Tyraka's MLP Topics: Thoughts on Season 4 Picture

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Well, another season has come and gone, and what an adventure it was; it had its upsides and downsides, but made for a very good experience. I can easily and gladly say that I, for the most part, enjoyed Season 4 of MLP:FIM, and can walk away satisfied, waiting in anticipation for the next season.

Season 4 may not have been better or worse than its predecessors, but it was definately the one with the biggest impact on both the show and the fandom; it's quite clear that Hasbro and the writers are focusing more on the Brony Community than the younger audience, if all that took place in this season isn't proof of that. This Season had a ton of impacting highlights and reference for the fandom, many of which have made many great impacts on me as well, both good and bad.

Now I'm no MLP-Analyist, such as Sliver-Quill, Dr. Wolf, Ink Rose, or BronyCurious; I'm not making or getting into a big, deep debate about this season. I'm merely posting this up to share my thoughts toward all the canon ideas, spoofs, references, fandoms, and highlights of all the episodes that made the greatest impact for me, as well as to share my thoughts on what we can agree, for the better or worse, were quite a few interesting additions to My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.

So, without further ado, here's Tyraka628's MLP Topics - Season 4:

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(WARNING: This Literal Entry is incomplete and still in progress! Enjoy what I have put up now, and more will come at later dates; I had to get this up sooner or later.)

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PRINCESS TWILIGHT SPARKLE - Man...whadda way to start a season! My feelings are mixed on this powerful two-parter.

On the good side, it handles the issue of Princess Twilight once and for all; no more of that 'Perfect Princess with Cool New Friends' crap, at least none that's not just pure denial. I can safety say that this whole episode alone has settled the whole 'Jumping The Shark' nonsense once and for all. And even though I'm glad to see that she's still the same pony we all know and love, I look forward to seeing what changes her new title and status will take place in her life and society.

I also enjoyed the addition of the Gragodile, as minor as it was: I always enjoy a new addition to a fantasy world's zoology, since Fantasy Creatures are my favorite thing in the whole wide world, and for me, that was quite the treat. As was the brief guest-star of Discord; even 'reformed', he's still my favorite villain.

Another thing that's interesting are all the fandoms they covered: The Corruption and Banishment of Princess Luna/Nightmare Moon, the Reign and Defeat of Discord, and the Origins of the Elements of Harmony...three of the Fandoms greatest conversation topics and headcanon ideas, all revealed within less than an hour. I will admit, though: I was expecting something more for both Nightmare Moon and Discord. No great war between the sun and the moon? No epic battle between the Alicorns and Chaos Incarnate? I know this is still a little kid's show, but still...even by those standards, both were admittedly disappointing. These are both easily covered, though; you can over-look them by saying the potion simplified things for time matters, or just change them through headcanons (I could go through my own headcanons ideas all day, which are flexible enough, but this is about the show itself, so I'll save my headcanons for later).

Another minor fandom they covered was Celestia's and Luna's true power over the sun and moon. I remember getting into a discussion with my friend Prince Whiteheart about the alicorn's celestia power. He's not a big fan of Celestia, though he doesn't hate her: his idea was that the Alicorn Sisters only pretended to raise the sun and moon, when in reality it was merely going through the usual orbit cycles. Man, did I enjoy saying 'I Told You So'.

Now for the Tree of Harmony...my feelings for it are mixed. The concept of the Tree and the Elements in it are both very good and creative, and I liked it...it was giving up the Elements in the end that urked me: These are the Elements of Harmony, the very heart and soul of this very show (in a physical sense)! All those friendships reports (which I'm glad are over) for the Elements, all the bad guys they defeated and are to come, and the fact that they are what brought them all together and kept the show running...gone, just like that. I know why they had to do it, and that it doesn't matter for their friendship...but it all just doesn't feel the same without them. Though whatever in that mysterious box will probably fill in quite nicely in future seasons and episodes.

But the biggest pro about the episode for me was Twilight's Cutie Mark on the Tree of Harmony, even in the Discord Era, long before she was born; this proves once and for all that she is obviously connected to the Elements by destiny or something of the like. The fandoms ideas that could spawn from this are limitless.

Overall, this episode was a great way to start off the first Season-Long Story Arc of the franchise, and I enjoy watching it.

Final Rating: 8/10


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CASTLE MANE-IA - This episode didn't have that much of an impact canon/fandom-wise, because it obviously wasn't made for that. It was simply an episode made to sit back and enjoy, not to get into big fan debates over.

For me, the best parts about this episode were two things: first was the Ancient Castle of the Royal Pony Sisters; through this episode we got to see a lot of the ancient ruins interior and workings, as well as learn a few bits about Celestia's and Luna's lives here in their youth, if their journal entries are anything to judge by (seriously, Celestia? You really need to get out of the castle more...) Second were simply the Star Spiders; like I said before, I love additions to mythical zoology, as minor as it was. I just wish could've seen a little more of them, though.

Overall, this episode wasn't very 'impacting', but it was a lot of fun to watch and good for laughs.

Final Rating: 6/10


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DARING DON'T - What do you know? Another one of the Great fandoms revealed! Man, Hasbro is determined to get them all at once, aren't they?

But my point still stands: The Existence of Daring Do was another one of the more popular conversation topics and headcanon ideas of the fandom, and as for my thoughts...well...they're mixed. I like the idea of Daring Do being a real person in the MLP world; only preceded by Twilight Sparkle, Daring Do/A.K. Yearling (Ha! I saw what ya did there!) is my second favorite character in the entire franchise. I was glad to see her become part of the bigger picture, instead of simply being a fiction-within-fiction character...but at the same time I share Sliver-Quill's idea regarding the idea of ponies having fiction; it made the world feel just a bit bigger knowing that, despite living in a world where magic and mythological creatures exist, they still dreamed of realms of fantasy. Making Daring Do's books a autobiography-turned-novel cheapens that feel...though it's recovered in Power Ponies. And it doesn't matter to me, anyway; my own fanfiction/headcanon ideas involve Daring Do and her adventures being real to begin with, so I'm good with.

Anothering thing I didn't come to like was her lack of characterization; other than a grim attitude and a mistrust toward ponies, we don't see a lot of characterization added to her. I think the writers intended for us to know her through her appearance in Read It and Weep, but that didn't have a lot either. It would've been a perfect place to give a bit of fleshing out to her character...another golden opprotunity, wasted, once again, Hasbro. But I can work around this; like Shining Armor (whom she has more characterization than, having flaws and all), she was safely generic, allowing us to work our own ideas with her. Over all, I'm okay with it.
Also, Auizothul is real as well! Add another species to the Equestrian Zoology list! I also like the changes they added to him; in Read It and Weep, he came off as the cliche, dime-a-dozen monologuing villain from old Batman series. Here, he is introduced with an almost primal ferocity. I liked the attitude adjustment.

The adventures and Daring Do are good pieces, but the highlight for me was Rainbow Dash's and Twilight's interactions regarding the book series; I got a huge kick at of how they represented the fandom in general: the intellectual and the passionate, the anaylitcally and the creativity...the very two halves of fandoms in general. Both of which mould out everything that make fans in general (personality, I'm both; I have the passion and creativity to enjoy making fanfictions and fanart, but am intellectual and anaylitc enough to do it right and think about the deeper and more important parts and meanings of the franchise). I'm sure everyone about the community will see a bit of themselves in this episode piece.

Then there's the one part that I can't make up my mind: Rainbow's defeat after Daring Do gets captured. One part of me knows this was possibly her weakest character-arc for the entire series...but at the same time, I can understand how she feels and why she would react that way: I'm sure anyone will agree that meeting your real-life idol (movie actor, soldier, ruler, etc) can be a nerve-wrecking experience, and being rejected by or responsible for the troubles of said idol can be crippling to your spirit and passion. If know that if I met one of my favorite actors/voice-actors (Jodi Benson, Will Smith, Benedict Cumberbatch, etc) and then got rejected by them, I would be CRUSHED. I think that's what the writers were aiming for here, though it was out of place in the episode.

Despite a few flaws, I enjoyed this episode; I know some people would find Daring Do's introduction into reality and Rainbow Dash's defeatism jarring or out of place, but I recommend this episode if only for fan-reactions. And I hope we see more of Daring Do in future seasons.

Final Rating: 7/10


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FLIGHT TO THE FINISH - First song and CMC episode of the new season! Let's get to it!

Since I don't really know to start any other way, I'll start with what caught my attention the most in this episode, and that is what Scootaloo said about what made PonyVille special: 'It's a place where different kinds of ponies live together as friends'...this statement actually carries a lot more weight than most fans seem to process.

If the three races living together as friends is what makes PonyVille special, then what does that have to say for the rest of Equestria? Is the peaceful land of friendship and magic that we've seen for the past three seasons only confined to PonyVille? We haven't actually seen much of Equestria outside the PonyVille/Canterlot area for ourselves; it's quite possible that the racial 'friendship and harmony' of PonyVille, being a rural, 'back-water' town and nowhere near any other major cities besides Canterlot, is only part of that town's culture, and that racism between the different pony tribes is actually still quite common in the larger, less-friendly cities of Equestria (hint the fan-made term 'Tribalists'), like Manehatten and Fillydelphia. A lot of more-developed fandom ideas in fanfictions I've seen point to Cloudsdale being one such city (such as the Foal in the Forest series, by Moguera), being a pegasi-only city for obvious reasons (though one might argue that point with the Cloudsdale in 'Sonic Rainboom', but given how other pegasi treat weak flyers in 'Cutie Mark Chronicles' and 'Hurricane Fluttershy', it's obvious that they take pride in their air-superiority. That, and 'Sonic Rainboom' was set up before 'Hearth's Warming Eve' and the play that introduced the concept of racism into the series). It's quite possible that 'Tribalism' is actually very common amongst Equestrian Ponies, though kept in check by Celestia, and I'd actually like to see it addressed in future seasons/episodes.

Another minor thing that got me was the return of Miss Harshwhinny. I was honestly surprised to see her again; I had assumed that she was going to be just another one-shot pony for 'Games Ponies Play', so kudos to the writers for surprising us, and I have a feeling we'll see more of her again in episodes involving the Equestria Games (though what the hell was that animation with her mouth?).

Alright, now to get to the conflict, a.k.a., you know who I'm talking about. Seriously, D.T.? Calling someone out on a physical limitation just to win? That is LOW, even for you. When Diamond Tiara first appeared, I knew that she was going to be the petty 'spoiled brat' villain that would serve as conflict for the CMC, and thus I didn't give her character or her existence much thought beyond being a simple plot piece (and a hateful one at that!); in 'PonyVille Confidential', I noticed a bit of development as her conflict with the crusaders was to forward her own goals instead of simple bullying. But this...it's only here that you can actually call her a true villain, and its not the dark admiration I get with some villains; this is just SICK.

This is easily countered by what, in my opinion, could be Rainbow Dash's great character arc for the entire series. I LOVED how she reassured Scootaloo about her worth; it didn't break her character at all, and it didn't regard the fact that Scootaloo may or may not fly (which I was grateful for, despite hoping this episode would be the one where we see Scootaloo at least step forward toward flying for real). She simply told her that, limitations or no, you are still an individual who can shine no matter what you're made out of (a good change on her part, after her poor character arc in 'Daring Don't'). A GREAT message for kids with limitations themselves (and, for me, the first real step the Crusaders have taken to earning their marks).

This episode was good for both an interesting think topic for the fandom about Equestria's world and development, and a good moral for the younger audience. My only real problem with it is that Diamond Tiara and Sliver Spoon don't get a Karma-Nuke up their asses, but we can still find satisfaction in the fact that they lost in every way possible. Apart from that, a good first CMC episode for the new season (and an awesome song!).

Final Rating: 7/10


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POWER PONIES - In Progress


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BATS! - Seriously, what is with Sweet Apple Acres and bats, anywho? Even the Batcave doesn't have that many.

I knew the moment I saw Flutterbat that she was going to become the show's newest 'big thing' of the fandom/memes; my prediction were proved correct by the explosion of fanart and fanfics on Fimfiction and Deviantart, which filled an entire page on Equestria Daily in less than a day, and I was along for the ride. Favorite Vampire Ever.

Though I am a bit conflicted with the whole 'Short Term Benefit vs Long Term Gain' conflict of this episode; I'm was actually very impressed that this was touched upon in a kid's cartoon, being a very mature topic that most adults struggle with all the time. My side of the argument fell with Fluttershy, and not because I favor her, which I don't; once again, Applejack's bull-headed stubborness made me frown, though this time I feel it was different. She's a farmer, and good farmers know the ends and outs of farming and tending plants, including knowing what wildlife's good or bad for the crops; why else do you think farmers keep large supplies of lady bugs in their crops (I know; my great-grandmother had a farm full of the damn insects)? Surely she would that Vampire Fruit Bats would help her crop, right? Eventdently not. Also, her stubborness seem to be only born from stories of a time before she was even born. In the end, I couldn't help but see her as a judgemental, one-sided, know-it-all...at least she learned her lesson in the end.

The others aren't much better: You'd think Twilight would side with Fluttershy, being the 'brains of the outfits' and therefore should know about the whole cycle of the Fruit Bat fermination, but noooooo...Rarity's, once again, being a prissy bitch (though I have to admit: her scene with the FaceHugger Bat was pretty damn funny), and Rainbow Dash has a serious acohol problem; you get one taste and it all goes downhill...and Pinkie's being Pinkie, though for once not in a bad way.

Okay, perhaps I'm going overboard...as most Bronies tend to do (Seriously, it's a KID'S SHOW. Stop going into huge, world-shaking debates about a fictional cartoon and just sit back and enjoy it!). My guesses is that Equestria's either in a relatively early part of history and therefore behind on all the sciency stuff, or that Ponyville's seperated from most civilization and therefore unaware of all the new facts. But still; Fluttershy is the animal expert of the group. Surely they could've trusted her judgement...oh well, at least it came back to bite them in the ass later, thus drilling into their heads the Daily Moral of the Episode.

Despite my negativity toward these parts, I enjoyed the episode greatly. The humor was there, the story was good, I liked the song, and the Mane 6 walked away having learned their lesson and setting things right...as well as setting up a possible 'return of the bat'! I look forward to a sequel. Overall, it was probably Merriweather Williams strongest entry into the series (which she desperately needed after her horrible fails with Maredowell and Spike at Your Service).

Final Rating: 7/10


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RARITY TAKES MANEHATTEN - You know, I think this is the first REAL time we get to see the Equestria outside of PonyVille/Canterlot area.

The biggest impact for me with this episode was, obviously, getting to see Manehatten at long last. When Manehatten was first showed in Cutie Mark Chronicles, I didn't give it much thought; in that episode, it was depicted as nothing like the original Manhatten is was named after, and other than that one block where Applejack moved in with her Aunt and Uncle and a few brief shots of some fancier stuff. To me, it felt like just a dirtier, old-fashioned version of Canterlot. In this episode, however, I was AMAZED by the city. It underwent a HUGE improvement in design and style since the last time we saw it. Not only was it a more accurate depection of the more famous of our cities, but it featured dozens of their famous landmarks and buildings, including the Statue of Liberty, Grand Central Station, Madison Square Gardon, Time Square, the Empire State Building, and more. And I like that it's this city they used for this Fashion Week thing (which reintroduced a lot of returning characters, including Hoity Toity, Sapphire Shores, Photo Finish, Fancy Pants and Fluer di Lis...and introduces Prim Headline...Ms. Harshwhinny's sister, perhaps?); Manhatten is the Beating Heart of Fashion of the U.S., and thus it was fitting that Manehatten was made the same for Equestria...though it was a bit under-populated from appearance alone. Seriously, its a pony version of Manhatten; it should be packed! Well, at least getting a taxi's isn't any easier there as it is in our world.

And then there's the newest fan favorite background pony and the newest most hated minor villain: Coco Pommel and Suri Polomare. Being a fan of the cool, world-conquering villains (Discord, Jafar, Megatron, etc), I immediately took a disliking to Suri the moment I saw her, knowing that she would was going to be the kind of villain I dislike: the reality villain, and the type that double-crosses the main characters and leaves them to take the blame. I absolutely despise conflicts where one characters steals from or frames another; those kinds of Injustices are, by far, the worst. I REALLY hated how we didn't get to see that bitch get a shotgun to the face for what she did, but at least we know she failed her goal.

Then there's Coco Pommel...and to be honest, I don't like her that much; I know that she was being abused by her boss, didn't approve of what happened, and came around in the end...but the fact that she went along with Suri to begin with had demonized her in my eyes (just like Luna's actions as Nightmare Moon did for her). I know that's not really fair, and you can complain all you want, but that's just the way I see things (much like Rarity and Pinkie Pie, though the blame of my problems with them falls on the fandom and it's god-damn headcanons). Hopefully, a few fanfictions about her and showing her in a more positive light should smooth things out, and help me see Coco for the pony she really is.

Another thing I'd liked was how Rarity's character had taken on full bloom in the episode. I, for one, HATE defining the Mane 6 by their Elements of Harmony and making them their strongest character quality, even though this episode did a nice job presenting Rarity's generous spirit. For me, Rarity's greatest character quality is her creativity and the value she places on her friends despite her desires for going up the society ladder, which was displayed amazingly in this episode; yes, she had a harsh moment with the scene where she calls out her friends during her stress, but that was understandable, given the circumstances, and she did realize her mistake and come back around, and thus earning the first item of the Keys to the mysterous Harmony Box.
Final Rating: 6/10


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PINKIE APPLE PIE - In Progress


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RAINBOW FALLS - In Progress


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THREE'S A CROWD - In Progress


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PINKIE PRIDE - Weird Al Yankovic in My Little Pony...yep. It was bound to happen eventually.

When I first heard that Weird Al Yankovic was going to star in an MLP episode, I figured that would've happened eventually one way or another; given that he's worked successfully in numerous animations, it wasn't a big surprise as all that he would find his way into a popular one like this. However, there's a danger in using famous celebraties in animation: if you are familiar with a celebraty, you might be stuck seeing said celebrity and not the character they're playing, and unfortunately for me, Weird Al hit this point dead-on. I could not see Cheese Sandwich as anything other than a pony version of Weird Al, but that didn't bother me at all, since I wasn't planning to give what was basically a male version of Pinkie Pie any real thought or attention (can I get a self-insert, anyone?)
Then there's Pinkie Pie...and for once, my favor fell on her.

Okay, here's the thing about Pinkie: I didn't always dislike her. In fact, I used to LOVE her character when I first started watching the show, when it was nothing more than a simple show by my perspective, but then I got too involved in fandoms. You see, a lot of 'deeper-meaning' fanfics I read in the earlier days of the fandom display Pinkie's character as a cover for an inner sorrow and/or darkness (a.k.a. Pinkamena...damn you, Sargent Sprinkles...), and that her cheerfulness and over excitement is nothing more than a desperate attempt to choke back reality and live in her own little world of bliss, unwilling to accept the true face of reality, even if it means bothering or even hurting her friends (which would only be hammered in by the future Filli Vanilli); something I've always hated. I know; it's stupid to think that of her...but so was I back when my now-dead inner fanboy dominated my view toward the show, thus getting me caught up in a lot of shit that I never should've gotten caught up in. Now, I can't view Pinkie in her prime character without seeing it as that bleak reality hider of the fandom...and I hate it so much! I want my old Pinkie back! Damn you, fandom! (Which is one of many things I like about Equestria Girls: I may hate Pony Pinkie, but I just adore EG Pinkie, because it's the same character, but without all the fandom-generated crap.)

However, for once, I was able to see the old Pinkie once again, if only for a moment, which I usually can whenever Pinkie's alone; when there's no one to hide from, but she's still herself, which makes it much more believable. And seeing her so passionate about her partying touched at my inner artist; I can relate, young filly...

And this episode made full use of both Pinkie's and Weird Al's characters: not only do we get an epic pop-song party number of the century, but also a third Rainbow Connection Key...and it's a rubber chicken...and looking back, it was no surprise; it's Pinkie and Weird Al Yankovic at once, after all.

Final Rating: 5/10


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SIMPLE WAYS - Love Triangles and Headcanons...OUI...

Just like one of my favorite MLP Anaylists, Sliver Quill, I too am immediately wary of Love Trangles and Fandoms thanks to the corrupting influence of an Anime show and its own fandom, but for me, the accused in question is 'Pokemon'. When a young, handsome, and golden-hearted (if not brain-dead and sexually-confused) boy goes on a life-changing quest to become the greatest beast tamer of all time, naturally the first question that comes to mind is: Who's gonna win his heart in the end? The show is currently running at 15 seasons and over 700 episodes, and currently there are five main females characters and dozens, if not hundreds, of decent female background characters, so you bet people fight over which shipping's 'better' (and don't even get me started on the Gay Shippings...*Ugh*...). And if you think the flame wars of the Brony Fandom are bad, not even Derpy Hooves, Alicorn Twilight and Equestria Girls COMBINED can match up to the raging volcano eruption following the exit of Misty and entry of May in the Season 5-6 jump over.

Back then, my own inner fanboy dominated my thinking and got me caught up in a lot of shit that still haunts me to this day, which was unfortunately carried into my first year or so as a fan of MLP; it was following the whole Equestria Girls mess when I realised that the fandom and its headcanons were ruining the show for me, so I ripped my inner fanboy to pieces, and quickly backed off from the fandom/headcanon-flame-war mess for good (though, sadly, permanent damage was done, and characters I once loved pay for it daily). If you guys have your own pairings, no matter how silly or weird, enjoy it; there will always be people who disagree with you, but their choices don't affect your own in anyway (unless you allow them too, and only then).

I've gotten off track; let's get this started, with the most obvious things that make this episode what it is.

First off: Trender Hoof...and I gotta admit, I liked how he was done. In a show made for girls and therefore played through a girl's perspective, Male Characters are often under-defined, which is fitting to me given the differences of the Brain Functions and Hormonal Influence between genders, but even then its usually underdone. Basic Male Stereo-Types in girl cartoons and Barbie movies: Stupid Dorkballs (Snips and Snails), Evil Villain (King Sombra), Stupid-Evil Henchmen (Diamond Dogs), Quiet Nice-Boy (Big Macintosh), Boorish Jock (Prince Blueblood), Perfect Boyfriend (Shining Armor), and the one that stands out (Spike). Trender Hoof is a surprising devirse and developed personality for a male character with no background, and I was glad that they made him out to be a charming and respectful character, and not just another Prince Blueblood.

What also got me thinking was his comment, regarding his now-infamous quote about the 'work ethics of Earth Ponies', and the whole Racist impact its had on the fandom. I don't think he meant it in a hostile or disrespectful way, but I would find it interesting if it was implied toward racism; it would touch back on my 'Flight to the Finish' theory regarding 'Tribalism' being common in Equestria.

Then there's the Rarity and Applejack conflict: I got a kick on their antics together, even though I was slightly disgusted by Rarity's behavior. At first I found it hard to believe that she, as a character of such standards, would go to such 'uncouth' lengths just to gain the affections of some crush, especially one who didn't return the favor; certainly she would've learned a lesson last time...but then again, I've always viewed Rarity as somewhat petty and shallow, so her behavior wasn't THAT unbelievable for me. Applejack, on the other hand, is in top-form with her 'head of reason' for the group that makes her one of my favs, and I gotta say, she is INCREDIBLY patient with the two...and this episode may be the first where she's stolen the show, with that dress scene and all. Whoa...if this was the EG-Verse with human AJ, that booty-shake and flirtatious posing would've been border-line risque, and I can only imagine the prissy break-down Rarity went through after she realize what she had done (about pig-pens...it's not mud.)

Anything else? Oh, yeah...bringing up the universal fandom topic: Granny Smith founding Ponyville/Ponyville being centuries old. Personally, I think the whole thing was just a story-writer error (being early in the show), but if I had to guess, the answer's simple: Granny Smith is as least as old as Ponyville, and therefore at least a few hundred years old. I know most fans tend to make ponies have the same lifespans as humans, but they tend to forget one thing: Ponies are NOT humans. Plus, in a world where magic and mythology are common nature, it's very believable to me that ponies are equally so; their rulers are over a thousand years old, it's common sense to think that mortals ponies have at least a decently-long lifespan as well.

Despite not being an Out-of-World set-up that I usually like, it was a fun episode to watch; much better Rarity-AJ conflict than 'Look Before You Sleep' at any case (Ooh, just came up with an idea! I wonder if, in the EG-verse, Trenderhoof came around into writing Sweet Apple Acres into a MLP version of Duck Dynasty. That'd be hilarious!).

Final Rating: 6/10


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FILLI VANILLI - In Progress


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TWILIGHT TIME - Not much to go with this episode, so I'll just round up all the things I found interesting.

The biggest impact and highlight of this episode is, obviously: Ponyville's foal population just exploded. I've always found the small amount of children seen up to this point strange and questionable: even in a smaller town such as Ponyville, certainly there should be more foals than what we've seen so far in Cheerilee's class. Thankfully this episode covers this just fine.

Another thing I liked was the Hay Burger place, minor as it was: looks like ponies have fast-food eateries like Mcdonalds and Burger King after all, and the introduction of the hayburger is interesting too; it introduces familiar food styles to Equestria, while maintaining the fact that ponies are herbivores, just like their Earthly Counterparts...though I gotta say, Twilight really knows how to pig down (I've invented a personal minor headcanon for my fanfics about this: alicorns, even mortal ones, are of a higher race than the other 'mortal' ponies and lack many of the phyiscal flaws most mortals have, including gaining unnecessary bodily fat, at least not at the same rate normal ponies do; Twilight can pig down on whatever she wants and still have the body of a goddess, much to Rarity's eternal envy and frustration).

One other thing that got me was Sweetie Belle being able to use magic now...and my feelings are mixed on this. On one side, Sweetie's finally using magic! About time too...but I liked the original idea on them on equal footing: having Scootaloo unable to fly and Sweetie Belle unable to use magic put them all on equal footing with Applebloom, and thus the three were seen as one. Having Sweetie Belle use magic throws off the balance, especially just after addressing Scootaloo's inability to fly.

Apart from these facts, this episode wasn't very interesting to me at all, and I probably won't be watching it again anytime soon.

Final Rating: 4/10

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IT AIN'T EASY BEING BREEZIES - In Progress


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SOMEPONY TO WATCH OVER ME - Wow, I haven't seen Applejack this crazy and irrational since Bridle Gossip.

Almost every fan response to AJ's behavoir I've seen connects it to the death of her parents, which is possibly the biggest fandom/headcanon topics in the fanbase that hasn't been touched upon yet; that the death of her parents traumatized her so much that she's become over-protective of her family, especially Applebloom. It's a great idea for fanfics, but like I've said before and learned the hard way: there's a danger with adopting headcanon as fact. We don't know how her parents died, or how she took the lost; for all we know, Applejack could've been the one who killed her own parent. Impossible, yes, but based on current evidence, it's a valid theory. From what I've concluded, this ties to what we've seen in most Applejack episodes like Pinkie Apple Pie, Last Roundup, Applebuck Season, and Apple Family Reunion: as the apparent head of the family, Applejack takes her duties so seriously and letting go or failing them is the hardest thing for her to do...but this is way over-played, just like Pinkie Pie in Filli Vanilli: taking a believable character trait and blowing it up to ridiculous proportions.

Since this episode doesn't have much else worth mentioning, I'll get right to the biggest and probably only impact this episode had for me: The Chimera. I KNEW it!! I KNEW that it would appear!! Ever since I secured the idea that mythological creatures existed in Equestria (especially those from Greek Mythology), and that the show was introducing them frequently, I KNEW that it would only be a matter of time before the Chimera found it's way into the Lore of MLP. And for all my hopes and predictions, I've been proven right! Looks like we fanfic writers are gonna have to find a new fan-origin creature to use.

But the Chimera and the Fire Swamp are probably the only thing that made this episode worth while, or even memorable; this wasn't a bad episode, but it's not one that I'd want to make a big deal out of.

Final Rating: 5/10


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MAUD PIE - For me, this was to be the last good episode for a while. Not much to talk about it, though, other than its namesake: Maud Pie. So let's get talking and call it a day.

I LOVE Maud; she easily comes off as one of my favorite one-shot characters and Mane 6 relatives. I know a lot a fans weren't expecting her to be like the way she is when the episode was first announced, but I did: I knew the moment I heard of this episode that she would be the exact opposite of Pinkie Pie. Seriously, I saw the whole 'Reverse Mirror' plot twist comin' a mile away! And I liked her from the very beginning, mainly because I can relate to her; her dead-pan, no-goofing-off, straight-to-the-point nature was a very welcome change from Ms. 'I-have-to-be-the-center-of-everything-and-get-my-exact-way-even-if-it-means-getting-into-danger-and-breaking-the-hearts-of-my-friends' Pinkie (okay, maybe I'm going just a bit overboard, but my dislike still stands...accursed fandoms...). And yet, as much as I don't like Pinkie's usual craziness, I liked her interactions with Maud, showing that even though she appears to be emotionless as the rocks she farms, Maud still is a loving sister and a very likeable pony.

Final Rating: 6/10


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FOR WHOM THE SWEETIE BELLE TOLLS - In Progress


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LEAP OF FAITH - New. Most. HATED. Episode. Ever. And it has nothing to do with the whole 'Angry Fanboy' thing.

This episode was one of the most insulting and disgraceful pieces of fictional media I've ever seen, and not because it's a Flim-Flam Brothers (Whom I absolutely despised from day one...sales people...*Grrrrrrrrr...*) episode; for me, the greatest insult was the whole 'Confidence Boost, Mind-Over-Matter' plot being carried forth by Granny Smith of all characters:

I come from a family who has a decent amount of handicapped members, by old-age and otherwise, one of which being my grandmother on my mother's side; for as long as I've known her, she's been confined to a scooter thanks to her age, and in the past five years she's had at least three falls and hip-fractures just trying to get from one chair to another. She can't even use the bathroom without someone to help lift and move her from the scooter to the toilet! And every time I look at her I can't stand the idea of Nana having to deal with that kind of fragility and helplessness every. Single. Day! This episode is both insulting and disrespectful to her and all other people handicapped by old age or other means! What, you think all I have to do is give Nana a cup of apple juice, claim it to be a magic potion, and that self confidence boost would have her bouncing off the walls?! No! With old people, the problems are both mental AND physical! Granny Smith should've been DEAD from all the physical exertion she had been doing; I actually wanted to see her go SPLAT on that high-dive, if only to see her get what should've been coming to her!

And what the hell was up with the Ponyville Residents, and not because they suddenly look like they've been on the bad end of a Godzilla Rampage (my own headcanon is that the daily craziness that affects Ponyville only started happening since Twilight arrived, and that the results of their crazy adventures are the results of many ponies getting hurt; you can't expect the occasional monster or disaster, usually caused by Twilight's magic gone wrong, to come barreling through a town and nobody gets out unharmed); my issue is that not one, NOT ONE, in the past few days ever complained about the tonic not working on them; given the demonstration Flim and Flam made with Sliver Shill (fucking coward, that little four-eyed prick), the tonic was made to look as if it would work right away. If the ponies of Ponyville are that Brain-Dead, then let them get scammed!

For me, the only good things this episode had are that 1: it's the ONLY episode in the series to feature only ONE of the Mane 6 (and it's an Applejack episode, so kudos to that), and 2: it's the final Rainbow Connection Key episode before the finale. Fuck you, Josh Haber; You're worse than Merriweather Williams!! May you burn in Hell!!

Final Rating: 1/10


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TESTING, TESTING, 1, 2, 3 - Okay, scratch what I said before about Maud Pie being the last good episode. Even if I didn't like this one that much or enjoy it as much as others, it had its good stuff.

The biggest and most obvious impact this episode had was, obviously, The History of the Wonderbolts; I'm pretty sure any Wonderbolt fan went Ga-Ga over this episode. My only issue with it is that it was told, not shown; this could've been another good chance to reveal Equestria's history in flashbacks, like in the Hearth's Warming Eve play, but instead they simply spelled it out in history lessons. No wonder Rainbow Dash was bored (I also gotta bring it up; I did not like the harshness Twilight gave Rainbow Dash, and being a Twilight fan, seeing her act that way stung)...well, at least they showed it their own unqiue way at the end, and I gotta admit: Flutterestia was really cute. And Rapper Pinkie was pretty funny, being one of the first times in a while where I actually enjoyed Pinkie Pie's character again without those damn headcanons ruining it.

Another, more personal, thing I had with this episode was the reference to Firefly in the wonderbolt's history. On the good side, it's another Previous-Generation reference, just like the Breezies. On the bad side, there goes the universally-acclaimed headcanon with Firefly as Rainbow Dash's mother (this can be overlooked, but it just won't feel the same...).

Final Rating: 5/10

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TRADE YA - Finally! An episode where Princess Twilight is actually addressed! All Princess Twilight fans are gonna have a ball with this episode.

But for me, that was probably the only thing I enjoyed about this episode, despite getting to visit Rainbow Falls again. As a fan of big fantasy/adventure tales, I'm not huge of character conflict; I know that's life and it makes the character more developed, but it still leaves me feeling a bit empty and forboding on the inside. I'll just stick to the whole 'Defeat the Bad Guy with super-powers and Save the Kingdom' set-up, thank you. The only one I liked of the three was Pinkie and Twilight, and I got to enjoy Pinkie's character again; man, that mare's got a knack for salesmanship. Flim and Flam, eat you hearts out.

Rarity and Applejack conflict all depends on your own views of life, and thus you usually end up playing favorites. Me, I sided with Applejack on this one; being someone who favors function over appearance, I immediately jumped to her side of the conflict, and Rarity's borderline Noble-like Greed and Prissiness just ignited ten levels of inner rage within my being. Seriously, trading everything for something you already have?! Burn in Hell, Whore!

And then there's Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy...and they represent everything I hate about Trading instead of Buying; if this show were any higher in the ratings, They should've sued that Daring Do pony for making them all that trouble to get the Orthos (which I found disappointing, despite my love of fantasy creatures; you call THAT an Orthos? Please, I've seen scarier monsters in Dragon Tales and Cyber Chase!) and then shoot them down.

And then there's the trade-off they made in the end...and I feel I need to smooth things out. A lot of fans went into rage-mode over the idea that Rainbow Dash practically sold Fluttershy into slavery for a book (I know KingofallNoobs is gonna have a ball with that and his Rainbow Abuse Pics), but come on, people! Give Rainbow a bit of slack! To be fair, she didn't even realize what she had agreed to until it was too late, and she did come back around to fix her mistake in the end (MISTAKE, people; no one's perfect, as Friendship Is Magic has becomes popular on). In anything, I think the fault falls to the mare that made that trade: seriously, she was practically buying Fluttershy into slavery! That can't be legal! And Twilight not resolving it made it even worse; you princesses control the very forces of the world, and yet 'you're hooves are tied'?! Just force the mare to release an Element of Harmony bearer (former or not) and call it a day! What's the point of having near-godhood power if you're not gonna use it?!

For me, the only big things were that Equestria felt a bit more developed with the Creature's Tent and that ponies have bartering. But other than that, this is not worth my time or energy to put into my Fanfics.

Final Rating: 2/10


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INSPIRATION MANIFESTATION - ...Why does this episode even exist?

Seriously, why?! There's absolutely no point for this to exist. The way it was set up and done (on such a terrible and pathetic scale)...this is clearly just an idea they threw in to make way for the last three episodes of the finale, the first of which was poorly done in itself. In my opinion, they should've never written this one and instead made a Equestria Games two-parter, thus preventing themselves from making the same mistake as Magical Mystery Cure, but nooooooo...

This episode was not even worth my time or effort reviewing. I'm only gonna list the two things that impact for me: the first one was Spike's turnaround in the end; as much as I hate the little wyrm, I have to admit, seeing him grow and stand up in that one moment was good (doesn't excuse his earlier mind-numbing stupidity, though; things are kept under lock and key for a reason!). And the second was seeing Rarity's parents again, this time without clothes...and whadda'ya know, Rarity's father is a unicorn after all; there goes my headcanon with Rarity being an inbred...

Final Rating: 0/10 (not worth a rating)


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EQUESTRIA GAMES - In Progress


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TWILIGHT'S KINGDOM - In Progress
Spellcasters Sketch Card - Patrick Larcada 3
The Xasheen Consortium
Tyraka's MLP Topics: Thoughts on Season 4
Godly Motley Crew
Fenris Wolf