My Little Pony: Legends of Magic Volume 1 Review

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My Little Pony has always been one of those franchises that most people judge instantly. It seems like a show for little kids with happy creatures that you can’t take seriously. It is a kids show, but one that’s well written and has a lot of quality episodes. As I’m about halfway through season 1, I can finally consider myself a part of the fandom. Now I’ve gotten to read another MLP comic and I’d certainly say that this is a good one although I definitely found myself missing the Main 6. There are 6 stories and each one is a self contained adventure although the series is hinting at some kind of plot getting ready to develop with the scholar who is reading the stories.

The first comic is a story about Princess Celestia and Luna from their Pony days. Celestia apparently was still a bully even back in her youth and picks on Luna a lot. She reminds Luna of her previous failures and points out that she will never be proficient in magic. Luna tries to show Celestia that she is wrong and opens up a portal, but it takes Luna away to a dangerous place. Celestia goes along with the Wizard to save her, but it’s a treacherous journey and her power alone may not be enough to win. It’s a pretty fun way to start the comic although it solidifies the fact that I will never become a Celestia fan. She’s just so mean throughout the comic to the extent where it’s hard to believe that she becomes one of the Princesses. It’s easy to see how Luna turned evil for a little while if she had to put up with this every day. I’ve always been a Luna fan so I’m glad she finally gets her due respect in the modern episodes. Her magic eventually did become more impressive than Celestia’s.

Our next story takes us to good ole Rockhoof, a legend among his people. He was a Pony who stood up for what’s right and defeated many powerful adversaries in his day. This story takes place after the legend most are familiar with and he is invited to join the army. He does, but gradually begins to put on a lot of weight as his fans take him to many dinners. He is then too weak to defend the kingdom from a powerful monster and begins to wonder if friendship isn’t magic. The other characters confirm this so he goes back to his rigorous training and makes it in time to stop the giant monster on his own. He finally realizes that hanging out with friends is all right, but at the end of the day you can only count on yourself. It’s a pretty reasonable story and while I would have liked a fight as opposed to words being enough to stop the monster, it’s a resolution that I can get behind. I’d like to see Rockhoof show up in the present at some point.

The next story was quite a bit weaker than the first two. There once lived an old nanny who liked to traverse the wilderness. One night, she noticed that a kingdom was being attacked by animals and no work was getting done. She decided to broker a treaty between the two which is fortunate since Luna had been sent out to deal with the threats. Not officially, but Luna noticed unlike all of the others and would have certainly beaten the animals on her own. Instead, friendship prevailed and Luna altered the Kingdom’s plans so that it wouldn’t interfere with the wildlife. Even back then Luna was a more benevolent ruler than Celestia. The story wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t quite as exciting or action packed as the first two. The old lady also didn’t make for as good a main character as the other ponies.

Following that adventure was the original Wonderbolts as they struggled against a Tornado. This tornado was going to rip through the lives of many griffins, but the Ponies were declined access across the border. The Griffins wanted to deal with the problem themselves so the Pony commander decides to let them all die. The other Wonderbolts can’t agree this and quit so they can help out without causing a big war between the two species. It’s a pretty noble gesture and I always knew the ponies had it in them. The commander looks pretty bad, but don’t they always? It’s a good adventure even if it’s not the most interesting one. Again, it’s a comic without any of the old characters so you do miss them quite a bit. Rockhoof’s story pulled it off, but it is a difficult thing to do for sure.

On the next adventure we meet our first Egyptian pony. She was known as one of the wisest ponies in all of Equestria and she solved all of her problems without the need for violence. A pretty impressive feat when you consider how unruly and dangerous most of Equestria was. One day her kingdom was being attacked by a large snake so she decides to deal with the issue. She’s a pretty great main character and a step up over the last two stories. She may even be the best main character in the book. It’s a fun enough story and who doesn’t like seeing a giant monster show up? This is one character who would definitely fit right in with the Main 6 if she ever met them. A pacifist is always welcome in Ponyville and especially one with Twilight Sparkle’s intelligence.

Finally, the last story was about a bunch of Pony zombies. This may seem a little out of place in the happy world of My Little Pony, but again, you can’t let looks deceive you. A wandering healer happened to be passing by and decides to cure the Ponies. Unfortunately they aren’t too grateful and make fun of her one liners. Ah well, everyone’s a critic these days. The hero didn’t have a whole lot of personality this time around, but she seemed nice enough. Someone you would want to have in your corner at any rate.

So this was a good batch of My Little Pony stories. It’s always good to expand the universe so having a whole comic series dedicated to this is pretty clever. That being said, the main plot could easily overshadow the stories if the series isn’t careful. It ends in a cliffhanger with the kid trying to find Twilight so that could be intense if it’s played straight. I don’t like that guy, but I guess he didn’t really do anything wrong in the comic so I have to cut him some slack.

As always the writing is solid. These stories could easily have been boring or simply bad if we had a bunch of crude humor and bad characters to bring the story down. Fortunately this wasn’t the case as everything was on point instead. The stories were able to develop naturally and at worst some parts would just be a little rushed since all of the stories had to end rather quickly. They never drag on though and most of the characters seemed pretty reasonable. If you’re going to make a trade paperback about new ponies, they’ve got to be good and the comics did good there.

Unfortunately, the art isn’t very good though. In fact it’s actually pretty bad at different points. It comes across like a cash in although I’m sure they put a lot of effort into the comics. The art just feels unfinished which is a little regrettable. It’s still clear though and you always know what is happening so it’s far from the worst case scenario. It’s nothing that would seriously hurt the score or anything like that. Hopefully it does improve as the series goes on the artist gets more used to the characters.

Overall, I’d recommend checking out this graphic novel. It may not have the Main 6 and can feel like filler at times, but the stories are good. It’s a pleasant enough read and you’ll find yourself blasting through the pages. I would even say that it does beat the main ongoing comic so that’s definitely pretty impressive for a spinoff. Hopefully the library gets more MLP adventures soon so I can check them out. In the meantime I can be satisfied knowing that I’ve learned more about the world and its history.

Overall 7/10

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My Little Pony: The Movie Review

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It’s always interesting to read a novel adaption right after watching the movie because then you can really notice where they changed or omitted something. In this case, there was really massive change and a few fairly minor ones. The biggest one definitely involved Twilight’s falling out with her friends. Lets dive into the plot though and take a look at how it stands up on its own.

Twilight Sparkle is planning a huge party to celebrate a momentous occasion. She is even bringing out a talented singer to Ponyville for the event. Unfortunately, it is crashed by Tempest and the Storm King. They want to destroy Ponyville once and for all to show that their power is supreme. Twilight’s kingdom is no longer hers so she will have to go on a quest to find the mermaid ponies and save Equestria. Can she really hope to stop this array of villains or will it all be for naught?

It’s a pretty solid premise. As with the movie, it can just be a little annoying to see Twilight let these villains just walk all over her. At this point in the series her power level is quite high and she should have no problem just blasting these guys away. Instead she spends the movie getting wrecked by just about everyone. Even at the end she has to be saved one last time by her friends. She’s still a good lead character though and ironically one of the changed parts of the comic makes her even better. In the film she tells the other ponies that she wished she had other friends or something to that extent when they were bickering about whether or not they should have stolen the gem of power from the mermaids. It’s a big moment since it’s one of those lines that’s hard to take back and that’s why the team splits. In this case, the team splits up because they call her out for being a thief and Twilight responds with a snarky “Oh yeah?” I guess they took that really personally but it does make you wonder why the team would split apart for something like that. It makes their bond look a little more shallow if we’re being honest. Of course, Twilight’s expression in this moment was certainly priceless so I have to give the artist some props there. It was the best panel in the whole comic.
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The other scene that was cut out was Fluttershy getting one of the guards to cry, but I was pretty okay with this since it made the guards a little more serious. Not that they didn’t have any comedy moments, but now they didn’t have much at all. The book is basically the movie though so there’s not a whole lot of other things to say about it. The cast of characters is definitely solid and the art looks good. Of course, that’s basically the same as saying that the movie looks good. The songs are solid and it’s a good overall adventure.

Even if I did cover it as a movie, I’ll give a quick run down of what was good and bad about the story. The good part is that the action scenes are pretty good and Tempest is a solid villain. Her design is really good and her abilities are definitely the real deal. After all she was able to take down Ponyville in a single day. The pacing is pretty good and something is always happening in the book. The only slow part might be when they head to the water world but it was still pretty good.

On the weaker side, the supporting characters weren’t too good here. I didn’t really care for capper much or the mermaids. The Storm King was quite underwhelming with his dialogue and personality so it would have been cool if Tempest had replaced him. That would have made for a more intense climax. The only other real negative is that I felt like Twilight Sparkle should have done a whole lot better. The fact that she really couldn’t contribute at all was pretty bad.

Overall, You’ll be able to blast your way through the movie comic since it’s really not all that long at all. One batch is probably all that you’ll need to finish it. If you’re a fan of the MLP series then you’l definitely love it and even if you aren’t, it’s just a solid adventure. It will teach you about the power of friendship and that Ponyville is still a dangerous and dark place. It’s just how the place is and you can’t really fault the Mane 6 for it. It’s just the rest of the ponies who need to be a little nicer. Maybe Tempest can help to show them a better way. That being said, at the end of the day it’s probably better for you to just watch the movie then to read the comic. It’s just a more wholesome way to experience the story.

Overall 7/10

My Little Pony The Movie Prequel Review

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It’s time to look at the events that lead up to the movie. This comic focuses on developing the new additions to the cast so instead of the Mane 6 we get to see more of Tempest, Storm King, and the pirates. The movie didn’t have the strongest of supporting characters, but that’s what the comic is for so could it improve the characters? Well, I’m still not a Storm King fan, but it was nice to see more of Tempest.

The first issue is about the Storm King as he continues to conquer more and more kingdoms. Unfortunately his lieutenant betrays him and the Storm King must now give chase. He hands the 2nd in command position over to one of his weaker minions so that if he is ever betrayed again it won’t be that serious. It’s a sound decision, but one that also has some obvious weaknesses. While the Storm King did get suckered, it did help me gain respect for Strife. He actually seems like a pretty good villain. I don’t really trust in his abilities in a fight, but betraying the Storm King definitely earns him some respect in my book. The issue also shows how the Storm King is definitely a villain through and through as he destroys a village for no real reason.

The 2nd comic takes place at the same time, but is from the pirates point of view. They’re determined to do whatever it takes to survive. Unfortunately their money and supplies have been dwindling so they decide to rob a Storm King vessel. Fortunately Strife is here to help as he aims to stay aboard their ship for safety. Since he disables the Storm King vessel they’re okay with this, but you can’t keep the Storm King down for long. It would help the pirates a lot if they could fight, but unfortunately for them it seems like this is not the case. Once the Storm King actually does arrive, the pirates completely throw in the towel. In their defense I suppose they would get wrecked if they fought, but I definitely would have liked them to have thrown a few shows. It was a little weaker than the first issue, but still a fun enough read.

The third comic is about Capper and his tragic backstory. He never wanted to be a crook, but became one to make ends meet. He had a friend who was more enthusiastic about this. Eventually the friend decided to cut their ties so he betrayed Capper and ran off. Surprisingly this partner may have died since the blimp he took blew up. That’s what you get when you betray the heroes I suppose. Definitely the darkest story of the bunch and you can’t help but feel bad for Capper. Too bad this turned him into a full fledged villain though. At the same time, he works better as a villain than a hero I’d say.

Finally, the last comic is the best one since it stars Tempest. I still say she was very naive to trust the Storm King at all. Fighting it out with him would have been a lot of fun. Her lack of a horn definitely makes her design even cooler even if she isn’t a fan of it. You already see a good chunk of Tempest’s backstory in the film so this comic focuses on the part after that as she first meets up with the Storm King. Selling out Equestria was definitely pretty drastic though so she definitely has to be thrown in the traitor category as well. If only Equestria wasn’t so mean to everyone who isn’t the Mane 6. If the Mane 6 had never come around, I have a feeling Ponyville would be very different.

The art is pretty good here. I found it to be more consistent than in Friends Forever. All of the character designs are on point. The backgrounds are clear and the artwork never gets cluttered. It makes it easy to just pick up the comic and start reading. Even the text is nice and large. You’ll be done with the comic very quickly since it’s only 4 issues and the panels are pretty big. Still, it covers a pretty good amount of story in that time.

To reiterate, the comic really only has one weakness, the characters. As much as the comic gives them development, I still couldn’t find myself caring about the pirates, Capper, or the Storm King. Tempest is always cool, but the others just can’t really hold their own stories. That’s why even though the stories are good, they aren’t quite as engaging as they could have been otherwise.

Overall, This was a good comic. You definitely end up missing the main ponies though. It’s hard to have a My Little Pony comic that only has 1 pony show up during the whole adventure. I’m still not sold on the Storm King either. I dunno, as a villain Tirek and the others just work a lot better. This guy has a lot of fun with his job which is fun, but definitely takes away from the fear factor. I do recommend checking out this prequel though, especially if you’re going to watch the movie. If you’re looking for an MLP comic to start the franchise off with though, then you’re better off checking out Friends Forever or Pony Tales.

Overall 6/10

My Little Pony: The Movie Review

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It’s time to finally take a look at the new My Little Pony film. After being a pocket fan of the series for a while, this was the last step I needed to really embrace the franchise. It was pretty eery walking into the theater as it was completely empty, but it help set the tone for the film. Gradually some little kids came in and I can say that the film succeeded in being an emotional roller coaster for them. They cried when Twilight Sparkle cried, laughed at some of the jokes, and even cheered a bit during the hype moments. Definitely a solid group all around. I definitely enjoyed the film and it hit a lot of the right notes. It could have been better if it had been a little more serious at times and made the Mane 6 more reasonable, but all in all you couldn’t ask for much more from the title. Now the series can finally be mainstream.

So the film starts off with Twilight Sparkle preparing a big party. She’s even going to have a singer show up to wow the crowd. Unfortunately Princess Celestia, Luna, and the other pony all say no to Twilight’s plan to make the party even more awesome. They explain that true friendship is knowing when not to lend a hoof in need. Twilight does her best with her friends but Pinkie Pie squashes the cake by mistake and embarrasses Twilight in front of the town. That’s when the Storm King’s minions show up and take over Equestria. Twilight Sparkle and her friends are wrecked in seconds and forced to flee. They must now find a legendary Queen to save them, but they’ll have to travel outside of their home for once. Going into the modern day cities will be tough since everyone is a swindler and the Ponies are used to dealing with nice folk. This could be tough.

Well, for starters I enjoyed the graphics. It feels like an interesting flash/CGI hybrid at times with how the designs look. They look more wholesome and detailed than the TV show, but at the same time I found myself missing the classic TV show versions once in a while. I think you very quickly get pulled back into the film though and this style certainly worked really well for the energy effects. They really stood out.

The soundtrack for the film is excellent as you would expect. The Open Your Eyes song is definitely catchy and even contained a brief origin story within it. The final song that the movie ends with was also quite good. During the movie the Mane 6 sang a few times as well. While the songs couldn’t quite match those 2, they were still really good. Mix that in with the danger themes in this film and you can see why it was so good. I would have liked to have seen the My Little Pony theme song, but I suppose that might have been too much to ask for.

One thing that the film does well is keeping up a sense of danger during the movie. We get the opening attack on Equestria which was quite good. A slice of life movie would have been solid as well but throwing in the action to make the film really feel special was a good move. We got mini action scenes throughout the film as well since the heroes were being pursued the whole time. The end of the movie doesn’t really have much action as it isn’t taken seriously anymore, but it’s better than nothing. I basically got what I expected in this department.

Unfortunately not all of the Mane 6 members look all that good. Twilight Sparkle is definitely a lot less impressive in combat than she should be in this film. At least the villains had an orb that can one shot any pony in their possession so that made the whole scene a little better. Twilight should have no problem with the minions though and using more magic would have helped them get to the goal a lot sooner. She also doesn’t act like a very nice pony at times like when she yells at Pinkie Pie. I do actually agree with her decision to steal from the other Ponies though. It’s nothing personal to the kids, but Twilight has a kingdom to save so she can’t let these “allies” waste a valuable resource like that. She’d bring it back afterwards anyway so it’s all good. It’s a shame that she couldn’t do that without getting tied up though. It’s a close match between her and Rainbow Dash as the best hero in this film. I’d probably give it to Rainbow Dash here though.

Rainbow Dash definitely gets her props as she helps a group of pirates learn how to be heroes again. Her sped is also put on full display for most of the film so you get to see just how strong she is. It’s a shame that Rainbow Dash didn’t get to actually fight at all though. Seeing her take down the villains would have definitely been really cool. Applejack fans won’t be thrilled as she doesn’t do much here. Some shade is thrown her way by the other ponies, but she takes it in stride for the most part. She just doesn’t get to do anything for most of the film.

Rarity is also basically a non factor here. She falls for Capper’s tricks a lot easier than the other Ponies and was one of the weaker characters here. She spends the majority of the film complaining, although most of the Mane 6 are guilty of that at one point or another. Twilight Sparkle may have had an easier time without her friends since they slowed her down quite a bit. Rarity’s a nice enough pony, she’s just really out of her element. Unfortunately, Fluttershy was probably the worst pony here. She spends most of the film crying or shaking in fear from the villains. I get that she is the nervous one of the group who is lacking in confidence for the most part, but I thought she was past that by now. To an extent this film can feel like a bit of a reboot in terms of character development t make it accessible to the general audience. Fluttershy simply fell victim to this.

Pinkie Pie looks pretty good. She is definitely a little on the hyper side as she makes jokes during moments that would be tense otherwise and helps to sabotage the heroes at times. At least she has heart though and is always smiling. Pinkie Pie was a good character here and I’d probably give her 3rd out of the Mane 6. It was also neat seeing all of the cameos in the background like Cheese Sandwich and Big Mac. It felt like the movie tried to get all of the supporting characters. I’d say that it’s a shame not seeing the Cutie Mark Crusaders much, but I can’t because I prefer the Mane 6 anyway.

Time for the film original characters. I liked Tempest Shadow quite a lot. She makes for a very cool villain with a neat design. She’s also quite powerful and is portrayed as one of the strongest ponies in the whole series. It would be cool if she were to start appearing in the TV show. At this point, Ponyville should be known as one of the strongest places in all of Equestria. I mean, I won’t say much about her role even if the trailer makes it pretty obvious but regardless I thought she was a cool character from start to finish. Sure, she’s rather naive the whole time, but every character has a flaw of some kind. I’d say that she got past it and is easily the best film character. The rest were rather lackluster to be honest.

We’ve got Grubber, who is the comic relief sidekick. He got in the good one liners which weren’t bad, but then he has to try and explain them which isn’t very funny. There wasn’t really a point to his scenes. The Storm King may be the main villain technically but he’s played off as a comic relief character for the most part. He could have easily won the day once and for all if he was a little smarter. Alas, he wasn’t and he ended up lowering his guard quite a bit. I definitely wouldn’t have minded if Tempest had simply betrayed him.

Capper is a smart cat who knows the ways of the world. The problem is that he’s a blatant ripoff of the main character’s sidekick in Zootopia down to his fast manner of speaking and mannerisms. He’s not a bad character as his only flaw is being generic, but I don’t think we really needed him. There was also Princess Skystar who showed up to learn about the powers of friendship but then missed out on the whole climax. So much for that character eh? Trying to guilt trip the Mane 6 certainly wasn’t very nice. There were also the Pirates but they didn’t do much either.

Now, I know for a film you want to use your newfound budget to make other backdrops and all, but I kind of wished we had stayed in Ponyville for a bigger chunk of the film. I much prefer that to the desert, ocean, or any of the other places we went too. I can’t fault the film for wanting to leave since most of the Pony episodes take place there, but it would have been neat to have seen it a little more. Perhaps next time. While the film original characters didn’t get the best of write ups, they weren’t bad. It’s just that the film may have tried to cram in too many of them into the film. At least they all had a purpose so in the end the Ponies could see how many people they reached in the end. After all, at the end of the day, the Ponies just want to make new friends.

If there’s something the next film could improve on, it’s the action. I want to see the Mane 6 take names. I was even expecting Derpy to jump in and start chopping the villains down to size. It doesn’t have to become a full blown action movie although I’d be down with that, but since the Ponies can fight, it would be nice to see them utilizing their abilities more. At the very least, Rainbow Dash can speed blitz most of these guys. We definitely got robbed of our Twilight Sparkle vs Tempest Shadow match.

Overall, My Little Pony is a film you should check out. It has a good amount of action and adventure within it. Twilight Sparkle is a nice character who always does her best even if the other Ponies don’t help her out all that much. Once she tunes them out and gets to work, nothing can stop her. It’s a shame that my favorite Pony Starlight Glimmer didn’t get to show up and wreck Tempest, but we all know how OP she is so it makes sense. Whether you’re a Pony fan or not, you’ll be able to enjoy the interactions between the characters and get invested in the story. The film never drags on so it’s a fun ride from start to finish.

Overall 8/10

My Little Pony: The Elements of Harmony Volume II Review

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It’s time to check out the new My Little Pony guidebook. I read the last one almost 4 years ago so it has certainly been a while. I suppose that makes sense since each guidebook covers 3 seasons of the show and it takes a while for those to be produced. As it stands, I can’t see a third volume coming out for a long time since I think it is currently only 1 season out of date. It’s a very informative book and I can honestly say that it is pretty much perfect for learning about the ponies. I dare say that Megaman.exe and Transformers still had the most colorful and immersive guidebooks on the block, but this one keeps it close.

There are several sections in the book. First we take a look at the main ponies of course. The book talks about the Mane 6, their friends, allies, enemies, etc. It also talks about the surrounding areas and just about everything you need to know about the basics of Equestria. This section is always pretty fun and even if you already know most of the characters, it’s nice to see their write ups. It’s an essential part of every guidebook.

There is also a small section at the very end of the guidebook which talks about the songs. It writes down all of the lyrics for them so you can really appreciate the writing. I’m guessing they only chose some songs as I doubt there were 3 seasons worth of lyrics in there, but maybe there weren’t as many musical episodes as I had expected. The songs were nice although it’s always a lot more enjoyable to actually listen to them than read the lyrics.

The bulk of the book and the section where you’ll spend the most time are the episode descriptions. The guidebook goes through each and every episode from seasons 4 through 6 and gives a detailed look at what happens. They even post the moral to each episode on the bottom of the page. This is one of those areas that separates the guidebook from the rest. I can’t think of any other guidebook that does such a great job of showing you all of the episodes. You could theoretically be able to start season 7 feeling confident that you know everything if you read this guidebook. (And the last one of course)

There aren’t a whole lot of bonus features beyond that so I’ve pretty much mentioned everything there is to know about this one. So it’s pretty basic with the episode summaries being the main thing that makes it a lot of fun. Without it I’d probably have to dock a star, but it’s good enough with that feature. You’ll find yourself breezing through the book as you eagerly catch up on the latest pony knowledge. Now lets talk about some of the bonus features that the book could have had though.

I think some sections that could have made the book a lot more detailed would have been a nice Q and A section. Seeing the writers and voice actors talk about the characters and answer questions from fans would have been nice. Maybe hintings at future episodes or at Derpy’s big upcoming role would have been neat. Maybe some character popularity polls like which MLP characters are the most popular or something of that nature. These are all things that could have made the book more epic. “Top 10 MLP fights” may not be applicable for the average fan but what about something like top 10 songs or top 10 episodes? Those are a must for the average guidebook. Maybe what this series can do is make the next volume come out after 2 seasons instead of 3 and then they can pack in the empty space with some of these bonus features. Just a suggestion, but I do think it would make the book even better.

Overall, You’ll enjoy this guidebook. The only way you wouldn’t is if you aren’t an MLP fan, but if so then I doubt you’d be reading this in the first place. I suppose it could be a good launching on point for fans who haven’t had time to watch the show but in that case I would hope that you would have read the first voluem first. That would definitely be beneficial. It’s been a while since I read a guidebook, but maybe more will pop up at some point. They seem like an easy thing for a franchise to do so I wish more would do them. Imagine a nice Pokemon version where it’ll cover all of the episodes in a region? That’d be really nice. Meanwhile, now I just need to wait for my library to get the next My Little Pony comic to continue this marathon of the franchise.

Overall 8/10

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic

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Considering that I’ve seen 3 full episodes of this show (The opening two part special and now Pinkie’s Pride) I felt it was time to add the show to the blog. I won’t have a review up until I’ve seen the whole show at some point, but I think it’s reasonable to assume that this show will keep up the high quality. It has pretty nice songs and solid action scenes as well. With antagonists ranging from the well meaning Cheese Sandwich to the evil Tirek, the show has a lot of variety. The title may not sound too impressive if you’re quick to judge, but it lives up to its reputation as an inspiring show. My favorite member of the Main 6 overall is Rainbow Dash, but Pinkie Pie is a close second who manages to surpass her at times. Twilight also manages to snag 1st once in a while with the other members of the Main 6 always being fun as well.

Overall 7/10

My Little Pony: Friends Forever Volume 9 Review

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I’ll never forget when I first became a My Little Pony fan. It all started when I walked into Duane Reade and had to choose between buying the Pinkie Pie game for GBA or Backyard Football. I ended up choosing the latter, but only played it for a few days before it was tossed in the legendary drawer of games never to be seen again. Meanwhile, My Little Pony has continued to grow over the years and I had to hop on the bandwagon. It’s a fun series and this comic series is actually one that I preferred to the main title so it’s sad to see it end here. I can finally say that I have read the final issue of a long running MLP series.

There are 5 stories in the collection and the art tends to change for each one. Some issues look better than the others as a result, but the experimentation was fine since none of them looked terrible or anything. The first comic is a team up between Pinkie Pie and Cheese Sandwich. This is where my status as a casual fan comes back to haunt me because I have never heard of Cheese Sandwich before. I actually thought the pony was a she, but apparently not according to the wiki. In this case, I blame the artwork. The story sees a giant, living house kidnap Cheese Sandwich and Pinkie Pie along with some other ponies. They have to now make such a large party that the house will leave them alone. Pinkie Pie tries to escape several times, but there are no shortcuts in this mission.

Despite being a Pinkie Pie story, I’d say that this is the weakest of the bunch. The house didn’t exactly make for a great villain and I wasn’t sure about the moral. We don’t need parties to go on forever and even if the house wants this to be the case, it’s just not happening. As a proud member of the “I don’t go to parties” crew, I have to say that silence is golden and the best parties are the Mario ones on the Gamecube. Still a fun enough comic of course, but it all gets better from here.

Next was Twilight Sparkle and Starlight Glimmer. Glimmer has quickly risen up the ranks to be one of my personal favorite ponies and this comic helps her case. Sparkle wants to impress the kingdom by reordering the books and decides to bully Glimmer into helping under the ruse of it being for training. Starlight would rather not do this since she has been waiting for weeks to read her favorite spell book, but Twilight tricks her into thinking that she’ll learn more magic by helping. Twilight refuses to listen to any of Glimmer’s advice and reminds her that this isn’t a democracy. As a result, giant monsters show up thanks to magic going haywire and Twilight realizes that abusing one’s power is not a nice thing to do. Especially when you try to command a friend.

I feel like Twilight should probably know this moral already, but I’ll let it slide. Starlight helped her see the light (See what I did there?) and ultimately helped make Twilight a better pony. The art was a little suspect here as all of the characters were very small and chibi, but it wasn’t bad. We also got some nice action scenes as Starlight had to defend the kingdom on her own by making a giant energy barrier. She’s clearly still got a lot of power at her disposal. I’d probably put this story in the Top 2.

The next story was Rainbow Dash and Soarin. Soarin’s a petty pony who suffers from an inferiority complex and decides to run away to the mountains. Rainbow Dash is tasked with finding him and not taking his grumbling too seriously when she attempts to bring him back. Twilight Sparkle warns Rainbow Dash that sometimes you shouldn’t go too far to try and help a friend since the situation is dangerous. Rainbow Dash calls Twilight out on this and dashes off. Dash is also the perfect pony for the job since she ignored Soarin’s subtle digs and just brags about herself to counter it. Soarin realizes the error of his ways and agrees to come back to the Wonderbolts. He may not be a kid genius like Rainbow Dash, but he’ll try his best to keep up.

It’s a fun enough story and the author certainly had fun with Rainbow Dash’s personality. While the rest of the ponies are acting really polite and trying to be subtle, Dash just goes right to the point. It’s a pretty refreshing contrast from the rest of the ponies. Twilight looked pretty bad again and I’m wondering if the series just doesn’t like her. It’s probably just that they want to make the other characters look good for a change and I’m fine with that. After all, having a meaner Twilight Sparkle makes for a pretty good dynamic and she’s one of my favorite Ponies either way. It’s also worth noting that Derpy made a surprise cameo here and took the world by storm. She gets some subtle hype as she was able to deliver a letter back to Equestria during a bad storm but you’ll only realize this if you pay close attention to the dialogue and piece together when she could have taken the letter. It was pretty cool.

The next story is about Fluttershy and Applejack…or not. For some reason they don’t appear at all in this batch. They may have a one panel cameo in the background or something, but they miss the whole adventure. The story is really about Rarity and Trixie. They are tasked with teaming up to make a Broadway show the best that it can be. It’s going to be in Manehattan so the stakes are really high. Unfortunately Rarity has not forgiven Trixie for her evil ways and decides to give her the cold shoulder. Rarity refuses to work with her and does her own thing. As a result, she doesn’t make the clothes fireproof so Trixie gets blamed when the fireworks go wrong. Rarity realizes that she was being a petty pony and apologizes. Trixie accepts the apology and then they make the show a success.

Once again, it’s the main pony with the issue and the side pony has to help save the day. It may seem a little borrowed from the Twilight Sparkle story, but I liked it all the same. I didn’t care for the unreasonable manager though who threatened Trixie and Rarity for no reason. She’s probably one of the meanest ponies I’ve seen in the series. The art was also solid so I’d probably have to say that this was the best story in the batch. The story right after is very close though and the Twilight story was hype as well. It was a pretty close battle between the three.

The final story is a team up with Celestia and Luna. After many years, they finally have enough time to enter the big Olympic events in Equestria as a team. Unfortunately they had already promised the town that they would fix all of their problems first. They decide to skip sleep and just work on the problems together. This begins to test their patience and they also eat special barrier which take away their powers and increase their anger levels 10 fold thanks to the meddling of an old witch. Celestia begins to show her true colors as she continually taunts Luna by saying that she is superior and nobody ever likes Luna. Celestia gets really personal the whole time. Luna always has a comeback ready and gets the last laugh, but never goes quite as far as Celestia and she makes sure her words don’t cut as deep. You can probably tell who I thought was in the wrong on this one.

The art is the most exaggerated part of the comic as the ponies really yell and make a lot of intense facial expressions. I’d say that the art was bad, but it did a good job of depicting Celestia, one of my least favorite main characters in the series. Even by the end she just never gets as likable as Luna. Still, they both learned their lesson about eating strange fruits and not inspecting their food before they ate it. The other ponies didn’t suspect a thing for the most part. Rarity figured it out since she’s one of the smarter ponies around but that’s to be expected. I’d also argue that Luna ended up winning the competition although I’m sure you could try to piece together an argument for Celestia, I’m just not sure it would go very far.

How did it work as a series finale issue though? Honestly you wouldn’t have even known except for the final line where they break the 3rd or 4th wall. I suppose it was fitting to have the two highest ranked ponies team up for the finale though so they did think that part through. I was satisfied with it. The ideal ending would have been a Mane 6 team up but I guess we see that a lot in the main series as it is. I’m still pretty behind on that one but I’ll get there eventually. My favorite member of the Mane 6 just judging from this volume is Rainbow Dash. Historically she is usually at the top although occasionally she is dethroned by Pinkie Pie or Twilight Sparkle depending on the graphic novel or episode.

Overall, This is a pretty fun comic. I may have taken some subtle shots at the Mane 6 forgetting morals that they probably should have already learned, but no pony is perfect. They can’t be expected to not make any more mistakes and at least they learn from them in the end. My Little Pony always promises well written, wholesome entertainment within each issue. It’s definitely one of the most solid MLP comics I’ve read and there weren’t really any bad comics. The weakest one was the Pinkie Pie adventure and it still made for a good read. The art may fluctuate quite a bit, but it’s pretty good overall. I highly recommend reading it whether you’re a Pony fan or not. There’s plenty to enjoy for everyone and at the end of the day it’s just a pleasant read. Hopefully the rest of the MLP comics I ordered from the library get here soon so I can continue the marathon!

Overall 7/10

My Little Pony: Equestria Girls Review


I’ve been a casual big My Little Pony fan for ages now, but I had yet to get into the Equestria Girls part of the franchise. When I saw that my library had ordered this comic I knew it was time to jump in. It’s a pretty fun spinoff from the main series. I definitely prefer the main title as you can argue that the whole point of My Little Pony is seeing the ponies show us values of friendship and harmony which we can then apply to everyday life. Seeing fellow humans use these messages can still be effective, but it loses the extra intensity that the main comics have since there are no dark overlords trying to murder everybody here.

There are really two main comics here. The first one deals with how the main characters met up and became friends in the first place. All of the ponies get a lot of screen time here, but Rarity may have looked the worst. So, Applejack has moved to the school and is hoping to make friends. Unfortunately her mean cousin is around and takes it upon herself to bully Applejack. Applejack tries her best to fit in with the “cool” crowd, but they won’t have any of it. Fortunately, Pinkie Pie has a plan to make everyone smile by cheering at the local soccer game. Rainbow Dash is too busy winning awards and stomping people into the dirt to help Applejack. Usually this is where Rarity would step up, but she enjoys the attention and decides to turn a blind eye to the bullies. Fluttershy would speak up, but she’s a little too intimidated by all of the other characters at the moment.

So, here’s why Rarity is probably the worst character of the story. She basically just ignores Applejack’s plight the whole time which felt a little out of character. Maybe it was the only way that the writers could get the story across, but it still felt a little iffy to be honest. She made the right call in the end though so I suppose that’s what counts. Rainbow Dash was probably the best character this time. Sure, she may have been a little overconfident, but lets face it, that’s why she’s such a great character. While the rest of the characters were getting messed up by the drama, Rainbow Dash was focusing on the win. Fluttershy was…Fluttershy. She was a little too nervous to confront the bullies, but at least she let them know that the dog was sick. That was definitely a good move. She’s a nice character, I just wish Fluttershy would put the others in their place a little more. Especially when they started subtly insulting her by calling her names like Flustershy or Flutterbye. She does quite a bit of crying in the story but it also shows that she has heart!

It’s always nice to see the characters meet up though so this was a great way to start the comic. I’m assuming they all know each other already in the movie then or this is some kind of alternate retelling of the origin. The bullies got put in their place, but surprisingly I don’t recall them being truly converted. I’ll assume that they turned good off screen since the heroes never leave anyone behind. They must all embrace friendship at some point.

The second tale is about the main characters hanging out with Sunset. She was shunned in Pony world and escaped to the human one so she can finally have some friends. (I’m pretending that I don’t know what happened in the main series. If you just read from this comic, this is the vibe you get) Twilight Sparkle has essentially banished Sunset to the human world so she can be a better person and must keep up a diary chronicling what happens each day. Sunset hasn’t gotten to enjoy the holidays since she had no friends, but Applejack and friends decide to help her out. After an intense Avengers esque scene where all of the friends are brought in to help with the party, they invite Sunset over. The party goes great, but then pictures of it start leaking out to the school and Applejack suspects that Sunset is guilty. Sunset pleads her case, but the main six will hear none of it. They are now getting bullied by the entire school and blame Sunset for it. Meanwhile Sunset is friendless once again, but has decided that she’s going to solve this case.

As you can probably guess, Sunset didn’t sell out her friends. Honestly that would have been quite the plot twist, but it’s probably a good thing that the comic didn’t go there. It may have been hard to have been a Sunset fan after something like that. She’s a pretty fun character and it’s cool to have one of the humans actually be a Pony. It seems like everyone knows, but she still tries to act like a human anyway as she quickly stops herself from saying phrases like “Everypony.” I’d probably just keep using it personally since it’s pretty unique and all, but I guess whatever works.

The rest of the main characters didn’t look quite as good this time around. They were a little quick to doubt one of their friends and Sunset’s denial should have been enough for them. Rainbow Dash’s battle against Fluttershy in the video game was pretty intense and I’m glad that Dash took the win. It was nice that Fluttershy was a little more pro-active in the game though and really got into it. The characters have definitely been through a lot by now so I’d expect some character development.

I could also sympathize with the villain of this story a bit since once again, Rarity was being a little iffy. The villain was clearly getting along pretty well with her friends so they could have let her stick around. I don’t think she would have gotten in the way or anything. The villain still made the wrong move, but at least it also reminded Rarity of an important message. I kind of wish they would have a letter at the end explaining the message for those who didn’t get it, but it’s clear enough so that shouldn’t be a problem.

As far as the art goes, it’s not amazing, but it’s pretty good. The character designs are all on point and the only part that is a little iffy are the tears. They end up creating large puddles which can be a bit much. The scenes of the characters all crying and still fighting each other were also intense. The best panel in the comic is definitely when Rainbow Dash tripped someone up and then jumped on his head as she passed him in the soccer game. A bit brutal sure, but this is Rainbow Dash we’re talking about. She’s always ready to go for the win.

The writing is also pretty solid. The whole point of the series is its 5 star writing after all so it doesn’t disappoint here. As mentioned earlier, my only gripe is that the Main 6 doubted Sunset a little too easily, but it does help you sympathize with her. It feels like everyone is always doubting her because of her past and it shows that even the main characters aren’t exempt from that. Still, she’ll stick around as one of the heroes and eventually they’ll all really accept her.

Now, there is one huge plot hole here that I have to address. Don’t be alarmed but I picked up on this instantly. (Humble brag) There is one scene where Rarity orders 16 pizza pies, but the stack looked a little too large so I decided to count them all. There were 17 pies that the character was holding. Where did the extra one come from? The quality checkers slacked off on that one a bit to be honest. It happens to the best of us though right?

Overall, This was a fun comic. Rainbow Dash was the MVP with Sunset being the runner up so Pinkie Pie lost out for a change, but she got a small role this time around. It’s too bad that Equestria Girls didn’t get its own ongoing like the main My Little Pony series. I’m sure that there are a bunch of stories that you can tell in this setting. Still, the main title is the one that I’m the most interested in so hopefully the library can get more volumes soon. If you’re a big fan of the franchise then you’ve gotta check this one out. If you’ve never taken the plunge before, then now’s a good time to start. You’ll be surprised at how much you enjoy My Little Pony during the adventure and one day you’ll be bold enough to call yourself a fan in public. Small steps first.

Overall 7/10

My Little Pony The Art of Equestria Review

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My Little Pony is a franchise that I was mostly unaware of back in the day. Sure, I’d heard of the name in the past, but I had no real opinions on it. That all changed when Friendship is Magic came out and I finally got to see some clips of the show and read some of the comics. The theme song still isn’t great, but it is very memorable, which is always a good thing I suppose. This art book does a good job of discussing the characters and the paths not taken. Even hardcore MLP fans will learn some new things after reading this title!

There are a few different sections in this book as it tries to cover as many My Little Pony topics as possible. First, we have a long interview with one of the main creators behind the latest iteration as she discussed her reasons for getting involved and how she gets her inspiration. It’s a good interview, but I would have liked to have seen some more of the dynamics of things that she wanted in the show, but Hasbro objected too. The strife and the epic tensions would have made for a nice chapter.

Next up, we got to see the characters as they evolved from the previous shows. Their personalities and designs are discussed and shown. An interesting section was Twilight Sparkle’s as she was originally going to have gray hair and then almost had it with blue streaks instead of red/pinkish. It’s a tough call for me to decide which form is the best as all three options sound pretty good. I’m thinking that gray hair would have made Twilight Sparkle seem a little more powerful, but it wouldn’t affect all that much.

The book also spends a decent amount of time showing off the various locations in My Little Pony world. I liked the futuristic city that they visited in the superhero episode and Manehattan is always a classic location. There have certainly been quite a few epic bases as well and we’ll never forget the times where Ponyville was destroyed or conquered. The show definitely had some darker/intense moments back in the day, but I have to wonder if we’ll ever see epic moments like those again in the show. The time for those may be past at this point.

Side characters and villains were also explored. Tirek was actually deemed to be a little too scary so his design was altered a little. Ironically, the alterations actually made him look cooler so that ended up being a plus for him. He still may not have been as threatening as his G1 incarnation, but this guy could now pack a punch! A lot of the side characters will probably stay as background ponies forever, but a few have made a name for themselves like Derpy so there’s always a chance for a nice comeback.

The end of the book also shows some pieces of fan art that were officially licensed by Hasbro and can now be counted as real pictures. That’s definitely considerate of the company and it shows that they care about their fans. Now they can make more money off of the additional resources while also allowing artists to have their moment of fame and glory. This book is decently long at over 200 pages, but since most of the pages are filled with artwork, it all finishes very quickly. I read the book cover to cover in one sitting since it was a pretty engaging read.

So long as the art is good, I tend to enjoy art books. They may not have a story behind them, but they are like guidebooks that are very illustrative. Another section even listed several episodes where the reader gets to see the storyboards behind them. Then you can appreciate the intricate details like how the facial expressions for each character helps to set the tone and the stage.

I haven’t even seen the show yet, but I’m confident that I know about as much as the average MLP fan thanks to all of these guidebooks and comics. The final page of the book even tries to point out that the show is loved by people of all ages and there’s nothing stopping you from becoming an MLP fan today. You’ve just gotta get past the negative social impact of admitting that you’re a fan of the show and then you’ll have made it in the world.

Overall, This is an artbook that I recommend to all MLP fans. Furthermore, if you haven’t gotten into the series yet, then this is a good way to quickly get caught up to speed. It’s not as detailed as the other guidebook that I read a while back and it’s not as fascinating as that one, but it makes for a good read. It’s a short read, but one that will still satisfy you provided that you didn’t buy it for a very high price. I look forward to seeing what other MLP products come out soon and until then, this’ll probably be my last MLP review for a long while. It’s been fun though!

Overall 7/10

My Little Pony Friends Forever Volume 2 Review

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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.

Overall 6/10