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Sonic News Network
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This character exists primarily or exclusively within the Sonic X continuity.
Information in this article may not be canonical to the storyline of the games or any other Sonic continuity.
Not to be confused with Li Yuen.

Your friend, Knuckles the Echidna, slipped through the grasp of my gang and took a Chaos Emerald I was looking for. I won’t stand for that kind of embarrassment, and I’ll get back at him through you, if need be.

— Li Yan, Sonic X #23

Li Yan (リャン Ryan?, lit. "Liang") is a minor character in the anime series Sonic X and its comic series published by Archie Comics. He was once a fierce street thug and leader of a gang called the "Bruiser Boys" from Oriental City, who were seeking the red Chaos Emerald to sell in on the market for large sums of money, but he and his gang were thwarted by Knuckles the Echidna and his human ally Hawk. Humiliated, Yan found his chance for revenge once he was called by the S.O.N.I.C.X. organization to defeat Sonic the Hedgehog and his allies, to punish Knuckles for humiliating him.



Chaos Emerald Saga

After Knuckles met the Bruiser Boys in a bar while looking for Hawk, he nearly initiated a fight until Yan entered the place and told Knuckles that he knew where Hawk was. Knuckles followed him, only to be led into a jail cell where Hawk was also trapped. However, they found out that Yan was eavesdropping on their conversation with a hidden microphone inside the cell. The two quickly started up a general conversation which eventually led to Knuckles yelling at the microphone, causing Yan to fall off his chair. Irritated, he went to their cell, only to discover that Knuckles dug a way out for him and Hawk to escape.[1]

Archie Comics

Li Yan, from Sonic X #23.

Yan first appears in the comics as a S.O.N.I.C.X. member. He and the group captured Sonic and took him to their hideout in Prison Island. He revealed to Sonic that he wanted revenge against Knuckles for humiliating him. Since he and Sonic were friends, he joined S.O.N.I.C.X. to get back at Knuckles through the hedgehog. Sonic broke into laughter at the group's name, believing it sounded like the name of a fan club. Sonic then conducted his escape; Yan's gang tried to stop Sonic, but he defeated them easily and left. S.O.N.I.C.X. then told the Organizer of how their first mission was a failure, but he assured them that the next time will go much better for them.[2]

Yan was one of the many members shooting Dr. Kai Narasu's final Sonic clone, mistaking it for the original.[3]


Li Yan's greatest characteristic is his intimidation factor, which relies on his size and strength. He is a greedy, short-tempered thug. He is a serious-minded, fearsome individual, keeping a straight face wherever he goes. Despite his temper, he is clever and cunning. For example, he realized that he and his thugs would lose to Knuckles in a fight, so he instead tricked him into following him to his lair by telling him that was where Hawk was, and then trapped him with a trap door. Yan is also very proud of his status as a crime boss. When Knuckles tricked him and humiliated him, his pride was hurt, causing him to desire revenge against him to "restore his honor". Yan is such a petty scoundrel that he was even willing to get back at Knuckles by trying to hurt his friend Sonic, even though Sonic had never wronged him or even met him.

Powers and abilities


After joining S.O.N.I.C.X., Li Yan was given a laser pistol.


  • Li Yan holds many unique traits among the other members of S.O.N.I.C.X.
    • He is the only member whose revenge is not towards Sonic, but Knuckles. His aggression towards Sonic is a way to indirectly hurt Knuckles, or so he claims.
    • He is the only member without any relations with the government, police, or G.U.N.
    • He is the only group member who can truly be considered a criminal even before he lost his credibility.
    • He is the only group member from another part of the world. In the anime, Yan comes from a small Chinese suburb, and he speaks with a Chinese accent.


  1. Shiraishi, Masahiko (24 January 2004). "The Adventures of Knuckles and Hawk". Sonic X. Season 1. Episode 17.
  2. Sonic X #23, "Hedgehogging Their Bets"
  3. Sonic X #25, "The Color Sonic"