Who doesn’t love Sonic? The blue super-fast hedgehog first blessed our screens in the early 1990s when it was released as an original video animation (OVA), becoming a video game franchise for Sega. Over the years, the character went on to become the protagonist in a two-part video animation that is loved across the world; from Japan to the United States and across several continents. As a character, Sonic has become a global phenomenon, but people often ask, is Sonic the Hedgehog anime?
The question about Sonic and its status as an anime has been asked many times. The truth is, Sonic the Hedgehog did not begin as an anime. It was originally introduced as a video game but was eventually adapted and created into an anime. So, yes, Sonic the Hedgehog is an anime especially because it originates from Japan and has become television and film content typically computer generated and designed for audiences across different demographics.
The character, Sonic the Hedgehog
Sonic the Hedgehog is the protagonist after whom the animation is named. Sonic is some sort of superhero that goes around the world and beyond, fighting foes and the forces of evil. Sonic is an anthropomorphic hedgehog that was born with an innate ability to be faster than the speed of sound. This gives it an advantage as he goes on an endless adventure around the world- riding in his tornado- in the company of his friend and sidekick, Tails.
Sonic, just like every other hedgehog, also can roll into a ball as a defense and fighting technique, presenting its firm and sharp caricature-like quills emerging resplendently. The free-spirited adventurer takes on bad guys fearlessly in a bid to defend his world, while also engaging in an eternal battle against Dr. Eggman and his empire, his arch-nemesis. As he travels across time and space, he wins the love, friendship, and alliance of many. He earns many titles and accolades, while also making many enemies and earning their scorn.
One of the most controversial attitudes of Sonic the Hedgehog is his short temper, which often pushes him to act whimsically. Overall, Sonic is a compassionate, freedom-loving, adventure-seeking hero with a great sense of justice. He has defeated several fictional enemies, which makes him very popular among the young and the old. He gives off a carefree, happy-go-lucky vibe, but is always there whenever help is needed.
Concept and Evolution of Sonic the Hedgehog
The story of Sonic the Hedgehog could not have been ever told without the contributions of three individuals. The names Naoto Ohshima (the artist), Hirokazu Yasuhara (the designer), and Yuji Naka (the programmer) get the biggest credits for creating Sonic. The character was created as a response to the need for Sega to rival Mario, Nintendo’s flagship mascot. Sega wanted a game that came with an appealing mascot. The company’s president at the time Hayao Nakayama was quoted as saying he wanted a character that could match the iconic status and popularity of Mickey Mouse.
The research team at Sega had spent a lot of time trying to come up with a mascot; preferably an animal that was known for speed. Then, eventually, narrowed their choice down to animals that could curl into a ball. It was at this point that Naoto Ohshima suggested a hedgehog, which he spent some time creating on a sketchpad. As Ohshima once admitted, the design was created by combining Mickey Mouse’s body with Felix the Cat’s head. The color of the fur also changed from teal to light blue, and then to dark blue so that he would stand out when placed against certain backgrounds.
Its name was another thing that took a while to come by. They had experimented with Mr. Hedgehog, Raisupi, and even LS (which stood for Light Speed) at the time. Much later, the name Sonic the Hedgehog was chosen because it depicted speed. That was how Hedgehog was born, and since 1991 spearheaded the console wars and offered great competition to Nintendo’s Super Mario that dominated the video game world in the 1980s.
However, the character was more than just another addition to the video industry; it embodied a whole new essence and every detail was a reflection of what they wanted Sonic the Hedgehog to exhibit. The buckles on his shows were inspired by the boots from Michael Jackson’s Bad album cover. The red and white was drawn from Santa Claus, deemed by Ohshima as the world’s most famous character, while the “get-it-done” personality that always pushed him to solve problems quickly was inspired by Bill Clinton, who was to become US President at the time.
Breaking into the anime world
One of the things that the creators of Sonic the Hedgehog did was to help create a story that humans can relate to. This is epitomized by the fact that he was also allowed to grow taller and older as the years went by. This made it easier for humans to see the life in him, and relate with him as a being with a life, rather than just a game or movie character. This is how enduring characters are built. Today, Sonic the Hedgehog has become one of the most loved animes in the world, with fans always too eager for the next release.
Sonic the Hedgehog anime has now been released in numerous editions since the 1990s. The mini-series came in two episodes in 1996, namely Welcome to Eggmanland and Sonic vs Metal Sonic. There was also the movie, Sonic the Hedgehog that was released in 1999. You’d also find several other labels of the franchise, including Sonic Underground, Sonic Prime, Sonic X, Sonic Boom, Mega-Man: Upon a Star, and so on. By winning hearts, Sonic the Hedgehog slowly established himself as a truly fascinating anime.