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Sonic Wiki Zone
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Sonic Channel logo

The logo of Sonic Channel.

Screenshot 30

The Sonic Channel website after the announcement of Sonic Mania and Sonic Forces.

Sonic Channel (ソニックチャンネル Sonikku Chan'neru?) is an official Japanese website published and maintained by Sega. It contains information about the Sonic the Hedgehog series and was launched during E3 2005.[1] An updated version of the website was launched in late 2015.

Overview[]

The website contains updates on different Sonic-related media (such as games, events and television shows), Sonic-themed merchandise (such as clothing and accessories), exclusive downloads (such as calendars and wallpapers), participation events and user-submitted fanart corresponding with a month's theme. It also contains a list of most of the games in the Sonic series, and profiles for most of the recurring characters in the franchise.

Sonic Channel is mostly known for its monthly artwork, which contains new artwork of a recurring character, usually in a different art style each year. There are three kinds of artwork; Calendar, Wallpaper and Sonic PICT.

Of the three artworks, calendar artwork in recent years has recieved popularity and praise due to the stories created and its community involvement.

In 2021, calendar artwork, created by Yuji Uekawa, featured Sonic with a different character and were accompanied by a written story in Japanese by Eitaro Toyoda. In 2023, Toyoda returned as the author of the Otherworld Comedy series, where characters, some of which were decided by the public in polls, found themselves in strange and unusual situations and places. In 2023 the calendar artwork was created by Tomoko Hayane. In 2024, the monthly calendar, this time named Calendar Comedy or Tell me, creators!, featured a story once more and returned with Hayane's artwork. Alike to its 2023 counterpart, secondary characters were decided in public polls. Instead of being written by Toyoda, the story was left to contributors to return with their own mini-stories of what they thought had occurred within the monthly artwork provided. The five winners receive badges and they, alongside honourable mentions, are discussed and expanded upon by Toyoda and KIKUZO; Sonic Channel's Webmaster.

The website used to feature a collection of browser-based games, some of which include pre-existing games, such as Shadow the Hedgehog Flash, while others original, such as Sonic the Broad Jump. The website currently has twenty-five jigsaw puzzles based on the site's artwork of characters from the Sonic series.

Despite the website and its stories' vast popularity outside its native Japan, Sonic Channel has never received any "official" language translations, with only a machine translation option being offered, which is frequently criticized due to its dubious translations.[2][3]

Ian Flynn confirmed in his BumbleKast podcast that the Sonic Channel Cover Stories, Otherworld Comedy along with the monthly photos etc. are canon.[4]

Current website contents[]

Main page[]

The main page of the Sonic Channel website serves as a hub to the rest of the pages on the website. it features the latest and upcoming game releases, the latest news, special pages, merchandise and wallpapers. Additionally there are links to the latest video posted on the Sonic of Japan youtube channel. The last two months worth of fan art and screenshot submissions focusing around a specific topic are also accessible. The bottom of the page contains social media links to the SonicStyles instagram, the SONICMOVIECHANNEL youtube and a link to the Sonic Channel twitter where most the content is posted - @SonicOfficialJP.

In the top left there is a quick link to Sega's japanese website and on the top right is the option given to machine translate the page into the language of the user's choosing. Next to this is a question mark that links to general information about the website, the availability of machine translation and a cautious warning of the fair usage of Sonic Channel content.

Topic[]

Within the Topic header, a range of assorted news can be found. usually around the Sonic Series as a whole rather than any one specific topic such as artwork or gameplay videos. This news can be filtered into one of five topics - all, information, events, goods, sound and collaboration. All usually displays about some of the bigger news such as the Knuckles announcement. Information is the most broad, including information that can be found across the whole website such as story entires for that months Calendar Comedy or gameplay releases. Event is usually news accociated with events such as the Tokyo Games Show or dates for the Asia meetups held. Goods, as the name implies, is news about the latest releases in Japan of merchandise and goods. Sound relates to information regarding the releases of game soundtracks. Finally, crossover denotes any crossover events occuring between Sonic and other companies.

Game titles[]

Here, the release of mostly every game released in the Sonic the Hedgehog series can be found. They are organised under tabs of different games consoles sortest from oldest - Sega Mega Drive - to the newer geneneration consoles such as the Xbox Series X and Series S. Each game has its title listed, its Japanese release date, its genre, the reccomnded number of players and a link to that specific game's website. In the case of older games who do not have a website, if it has a compatiable device it can be played on, such as Sonic CD being playable on the Sega CD or Knuckles' Chaotix on the Super 32x, this is listed instead. Uniquely, games on the Xbox 360 also have their price in Yen listed. Finally, the Mario & Sonic series games are noted to have Nintendo as their publisher.

Characters[]

SChannelSonicUpdatedBio

Sonic's Bio banner

A total of thirty-three sub pages are found under this category. The first page is listed as "What is Sonic?" and gives a brief overview of the series to explain to newcomers what the series origins are and the desire for Sonic to come across as "Cool" to a younger audiance. A short description of Sonic is also given including his appeal.

Thirty-two character bio pages are listed. Each character features a banner with artwork created by Yuji Uekawa, with the core cast having had theirs redesigned in 2020. A short bio of the character is given, listing their Japanese and English names, species, gender, height, weight, likes, dislikes and special abilities. Some characters, such as Sonic, Tails or Blaze, are missing sections or have sections changed that are not on this list. Each character is given a short description including their personality and goals. Recently, sections were added to all the characters to display Media, such as Sonic Comic or the Cover stories from 2021 where the characters can be found. A list of multiple games the characters appear in can also be found including a short description about their involvement within the game listed.

The following characters have Sonic Channel biographies:

Special[]

The special section, for the majority, is the place where the descriptions and introductions for the monthly wallpaper, calendar artwork, and recently added to the section, Sonic PICT artwork are held. Typically, the following eight characters recieve artwork of each every year: Sonic the Hedgehog, Miles "Tails" Prower, Knuckles the Echidna, Amy Rose, Shadow the Hedgehog, Rouge the Bat, Blaze the Cat, and Silver the Hedgehog. The other twelve monthly spots are usually filled in by other recurring cast members including, commonly, Cream the Rabbit, Doctor Eggman or Metal Sonic, recently, with the addition of Tomoko Hayane on calendar artwork there has also been an increase in Classic-themed artwork due to the extra slots created from three monthly artworks compared to the previous two. Since 2023 Tomoko Hayane has produced the calendar artwork, Yuji Uekawa has produced the wallpaper artwork and Yui Karasuno has produced the Sonic PICT/life in Sonic's world artwork.

This section is broken up into five sections. All, which includes the artwork for every style, as well as other creative focused news such as soundtracks or silly announcements such as the Sonic Man April Fools column. Staff Column usually filters the results down to the calendar artwork and the wallpaper artwork which are commented on members of staff such as Eitaro Toyoda or Tomoko Hayane. Rarely, there are other staff columns such as the collaboration with Fuji-Q Highland.

Side story is where Sonic PICT descriptions are currently placed alongside the stories of Calendar Comedy and the 2021 Cover stories. This section is for the artwork with some kind of narrative associated with it.

SNS video distribution is where social networks videos are posted, such as the recent "How to Draw" series hosted by Hayane and Karasuno, giving the viewer a step by step guide on how to draw some of their favourite Sonic characters. Other videos such as videos of the adventures of a plush Sonic can also be found here.

Game content focuses on artistic and special media created for Sonic games such as Comics created for Sonic Colors: Ultimate or those for Sonic Forces, such as Sonic Forces: Stress Test.

Sound Column, similar to the Game content sub-page, focuses on music releases from the Sonic series and their related articles including discussion from the sound directors behind them such as Tomoya Ohtani.

Fan gallery[]

SCCommemorativeBadges

Examples of the badges that can be won via submissions of fanart, screenshots or Calendar Comedy.

The fan gallery contains a collection of fan divided up into monthly themes. The Official Twitter will post these themes a month in advance to allow time for creators to add their submissions. Usually the monthly theme fits with something that occurs within that month such as October usually being dedicated to Halloween or November; Autumn. There is also a screenshot version where monthly themes are also given and users submit their best screenshots from Sonic franchise games they feel fit the brief. The best entries are then shown on the 1st of every month alongside comments from the design team. The winners also receive collectible badges from Sonic channel designed after multiple characters within the franchise.

The fan gallery page also includes the monthly prompts, and, recently the submission calls for Calendar Comedy. Like with other categories on here the page is broken into five sections to allow the user to easily switch to the fan art, screenshots, and tell me, creators! submissions or sort them by just the prompts.

Current prompts[]

August 2024[]
Fan art - Summer Vacation (20 June 2024 - 20 July 2024)
Screenshots - "Take a break" (20 June 2024 - 20 July 2024)

Enjoy![]

Once more this section is broken down into five sections, with all containing everything in the section.

The wall section hosts all the Sonic Channel wallpapers that have been created over the years and are made ready and available to download in an easier way than that seen on the special page. They are available in two sizes each; one for mobile desktop and one for mobile.

Icon contains the icons created for Sonic 2020 ready for download and use.

Calendar functions identically to wall, but instead it hosts all the calendar artwork created, as well as the calendar version of some of the wallpaper artwork.

Coloring book is a section that contains a large array of coloring pages that can be printed off and colored by the viewer. The section contains coloring pages for a large range of the Sonic cast.

Paper craft contains three paper crafts that can be printed out and made including the Tornado.

Finally, there is a section dedicated to stationary such as writing paper themed after Sonic characters such as Knuckles the Echidna or Amy Rose. These can be printed out and used or created, in the case of the bookmarks.

Trivia[]

  • While it is usually random what month characters appear in in Sonic Channel artwork, some characters feature within certain months more often than others.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog usually receives artwork in June, due to it being Sonic's birthday month.
    • Miles "Tails" Prower tends to feature on January (or within the first three months of the year), a possible allusion to him being Sonic's first companion in the series.
    • Amy Rose commonly features in February; likely due to the fact Valentine's Day falls on this month and Amy's general theme of "Love".
    • Blaze the Cat tends to feature in November, possibly due to the fact it is the same month Sonic Rush released.
    • Silver the Hedgehog recently has frequently appeared in April. This could be related to his love of nature as April is frequently considered the start of Spring in the Northen Hemisphere - where nature is often considered at its brightest. He also features frequently in Holiday months such as October or December.
    • Shadow the Hedgehog (and sometimes his fellow Team Dark member Rouge the Bat) appear fairly often in October (or the Fall months in general), likely due to fact Halloween falls around the same time which alludes to the darker stories Shadow (and Team Dark) tend to find themselves within.
    • Doctor Eggman and his creations such as Metal Sonic, Orbot and Cubot tend to fall on October, for similar reasons to Shadow and their sinister intentions, or, interestingly, December. It could possibly allude to the idea of them being the "Final Boss" of the year.
  • Despite releasing SONIC THE HEDGEHOG - Life in Sonic's World, where some Sonic PICT artwork were given titles, when Sonic Channel uploaded Sonic PICT artwork to their website in 2024, some of the artworks recieved different titles than that found on the CD.

References[]

  1. 滝沢修 (19 May 2005). セガ、「ソニック・ザ・ヘッジホッグ」が携帯電話で復活「ソニック」のポータルサイトも開設 (Japanese). GAME Watch. Archived from the original on 12 June 2013.
  2. @E_Toyoda39 on Twitter (20 March 2023). Retrieved on 6 June 2024. "Hello!
    The translation tool you used translates "次元" into English as "dimention," which is unfortunately incorrect. The word "次元" here means Level, Tier, or Class. It describes the fact that Metal Sonic can continue to grow as long as it competes with Sonic.
    Thanks! :D"
  3. @E_Toyoda39 on Twitter (21 December 2023). Retrieved on 6 June 2024. "Recently, I have been using machine translation services more and more. But my impression is that the translation accuracy on topics such as games and manga is less than 70%, even including AI translation.
    I was surprised to see this Google translation. :D"
  4. Live Q&A + Disastrous Puns! | BumbleKast LIVE! for March 27th, 2023 - Ian Flynn Q&A Monthly Stream (29:14). YouTube. BumbleKing Videos (25 March 2023). Retrieved on 6 November 2023. "Ian Flynn: To the best of my knowledge, the Sonic Channel material is canon."

External links[]

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