If you hadn’t caught it, the official Sonic YouTube channel teased bringing the Sonic Vtuber models stateside in the form of a Tails “streaming” series, TailsTube. The first episode premiered today, and it came with some answers to a longstanding question in the modern franchise.
Tails lays out the nature of how Sonic & co. are able to hang out with both human people and anthropomorphic animals. The world represented in the games contains a number of major continents (such as the ones featured in Sonic Unleashed) and many, many smaller islands (like West Side Island, which Tails reminds the audience he’s from). It’s also stated that the human people and animal people settle in different places:
Folks like us [Sonic Forces screenshot of core cast and avatars] usually live on these kind of islands, while people like this [Sonic Unleashed sketches of townsfolk] live in the bigger countries.TailsTube, 2:00
This pushes against previous theories and statements that the anthropomorphic animal characters live on an entirely different world from the human characters that appear from Sonic Adventure through Sonic Unleashed (though it doesn’t give clear guidance on the split between “modern” and “classic” Sonic quite yet).
It should come as no surprise that the show itself was workshopped by Jasmine Hernandez (production manager), Tyson Hesse (animator), Ian Flynn (writer), Mike Cisneros (licensing manager), and Aaron Webber (strategy, studio/community relations), given the amount of direct detail given to a long-standing fan question.
Though the whole unified world thing was the biggest bombshell, the video contained several other questions and references to savor:
- Q&A immediately kicks off with a SATAM reference: Sonic gives his old chestnut, “Let’s do it to it.”
- The checkerboards and loop-de-loops in the landscape are naturally occurring formations, as far as Sonic and Tails know.
- Why does Sonic use a racecar? “Because it’s cool.”
- Neither Sonic nor Tails know the origins of the Chaos Emeralds, nor does Sonic always have a consistent way to find them. It’s also unclear if Tails can become Super Tails outside of the Classic series, given his reaction to Sonic discussing his Super Sonic form. (I’m sure some will argue times when Tails has gone super haven’t been canonical versions of those stories, but trust me when I say I’m not the person to spend that time and energy convincing.)
- What’s Sonic’s relationship to Amy? Well, she “is just a really good friend.” Tails reacts with skepticism.
- One message sent by a “viewer” uses a Tangle the Lemur avatar. So hey, not saying the IDW comics will play a role in the games, but they’re at least fair game to reference beyond the mobile game!
- Among the little details on Tails’ Mac-like desktop, the screen looks like his handheld Miles Electric computer seen from Sonic Unleashed onwards, complete with handle. It runs on chaOS with a little Omochao icon, and Sonic-styled parody icons of major applications in the tray (as well as a Chao transfer terminal).
- Icons on his desktop include his Tails Heal card from Sonic Battle, and folders titled “Extreme Gear Concepts,” “Tornado 3,” and “Chao Dinner Recipes.”
- There’s some unknown person in the lineup of human characters. The rest are directly taken from existing Sonic Unleashed concept art; however, this woman does not appear in that game, and is drawn in a slightly different art style than the Unleashed concept art characters. In a Twitter reply, Flynn alludes to knowing who she is, but doesn’t provide any other context.
If the Sonic marketing staff wanted to ensure people would continue following this YouTube series, they sure did start strong, between confirming vague bits of the Sonic brand bible and seeding small mysteries into it. The video was a brief and cute delight, even to a cold, jaded, fan like myself who long abandoned any interest or concern about the concept of “canon.” And through its run, I think we can all hope for an answer to the biggest Sonic mystery of them all: which characters did they actually see fit to invest Vtuber models and voice acting time for?
Thanks to Josiahblaze for the Ian Flynn tweet, and site writer nuckles87 for additional research.