Tails is an 8-year-old male character created by Yasushi Yamaguchi for the Sonic the Hedgehog media franchise series. He made his initial appearance in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 in 1992 and has since become a staple of the franchise, as well as a fan-favorite character.
Tails is a two-tailed anthropomorphic alien fox who is known for his ability to fly by using his tails like helicopter propellers, which unfortunately resulted in his alienation from the people of his village. However, after meeting Sonic, Tails began to see his ability in a positive light, fighting alongside Sonic to protect their world from various threats, like Dr. Eggman and his schemes of conquering the world.
One of the most intriguing aspects of Tails’ character is the ongoing argument surrounding his gender and age. Despite being commonly referred to as male, there has been confusion over whether Tails is a boy or a girl due to his feminine appearance. This article aims to shed some light on the ongoing debate surrounding Tails’ gender and provide insight into his age. Join us as we explore one of the most iconic characters in the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise and uncover the truth about Tails.
How Old is Tails the Fox?
Tails the Fox is confirmed to be 8 years old, according to the official Sonic Channel website operated by SEGA, making him the youngest character in Sonic the Hedgehog. At the time of his debut, during the events of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Yasushi Yamaguchi, the main artist for the Sonic team, designed Tails with the image and personality of a five-year-old. Tails was intentionally designed to look like a young child with his childlike personality, small stature, chubby cheeks, and large expressive eyes.
Despite his appearance and personality, his official age is eight years old, as confirmed by the official Sonic Channel Website, meaning that he is nearly half the age of Sonic, who he accompanies on adventures. But there have been some instances where Tails has been depicted as slightly older. For instance, in Sonic Adventure, Tails was portrayed as being around ten years of age. In the Sonic the Hedgehog series Archie Comics, which ran from 1993 to 2017, Tails was depicted as aging along with other characters in the series. At various points in the series, he was depicted as being around the age of 8 to 11 years old.
While Tails did not appear in the first installment of the Sonic the Hedgehog series, his initial appearance in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 brings back a lot of nostalgia for the early days of Sonic. However, there is some argument regarding the age of Tails during the first Sonic the Hedgehog game despite his official age being listed as being around eight years old.
According to some reports, Tails may have been six years of age during the first Sonic the Hedgehog game, although this has never been officially confirmed. Notwithstanding the variation in Tails’ ages over the course of Sonic the Hedgehog series, Tails’ personality appearance, and design have remained consistent with his fur pattern, the tuft of hair on his forehead, red and white shoes as well as his iconic two tails. This has made it very difficult to determine whether or not he has matured over the course of the series.
Is Tails a Boy or a Girl?
Tails is a boy with an androgynous appearance. While there has been confusion regarding Tails gender because of his feminine appearance and nurturing personality, he has consistently been referred to as a male in official materials and media such as game manuals, character profiles, ad dialogue in games, and TV Shows.
Yasushi Yamaguchi, the main artist for the Sonic team, designed Tails in such a way that his gender will be difficult to ascertain. Tails is designed as an anthropomorphic fox cub with two tails with yellow-orange fur and white fur around his muzzle, front torso, and the tips of his tails.
He has a sky-blue eye, a small nose, triangular ears with white canals, and three locks of hair on the top of his head that is styled in a somewhat feminine manner. When it comes to his clothing style, Tails wears white gloves with a light blue band around each wrist and shoes that are red from the heel to the middle and white from the middle to the toe with dark grey soles.
Due to Tails’ feminine appearance, gentle demeanor, and nurturing tendencies, some fans believe that Tails might be female or a non-binary character. It has also been pointed out that Tails’ original name in the Japanese version of the Sonic the Hedgehog game, ‘’Miles Prower’’ is a pun on the phrase “miles per hour.” This phase, when pronounced quickly in Japanese, can sound like “maiwa”, which is a feminine name. Flowing from this, some fans have suggested that this pun may be intentional, and it hints at Tails’ true gender identity.
The confusion regarding Tails’ gender is further fueled by the fact that he is voiced by female actors. Sometimes the best way to portray a pre-teen character is by using female actors to provide his voice. That is the case of Tails, a young eight-year-old fox whose voice is brought to life by veteran voice actress O’Shaughnessy. This implies that the creators were understandably not too keen on giving him a deep voice, and that ruled out male actors.
The high-pitched and youthful tome of Tails can be best captured by female voice actors who are skilled at portraying youthful characters. Moreover, Tails is marketed as a cute and soft character that female actors may portray better than male actors.
Despite these theories and opinions, Tails has consistently been referred to as a male character in official Sonic the Hedgehog media and materials. For instance, in the Sonic the Hedgehog 2 game manual, Tails is referred to as ‘’he’’ and ‘’him multiple times. On one occasion, the manual says: ‘’Tails is a young fox who follows Sonic. He wants to be just like him.’’
Additionally, in various Sonic the Hedgehog TV Shows and Movies, Tails is consistently portrayed as a male character. In the Sonic X anime series, Tails is referred to as a male.
While Tails’ appearance and voice may not conform to traditional gender norms, it is important to note that the gender of voice actors and feminine appearance do not necessarily reflect the gender of the character.