Sonic the Hedgehog Books from Japan 1
|Just like everywhere else, Japan had numerous guide books for the various Sonic games over the years. Did they also have story books, puzzle books, or anything else? Maybe. If anything like that is found it will appear here too. Japanese books are less common & harder to get a hold of. There are several theories behind why this is (Japan disposed of guides once the game was very old, if the author name is written in Japanese you can't type it into anything to search for it, books are heavy and mailing them is expensive, they're not appealing unless you can read Japanese outside of Japan so there was never much demand...the theories just go on and on)|
|This is a rather rare book from Japan. It was released at the same time as Sonic 1 there, and has 98 full color pages to help guide you through the game. As you can see here, it also has lots of fun little arts like badniks and oldschool Sonic stock art. Sonic appears rather cute on the cover, but alas, he only has 3 fingers. The book is rare, and was not exported much because really, the whole thing is in Japanese.|
|Photo discovered by Berzerker.|
|This is the official guide book for Sonic 3 on the Megadrive. Japanese guide books don't turn up that often (for whatever reason) so this one is neat to see. The cover is pretty plain, with just Sonic holding up 3 fingers.(Most books use the game's cover, or spam screens from the game all over) Why is "Official Guide Book" written in English though? Wouldn't that confuse buyers? Maybe the Japanese text below repeats the title. The book looks pretty thick in the photo, so it likely had lots of tips/screens from the game inside. Photo discovered by The UltimateHedgehog|
|This book is called Sonic Adventure 1 Operation Guide. It's a pretty standard size for guide books, not huge but not tiny/booklet-like. As you can see it uses screen shots & illustrations to show you what to do. Notice the little Amy hammer-jump & how E will hover over water by pulling his legs up. All the interior text is in Japanese. Photo & owned by PiplupFan77|
|This is a Japanese guide book to Sonic Heroes, published by Aspect. This book is slightly smaller than the above books & seems to use primarily screen shots & CG art to illustrate what to do. Though the title of the game is in Japanese on the cover, for some reason the "team" names are in English. Notice that the STK team is called "Team Action" here where elsewhere it was usually 'speed' or 'hero'. The lower photo shows the guide to the various badniks you'll find in the game, with a photo and description of what they do. Photo & owned by PiplupFan77|
|Here's the Japanese guide book for Sonic Advance 1 on the Gameboy Advance. Notice the "Sega Official" seal in blue at the top. On the cover, it looks like a chao is covering up Knuckles face.This book appears to use all screen shots to show what to do. All the interior text is in Japanese. The bottom page photo seems to be a list of the various areas of zones with descriptions. Photo & owned by PiplupFan77|
|This is a game guide for "G Sonic" which was the Japanese title for Sonic Blast. Sonic Blast was the final Sonic game for the Game Gear before the system life ended. The USA cover to Blast made it look like it could have been related to 3D Blast...but it wasn't. It was a 2D game starring Sonic & Knuckles. The art for this cover continues the look of the classic game covers with primary colors & geometric shapes. This guide appeared in 1996. Additional info by Taaron|
|This is a doujinshi. It is a published book, like a comic book, or sometimes a compilation of short stories. It is made by fans, but in a semi-professional or professional way. Because it is published (as in printed on a press, many copies, sold at stores/conventions/via websites or in person, can be re-sold as used goods, etc) it is not really a fan item, nor is it exactly a bootleg. Looking up the legal ramifications of doujinshi is a difficult topic, but if you want to spend time on the internet, it is something you can/should do.
This is by the doujinshi circle called "Knight Ellant" (A circle is multiple authors doing 1 book as a collaberation) & subtitled "Game Only Book". You can see several recognizable characters that the stories will feature, like Cammy, Sonic, Carbunkle from Puyo, Pac-man & more. Photo discovered by WrongButtonGames
|These MAY or MAY NOT be OFFICIAL.
These are 3 rare manga comic books. They appared around the time of Sonic 1. Notice the lack of Sega logo, as well as the lack of calling him "Segasonic" which was what most official items did at the time of early Sonic 1 era. Those facts tip the scale toward "unofficial", but then, there isn't really any proof just looking at a bunch of book covers. They could also be Doujinshi, which are fan made but actually published comic books/short stories.
|What was the content/interior of these 3 volumes?
It appears to be the source of the other really wierd "Sonic Origin" story. You're probably already familiar with the discredited "Sonic was brown, Eggman was nice until Sonic ran too fast & turned blue & Eggman ate too many eggs & turned evil because he spilled eggs on his treadmill machine and also the chaos emeralds are bad= Ovi Kintobor=Ivo Robotnik etc."
This one had the origin being something like an American woman (why?) & her Air Pilot/Military Pilot boyfriend/husband nicknamed "hedgehog" for his spiky (it doesn't look?) hair and he dies in a fire (you see her with the bomber jacket that doesn't fit there, greiving him) having the Sonic "the hedgehog" logo on the back so...it makes sense* how?
*It makes no sense! Especially for Japan! Why write stories about some random American military people? And he what, dies and inspires her to write about/imagine/dream up a blue hedgehog? And where does Eggman come in? Did she also invent him? It's like Harry Potter going to meet JK Rowling as his 'magic origin' after he learns he wasn't actually born. You can see why Sega might not want something like this in the 'cannon' for Sonic.
A lot of people have been confused by the existance of this story for quite some time on the internet, and with good reason. Legible-Japanese print versions of pages are available, if you think you can read them. (They're too big to fit on this webpage) If you want to give it a shot to clarify this story, write in for page access.
|What are these Sonic books?
You can see an orange-ish one & a green one. The silver item in the bottom right corner is likely to be a slip cover of some kind. Plastic covers like this are sort of a thick/big envelope that the book can go into to protect it from dirt/shelf wear. There appears to be a black Sonic face down in the bottom right corner of the cover. Nothing else is currently known about the content of these books, so do write in for credit if you have info! Photo by hikarisite
|Cool! A Coloring book!
Here is a Sonic X coloring book. Coloring books are great since they're usually inexpensive, anyone can color them (then keep another to collect!) & it encourages tracing/learning Sonic art. Here, both front & back covers are colorful & loud featuring lots of X characters including Rouge, Amy, Knuckles, Sonic, Tails, Shadow, Chris Cream, Cheese & Eggman. You can see what the pages would be like inside with the open book picture there
|but, as the blue inner cover & full color page shows, there's also some text & additional non-coloring graphics to be had. All of the text to be seen here is in Japanese. This would be a cool collectible! Too bad it remained undiscovered until 2016. discovered by @JapanAnimePosters on Instagram.|
|Wow 12 Guide Books in 1 photo!
These were collected from different publishers and seem to be for all different games. They're all in probably 100% Japanese so mostly they're just a collectible with cool photos, maps and more if you can't read them. It looks like there are books here for Sonic Adventure 2 Perfect Guide, probably another for SA2 Battle, Sonic Heroes, another Battle one? Probably Sonic Advance, another for Heroes, Adventure DX, that yellow one maybe Advance again. Advance 2, Advance 3, X, X, X, the Shadow the Hedgehog game & Sonic Secret Rings.
These aren't very large, generally. But you can see how thick they are by looking at that Heroes one on the top row there you can see it's quite thick, so probably none of these will be skimping on information, maps or somehow incomplete.
All books here photo & owned by Scott
|Here is a guide book for the Shadow The Hedgehog game. You can see the size (not one of those 9x12 books like the USA usually gets) but it has plenty of info...as well it should because the game was so complicated with all the different 'good vs evil' paths you could take by doing or skipping certain things in the game. You will notice that sometimes the larger header words are in English for some reason (why?) but none of the rest of them are so it doesn't matter the photo size.|
|With this group, you can have a look inside the book...
The first bit looks to lay out the plot at the start, and probably explains it as you go along. There are sections about bosses, a guide to the various weapons an enemies (bottom), two different kinds of maps...you've got the CG created 3d looking one spread across two pages there, plus a more traditional looking one laid out on a full page at right.
It looks like they may also be laying out good & evil scenes side by side to help with what's going on or how to choose a path. This looks like it would be a very handy guide for the complicated game if you could read it. Guide photos & owned by Speendlex