- This article is about the 1992 manga series. For other Sonic manga, see manga.
Sonic the Hedgehog (ソニック·ザ·ヘッジホッグ Sonikku za Hejjihoggu?) is a manga series that was serialized in Shogakukan's Study Magazines (小学館の学習雑誌) for primary school children and Bessatsu CoroCoro Comic Special (別冊コロコロコミックSpecial). It was published in Japan between 1992 and 1994. It is loosely based upon the video game series, with an original story concept developed by Kenji Terada.
Sega of Japan's marketing department devised the strategy get Sonic manga published by Shogakukan, in order to appeal to primary school children. The Sega of Japan design team was involved in the creation of the characters.
The serialized manga takes place in Hedgehog Town, where a hedgehog boy named Nikki Parlouzer lives. Nikki has the ability to turn into Sonic the Hedgehog, as this incarnation of the main character is Nikki's alternate persona.in this town, Sonic, along with Miles "Tails" Prower and Charmy Bee, arises to challenge Dr. Eggman. The serialized manga features Nikki with several friends in the Hedgehog Town, including his girlfriend Eimi and his best friend Little John. Nikki also encounters a lizard bully named Anton Veruca and his brother Mad. Nikki's family at home includes his mother, Brenda, his father, Paulie, and his little sister, Anita. Except for Tails, nobody knows that Nikki is actually Sonic the Hedgehog, not even Nikki himself.
Each manga strip is quite simple and with a recurrent plot: Nikki is a peaceful boy that likes to spend time with his beloved girlfriend Eimi, his sister Anita and his friend Little Jon; but his peace is usually spoiled by one of Dr. Eggman's plans or by the troublemaker Anton Veruca. In any case, Eimi will encourage Nikki to stand up to the bad guy, but Nikki, being shy and a bit of a coward, will always fail, and most of the times Eimi will end up as a captive. However, Nikki's desire to save Eimi and be able to win will eventually transform him into the supersonic hero Sonic who will save the day in no time.
Few misunderstandings are made regarding the figure of the heroic Sonic who succeeds where Nikki fails. This has make Eimi long for Sonic more than for Nikki on more than one occasion, making Nikki jealous of himself; eventually, Dr. Eggman and Anton Beruka start suspecting that Nikki has something to do with Sonic, but Nikki will simply reply that he does not even know this blue hedgehog everybody's been talking about.
- Nikki: A sweet and even-tempered hedgehog. His biggest dream is to defeat the forces of evil and be considered a hero; unfortunately he is weak and a bit of a coward. Even if the people near him believe in him, he doesn't have the nerve to take action, which is why he is often bullied by Anton or Eggman. Romantic and reflexive, Nikki loves to spend time with his girlfriend and his friends. Even though Nikki doesn't have the strength to save the day, when his help is really required, he will eventually transform into his alter-ego Sonic.
- Sonic the Hedgehog: Cocky and overconfident, Sonic seems to be the exact opposite of Nikki. Sonic arrives always just in the nick of time to save the day and he always knows what must be done. Sarcastic and heroic he appears to be perfect. The peculiar thing is he has a conscience and a memory of his own that seems to have nothing to do with Nikki's (explaining Nikki's obliviousness to Sonic's existence).
- Doctor Eggman: Sonic's long time egg-shaped archnemesis, who creates for time after time many zany schemes to capture Sonic and make his lackey as part of taking over the world. Eggman is also known to be master of disguises and has alternate persona called Dogman, policeman of the Hedgehog Town. He uses his alternate persona as part of his plans to capture or defeat Sonic. One of the running gags of the CoroCoro Special comic strips is to make Sonic part of the spice to Eggman's newest cooking recipe featured in his "Cooking Hell".
- Miles "Tails" Prower: Two-tailed fox, who knows Sonic and tries to pursue him everywhere as possible, even calling him his big brother. In his introduction of the CoroCoro comics, he is shown to have bit of attitude as wearing sunglasses and owning a sports car. Since then he becomes either good partner for Nikki or sidekick for Sonic, helping him from many situations. Often he also gets captured or getting into trouble along with the rest of the group.
- Eimi: She is known to be the girlfriend of Nikki and is one of the most recurrent characters to be seen in the stories. Sweet and innocent, Eimi often seems to be the "damsel in distress" and the "femme fatale" that makes not only Nikki but also Sonic and Anton Veruca (who is always trying to force himself on her at times even making her his captive) fall in love with her. She is shown to be very much in love with her boyfriend and is the one who believes most in him, anyhow it's not rare to see her falling for the brave Sonic, the one that actually saves her every now and then she is in danger. Nikki, on his side, would do everything to make Eimi happy and proud of him; most of the times the transformation into Sonic is forced by the will of saving her.
- Anton Veruca: He claims himself to be the number one hooligan of the city. Spiteful and arrogant, he enjoys most of all to create trouble. His favorite target is poor little Nikki who is unable to protect himself and his friends from him. Without a doubt he is Nikki's first opponent: fiercely teases and embarrass the hedgehog whenever he tries to react. However he does seem to enjoy creating trouble to all the people dear to Nikki such as Little Jon and, most of all, Eimi for which he shows to be attracted. His worst enemy is Sonic that is the only one that can defeat him without breaking a sweat. Often he swears revenge at the end of the story without being able to do anything against the supersonic hero. Nikki fears him and wishes often to be strong and old enough to beat him, he doesn't even dare to defy him, because he's too afraid, and when he tries to, he gets quickly knocked unconscious.
- Charmy Bee: Small honey bee, who is shown to be one of prominent characters. He is first found out sleeping inside the Time Box, that Nikki and his father Paulie have during their airmail flight. After getting caught by Eggman, Charmy wakes up and gets out of Time Box and frees him from the water prison by rewinding time to the moment before Sonic gets captured.
- Anita: A young little hedgehog with a tomboy attitude. She is usually seen along her brother, Nikki, and his friends. She is a good friend of Eimi and at times acts like she's a little sister for her. Likes to make fun of people in an innocent way. Contrary of her brother, she seems to have more nerve. When in an episode she was captured by Eggman, not only she was not afraid but actually amused on how she could push around the villain's robots to do whatever she wanted. Anita is featured more in Bessatsu CoroCoro Special comic strips.
- Little John: Nikki's best friend and is a fat and gluttonous hedgehog, he spends most of his time eating.
- Brenda: Nikki's mother, who is rarely shown during the comic's run.
- Paulie: Nikki's father. Nikki has a great consideration for him and wishes to grow up strong and courageous just as him. Plus, in one story, Poly tells his son about an event that happened 20 years before: he had lost control of his plane, and when he lost all hope, Sonic came to the rescue, not only saving his life, but also making it so that Poly would meet his future wife, Brenda. For him, Sonic is a divine protector, the greatest hero that ever lived and, also, his cupid. This implies that Sonic the Hedgehog had something to do with Nikki's family even before he became Nikki's alter ego.
- Mad: One of Anton Veruca's younger brothers, who is seen hanging around with Anton and his gang.
- Migu: Anton Veruca's younger sister.
- Hogi: Anton Veruca's father.
- Vera: Anton Veruca's mother, the scariest of the Veruca family.
- Eggman's subordinate robots: Different types of robot henchmen, created and programmed by Eggman.
There are multiple Sonic-related manga releases in the Shogakukan magazines between 1992 and 1994. Kenji Terada is credited for creating the concept of the manga series. The first serial story strip titled simply Sonic the Hedgehog was written and illustrated by Sango Morimoto. It was first released on April issue of Shogaku Ninensei in 1992. In Shogakukan's Shogakukan no Gakushuuzasshi (a series of study books aimed at children of several school grades), there are six editions aimed at primary school children: Shogaku Ichinensei (1st Grade), Shogaku Ninensei (2nd Grade), Shogaku Sannensei (3rd Grade), Shogaku Yonensei (4th grade), Shogaku Gonensei (5th Grade) and Shogaku Rokunensei (6th Grade). Each edition is targeting its specific elementary school grade, from grade 1 to 6. Sonic has made an appearance in all of these at some point between 1992 and 1993. The styles are of all kinds: some drawings are in black and white, some other are colored by computer and some present a water-color style.
However, rather than comics, the 4th grade Shogaku Yonensei features illustrated prose stories titled Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog (ソニックの冒険ヘッジホッグ Sonic no Daibouken?). While they share the same story concept that Kenji Terada created, they are written by Hirokazu Hikawa, Yoshihiko Ochi or Mitsuo Kimura. Sango Morimoto was also involved.
The Sonic manga series also ran in Bessatsu CoroCoro Comic Special and its holiday extra issues, which are also published by Shogakukan. Like Shogakukan's previous Sonic-related stories, CoroCoro manga strips are based on the story concept of Kenji Terada. These stories are written and illustrated by Kōichi Tanaka and from 1992, the manga series concluded in 1994.
List of serial stories
To this day, the serialized manga remains obscure to many people outside the Japan and original copies of comic strips are extremely rare. Unlike the later Dash & Spin Super Fast Sonic, none of serialized stories have been released as tankōbon (volumes). The following list is an incomplete set of translated, documented or discovered stories.
|Chapter||Writer / Artist||Cover Date||Release Date||Page Nos.|
|Chapter 1||Sango Morimoto||April 1992||93-97|
|Chapter 2||Sango Morimoto||May 1992||April 03, 1992||15-?|
|Chapter 3||Sango Morimoto||June 1992||147-?|
|Chapter 4||Sango Morimoto||July 1992||24-30|
|Chapter 5||Sango Morimoto||August 1992||July 03, 1992||14-20|
|Chapter 6||Sango Morimoto||September 1992||August 03, 1992||145-149|
|Chapter 7||Sango Morimoto||October 1992||September 03, 1992||30-?|
|Chapter 8||Sango Morimoto||November 1992||40-?|
|Chapter 9||Sango Morimoto||December 1992||34-?|
|Chapter 10||Sango Morimoto||January 1993||72-?|
|Chapter 11||Sango Morimoto||February 1993||86-?|
|Chapter 12||Sango Morimoto||March 1993||68-?|
|Chapter 13||Sango Morimoto||April 1993||93-?|
|Chapter 14||Sango Morimoto||May 1993||84-?|
|Chapter 15||Sango Morimoto||June 1993||107-?|
|Chapter 16||Sango Morimoto||July 1993||98-?|
|Chapter 17||Sango Morimoto||August 1993||205-?|
- Eggman Uses Sports Day to Set Up a Trap...Don't Lose, Sonic!! (November 1992)
- Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog (ソニックの冒険ヘッジホッグ Sonic no Daibouken?) - Illustrated text stories featuring Sonic with different plotlines, setting it apart from the manga (not to be confused with cartoon of the same name).
- Sonic Hurry to the Rescue??? (1992?)
Bessatsu CoroCoro Special & extra issues
- 1. Big Dreams Make Sonic Propel Forward!! (August 1992 - Published 30 June, 1992)
- 2. Come On, Guys! Let's Daaance!! (1992?)
- 3. A New Buddy, Tails, Enters the Stage!! (December 1992)
- Big Dreams Are My Energy! (Summer Vacation 1992)
- Sonic the Hedgehog Book (1992) - Features characters from the manga series. Written and drawn by Sango Morimoto.
- Sonic the Hedgehog 2: Mega Drive Official Guide Book (1992) - Contains a comic a prologue to Sonic the Hedgehog 2, as well as two single page gag comics. Written and drawn by Sango Morimoto.
References to games
Despite the universe of the serialized manga series being heavily separated from games, it has connections and references to games.
- The manga series is notable for introducing early incarnations of Eimi and Charmy Bee, who later became recurring characters in the video games. Amy Rose made her video game debut in Sonic the Hedgehog CD in 1993, whilst Charmy Bee debuted in Knuckles' Chaotix in 1995.
- Nikki's father Paulie works for the airmail and has red biplane. It resembles Sonic's plane, the Tornado, first introduced in Sonic the Hedgehog 2.
- In the title card of Come On, Guys! Let's Daaance!!, Eimi is seen having maracas. Similarly, Amy is seen waving maracas to the music in the Sound Test of Sonic Advance.
- Tails' car is noticeably similar to his race car Whirlwind S7 from Sonic Drift games. His car is also featured in one of the secret easter egg pictures in Sonic the Hedgehog CD.
- An illustrated text story featured in Sonic the Hedgehog Book features Sonic wearing a leopard skin costume. Sonic has a similar unlockable Cheetah costume in Sonic Rivals 2.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Manga.Portalsonic.com - Overview of manga's publication. Retrieved on April 1, 2015.
- ↑ Summer of Sonic 2013 - Kazuyuki Hoshino Q&A (42m 22s).
- ↑ Sonic Scene - Japanese Manga. Retrieved on April 1, 2015.
- ↑ The Green Hill Zone - Sonic the Hedgehog Museum 1992. Retrieved on April 1, 2015.