The Summary: I dislike Silvaze because I feel that Blaze's character is being watered down to suit the couple in the games because of it's popularity. Blaze was created to be a strong, independent female with a strong dedication and conviction, but a withdrawn, distrustful nature. She was paired with Sonic to highlight these traits. However, after Sonic Rush Adventure, in all of her appearances since then (exempting Sonic Generations), she has been paired with Silver, with Silver clearly dominating the scenes, and Blaze being drowned out in Silver's shadow. Her character is more in line with her with her Sonic 2006 appearance, with her unsociable traits, which initially merely balanced out her "badass" traits, being exaggerated and brought to the forefront, making her seem weak and lacking in conviction, almost servile. I do not believe the correlation between Blaze's character erosion and Silvaze's popularity among the fanbase, and it's incorporation into the games, to be a coincidence.
The Full Story: It wouldn't take much reading of my comments and picks on polls to discover that I don't like Silvaze. In truth, that's an understatement. I despise Silvaze and everything it stands for. It's ironic, since I was once one of the many fans of Silvaze, among the most popular Sonic couples, but those days are long over. Now, I am a moderate supporter of Sonaze. However, to think I have turned on Silvaze simply because of my support for Sonaze couldn't be more wrong. It goes much farther than that.
I have been a Blaze fan(boy) ever since I played Sonic Rush for the first time. Before, I could not decide on my favorite character, leaning somewhat towards Shadow but also liking Tails. However, when I picked up Sonic Rush and started playing it, I was interested in that the game had a new character. By the time I had unlocked Blaze, I stopped playing as Sonic and immediately started Blaze's story. It didn't take long for me to become absorbed in Blaze's character. She was so different from Amy, the only other female character in the series I was aware of at the time. She was very serious about recovering the Sol Emeralds from Dr. Eggman, and she, of course, had fire powers. But it was her personality and characterization that interested me most. She was a strong, dedicated, and hard-headed girl. Her design was also very good. By the time I had reached the end of her story, I was already a fanboy. At the time, I had accused Cream of watering down Blaze's fiery personality through her teachings of friendship, but over time, I had begun to see that it had added another dimension to her previously one-dimensional, Shadowesque character, especially after playing through Rush Adventure.
When I played Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games (DS) for the first time, I was eager to be able to recruit Blaze in the game's adventure mode. When I finally got to her, the first thing I noticed was that she was with Silver, which I didn't have a problem with at the time. The second thing I noticed was that Blaze was different. She was a far cry from the dignified, hard-headed but compassionate warrior princess that I had become acquainted with from Sonic Rush. Blaze from Sonic Rush had different shades of anti-social and a withdrawn nature, mostly because of her disciplined nature and unwillingness to trust others, but these were only at the forefront during specific scenes and were never the foremost part of her character. However, here with Silver, these traits were greatly exaggerated, and as a result, she came off as an extremely quiet and withdrawn character who seemed almost subordinate to Silver; she just followed him and usually just clarified what he was saying. She was completely smothered in Silver's shadow. Based on what I had learned about Sonic 2006 and Blaze's appearance and personality in that game, I concluded that this was a different Blaze than the one I had known and loved from Sonic Rush. From that point, I drew a thick line between future Blaze and Rush Blaze as two different characters.
For a time, this theory provided protection from the cold reality that was to set in. I then picked up and played Sonic Rush Adventure and was pleasantly surprised to find that my favorite character was her normal self, that warrior princess from the first Rush game, albeit carrying over the extra layer of personality that she had gained from her character development in that game. I played through and thoroughly enjoyed the game. This should have solidified the theory that Rush Blaze and future Blaze were different, but I was soon to find this theory was not reality.
I later found out that the Blaze from Mario and Sonic Games was, in fact, the same Blaze from the Sonic Rush series. Apparently, I had missed a note from one of the crates in the Adventure mode clarifying this, stating that Blaze got to the Olympic Games through the use of the Sol Emeralds, which did not exist in the timeline of Sonic 2006. Then I had found out about Blaze's appearance in Sonic Colors (DS), where she acted similar to her appearance in the Mario and Sonic series, made worse by Laura's poor voice acting, which possessed no conviction or passion behind it. Coincidently, there was also a scene in the game where Blaze and Silver meet and converse, stating that they feel like they know each other. This Blaze was also the same Blaze from the Sonic Rush series, clarified by Blaze's statement that the Sol Emeralds transported her to Sonic's world and her mentioning of Marine. At this point, Blaze's characterization in these games was becoming appalling to me. Then came Takashi Lizuka's statement that Blaze's appearance in all games except Sonic 2006 was the Blaze from Sonic Rush, and as the icing on the cake, Eggman Nega, formerly Blaze's arch-nemesis, and the main driver of conflict in her world, was now Silver's arch-nemesis.
After this dash with reality, I took time to think and reflect on all of this. Why was Blaze still being paired with Silver when, in the beginning, she had nothing to do with him, I pondered. Why was she becoming less and less of an interesting character with each appearance. After some time, I arrived at a conclusion; Silvaze and it's fans were to blame for much of this.
Now, before you dismiss my argument for scapegoating a fanbase, know that I don't want to blame the fans and respect their views and preferences. However, popular demand plays a major role in shaping games that are not indie or art games, and SEGA do not manufacture games under either of these categories. They simply put out what will sell, and now more than ever since they are experiencing financial problems. In recent years, SEGA has been paying a great deal of attention to fans and their views on how a Sonic game should be, and this shows on several games such as Sonic Generations, Sonic 4, and Sonic Colors. In other games, there is not as significant fan influence, though it is still present. SEGA are at a point where they will go to previously unimaginable ends to satisfy fan demands, to the point where fan service dominates production of Sonic games. So it's no surprise that they might have the shipping fanbase in mind when producing a new entry to the series. However, the shipping fanbase has been in a state of constant bickering since it's inception, which makes it nearly impossible for anyone to please or satisfy one part of the fanbase without aggravating another. SEGA have no chance of satisfying all of the fanbase at once, so they simply pay the most attention to the ship that has the most support. Silvaze has a constantly growing fanbase that has eclipsed both Sonaze and Shadaze, the other major Blaze couples, and it's size even rivals that of the penultimate Sonic ship, Sonamy, and there is also a significant overlap between the two fanbases. Thus, SEGA most likely has these two fanbases in mind while creating the storyline for a new Sonic game, with any others simply an afterthought. As a result, we have Silver and Blaze paired together in both Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games editions, Sonic Colors (DS), and the two converse at the end of Sonic Generations in their first canon meeting, all intended to please the Silvaze fans. Archie Comics also nodded at the Silvaze fans in the Worlds Collide saga in which Silver Man and Blaze Woman are paired together as a single combat unit before being deroboticized by Sonic and Mega Man, after which Silver and Blaze agree to look after each other in a "cute" Silvaze moment. This is all often considered a nod to Sonic 2006, but considering the fanservice nature of these scenes and the fact that the majority of the Sonic fanbase either reviles Sonic 2006 or tries to forget that it happened, this is easily a dreadful lie.
Why is all of this bad? What's wrong with pairing two characters together? Well, first consider that when Blaze was first introduced, she had nothing to do with Silver. It was only until Sonic 2006 that she became an associate of Silver's. It is alleged that Blaze was originally intended to take the place of Princess Elise, but SEGA changed her to Silver's closest friend to avoid angering the Sonamy fans, which comprised a significant portion of the Sonic fanbase and whom were already starting to grow restless over Sonic Rush. There is also a rumor that Silver himself was created by a Sonamy supporter working for SEGA as a character to pair Blaze with so as to avoid having to compete with Sonaze. However, these are just rumors; we must focus on facts. Blaze's characterization in Sonic 2006 was a far cry from what she had been presented as on Sonic Rush. She was unsociable, quiet, withdrawn, and seemed almost depressed. Her backstory was also changed, and confusion over Blaze's backstory still continues to this day, even after Takashi Lizuka himself attempted to settle the issue. Many fans of Blaze were introduced to her through Sonic 2006, and for them, the character that she displayed in that game is her true characterization. Meanwhile, the seeds of Silvaze were planted, and SEGA would only have enough time to create one more game featuring Sonic and Blaze as the main protagonists, Sonic Rush Adventure, before the fanbase of Silvaze became too big to ignore.
As the Silvaze fanbase grew, SEGA suddenly had to pay attention to them. If they continued to present Blaze as a close associate of Sonic and discontinue her relationship with Silver despite having more than adequate reason to, it could aggravate the Silvaze fanbase, which could cause long-term consequences by angering many Sonic fans, which could harm sales of the next game. The growth of the Sonaze fanbase had been stunted by being in the shadow of the fanbase of Silvaze, and it was too small to have a voice, much less be heard. Therefore, SEGA developed the next few games with Silvaze in mind, even bringing back Blaze's characterization from Sonic 2006, as that was the idea of Blaze that many fans of Silvaze had at the time. As a result, her character became very boring and one-dimensional, and she was constantly in Silver's shadow with no chance to truly shine on her own.
This is why I hate Silvaze, because to me, it represents and is a cause of the erosion of Blaze's character. She was a dignified, dedicated warrior princess, albeit with difficulty trusting others, a strict discipline and a backstory which, although very similar to Knuckles, has a much more distinct influence on her character. Now she seems like a depressed, withdrawn and socially inept character with horrible voice acting that exudes nary an ounce of passion and who always seems to end up in Silver's shadow with not a single moment of glory to speak of since Sonic Rush Adventure. It's almost like the case with Mario and Luigi, except that while Luigi took his time in Mario's shadow and made it a part of his character, Blaze's character has been corrupted and dumbed down under Silver's and Silvaze's influence. It's hard to scapegoat a fanbase like this, but as much as I would like to believe "It's just a fan couple, it's nothing to get upset over" popular opinion means much in the world of gaming, and in this case, it means the rise of Silvaze, it's integration into the Sonic games, and the dumbing down of Blaze's character to fit the couple as a result.