OK so i've had a million requests to post here and to explain a little something about these myths that have been floating about about Sega and Japanese myhthology.
Let's start with the most misunderstood meme since Hooter. And that of course is the crappy fad of Tails Doll, the curse and that stupid Sonic Shorts easter egg that caused the whole thing. During the late 90 Sega was losing the console wars to the new competitor Playstation. The SuperFamicon(SNES) had already died and most of its fans had a PS1 by this point but the steadfast Sega fans stuck to the MegaDrive(Genesis) franchise buying the Sega CD and later the Sega Saturn before deciding it wasn't going anywhere.
During the Sega Saturns dying reign there were many Sonic games and other famous Sega titles released mainly because other than Square no-one was actually making games for the machine so Sega had to make them all. Understandably there were quite a few spin off games like Sonic Battle (Sonic the Fighters) and Sonic Racers: Sonics Return (Sonic R) which has a big enough story behind it to begin with.
Sonic R was made during a time when Sega was desperately making every type of game in 3D e.g. Virtua Fighter, Virtua Cop, Virtua Tennis, Virtua Golf, Virtua Soccer and many more. This was so that Sega could patent the engines used to make the games and there are still quite a few used today especially in fighting games. And that means that everytime someone makes a 3D fighter basically Sega gets some of the profits due to copyright laws. The first of the 3D games that they made was Virtua Racer and dispite actually being a 3D game it was cell shaded and released on the MegaDrive rather than the SegaSaturn.
So Sega needed some way of making a racing game with the new fangled textured 3D which by the way they had also invented and patented and it's current form of 3D we use today as well, meaning that everytime someone makes any renderware like when a new form of DirectX or OpenGL comes out or every time a graphics card is made Sega gets some of the proffits. In fact they get so much money from this alone that they don't actually need to make or publish anything because it is making that much money.
Anyway Sega needed a textured 3D racing game so they decided to with a sequel to Sonic Drift but realised the stupidity of having the fastest thing alive driving a car and decided to have them go around on foot. took em long enough. The idea was to call the game just Sonic Drift 3D but since Sonic at this time was starting to have a comeback in Japan because of the success of Sonic Jam they decided to call the game Sinics Return or Sonic R for short.
They then realised that the R could also stand for racing or something so they eventually called the game 'Sonic Racers: Sonics Return' but us in the western world just got the shortened 'Sonic R' as the game title.
When the game was made like all Sega games up to this point bar Sonic 1 of course it has professional bands making the music and thanks to new technology they were going to use voice actors for the first time ever in Sega history.
The voice actors didn't come cheap, they were famous voice actors from animes which were really really fucking popular at the time in Japan like Ghost in the Shell for example (Knuckles).
When the game had been sold though they got reports coming in that the voice actors voices were not in the game. Sega were furious and found the culprit to be one delinquent programmer who had tried to redub the characters himself and fucked it up. The only character's voice that actually worked was Tails Doll which had been artificially raised in pitch to sound cute but instead just sounded creepy.
Sega immediately called back the games but it was too late and instead of rerecording all the voices they just did a quick job with sound effects and just made Tails Doll unable to speak.
The culprit was sued a huge amount and since he couldn't pay that much he got a prison sentence. The doll itself originally called 'Ningyo Kyuubi' which i'll explain later was made by another programmers daughter and it was her personal plushy toy that she would hug all the time and call it by the name tails.
The father designed the character and put it in the ganme. Sega was very pleased as there had not been a robot of any character other than Sonic and Robotnik at this point.
Regardless the game was a great success and there were instantly thousands of positive comments by fans online especially since at this point the internet was realitively new because for the first time computers had become really cheap enough for everyone to have one. although it was still Dial-up at this point.
Tails Doll got a huge fanbase and i mean huge. there were manga books about him, games that other people had made on pcs and even short anime series people had made with him in.
Fast forward a few years and one of the people making the Sonic Shorts collection discovers a trick which enables you to unlock the original Tails Doll voice from Sonic R. he original says 'come and play with me' 'let's sniff the flowers' and 'lets go to the beach' in Japanese of course.
Apparently the only remnants of the first reconding that remains is Tails Dolls humming to his theme music which he does when you play really well on his level. After unlocking the voices of course.
So when the Sonic Shorts guy heard the original voice he thought it was creepy and decided to make Tails Doll into a sinister character based on old horror movies. Even researching into a film where an evil doll says the line 'come and play with me'.
the name Tails Doll is obvious what it mean but his Japanese name 'ningyo kyuubi' is nothing like tails doll when translated. First off a ningyo is a wooden mechanical robot that existed in fuedal japan that would carry trays of food to a diners table and then on lifting the tray from their arms it would wheel backwards out of the room. quite simple really but the Japanese found endless entertainment out of having their food delivered by a wooden doll.
since then the word ningyo has become a word that can be applied to any object that resembles human shape but isn't human i.e. robots, dolls, statues and golem. This is why sometimes you'll see robots being called golems in games or other mix ups like manequins that are called statues. they have the same word for all of these except more recently they have adopted western words to distinguish between them.
the irony in the name here is that ningyo are typically made to serve humans that's why TD's lines are all about wanting to be with someone and being a toy his job is to have fun i.e. playing, sniffing flowers and going to the beach.
at the point in time when Sonic R was made TD was considered the cutest character ever by the Japanese so when the Sonic Shorts thing depicted him as evil there was a huge uproar in Japan.
Ironically because TDs job is to serve others he is depicted as being naive and clingy and therefore there is a great risk he could join the dark side out of sympathy or lonliness.
Therefore the Japanese decided to make alot of content (not as much this time, i mean its about a decade old now) about TD being pulled between being evil and good. Some of these are truly epic and i think you should honestly check them out.
Now the Japanese created a character called 'Green Sabre' to protect TD. Green Sabre is of course named after the 'Green Dragon Dao' which is a historical relic from China which has great political significance in Chinese legend.
It's possible they wanted to use the sword from the pearl harbour incident in world war 2 which has a similar kind of significance in Japan. Green Sabre is apparently the character who wields the sword in a famous fan comic of Crouching Tiger Hiden Dragon that was running around the time when Sonic Shorts was realesed.
Sometimes he is depicted as wielding a green Katana or a Katana witha Green Shieth and it is just possible that the name 'Green Sabre' was chosen because of the popularity of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas which features a car of this name.
Sometimes however 'Green Sabre' is accused of being another character from Japanese legewnd. sorry for not knowing his name but he is a giant ninja in samurai armor with an ogre mask AND HE'S NOT YOSHIMITSU for the last time. You may have seen him in Soul Calibur or Shinobi once or twice. im pretty sure his name begins with B, probably starting with Bishi something or other.
oh wait here it is 'Bishamonten' http://capcomdatabase.wikia.com/wiki/Bishamon
you'll also see the sword in kung fu panda too
There apparently IS a curse on the game Sonic R though even though the curse everyone knows is probably based on the movie The Ring in which if you watch a certain video tape you die.
The real curse is actually pretty pathetic but it is supposed to be genuine. The programmer who had the daughter with the original doll apparently put a curse on the game when it was redubed by the other programmer back in the 90s. The curse itself is just that bad luck will befall those who play the game supposedly in the area of work.
As curses go it's fairly pathetic but it was apparently cast by a traditional medicine woman which is basically the Japanese equivelent of a gypsy so it is a genuine curse.
Apparentlky though the original doll itself is supposed to be able to break the curse but after all this stuff about the doll being evil the programmers daugter threw the toy away.
And i can now confirm that when it was discarded it WAS stolen from the trash by a collector and he apparaently he still has it somewhere. There have been numerous reports that the doll lives in his house and one person even claims that it served him his green tea and sushi tray when was at the dinner table.
it doesn't talk but it is said that it floats and has a really nice personality and has great manners remembering to bow and offering to remove visitors shoes.
i am very creeped out by the reports, i think they are just joking but the guy has even posted little kiddy drawings that TD apparently drew on the internet although there doesn't seem to be any pictures of the doll itself other that one piece of footage where the guy was on his webcam and TD floats past in the background carrying what looks like dirty clothes.
the collector himself actually has a green shiethed kartana resting on a rack on the wall behind him which is clearly visable above his head during his webcam footage. Maybe this is why Green Sabre is supposed to be the hero in the stories since the sword itself has been in his possession since before the game was made but just not on display. He's probably displaying it though because of the story.
and now on to the birth of Tails in a metaphorical sense. When Sega baught Sonic as their mascot after publishing Sonic 1 (not making it, just publishing it) Sega wanted to do something special so they started making Sonic 2 which is still one of the best games ever made even today although i must agree that Super Mario Bros is probably the best one however.
they decided to make a sidekick to Sonic but they had no idea what to do. Then the answer came almost by accident when they glanced over at the pepsi logo. the 2 swirls of blue and red would be perfect for a red and blue character to run round each other. they toyed with the idea but scraped it and just has sonic do a spin but later they cam back to the idea and decided on many characters.
first an inverted sonic where he was red with blue shoes. they actually made the full advert but then scraped it when they realised that the name pepsi sounds like pe-pussy in Japanese. So obviously a cat was the ideal choice. They made a female orange tabby cat called Pepsi and they used that to advertise Pepsi soft drinks for a long time.
When they went back to the game they had the character they wanted and even made the whole character and released it as a playable character in a demo of Sonic 2 but then it occured to them that Pepsi the cat was not a very popular character in the western market. Many people were put off by her attitude in the adverts but that was mainly due to bad voice acting.
So Sega decided to make a new character, this time a dog just so that it wasn't so far removed from their cat idea. They also got another great idea, the dog could wag it's tail to fly. an idea they had played with using pepsi but rejected because the americans would n't understand that cats also wag their tail except when they are angry.
They even gave it a name 'Waggle Puppy'. Waggle is possibly a mixture of wagging and wiggle and puppy because is sounds similar to pussy. Matt Groening and Seth Macfarlein were friends with a designer who was involved in the creation of the waggle puppy character. they were told to keep the information a secret but on one episode of the simpsons they said that ralf wiggum had thought of a friend who was a puppy who wagged his tail to fly even calling it 'waggle puppy'. unfortunatly they followed it up with a 'you're touching my special area joke' which is actually a reference to a porn comic involving pepsi the cat. Sega were not happy.
Back in tim again to waggle puppys creation. the idea was good but they couldn't justify how wagging its tail made it fly so they instead decided to use a character from Japanese mythology a powerful nature demon called 'Kyuubi'. Kyuubi is a female white fox with 9 tails who is said to be very powerfull. In fact Kyuubi was going to be tails original name too but it turned out to be too dificult to animate 9 separate tails so instead they decided to go for 2 although they would still spin them like a propellor.
The name Tails was only chosen at the very last minute because the main characters name is Sonic so they decided on a literal name 'Tails'. At no point since the creation of the character pepsi did they ever consider a male partner.
when the game was released all the documents adds and everything said that Tails was a girl exept in the western world the marketing team decided to change it so that it said he was a guy. this is because the games market in the west was very sexist at the time and they thought that if they sold the game as having a female main character that you could play as solo it might upset the game market and cause an influx of femanine games.
it was a completely retarded decision of course and when Sega found out about it they knew they had to be careful to make Tail's gender ambiguous so that the Westerners would continue to think it was a guy and the Japanese would still believe it to be a girl.
This continued for many years with the Japanese getting exclusive content such as Tails in a dress and wearing knickers and a scene where Sonic and Tails actually hug and kiss each other which unfortunately we never got to see over here.
After numerous anime series, video games and a couple of really shitty films Sonic eventually lost it's popularity in the West making it very popular in the east but when Sega released Sonic Adventure which was an attempt to appeal to the american they swapped Tails gender to being a boy. A move which made fans hit the roof.
They were absolutely outraged and Sonic pretty much lost all its popularity in the East at that exact moment. Since then Sonic has got alot of popularity in the West thanks to fanart websites mainly. This is probably because the characters are very simple to draw so they are great for beginners to learn.
The Japanese still consider Tails Doll as one of the most Japanese of Sonic characters considering its prior popularity and the fact it was relatively unknown to the americans.
However since Tails Doll has got so much bad popularity lately the Japanese are fighting fire with fire and have made lots of positive and negative content on Tails Doll. People who call Tails Doll evil in Japan are generally considered traitors now so you better be careful what you say.
Strangely though even though the Japanese don't really care much about the new Sonic they absolutely crazy for that hover board game 'Zero Gravity' and there is shit loads of fan stuff about.
oh, one last thing. In Sonic Adventure when Tails spins his Tails around they multiply into exactly 9 tails.
the pokemon Ninetails is based on Kyuubi.
and the character kyuubi features as a main plot elemennt to the anime show Naruto which is popular right now.