Saturday, 8 November 2014

Sonic Boom - The TV Series [Review]

Said I would do this, to give my feelings on the show, and whether the rest of the world should be excited for this when it finally airs elsewhere.
The answer is - yes.
I can literally say this is one of the best crafted cartoons of Sonic I have watched. Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog felt like it was nothing but a comic fest. Nothing but joke after joke with little story. Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic X felt more serious in nature, a bit too off tone, and relying too much on gimmickery power ups so as not to make Sonic too powerful all the time. And Sonic Underground... It tried to strike the right balance, but it either came off as too annoyingly comic or too serious about itself.
Sonic Boom, on the other hand, really strikes that balance well.

The first episode jumps straight into a chase between Sonic and Eggman, witty banter back and forth the entire time. Comes to a stop at a crater, witty banter continues. Burnbot is introduced, and the false advertising line is said. The attack commences, Tails comes in, Sonic grabs the Enerbeam to swing around and kick Burnbot, Burnbot recovers and attacks Tails' plane, Sonic immobilises Burnbot and rushes to rescue Tails from the wreckage of said plane. This is all stuff we've seen from the preview. But the action-comedy dynamic continues. Sonic Boom doesn't take itself seriously, but can still do the action right. After interviews for a new sidekick [Sonic fires Tails to protect him from further harm] Tails himself is in, as well as Eggman, both for the same reason of 'any applicant can apply'. The third to take the test is a beaver. The test is a race. More action-comedy dynamic continues. The race doesn't really end so much as forced to a stop. Eggman plays dirty and brings Burnbot back into the action - again attacking Tails' plane. This time the plane crashes on ice, and Tails can't get out. Sonic moves to rescue Tails, Burnbot cracks the ice, Sonic falls in with Tails rescuing him. The two then work together to beat Burnbot.

The second episode has Eggman needing to stay at Sonic's house due to a storm that destroyed his evil lair. This episode really gives Eggman the spotlight, and gives us character interactions we wouldn't normally see. When Knuckles, Amy, and Sticks come into the house and find Eggman there, they literally double-take and ask 'What's he doing here?' Eggman's picky, and complains about everything, disrupting the lives of Sonic and Tails, and just acting like one of those really annoying housemates who never shuts up. Amy calls to session a housemate meeting, with Sonic wanting to throw Eggman out. They give him one more chance, and so Eggman changes from annoying housemate to always-want-my-own-way housemate. Funny thing is, Sticks is rambling throughout the episode how this is all some evil plot to get Sonic and co unprepared to fight - even saying the entire plan that she thinks Eggman has been brewing right before Eggman himself reveals said plot. Eggman lied about his base being destroyed in the storm, but finds out that the robot isn't very good at following orders and mistakes 'destroy Sonic and his four friends' as 'destroy island fortress'. Eggman asks Sonic for his help in stopping the robot, and so Sonic and Tails go into the lair with Eggman to shut off the robot. But Sonic and Tails are too sleepy, and the switches needed are unable to be actiavted by one person [both needing to be active at the same time, but the lever must be held down in order to keep it active]. Eggman uses a kazoo from the party he held the night before to wake both of them up so they can shut the robot off. But then Eggman's base blows up.

Now, the comedy can be hit or miss, as with any comedy show, in that different people have different likes. I'm more of an event comedy person, who likes comedy that comes from character. Cubot being sad he hasn't got a soul when scolded by Eggman about it, for example. Sonic Boom is also the most faithful of Sonic's powers than any other cartoon. He needs no power up in order to use spin dashes and the like, and pulls off moves usually restricted behind some kind of gimmick like they are natural to him - which of course, they are. There's no such thing as a gimmick power in sight, and all moves Sonic can perform in the games are readily available to use for him here.
But as I mentioned before, the character interactions are one of the best things about this show. Sonic and Tails, Sonic and Eggman, even Sonic and Orbot and Cubot, the interactions between characters are at a high. And feel natural to the characters themselves. Sticks is the newcomer, and the show doesn't even give her an introduction. It doesn't need to. Her character and the interactions with the rest of the group do that perfectly enough. She's a wild type who prophecises often enough about who knows what, but can make sense of a situation enough to know when she's being duped. But because she mostly spurts random analogies, no-one pays her any mind. She also seems to have a problem saying complex words when thinking straight. Whether these traits about her character evolve more throughout the series remain to be seen, but the start of a new character can always be hard. And its not like she's that annoying. Some jokes do feel forced, but otherwise they're fine.
And so we have one of the better Sonic cartoons on the market. The advertisement seems to have started after the two episodes finished, so it should pick up. Now all that remains to be seen is whether the games will be as good as the cartoon. Remember, the whole Sonic Boom initiative includes both games, TV show and merchandise. If at least two of those succeed, than it's a success for Sonic Boom as a whole.
And so, for everyone but the US [and France], we have to wait for our turn for the TV Series. In the meantime, Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric and Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal release on the twenty-first of this month in Europe, so we can at least experience some of the Sonic Boom world before the show airs.

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