The preview of Sonic X turns out to be the dub of the first ep– a good idea, better than the preview the Fox Box had prior to its launch.

Just to get it out of the way: Yes, the music is different. No, the voices aren’t the ones from Adventure/2 Battle, though they are close enough that I don’t mind. Nonetheless, my sympathies go out to Mr. Ryan Drummond and any of the other Sega voice actors who wanted the job, and didn’t get it.

The episode starts somewhat differently from its Japanese counterpart; rather than give us the intro first, they cut right into the action with Big the Cat fishing in the woods, as alarms and spotlights go off in the distance. It would seem that there is an intruder in this highly-guarded fortress of destruction, and he’s fast. ;P

Blue streak, speeds by… Sonic evades a ton of missiles fired at him, which generate some nicely animated clouds of dust, I might add. During this, the music from the clips on Fox Box.tv’s website plays. Works a little better here than the way they had it.

Try as they might, the automated security just can’t hit him… so the next wave consisting of giant mecha are released to take care of things, and start chasing Sonic… right into the US intro.

Personally, I prefer the Japanese intro. This has a little of that, and some footage from the actual show itself(but who can tell the dif, it’s some high-quality animation on both ends). The theme is… passable. I might like it if I hear it more. Sonic Drive still owns it in my book, though Red says this sounds like a remix. I just don’t hear it. Maybe after a few more listens… but in short, I prefer “S-O-N-I-C GO!” to “FASTER FASTER FASTER!” Less room for innuendo, IMO, for starters.

Oh, and of course, you know it’s American, because the end punctuates with “Sonic X!” Works at a title, not so great as a lyric, IMO.

And after a commercial, we’re back. Sonic bites off a little more than he can chew, and is knocked skyward towards his buddies, Tails and Amy, flying in to help in the Tornado. The plane takes some fire, and starts to go down. Amy asks Tails what they’re going to do, and Tails’ response? “We’re gonna save Sonic!” Ultra Magnus, he ain’t. Some would feel that’s a plus, others a minus. But it all works out after he launches a special ring-loaded missile, which gives Sonic a nice burst of energy, enough to pinball the hell out of Eggman’s guard robots, literally ripping right through some of them at high speeds… including two of Eggman’s mobile suits at once.

Unfortunately, now Tails has to worry about that big rock they’re about to crash into… until a spiked boxing glove comes bursting through an animated tie-dyed background, shattering said rock to pieces.

Rad Red himself, Knuckles the Echidna, has saved the day, much to Tails’ delight. Ever the loner, Knuckles turns his attention back to Fortress Eggsimus as Amy tries to understand what his problem is. And his problem today?

“Overkill. Just like always.”

One of Robotnik’s drones reports to his master that the base is in 100% lockdown, while he contemplates why that accursed blue hedgehog is always getting in his way.

On a side note, the voice of the doc is more like his US voice, rather than his Japanese voice. As a result, the character comes off rather differently in some situations than he does in the Japanese version, which seems kind of hapless at times. Nonetheless, in keeping with the US version of things, this guy does it and does it well.

Of course, leave it to the childlike innocence of my favorite peach-colored rabbit, Cream, to state the obvious: “to stop you from doing all the bad things you like to do.”

Robotnik doesn’t seem to like the answer. Guess the 350 IQ(no lie) fails in the face of the obvious, but it doesn’t matter, ’cause Ivo has the last of the Chaos Emeralds, and with it, his energy amplifier is now invincible. Don’t think he ever says just why he needs to amplify 7 near-infinite sources of energy, though.

Cream and Eggman argue over whether Sonic will let him get away with this, while overhead, furry diva and top-notch treasure hunter Rouge looks on and listens in.

Next thing, True Blue breaks into the room, much to Egghead’s surprise. But, “too late.” After a humorous bit of frantic placement and button pushing, Eggman leans against the console, confident in his victory over Sonic. After all, all he has to do is push the little button he’s holding… unless Sonic can grab it before he pushes it. And judging from the look on Eggman’s face, that’s something he hadn’t considered.

Meanwhile, one of Eggman’s bots sneaks up behind Sonic, which gives the doc his bravado back, challenging Sonic to “give it a try”. Sonic evades the attack, ultimately leading the robots’ targetting on himself… who’s standing in front of Eggman and his machine. The robot opens fire, and after Sonic and Eggman dodge, the latter tries to activate his newest.

Amy looks on with Tails and Knuckles, wondering what’s going on. The Knuckster tells them that “it used to be Chaos Control.” A dome of light spreads outwards, engulfing everything…

Sonic lies in blackness, slowly waking from his sleep. Looking around, he barely dodges a set of lights, followed by another. Next thing you know, he’s stuck in traffic in a busy city intersection. Sonic has no idea what’s going on, or what these people are, or what they’re staring at. And he seems surprised they can talk, as the police rush to move the spiney one from the pile-up. One thinks because he has three cats at home, he can catch one big blue hedgehog. Guess it’s hard to fault that thinking. The best part is when the sarge shows up, and shares his stereotypical Irish accent with us. Begora!(sp) I think we see him again in ep 3, too, btw.

Sonic watches with amusement as they try and catch him. What turns into a small scuffle becomes an all-units pursuit. One unit thinks it’s a sports car, commenting that it must have a hood ornament that looks like a hedgehog(nice addition to the dub, since…) right before Sonic stands on their hood, looking around.

Btw, don’t forget kids, the metric system is EVIL. That’s why they remove every reference to it in this show and others. God forbid they at least convert it…

Now, Unit 3 has a roadblock set up that Sonic won’t be able to get “under, around, or through.” Then to a commercial…

So what’s a hedgehog to do? Leap over, of course.

“Well, he didn’t get under us, around us, or through us.” *nervous laughter*

The chopper in pursuit reports that the roadblock didn’t work.

“NO, don’t tell me he got through?!”

“Okay.”

(not as funny as the Engrish “Bingo!” from the original, but I still got a laugh out of it)

So now, the fate of Station Square, if not the world, lies in the hands of only one group of individuals who can stop this blue menace, whose numerous crimes include holding up traffic and making the police look inept. Their fate lies in the hands of… the S-Team!

Red Ranger-wannabe Highwest/Sam Speed has a lighter voice than the Japanese version. But I think I’m adapting.

So the five men on a police squad secretly sponsored by Marlboro head for their garage, men on a mission. These guys mean business, checking for everything from wind to moisture to road surface conditions. Five-groove tires, baby. And just to be sure, a little something extra, called “milk” in the Japanese version, has been added to the fuel tank.

With that, the five most wicked-looking police cars I’ve ever seen pull out to the road, to the most Japanese sounding music I’ve heard in the show yet.

Meanwhile, Sonic looks to the sky for his answers, all of it looking the same. He flashes back to earlier when the Chaos Control went off. He questions whether he was sent through space, time, and if he’s the only one… all good questions, at least one of which get answered. Figuring he’ll find out soon enough, he hops off his lamppost to meet the S-Team, who seem to have more threatening music now.

The dialogue is pretty much completely changed, save for the story of only one arrest in the past year because the city is so boring. They even switched the part where Highwest(now “the Highway Star”, btw) says that it took them two minutes(now one minute) to catch that one guy. Original: “It takes longer to make ramen.” New: “It took me longer to suit up.” As any college student on a tight budget can tell you, ramen is a purely cultural thing not seen outside of Asia. ;P Anyway, despite the changes, the scene came off well, especially the end, which I actually think came off better here.

The team gives chase as the leader tells Sonic to run fast, ’cause HE wants to be the one to catch him. Then to commercial.

As we return, Sonic is keeping ahead of the S-Team, whom Sonic deduces that the “S” must be for “Slow-motion!”

As Sonic pours it on, so do the S-Team, who then surround him. With a touch of sarcasm I didn’t really get in the Japanese one(though looking back, I can see how it could be), Sonic wonders how he’ll ever escape, right before a quick laugh and disappearing, as one driver thinks he ran over Blue.

Knocking on the window, Sonic makes himself known again as he gets on top of the car, peeking down with the same sound effect I seem to recall from the original. The officer, as before, chastises Sonic for being so irresponsible and dangerous. After all, what would happen if some nice kid tried this?

So Sonic, ever the good guy, makes sure to tell the viewers “don’t use F-1 racers to chase hedgehogs.” IMO, that was kind of suck translating, as the original line(according to WPP, anyway) “Kids, NEVER stand on moving cars.” Personally, I like the almost tongue-in-cheek public service message of the original better.

With that, Sonic takes off again, S-Team in full pursuit.

As they go full-throttle, they’re shocked to see Sonic running ahead of them… backwards. This part was so much better with Sonic Drive playing, btw.

Being completely mocked, humiliated, and embarrassed, the S-Team call upon their leader to “do something!” Ready to oblige, he tells them in no uncertain terms to get the hell out of the way and clear the center “line”(does anyone call a lane a “line”? This is the first I heard of it). With no choice, Highwest decides to kick in the special “milk”, because NO ONE is going to go faster than he is, on HIS highway.

As he zooms ahead, faster than even Sonic is going, he notes that for him to be beaten, the hedgehog will have to go “super sonic.” Well, he’s still blue instead of gold, but Sonic delivers it anyway, passing him with a sonic boom, to which Highwest says “he’s moving faster than the speed of sound!”

Personally, I like the original better, where they briefly flash a card up with the term and what it means. Still, it works.

Anyways, he’s about to reach the end of the road, and kicks in his parachute arsenal to stop, while Sonic jets off the edge, spinning lots of windmills, lighting up the city, all the while noting that this place might not be so bad… at least he can have fun with someone!

After, he looks down, and sees what every Sonic fan knows is the worst thing for Sonic: a pool of water. Sonic sweatdrops, tries to move away, ultimately failing. With a last look at the camera, he says “Seeya!” before falling down into the water below.

The huge splash wakes up one of the residents of the house where the pool is, and he goes to see what’s up. Sonic, meanwhile, tries his best to reach the ladder, but his speed doesn’t work so well underwater. Holding his breath still, he just sits with his arms crossed, annoyed by his predicament. Next thing he knows, a hand reaches for him from above, and he’s pulled out of his watery would-be grave.

At poolside, Sonic coughs up his water as the boy asks the hedgehog if he’s ok, as if expecting an answer. Then, when Sonic does(loved the Engrish “thank you” of the original), the boy is surprised. Go figure. Sonic also tells him he can do lots of other things(as opposed to the Japanese version, where he’s more like “Naturally(I can talk).”) The boy introduces himself as Christopher(instead of just “Chris”). Sonic introduces himself, and we go to credits.

In the original, they ended the last scene with the beginning of the end theme, “Mi-Ra-I”, and it showed a scene of Sonic sitting on the floor in front of the TV in a dark room with his friends asleep on the couch behind him as the credits rolled, featuring clips of the episode we just saw. At the end, the lights come on, and the maid(who I believe we meet later) picks Sonic up and drops him on the sofa, pointing at a sign on the wall that says to watch anime away from the TV and with the lights on, both rules he’d just broken. He sweatdrops for a minute, then gives the viewer a wink and a thumbs up.

In the US, we get the blue Sonic symbol(a sort of silhouette of his head with the eyes) on a blue background, while the announcer promotes the next show in the lineup. MAN, WE GOT IT GOOD! OURS IS FUN AND EDUCATIONAL, MORE THAN THE JAPANESE ONE EVER WILL BE! Oh, and no “next time” preview. Jerks.

Anyway, all things considering, this is actually one of the better televised dubs out there, far more than NT Warrior is of EXE. I dare say that you would be wasting your time by downloading the subs, unless a) you love the (Japanese) opening, b) you love the closing, c) you love the music, d) you love the Japanese voices, e) you like the title cards tailored to each ep(which I forgot to mention, no title cards in the US version), or f) the little changes here and there in dialogue like mentioned above. All in all, the changes are all fairly small things that many won’t care so much about, and I only recommend loading up your hard drive if you do. Otherwise, you really aren’t missing much. But for me? I love both, so I’m probably going to keep downloading, if we get a new CD burner…

LBD “Nytetrayn”

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