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Why Sonic X needs an uncut dub (and how it could work)

The Great Egg Emperor

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Followed this thread for a bit, so thought I'd give my own two cents. While I personally would really like to see an "uncut" redub of Sonic X, which uses the current cast for the games, realistically this is most likely never going to happen. I'm more or less going to be repeating what others have already said for why this is the case, so here goes;

  1. Sonic X isn't exactly what you'd call a "game-changing" or "important" anime series, compared to other shows that have had redubs, like One Piece, Sailor Moon and Escaflowne. Sure it was a big hit in the West when 4Kids brought it over, but not to the same levels as the three aforementioned series, which are considered some of the most influential and important anime of all time and still have legions of fans across the globe, despite them being over 20, or nearly 30 years old. Sonic X's only real "milestone" it achieved, if you can call it that, is introducing a new generation of kids to the Sonic IP, myself being one of them. Most recently, when the Digimon movies got redubbed by Discotek Media (who also own Sonic X), there was such a big outpour of support and enthusiasm from fans of the franchise who grew up with it and is still beloved to this day. Sure, 4kids didn't exactly do justice for Digimon, but it's impact is still felt. In other words, Sonic X just doesn't have have the same long-term impact as other anime, or even other Sonic cartoons and properties outside of the games. (SatAM, Archie, etc) It may had been a big deal at the time, but time hasn't done favours for it. The only fans a redub would appeal to are a small subsection of the fanbase, which wouldn't be enough to support a release like this. This leads on the the next point, being...
  2. It would be too financially risky to redub. Discotek Media is a very small company that mainly licenses anime that have since gone out of print (i.e. license rescuing), or more niche titles. They've only had a hand in the dubbing of a handful of series, mostly consisting of anime with smaller episode counts, OVAs and films. The only "major" dubs they've produced were for Lupin the Third and even then, if I've heard correctly, they had the involvement of TMS. Sonic X is 78 episodes long! Dubbing an anime costs a lot of money (paying voice actors, recording sessions, licencing out, etc), especially considering the episode count, which Discotek simply doesn't have. Hell, when they got the licence for the Japanese and 4Kids dubs for both Digimon and Shaman King, they didn't even attempt this and Digimon is, as stated before, still popular. If Discotek were to redub and all of Sonic X, the aforementioned small subsection of fans will be the only ones buying copies, which won't make up for the costs of producing it and could result in Discotek going bankrupt. I think we can all agree that no one wants to see this happen, especially Discotek themselves. Some people who are employed there have already made it clear that redubbing a 78 episode anime, which doesn't have a big following by the way, isn't happening. It's just too risky. I have seen the argument of "Why not just start a kickstarter?" Well that's not going to really do much in the grand scheme of things. The only successful kickstarter campaign to redub an anime I can think of off the top of my head was Escaflowne and this was only because when Funimation (now Crunchyroll) got the licence, they got not only the original series (along with the original dub produced by Bandai), but also the director's cut as well. But seeing as Bandai never dubbed the director's cut, it was up to Funimation to do it instead, using their own voice talent and licencing the series would have already cost them money, hence why they started a kickstarter. You can make the argument whether or not they needed to do this, but it proved successful in the end and Funimation went ahead and redubbed the series, along with the film. Well if Discotek can't do it, why not Crunchyroll or Viz Media? Hate to say it, but they're most likely never going to even touch this series if it's not going to make them a lot of cash. And this also leads on the my last point;
  3. SEGA/TMS don't seem interested in a redub anyway. The fact that the 4Kids dub can still be watched on streaming platforms means that it's still at least being watched by either fans who have nostalgia for it, or kids who may be watching it for the first time. If that's the case, then dub has done it's job and SEGA/TMS seem happy enough to just leave it be. This sort of relates to my first point, but I can't imagine redubbing/re-releasing Sonic X is on the minds of those at SEGA, Sonic Team, or TMS, seeing as it is about 20 years old at this point and both SEGA and Sonic Team seem more interested in what's next in store for the franchise. Even if there's one person in either of these entities who pushes for a redub, they'd most likely get shut down by the higher ups. Even though 4Kids did butcher quite a bit, it wasn't as major as what they did to One Piece, which resulted in episodes/entire arcs being cut! This never happened to Sonic X and even without all the edits/cuts, the series itself wouldn't change much. The only difference would be that it uses the original soundtrack, some minor blood shown and maybe a couple of swears. The overall tone wouldn't change. 

I know it's a hard pill to swallow for some and even I'm disheartened by the fact that an uncut dub will most likely never happen (you probably wouldn't believe it from reading the above!), but that's just the harsh reality of it. But then again, stranger things have happened.

Instead of redubbing Sonic X however, I've got some alternative solutions to what SEGA/Sonic Team/TMS/Discotek could do instead.

  1. Licence and redub the OVA from the 90s. This has already been suggested by some others, but this would be a much safer decision for Discotek to make. The OVA is only two episodes long, which means that it would be less financially risky to redub and upscale the picture quality. I don't know how possible this is, but if they can, it would be better than nothing.
  2. Allow Sonic X to stream on other platforms, like Crunchyroll. I don't know how likely or possible it would be for this to ever would happen, but perhaps Discotek/TMS can make deals with more streaming platforms to stream the series? It's already streaming in both sub and dub on Hulu, so why not other platforms? Perhaps Discotek/TMS can make a deal with Crunchyroll to stream all of Sonic X in Japanese, which could help the uncut version reach more people. It would certainly be beneficial for us fans in the UK, as the only legal way to stream the series in on Netflix, which doesn't include the Japanese version and is missing the third season. It also wouldn't be the first time anime licensed by Discotek would be streamed on Crunchyroll, with series such as s-CRY-ed, Ghost Stories and Flame of Recca all being available to watch there. Crunchyroll also has Yu-Gi-Oh! in both dub and sub, along with GX and 5D's. Not saying Crunchyroll would let Sonic X stream on their platform, but you never know. 
  3. Produce a new Sonic anime. The likelihood of this happening may not be possible right now, but maybe SEGA/Sonic Team could produce a new anime in the future, but closer in tone and setting to the games? They don't even need to make it 50+ episodes long, it could just be 13 or 26 episodes instead. They can get TMS back to animate it, or hire another studio if they want. If a new anime were to come out and if it's successful enough, or there's a demand for it, it could get a dub with the current games' cast, which could appease everyone who wants a Sonic X redub. 

But hey, these are just my thoughts and suggestions. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm sorry for bringing this topic back, but it's honestly kind of inexcusable how many good English dubs came out in the early 2000's, and then Sonic X came out and just fumbled the bag.

I get that anime such as Sonic X are aimed at different demographics than Cowboy Bebop and FMA 2003, but 4Kids clearly had talent.

It's just Fox's stupid censorship laws that ruined that talent.


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Let it go. My God.

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  • The topic was locked
17 hours ago, The Great Egg Emperor said:


lol "Fox's stupid censorship laws." Those edits were done to the show before it even left Japan

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