Amy Rose: One of the most mistreated Sonic characters
Alright, I was just thinking about this again. As you probably know, Amy Rose is my favourite character in the Sonic franchise. I've loved her since I was a kid and she holds such a special place in my heart. I'd say she was my first comfort character. But having a character who's so mistreated by the franchise hasn't been easy. In fact, her mistreatment has contributed to the amount of hate she gets from the fandom. Whether its the games themselves, or the comics, or cartoons, or even the official Sonic Twitter account, its safe to say the Amy Rose is probably one of the most mistreated Sonic characters. Granted, her treatment has gotten a lot better now, and she may be playing an important role in Sonic Frontiers. But that was after years of mistreatment. In this essay, I'm gonna examine how Amy Rose is treated in different pieces of Sonic media. Be warned, this is gonna be a long post.
Lets start with the games themselves, as they're the most important part. Amy Rose was introduced in Sonic CD as a love interest to Sonic. In that game, she's kidnapped by Metal Sonic and Sonic has to save her. Okay, fair enough. She plays into the classic damsel in distress trope prevalent with female characters in video games at the time. She makes a bunch more appearances in classic games such as Sonic R and Sonic the Fighters.
Fast forward to the Adventure era. In Sonic Adventure, Amy remembers the old days she spent with Sonic. As she's reminiscing, she runs into a bird who's being chased by one of Eggman's robots, ZERO. Amy doesn't know why the robot is after the bird but she decides to protect the bird from him. A great display of her kindness that goes ignored by most of the fandom. She then runs into Sonic. Who's.... not so happy to see her. She tells Sonic about the bird and asks him to protect it. To which he replies no way.
They then go to Twinkle Park. Shortly afterwards, Amy and the bird get kidnapped by ZERO. Amy tries calming the bird down when she's approached by Gamma, who asks her to hand over the bird. She refuses. After more prodding, she asks him why he wants the bird. He says he does not know. She asks Gamma to help her and he asks why she cares for something she knows nothing about. She says she pities him because love is not a part of his programming. After pondering for a while, Gamma sets her free.
Fast forward to the Sonic vs Gamma fight. Sonic is about to finish off Gamma, but Amy protects him and asks Sonic not to hurt him as he helped her. Sonic obliges.
See, this is something I'd show to people who say Amy doesn't care about anyone other than Sonic or her whole personality revolves around Sonic because if that was true, then she would just let Sonic destroy Gamma. But she didn't. She may love him but she was willing to stand up to him.
Afterwards she helps the bird find its family. She succeeds, but then ZERO knocks it out. Amy. Gets. MAD. She's pissed off and after spending the entire time running away from him, she finally decides to fight him. And she beats the shit out of him.
At the end of her story, she says that she'll make Sonic respect her. And that's what gets me. She doesn't say she'll make him fall in love with her or anything. She wants Sonic to RESPECT her. To see that she's capable, that she's worthy.
I like Amy in Sonic Adventure. Her gameplay wasn't the best but her story was pretty good and the way she protected the bird really shows her kindness. I'd say Sonic Adventure treated Amy well. Its sequel, however, is a different story.
Next, we move on to Sonic Adventure 2. And oh my God. One of my complaints about this game is how they treated Amy. Save for that one scene with Shadow which I will get to shortly, she doesn't do much. She just gets left behind by everyone. And honestly, I understand her sentiment here. In just the previous game she vows to make Sonic respect her. And here everyone just leaves her behind every time.
Before I get to her scene with Shadow, there are two scenes I wanna talk about.
The first scene is where she manages to get into the prison where Sonic's being held. She mentions seeing Shadow, and Sonic asks her where he is. She says, "If I tell you, will you marry me?" Sonic, of course, says "No way!" Amy says "I thought I had you this time!" and then proceeds to free Sonic. Now this scene is just Amy teasing Sonic. She didn't LITERALLY want Sonic to marry her in that moment. But the Sonic fandom, being.... well, the Sonic fandom, decides to use that scene to say stuff like "Omg look at her, she's blackmailing Sonic into marrying her, so psychotic" even though. SHE WAS TEASING HIM. If she was serious she wouldn't have freed him. But she did.
The second scene I wanna talk about is the one where she's captured by Eggman and held hostage. Eggman tells Sonic to give him the Chaos Emerald or else Amy will die. In his recap, Sonic actually says "I'll have to think about that one". WHAT. THE FUCK. SONIC YOUR FRIEND'S LIFE IS LITERALLY ON THE LINE HERE. Like he does nooooot display any worry for her whatsoever. Its stuff like this that makes people think Sonic hates Amy or does not care for her.
And now we make it to the signature scene. The one where Amy reminds Shadow of his true promise to Maria. So, Amy mopes about being left behind as usual, then she finds Shadow. She tells herself that everyone's doing their best and so must she. She begs Shadow to save everyone. Shadow tells her that its useless and he has no reason to help them. Amy says that while some people are selfish, they have good hearts and work to make their wishes come true. Her words trigger Maria's memory in him and he remembers his true promise to her. He then goes away, telling Amy "I have to keep my promise to Maria and you" (the "you" part always confused me because he didn't make a promise to Amy?? Well anyways). Shadow helps Sonic and they save the Earth together.
So because of Amy, the Earth was saved. You'd think such an important moment would be mentioned. You'd think that they'd build up a bond between Shadow and Amy because of that moment. Because Amy reminded him of Maria. But NOPE. Nothing comes of that. It isn't acknowledged by the others, and Shadow and Amy barely interact. But okay.
Sonic Heroes.... oh Sonic Heroes. You were my first Sonic game and practically my childhood. But replaying you, I find that you have some problems. Now don't get me wrong, I'm still a Heroes stan through and through. That game means a lot to me and I still have fun replaying it. But I can't deny it does have its problems. Like the way the team battles were started were so stupid and could be avoided had the characters just fucking communicated with each other. And one of this.... is the Team Sonic vs Team Rose battle.
This is another thing that has been used by the fandom to paint Amy as obsessive, stalkerish, psychotic, you name it. And even I will admit, the way this battle starts is stupid, it gives me second hand embarrassment (then again, the way ALL the team battles start give me second hand embarrassment). Basically, Amy finds Sonic and says "Got'cha, my darling Sonic". Sonic asks what she's doing there. Amy says this time, there's no way out of marrying her. And they start fighting.
*EVEN BIGGER SIGH*
Given that Team Rose are looking for Froggy and Chocola, whom they think Sonic has, Amy could've said something like "Give back Froggy and Chocola!" Sure it would still give me second hand embarrassment because guys.... you can just fucking COMMUNICATE PROPERLY, but it would've made her look less obsessive.
And its sad because Amy's portrayal in Heroes is actually good aside from this. She leads Cream and Big, she encourages them when they're worried like in Hang Castle, reassures them they'll be okay, gives pep talks and never gives up on finding Froggy and Chocola. But no, this one moment is what defines Heroes Amy in most fans eyes and that'd fucking sad.
Sonic '06..... that game's infamous for a lot of reasons. But I'm not here to talk about that, I'm here to talk about how Amy is treated in the game. So here, Amy mistakes Silver for Sonic.... and oh boy, its FINALLY TIME FOR ME TO TALK ABOUT THIS BECAUSE THIS HAS ALWAYS ANNOYED ME.
Amy mistook Shadow for Sonic in SA2 and then mistook Silver for Sonic and that has led to the fandom making colourblind jokes about her and never letting her live it down. But the thing is.... she wasn't the only one who did this. The entire reason Sonic got arrested in SA2 was because everyone mistook him for Shadow. When Eggman first saw Shadow, he too mistook him for Sonic. When Elise first saw Sonic, she mistook him for Silver. So how come none of THOSE character get heat for it while Amy's been the butt of the joke. And I'm gonna be honest, some of the jokes about this seem ableist. I've seen people cite Amy being "blind" or "colourblind" as one of the reasons they hate her. Like how do you not see how ableist that is? I'm not even talking about the people who joke about this, I'm talking about people who actually hate her because she's "blind". And as for the jokes, they get old REALLY fast. Please give those colourblind jokes up to God, we've had enough.
Anyways, Amy mistakes Silver for Sonic. After finding out he's looking for someone, she decides to help him. Then they find Sonic.... and Silver starts attacking him. Amy defends him and Silver tells her to get out of the way and that he'll destroy the world. To which Amy says "If I had to choose between the world and Sonic, I would choose Sonic". And here's another line people use to paint Amy as "selfish", "obsessed", etc. Now listen. Amy is a preteen girl. Preteens and teens in love say stupid things. And also, Amy didn't LITERALLY mean she'd put the world in danger for Sonic omg. She meant she'd choose Sonic over a world where an innocent person has to die for something they didn't do. Also.... characters say shit like this to the person they love all the time. Why is Amy the only one who gets heat for it? Anyways, moving on....
Lets talk about that infamous kiss scene. You know, the one where Elise brings Sonic to life by kissing him. Some people are confused why Amy didn't beat the shit out of Elise for kissing him. Both fans and haters. And to you I say, you don't understand Amy's character. In that moment, it doesn't matter if she kisses Sonic or not. Elise is the one bringing Sonic to life. Do you really think Amy would beat the shit out of THE PERSON WHO'S BRINGING SONIC BACK TO LIFE just out of petty jealousy? That would be a stupid move. Even if she WAS jealous, she could cast that aside because now she was worried about Sonic.
Sonic Unleashed.... Amy didn't really do much in Unleashed. She did "mistake" the Werehog for Sonic. And Sonic seemed bummed by her not recognizing him. She believed in Sonic all the way through and made it clear she'd love him no matter what he looked like. I actually have no complaints about Amy's portrayal in Unleashed. Next.
Sonic Generations.... there's not much to talk about other than that one scene where Sonic is pushing Amy away and Sonamy detractors have used that as an excuse as to why Sonic hates Amy. I'm telling you, that scene really fuelled Sonamy detractors. But we're not here to talk about shipping. That scene bothers me because it makes Amy look obsessive and Sonic look like a jerk for pushing her away. Other than that scene, there's not much to talk about in Generations.
Sonic Lost World.... Amy doesn't play much of a role here. Next.
Sonic Forces.... again, not much to talk about here. I do wish we'd gotten a reunion moment between Amy and Sonic just like with Sonic and Tails. But again. Nothing much here.
I'm not gonna talk about Free Riders because everyone except Cream was a dickhead in Free Riders.
Lets talk about Sonic Mania next. For a game that's supposed to be a celebration of Classic Sonic, they sure did leave out one of the oldest classic characters who predates even Knuckles. Really says a lot that Mighty and Ray, two obscure characters, are in the game and not Amy, a core character. Y'all made fun of the whole #RoomForOneMore movement, but can you truly blame us? Amy's been excluded so many times and for her to not be included in this game when she's a classic character too is so insulting.
Sonic Frontiers.... oh God if I have to relive that debate about who the voice in the trailer is. When the trailer first came out, people were debating who the voice is. People thought it was Tails, or the Ghost Girl from the leaks. Even I thought it was Tails when I first listened to it. But according to the captions on the Xbox version of the trailer, and Sonic's Japanese voice actress, the voice was Amy. Amy stans like me rejoiced. Everyone else.... debated even more. Some people were sure this was absolutely the Ghost Girl who's just pretending to be Amy. Someone from the official social media team confirmed that the voice was, indeed, Amy, and that Cindy Robinson had returned to voice her. People STILL weren't convinced to the point that they started accusing the OFFICIAL SOCIAL MEDIA TEAM of lying and tried to analyze their body language. Eventually the person who runs the Sonic Twitter account confirmed it. And if that wasn't enough, Mike Pollock, the voice of Dr Eggman, also confirmed it.
From the looks of this, it seemed like people didn't WANT the voice to be Amy. Its almost like they hated the idea of Amy possibly having an important role in Frontiers. Because let me tell you, they wouldn't do this with any other character. If it was Tails I bet there wouldn't be any debate. At this point I don't even think all this debate is because they trust 4chan leaks that much. They just hate Amy and don't want her to have an important role.
Alright, I'm done with the games. Now, for the Archie comics.
The Archie comics
Oh God, now its time to talk about the Archie comics. I'm gonna be talking about the pre reboot comics here because her treatment was much better in the post reboot comics.
The pre reboot Archie comics were a mess for many reasons. From all the furry soap opera, convoluted plot lines, sometimes bad art style, and a lot of OOC moments for our main characters, pre reboot Archie Sonic was.... a lot. One of the reasons I dislike it, however, was Amy's treatment in those comics. Obviously I'm not gonna go over every issue, just the more important moments that stand out to me.
The first is this moment here
There's a lot wrong with this image. It paints Amy in a very unflattering light. Its paints her as bratty and immature. Here she wants to become a freedom fighter. But Sally says she's too young and inexperienced. Amy asks, what about Tails? And she makes a good point. Tails is younger than Amy. Sally says he has experience. He was allowed to show that experience. Amy wasn't given a chance, she's told right off the bat she's too young. And the next panel.... "You're just saying that because you want to keep Sonic all to yourself". Like wow, way to stroke shipping wars here. This makes Amy look bratty as opposed to Sally, who's painted as the smart, rational leader figure.
My next problem is about the whole Ring of Acorns situation.
*BIGGEST SIGH EVER*
In issue 80, Amy wishes on the Ring of Acorns to become older. There's one problem with that. Elias and Sally needed that ring to heal their comatose mother who might have only a week to live. Yeah she didn't know this but this makes Amy look incredibly selfish and fueled her haters. It made her look like everything they said she was, selfish, obsessive, you name it. And the worse part? Is that some people actually think this is canon to the games. No, I've seen people who actually think that Amy wishing on the Ring of Acorns to be older is how she actually went from being 8 in Sonic CD to 12 from Adventure onwards. Yeah, that's how bad it is.
And now I just wanna talk about two particular covers that really grind my gears. The first is the issue 174 cover
The actual issue is about Bunnie and Antoine's wedding. Which makes this all the more unnecessary and mean spirited. Was it necessary to show Amy crying in the background while Sonic and Sally look like they're about to be married?
The next is this cover.
The cover itself is not bad but was it necessary to have Amy there? You could remove her from the cover and nothing would change. Why does she have to be there? It seems like the artist was just taking a dig at her. Its like they were saying "Look, Sonic and Sally are such a perfect couple, Amy will never compete, haha!" But again, I'm not here to talk about shipping wars.
And I wanna talk about this particular moment in the same issue
Everyone praises Amy for being so mature here, but me? I'm not so happy. Of course she'd want Sonic to be happy. But you can't tell me that this girl, who's had a crush on Sonic for so long, isn't at least a little heartbroken? And to those saying she's so mature for this, I wanna point out a line in one of these pages.
"Sonic'll be mine one day, until then... I just want him to be happy."
I'm sorry, but that doesn't make her look mature, that makes her look like she's in denial. Sonic will never get with her in this continuity yet she believes he will.
And this also implies the only way Amy can be mature is if she lets go of her crush on Sonic. That's not maturity, that's taking away a big part of her character. Amy's crush was never the problem, the way it was portrayed by writers was.
And also, that line, "But aren't you Amy Rose, the chick who always chases after Sonic?"..... was that really necessary? Did we really need another dig at her?
Now thankfully, post reboot Archie Sonic has treated her a lot better. There's plenty of great character moments between her and Sonic, her and Knuckles, and other characters. But the way pre reboot Archie Sonic treated her was so bad and it will forever be a reason why I act really salty towards the Archie comics.
I often cite Sonic X as the reason I started shipping Sonamy, because of that one scene in episode 52 (you know the one). But even they are not immune to mistreating and mischaracterizing her. In particular, the 4KIDS dub.
In episode 3, Amy and Sonic are reunited after being separated and landing on Earth. In the Japanese version, Sonic does get flustered by her hugging him and claims he's choking her, but he does seem happy to see her again. In the English verison, he seems disgusted and wants her to get off him. Like, why are you trampling over their friendship like that? Y'all are making it seem like he doesn't like her. They're supposed to be FRIENDS, make them act like it.
And now I wanna talk about the big one.... that is Chris being the one to remind Shadow of Maria instead of Amy.
First of all, Shadow is so uncharacteristically violent here. Sure, he's a bit of a fighter in the games, but he never fights without a reason. Here, he just beats the shit out of Chris. Like, was it necessary to make him so violent? Especially since he never acted that way towards Amy in the game. My only guess is that the writers wanted Chris to appear more sympathetic. Well, they failed in that aspect.
So anyways, after Shadow, in a way that's uncharacteristic for him, beats the shit out of Chris, he asks if what Maria wanted was to destroy humanity. Shadow remembers his promise to Maria and, like it was in the game, helps Sonic to defeat the Biolizard and then "dies" by falling to Earth. Sonic gives Chris one of Shadow's rings (in the game, its Rouge who gets the ring so he's stealing the role of two characters).
This was Amy's defining role in Sonic Adventure 2. It showed that she wasn't all about Sonic like detractors said, that she was compassionate, that she could get people to the good side and believed in giving them second chances. Here, its Chris who takes that role. And you know what, I wouldn't even be so mad about this if Chris wasn't a giant fucking brat who didn't even deserve this role. He talks about selflessness but then he's willing to put two worlds at risk just to be with Sonic. If it was someone like Helen taking the role, I would still be salty because that was Amy's role but I wouldn't be as mad because Helen being the one to remind Shadow of Maria would actually make sense. Not only does she look like Maria, but she's actually a sweet, selfless girl.
But back to Amy here, as I said, this was her defining role in SA2, and it was taken by some audience surrogate. It doesn't help that many people see the X version of Amy as obnoxious, this could help her character but they fucking took it from her. Yes, I'm salty about that to this day.
And you know what? I like Amy in X but sometimes the writers could make her so damn obnoxious. Like the time she tried to use a love potion on Sonic to get him to fall in love with her? That does not do well for her character.
Sonic X, for all its flaws, is actually my favourite Sonic show. But sometimes, its treatment of Amy bothers me.
Honestly, I like Amy in Boom. Yeah, she may be bossy sometimes but her dynamic with the group is fun to watch and her friendship with Sticks is interesting. The only thing I can think of here is how they kinda used her as a strawman so Knuckles could explain feminism. But that's about it. The reason I'm talking about Sonic Boom is because this version of Amy is paraded as the best version of her. Fans say she's "superior", that she's more "mature", that she's so much better than in the games etc. I do like Boom Amy as I mentioned by God, fans really tend to overrate her. They tend to forget her flaws, like how she could be bossy. I remember that one episode where she forced Sticks to sell her stuff, and God that pissed me off so much.
Again, there's not much to be said for Sonic Boom. The only problem I have is how fans parade this version of Amy as the superior one.
I also don't have a problem with the IDW comics' portrayal of Amy. My only complaints come from two things.
One, I don't remember where he said it, but Ian Flynn said that the reason Amy takes charge of the Restoration in IDW is because "no one else wanted to do it", implying she was forced into this role and didn't want to do it. Honestly I'd disagree. Amy has shown she's a capable leader, like in Sonic Heroes. She encourages her team to carry on and always has their backs. I feel like people forget that.
And the second is the fandom reaction to IDW Amy. Now there are two camps of fans here.
1. The ones who parade this as the best version of Amy since Boom, claim she's so much more mature here and not as obsessed with Sonic, and
2. The ones who claim she's a Sally ripoff or she's "too perfect".
Let me talk about the first camp of fans first. Now I adore IDW Amy to bits. But just like with her Boom version, the fans who say she's so much more mature here and her personality doesn't revolve around Sonic here bother me. Her personality has never fully revolved around Sonic. She has a huge crush on him, yes, but that's never been her entire personality. She's kind, she's compassionate, she cares for her friends, and she can be strong. If her personality did revolve around Sonic, then why did she stand up to him when he was about to destroy Gamma in Sonic Adventure? Why did she remind Shadow of his true promise to Maria? Why did she cheer Cream and Big on in Heroes and encourage them when they were unsure. Her crush on Sonic is a big part of her personality but not the only part, y'all have either never played a Sonic game or cherry pick moments.
The second camp is even more ridiculous. They claim that Amy is a Sally ripoff because.... she has leadership skills, she's strong, she encourages her teammates etc. Traits that she's ALWAYS HAD. Because female characters cannot be independent or leaders now or else they're ripping off Sally. And y'all were the same ones hating on her because she was selfish, obsessive, only caring about Sonic etc. Now when she's taking charge, she's suddenly a Mary Sue and a Sally ripoff? I swear there is no winning with Amy detractors.
Other than these aspects, I have no complaints about Amy's treatment in the IDW comics.
WARNING: THIS SECTION CONTAINS MAJOR SPOILERS FOR THE POST CREDITS SCENE OF SONIC MOVIE 2. DO NOT READ THIS SECTION IF YOU DON'T WISH TO BE SPOILED.
The movies are the latest iteration of the Sonic franchise and I think they're really great so far. I watched Sonic 2 recently and loved every bit of that movie. My only complaint is with the post credits scene. I've ranted about why I was disappointed if it was who I thought it was before and I'll do it here again now.
MAJOR SPOILER STARTS HERE. LAST CHANCE TO TURN BACK IF YOU DON'T WANT TO BE SPOILED
So Shadow is the character in the post credits scene. When I was actually in the theater, my heart was racing. I'm interested to see how they'll adapt his story, especially considering that in the movieverse, GUN was just formed because of Sonic while in the games they're a vital part of his backstory as they're the ones who got Maria killed and locked him away (also side note, I doubt they're gonna show Maria being killed since this IS a kids movie after all)
Honestly, I'm STILL a bit salty that Amy wasn't the one who appeared in the post credits scene. She's a classic character. To put Shadow in before her shows that they care more about popularity. I know Jeff Fowler said the movies won't go in chronological order of the games, but still. Also, Amy is a vital part of Shadow's character. She was the one who turned him over to the light.
But honestly, I'm not optimistic about them having Amy remind Shadow of his promise to Maria in the movieverse because for some reason, adaptations of the game seem eager to replace Amy with someone else. In Sonic X, it was Chris. In Archie.... actually the SA2 arc was never fully adapted in Archie but they never mention Amy reminding Shadow of Maria which means it probably didn't happen.
Now there's still a chance of her appearing in the third movie but honestly, I'm not too optimistic about that. Obviously I plan to see the third movie when it comes out but I'll keep my expectations low when it comes to Amy being in that movie, or her portrayal if she is there.
The official Twitter account
Yes, I'm also talking about the Sonic Twitter account here because even they like to take digs at Amy.
That last one is from 2020, so its pretty recent. You guys may say "Omg its just a joke you're too sensitive". And you're right, I AM too sensitive, because Amy's my fave and she's been mistreated so many times through the years to the point that the social media account is taking digs at her too. I'm sure if it was your fave, you would be upset too.
I've been a pessimistic bitch throughout this post so I wanna end on a positive note. Amy's treatment has gotten a lot better in recent years. Sega of Japan seems to be promoting her a lot on social media. And ever since Katie took over the official Twitter account, the digs at her seem to have lessened. If there are any memes about her on social media, its usually positive ones like this
There's also the TailsTube segment where Sonic praises Amy and calls her a real hero and honestly, its really heartwarming and long overdue.
And with her possibly having a big role in Frontiers, who knows where this will go?
The ongoing IDW comics, too, treat her really well. Evan Stanley seems to have a good grasp on her character. Also, Amy had a cute little arc with Tangle, Jewel, and Belle.
Amy's been mistreated and mischaracterized a lot in the past but its gotten a lot better now. I hope Frontiers will give her more spotlight. Maybe even have her in the next Twitter Takeover! In any way, I hope the mischaracterization of Amy Rose is a thing of the past now.