Sonic X is a Japanese-American anime television series based on the Sonic the Hedgehog video game series published by Sega. Produced by TMS Entertainment and directed by Hajime Kamegaki, Sonic X initially ran for fifty-two episodes, broadcast on TV Tokyo from April 6, 2003 to March 28, 2004. A further 26 aired in regions such as the United States, Europe, and the Middle East from 2005 to 2006. The show's American localization and broadcasting were handled by 4Kids Entertainment—which edited it and created new music—until 2012, when Saban Brands obtained the rights to the series, and in 2015 by Discotek Media.
The series follows a group of anthropomorphic animals who accidentally teleport from their home planet to Earth after attempting to save one of their friends from their enemy Doctor Eggman. Separated, Sonic the Hedgehog is saved by a human boy named Chris Thorndyke, who helps him find his friends while repeatedly scuffling with Doctor Eggman and his robots over control of the powerful Chaos Emeralds, and becoming celebrities. The final story arc sees the friends return with Chris to their world, where they enter outer space with a newfound plant-like creature named Cosmo and fight an army of aliens called the Metarex.
Generally, writers criticized its American localization and some characters, but praised its story and aesthetics. The series was popular in the United States and France, though less so in its native Japan. The show's merchandise included an edutainment video game for the Leapster, a trading card game, a comic book series featuring an original storyline, and various toys and other items. The phrase "gotta go fast", the title of the show's North American theme song, survived as a Sonic catchphrase for over a decade after the show's initial release.
Sonic, Tails and Amy Rose are trying to rescue Cream the Rabbit and her pet Chao Cheese from Doctor Eggman, who has already retrieved the seven Chaos Emeralds. While attempting to destroy his base, one of Eggman's robots inadvertently shoots a machine containing the Emeralds, which activates the "Chaos Control" technique. This teleports Sonic, Eggman (and his robots), Tails, Amy, Cream, and Cheese, as well as Big the Cat (with his frog Froggy), Rouge the Bat, Knuckles the Echidna, and the Chaotix (a detective crew comprising Espio the Chameleon, Vector the Crocodile, and Charmy Bee) to Earth, the parallel-universe version of their world with humans. Sonic is chased by police, escapes into a mansion's swimming pool, and is rescued by a twelve-year-old boy named Chris Thorndyke, who lives there with his movie-star mother Lindsey, corporate executive father Nelson, scientist grandfather Chuck, maid and chef Ella, and butler Tanaka. Chris tries to hide the anthropomorphic friends from his family until Cream accidentally reveals them, but they all build up a good rapport with Chris' family and with Chris' friends Danny, Francis, and Helen.
Sonic and his friends still want to return home, so they repeatedly scuffle for the Emeralds with Doctor Eggman, his robot assistants—the hyperactive, attention-seeking Bokkun and the bumbling Bocoe and Decoe—and his larger, armed robots. Eggman plans to take over the world, catching the attention of the unnamed nation's President, so Knuckles, Rouge, and federal agent Topaz work to stop him. The other anthropomorphic residents soon join the crusade and, when Eggman is defeated, they are all hailed as heroes.
Eggman awakens a creature named Chaos from a huge gem called the Master Emerald. The animals fight a losing battle to retrieve the Emeralds until Chaos absorbs all seven and becomes giant, but an echidna girl named Tikal, who entombed herself and Chaos in the Master Emerald millennia ago, emerges to help placate him. After Sonic uses the Chaos Emeralds to become Super Sonic, he defeats Chaos, who returns to the Master Emerald with Tikal.
Shortly afterwards, Eggman finds his grandfather Gerald Robotnik's diary and Gerald's old project Shadow in a military base. After being released by Eggman, Shadow breaks into a museum to steal an Emerald, which gets Sonic arrested. Amy rescues him, but Shadow, Eggman, and the duplicitous Rouge escape to the space colony ARK, where Eggman threatens to use a weapon called the Eclipse Cannon to destroy Earth if Earth does not submit to his rule; he blows up half of the Moon to prove his power. Eggman collects the Emeralds to power the Cannon, but this triggers a program Gerald set up decades ago, which will cause space colony ARK to hurtle into Earth, destroying the planets in less than half an hour. Gerald did this in order to exact revenge on humanity, who he blamed for the death of his Granddaughter Maria after she was killed in a government raid on space colony ARK. Everyone teams up and works together to shut it down except Shadow, who is unsympathetic and believes he has fulfilled his purpose of revenge. Chris confronts Shadow, reminding him of Maria's last wish for Shadow to be a protector of humanity, to guide and aid them. Moved to tears and with a new sense of purpose, Shadow teams up with Sonic and both power up using the Emeralds and teleport the ARK away from Earth, though Shadow is seeming killed in the process. Sonic, his friends, and Eggman reflect on Shadow's sacrifice and return to Earth.
Eggman rebuilds the Moon, seemingly out of remorse, but its position shifts, creating a solar eclipse, so he manufactures and sells "Sunshine Balls" to replicate sunlight. Sonic sees through his greedy motivations, and Eggman is arrested for fraud. Bokkun activates a robot named Emerl, who quickly allies with the anthropomorphic people, and Eggman escapes prison. Emerl wins an Emerald in a martial arts tournament involving numerous hero and villain characters, but he goes berserk and begins to wreck the city, forcing Cream and Cheese to destroy him.
Later, two government physicists show up at Chris' mansion to announce that Sonic's world and Earth were once a single world split in two by a cataclysmic event, but are rejoining, which will stop time irreversibly, and the only way to stop it is to send the anthropomorphic people back home. Tails and Chuck begin to build a gate to teleport Sonic and company back to their own world with Chaos Control, but Chris does not want them to leave. When it is finished and all their friends but Sonic have left, Chris suddenly shuts the machine down and whisks Sonic into the woods to hide out of fear his parents will return to never being home once Sonic is gone. Sonic is understanding, yet teaches Chris that as a fellow person neither can force the other to feel a certain way and that their friendship is free will. Chris tearfully acknowledges that he bound Sonic's freedom today and stopped his friend from going back home and remorsefully asks for forgiveness while Sonic tells him he'll be able to be strong even without him being there. Chris' parents find him and promise to spend more time with him. Chris having learned his lesson and grown as a person goes for one final run with Sonic before they mutually part ways and Sonic returns to his own planet, stopping the merging of the worlds. However, Chris vows that one day, he will see Sonic again.
Six months later, a race of villainous robots known as the Metarex attempt to steal the Emeralds from Sonic, but he scatters them across the galaxy. Meanwhile, on Earth, where six years have passed and Chris is now eighteen, Chris builds another device to return to his friends' world; he is twelve again when he arrives. A sick plant-like girl named Cosmo lands on their planet and they nurse her back to health, so she joins them, and they all board Tails' new spaceship, The Blue Typhoon. On the Typhoon, they scour the galaxy for the Emeralds and "Planet Eggs" (objects that allow life to flourish on planets, which the Metarex have stolen to depopulate the galaxy) and fight the Metarex at every turn. Along the way, Tails and Cosmo slowly fall in love with each other. Rouge finds Shadow alive in a capsule on Eggman's ship and he is later released (though he has lost his memory.) At first, he and Rouge assist Eggman (even saving Chris on one occasion) but after Shadow witnesses the death of resistance fighter who reminded him of Maria, both he and Rouge go off on their own to fight the Metarex independently. Eggman eventually joins the Metarex though this is a ruse to gather more information. After discovering the origins, methods, and goals of the Metarex, Shadow reappears and tries to kill Cosmo, much to Tails' anger. The Metarex's leader, Dark Oak, appears and reveals that the Metarex and Cosmo are of the same species and that they secretly implanted a tracking device in her brain while extinguishing the rest of their kind; she has been an unwitting spy ever since. It was for this reason Shadow wanted Cosmo dead. Chris, Knuckles, and Tails notice that removing the device will likely destroy her sight and hearing forever. Knuckles pushes for it to be removed anyway (In the Japanese version he stresses to find a way to remove it without damaging her), but Tails can't make any decisions at the present time so the surgery is called off and the battle against the Metarex continues.
The heroes, along with the Chaotix and Shadow, head to the center of the universe, where the Metarex are ominously controlling a planet that is made of water and contains a Planet Egg. After Sonic almost drowns in it, the planet begins turning into a giant seed; the Metarex reveal that, because they have lost the battle, they will destroy the galaxy with this planet. The Metarex then proceed to fuse together, forming a dragon-like plant monster that attaches itself to the giant seed. Sonic and Shadow use the chaos emerald to become Super Sonic and Super Shadow but are still unable to defeat the fused Metarex. Cosmo sees a vision from her mother Earthia, telling her that she must sacrifice herself to save the rest. She fuses with the giant seed and instructs Tails to use the Blue Typhoon's cannon to fire Super Sonic and Super Shadow at her and the seed. Tails hesitates, torn between saving the galaxy and killing Cosmo, but eventually finds the inner strength and annihilates the Metarex along with Cosmo, whose seed disperse throughout the galaxy along with the Planet Eggs stolen by the Metarex which return to their original planets. Dark Oak has a moment of repentance before dying while having a vision of being greeted by Earthia as he passes away. Shadow then apparently sacrifices himself to contain the ensuing explosion. After the battle, Sonic reappears and solemnly informs a heartbroken Tails that he could not save Cosmo and hands him one of her seeds. Back on Sonic's planet Eggman builds a device for Chris to return home, later claiming that this was done to reduce the strength of Team Sonic. The series ends with Chris returning home and business as usual for Sonic and his friends as they joyfully gear up to once again put a stop to Eggman's schemes. The final shots show Shadow on an alien planet and Cosmo's seed sprouting in Tails' workshop.
Voiced by Roy Hirohashi (Japanese), Amy Palant (English)
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