Before Sonic, before ToeJam & Earl , before Joe Musashi and even a few months before Alex Kidd, SEGA’s mascot was a sentient little spaceship called Opa-Opa, hero of the Fantasy Zone. Though there’s some debate regarding who was the “true” mascot before Sonic came around, I personally put myself in Opa-Opa’s camp. Why? Well, aside from cameoing in a bunch of SEGA games from the ‘80s, a few of which you can read about here, Opa-Opa was also a supporting character in an anime SEGA partially funded, Zillion.
Zillion is a 1987 sci-fi anime from Tatsunoku Productions. It centers around White Knight J.J. and his fellow White Knights Apple and Champ as they defend the earth colony Maris from the evil Nozas, an alien race intent on wiping humans off the face of the planet. The White Knights battle the forces of evil with their signature weapon, the Zillion Weapon System, a Master System light gun (literally, complete with the cord) capable of destroying the Nozas, who are otherwise invulnerable to human weaponry.