something "corporate" (it seems more like a testing ground for a show TMS could've made, if anything).

    Everything you're saying here comes laid on thick with big bias against an era you hold bitterness towards. But none of that can erase how humans were never a taboo for the franchise. It's not even to say it should be a big focus, nor that I agree with where the series went at times; it's just facts. Sonic's background cast was always gonna have human characters in it, somewhere or somehow.

    The main antagonist is one, for Pete's sake.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2021
  10. Dek Rollins

    Dek Rollins

    size of a tangerine Member
    Naka confirmed that Sonic always took place on Earth and that humans existed. He said they never showed up in the classics because the action took place on isolated islands.

    Eggman's existence is proof enough that humans exist and anyone who thinks otherwise is lying to themselves.
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  11. Azookara


    yup Member
    I remember reading that interview ages ago but I've been looking for it for a long time and can't find it anymore; it'd been so long that I thought I hallucinated it. LOL

    Do you (or anyone else) know where to find it?
  12. VectorCNC


    CNC Sculpture/Artwork
    My claim is this simple... it didn’t used to feel like Sonic had much contact with humanity, aside from Robotnik, until Adventure. I’m not talking absolutes here... But to anyone being a Sonic fan prior to Adventure, they would have noticed the shift going from a largely non-human presence, to the sudden inclusion of Sonic being in a heavily human dominated world. I’m not sure what the point of all this disagreement is about. This is plainly quantifiable, and I don’t know how many times you need to point out Robotnik is human as though I’ve claimed he wasn’t. I’ve acknowledged from the beginning that there was always some humans around, it’s a difference in how many. Are you actually disagreeing with this?
  13. Azookara


    yup Member
    I just don't think it makes a difference.

    Sonic can have a lot of humans in it if it wants, I think that's fine. It'd probably be a lot better if the series had an equal amount of anthros, or at least an explanation why they're not often on screen alongside humans. The canon originally had the idea that Sonic and other anthros lived on smaller islands and visited the 'main-land' where the humans lived, and now there's the recent idea that there's two separate worlds (a much dumber idea if you ask me), but regardless I think it establishes itself.

    IDK, the real problem was never humans being around, it was just the stories told with them.

    Sonic X, 06 and ShTH have pretty garbage stories with humans, but I'd pin the blame more on the stories themselves than having human presence. You could've replaced any of those characters with anthros instead and still got pretty lousy plot and character writing.

    Meanwhile Sonic Adventure and Unleashed handle it just fine, with most if not all of them taking a backseat to the major cast and simply being flavor text, barring Professor Pickle who is about as inoffensive as it can get. And I can't knock what SA2 does for giving Eggman a glimpse of a lineage, either.
  14. Josh


    Regardless of what Yuji Naka might have intended, VectorCNC is right about "anyone being a Sonic fan prior to Adventure would've noticed the shift." It was a major, and constant, talking point in the years after Adventure's release, and it continues to be so today! My horribly-written article I crafted as a 14-year old in 2002 ("INSANITY: Uniting the Classic and Adventure Universes," named as such because the zeitgeist of the time told me it was a fool's errand) theorized that perhaps the cast had traveled to another planet sometime prior to the events of Sonic Adventure, which seemed like even MORE of a sure bet when Sonic X provided that as an explanation the next year.

    My thoughts on this are, hilariously, almost the exact opposite of everything you guys are saying. :D Uekawa's artwork gave me a horrible first impression of the redesigns, and I never thought they looked great in 2D illustrations until Sonic Mega Collection/Advance dialed back the proportions. Unleashed and beyond looked a lot more appealing, I remember well a time when everyone WOULD NOT STOP WHINING about how butt-ugly Sonic's eyebrow ridge looked, and heck, I even like the shorter quills in Forces! (Though not the lighter-blue palette. I don't like that change for Classic, either, just stick with cobalt!) Sonic Runners' models are just about ideal for me, at least when it comes to the modern cast.

    I'm not saying you guys are wrong or trying to argue your preferences, because it doesn't matter! I'm just noting that it's yet another sign of how broken the base is that another fan's preferences can go so exclusively in the opposite direction of my own. And, put me in the camp that says, "The more broken, the better!" The people who insist that, quote, "Sonic should just be Sonic," always seem to assume that whatever THEY like about the franchise would be what was kept around. If Sega had to do it over again, they never should have treated the brand so inconsistently or flippantly that we'd ever GET to this point with it, but it's probably almost two decades too late to course-correct now. So it's better, I think, that Sonic embraces everything it's been, even if it takes a messy approach to continuity and a few universes to do it.
  15. Mecha Sally

    Mecha Sally

    I had this same thought. Since this is scheduled to come out the same year as the movie sequel it would not surprise me if that ends up being the case.
  16. big smile

    big smile

  17. I've learned that this is just something that's inevitable the longer a series runs and there are multiple ways of engaging with it. Even Nintendo tends to get flak for how controlling they are over the Mario IP, and many express how "stale" and "samey" the series tends to be. Games like Odyssey are more the exception than the rule, which could explain why the game received such high praise. It was a deviation from what people expected. It also helps that Mario games are very accessible to the casual audience, so they tend to deride less scorn.

    By comparison, Sega were a lot more loose with Sonic, and basically let regions make up their own interpretations of the series. You can debate the merits of this, but as you said, it led to a lot more fans engaging with the series through their preferred interpretation, and I'd argue that gives Sonic a lot more "passionate" fans than Mario...for better or worse. Now obviously, and perhaps rather inevitably, we're at a point when everyone wants their specific version and ideals about Sonic to be catered to, and refuse to compromise on that. It doesn't help that Sonic games uh....tend to be pretty mediocre no matter what they do, which only fuels the fire of fan debate even further.

    Guess what I'm trying to say, there's no "right" way to run a series, because everyone is always going to have a problem and make it known. Fandoms are an insufferable bunch, unless its a a niche fandom with little to no recognition. Sonic is always going to have people complaining no matter what it does, because it's a three decade old franchise with fans of different generations and preferences, and unless you can appeal to each and every demographic, its always going to be like this.
  18. Azookara


    yup Member
    Thank you so much!

    But Odyssey doesn't really break any rules the Mario series had in place, because Mario's canon is simple and kinda malleable. Which honestly is how Sonic in the games were for a very long time! The art direction was a fresh change from the sameiness Mario can fall into, sure, but Odyssey going in new directions in that way wasn't changing the series' identity for a new audience or anything like Sonic does. It's still the same Mario that was in the first Mario game.

    Odyssey, rather, got immense praise because it was a very, very good game that knew how to treat bold new things in a beloved series with a single identity. That's a decent bit different from Sonic's approach where we feel the need to separate aesthetic choices, design decisions, entire chunks of lore or cast into different continuities (or even in-canon worlds or dimensions); in fact, it's the hard opposite. Odyssey embraces that you can do new things with the same setup, and not treat it as if you need to start from scratch every time you come up with a new idea.

    I'll just never be down with the series needs this many splinters, in reference to what Josh or Nova is saying. You can argue it's too late to go back, but most of these are offshoots that last maybe a few years, tops? SatAM, StC, Boom, AoSTH, X, the movie they all had/have their time to exist, and they did/do. But they all came from a center, a core, and everyone who gets into them knows (or at least should know) that.

    Saying there's no need to try to polish that core because of said previous splinters is self-defeatist, and I don't think it does the series any favors towards having a consistent identity. TMNT has its good variations, sure, but the franchise as a whole leaves such a thin layer of meaning as to what it is that makes TMNT what it is that kinda comes off like junk food. And that's one of the better-handled ones of it's ilk. I don't like that Sonic has to be like that, when I see a lot of value in many of the things the games did, both before and after the "modern Sonic" era started.

    IDK. Maybe not having a childhood western-canon-leaning classic Sonic expectation blasted to smithereens by the Adventures leaves me less jaded and less willing to give up caring than some here. I did jump into all this around 1998-2000, just between the classic and Adventure era, after all.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2021
  19. You can't really change people's preferences; someone who grew up on SATAM isn't just going to accept the games because they're the "true" canon, because that's not where their emotional investment in the series came from.

    The same is true even for the games themselves, particularly the pre-Dreamcast and post-Dreamcast era which has arguably the biggest division in the fandom; some people just will not accept the Post-Adventure designs no matter what. You might have some that get used to them and just learn to live with them, but their preference will always be for Classic Sonic's aesthetic. That's partially why Generations got so much attention, because those fans felt validated.

    Sure, you can polish up Sonic's core, but the problem is that many of us disagree on what exactly is Sonic's core. Someone who grew up with Sonic after the Dreamcast is going to have a very different idea about the series from someone who grew up before it.

    I grew up with the series on SA2:B and all subsequent games in that time period, didn't really play Classic Sonic until a few months later on the Mega Collection. Then when I came deeper into the Internet, imagine my shock that so many older fans who grew up before the Dreamcast absolutely hated the interpretation of Sonic that I grew up with, it was kind of a shock. That's the impasse we're at right now, and you can't really reconcile that. That's not being defeatist, that's just being realistic; you can't just expect a franchise of thirty years that's had so many different interpretations, all of which have served as their entry point into the series, and think people are just gonna be ok with it. It's not gonna happen.
  20. Azookara


    yup Member
    Sonic's core is what the games provide, as they are what makes this series exist. And nothing in the games themselves before the Adventures contradict what happens in them; in fact there's multiple things in Adventure alone that compliment it (the story in 3&K's JP instruction manuals refer to the heirarchy of the emeralds, a great disaster that caused the island to rise into the sky, and talk about ancient civilizations, all of which SA1 goes into).

    The only way you can treat the core better is to stop letting bias get in the way and acting like the other takes that take away from it deserve just as much, if not more attention. And you can see that as bias for the game series if you want, but this literally isn't an issue for any other game series trying for a continuity. As far as games go, this issue is exclusive to Sonic, in ways that I really don't think they should.

    I know I can't change that what most Western audiences thought the lore was changed completely overnight, and how badly that affected dedicated fans. And I'm sorry people thought the change in art direction was a bit much! But creating walls for every subset of things you think something "went wrong" only continues to make more splinters, under a delusion that it's fine because it makes you feel better that those peas don't mix with your carrots.

    It's just silly to me. Anyways it's really off-topic as far as discussing what a Netflix show should be, so I'm gonna step off the convo from here.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2021