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  • Hand-of-Omega
    started a topic Here be Ponies!

    Here be Ponies!

    It was gonna happen sooner or later, so might as well get the ball rolling...

    Not too long now until the start of Season Four. Possible Spoilers in the promo!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZacPOD-zCE

    Flim-Flam Bros, Literal-style!



    Who says the Mane Six were the only ones affected in "Magical Mystery Cure"?



    And now, straight from the "WTF did I just see?!" corner of the webz:



    Last edited by Hand-of-Omega; 11-05-2013, 03:30 AM.

  • Dataweaver
    replied
    Just watched Forgotten Friendship.

    Highlights:
    1. Sunset Shimmer reconciles with Princess Celestia.
    2. Princess Twilight's geek-out.
    3. Sunset Shimmer isn't Starlight Glimmer; but they've got similar tastes. Right, Trixie?
    4. [Twilight]: “…the magic of-” [Pinky, interrupting]: “Yeah, yeah; light 'em up, girls!”


    Pet theory: time runs differently in Equestria than in the human world; arguably, it runs much faster. It's how Starswirl (who lived a thousand years ago in Equestria) banished the Dazzlings to the human world without them appearing in the middle of the 10th century. It's also how whole seasons of development take place in Equestria while at most a few months pass at Canterlot High.

    Leave a comment:


  • Weimann
    replied
    S7E13 - The Perfect Pear

    At some point, hopefully well in the future, when the last season of Friendship is Magic concludes, I will look back, and I will ask myself, "okay, now that this series is a complete thing, which one of the episodes really was the best episode?" That question is a pretty useless one to ask, but I'm going to ask it anyway. And of course, I don't know what will come up in the future, but I do now what would happen if I looked back from this point and tried to find the best one so far.

    For a long time, I would have said "well, they're all so different, and many are good ways others aren't; it's really impossible to say that anyone is the best." And that would be true, but it would also mean that no one episode managed to move me so hard that I forwent the constraints of logic and felt my way to the answer.

    And then, there really came an episode that I can call my favourite, acknowledging the qualities in all the others but still in the firm belief that this one episode was the best.

    That episode is Amending Fences. But The Perfect Pear might be the second best.

    The Perfect Pear is, in many ways, very similar to Amending Fences. It puts the spotlight on a place in the show that we knew was there, but that had never been developed. It uses that place to create a sense depth and history in the pony world, making it feel three-dimensional and lived in. This is the core of what I loved about Amending Fences as well, that it opened up a whole new venue of discussion in something that has been as well explored as the main characters. Of course, the issue of AJ's and Applebloom's parents have been hinted at several times, but I never really felt that it needed to be talked about; the show could have moved on with us just knowing that they're dead (yes, it is entirely clear that they're dead). But getting to know them was a pleasure.

    Of course, the plot is literally a classic (good to see you hang in there, William), but there's no problem in that from my end. It's entirely possible to mess up Romeo and Juliet, and honestly, this story diverges from the play as well. For example, the characters get to have an actual relationship here before they died, which is more than the originals got.

    Speaking of William, I saw that Grand Pear was voiced by William Shatner. I mean, that alone. Also, Felicia Day played Pear Butter. It's cool that they use guest actors like that.

    This episode was supreme. I believe it's in the top five of the series as a whole.

    Leave a comment:


  • Weimann
    replied
    S7E12 - Discordant Harmony

    Oh wow! Look at that title! Discord and harmony are really important concepts in the world of Equestia, each represented by the princesses, who keep night and day in harmony, and Discord, who throws that harmony into chaos. Perhaps, since Discord no longer serves the chaotic agenda, the harmony in Equestria has begun to oversaturate, creating a sort of meta-discord that is unraveling reality. It might require Discord to-

    Oh? We're doing what? Tea parties?

    ...fine.

    Honestly, this is an okay episode, even if the title promises a bit more than it lives up to. In a way, it does kind of go a place where at least Discord, in going against his nature, is put into an interesting situation. It also highlights the difference between adjusting to ones surroundings and going against ones nature. And, y'know, Fluttershy keeps being surprisingly good, and Discord is always a treat. But I found that the dialogue was kind of bland and that the premise, while entertaining, never really took off. Decent, no more.

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  • Weimann
    replied
    Okay, I caught up to the mid-season hiatus. Lighting round! As always, spoilers!

    S7E1 - Celestial Advice: Cool. They needed to adress what would happen to Starlight, and it's always nice to see the continuity that lasts. The Starlight character arc is a sort of background storyline for both the previous and this season, and I think it comes into its own much better during this season.

    S7E2 - All Bottled Up: Aaaand more Starlight. It's cool I guess, seeing her with Trixie is fun as always. They have nice chemistry.

    S7E3 - A Flurry of Emotions: Is babby! Cute! I always liked baby ponies, and they're Flurry Heart much more character here than she got previously, and frankly, for example, much more than Pound and Pumpkin got. Twilight is B(est) A(unt) E(ver).

    S7E4 - Rock Solid Friendship: I mean, it's Maud. And more Starlight. Hey, I'm not complaining. If Starlight made Maud move (adjacent) to Ponyville, I absolutely take that.

    S7E5 - Fluttershy Leans In: Fluttershy was never my favourite pony. In fact, she consistently ranked lowest among the mane six, because... well, what is there to her? She's slightly less one-note than Rarity, but none of her notes are as interesting as the others'. For a good while, all her episodes were about her trying to overcome her shyness and stand up to those around her. And this episode, she freaking does that! All on her own, she fights for her vision of a (highly marketable) animal resort and resists all the influences that both professionals and friends have on the project. Fluttershy is expertly written here, taking care to account for her kindness while making her take very collected and considered stands for the things that matter to her. This really makes her kindness come off as her default position, but it has now been tempered by a conscious awareness of when to go against her instincts and fight for her stance. I LOVE this episode, and it might be my favourite among the first batch.

    S7E6 - Forever Filly: And the reason I said "might" up there is this one right here. It, too, displays development, and even if I think Fluttershy's is more narratively anchored, the simple fact of passing time is really enough justification to merit this episode. I don't think there's a big message or moments of character writing here, but it really does resonate with me. What? Yes, I did just turn 30 last month, why are you asking? Anyway, I hope that the CMC will get a growing-up treatment, perhaps even with shifting character models later down the line.

    S7E7 - Parental Glideance: Ehhh, this one was more miss than hit for me. Mkay, RD's parents and all, but nothing big. That said, it IS nice to see just where she gets her confidence from.

    S7E8 - Hard to Say Anything: Fun gags, did laugh. But it does say something that this was the one episode I had to check the synopsis for to remember what it was about.

    S7E9 - Honest Apple: This is probably my third favourite episode of the batch. The issue of the plot is one that is highly relevant in today's society, and I think it's subtly brilliant in its approach. We all know that Applejack isn't a bad person, so having her play the "bad filly" is very effective. We also get to see her being wrong, but not going back on her opinion, which is important. My one gripe is perhaps that in the final scenes, AJ admits that she thought she was being honest, but instead she was hurtful. I would have liked them to say that she was being honest AND hurtful, as there is no contradiction between that, but that's literally (speaking of, did you hate or live Lily Lace?) me picking on a single word. Also, how often do you see Rarity shred guitar?

    S7E10 - A Royal Problem: OOOOHHHH SHHHIIIIT it was decent. No, it was more than decent: we've been wanting an episode about the royal sisters for a while, and this was a good one. But Daybreaker... like, first of all, we must realise that Daybreaker isn't evil Celestia, or even the potential of evil Celestia. It is Starlight's nightmare image of the potential of evil Celestia. I'm not saying Celestia could never lose her shit, but we have no reason to believe that Daybreaker would be the form she would take. Furthermore, while not implausible, there's something kind of gauche about Celestia's evil form being just the inverse of Nightmare Moon. Nightmare Moon had a purpose and a vision; her decision to plunge Equestria into eternal night was in line with her desire. She was forgotten and alone, so she wanted to bring about night so that everyone could see its beauty and adore her. Daybreaker has no such motivation; it's just "POWER!", mixed with a little "fuck everyone I don't have to do anything anymore". Yeah, I don't know, she didn't do it for me. But, again, the episode was good.

    S7E11 - Not Asking for Trouble: It's yaks. I don't like it. Not only was it kind of boring, except for a few Pinkie Pie fourth wall breaks, but I'm ideologically opposed to morals that implies "you're just supposed to GET IT". No. We have to get more comfortable both communicating our our desires explicitly, and listening to what others want. If you need help, ask for it. Particularly if your damn kids are starving.



    As Dataweaver said, there's a lot that can be discussed here. I personally think that this season, so far, have been lower on the adventure and is focusing more on the character and dialogue writing. Which is great news for me, because those are my favourite aspects of the show. I didn't point it out above, but I've never really cringed at any line or felt that they were simplified for the child viewer this time around, which I have sometimes before. There's an overall improvement in that aspect. It also feels like the crew is more comfortable progressing the state of the world between seasons, and many of the episodes have taken that to heart, I feel.

    Leave a comment:


  • Weimann
    replied
    Good question! Myself, I just got busy, man. I got a new job that took a lot of time to get used to, and I didn't want to spend my severely reduced free time watching little ponies anymore.

    However, I'm right now binge watching season 7, and so far, I'm certainly not seeing any drop in quality. In fact, compared to season 6, which I thought was of middling quality overall, it's been a marked improvement. I'm not sure what I expect from the EqG "episodes", since they do kind of break the form and style of that universe, but I'm excited to see them. And, of course, the pony movie.

    I'm on episode 10 now, and I'll be posting some form of assessment at the mid-season hiatus.

    Leave a comment:


  • Dataweaver
    replied
    OK, how come nobody bothered to mention that there's a whole seventh season now, and a theatrical movie? Not to mention a trio of full-length Equestria Girls episodes (Dance Magic, Movie Magic, and Mirror Magic), along with several shorts. Have the bronies lost interest? Is there something wrong with the season? Or the movie? There's a lot to talk about here.
    Last edited by Dataweaver; 10-11-2017, 10:11 PM.

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  • Dataweaver
    replied
    “Aarrrhh!!! There be holes in that there plot!!!”

    Leave a comment:


  • Hand-of-Omega
    replied
    Ahhh, sweet Ponies, take me away from this election madness...without you, I'd be driven to drink!

    Some fans are upset that, just when we're learning more about Changelings, they up and change them completely, when they were fine the way they were. Of course, there are still more that haven't been changed, so the way is open for a Changeling Civil War, which should make for some great fanfic material...

    Speaking of, did it bother anyone else that they didn't deal with the whole threat? Discord was about to take our heroes to Fluttershy's/Ponyville, where *there are still Changelings masquerading as the Mane Six*, but they decided to go to the festival instead! Serves them right if they end their week of partying to find out that Chrysalis got her revenge back heading straight for Ponyville to raze the place with her still-loyal followers...For that matter, aren't there imposters of the Princesses still in power? At the very least, I would have also replaced the Wonderbolts...

    Leave a comment:


  • Dataweaver
    replied
    I didn't mind the speed and off-screen nature of the Changeling substitution. It had to be fast to work, as anything short of a blitz would have been detected and stopped by the Mane 6 et al before Starlight got involved. As for showing any of it, that would have had to be done via flashbacks so as not to spoil the reveal, and at that point it would have been moot.

    But Thorax and the New Changelings? Yeah, that bugged me, too. And for all the reasons you mentioned: too much, too fast; and frankly, too easy and too facile.

    Leave a comment:


  • Weimann
    replied
    S6E25-26 - Where and Back Again

    No. No. No no no no no.

    First of all, I don't buy it. The premise of this episode is that changelings have replaced all Equestrian royalty and the essential guardians of the realm. This was done in the time it took for Starlight to go to her village back and forth. Sure, there must have been preparation; the whole operation wasn't perpetrated in that time, of course.But the show just doesn't get to remove all the key players due to plot convenience off screen with literally no discussion of what actually happened. Remember, this is no less than four princess alicorns and another five of the arguably most important defense force Equestria has. No, show, you have to talk about that. At least if you want to keep my suspension of disbelief.

    Secondly, the characters. I'll admit, Trixie and Starlight both carried their weight quite well. Discord was fun, and he had some good moments with Trixie in particular, but he's had much better episodes. And then there's Thorax. It's not so much that he's bad on his own, but like... him turning into some kind of... thing and replacing Chrysalis as the changeling leader felt like Twilight becoming an alicorn in the middle of season one. Much too much, way too fast. Chrysalis herself was threatening and impressive, but also felt slightly tacked on. It was like, she's doing her Chrysalis thing, and I guess that's fine, but it wasn't inspired. It wasn't A Canterlot Wedding. There, she was impressive. Here, it felt like they just went "yeah, all that other shit we said before still goes".

    Also, freaking faerie bugs? Fo' real though? We know way to little about changelings to make that in any way significant. Not to mention, how could every changeling suddenly do it when it took Thorax a whole journey of tribulations and, y'know, actually having friends to accomplish it? Also, I must say the whole "good form, bad form" thing kind of took the teeth out of the message in The Times They Are A Changeling (and speaking of, congrats on the Nobel Prize, Bob).

    Now, I do appreciate the attempt to make a parallel between Starlight and Chrysalis at the end. That's a fine FiM tradition that I've been talking about at length in the Equestria Girls rant (and I must admit, I think it's hilarious how much they're importing from the spin off into the main series now). Unfortunately, it doesn't work very well, because the parallel just isn't that strong. Both ruled as sovereigns over their people, true. However, while we know from parallels with the real world why what Starlight did was problematic, there's no way we could have known that this wasn't just how changelings worked. In fact, there's no evidence that Chrysalis had any idea about it either, or that she did anything but the best she could for her hive.

    I've seen people saying this was the best season finale yet. I heartily disagree. In fact, I'd say it's probably the worst. While it does have some nice moments, most of them involving Trixie, it's so uneven and insufficiently underpinned that it just doesn't compare.
    Last edited by Weimann; 10-16-2016, 02:38 PM.

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  • Weimann
    replied
    S6E24 - Top Bolt

    They've really saved the best ones for the end of the season. I usually love Rainbow in her "coach" role, and Twilight complemented her splendidly. The interaction between the two of them was very enjoyable. Map episodes are usually strong, and this was no exception.

    The relationship between Vapor Trail and Sky Stinger was a straight up feminist commentary on assumption of roles and inequality in male-female relationships. Not, of course, that they ever said anything like it. The moral was important and, in my mind, makes the episode feel very in line with its creator's preoccupations. It was also very crisply written and had a depth of continuity to it, particularly when Twilight and Rainbow coached individually. They often referred back to their own experiences, and that made them feel very alive.

    Absolutely top notch episode. In top five of the season, easily.

    I'm just going to go ahead and watch the finale now, in fact. Hopefully, the trend keeps up.

    Leave a comment:


  • Weimann
    replied
    S6E23 - Where the Apple Lies

    Okay, I'm torn. On the one hand, I'm really digging the backstory we're getting, the writing is tight, and Filthy Rich got a whole different vibe to him than he did in EqG4 which I definitely like more. On the other hand, it really makes a point of Big Mac's monosyllabic speech, which I just have problems with in general. True, it tries to explain why he does talk like that, but c'mon, that's not a serious explanation. It makes for a good story, though, and I suppose that's the most important part.

    Overall, the episode was hijinks extravaganza, and yeah, it really flows well. It's rounded and well paced and the script is nice. The flashback creates a slightly new perspective that feels fresh without being unfamiliar. I quite enjoyed it.

    Leave a comment:


  • Hand-of-Omega
    replied
    Spot-on about the movie! I agree with pretty much all of your observations. A few of my own:

    I'm glad that they moved on with FS moving on from his Twi-crush. It was never gonna go anywhere with the Alien Princess, and tbh, it comes off a little creepy that his interest in Sci-Twi comes down to her resemblance to someone else. TS *is* FS 2.0 in that he's an improvement given that he has an actual *personality* with interests that Twilight can share! Some fans claim that the movies betrayed LF's intentions by incorporating Romance, but I don't see it that way. I think she was just protesting when girls' shows are *all about* Romance and such...but eliminating it entirely is a unnatural view of life. So I'm ok with Twi (and others) finding love, or at least dating, so long as their lives don't revolve around that.

    I'm ok with none of the Humane Five being featured that much, as that's what the shorts are for (apparently, we're getting more of those); at least these movies avoid the Star Trek problem, where the ensemble cast is largely background for the two or three "main" players. I thought we got to see enoughof the others as they discovered their new powers (which I couldn't help feeling was a metaphor for...something else); btw, that's a pretty huge change for the series! At first, I thought their powers would be relegated to the camp/this movie, but the crystals have made them pretty much permanent. But where did those come from? Could they be the Elements of Harmony...?

    A couple of trivial things: I've heard thatthe animation models are slightly different for this one, but I'm not sure I see it. Still, I'm glad we're away from those awful knee-boots that were supposed to make the girls look more pony-ish or whatever. Hopefully, that's not just because they're wearing camp gear, and they're gone for gone! I'm *really* glad the songs are back to the "showtune" style (except that last, but that made sense in-setting)...but would it kill them to find a singing voice for Sunset that actually sounds at least *a little* like her speaking voice? It's a bit jarring when one leads right into the other...

    Thanks for the links, btw! I thought I'd seen ALL the Rainbow Rocks shorts, but apparently I missed a couple...

    BTW, if you don't want to wait, apparently the season finale has leaked onto Youtube...!

    Leave a comment:


  • Weimann
    replied
    Originally posted by Hand-of-Omega View Post
    It was a nice way to break up my Luke Cage binge! Don't know if I liked it better than RR, but it was a really solid story, and really advanced the EG setting. Definitely proved that it can stand on its own with NO ponies in sight at all, and I even liked how it dealt with the Flash Sentry issue you alluded to above. Still not sure which of the two villains I'd call the main/actual villain, tho...
    It's certainly done well for the series to distance itself from pony involvement. EqG has developed into a place that doesn't need the connection to its pregenitor any more. Which isn't to say it doesn't need more development. In fact, let me just launch right into this:

    Equestria Girls 4: Legend of Everfree

    Okay, first off. Thank you. Thank you for not making Flash Sentry a literal waste of screen real estate. I mean, sure, he's still a flat, one-dimensional cardboard cutout that only exists in relation to his romantic interests (aaaand I just realized that might make him the world's most clever gender trope subversion, but eh), but at least we get to see him reflecting on his role in the movie and being useful to Sunset there for a minute. I'm okay with that.

    You know who else I'm okay with? Timber Spruce. The Flash Sentry 2.0 who had more game in this one movie than Flash has displayed in four. I've seen some reactions that paint him in the same corner as Flash, but I think that's just people being butthurt about his mr. Steal-Yo'-Waifu vibe. Timber has a backstory, a laid-back yet slightly nerdy personality (particularly, it seems in relation to biology and geology, which is excellently reasonable), and displays intimacies towards the camp and his sister that he's not afraid to take action for. He's fun and flirty and only a little bit of a tease. I'm not saying it's the love interest of the ages, I mean literally any of the mane six would make a more compelling love story, but since this is Legend of Everfree and not Legend of Korra that's not going to happen. In the meantime, Twilight, you go get some of that.

    Speaking of Timber, how about his sister? Gloriosa Daisy is one of the best villains we've had in EqG yet, and part of that is, as Hand-of-Omega pointed out, largely due to the ambivalence about if she is one or not. We can all see her motives, and while she's the one perpetrating actual crimes (violence against the campers), we also know it's her panicked reaction to what she perceives as the end of her family business. I think the Dazzlings are still the best "we're here and we're evil" villains we've had so far, but Gloriosa is certainly the better character (who also happens to be a villain). I hardly consider Filthy Rich to be a proper villain here; he's just a someone to hook the function of a threat on. Even Cinch was more a villain than he.

    So, the humane seven. I must admit, there is one aspect where Equestria Girls fails pretty hard in relation to the original show, and that is in making the humane seven "mane" enough. Since the first movie, five out of seven have become... not background characters, but certainly secondary. Rarity in particularly was very egregious with her "I'm displaying my established character traits and staying in character without making too much of a fuss" writing, but all the humane seven except Twilight and Sunset were very circumstantial to the whole plot. It's like nothing is allowed to happen to one of them that doesn't also have a parallel in the others; they don't get to be singularly focused like they do in the show. Maybe that's a price you pay for having seven characters and 1 h 20 min to work with each year? It was something I noticed very clearly this time around, at any rate.

    Luckily, in order to make up for that, the two actual main characters are killing it. Twilight and Sunset are, without a question, the characters carrying this show. Their writing is impeccable. The similarities, as well as the differences, between them, and how they fit into some of the established role slots utilized in FiM, are so interesting.

    I said above that I think this movie at least ties Rainbow Rocks in terms of overall quality. That is because, in a way, this movie is Rainbow Rocks 2, with another focus character and less music. The struggle we see Twilight go through in Legend of Everfree is the same one we saw Sunset go through in Rainbow Rocks. The similarities are eerie, but there are also distinctions. Compare, for example, the songs My Past is Not Today and The Midnight in Me. Both are very introspective: this isn't about other's accepting them (because the ones that count have already done that), it is about accepting yourself as part of the others, and trusting that you are worthy of their friendship. It's about struggling against your own self-image, and reforging it into one that doesn't have "automatically hurting others" as part of it, but instead letting your friends show you others paths through life to walk. However, in the first one, Sunset is distinctly separate from the image of her demon self in the window, and as she swipes it away with her hand, she rejects her past. In the song, she has gone through the process and dares to meet a new dawn. Twilight, on the other hand, is still at the start of her journey. The image of her inner demon is still fused with her, and the swipe of her hand is meant to hide, not to reject. That part of her journey is what the movie is, and it is handled exquisitely.

    In FiM, there's a tendency for the same kind of roles and relationships to turn up over and over again. I've taken to calling them villain - redeemed and student - teacher. A villain usually becomes redeemed, and a student has a teacher (also, redeemed and student has a tendency to coincide). One of the thing that makes Sunset such a good character is that she has been in all those roles, sometimes simultaneously (student of Celestia, turned villain, redeemed by pony!Twilight who then took her as a student, later to herself redeem human!Twilight and become her teacher). As a result, we know Sunset's history and we can see why she and Twilight falls naturally into this dynamic. Sunset has had this experience already. She is being very perceptive and caring, without that making her character any less badass and active than we are used to. Her magic power is even one that lets her understand others better, which is super useful for guiding in relevant ways. This movie really cemented Sunset's role as a teacher, and in the end, it is what helps Twilight to be redeemed, trust that her friends' has her back and that if Midnight Sparkle shows up, they can deal with her together.

    Note that not once does Midnight Sparkle actually appear. Every time she's on screen, it's Twilight conjuring her image. That was so well done.

    I could rant for twice this long yet about why the camp setting was such a great choice and why (most of) the music rivals any you'd find in Rainbow Rocks except the Dazzlings' songs, but I'm just going to say that I think the thought put into this movie will probably make it coalesce into my favourite EqG piece. Y'know, I don't think many people get the chance to say that about the third sequel!
    Last edited by Weimann; 10-06-2016, 01:40 PM.

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