The Potential for an Amy Rose Spin Off
On this day, International Women’s Day, I think we should focus on the feminine aspects of the franchise. Just for this day, fellow fanboys? This shouldn’t be such a hassle, so let’s juice!
Anyone remembers Nintendo’s “Super Princess Peach”, right? It got some controversy about it regarding its cheap jokes and stereotypes, but it also showed us that Nintendo have the ambitions to make its female characters taking the center stage for once. So why haven’t SEGA done it with the Sonic franchise already? It seems so easy taking those steps, especially in these days with franchises like Overwatch and Portal being super popular and especially with their First Lady; Amy Rose. But there seems to be a glass ceiling somewhere, preventing them from making that progress.
Amy Rose have had a rough history behind her. Either being watered down or flanderized, without any sense of balance between them. Especially after Sonic ’06, when SEGA decided to regress back to Sonic-only mode, shutting the door for the franchise to ever passing the Bechdel Test. She’s either the outdated bland nagging housewife trope or the outdated hyper gender-swapped Johnny Bravo trope, Both of them don’t work together and relies heavily on stereotypes that aren’t the least bit flattering in 2017.
It doesn’t help that fandom, since she showed up, manifested a peculiar aversion for her that have coloured the way the fandom approaches diversity within itself and still does at some point. Granted, their reaction to her in her first appearance in Sonic CD in is understandable, considering they thought she was just going to be a one-shot character at the time and she was just an another damsel in distress. But their reaction to her being in “Sonic Adventure” is worth their inner Trilby hats, painting her into a corner with misogynistic jokes and memes that’s still goes on to this day and is never properly questioned. It’s therefore baffling for me that the fandom keeps making up proper conspiracy theories on how much “undeserved hatred” the fandom gets (especially from “minorities”), considering the fact that transparency is Social Media 101.
Our fandom isn’t an island anymore. Not just for the worse (as seen above) but for the better too. It isn’t a secret that Bronies took the best parts from us and became the pillar in which all woke 2010’s fandoms lean on to this day, Steven Universe to Undertale to Star Vs The Forces of Evil. So how about learning from those fandoms on how to approach Amy Rose, improving the quality of the discourse surrounding her, treating her like any other female video game character in 2017? That would be a literal game-changer here.
So how would this work though? I think a proper spin-off á “Shadow the Hedgehog” is the way to go. It gives her time and space to grow and be credible. It would also allow SEGA to revisit and revitalize abandoned and reduced concepts for her. To not fall into the same trap the “Jem & The Holograms” movie did, by stripping away any fantastical element there is and replacing it with how the zeitgeist think girls are, let’s explore her divination skills for real this time and extrapolate it until it becomes a staple of her character. That would make it interesting. Think Professor Trelawney meets Gambit in a 12-year old girl and we’re on the right track.
However, that makes me think of an E-rated Bayonetta, which (Ha!) might not be such a bad approach towards Amy Rose after all. Let’s go that way, shall we?