The Modern Sonic Evolution: Satoshi Okano & His Influence To The Series

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by YuTwo, Jun 19, 2022.

  1. YuTwo

    YuTwo

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    Hello fellow folks of Sonic Retro! I would love to share an article I have written about former SEGA artist Satoshi Okano and his contributions to the series with his design for Sonic which helped kickstart the modern redesign. I used excerpts from the two interviews Okano did on Fanbyte and Game Developer (Formerly known as Gamasutra) along with a slew of tweets he made which also contain some, in my opinion, valuable information. I am very eager to share my compiled findings.

    Special thanks to @Vertekins who provided translations to parts I needed. I asked them if they could do it and they kindly did. A special thanks also goes to @Pengi whose post in a particular thread got me interested to even start researching Okano in the first place as I wanted to learn more after reading what they had linked:
    https://forums.sonicretro.org/index...or-the-3d-era-and-other-qs.39100/#post-955203
    I’ve seen @Pengi around these forums and they always drop some great trivia on things I didn’t know so I just want to say you are amazing in that regard!

    Please make sure to wait for all of the images and content to load up. Basically once the icon on the top of your tab finishes the loading animation. There is a lot of content to load.
    Some of the things you will learn from this article:
    -Background on Satoshi Okano's career before joining SEGA up until his departure from the company.
    -His design for Sonic which made Yuji Naka hold an internal contest with other artists to see who would do the modern redesigns.
    -A look into each of the 4 different designs submitted to the internal contest.
    -Yuji Uekawa’s winning design and how Sonic’s proportions, different shade of blue, and green eyes all came to be.
    -Okano’s contributions to Sonic Adventure with some Sonic artwork, the Eggman logo, and an obscure spider girl character within the game only seen in some posters.
    -How Yuji Uekawa’s art style has changed throughout the years.
    -New Sonic art that Okano has created more recently.

    I have been lurking on these forums since around 2013 and I love discovering new things about this series, particularly with the classics, by reading informative posts. I would love to give back to this community by providing my own informative article. I'm no professional writer so I apologize if there are any errors or if my writing is not up to par. I am also new to using the WordPress website so I'm still trying out how to format things.

    The tweets that I have screencapped can be found here compiled all together if you just want those:
    https://archive.org/details/okano-tweets

    An image directory for them can be found here which has them as a list. I personally think it makes accessing each image much more quickly and conveniently:
    https://archive.org/download/okano-tweets

    Here is a list that has sources to all the tweets:
    https://web.archive.org/web/20220617033855/https://pastebin.com/U0fiFLnB

    A zip folder file of all the tweet screencaps can be downloaded here but PLEASE NOTE CLICKING ON THIS WILL CREATE AN AUTOMATIC DOWNLOAD:
    https://archive.org/compress/okano-tweets/formats=PNG&file=/okano-tweets.zip

    If you have any thoughts on this I would love to know. Did I get anything wrong? Please definitely tell and correct me. I am open to it. I would hate to spread false information. Did I miss something that could be added? I was very meticulous with the research I did but I could have still passed over something that could contribute to the article.

    I hope you enjoy reading the article! I will continue to update it whenever new information arises both in the article itself and here in the forums with periodic posts in this thread.

    By the way I want to take this opportunity to bring up once again that I also was the one who scanned the introduction manual of Sonic Mania which can be seen here if you want to:
    https://archive.org/details/sonicmania-intromanual-paged
     
  2. SystemsReady

    SystemsReady

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    wait omg, he did the infamous "poster girl" from speed highway??

    [​IMG]

    and she was supposed to be a spider??

    YuTwo, this article is fascinating and really good. I've been pretty riveted throughout, I love seeing the threads between works, artists, and projects over time!
     
  3. YuTwo

    YuTwo

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    Yeah, it was interesting to find out about that and that she was supposed to be a spider.

    Thanks for responding! It's good to see one at least so I know someone has read through it all. I appreciate what you have said. It is so fun to share information with others.
     
  4. Aesculapius Piranha

    Aesculapius Piranha

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    What a cool collection of knowledge. Lots to read and some things I missed, and some of it saved me some research I was about to do.

    I honestly like this person's non-sonic stuff much much more. Never liked the "Adventure" art direction, but everything they have done elsewhere looks really cool, which probably just means I like Oshima's old work a lot.
     
  5. Pobert-Eii

    Pobert-Eii

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    Wow, this article's pretty good! I like the direc-


    HE ILLUSTRATED THE NAKED ZOMBIE SEAN CONNERY GAME???


    okay this man's now my favourite illustrator of all time. bar none.
     
  6. YuTwo

    YuTwo

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    One of the main reasons I wrote this article was so that I could compile and curate all this information together so others can at least have some resources to go back into and use themselves so I’m glad to read that it saved you some time from doing your own research as it accomplished its purpose in that way.
    Well everyone has differing opinions after all. I really love the way Okano drew Sonic and the others with thick outlines of varying line weights. The 3D Blast art in particular since it was like a hybrid of Classic Sonic but with the Adventure style proportions. Seeing that new art he made in 2020 makes me want to see even more from him and what Amy Rose would look like in his style as he mentioned he would like to try to draw her if he got the opportunity to do it in an official capacity which I mentioned in the article.

    I also do love Ohshima's early artwork in Sonic 1 like in the Japanese manual or those that appeared in those set material sheets I showed. Sonic had those rubberhose limbs to him in those.
    Wait what were you going to say before you cut yourself off? :V
    Direction? Director? Directory? :eng101:

    Also that is a very amusing way to describe a game. Which one are you referring to exactly though? Is it Zombie Nation/Abarenbou Tengu? I just want to be sure what you mean.
    Keep an eye out folks because I will try to make more articles about Sonic whenever I have the time to write them down.
     
  7. Pobert-Eii

    Pobert-Eii

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    [​IMG]

    alright since ive dated myself, waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back in 2007 (jesus, that was 15 years ago) spoony released a video on zombie nation where this piece of gold was spoken

    for a long while it was the only thing people knew about the game (until ashens covered "ABARENB" in one video).
     
  8. YuTwo

    YuTwo

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    I also can’t believe 2007 was already 15 years ago 0_0
    I’ve heard of both Spoony and Ashens but I had never actually seen any of the videos either of them made. I remember there was a channel named Ashenclone that emulated the style that Ashens did but that channel no longer exists. For Spoony I recall that there was controversy surrounding him and I think he got kicked out of Channel Awesome. That’s the furthest extent from what I’ve read though so I'm not entirely sure.

    I was more of a viewer of people like “Angry Video Game Nerd”, “IGSRJ” (and their secondary channel IDGSRJ), “Silent Rob” (their original channel no longer exists but there is a channel that archived the majority of their older videos and it is called ShawnD1), and lastly BlackBusterCritic who made a series on certain Sonic fans called “Sonic Brainfart”. That series was actually how I found out about “they who shall not be named” that created Sonichu.

    One of the other individuals in that series named PaulandAmy actually committed one of the worst things someone could do which I won’t explicitly say here so you’ll have to watch it for yourself to find out. The source of the info in the description of that video now leads to an expired domain but it was fortunately archived

    I have recognized that I have detracted far too much from the actual subject matter of Okano at this point though and I will not go any further now. I just got carried away talking about older Youtubers. I just love to talk about that period of the 2000’s internet whenever I have the opportunity to do so.

    Anyways, thanks for the clarification. I figured you were talking about Zombie Nation/Abarenbou Tengu given that it has “zombie” in its English title. That “Airbnb” joke Ashens did with the cutoff Japanese title was pretty humorous too by the way.