Sonic X (WBC dub and revival) (Johnsonverse)

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Sonic X logo.png
Genre: Anime
Running Time: 22 minutes
Country: United States
Network(s): TV Tokyo (Japanese isles)
WBC (mainland US)
Created by: Sega/Sonic Team (original concept)
Distributed by: Johnson Television
Starring: Japanese:
Jun'ichi Kanemaru
Ryō Hirohashi
Nobutoshi Canna
Taeko Kawata
Chikao Ohtsuka (original)
Kotaro Nakamura (revival)
Sanae Kobayashi (original)
Masakazu Morita (revival)
English:
Ryan Drummond
Colleen O'Shaughnessey
Dan Green
Lisa Ortiz
Mike Pollock
Seasons: 6
Episodes: 156
Release Date: April 6, 2003 - March 28, 2004 (original)
April 7, 2013 - July 5, 2015 (4K dub)
June 3, 2018 - present (revival, Japanese language)
January 1, 2019 - present (revival, English language)


Between 2013 and 2015, 4K Entertainment produced a new dub of the Sonic X anime, which aired in the Japanese language on TV Tokyo from 2003 to 2004 (with its third season airing in 2020) and in English in the mainland US through 4K's predecessor, 4Kids Entertainment, from 2003 to 2006. The dub aired on WBC. In 2018, the series received a revival, produced in celebration of the series' fifteenth anniversary, which is still ongoing. Both the original series and the revival are part of the Johnson Aligned Universe continuity.

Background

Upon buying 4K Entertainment (then known as 4Kids Entertainment), Sheldon Johnson, Jr., unsatisfied with the 4Kids dubs of some of their shows (much of which had been forced upon by FCC and/or network regulations), decided to create new, more accurate dubs for DVD releases, believing that the changes ruined the dubs for anime fans like the Johnson twins, Tim and Chloe. Once Sheldon retired to run for Governor of California, Tim sought to make more accurate dubs of their shows under the newly-rebranded 4K Entertainment. One of the first new dubs 4K produced was Sonic X, which was dubbed by 4Kids and originally aired in the Japanese Isles between 2003 and 2005 in Japanese and in the mainland United States in English, with the remaining 26 episodes airing in English in the mainland United States from 2005 to 2006. With full knowledge of the Japanese language, Johnson personally translated all 78 episodes himself, and translated the opening and closing themes.

In 2017, due to reruns on the Land of the Rising Sun block on Cartoon Network gaining high ratings, combined with high home video sales and streaming views, production on a fourth season began with the cooperation of Sega, TMS Entertainment, Johnson Television, and TV Tokyo. The cast of this dub and the Japanese cast reprise their roles in the English and Japanese-language versions, respectively, though Kotaro Nakamura voices Dr. Eggman due to the 2015 death of the character's longtime voice actor, Chikao Ōtsuka.

Casting

The voice cast of the video games reprised their roles, many of them also reprising their roles from the 4Kids version due to 4Kids also having signed a contract with Sega in 2004 to use their voice actors in the video games, an arrangement that still continues to this day, even after the Johnson acquisition in 2008 and the rebrand to 4K in 2010. Johnson himself voices Sonic's human companion Chris Thorndyke in his adult form (while Suzanne Goldish reprises her role as the teenage Chris from the 4Kids dub), and several big-name actors were brought in to voice the human characters, such as Michael Douglas as Chris' father Nelson and James Woods as Alfred Butler. Jaleel White, who voiced Sonic in Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog (1993), Sonic the Hedgehog (1993-2004), and Sonic Underground (1999), voices stadium owner Elmer Johnson. Ryan Drummond, who voiced Sonic from 1999 to 2004 and again since 2010 after having been hired by the Studiopolis branch in 2009, also reprises his role from the games; he was rejected from the title role in the 4Kids version due to not living in New York, where the company was based and recorded at.

Theme music

"Sonic Drive", "Future (Mi-Ra-I)", and "T.O.P." were all performed by Johnny Gioeli and Jun Senoue of Crush 40, while "The Shining Road" was performed by Chloe Johnson. The revival uses a remix of "Sonic Drive" for the opening, and a new theme, "Ode to Speed" (performed by J-pop singer Utada Hikaru in both languages), for the closing.

Animation

Cast

An asterisk denotes a character that was added in Season 4, a double asterisk denotes a character added in Season 5, and a triple asterisk denotes a character added in Season 6.

  • Ryan Drummond as Sonic
  • Colleen O'Shaughnessey as Tails
  • Dan Green as Knuckles and Vector
  • Mike Pollock as Dr. Eggman, Ella, and Professor Gerald Robotnik
  • Lisa Ortiz as Amy
  • Jason Griffith as Shadow
  • Rebecca Honig as Cream and Vanilla
  • Pete Capella as Silver* and Mach***
  • Erica Schroeder as Blaze* and Honey*
  • Nika Futterman as Sticks*
  • Marc Thompson as Ray* and Max***
  • Vic Mignogna as E-123 Omega*
  • Lacey Chabert as Tatiana Chandler*
  • Suzanne Goldish as Chris Thorndyke (age 12)
  • Tim Johnson as Chris Thorndyke (age 18)
  • Cree Summer as Christina Cooper
  • Will Ferrell as Sam Speed
  • Demi Moore as President Michelle O'Neill*
  • Phil Hartman as Vice President Stuart Daniels*
  • Andrew Rannells as Decoe, Bokkun, and E-102 Gamma
  • Darren Dunstan as Bocoe and Mr. Tanaka
  • Karen Strassman as Rouge
  • David Wills as Espio and Sharps***
  • Amy Birnbaum as Charmy and Cosmo
  • Oliver Wyman as Big
  • Christopher Lloyd as Chuck Thorndyke
  • Michael Douglas as Nelson Thorndyke
  • Mila Kunis as Lindsey Thorndyke
  • Mark Hamill as Mister Stewart
  • Meredith Vieira as Scarlet Garcia
  • Dan Castellaneta as President Michael K. Rankin
  • Tom Wilson as Vice President Jerome Wise
  • Jane Lynch as Topaz
  • Kweski Boakye as Danny
  • Sara Paxton as Frances
  • Anndi McAfee as Helen
  • James Yaegashi as Hawk
  • Moriah Angeline as Maria Robotnik
  • James Woods as Alfred Butler
  • Jaleel White as Elmer Johnson
  • William Shatner as Dark Oak
  • Tara Strong as Daisy
  • Keith David as Landar
  • Stephanie Lemelin as Galaxina
  • Jodi Benson as Earthia
  • Michael Bell as Lucas
  • Chloe Johnson as Molly
  • Patrick Seitz as Chief of Staff Jeffrey King*
  • Keith Silverstein as G.U.N. Commander Linton West*
  • Roger Craig Smith as Jay Chandler*
  • Erica Lindbeck as Reese Chandler*
  • Yuri Lowenthal as Glenn Chandler*
  • Cindy Robinson as Mina Mongoose**
  • Dave B. Mitchell as Bark**
  • Kate Higgins as Tikal**
  • Laura Bailey as Sally Acorn**
  • Travis Willingham as Mighty**
  • Matthew Mercer as Fang**
  • Bryce Pappenbrook as Bean**
  • Ben Diskin as Rotor**
  • Michelle Ruff as Bunnie D'Coolette**
  • Kathleen Delaney as Tiara**
  • Kirk Thornton as Antoine Depardieu**
  • Aaron LaPlante as Monkey Khan**
  • Troy Baker as Sir Charles Hedgehog**

Changes (applies to original run)

Changes from the 4Kids dub

  • The series is near-completely uncut for network broadcasts and completely uncut for home video and streaming releases, lacking the censorship imposed by regulations.
  • The original music and themes are all retained.
  • Several voice actors are different.
  • All eyecatch cards are retained.

Changes from the original version

Revival changes

  • Sonic has no human guardian in the revival, as Tim decided that "there were other characters in over 25 years of Sonic lore that could be put to good use in accompanying Sonic, all of whom are better than Chris".
  • A variety of characters were added, mainly from other continuities.

Reception

The 4K dub was praised for staying true to the original Japanese-language version, and is widely regarded as the definitive English-dubbed version of the series. The 2018 revival was critically acclaimed for its faithfulness to the original series.

Revival

In 2018, with reruns on

Music

All credit to the channels that made them, the original writers and musicians, and Sega/TMS.

See Also