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- 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 Japanese magazines published by Shogakukan between 1992 and 1994. Based on the series with the same name, Kenji Terada developed the original concept for the manga, and the first comic strip was published in the April 1992 issue of Shogaku Ninensei.
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. During the 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 recurrent in every strip: 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 will be spoiled by one of Dr. Eggman's plans or by the troublemaker Anton Veruca. In any case Eimi will encourage him to oppose himself at the bad guy, but Nikki, shy and a bit coward, will fail and most of the times Eimi will become captive. But Nikki's desire to save Eimi and be able to win will eventually transform him into the supersonic hero that in no time will save the day.
Few misunderstandings will be made by the figure of the heroic Sonic that succeeds there were Nikki fails, this will bring more than once Eimi to sigh for Sonic than for Nikki, making him jealous of himself; eventually Dr. Eggman and Anton Beruka will start suspecting that Nikki has something to do with Sonic, but Nikki will simply reply that he doesn't 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 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: Anton Veruca's brother, who is seen hanging around with Anton and his gang.
- Eggman's subordinate robots: Different types of robot henchmen, created and programmed by Eggman.
There are multiple Sonic-related manga releases on the Shogakukan magazines between 1992 and 1994. Kenji Terada has been credited for creating the concept of the manga series. The first serial story strip titled simply Sonic the Hedgehog has been 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: Shogaku Ichinensei (1st Grade), Shogaku Sannensei (3rd Grade), Shogaku Gonensei (5th Grade) and Shogaku Rokunensei (6st 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, the 4th grade Shogaku Yonensei features different, illustrated text stories titled as 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, while Sango Morimoto has also been involved illustrated text stories as well.
More manga strips has also been made for Corocoro Comics 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 later Dash & Spin; Super Fast Sonic!!, none of serialized stories hasn't been released as separated tankōbon (volumes). The following list contains incomplete set of translated, documented or discovered serial stories.
- #1 Sonic the Hedgehog (April, 1992)
- #2 At Last, We Learn the Truth About Sonic!! (May 3, 1992)
- #3 Pops Out of the Time Box Whenever There's a Crisis! (September, 1992)
- #6 Save Little John (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?)
- Eggman Uses Sport's Day to Set Up a Trap...Don't Lose, Sonic!! (1992?)
Corocoro Special & extra issues
- Big Dreams Make Sonic Propel Forward!! (1992?)
- Big Dreams Are My Energy! (1992?)
- Come On, Guys! Let's Daaance!! (1992?)
- A New Buddy, Tails, Enters the Stage!! (1992?)
- Sonic the Hedgehog Book (1992) - Features characters from the manga series.
- Sonic the Hedgehog 2: Mega Drive Official Guide Book (1992) - Contains comic adaptation of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Japanese storyline from creators of the manga.
References to games
Despite the universe of the serialized manga series being heavily separated from games, it has connections and references to games. Manga series has also being influence to the games during its time.
- The manga series is notable to introduce early incarnations of characters (Eimi and Charmy Bee) who will later appear in games and become recurring characters in the series, such as Amy Rose (first appearance in Sonic the Hedgehog CD in 1993) and Charmy Bee (first appears in Knuckles' Chaotix in 1995). The manga is also the first media to feature Tails outside the games.
- Nikki's father Paulie works for the airmail and has red biplane. This plane could been influence for the appearance of Tornado that is 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. Surprisingly, his car from the manga is featured in one of the secret easter egg pictures in Sonic the Hedgehog CD.
- Illustrated text story featured in Sonic the Hedgehog Book, has Sonic wearing a leopard costume, as the first is the unused Sonic Alphabet with "A" marked Sonic as a "ape-hedgehog". It is similar to unlockable outfit, that the player can choose to Sonic in Sonic Rivals 2.