Part 1 - Episodes #01 - 05
It’s that time again, time to go through a cartoon series and analyse is episode by episode.
Sonic X is the fourth (and up until the recent announcement of Sonic Boom, the final) series made based on the Sonic the Hedgehog video game series and is one that divides the fans a great deal. Many praise the series for its action and several long story arcs based heavily on the games themselves, like the impressive Sonic Adventure adaptation, others however, bemoaned the inconsistent animation style which is occasionally brilliant but frequently sees characters going grotesquely off model, and the new characters, most notably Chris Thorndyke who has gone on to become one of the most hated characters in the entire Sonic multiverse.
Personally I can see both sides of the arguments and, while there’s a lot about Sonic X I do like, I find myself falling more on the side of those who dislike the series.
Nevertheless, while I’m going to give you my opinions on each episode, I’d highly encourage you to seek the series out for yourself and make up your own mind.
Okay, enough with the intro, with nearly eighty episodes to talk about we’ve got a lot to get through so lets dive right in…
Ep 01: Chaos Control Freaks
This episode is a really great intro to the series, starting with an attack on Eggman’s HQ we are introduced to each of the main characters fairly naturally. When Eggman activates one his his machines it goes aywire and sonic is transported to earth where he immediately has to escape the authorities who chase him across the city. We are also introduced to Sam Speed, leader of a group of race car driving police officers, who hates anyone who can travel faster than him (wonder where that’s headed…) before running off the highway and landing in a swimming pool where he is rescued by everyone’s favourite character Chris.
The episode is high on action and speed and sets the premise up perfectly. While you could say a little more time spent on Sonic’s home planet would be welcome (a whole series maybe?), if you just accept the show’s premise, this is about as good an intro to the series as you could hope for and leaves you wanting more.
Ep 02: Sonic to the rescue
Along with Chris and his grandfather, Sonic mounts a rescue mission to retrieve Cream & Cheese from a military base. Along the way he is also reunited with Tails and we learn that Dr Eggman has indeed been transported to earth as well.
We’re still in the introductory phase of the series so once again, action is the main focus. Those looking for more character orientated stories (A group I count myself amongst) will have to wait a while longer.
That aside, this is another good episode without much to complain about. It’s still pretty shallow, but it does its job.
Ep 03: Missile Wrist Rampage
Eggman launches his first attack on the city using a robot called Missile Wrist. The gang attempt to take it down and are reunited with Amy and Knuckles.
Once again, action over character development. This episode is the first in a the horribly tedious and repetitive series of episodes which see Eggman unleash robot after robot to destroy the city with Sonic and co fending them off. It’s a dull arc which thankfully doesn’t keep up for the duration of the series, but one which lasts more than long enough to leave a sour taste in your mouth.
When I first seen this series, when it was first broadcast on UK TV, this episodic formula at the beginning really put me off watching. I went from watching them live, to taping them to watch later to giving up on the series entirely within the space of just a few weeks. It wasn’t until I reluctantly picked the series up on DVD that I got much further than the opening episodes.
Ep 04: Chaos Emerald Chaos
A chaos emerald is discovered in a building site and the race is on to grab it. Meanwhile the government send an agent to pose as Chris’ teacher to learn more about Sonic and his friends.
This is the first truely bad episode of the series. There’s a lot going on here. First, there’s the emerald both Sonic and Eggman are hunting, then there’s Eggman’s robot that needs dealt with, the spy posing as Chris’ teacher and also a small side plot about the government sending spies to Eggman’s island. There’s just too much going on and the result is an episode that’s just a mess.
Not to mention, the robot of the week gimmick is already feeling repetitive after only its second incarnation (not helped by the fact that the scene where Eggman loads his robot cards into the sorter uses the exact same animation as the previous episode). The plot just feels like it’s been cut and pasted from the last episode. Not a good sign.
Ep 05: Cracking Knuckles
Eggman tricks Knuckles into thinking Sonic is keeping a chaos emerald to himself so the gang can’t return home.
A good old fashioned gullible Knuckles story. Who doesn’t love those? This is a pretty good one, worth a watch just for the great battle between Sonic and Knuckles, Knux aggressively trying to take Sonic down and Sonic playfully evading Knuckles’ attacks. It’s a lot of fun.
Sadly, the plot once again devolves into another Robot of the week battle as Eggman captures Amy, Chris and Tails and keeps them hostage. Even this isn’t too bad though as Knuckles’ takedown of Eggman’s bot is pretty epic.
All in all though, this is a good one, well worth a watch.