Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Reviews: My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic part 1

 Unfinished review of My Little Pony: FiM, which I am way too obsessed with right now.

Firstly, I apologize for the slow pacing updating the blog. Even though the new season has started, I haven't been posting every much, or even watching very much. I haven't even finished most of the series from last season, and we're going to to look in depth at the series responsible today, because maybe if I take a look at what it is about My Little Pony I love so much, I can move on and put more attention on the stuff that I'm supposed to be blogging about, like the latest episode of Regular Show and whatever anime has a new episode out today.

To look at the history behind My Little Pony, I suggest watching CR's My Little Pony Retrospective Parts 1 and 2. It's a great video explaining the context that My Little Pony comes from, and does a much better job than I could.

This series is way better than it needed to be. Everything is done well; the writing top notch, the characters well-written, the music great, the acting wonderful, the animation fun, cute, and almost obsessively detailed. It's obvious that the people involved tried their hardest to make the best series they could, and with the assumption that everyone would automatically dismiss it too! That is dedication to the craft there! There are a couple of episodes I'm not crazy for, but none that I would turn off the TV if it was on because its awful.

One thing that really stands out to me about the series is the characters. It's interesting because at a first glance, these are characters we've seen before. We know the tom-girl, the smart one, the super-girly one who loves fashion, but the characters go beyond those first impressions, and end up having multi-faceted personalities and being some of the most unique characters I have ever seen.

I have no idea how people chose their favorite pony, because mine keeps changing. Characters that initially got on my nerves I grew to love, and each episode the individual ponies played a different role, which is really unusual for a series. Usually a character is the designated straight man, or crazy person, and stays that way throughout the series. But these ponies change depending on who they're interacting with, and bring out different characteristics in different situations, and I absolutely love that. People are inconsistent, and behave differently based on the situation they're in, their state of mind, or the people they're with. This is something I almost never see written into a character, and that alone is very special. They're inconsistent and imperfect, and as a result very human.

For example, Twilight Sparkle, the main character, is very well-read and studious, but she's not always right. She jumps to conclusions, makes assumptions or just outright doesn't know about certain things. She can be sarcastic, but she has a naive innocence to her that is simply endearing. Seeing her get so excited for her first slumber party, using a book to make her party "officially" fun, is both adorable and a little sad, as it highlights how lonely she was before. This loneliness is pretty crucial to her character; she's always searching for a place to fit in, like in Winter Wrap Up, or walking on eggshells to avoid irritating her friends. In Boast Busters, she is so afraid that her friends will think she's showing off how good she is at magic that she avoids using magic around them, afraid that they won't like her anymore. She is at her most neurotic when she's afraid of not impressing Princess Celestia, her mentor that she looks up to and always trying to please.

Pinkie Pie was the character I thought would annoy me the most, but ended up growing on me the most. There's something to be said about a character who's always finding the fun and the silly in any situation, and so makes things more entertaining. She's a lot like Ed from Cowboy Bebop, childish, and outright crazy, but she's having the time of her life just being herself, and that enjoyment is contagious. But even Pinkie Pie gets to play the straight man, in one episode Pinkie is the only one who knows how to get rid of a huge parasite problem, but no one will listen to her. So while everyone else is running around panicking, Pinkie is preparing to run the pests out of town a la the Pied Piper. But she truly shines in the episode Party of One, when she loses her mind when she believes that all of her friends don't like her anymore. She gets paranoid, stalking her friends around when they won't go to her party, and ends up sitting at her party all alone, giving piles of rocks and bags of flour names, personalities, and voices to replace her old friends. The episode is an excellent one, and raises some interesting questions about Pinkie. It shows how delicate a character she is, very emotional and easily heart-broken, and very insecure about losing her friends. It makes her one of the most fascinating characters to analyze, and the fact that she exhibits characteristics commonly associated with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia makes her even more so.

This is getting pretty long, so I'm going to split it into different parts. I could write an entire essay about each of these characters, and that's not including talking about the fandom, the music, and other things I want to talk about. Wait to see the rest!

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