Sonic Underground Volume 2 Review
It’s time to continue the adventures of Sonic The Hedgehog in Sonic Underground Volume 2 released by Anchor Bay. The story of Sonic, the fastest blue hedgehog around, Sonia, his fashion crazy sister and Manic, his pick-pocketing brother, continue on as the Sonic Underground band fight against Doctor Robotnik’s tyranny around Mobius.
I delved into the story behind Sonic Underground with my review for the show’s first volume so you should probably start there if you want to know the full story. Here though I will give you a basic plot outline. It all revolves around the band Sonic Underground, consisting of Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonia, and Manic. They are all siblings who were abandoned after birth by their mother Queen Aleena after Doctor Robotnik overthrew her ruling of Mobius. With the kids safely out of harm, the three grew up and formed the band, Sonic Underground, whose sole aim is to defeat the ruling tyrant Robotnik and find their lost mother.
The show is a mix of action, adventure, comedy, and song singing (Ugh). Being the third Sonic the Hedgehog cartoon from the U.S, Sonic Underground is seen as the weakest series featuring the hedgehog as it bares so little resemblance to any of the computer games it is based upon. It does have some merit but was never received well, yet forty episodes were made and this review looks at episodes five to eight.
Furious of having little money to keep to himself, the bounty hunter Sleet plans to steal taxes from a Duke while still making him pay Robotnik his owed taxes. Meanwhile the Sonic Underground band are in the town preparing to play music for a ball also for the Duke. When they come across a neighbourhood full of pickpockets they promise to help out and hopefully get the Duke to give them new homes, saving them from a life of crime. However, Sleet and Dingo aren’t far behind with their plan to frame Manic for stealing the loot the bounty hunters have their eyes set on.
After destroying a number of SWAT bot factories that belong to Robotnik, Sonic meets an old friend, Cyrus. Cyrus’ father is a prisoner of Robotnik, being forced to work as one of his scientists so he asks Sonic for help in rescuing him. In reality, he’s actually spying for Robotnik in order to get details on the freedom fighter’s hidden base. But then Cyrus is invited to join the band on a trip to the Sanctuary, a safe haven for all the Mobian children. When Cyrus realizes what he’s doing is wrong, he has to make a big choice. Save his father or the Mobian children.
The Deepest Fear
Sonic Underground goes on a high seas adventure. Still searching for their mother, Queen Aleena, the band arrives at Port Mobius. However, the port is a village full of Robotnik lovers. This is because Robotnik claims to protect villagers from the legendary sea monster, Moby Deep, who had been sinking many ships in the past. But in order for Sonic to help the village out by showing them it’s really Sleet and Dingo posing as the monster, he needs to overcome his fear of water.
Who Do You Think You Are?
In the search for their mother’s journal in an Arabian Mobian city, Sonia manages to lose her memory after a blow to the head following a chase with Sleet and Dingo. She then meets up with a local freedom fighter called Raphi who looks after her until she manages to get her memory back. Meanwhile, Sonic and Manic have to dress up as women in order to get past Sleet and Dingo and get to their mother’s journal.
In comparison to the first volume I prefer the episodes on offer here as the storylines begin to move in to darker territory. The ending to Tangled Web is a good example; the heroes save the day but at a cost. It’s endings like this that make me warm to Sonic Underground a little more. The show’s desire of having a song during every episode still annoys me as the songs on offer are terrible. Sadly, it’s something you have to get used too when watching Sonic Underground. However, there is comfort being that you’ve got a mute button on the television remote, so if you do find these songs cheesy enough to be part of Eurovision, you can mute them. As children’s entertainment goes, you can get a lot worse with your musical numbers – S Club on CBBC anyone?
With the story picking up a bit of pace now, Sonic Underground has the potential to be something quite enjoyable. I might love this show if the songs were erased from all existence but they’re still there and I have to endure them. The plots getting darker so I’m pleased with the show’s progression so far. It’s good children’s entertainment and we’ve got another eight volumes to get through. However, the show could potentially mess up somewhere and I believe that lies with the songs. How can they think of another 32 songs???
Video and Sound
Exactly identical to the first volume’s release, Sonic Underground has a 1.33:1 full screen presentation and for a five-year-old animation it looks quite good, with the DVD being slightly better than standard television quality. It’s nothing spectacular but it will do. For its sound presentation, there is an English Dolby Digital 2.0 track, which is clear with dialogue, sound effects and those annoying cringe worthy songs. This is a very good presentation from Anchor Bay.
Like the first volume, the second volume of Sonic Underground has no extras. Again it still doesn’t even have a scene selection! Not much more to say on this section, though I still think that Anchor bay should at least put one or two chapter stops in every episode preventing people to get angry at fast forwarding. I hope this may happen with future volumes.
Sonic Underground gets a little better with its second volume, though the annoying songs still remain and I can’t stand it! Oh well. The story gets slighty darker in one or two episodes and it shows that Sonic Underground, despite the lack of connections to the games, has some entertaining merits to it. At very good value despite the lack of extras and also a scene selection, it still makes ideal children’s entertainment.