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"We'll be watching, and when they least expect it, we strike again. And this time, we'll destroy them!"

The Work

Sonic X is an anime following the iconic blue hedgehog. During his battles with Dr. Eggman, one of the mad scientists' experiments with the Chaos Emeralds goes wrong resulting in Sonic and friends being transported to Earth and befriending a boy named Chris.

The first season is Sonic and friends battling Eggman as he tries to take over the Earth. The second season basically retells the stories of both Sonic Adventure games and Sonic Battle. The third and final season, however, is a far darker approach following Sonic and crew trying to stop a cyborg race of aliens called the Metarex that plan to wipe out all non-plant life in the universe.

The Metarex's leader Dark Oak comes nowhere close to counting due to tragic reasonings that I'll elaborate on further in the Work's Standards portion below. Instead, I want to explore his least honorable commander, Pale Bayleaf.

Who is Pale Bayleaf

Like the other Metarex, Pale Bayleaf is a (Grass-type Pokémon) male of a plant-like alien species (Pikmin) of planet Green Gate (Green Greens of Popstar) that could transform into monsters called Mover Mode. During a war with an unknown race of animals, the aliens were losing and so Dark Oak extracted his world's "Planet Egg" to harness its power to sustain his and his follower's monster forms without risking death. This resulted in the world withering away and the females left the men behind as punishment while Queen Earthia unleashed a nuclear strike. A few men survived and took on cybernetic bodies, swearing vengeance against all non-plant beings. They also eventually found Earthia's space cruiser and slaughtered all onboard under Dark Oak's order with the exception of Cosmo, presumed to be his daughter.

Now who or what Bayleaf was is left unanswered since he wasn't featured in any of the flashback scenes.

Of the Metarex commanders, Bayleaf is the most tactical, strategizing the most intelligent and preferable methods to ensure the group's success. He is also the first of the Metarex to retrieve a Chaos Emerald after they were scattered by a gravity field. Later, he is manning the fleet that is attacking the planet Cascade, home to a powerful resistance party that had their Planet Egg stolen years ago by the Metarex. Eggman, who was on his own ship the Crimson Egg, falls into the crossfire while looking for the Chaos Emeralds and has Shadow destroy the Metarex fleet when they fire at Eggman.

When resistance leader Molly leads Shadow and Rouge to the mines where the Chaos Emerald was being kept, Molly opens a locker that her associate Leon said contained a disk to reboot their servers, only for it to contain a bomb. Shadow teleported the three away before it blew up, and the Metarex fleet suddenly returned. It's revealed that Bayleaf bribed Leon, offering to spare their planet if they surrender Eggman - and Leon didn't want Molly to interfere. However, Eggman knew something was off and defeated the rebels. For failing their task, Bayleaf calls off the deal and prepares to kill them. Molly tries to stop them herself but was destroyed by Bayleaf's lasers (or simply disappears in the English dub). Shadow then destroys the entire Metarex fleet, yet Bayleaf somehow survived.

Later on, Eggman teams up with the Metarex as they offer to help him kill Sonic and friends (as well as claim their Chaos Emeralds). During their fight against Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles on the Blue Typhoon, the three Metarex bosses (Bayleaf, Black Narcissus, and Yellow Zelkova) display cruel strategies by being willing to fire at their own ships for being in the way, something Eggman finds cruel.

After Zelkova dies in his fight against Knuckles on a volcanic planet, Bayleaf mocks him as Eggman created his "impenetrable shield" and arrests the mad scientist for attempting to steal their technology. Meanwhile, Shadow and Rouge, looking for the remaining Chaos Emeralds, come across a forest in the middle of nowhere with a Chaos Emerald in it, but Shadow can tell it was a fake. Taking a closer look at the bases of the trees reveal Leon and the other resistance group members, having been fused with the trees that slowly drained them of their energy. In his final words, Leon reveals that Bayleaf lied to him and the others about joining the Metarex.

While not confirmed what happened, either Bayleaf killed the resistance group for finding a fake Emerald (which they likely did not know), or he provided them with a fake Emerald as some sort of "reward". Either way, he would've led them to their brutal fates even if the Emerald was real.

In the final battle, Dark Oak uses the powers of the Planet Eggs and Chaos Emeralds to merge himself with Bayleaf and Narcissus to form the eldritch Final Mova in the Metarex's ultimate effort to eradicate all non-plant lifeforms in the universe. However, they are foiled when Cosmo undergoes her own transformation and fuses herself to it to dissolve its gravitational shield. Tails uses the Sonic Power Cannon to fire Sonic and Shadow at the exposed core (planet Green Gates), destroying the monster, the Metarex, and unfortunately Cosmo in the process.

Mitigating Factors

None that I can find. Unlike the other commanders, Bayleaf isn't given any tragic excuses or redeeming traits behind his actions. Despite his smaller screen-time compared to the others, he shows the cruelest actions by killing Molly onscreen and later turning the resistance group into trees whilst lying about their promise to both join the Metarex and spare their planet. The act may have happened offscreen, but the outcome is seen and it's not a pretty sight. Additionally, while Dark Oak and Narcissus swear to avenge Red Pine and Zelkova, Bayleaf shrugs their deaths off. He aids in Dark Oak's will of destroying all non-plant life, but nothing is shown or depicted to show that Bayleaf is following him out of loyalty, just following orders.

One moment shows him playing Chess with one of his minions. This seems to vague to call a redeeming quality since his chemistry with the mook is not explored at all other than that one occasion.

Work's Standards

Since the anime is not connected to the mainstream Sonic series, we won't have to compete him with the works of Mephiles, Black Doom, Infinite, and that genie guy.

Out of the Metarex, it's the five leaders who have the most development. They all share a similar level of sadism such as attempting to wipe out all non-plant life in the universe and willingness to shoot down their own minions for standing in their way, but it's Pale Bayleaf who shows the most heinousness.

  • Dark Oak is a tragic villain whose desperation for victory led him to sacrifice the life of his own planet, making him lose the trust of his people and wife. Upon defeat, he acknowledges that he made the wrong choices in life and his wife was right all along before departing to the afterlife with her.
  • Yellow Zelkova is affably evil towards his allies and opponents, and has a comedic running gag in the English dub where he acts like a business salaryman. He also honorably accepts his death by refusing Knuckles' offer for help while falling into a lava pit.
  • Red Pine only appears in one episode and dies way too soon for us to learn almost anything about him.
  • Black Narcissus almost comes close as he too is a vicious sadist and has quite a nasty act of his own - in the episode "Teasing Time", he captures Chris and Cosmo (while stabbing the formal; albeit non-lethally) to serve as test subjects on the prototype Gold and Silver Metarex, both which nearly kill them and cause Sonic to nearly go crazy from black energy. However, he's given a single redeeming quality, that making an oath to avenge Pine and Zelkova.
  • Pale Bayleaf isn't given any of those redeeming traits. Additionally, he has a higher (on-screen) kill count with Molly and the resistance party.

Verdict

It's your decision. Personally, I'd stick with Quilava.

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