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Old 09-28-2014, 05:52 PM   #1951
big bad birtha
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I managed to watch Rainbow Rocks.

Rainbow Rocks spoilers:
Spoiler: show
Hmm....how to describe this. This wasn't as tacky as the first movie, but I don't know if I could say it's better or not. It felt like the movie was more fanservice than anything. The background characters everyone loves all make a contribution to the movie, and admittedly I was sucked in by it. The story though was really rushed. It felt like the movie should have been 30 minutes longer, and it seems you're missing out some details if you didn't watch the preview videos for the movie. Sunset Shimmer's big moment didn't have that much impact either. The entire movie sets up for it, but it was just underwhelming. The humor was weak too. It's just constant self-parodying and incredibly repetitive. The first movie atleast had better humor. I can't really say the songs did anything for me either (Shine Like Rainbows being the exception). Though if you're a Trixie fan, the movie really gives you a bunch of her. I did really like Vinyl's parts in the movie. That god damn car.

For specific things to mention:

Oh fuck yes! Bulk Biceps playing violin! He should have won the whole god damn competition.

Derpy's outfit was cute.

I loved the pictures in the ending credits. Sunset Shimmer's was especially nice.

I'm not sure what to think of human world Twilight's appearance at the very end. I do like her unkempt design as opposed to her Equestria counterpart, but her appearance could mean bad things for the future. Hopefully it's just a movie preview.

Overall, the movie had a better story and less cringeworthy moments than the first one, but was rushed and more superficial. I can't really say it's better or worse.

Last edited by big bad birtha; 09-29-2014 at 12:35 AM.
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Old 09-29-2014, 10:23 PM   #1952
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I saw Rainbow Rocks too. I thought it was enjoyable and was a lot better than the first movie, but still not quite as good as the show.

Spoiler: show
Overall, the movie started kind of slow. Through the first 15-20 minutes I felt that there wasn't much of an improvement. It was the same type of shoddy writing and forgettable songs that plagued the first movie. The deus ex machina of Sunset Shimmer's book was a bit of a cop-out, but I do feel the movie picked up a little bit more once the story featured Equestria. It was at least nice to have the whole Mane Six together. And I thought the added plot of Twilight wracking her mind trying to match everybody's expectations that she missed everything around her was a good plot point, because in the end it let Sunset Shimmer come to the rescue. In a way you could say the movie's #1 main character was Sunset Shimmer. It was her maturation that formed the backbone of the story, until in the end she was able to take over Twilight's place in the group. Yeah, the conclusion wrapped up fairly neatly and rapidly, but at least it wasn't "in your face" with the friendship lesson.

Now, the Battle of the Bands sequence was where the movie shines the best. It was fun to see all the shout-outs to the show, but what really set it apart was the amazing visuals that goes with the music. And Rainbow Dash's song is awesome, but maybe I'm just a little bit biased.

A few more things. I thought the Dazzlings were kind of lame villains. Adagio Dazzle was detestable. Aria Blaze didn't really have much of a presence. And everybody seemed to like Sonata Dusk, and she is the most appealing of the three, but I felt that they wanted to give her a ditzy personality but went far beyond that.

I think it's funny that Octavia has more lines in Rainbow Rocks than she did in the season. It's nice, because I like Octavia.

The ending with Sunset Shimmer writing the letter and the appearance of the real EQG Twilight does raise the possibility of a spinoff or a third movie. While I'm not opposed to it, I really hope it doesn't cut into the production of the show.

Also, Flashlight is real.
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Old 11-05-2014, 12:03 AM   #1953
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So, over one year late to the party, I finally went and watched the first movie, Equestria Girls.

Spoiler: show
I thought this movie was incredibly cute and fun. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that "I loved it" right on up until the part where Sunset Shimmer transformed into a demoness. From that point on until Twilight's return to Equestria, the story just got really stupid. Though it wasn't perfect until that point either: there were a lot of little grievances here or there, sprinkled throughout the first four-fifths or so of the film. But for the most part? I had a really fun time watching this.

Pros: First of all, "mai waifu" Twilight Sparkle was super fun to see anthropomorphized. I've always enjoyed the small selection of MLP:FiM fanart that anthropomorphizes the girls well, and while the film's art style left something to be desired (more on that later), Twilight still definitely came across loud and clear as Dream Girlfriend material.

I enjoyed that the writers understood that the story they wanted to tell would not fill ninety minutes, much less one hundred twenty, and that they didn't try to force it. "We've got 75 minutes' worth of story to tell, so let's just tell it in 75 minutes." It makes for a bit of a ripoff as far as the expectation of a $10 movie ticket goes, sure, but it's better than a 75-minute good story being ruined by 45 minutes of padding.

I enjoyed many of the cameos or other nods to longtime fans. Just listing off a couple examples ...
  • Trixie's cameo
  • the Cutie Mark Crusaders checking out the YouTube comments on their unintentionally hilarious performance
  • Derpy Hooves' cameo at the end of the credits, muffin and all
I enjoyed seeing our favorite pony characters not only in human bodies but with the consequences of living in our human world as well (e.g. YouTube usage).

I liked that Sunset Shimmer had originally been a pony. When I first saw the trailers for this film, I wasn't sure whether she was originally a pony herself or whether she had always been a human. I considered both, but I'll admit that right on up until seeing her steal Twilight's crown in pony form in an early scene of the film I was leaning towards the guess that she would be an exclusive to the human world.

Cons: I disliked several aspects of the character designs. The biggest specific complaint I had with them was the skin tones. It was just really, really unrealistic and distracting. Reminded me of Doug, a popular children's show from the 1990s. I would have much preferred an anime approach to the girls where they retained their exotic hair colors but their skin tones were all realistic. I suspect that Hasbro deliberately went with the pony skin colors because they didn't want to touch the race issue with a ten foot pole, but blah. :\

I disliked that every pony had a doppelganger in the human world except Sunset Shimmer. And I disliked even more the fact that they alluded to the existence of Twilight's human doppelganger (by having several characters remark that they'd seen a girl who looked just like Twilight before) yet never bothered to explain why the human Twilight wouldn't have interacted with all of the others. Like, you can argue "home schooling" all you like, but that still doesn't explain why the mirror universe Twilight wouldn't have her mentor in her life.

I really disliked the decision to have the student body discover the supernatural side of things (e.g. when they saw Twilight with wings and horse ears) and to then not question it or freak out over it. The part with Principal Celestia near the end of the film (after the fight with Sunset Shimmer is concluded) was especially strange. If I didn't know any better, I'd swear that she was the real (i.e. the equine) Celestia and that she was just pretending to be a human who was ignorant of Twilight's history.

I don't mind giving Twilight a possible romantic interest, but it felt really poorly written. He was just a pretty boy jock who ran into her a couple of times and that was it. I would've much preferred it if their love had been "earned." For example, if he'd been the first person to befriend her on this side of the portal and if he had stuck with her through thick and thin over the past 30 days. And speaking of 30 days ...

I really disliked how quickly they forgot their own temporal premise! They claimed that the portal is only open once every thirty days, that if you miss the window to teleport back over then you'll have to wait a month to do it. So why is it that the dance was written to take place a few days after Twilight's arrival? Wouldn't it have made way more sense to have had the dance be scheduled for 28-30 days after her arrival?

And I really, REALLY disliked Sunset Shimmer's transformation into a demoness. I just plain did not like it that the writers decided to say that Twilight's crown has the power to transmogrify bodies belonging to wicked hearts. It felt like a poorly thought-out plot element in a fanfic that has undesirable consequences for the greater MLP:FiM universe.

In conclusion, I enjoyed the film a heck of a lot more than I thought I would; I look forward to starting Season 4; and Twilight Sparkle remains the best character in the series.
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Old 11-05-2014, 03:16 PM   #1954
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Devouring Season 04 too quickly, so I need to write up some posts before I get too far along.

Season 04 Episodes 01 & 02:

Spoiler: show
I thought the first 95% or so of Episode 01 was fine but not terribly entertaining. I disliked the final 5% or so, where it's revealed that Luna has reverted to Nightmare Moon. This just felt like an enormous step backwards and--

Wait, what? You mean she didn't turn back into Nightmare Moon? That that was all a flashback, just as many fans had speculated/hoped it would be back when we first saw the sneak peek of this scene? Well that's a relief.

I'm not a big fan of Discord or the role he now plays in the series, but I like John de Lancie and think that if Discord hadn't been named "Discord" but rather "Q" and hadn't been established to be "the god of chaos" but rather "a mischievous but ultimately well-meaning entity with god-like powers" then I wouldn't mind him so much.

I wasn't a big fan of writing the Elements of Harmony out of the series, but I wasn't a big fan of their "Oh gag me " forced inclusion in so many episodes either. So it's a mixed bag for me that they're gone now and Twilight & Co. will have to find replacement gems/keys/whatever over the course of the season.

I do like though that the girls have a clear objective that will span the season.

I also love Princess Twilight. <3 So, so glad she did indeed end up being a latent alicorn.

Season 04 Episode 03:

Spoiler: show
This was a really enjoyable episode, but for me the main draw was an anticipation that ended up going unanswered: whether Twilight would make this castle her new royal home or not. It definitely felt like that was where the episode was going early on. I mean ...
  • Twilight can't very well have the Ponyville library be her castle.
  • As a princess, she "needs" a castle.
  • The abandoned castle was set up as being Twilight's dream haunt, what with the enormous library it has that is filled to the rafters with ancient books, many of which she's never seen before.
  • Since the castle's abandoned, that means no one else is using it. So she can move right in so long as no one minds.
  • And the castle's previous occupants were none other than Celestia and Luna, both of whom would be more than happy to give Twilight permission to make the castle her new royal home.
But the episode soon gets distracted by a fun Halloween-style episode where we get to see Rarity & Fluttershy, Applejack & Rainbow Dash, Twilight & Spike, and finally Pinkie Pie all having their own adventures within the enormous spooky castle. It was fun though, so I mean, don't get me wrong: I enjoyed the episode. I just had hoped we'd see a bit more emphasis on Princess Twilight's royal future.

One thing I wasn't too too crazy about, but I guess I've learned to accept it as newcanon™, is the introduced idea that Canterlot wasn't the capital back when Celestia and Luna were kids. I dunno, it just feels weird to me that ...
  1. ... Celestia would have created a Camelot-esque capital if she were really as depressed as she now says she was during this time when Luna was imprisoned on the Moon
  2. ... Luna would call Canterlot home after being liberated from the Moon even though as far as she's concerned it's a brand-new city with absolutely no personal history, no emotional attachments, etc.
I guess you can argue that for both women their original home brings up too many painful memories of Luna's transformation into Nightmare Moon? But I dunno. It just felt like this whole "The Castle of the Two Sisters" angle was sprung on us from out of nowhere just to justify why an abandoned castle would conveniently be located right next to Ponyville.

Flipping things back around though, one thing I did like about all this -- really like, in fact -- was the attention that was constantly called to the fact that it's been a thousand years since Celestia's battle with Nightmare Moon. It's easy for us to forget sometimes that Celestia is so long-lived. She looks and sounds so young, so strong still, like she's the alicorn equivalent of a human woman in her late 30s to very early 40s. When you consider that it's been a thousand years since the battle, it makes so much sense that:
  • names would have changed since then. For example, the castle probably went by a different name a thousand years ago but over the centuries it came to be known by Equestrians as "the Castle of the Two Sisters".
  • fortunes would have risen and fallen. For example, there was presumably a capital city there about as magnificent and developed as Canterlot, but after a thousand years all that remains are some ruins, a wild forest, and untamed land. So you get the early settlers of Ponyville's who founded the city several generations/centuries ago, Granny Smith's grandparents or great-grandparents, and it's allowed to make sense why they'd arrive and neither have memory of nor bear witness to the fact that this was once where the capital of Equestria was located.
It reminds me a lot of actual Chinese history, with how every time the capital was moved from Chang'an to Luoyang the one city would transform from farm village to bustling imperial city while the other would tumble from resplendent city to fallen-off-the-map wilderness, with how today neither city is anything at all like they were at their respective dynastic peaks because (not counting super-brief stints in the early 20th century) neither has been the national capital in over 500 years. It's crazy to think that 500 years is enough time for a city like London or Paris to transform into the boonies, but China shows us that that's precisely the case. So yeah: I'm able to accept the idea of this castle in the woods a lot better thanks to the episode's frequent reminders that Celestia's battle with Nightmare Moon was a thousand years ago.
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Old 11-06-2014, 11:36 PM   #1955
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Glad you enjoyed Equestria Girls (well, most of it at least), and liked Season 4 so far. It only gets better from there. I really need to take the time to write about my thoughts about Season 4, and also from the last few conventions I went to. I will say that ShevaDas says hi, Sneezy, if you still read this thread. XP
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Old 11-07-2014, 11:02 PM   #1956
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Equestria Girls spoiler
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I assumed human Twilight lived in a different town. I think Pinkie Pie said something about a girl looking just like her living in "the city". Of course, maybe my memory is playing tricks on me.

For Sunset, she's resting in a shallow grave!

My biggest issue with the human designs is the body/leg ratio. Otherwise, I've gotten used to them.


I do look forward to seeing what you say about the S4 finale. I've looked at the opinions from the fanbase, and I'd like to see a voice of reason for a change.

Speaking of season finales, here's a brilliant remix of a song from the S3 finale! It brought a tear to my eye.
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Old 11-09-2014, 11:02 AM   #1957
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Season 4 Episode 04:

Spoiler: show
This episode would have made for an amazing fanfic. It was a lot of fun in asking the question, "What if Daring Do were real and the Daring Do books were all autobiographies?" and answering it with, "Well, she is and they are! "

But the thing is ... I HATE that this is canon now.

I feel like it completely ruins Rainbow Dash's interest in the Daring Do books, and I feel like it also completely ruins Daring Do as a character, to have her be real and for her adventures to all be really taking place in Equestria. It was so much, so much, so much better when Daring Do was Rainbow Dash's Indiana Jones. Yes, I did say that this was a fun question and answer that the episode gave to us. But I would've liked it somewhere divorced from the conseequences of series canon. Having it be an actual episode in the television series, and having it all be real rather than being a dream or a campfire story ... it just ruins everything to do with Daring Do for me.

So yeah. I'm really torn on this episode. I both loved it and loathed it. And if I had to pick ... I'm sorry to say, but I'd have to go with loathed. Ugh. This sucks. So conflicted. I really found the episode fun to watch ... but I really, really hated that Daring Do is real now, that the books are all autobiographies, that the villains she faces off against are villains Celestia has absolutely no qualms with letting run amok in Equestria, etc. Part of what makes Indiana Jones amazing is that he does stuff that could maybe happen in real life (and even that's not 100% true; every Jones film has some elements of fantasy in there) but at the same time it's so spectacular, so amazing that you know that no one could do all this in real life except God's gift to tomb raiding. That's what makes him so awesome. But now with Daring Do, we've been shown that she's real and that everything she's ever done could toooooooooooooooootally be done by Twilight and her friends. It transforms Daring from magical to mundane. And I guess that's why I hate it so much.

But I did like it too. Oh man ...

Season 4 Episode 05:

Spoiler: show
This episode was normal-level entertaining/enjoyable. It wasn't boring, it wasn't riveting either. I'd call it good.

This was probably the best Scootaloo episode in memory. Other episodes have done their part to try and lend her some character development but I think they've also annoyed people: Scootaloo's my least favorite of the three Cutie Mark Crusaders myself, and while I don't hate her I've never cared for her as much as Apple Bloom or Sweetie Belle. This episode tries to change that; and while I think Scootaloo remains my least favorite, S4E04 definitely left me with a more favorable and sympathetic view of her overall.

The song was okay. Bronies seem to really go wild over Daniel Ingram's songs, but to me they're all pretty simple both lyrically and musically. This song was no exception -- though there was one lyrical things which stood out to me and that was his decision to use the word "horses." I feel like we never have even heard that word used before in MLP:FiM: everything is always "pony" this and "pony" that, "pony" "pony" "pony"! Sure, they use all manner of synonyms and gender or age-specific terms -- fillies, colts, mares, and so on -- but when was the last time you ever heard someone use the word "horse" in MLP:FiM? Serious question. I can't recall any time before now. Which is partly the reason why it stood out so much to me when Ingram decided to include it.

The lessons for Scootaloo -- and thus indirectly for the children at home watching this on television -- were all pretty good. There were too many and with too many subtleties for me to want to attempt to list them all right now. All I can say is, "Watch the episode and you'll understand what lessons I am referring to."

Season 4 Episode 06:

Spoiler: show
This was the episode I would have wanted the Daring Do episode to be. It combined the fun of "ponies get to meet/be their heroes for a day" along with the satisfaction of "never fear: this has absolutely no bearing on the canon of Equestria or the canon of the fictional universe the ponies visited." Really, really wish the Daring Do episode had been this way. In fact, given the proximity of the episodes (S4E04 and S4E06) and how previous episodes have provided evidence that the writers do at least convene from time to time, I am all but convinced that this is what happened: production decides they want to do a Daring Do episode and takes suggestions during a group brainstorming session. One person offers the ideas that would eventually go into making Episode 04 while another person offers the ideas that would eventually go into making Episode 06. The team is split over which Daring Do episode to go with. In the end, they decide to go with S4E04. But they're fond enough of S4E06's ideas that they don't want to scrap them completely. "How about we invent a new bit of literary fiction for our universe. Have it be some other character's favorite thing to read. And how about we write it into being a their episode where they get character development instead of Rainbow Dash." It's decided that the character will be Spike, that the literature will be a parody of Marvel/DC comic books, and the rest is history. I'm glad that we got to have both, especially since I prefer S4E06 to S4E04 myself. I just wish the roles had been reversed. Especially since I love(d) Daring Do so much more than I do this new comic series of Spike's. *sigh*

Overall, I felt the episode was a lot of great fun for children and adults alike.

It was pretty obvious to adult viewers even before the opening credits rolled that Humdrum was analogous to Spike and that the episode would be all about Spike eventually realizing this, getting depressed about his own role with the ponies, and then coming to realize that he's not worthless, that he isn't Humdrum (despite what many a brony may think of him). But I liked how they made it a solvable mystery even for the youngest of viewers, providing successively greater and more obvious hints before finally, relatively late in the episode, spitting it out.

The crossover between Fluttershy and the Incredible Hulk was pretty great. I only wish they could've had a better trigger for her than what they ended up going with. That small complaint aside, this was easily the most fun "What if the ponies were Marvel/DC superheroes? " question and answer of the episode.

I loved that we've revisited the castle in the Everfree Forest. After Episodes 04 and 05, I was getting worried that the promises of an overarching plot with Princess Twilight that the first three episodes had hinted at was being put aside until way later. I'm glad to see that, no in fact, Twilight hasn't forgotten about the castle nor has anyone else and that, indeed, they're all tidying it up bit by bit to ready it for her use as her new home.

Season 4 Episode 07:

Spoiler: show
I thought that this episode was great fun. I can see some bronies getting their panties in a twist that it was too fantastical, that pony vampires shouldn't be a thing in this universe, that the physical changes to Fluttershy's body went too far, etc. But when I watched it myself, I came at it a) as someone much less invested in this franchise than your typical brony and b) as someone who loves a good "nice girl turns evil" tale. So it was a lot of fun to see Fluttershy become a vampire, especially since it was within the safe confines of the MLP:FiM universe where you knew the transformation would only be temporary and with no long-lasting or permanent side effects. (The fang tooth at the end, while cute in its own way, was the only inappropriate violation of this reassurance.)

I also thought the idea of "vampire fruit bats" was cute.

If you want to approach the episode for its moral lesson instead of its plot, then I'd say that it was a pretty decent environmental episode, neither great nor awful. It explored the concept that we have to be careful when we meddle with Nature because more often than not we don't see far enough ahead to realize what equilibria we may be throwing off when we do it. It wasn't as anti-intellectual as some of the more notorious S1 or S2 episodes were, but rather offered an intellectual answer that was neither super-tree hugger nor super-tree logger. "Yes, the bats should be dealt with. No, they probably shouldn't be completely eradicated."

There was one aspect I didn't feel the episode adequately explored though: the idea that ridding the farm of the bats didn't solve the problem of the rotting fruit. In the end, it's revealed that fruit has continued to rot despite Twilight's spell placed on the bats because the vampirism transferred from the bats to Fluttershy and she was now causing the apples to rot. This doesn't so much suggest that the ponies didn't see far ahead enough environmentalism-wise as it suggests that they didn't see far ahead enough magic-wise. Like, say Fluttershy hadn't become a vampire. Then what would have been the problem for the ponies? The bats' fate would have been ... well, this isn't really explored either. All we see is that they don't like apples anymore. Would they have starved to death? Would they have moved on to a different food source? Would've been nice to have shown them going from eating fruit to now eating meat or architecture or something. But as for the apples, they would've been a-okay. It was a pretty weak argument to say that the bats help the apple tree population out considering that 1) they don't ingest the seeds, therefore they don't add any fecal matter to the seed to aid its development nor gastric juices to break down its casing; and 2) apple seeds come with their own assistance anyway IN THE FORM OF THE FRIGGIN' APPLE MEAT. And so the bats are not only adding nothing positive to the equation but they are taking something positive away from it. No matter how you look at it, they're not helping out. Since the writing team clearly didn't want to explore defecation of seeds, they could've at least opted for a slightly smarter alternative. Rather than just have the bats spit the seeds out right where they're roosting (which is dumb anyway; fruit is evolutionarily successful because animals eat it and carry the seeds far from the site of the parent tree, thus ensuring that parent and child needn't compete for the same resources), the writers could've shown the bats having some unexplained (and it didn't need to be explained) urge to fly out to desolate land and to spit the seeds out there. Something like that. Anything to show that they're helping.
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Old 11-12-2014, 11:40 AM   #1958
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Season 4 Episode 08:

Spoiler: show
"Oh great: a Rarity episode. "

Rarity's my least favorite of the Mane Six, but every time she gets an episode to herself I at least try to go into it open-minded. But the problem is that the very attributes about Rarity that make me dislike her so much are the things that her episodes tend to focus on or play up. So yeah ... I didn't much care for this episode.

There was one thing the episode hinted at at the very end that they ended up not going for and I felt was a huge missed opportunity. And that was having Rarity remain in Manehattan for an indeterminate amount of time (in-universe it could be a month or more, but for us it could translate to as few as two episodes or as many as the entire rest of the season/series). The episode suggested that she'd be working for a friend to whom she was indebted. And that she had just found herself a new apprentice in Coco Pommel. This episode could have been so much more if Coco had been our first major pony introduction to the cast of characters since Cadence and Shining Armor back in Season 2. It would have been great to have seen Rarity working with someone else, furthering her career, etc. Instead, she goes back to Ponyville with her friends, dumps her favor on Coco (who thankfully is happy to do it, but still), and dumps Coco on her friend to whom she'd promised to do the favor herself. It's like ... ugh.

The episode wasn't helped imo by basing itself around the tired tale of how big city folk are cold, impersonal, unwilling to do you favors, and above all else ready to take advantage of you at a moment's notice. That the big city is a "dog eat dog world" and that if you don't want to get chewed up and spit back out you'll have to join with the big dogs and be a fierce nasty git yourself. Such plots are borderline patronizing to anyone who's ever moved from the country to the city, and for the rest of us they're not only things we can't relate to in our personal lives but that we've seen a hundred billion times in other stories.

Oh: and the song sucked too.

Season 4 Episode 09:

Spoiler: show
This was a fantastic episode. What a wonderful way to wash the bad taste of S4E08 out of my mouth. I'm not normally a fan of either Pinkie Pie or Applejack, but this episode played to their strengths in superb fashion. It was well-animated (as far as MLP:FiM goes), full of fun and flavor, and best of all ...

That song! "Apples to the Core" was probably the best song we've had this season. The lyrics, as always, are pretty weak in places while respectable in others. Ingram struggles to find rhymes that work and are accessible to a younger audience, and the consequence is that many of his songs are burdened by silly (or even nonsense) segments with pretty embarrassingly forced rhymes. Still, that's a problem typical of all of his songs, and that hasn't kept some of them from being keepers. "Apples to the Core" joins the likes of "Winter Wrap-Up" and "At the Gala" as not only one of my personal favorites in the series but as one of the objectively () greatest numbers yet.

I was a little surprised by how negatively they portrayed Golden Goldie Delicious. O_o We've heard about her so many times in passing, iirc, and to finally see her here only to discover that she's a crazy cat lady living in squalor and solitude was just ... well, it was really sad.

Pinkie was pretty much in top form for this episode. Every best part of her character shone through here. It really made her deserving of Applejack's declaration in the end that, genealogy or no genealogy, Pinkie is a part of the Apple family from now on.

It remains to be seen whether Pinkie is just happy to be a part of as many families as possible or whether she specifically is unhappy with her own family. I liked that the episode didn't explore this just yet, not only because it'd put a bit of a damper on an otherwise fun and happy episode but because it saves room for future exploration in a separate episode.

All in all, this episode was great. I didn't think I'd like it at the beginning, but it sure did prove me wrong.

Season 4 Episode 10:

Spoiler: show
This was an okay episode. If S4E09 displayed the best attributes of Pinkie Pie and Applejack, this episode displayed some of the worst out of Rainbow Dash. She seems to be a magnet for these kinds of episodes -- "Rainbow Dash places inferior friends or acquaintances before her superior, truer friends; eventually she comes to her senses and sets her priorities straight" -- and I think that makes a lot of people in the fandom dislike her. I know it makes it tough for me to like her as well. But my bigger complaint at this point is really with how tired this plot is. How many times have we seen Rainbow Dash doing things like this already? The only specific one that comes to mind is the early Season 1 episode with Gilda the Griffon but I am like 99% certain we've seen this same plot at least two other times with Rainbow. No more, writers. Please.

My other big complaint with the episode was the Wonderbolts. Two sub-complaints:

First, I dislike that the Wonderbolts have been made out to be such immoral assholes. Earlier episodes kind of flirted with this idea (in trying to justify why Rainbow Dash could more easily accept choosing her true friends over the Wonderbolts) but I don't remember them ever going as far as this episode did to depict them as downright evil immoral. This ruins the Wonderbolts for me. And it should ruin them for Dash as well. Why should she look up to them as role models when they're such terrible people?

Second, I dislike that the Wonderbolts are even heroes for Dash at this point. Part of it is what I just finished saying, but a much bigger part of it has to do with Daring Do. Before Daring Do was confirmed to be real, we could distinguish between IRL role models and fictional heroes. Rainbow worshiped Daring and adored her books, but Daring Do wasn't real: you couldn't really be a tomb raider who defied crazy-scary death traps around every corner 24/7 the way Daring Do does. Maybe the fictional Daring might have inspired Rainbow to pursue a career in archeology, but we can as easily accept a Wonderbolt Dash who loves Daring Do books as we can imagine an F-15 ace fighter pilot who loves the Indiana Jones films. But the moment you went and made Daring Do real, you completely squashed any reason Rainbow Dash should have for still wanting to be a Wonderbolt. Who the fuck wants to be a Wonderbolt -- ponies that merely fly fast in spandex -- when you could be a tomb raider like Daring Do!? Rainbow Dash gets a taste of helping Daring Do out, her personal hero, and she loves it. And Daring, for her part, insists that she "works alone " but warms up to Dash in the end. Is it not beyond the realm of expectations that Daring Do might solicit Dash's assistance as a sidekick? Or that she might want to train her as an apprentice? Etc, etc? And should that opportunity come a-knocking, should Rainbow Dash not take it? Should we seriously expect her to remain a boring Wonderbolt when she could go and become Daring Do No.2? This is my point: I just can't take the Wonderbolts seriously any more as a long-term career goal for Rainbow Dash. They've been so utterly eclipsed by Daring Do, who has been canonically rendered real by S4E04, that the idea of Rainbow's dream being to become a Wonderbolt is just laughable at this point. She's faster than they are. She's more moral than they are. And they don't do anything special besides fly really fast. The Wonderbolts have become this series' MENSA, and Rainbow is the genius with an IQ of 230. She doesn't need their validation. She already knows she's fast. So why settle for a career as "validated fast flyer" when she could aim so much higher and has shown an interest in said heights?

All of these complaints aside, the episode was fine. There wasn't much that was excellent in between the complaints, but there was plenty of decent stuff. The muscular pony got a name (if he didn't already have one) and a ton of screen time. Derpy Hooves had a fun cameo. (Although ... the first time she was silent was okay, but the second time was just plain awkward. I understand why they're doing it, but still.) And there was some overarching plot references to the Equestria Games.

One last thing. This isn't so much a complaint as a slightly annoyed question. I'm wondering why Rainbow Dash claims that Ponyville is her home rather than Cloudsdale. When did that happen? I thought that all of the pegasi who lived in the vicinity of Ponyville lived in Cloudsdale with the solitary exception of Fluttershy (and later, without her residence being shown, Scootaloo). Even the musclehead, I had thought, lived in Cloudsdale. But especially Rainbow Dash! We've specifically seen her home in Cloudsdale before. Has this suddenly been retconned or am I just forgetting something? Looking it up on the Wiki, I see that they say that she lives in a "cloudominium" above Ponyville. But I thought that the entire cloud-based residential area above Ponyville was Cloudsdale. That Fluttershy fell out of the sky specifically from Cloudsdale to Ponyville. That Cloudsdale is basically to the sky what Ponyville is to the ground. I guess I'm wrong? That's okay if I am. I'm just a little confused/annoyed because I could've sworn that Rainbow Dash lived in Cloudsdale ... especially since everything we ever see her doing with her friends up in the sky takes place in that city. Well, whatever.
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Old 06-13-2015, 07:12 PM   #1959
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For some reason, I've been keeping up with Season 5 for no reason other than it's still a show I can kinda turn by brain off on (kinda not really, I still pick up on stuff they do well and don't do well, but idk what to call it at this point) and idly watch, kinda like when I get lost on random youtube video game Top 10's instead of watching anime that I want to watch. It's something I can do without much effort, and I admittedly still want to watch the show until it burns out, mainly to see what happens to it rather than because I still enjoy as much as I used to.

But anyways, the 100th episode hit today, and I can definitely say that if you've been involved in the fandom at all, or enjoy the background characters at all, then check out at least this episode. It's got some flaws, some pretty jarring, but overall it's a well done 22 minute fanservice bj with a few exceptional parts.

This basically sums it all up:

Spoiler: show
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Old 06-14-2015, 01:36 AM   #1960
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I enjoyed the hell out of episode 100. It was really forced in some areas, but I still think it was more good than bad.

(episode 100 spoiler)
Spoiler: show
The biggest "bad" for me was just how forced the Bonbon/Lyra thing was. The entire scene with them got a big "eeeeeeehhhhhh....." from me.

Dr. Whooves was awesome. I didn't see much from him in fanworks, so I didn't expect much from the guy, but I thought he was the best part of the episode. I loved his outburst at the end.

I found Shining Armor's bawling more amusing than I should have.

Derpy was cute as always. Let's hope she doesn't get C&D'd again.

I liked the main 6 being shut out of the wedding more than I should have.
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Old 08-09-2015, 01:13 PM   #1961
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okay, so almost everypony who's interacted with me the past week or so knows I've been on a pretty huge kick on FiM lately. Guesses as to why range from trying to stave off growing instability, to empathically picking up the sweeping emotional hype that is BronyCon in session, to only these past few months really being able to indulge in watching Season 4 (and then later 5) on Netflix in a safe environment and being in a place where I can actually be a brony openly.

I have to say, so far, Season 4 has blown everything else out of the water. I'm eagerly awaiting the tail end of Season 5, and, to be honest, after seeing what a huge improvement Rainbow Rocks is over Equestria Girls, I can say I would like to watch Friendship Games. And the inevitable Bronies React video on it.

I have to say, Bronies React is one of the things I like most about this community. I like a fair bit of the analysis community as a whole, but Bronies React is, due to the way it's set up, fertile grounds for some great differing opinions and perspective shown together.

So, anyway, it's been known who I find best pony. Well-known. But I don't think I've ever given my power rankings, and I know they've gone through some changes:

Mane 6:
Spoiler: show
6: Applejack
5: Twilight Sparkle
4: Rarity
3: Fluttershy
2: Pinkie Pie
1: Rainbow Dash

I won't say I hate any of them, although Applejack does suffer from mostly bad spotlight episodes and being the least interesting member of the Apples. While I dislike the whole alicorn twilight thing, at least the writers have used it (mostly) to be able to drive an actual arc and were able to keep the shilling down a bit, and she does have her moments. Really glad it doesn't seem to be setting up any kind of Celestia 2.0 thing for her. Rarity is quite fun but she just can't budge into the top half


Top 5 songs
Spoiler: show
5: Smile, Smile, Smile (from A Friend In Deed)
It's bright, happy, catchy, and it really does make me beam, beam, beam.

4: A True, True Friend (from Magical Mystery Cure)
One of the best songs from a finale. Especially with time constraints on Season 13 being so tight, it was a good way to keep the pacing they needed to keep while getting plot resolution. Also, Dashie again shows she can clear the sky in ten seconds flat even when she's temporarily lost her destiny. Maybe it could have stood to be expanded a little (maybe at the expense of Celestia's song which, although her singing voice is nice, the song did nothing for me).

3: Goof-Off Song (from Pinkie Pride)
It's a big, goofy mashup of Pinkie and Cheese Sandwich battling to the finish the only way they know how: intense goofing. The gags were great, each dueler stealing back the song, and the timing, was great, and, oh yeah, it's Weird Al polka. One thing that I really loved in Season 4 was how they didn't shy away from different musical styles.

2: This Day Aria (from A Canterlot Wedding)
A wonderfully done song, and, to be honest, until it got dethroned in Season 4, it was really my top. The self-but-not-self duet was pulled off very well, and it had this chilling air to deceptive cadence.

But I have to say what really took the crown for me was:
Spoiler: show
1: Stop The Bats (from Bats!)
It's got this wonderful lyrical blend of light and dark. And the episode's animation shows it, too, with expert use of shadow and light in great sync with the music's flow. It felt like the kind of number I'd hear in a theatrical production. Even if they were mean to Fluttershy. In fact, you see how it works really well when, with the music and shadow, all her friends against her, poor Flutters is petrified. Ominous, catchy, and very expressive.



And then CMC
Spoiler: show
3: Applebloom
2: Scootaloo
1: Sweetie Bot Belle

To be honest, most of the CMC are close. I can relate to Sweetie Belle a lot more, and Scoots made the best choice of mentor. Can't say I dislike any of them, though


Last but not least, the Wall of Shame:
Spoiler: show
The episode Mysterious Mare-Do-Well
Gak
Trixie
Gilda
Brad


Oh, also
Spoiler: show
the confirmation that the Season 4 premier, being that first Summer Sun Celebration since the series started, shattering the enormous (fairly baseless) headcanon that 1 Season = 1 Year? Called it, loved it. Clearly just another ordinary, boring year in the life.

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Old 10-11-2015, 09:57 AM   #1962
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CMC Episode, Crusaders of the Lost Mark

Super spoilers ahead
Spoiler: show
These are my thoughts as I watch this:

I really like CMC episodes. And their songs, I really like. This is a very musical episode.

Silver Spoon bites Diamond Tiara back. Damn. Didn't even vote for her for Student Pony President. No-one but DT voted for her.

Also, DT gets songs. And she has a kind of abusive home life. Her mother is the worst kind of bigot.

And the CMC are trying to reform their worst antagonist. And DT is actually pushing back against her mother. And saying to her face that she wants something that Spoiled Rich (her mother) doesn't: friends. Fucking OWNED.

And right after a personal epiphany about how it doesn't matter if they ever get their Cutie Marks

CMC HAVE CUTIE MARKS! CMC HAVE CUTIE MARKS!
CMC HAVE CMC CUTIE MARKS!

RAINBOW DASH SINGS A COUPLE LINES TO SCOOTS AND IT'S BEAUTIFUL

What I noticed was that when they got their cutie marks together, there was a big release of energy.

It's interesting, as well, because this episode is a Diamond Tiara one just as much as a CMC one. And she is seemingly redeemed. And I actually like it. It actually has a lot of hinting in the series coming up to this point. This episode gave me a lot of feels.

I'm also glad that the "hints" dropped to their talents from Show Stoppers were nothing. Their true talents are being The Cutie Mark Crusaders. They helped someone they had been bullied by, one member even mocked for being possibly disabled. but in the year and a half or so since they formed the CMC, they had learned enough about friendship, without having to do friendship letters, without Elements of Harmony, with just themselves and the examples of those around them. They sympathised with Diamond Tiara, helped her figure out what her true purpose and talent really were and how to use it to be a good person and not a tyrant, and reformed her with their caring and charisma. Princess of Friendship Twilight Sparkle could really learn something from these little fillies.

Also, Apploosa's Most Wanted isn't just worthless filler anymore, it's actually a big lead-up into this episode

With this season's theme as Cutie Mark Magic, and the Season 5.5 Trailer talking about things changing right before showing the CMC three-way sishoof, I definitely was expecting this to happen this season. And I think it was done beautifully. This episode is also really full of music, and I really liked how it was used. It used the music to better effect than Magical Mystery Cure, and I quite liked Magical Mystery Cure.

I've seen some people saying this should have been stretched over more than one episode. But really, it has. the CMC/Luna episodes, Flight To The Finish, and especially, surprisingly, Apploosa's Most Wanted, were pretty huge lead-ups to this and I think set the tone perfectly. Even Hearts and Hooves Day and Call of the Cutie showed a lot of the unity and willingness to help others in it.

This episode has actually redeemed what I found the most dull episode in this season so far, too.

In closing, I really loved this episode, and I think it jumped into my top 5, maybe even top 3, episodes. And I do not think that the CMC's arc is over. This may be the apotheosis for their career of looking for their marks, but I think it's just a new beginning for them. I really like how the CMC have been, especially the past couple seasons, and this episode definitely did not disappoint me. I love their stories and they show a lot more personal growth, and sometimes better friendship lessons, than the Mane 6 do.

Great job, AKR
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As may be expected though, our clear winner here was Kairne, ASB's champion of prioritizing the pokemon you like over those that are objectively better. I mean, one of his mains is a Watchog.
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KAIRNE I WILL RIP OFF YOUR SCROTUM AND FEED IT TO YOU THROUGH A FUCKING SWIRLY STRAW.
Leader of the "Stop Screwing Over Smeargle" Brigade

ASB
Spoiler: show
Art by Kairne
ASB
[URL="http://forums.upnetwork.net/showthread.php?t=4387"]
Daisy Art:

Spoiler: show


Battlecuts courtesy of DaisyInari

Random stuffs:
Spoiler: show


Spoiler: show
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Old 10-25-2015, 01:05 PM   #1963
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Lil' Bluey

Big Mac is best pony.
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Old 10-26-2015, 01:25 AM   #1964
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Indeed.

Brotherhooves Social was my favorite episode this season, and(Hearthbreakers spoiler)
Spoiler: show
his thing with Flutterpie was cute.
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Old 10-26-2015, 04:59 PM   #1965
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(Hearthbreakers spoiler)
Spoiler: show
his thing with Flutterpie was cute.
Spoiler: show
I ship it.
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Old 11-30-2015, 05:16 PM   #1966
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Ahhhh that finale. My favorite so far now.

awww the cuteness:
Spoiler: show


I already plan to go to 3-4 conventions next year. Babscon, Trotcon, Nightmare Nights and possibly Midwest Bronyfest
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Old 06-23-2017, 01:06 PM   #1967
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Bumping to say I cried at ep13 of S7.

P.S. Ep10 was pretty great too.
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Old 06-23-2017, 01:27 PM   #1968
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I am an entire season behind. I still like MLP, but my interest has massively petered out compared to what it used to be for a multitude of reasons coughbroniescough.

Oh, and there's a theatrical movie coming this year, apparently. Cool.
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Old 06-23-2017, 03:46 PM   #1969
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i love this show, more people should watch it

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Old 07-02-2017, 06:55 PM   #1970
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Oh, and there's a theatrical movie coming this year, apparently. Cool.
BORKED

Spoiler: show
Merponies are finally happening, folks.


Is it just me though or does the plot look similar to the Angry Birds movie

Also, after the events of ep13, I kinda wonder if we'll actually see a character similar to the one in this comic at some point.
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Old 07-02-2017, 09:21 PM   #1971
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Ok so, as most everyone knows I was pretty deep into the pony thing back like 3 years ago or so. It's been a while, and I haven't watched anything since about my last post here a few posts up from this one. To the people still watching, preferably who have been watching a while, is it worth it to watch what I've missed? I'm never going to be as into it as I was, and all I'd be doing is watching it, but are the newer seasons quality enough that I won't just be kinda gritting my teeth through it and getting a little salty about it all, in your opinion? I put...way too much time from my life into it a while ago, and as I said above, I'd still like to keep up with it until it bites the bullet, but do you guys think its worth it?
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Old 07-02-2017, 10:09 PM   #1972
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Ok so, as most everyone knows I was pretty deep into the pony thing back like 3 years ago or so. It's been a while, and I haven't watched anything since about my last post here a few posts up from this one. To the people still watching, preferably who have been watching a while, is it worth it to watch what I've missed? I'm never going to be as into it as I was, and all I'd be doing is watching it, but are the newer seasons quality enough that I won't just be kinda gritting my teeth through it and getting a little salty about it all, in your opinion? I put...way too much time from my life into it a while ago, and as I said above, I'd still like to keep up with it until it bites the bullet, but do you guys think its worth it?
I've been casually keeping up since I have a friend who's still into the series and it's something to pass time that isn't animu. Like you, "it's still a show I can kinda turn by brain off on [] and idly watch". Which isn't to say there aren't still a few gems here and there that remind me I do love me some ponies deep down.

Let me put it this way: Even if you haven't been following past seasons, I'd say it's worth it to check out episode 13 just on its own merit. It doesn't really require any recent knowledge, and works as a one-shot to expand on the background of one of the Mane 6.

I would also recommend episode 10, but it does feature a new character who shows up in S6 (and whose story arc basically spans the whole season/may or may not make you salty). The real stars are the Royal Sisters though.
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Old 07-05-2017, 12:44 PM   #1973
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On season 6, I was watching on-and-off, but I lost most of my interest. The only episode in season 7 I watched is episode 10. The show just isn't the same. It still has some great moments, but it just doesn't feel the same. The fact that my Saturday mornings aren't free anymore doesn't help.

Admittedly I thought the last few episodes in season 6 were great.

Some good news is that there's finally a new Best Sisters Play. I want to marry Mrs. Fuckface!
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