Have you ever had the urge to go outside and buy a My Little Pony video game just because you could? I’ll admit that I was tempted to buy the GBA game, but I haven’t had a chance to put this to the test because most stores don’t sell gameboy games anymore. Still, if I ever see it, you can be sure that I will check it out! The Friendship is Magic franchise has already become an integral part of the My Little Pony multiverse and it’s pretty amazing to see how much it has grown. It has 4 different comic series, a long running show, and it just keeps on coming! This spinoff series isn’t as good as Pony Tales, but I still prefer it to the first volume of the main series.
This collection brings 4 issues inside. The theme of the series seems to be to pair up 2 characters for a team up of sorts. It’s a way to see how everypony interacts with one another on a one to one basis. After all, they can all be pretty tough when in a group, but can Twilight Sparkle really get along with Applejack if they are thrown into a dangerous situation? That doesn’t happen, but it’s an example of what to expect in these issues.
One of the comics features a team up with Pinkie Pie and Princess Luna. Princess Luna is sad because the ponies don’t find her funny. This means that she is going to get stomped by Princess Celestia in the annual laughathon. (Close enough to the actual name) She asks Twilight Sparkle for help and the heroic pony quickly refers her to Pinkie Pie. Pinkie Pie is skeptical at first, but agrees to teach Luna how to have fun and be a good pony.
Well, this was a Pinkie Pie story, which meant that it should have been super special awesome, but it actually wasn’t as good as it could have been. I thought that Pinkie Pie was really out of character for the first scenes as she was a little mean to Princess Luna. By the end, the two of them are able to bond and Pinkie Pie’s advice pays off. The ending is happy for the heroes, but you still have to wonder who ended up winning. I don’t believe in draws anymore.
Rainbow Dash got to team up with Trixie in another story. One day, Rainbow Dash gets a letter stating that a kingdom wishes for her presence so that she can perform some neat acrobatics. Rainbow Dash has never been a pony to leave her fans hanging so she heads on over. To her dismay, Rainbow Dash finds out that a kingdom of dogs sent the request and their new queen is Trixie. Trixie was coerced into taking the position once the dogs found out about her skills as a gem creator (Hmmmmm…) and she realized that this deception has put her in a bind. Can Rainbow Dash help her escape the land?
Rainbow Dash would just fly her out of there, but the dogs foresaw this and put an enchanted crown on Trixie. The only way to get away is to make the dogs not want her to be their queen anymore. This was probably the second best story behind the Rarity team up. Rainbow Dash still proves herself to be a tough pony as her super speed feats are always impressive. She’s also more direct than the other ponies as she even asks Trixie why the hero should help. Trixie reminds her about friendship power and all, but it’s nice that Rainbow Dash had to ask. The solution to get out of this bind is a good one and Rainbow Dash got to prove her speed once again. We also got a nice moral about why deceit is never the best option.
Fluttershy teams up with Zecora in their adventure. Fluttershy wakes up one morning to discover that a Squirrel can talk. As she heads outside, the pony realizes that she can understand all of the animals. She realizes that this could be the work of some dark magic and asks Zecora to help. Zecora must now run some tests to see if this magic is reversible or if Fluttershy is simply losing her mind! Either way, this has certainly shaken up the city!
Well, this story was interesting, but I have to question Fluttershy’s distress at the animals learning how to talk. Given how friendly she is with them, I would have expected her to have been thrilled about this happening. I’d assume that she would just have enjoyed it no questions asked, but she seemed pretty alarmed at first. I suppose that it did happen suddenly, but it still didn’t feel like her usual self. As for Zecora…boy am I glad that she’s not part of the Mane 6. I have to admit that I’m not a fan of her. The rhymes are clever since it must be tough to think of rhymes for every sentence, but she couldn’t help Fluttershy at all. It makes you wonder why she was in this story. In all of the other team ups…there was a team up. In this issue, Zecora seemed to just be in it for the Wow factor. The twist of how the animals can now talk makes a lot of sense even if I didn’t guess it before hand. After all, there aren’t many beings who could achieve such a feat right?
By leaps and bounds, the best story is the team up with Applejack and Rarity. Given the two personalities of these ponies, you can be sure that their adventure should be a lot of fun. Applejack has to head to the West (Or was it East….!) coast to finalize a deal for some apples. Rarity decides to tag along because she loves road trips that result in great sight seeing detours. Applejack is glad to have the company at first, but Rarity’s passion for fashion starts to derail Applejack’s plans. Can the two ponies find a way to put aside their differences to get the apple contract signed or should Applejack have left this job to Big Mac!
In this issue, it’s easy to feel bad for Rarity. She loves fashion design, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that she has the most business experience from all of the ponies in Equestria. Applejack doesn’t want to acknowledge this for most of the issue and I feel like she was in the wrong for most of the disagreements. It was Applejack who got on the wrong train after all and likewise, it was she who didn’t think up a proper business strategy. Even the very first time something went wrong, Applejack was asleep. Don’t think that she was the sole reason why things went south, but Applejack certainly played a big role. In contrast, Rarity was very well behaved and continued to help Applejack even when the latter was being rather petty. (Spraying mud on Rarity and calling her names) Rarity showed that true friendship can stay strong through disputes and she knows how to put her friend’s needs before her own. Through her actions, Rarity got Applejack to remember what being a real friend is all about. The ending is happy and I gained a lot of respect for Rarity.
From the Mane 6, Pinkie Pie is still my favorite. I think it’s safe to say that Rainbow Dash is still second with Twilight Sparkle in third. That being said, Rarity has jumped over Applejack for 4th and I don’t see her dropping below that anytime soon. She can be a little over dramatic at times and her venture into romance holds her back, but through and through, she is one of the nicer ponies and certainly the most professional one.
The art is decent although I definitely think it could be better. Some scenes like the one where Fluttershy yells in surprise at the squirrel talking can be a bit exaggerated to say the least. Still, on the whole it will definitely remind you of the classic MLP style. The colors are vibrant and none of the pages are ever too packed so you always know what’s going on. It makes the collection that much easier to just pick up and start reading.
Overall, Friends Forever is another successful spinoff to add to Friendship is Magic’s resume. As with Pony Tales, each issue is a stand alone story so how much you like each one will determine how good the collection is. At 4 issues, the collection is very small so you will likely breeze through it. If you’re a Rarity fan, you’ll be very happy with her portrayal in the comic. You can certainly tell that the author appreciates the well rounded nature of the pony. I definitely recommend checking this out if you’re a fan of the main series or the show. If you’re on the fence about starting the infamous/legendary/controversial series, this is a good place to start. You’ll get to meet some of the Main 6 and get introduced to the universe in general. The comics are just a lot of fun as well, which is likely why the series got so large so fast. Whether or not you’re a big fan of the franchise, you can’t deny that it is an uplifting title to read and it leaves you feeling content. Also, be sure to be on the lookout for Derpy’s cameo. That pony is always around somewhere and you just have to be on the lookout for her! Hopefully the library gets more volumes of the series so that I can review some more soon. It’s been a while since I’ve seen the main Friendship is Magic title.