Welcome back to the Sonic-verse, today, we're traveling back to the 1990s to look at another Sonic animation. We've covered the first two Sonic cartoons and Underground, but we've not yet covered another obscure part of Sonic's past, we're looking at the Sonic OVA aka Sonic The Hedgehog: The Movie (which is not to be confused with the Sonic movie that came out nearly 25 years later.
So, what's the story behind this anime?
Well, back in 1996, Sonic was very popular in America with several games, an ongoing comic book and two shows under his belt. But meanwhile in Japan, SEGA Enterprises wanted to do a Sonic show themselves, especially as Sonic had never done an anime at this point.
So, they partnered with Studio Pierrot to work on the project with Sonic Team's Yuji Naka and Naoto Oshima supervising the project. However, since Sonic wasn't super popular in Japan, the OVA flopped and only two episodes were done. After that, it wouldn't come out in America until 1999 when the first Sonic Adventure was releasing alongside the Dreamcast.
In the years after this piece of Sonic media released, I saw it myself with my father on YouTube in 2015 and then saw it again with my mother a few years later. The OVA is quite good, too bad SEGA refuses to touch anything from it or even allow any material from the OVA to pop up in other Sonic media, especially since (unlike the DiC shows) it is almost faithful to the source material.
Now, what is the story and world of the OVA like?
Well, Sonic and Tails live on Planet Freedom, which is implied to be a post-apocalyptic Earth, and their enemy Doctor Robotnik kidnaps the president's daughter Sara while tricking Sonic to go down to Robotnikland so the villainous doctor can create Metal Sonic with the hedgehog's DNA. Robotnik intends to devastate Planet Freedom and marry Sara, which is near creepy too. The show features the likes of Knuckles the Echidna (who made his animation debut before appearing in Sonic Underground) and other colorful characters such as Old Man Owl, the President and, of course, Sara.
Its also a no brainer that Metal Sonic shows up and is Sonic's adversary in this two part movie, he and Sonic fight near the end, which leads to the now well-known meme-worthy line of "strange isn't it". Thanks to the likes of Tyson Hesse and the resurgence of Classic Sonic in the 2010s, the OVA became somewhat relevant again and is often referenced in many ways without causing much of an issue.
Until Sonic X came along seven years later, the OVA was the only instance of a Sonic anime that ever came out and X was more successful than the 1996 movie ever was. Regardless, the Sonic OVA is a product of its time and deserves to be watched, this anime is nothing short of fun and has so many good moments sprinkled throughout. If you're a fan of Sonic, this is a must see.
My score for the Sonic OVA gets a 9.5/10, its likable and unforgettable. In regards to the possibility of any material from this piece of Sonic history seeing the light of day again, we may never know, but anything and everything is possible in the multiverse. Thank you and good day...