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Why is SatAM often considered the best Sonic cartoon?

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Lava-Snarl, Jun 19, 2010.

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  1. Mercury


    His Name Is Sonic Tech Member
    Location Location
    Well, you've narrowly avoided being sorely disappointed, because I love SatAM to pieces.

    Saying that it's "not really Sonic" isn't fair, because at the time it was created, Sonic wasn't really anything. The way we tend to think of it now, post-Sonic Adventure, is a relatively modern reinvention.

    As someone who grew up with SatAM, it is Sonic to me. The "SegaSonic" canon (if it can even be called that, it's so loose and sloppy), doesn't feel like Sonic to me at all.

    I don't understand the hate and apathy for SatAM, but subjective matters of taste are like that. Personally, I adore White's portrayal of Sonic. It's a damn sight better to have a funny, fast-talking, goofy Sonic (impatient and quick-witted to go along with the speed thing) than the boring Japanese version. I mean, SatAM Sonic can laugh, cry, feel concern and frustration, and have worthwhile relationships with other characters. OVA Sonic, while cooler looking, can do none of those things. SatAM Sonic goes on fishing trips with Rotor - if Big asked Sonic to fish with him, Japanese Sonic would find some excuse to do absolutely nothing, as usual (probably because of his stupid fear of water).

    Also, I can't imagine why people fault it for having a "billion extra characters", when that's even more true of the games' Sonic, but the SatAM characters are much better. Sally and Bunnie are geniunely strong and interesting female characters, without having to rub GRRL POW3RRR! in your face, while Amy is... what, a nympho psychopath? Puh-lease.

    And having Sonic defend his home from an "evil empire" that's genuinely chilling is so much > than being an itinerant dick who foils Dr Eggman's plans to build yet another amusement park.

    The theme song is bitchin', and they have the balls to actually name Sonic's home planet.

    It's too bad the second season introduced Dulcy, butchered Ant and Rotor, and had those horrible shortie episodes. Oh, and Blast To The Past. How I hate that episode! I remember seeing it as a kid for the first time, and running and telling everyone in my family (during the advert break) 'They're going to the Floating Island! There'll be KNUCKLES! Yay!' When all I got was some holographic owl, boy was I pissed.

    But that aside, I think I don't love Sonic (in general) at all - it's SatAM Sonic that I love, plus the gameplay and graphics of the early games. Everything else I'm sort of 'meh' about. It's okay, but it feels like another series to me, that I just pay less attention to.

    Mobius forever, yo. Let's do it to it. :v:

    (Don't get me started on the Archie comics, though. I hate them with a passion; but then, I hate comic books in general as a medium for telling stories.)
  2. I still consider it the best Sonic cartoon cause it was well developed and the reason it got me into the Sonic franchise. Otherwise, I wouldn't be here today. So I owe it to that show. Still holds up today.
  3. SatAM is not a bad cartoon. It has good writing and a decent plot.
    However, in my honest opinion, Sonic was only put in it because it sold the series.
    The whole focus on the story seemed to be on Sally. Sonic literally did nothing apart from a few obligatory hero scenes. Most of the time Sally was boosting morale and teaching Sonic what to do.
    The writers wrote a story about Sally and added Sonic to get veiws. It worked. It was a good series that deserved the attention it go, but to me, its doesn't have enough about Sonic to be considered a true "Sonic" cartoon.
  4. Phos


    Going for the high score on whatever that little b Member
    So anyway, SatAM has always reminded me of something that's a lot better than it, and I finally realized what it was. Took me long enough. Anyway, Its formula is very similar to Star Wars Episodes IV to VI, but not as good.

    The flaw that sticks out to me the most is that all of the characters are flat with maybe one trait that they always follow, signs of anything else are few and far between. Rotor is always a mechanic, Antone is always a coward, Tails is always a little kid. Some of the storylines are interesting in concept, but the possibility of failure is never real, the show has zero suspense. They creep around Robotnik's fortress, keeping hidden, but it's hard to tell what effect not hiding seems to have. They are only ever spotted if the plot calls for it, and Robotnik's robots are only effective enough to throw an impromptu laser light show rave, not hit anything. Oh sure, that Red Shirt "Cat" gets robotized, but what can you expect? They brought an 80 year old into a combat zone even though he had no apparent role in their mission. It also happened off screen after you had probably forgotten about him.

    In Sonic X, Sonic was constantly wandering off, but in this, he won't shut up! Sonic didn't have much of a story at that point, but it had a setting and it had characters. It didn't have enough characters, but the ones they filled the cast with didn't match the style at all. They did that thing where they stuck a different kind of hair on the spots where humans have hair. Not only do no Sega created Sonic characters have this trait, but it also looks pretty bad either way.

    A hilarious thing just happened, btw. I watched parts 2 and three of episode 2 of season 1 of SatAM, and then then watched what I thought was part 1 of the same episode. It turns out that I was watching part 1 of episode 2 of season 2 and the only red flag that something had gone wrong was that Sally had her season 2 jacket. This show never goes anywhere.

    And Sally's VA needed to back away from the mic. Every line she says is bookended on both sides by a deep breaths.

    I actually find myself preferring Sonic X, thanks to its massively riffable nature. I might get to the problems with SatAM's setting later on. Their location seems to be in binary, they are either in knothole or in Robotnik's city. All other locations are a subdomain of one of the two.
  5. Solaris Paradox

    Solaris Paradox

    On my butt in front of the computer. Where else?
    I'm working on working up the willpower to work on learning how to make my own Sonic fangames. Not quite there yet.
    Granted the origin of the name was actually a translation mistake, so it's more like they had a stupid moment and just ran with it (the same way Sonic wound up not being able to swim), but I do like the name "Mobius."

    More like she randomly popped in. There was no actual "introduction." I had hoped the comics would fill the blank, but nope. She just pops in there, too. I find her amusing, but she's so irrelevant it almost hurts.

    I dislike early Archie and loathe mid-Archie. Now-Archie is alright by me, though, and personally I find the portrayal of Sonic at this point more fun than any of the others, albeit not terribly "interesting" in the literary sense of the word.
  6. Diablohead


    Indie dev Oldbie
    Near London
    AoStH is the best, thread title is spelt wrong :P
  7. Toasty


    BulbaSAUR! Member
    It's all a matter of opinion, some people like SatAM better than the rest, some people liked all of them, and some people hate all of the cartoon adaptations.

    Personally I think AoSTH > SatAM > Underground > Sonic X, but that's just an opinion. I don't like the srs bsns attitude of SatAM that much so I consider it and Underground to be mediocre, whilst Sonic X is awful. AoStH is superior in every way.
  8. Namagem


    I really like Sat Am, and I might be in the minority with this, but I've read about the first 200 and I like Archie Comics pretty well too. I don't fool myself into thinking that they are any sort of canon, but it's definitely interesting to see. I see it as a sort of "What-if" continuum. What if Robotnic had succeeded in his plea for world domination? What if sonic had not stayed as a relatively lone crusader, but had joined a team?

    It's definitely an interesting read/watch, for me.
  9. Uh, what show were you watching? Cause the one I watched was heavily suspenseful and constantly displayed that element of danger. Robotnik's spy orbs are always surveying the area looking for Knothole. It has an errie Orwellian vibe to it which paints a bleak future of the character's struggle. Not only that, what made the show engaging is how realistic it was with the character's development. It also conveyed the true aspects of being involved in a war. Heroes don't always win, in fact most of the episodes are about their failures and how they learn from them which lead to the inevitable downfall of Robotnik. Nothing was sugar coated here, when the freedom fighters put themselves on the battlefield, they're taking bold risks in order to over throw a great evil that enslaved their world. The fact that Robotnik already took over shows how much of a threat he is. If you wanna bring in the game elements, theres plenty of that, but its interpreted in twisted way that correlates with the show's atmosphere. In the games, Robotink puts little animals in robots. In the show, there's a similarity but with better purpose. Robotnik is a relentless dictator who has no remorse for his actions and using a machine that turns animals INTO robots is actually a better plot device and makes that sense of urgency more amplified. The little animals evolved into the freedom fighters to give Sonic more depth and provide characters he can verbally interact with. Speaking of which, all the characters have their fair share of screen time. I don't understand that this exaggeration of how Sally dominated the show when Sonic actually had more of the spotlight, even the Antonie centric episodes involved Sonic. As for Sonic not having much of a backstory, I think you should watch Season 2. It delves more into his tragic past and the reason hes vengeful against Robotnik. He destroyed his home and enslaved his friends and family. That's some powerful shit right there and enough to give Sonic a true motive.

    So to be fair, SatAM expanded on the games and made a simple story about a hedgehog fighting robots and an evil scientist more engaging. While I now respect Sonic X for what it was and doing something different, it just didnt have the same impact and emotion that SatAM did. You mention about the Star Wars reference? Thats always been apart of Sonic. The Death Egg anyone? I think SatAM used that franchise as a blueprint to create a show that was on that level and it works. Unlike Mario, Zelda, and such DiC employed some creative liberties with SatAM and balanced out the elements from the games and did something bold that made Sonic appealing to everyone. Cause believe it or not, during its original airing, this show WAS popular and everyone was excited for how Season 3 was going to pan out. I remember kids at my school debated on who the mysterious red eyed creature was or how Snively was going to be a challenge. The fact we never got those answers devastated all Sonic fans cause at the time, SatAM was the true Sonic lore to follow and fans were just itching to know what happened when it was canceled. The fact that SatAM was so popular then boggles my mind on how its criticized today, especially with all the crap Sega has been shitting out for the past decade. In comparisons to all that mediocre garbage I had to suffer through, SatAM is still the apex of the franchise and the direction Sega should've went with Sonic. Thankfully, theres still the Archie Comics that continues the saga in their own way.
  10. BlazeHedgehog


    A "Community Enigma"? Oldbie
    The thing is, SatAM wasn't awful. As far as I've heard, it's actually had a great deal of appeal outside of the Sonic community - every now and then it'll be brought up on a gaming podcast I listen to as a "I remember that being kind of cool." nostalgia thing, even if those same people turn around and go "Yeah but Sonic sucks now." GiantBomb's own Drew has said this on more than one occasion and one of his early appearances on their podcast he revealed that he intended to buy the SatAM box set, despite few-to-none of the GiantBomb staff being Sonic fans.

    You can nitpick that SatAM didn't really have a lot to do with the games, but you must always consider the time period. The people in charge of these shows didn't really "play" videogames the way we do. I'm sure they would play a Sonic game once or twice or be shown footage of a Sonic game, but that was their extent of "knowing the brand". That, and, SatAM started in, what? 1992? 1993? Sonic game plots back then were "Dr. Robotnik is a mean guy and Sonic has to stop him from turning his friends in to robots."

    They embellished because they had to. Those sorts of grim, dark cartoons were becoming sort of a fad in the mid-90's, too, so that's what SatAM became. And it just so happened that for a Saturday Morning Cartoon, they had a pretty decent writing team - especially about the time you get to Season 2, where they start playing with genuine story arcs that resolve over a period of several episodes.

    And what's to compare to? The Sonic equivalent of Looney Tunes (AoStH), the Sonic equivalent of Alvin & The Chipmunks (Sonic Underground), or a bland anime (Sonic X)? I mean, SatAM had character development, something most of those other Sonic cartoons rarely bothered with (except for Underground, but whatever pluses that has are negated by just about everything else in it).

    It was pretty good, and nobody here should let the general depreciation of the rest of the Sonic franchise color their opinion on what SatAM was for its time.
  11. E-122-Psi


    That's a fair point I have with the different Sonics really, sure Japanese Sonic isn't as much of a jerkass, but he's also ridiculously distant and unpersonal, he doesn't spend time with his friends outside missions and prefers being by himself, even in SatAm Tails and Sonic seemed closer than their games/Sonic X counterparts, who are more mere aqquaintaces for battles and missions and little else. As pointed out in Chronicles that actually makes him a bit of an asshole. That said SatAm Sonic's 'jockjerk' antics did get a little grating after a while as did his 'totally radical' mannerisms. For some reason AoSth Sonic didn't bug me as much in this area.

    I am going to admit SatAm is far from perfect, and the dark edge is for certain people, after watching AoSth non-stop I actually hated SatAm as a kid, though came to appreciate it when I was older. I am going to give credit that it handled the dark atmosphere a LOT better than some other medias, in that it still balances a whimsical and light hearted tone rather well for the most part, in comparison to the 'mood whiplash' in the games and anime or using 'shock value' concepts like guns and swearing. There were points it did come off as pretentious and shallow in areas (I hated Blast To The Past) but it still had a plausible amount of depth.

    The character roster I admit was mixed. While most of the cast were likeable and had some plausible amount of personality (in comparison to a few notable games or alt media characters who are mere blank slates), it's obvious who Hurst's favorite characters were. Sally was an adorable character but she was really overglorified as a foil to Sonic, leaving the latter seeming a bit overdependant on her, and the other characters being unneccessary extras that lacked real chemistry. Bunnie and Rotor were cool characters but they didn't really fill any special gap Sally and Sonic couldn't, perhaps why they were phased out later on.

    The whole Robotnik depiction is of mixed tastes, as said time and time before, it depends on your preference for comical or serious villains, there is no right or wrong choice, though I will admit SatAm Robotnik was much more one-dimentional and 'evil for evil's sake' than Eggman.

    I think a lot of SatAm's infamy comes from the very fact a few arrogant fans place it as the best thing of Sonic EVER, and bash other interpretations in the process, it's very easy to resent a product with that attitude shoved down your throat all the time. It is still a decent, if somewhat diverse attempt at the franchise, but some fans just need to understand not everyone has to like it.
  12. f2bnp


    I liked SatAM, I used to watch it when I was 4 and then found the whole series on the internet a year ago. I enjoyed it as much as I did back then, sure it's different but that's one of the reasons I loved it anyway. It is the best cartoon for me, I can watch with enjoyment , where as I can't watch Aosth and Underground because they are only for very young kids.
    I liked Sonic X as well, it did have a lot of flaws but I didn't really care. It was very nice to pass my time.
  13. Robotnik was dark? He sat on his aft for most of the series. The SWATbots were more of a threat than he was. I love Jim Cummings to death, but it's hard to take his Robotnik seriously when he sounds like he's on the verge of of an orgasm whenever he says something. I was never particularly afraid of him when I watched it as a child, but now I can't stop laughing whenever I hear him.

    Why did they feel the need to add the SWATbots? From Sonic 1 alone, there were many other robot minions they could've used. They even used some of them in the pilot like Buzzbomber, but after they got vanished.

    Not to mention poor Tails got shafted so much in SatAM. Rotor took his mechanic schtick and Sally usurped his Sonic's best friend position. He wasn't even considered a true Freedom Fighter until the third to last episode of the series. Why did they feel the need to wait so long?
  14. 0r4ng3


    I don't like SatAM much. I don't like Sonic's atrocious design nor his voice nor his constant embarassing slang and personality nor his stupidity, Robotnik's design and generic villain atributes isn't my cup of tea either, Sally the spotlight stealer, romance focus and constantly insulting and humilliating Sonic is just wrong, Tails reduced to wallpaper was insulting even if I'm not that fond of the character, the overal tone and setting aren't very Sonic either. Sonic looks like he was tacked on onto a completely different universe, which explains why the show lasted for two seasons, instead of being cancelled at the end of the first.
  15. One thing that annoys me about SatAM, other then the lack of almost anything game related, were the characters.

    Tails is..Useless. He rarely appears and basically did nothing except in that episode with the robot Sally. Plus his coloring was wrong

    Sonic was just annoying. More so then his AoStH counterpart. Too wild, too obnoxious, always throwing out random slang, his mohawk seemed too flex at times, and he lacked too much concentration among other annoying flaws. His romance with Sally seemed awkward at times, his caring calmer side seemed a bit odd and his relationship with Tails was...

    Then there was Ricky Sally. She seemed like a Mary Sue and when she wasn't she was just...Either a spotlight taker or a flat character.

    The other characters were too flat too. They had one thing to their personality and almost nothing else.

    That dragon appeared out of nowhere one episode, unless I'm missing something, and Robotnik's sidekick seemed a bit annoying to me too.
  16. PicklePower


    Wiki Sysop
    Not true. Having Uncle Chuck as a spy in Robotropolis definitely added some suspense (would he be captured?). And his eventual capture did give the Freedom Fighters a taste of failure. If I remember right, the story with his capture wasn't resolved for at least a few episodes.
  17. Aquaslash


    <The Has-been Legend> Moderator
    A bit off topic, the Sonic X comic wasn't canceled, it was concluded. They waited until it had more issues than Knuckles, and closed it to tell more interesting stories. They were basically stuck between a certain few episodes anyway.
  18. SU is actually really good if you just fastforward through the songs. It's a pretty solid series.

    I will say that as far as giving Sonic a deep story line, SatAM is better than Sonic Team's own efforts from 1998 on up. But that could just be my opinion.
  19. Aquaslash


    <The Has-been Legend> Moderator
    I would just like to second both of these. Especially the second.
  20. E-122-Psi


    Sorta yes and no, his first appearance had him regain self control and then lose it again, after which he didn't appear till the early second season, where he permanently gained consciousness. He remained a spy without getting caught a few episodes, Robotnik discovered a captured him in SpyHog but escaped in the same episode.

    I will admit that SatAm certainly balances dark concepts better than other medias, which revert to 'shock value' death and swearing or mood whiplash between extremely childish and extremely angsty. Add to that a better balance with characters, SatAm didn't start screwing with the balance until the second season really (Bunnie and Rotor were handled MUCH better in the First season and Sally had a less overwelming role) and even then the 'neglected' members seemed more whole, Tails was dead weight in SatAm but I still found him more likeable than the lifeless Fixer Sue he is in the games. The Wolf Pack were about the only cast members I found rather bland.
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