Waifu Wednesday: Amy Rose

It’s Sonic month here on MoeGamer, so, well, we gotta do what we gotta do.

The Sonic series as a whole actually has a decent number of fun, cute and sexy female characters, with probably the most well-known of them being Sonic’s not-girlfriend Amy Rose.

With most gamers’ first encounter with her being 1993’s Sonic CD, what you may not know is that she’s actually one of the few Sonic characters to be introduced via media from outside of the video games, before later being incorporated into the main series canon. So let’s take a look at where she came from and who she is!

Fanart by Rento (Rukeai) – via Danbooru, original source not found

Amy’s first ever appearance was in the 1992 Sonic the Hedgehog manga by Kenji Terada, which provides an interesting twist on the “legend” of Sonic. In the manga, Sonic isn’t an individual in his own right — he’s the alter-ego of a young hedgehog boy named Nicky, and Amy is his girlfriend. Nicky transforms into Sonic any time he feels a strong desire to “win” — or, more frequently, to save Amy from either Eggman’s latest scheme or the machinations of local bully Anton Veruca — but remains unaware that this actually happens.

No-one (except Tails, for some reason) is aware Nicky and Sonic are one and the same, leading to a number of awkward situations where Amy finds herself longing for Sonic more than Nicky, causing Nicky to effectively end up being jealous of “himself”. Regardless, Amy, in this particular incarnation of the Sonic “myth”, is probably the biggest inspiration to the blue blur — a markedly different position to that which she holds later in the series.

Amy’s design in the manga varied somewhat according to the illustrators that were working with Terada at the time, but eventually her design from the Bessatsu CoroCoro Comic Special stories was settled on for her appearance in Sonic CD, adapted by Kazuyuki Hoshino from Koichi Tanaka’s original work in print.

Fanart by Revtilian – via Danbooru, original source not found

In Sonic CD, Amy was primarily present as a “damsel in distress” for Sonic to rescue shortly before the game’s finale. It wasn’t until 1998’s Sonic Adventure on Dreamcast that she underwent a dramatic redesign, both in terms of her appearance and her personality. While character designer Yuji Uekawa only made relatively minor changes to leading men Sonic, Tails and Knuckles, Amy was considerably revamped, playing down the tomboyish aspect she was depicted as having in Sonic CD and its supporting material, and considerably emphasising her more feminine aspects, including her figure.

A popular theory for the reasoning behind this is that the developers wanted her to appeal to an older demographic than her earlier appearances, though no definitive word has really been given one way or the other in this regard. She does occasionally (and accidentally) flash her panties in the 3D Sonic games, though, so make of that what you will, even if it’s just pondering why she’s one of the only members of the main cast (the others being Rouge the Bat and the less frequently seen Cream the Rabbit) to actually wear any clothes at all.

Despite Sonic games from the 3D era onwards depicting Amy as having an interest in stereotypical “girly” things like shopping and fashion, Amy has always maintained a certain degree of that original tomboyish nature, mind. She fights using a distinctly non-feminine giant mallet known as the Piko Piko Hammer, she often pursues Sonic rather aggressively (even going so far as to actually fight him in an attempt to convince him to marry her in Sonic Heroes) and is more than willing to get her hands dirty any time the world is threatened, usually by Eggman’s latest scheme.

Fanart by Hanybe (Pixiv)

Amy’s obsession with Sonic stems from a combination of factors, beginning with the interest in tarot card readings she was presented as having in Sonic CD. She believes her initial meeting with Sonic was destiny, and, of course, Sonic actually rescuing her throughout the course of that game didn’t do much to discourage this viewpoint.

Sonic’s persistent refusal to acknowledge Amy also doesn’t put her off; throughout Sonic Adventure, he is presented as never quite being sure how to deal with her, and in several subsequent games he is shown either running away from her or being deliberately mean and sarcastic towards her. This, unfortunately for Sonic, ends up being a textbook case of “treat ’em mean, keep ’em keen”, as she remains obsessed with him, constantly thinking of new ways to win him over.

Interestingly, Sonic Heroes’ manual notes that Sonic “probably doesn’t dislike her that much”, suggesting that he might actually just be attempting to hide his feelings behind a facade — or that he is simply too awkward to express himself properly. If this is the case, it adds an interesting level of nuance to Sonic’s character; far from being the idealised, super-cool character he is otherwise presented as, he is just as flawed as the other members of the cast.

Fanart by Aoki Fumomo – via Danbooru, original source not found

The BioWare-developed Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood (which unfortunately we’re probably not going to have time to cover in detail this month — but watch this space, as it’s a very interesting game) allows the player to explore Sonic’s relationship with Amy in a number of ways through the game’s dialogue trees, ranging from brushing her off completely to admitting that he might have feelings for her after all. However this game concludes, the pair continue to have an endearingly rocky relationship throughout the rest of the games; the never-ending “will they, won’t they” of the series.

Amy is an endearing character, and a great addition to Sonic’s overall ensemble cast. By turns irritating, frustrating, charming, cute and caring, she’s certainly never boring to be around — and thus it’s understandable why she’s been a regular cast member ever since Sonic Adventure.

Just don’t get between her and her Sonic, or you’ll find yourself enjoying an unwanted interaction with a Piko Piko Hammer, and that thing looks like it hurts…

More about the Sonic the Hedgehog series

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