Suggested by Janelle Twilight Sparkle is the Princess of Friendship and throughout the years she has honed her skills. This resulted in her most impressive display of power when she fought Tirek to a stand still. While Mordecai has a lot of excellent hand to hand skills at his disposal, it would be difficult for him to close the gap against her here. Twilight has a barrier that is incredibly hard to break and her lasers are absolutely massive. As fast as Mordecai is, he just won’t be able to get out of range. Twilight Sparkle wins.
Suggested by Janelle Twilight Sparkle is the Princess of Friendship and throughout the years she has honed her skills. This resulted in her most impressive display of power when she fought Tirek to a stand still. While Mordecai has a lot of excellent hand to hand skills at his disposal, it would be difficult for him to close the gap against her here. Twilight has a barrier that is incredibly hard to break and her lasers are absolutely massive. As fast as Mordecai is, he just won’t be able to get out of range. Twilight Sparkle wins.
MLP has returned with a new series! It’s off to a fun enough start. The animation has taken a bit of a nosedive and I’m never a fan of going for 10 minute shorts rather than 20 but I think this one should manage to be consistently good. I’m hoping the series starts throwing in some fight scenes but either way I’ll be in it for the longhaul.
It’s time for another My Little Pony comic adventure. Slowly but surely I’m getting close to reading all of the volumes. This one actually has a few stories that span several issues which is cool. I always like when the series goes for complete story arcs rather than one shot issues. With the extra page space there is just so much more you can do to flesh out the adventures and make sure everyone gets a role. It means there are less chances for other characters to get a chance to shine, but it is worth it.
First up we’ve got a long story arc with Discord. Things haven’t been going well for him as of late because he just can’t help but act rather rudely to everyone around him. Fluttershy puts up with it, but the rest of the Mane 6 do not. He decides to seal himself away and transforms into a being known as Accord. He just wants to bring stability to the rest of the world. At first this seems pretty good, but he starts to get a little too drastic when he begins mind controlling innocent ponies. The Mane 6 realize that they are going to have to stop him, but what if that means Discord will return? This’ll be one of their toughest cases yet and they may need to ask for help from the superstar Starlight Glimmer!
It’s been so long since Starlight Glimmer got to have a starring role so you can bet that I was super thrilled to see her return. As always she ended up being the power hitter here and the only one who was resistant to the mind controlling abilities of Accord. She’s often overlooked during the series, but when a crisis is at hand there is nobody more dependable than her. I think her presence is part of what legitimizes this as a real threat. We also get to see almost the entire rest of the main cast from the series which is pretty neat. It always makes for a good premise when you have someone slowly corrupting everyone in the town through magic. It’s like the Phalanx arc in X-Men.
By this point I can see why everyone would be tired of Discord in Ponyville. He seems to make a whole lot of mistakes which come back to bite everyone, but at least this time it wasn’t intentional. He doesn’t seem to have any control over Accord although it is basically him so I won’t cut the guy too much slack. It was also interesting to see the Elements of Harmony actually fail this time. Those objects usually work so it was a pretty startling moment. Accord was one of the most serious threats that Equestria ever faced and I hope everyone gave Starlight a proper thanks at the end. The whole volume would be worth checking out even if this was the only story in it, it’s just really epic!
A one shot comic after this has Discord at the helm once more. It is Celestia’s birthday and he is unsure what kind of gift to get her. As the princess she already has pretty much anything money can buy. That’s when Discord realizes what he should do. He transforms her into a normal pony so she can hang out in Ponyville and enjoy things without everyone being on guard. At first Celestia is reluctant, but gradually she realizes that this is a lot of fun. It’s not a big end of the world plot like the last arc, but it’s a pretty cool one shot. There does seem to be a possible plot hole here though as she acts like she had never gone to Ponyville before, but in another issue we find out that she goes into Ponyville undercover once a year for this exact reason. So…..that doesn’t hold up when you think about it. I guess you could assume that she just doesn’t want Discord to know this so she is overacting which is reasonable and it’s not like this is a big plot hole either way. It’s just a nice wholesome comic and it always does sound fun to pretend to be someone else for a day.
Then the rest of the stories here involves another story arc. One night Twilight and Spike are heading back home when they notice that the door is open. A villain is inside stealing some books and while Twilight attempts to stop him, the masked thief is too powerful. He knocks them aside and escapes. Twilight calls the rest of the team in and we discover that the villain has been going around Equestria and stealing a bunch of books only to erase the information within. The heroes have to catch him before he does the same to the rest of the realm, but how can they hope to defeat a mage who is this powerful? It’s definitely going to take everyone on this mission.
It’s a pretty solid group of issues. I’m always up for a new villain and the fact that he has powers is pretty cool. That being said I do think that he gets off rather lightly here. The guy damaged a bunch of irreparable books and they basically just told him to stop doing that. I know at the end of the day the heroes are rarely going to beat up on bad guys here since friendship is what solves issues, but this guy was a total crook. His origin story for why he was doing this was pretty shaky and at the end of the day it was really just an excuse to go wild on the town.
I also think the Mane 6 didn’t treat this too seriously for a while. Twilight should have put up a much better fight against the guy at the beginning and when she called in the Mane 6 they should have been investigating rather than turning the whole thing into a slumber party. I dare say that Applejack and Rainbow Dash took this situation the most seriously compared to the others at least. It was nice to see the group split up into pairs to dig up some dirt on the villain. It felt like how things would have played out in a two part episode. So while the ponies should have cracked down on this guy sooner, it was still a really solid adventure to end off with. Hopefully the villain will return someday and we did get an interesting cliffhanger of sorts so I wonder if that plot will be resumed.
The art tends to shift from arc to arc, but it’s definitely pretty solid. The only iffy one is the Celestia issue as that artist always draws everyone like little kids. Celestia should not look to be the same height as Twilight and pals. It has a nice cartoony look to it though so the colors are still on point. The series has always been very expressive and easy to read which the issue still captures. You’ll have no problem reading through these issues and just having a good ole time.
Overall, Friendship is Magic continues to be a solid series volume after volume. There’s really nothing bad to be said about it and the pacing is on point. This volume in particular has two different arcs making it one of the strongest volumes that I’ve read. In particular you’ll definitely want to read the story with Accord as it is played pretty seriously. I still think it would be a good idea for the show to come back and adapt these stories at some point. There are just so many good ones to choose from!
It’s time to look at another MLP volume. This one surprisingly has a large story arc with only one stand alone adventure contained within. As a result I’d definitely say that this is one of the strongest MLP comics I’ve read in a while. The new villain is pretty epic and it’s nice to have some real action scenes in here. The only missed opportunity is that Starlight Glimmer didn’t show up even though she was mentioned a few times. Now that’s just a tease.
The first issue is about Zephyr being a little nervous about his mane styling skills. He goes to a whole event for it, but he just can’t find the confidence to get up on the stage. Fluttershy has to remind him that it’s always tough going up in a crowd, but you’ve got to do it if you really want to improve. Eventually he gets the memo and goes through with it. It’s a nice enough comic, but Zephyr was never one of the better characters. I also think adding in another pony who seems brave but actually gets terrified was a little cheesy. I get why she was included as it helps with the moral, but I would have been okay with Zephyr being the only one who was nervous and he learns that sometimes you just have to face your fears straight up.
The real story is about Cosmos though. A long time ago there was a being named Cosmos who was incredibly powerful. Together with Discord she nearly brought the planet to its knees. Unfortunately for her Discord was not quite on board with her violent tendencies. He likes causing chaos and at times that will hurt ponies, but Discord doesn’t like destroying them outright. As a result he betrayed her to Celestia and Luna who sealed her into a bunch of rocks. Discord hid the one that he found and then allowed himself to be turned to stone since he felt guilty. Well, thousands of years have passed and Cosmos has returned. She is currently possessing the body of Twilight Sparkle and commands Ponyville to find the rest of the crystal shards. Can Discord stop her plan before it’s too late?
This is the kind of story that would have really worked out quite nicely as an MLP special or even as a movie. Cosmos is a villain so powerful that all of the original pony powerhouses had to team up to stop her. That just makes for a great threat and her design is also quite fierce. She reminds me a bit of Tirek from when he first showed up before getting nerfed in the final season. Unlike the other villains she isn’t coming close to being redeemed either. All she wants is to absolutely crush the heroes beneath her heel. She will not be granting them any mercy and that’s really what you want to see in a villain.
This story also has quite a few parts so there is plenty of time to introduce all of the characters and get them set on their side quests. Some characters like Pinkie Pie can’t stay serious long enough to actually contribute but for the rest of the characters it’s just really great to see them up and about. Some characters like Zecora are suitably cautious while others like Rainbow Dash just run in without thinking. They all bring something to the table and this is just a great arc. The fights hold up and there is little to say against it.
I guess as a slight iffy moment Big Mac loses in the most embarrassing way possible. I’ve never liked the character anyway, but this really doesn’t help his case. Meanwhile Twilight doesn’t look her best here since she can’t break the hypnosis, but once she’s freed she looks reasonable. The comics just show that Cosmos is far too powerful to be stopped by the average pony. Discord is still as powerful as ever, but as always he loses to the new threat. With his reality warping abilities I feel like he should be able to defeat just about anyone, but I suppose in his defense he does have a history with Cosmos so that causes him to hesitate a bit. The real question is whether or not he would be able to claim victory if they were both going all out. I like to think Cosmos would win, but in theory it’s hard to see why Discord wouldn’t.
Of course the comic couldn’t resist taking one shot at Celestia. We find out that she tossed one of Applejack’s gifts into her forgotten lair with all other kinds of dangerous objects and junk. That implies she was making fun of the object by either calling it super dangerous or saying she didn’t like it. Applejack took this pretty hard and I can see why. If you don’t like a gift then you at least need to hide it really well. Putting it in a spot where it is seen as “bad” just makes the issue worse, but it’s the kind of power play you’d expect to see from Celestia.
The artwork is definitely fun here. It’s very expressive so you can see the looks of shock and horror on the ponies as they deal with a threat that seems to get worse and worse by the minute. It’s easy to read through and you can still get a good feel of the scope. Some of the imagery here almost looks like something out of the 90’s X-Men adventures like the Inferno arc. Cosmos’ ability to turn things crazy makes for a lot of great visuals and the artists took full advantage of this.
Overall, This is definitely a volume I would recommend checking out. It’s the perfect volume to look at if you believe the My Little Pony is just about happy ponies having a lot of fun. This one shows that there is also that element of danger always around the corner and I’ll be interested to see how the comics intend to top this arc. In theory this is already around the power level ceiling of the series, but maybe next time we can get a serious villain group. The series hasn’t really done that yet and a group vs group fight would be a blast.
It’s time to look at the next MLP comic. This time it’s the big volume 10 so I’m glad I was able to go back and check this one. It lowers the hole of missing MLP comics I haven’t gotten to check out. It’s a pretty solid array of issues. 2 of them get a little experimental, one of them successfully while the other one ended up not rising to the occasion. The main issue is about the Cutie Mark Crusaders though and you can’t go wrong there!
The first issue has the Cutie Mark Crusaders going on a mountain climbing adventure. Diamond Tiara and her friend go as well, but the heroes are ready to have a good time anyway. Unfortunately their excitement goes a little too far as they ditch the group and go on their own. Eventually this causes them to get lost and they must now find a way to get back to the other ponies. That’s one plan at least, the other is to stay put until the Mane 6 arrive to save the day. It’s hard for the heroes to agree on one strategy and making this even harder is the fact that Diamond Tiara keeps on insulting the crew. She’s not exactly a team player and insists on reminding the other ponies of this time and time again.
This is a pretty good story. It was also really long so I think it may have been 2 issues rolled into one or an annual of sorts. We got to have a lot of development with the CMC doing their best to try and get Tiara on board. You really can’t blame them for anything that happens because the effort was made. Apple Bloom may not have been too eager to slow down for Tiara but if a member of the party doesn’t want to travel with everyone else it’s probably more dangerous to just stay there uncertain of where to go. At least Apple Bloom was trying to lead the group to the next objective and ideally she would have gotten them somewhere safe. It’s inevitable that the Mane 6 would show up at some point so the important thing is to get high up where it will be easier to find them. Apple Bloom had the right idea and this was a great way to kick things off.
The next story was a pretty emotional one about how Twilight and Spike first met each other. This takes place back when Twilight didn’t really have any friends so even looking after a dragon was pretty tough for her. She was already having a hard time keeping up in class so this big responsibility threatened to break her. She did a pretty good job of looking after him either way though. Her methods may have been more automatic than others would have been since Twilight has a hard time showing her emotions, but she was never mean. The series showed some good restraint in making her a reasonable pony and not throwing her character out the window.
Spike was definitely a handful, but he is a baby here so we can cut him a little slack. I can also sympathize with Twilight preferring to spend time with her family during the school meeting than the other classmates. Since she never talked to them during the year that would have been a little odd. So this was a good follow up story to the first one. It may not have had the same level of thrills and teamwork, but I’m always up for a good “first meeting” story.
Next up is the weakest comic of the volume and possibly the weakest one in the whole series. At the very least it would give them all some competition. It starts off with Zecora talking about how 1 bad attitude can spread to countless ponies if not treated right away. We see that Rainbow Dash had a bad day and she begins taking it out on all of the other ponies. Soon all of Ponyville is in a bad mood as none of them can break the cycle and it looks like Rainbow Dash will have to be the one to save the day. I found both the premise to be weak and the artwork, but make no mistake it’s the latter which hurt the issue for me the most.
Experimental artwork usually doesn’t do the trick for me. It can look interesting, but I just really like my polished artwork that you get in most of the comics. Even for anime or movies I typically prefer something traditional to something that’s trying for a very off approach. You can certainly make something unique that’s really cool without being totally crazy. This issue is mainly with watercolors and so everything is hard to make out and a bit scattered. It’s not all that appealing to read and you’ll be tempted to just skip over to the next issue. Art is critically important for a comic. Also the plot is a little hard to buy. Everyone in Ponyville gets upset because Rainbow made one mistake? At least one of the ponies should have been able to break the cycle if you ask me. That being said, Ponyville has never been the nicest town out there. They turn on each other very quickly.
Finally we have a comic where Pinkie Pie and Rarity make a comic. It’s pretty meta in a sense. This one’s also experimental, but it works a lot better. It would probably get old if it went on for more than 1 issue, but as a one shot it’s interesting enough. The dilemma that the two of these ponies face is that their taste in comics are very different. Rarity wants her character to look very regal and nice even though she is supposed to be the villain. Pinkie Pie gets distracted a lot and so her stories become very unfocused. Both of them keep on trying various ideas throughout the issue which vary in terms of art and plot. The arts are all very different and we even get a live action sock puppet style. By the end of the issue they realize that just making a comic is a lot of fun even if they may never agree in the end.
It’s a pretty good message. When creating something with someone else you are going to have to be ready to make a lot of compromises because the odds of you two having the same ideas are slim. Each of you will want to do something different with the characters and that will lead to a lot of disagreements. Just remember why you are teaming up on a comic and hopefully that will inspire you to work these things out.
Overall, This was a fun MLP volume. As always the stories were a lot of fun and also taught good messages along the way. The pacing was good and the artwork for the various volumes was solid as well aside from that one issue. It’s been a consistently good run for this series so I look forward to more of the same in the next volume I check out. Volume 17 is the next one so we’ll be jumping back into the era of Princess Twilight and the Student 6. Hopefully that means Starlight Glimmer will get to appear and another issue about the CMC would be nice. If you haven’t checked this comic out yet then you should. It’s a well balanced adventure.
It’s time to take a look at a comic adaption of the Crystalling two parter from the TV show. This is one of those comics that is basically a screenshot version of the show. It was always an interesting concept even if I don’t totally see the point of it. I suppose it’s a good way for fans who are unable to actually watch it live to still experience what the episodes are like. As a result it’s almost like I’m reviewing the two episodes. It’s a solid comic and if you did have to read this instead of watching the episodes you won’t be missing much. The key scenes are all here.
So Twilight is getting ready to head to Cadence’s palace for the Crystalling of the new baby. It’s effectively a ceremony using the heart of the kingdom. She also needs to give her student Starlight Glimmer a first lesson and figures that she can knock out two things at once. She instructs Starlight to seek out Sunburst as they used to be best friends before Starlight turned evil. Starlight isn’t thrilled with this mission, but she doesn’t want to let Twilight down. As such, she gears up for the meeting. Will she really be able to re-connect with Sunburst and will the Crystalling go as expected?
There are really two plots here which eventually merge into one. For the Starlight plot, you can definitely see how this is a hard mission. It’s hard to reconnect with someone you haven’t seen in many years. Twilight making this into a friendship lesson also puts a ton of pressure on Starlight. I think Twilight’s heart was in the right place, but I don’t think this was a great thing to turn into a lesson. Starlight did a really good job of adapting either way though. She went and met up with Sunburst even though it was hard on her and from there she went and helped save the kingdom.
It’s easy to see why Starlight would go on to basically become the leader of the group. She’s definitely the strongest pony around and she took to the friendship skills pretty quick. I was definitely a big fan right away. Meanwhile I was less impressed with Sunburst. I dunno, I never really liked the guy much. On his side he had far less reason to be cryptic about his past which inevitably leads to him blowing a fuse and not even trying to help save the world. It was a lot of pressure but it still would have been nice to see him stick up for the others and try to help even if it meant pretending to be a magician for a little longer.
The other plot had Cadence and Shining Armor being out of their depth once more as Flurry Heart took center stage. It’s always nice to be born with incredible powers and that’s exactly what happened for Flurry. This time Pinkie Pie did a good job of distracting her while the others went to work. Twilight may not have been able to solve this by herself this time, but she was definitely necessary in saving the world. Without her the heroes wouldn’t have even had a book to start solving with in the first place. We also got to see Celestia and Luna fight off the clouds a bit. Not the most exciting action scene, but it’s still an action scene nonetheless.
The writing is sound here and the cast of characters are good. There’s not a whole lot more to say because the comic is so short. You’ll be done reading it in the blink of an eye and then you’ll be ready for the next saga. In retrospect it is a little surprising that no villains were present in this story, but I suppose you can always get a little tension in with natural disasters rather than relying on a villain to get things moving every time. At the very least it makes sense why you would want to mix things up every once in a while. I would have been game for a quick Twilight vs Starlight battle due to a misunderstanding or something though.
Overall, The Crystalling is a fun two part event. There aren’t any villains here, but it’s just a fun story where we get to see the whole gang of MLP fighters. All of the ponies contribute to the plot and make for a fun team up issue. The Mane 6 certainly have less of a role next to Twilight and Starlight, but they still get their contributions. The format of the comic makes it easy to take on the go and read. It’s also a decent enough size where it’ll last you a good batch to read through. I don’t expect I’ll be getting more of the episode adaptions (I got this one by mistake) but they are good. They’re as good as the episode versions and most of those get a 7 as well. It is always nicer to read a brand new story, but nostalgia goes a long way. It’s been ages since I saw this episode.
The My Little Pony roll continues as I enter Volume 16. We’ve got another good batch of comics here with one of them being a Halloween special! I suppose I probably should have read this one about a week or two ago, but better late than never right? There are 5 stories here all with their own unique adventures. They’re all solid stories in their own right with no weak ones so the series continues to have a good amount of consistency.
One story has the elder apples playing Bingo with Applejack. The young pony decided to invite Rainbow Dash this time though and that ultimately leads to her downfall. Rainbow quickly points out that the game is a little boring and Applejack had apparently been leading this game for 5 years so everyone else was tired of it as well. Rainbow decides to spice things up by introducing them to Extreme Bingo. What happens in this game is that Rainbow hides the pieces around Ponyville and now the elders will have to split up and find them. First one to get a line wins. Applejack is against this because she feels it will be dangerous, but Granny Smith won’t hear any of that.
Applejack admittedly has a point here. Rainbow put some of the pieces in really dangerous places like an abandoned haunted house or past a bridge that was breaking down. Most of the other pieces are safe, but even just 1-2 like that do make things difficult. Had Rainbow not done that then I would have been on her side since Applejack always is overprotective. It was Rainbow’s loss this time, but it’s still a fun issue nevertheless. It was also nice seeing the elders call in their favors with the Mane 6 to get them into the competition. Honestly this could have been a two part comic with every member getting a buddy and things getting super competitive.
Another issue has the Student 6 getting invited to a haunted house by Twilight Sparkle. She was in disguise, but unfortunately they saw right through it. What Twilight didn’t count on was the fact that the rest of her friends put in a lot of contraptions of their own so when mixed together there is some real danger here. The kid are scared, but the Yak reminds them that if you use fear it can turn into power. It’s a good issue although it was a little extra irresponsible of Twilight to not check over the house herself. Also, she could have teleported in at any time so I don’t see how she took so long to get there. Parts of the plot were hard to buy so this is the weakest issue, but it’s still good. The moral that everyone feels fear is pretty good. People may not always show it, but just having that knowledge will let you cope with it a lot better than you otherwise would.
Next up Pinkie Pie gets the ability to make her wishes come true by eating a golden apple. This is Pinkie Pie so as you can expect she immediately begins to make a ton of wishes which puts everyone else in danger. She nearly drowns some ponies in hot fudge and she summons a bunch of balloons which get in Rainbow’s way. Even when her friends tell her to stop Pinkie is reluctant because she knows that her wishes will ultimately make everyone happy. There’s no two ways about this one, Pinkie’s the villain. She may be trying to justify this, but once her friends are flat out telling her to stop and she refuses this gets a little tricky.
Most of her wishes are also not that helpful. I think she would have convinced me of her side more if she wishes for better houses in the village or something like that. Wishing for Fluttershy to be transparent for the rest of her life? That probably stings for such a pleasant character as Fluttershy. Eventually Pinkie sees the light and we’re reminded that power corrupts. I do have to question why Applejack has had a golden apple like that and never used it before. That certainly would have come in handy during several of the villain invasions in the past right?
One story has Fluttershy acting rather oddly. She seems rather emotionless and even a bit rude to the rest of the Mane 6. She even kicks Rainbow Dash away which was pretty violent for such a peaceful pony. Well, it turns out that Fluttershy is acting like the animals around her thanks to an ancient amulet and now she has the personality of a dangerous wolf. The heroes will have to find a way to remove the effects of the amulet quickly or the damage Fluttershy does will eventually become irreparable. This is a good story and it reminds you not to mess with dangerous amulets. Spike also had a pretty good plan here. It’s rare that he thinks of something before Twilight so that was definitely fun for his fans. He stepped up when they needed him to do so and that’s always good.
Finally we head back to the Apples as Granny Smith thinks about an apple pie that Applejack’s mom used to make. It was the best ever, but nobody’s been able to recreate it. Applejack decides that this won’t do and gathers the local cake experts to crack the code. Pinkie Pie and Miss Cake are brought in, but even their efforts are in vain. The problem is the mysterious ingredient of “Love” in the recipe that they can’t seem to crack. After all they all really want to make Smith a good pie so shouldn’t that be enough? To find out what the ingredient is they will have to travel across Ponyville finding all of the ingredients that the Mom used to make while piecing together the past.
This is a pretty nice comic because it’s doing so much at once. We learn a lot more about Applejack’s parents through the stories that the villagers tell. Then we also get to see ponies team up in a rare combo because Miss Cake is rarely such a major player. I’m also always up for a good food story and since pie plays a big part here it’s nice to look at. In the end this is just a very wholesome comic. There may not be high stakes, but being able to recreate a recipe is always fun. It’s also something you can relate to because it’s always hard to make something quite the same way as someone else. I always like making recipes for myself so I don’t need to worry about that, but for people baking for a group it’s always a source of pressure.
As always the artwork is on point here. The pie comic is the only one where everyone was maybe drawn a little too young, but beyond that the proportions were all on point. The colors are vibrant and it always makes for a very pleasant read. The writing is definitely solid as well with everyone being polite while not being afraid to throw a little sass into the mix. You have to read between the lines at times to see how the ponies really feel. Except for Applejack, she’s always quite direct.
Overall, Volume 16 continues My Little Pony’s strong run. Alas, this is the final volume of the main series I have on hand so it could be a while before 17 hits. I do have one more MLP comic to read but it’s a little different from these. If you haven’t read this comic yet then I’d recommend picking it up. MLP is one of those comics that anyone can enjoy. These stories are just plain fun and whether you’re a kid or an adult you can pick up on the messages and have a good time with the characters. Now I’m ready for some Apple Pie, but I must stay strong until Thanksgiving!
It’s time to take a look at a pretty big TV show that ended recently. Friendship is Magic is a show that lasted for a very long time and really got a big fanbase. I dare say that My Little Pony is almost a household name at this point and that would have been almost impossible to have seen coming a long time ago. Not even the G1 part of the series got quite this much recognition. In short, it’s nice that MLP is back on the map. Even with this show over the series will continue through comics and the Equestria line. Friendship is Magic is a good show that I would recommend to anyone.
The series follows a pony named Twilight Sparkle who is going to be learning how to be a friend. Celestia gave her a mission to go into town and learn about this. She gradually meets up with other ponies and together they make up the Mane 6. Her allies are the speedy Rainbow Dash, Rarity, Fluttershy, Applejack, and Pinkie Pie. Together they solve a lot of friendship issues (Sometimes between them) and also fight to keep Equestria safe from the clutches of those who would try and destroy Ponyville. Fortunately Twilight is up to the task!
I haven’t seen a whole lot of shows aimed at a younger audience and especially recently. I watch Transformers Rescue Bots/Academy and that’s probably the only recent one I can think of. A lot of them look solid like I’m sure I’d enjoy Strawberry Shortcake and some of the other titles, but there’s a bunch of em so it’s hard to make time for each one. That’s why I appreciate the fact that MLP has some action scenes. It may not be the center focus of the show and you can go a bunch of episodes without it happening, but just the idea that a fight could show up in the next episode was always great. Plus the characters do have super powers which naturally leads to a cooler setting. The show also didn’t do this half heartedly. The Tirek episode actually had a lot of dark visuals and the fight scenes wouldn’t have been out of place in a total action show.
I managed to fast blast through the show pretty quickly and only got caught up once it was around the second last season I believe. It was a good ride and while I can’t go through episode I’ll at least talk about some highlights. One of the show’s strengths is its consistency as the characters get to learn a lot of morals and gradually become experts in their crafts. Some of the characters may not be all that different from their early days while others like Twilight are definitely pretty different. A slice of life show is only as good as its cast and fortunately MLP has a really solid cast at its disposal.
Twilight Sparkle is the lead character and definitely one of the characters with the most character development. She starts out as a pony who knows nothing about friendship to writing a whole book on it. Twilight is always about doing things according to how they are written and doesn’t like to branch out. By the end of the series she is more confident in leaving things to her friends and doesn’t panic quite as much. She’s a quality character throughout the series and does Pony up when she needs too. Her best appearance is in the Tirek two part fight when she tries to avenge Ponyville after it is close to destruction. She also put up quite the valiant fight against Starlight Glimmer. Twilight’s really stepped up to the plate every time danger arose. She may not be the strongest Pony around, but she is in the top tier fighters of the universe and her knowledge of books comes in handy many times.
Twilight is sometimes at her best when she goes crazy though. One such episode is during the trivia challenge where she decides that she will win at absolutely any cost. This includes messing with her partner and actually sabotaging other teams. You would expect this to be completely out of the question usually but not this time. Twilight was not messing around here. Then there is the other episode where she goes insane and we got a lot of memes out of it. Her facial expressions go all over the place and her mind literally broke. Twilight was under a lot of stress and that’s how she got it out. I’m sure the village will be glad that she ultimately got this under control.
Then we have Rainbow Dash who was consistently fighting with Apple Jack on who the best member of the Mane 6 was. Ultimately she took the lead. You just can’t beat Dash’s confidence and her super speed is incredibly handy. Dash is probably the Pony who would be the most helpful in all of the fights if this was more of an action series. Rainbow definitely stays the most true to herself throughout the series as well. She really hasn’t changed much at all since season 1 which in itself is impressive. Rainbow Dash has been proving herself the whole time and is now one of the most well known members of the Wonderbolts. It’s a good testament to her determination and pure skills.
Next up is Pinkie Pie and unfortunately she is easily the worst member of the Mane 6. She isn’t the worst character or anything like that, but she is definitely not very good. At first she isn’t all that bad. Pinkie Pie is one of the main comic relief characters in the show and mainly does this by throwing pies at everyone or just acting nonsensical. I’m sure it’ll be amusing for some, but the issue is when the series starts to get more serious in some of the later seasons. It’s all well and good to goof off when everyone is at a picnic, but if villains are attacking the town and blowing things up then the time for jokes is over. Unfortunately Pinkie Pie never knows when to stop and this is an issue with most character types like hers. The 24/7 jokes just go too far after a while and by the end of the series you’ll be completely tired of her.
Then we have Fluttershy who is the timid character of the group as her name would suggest. Most of her episodes are about her conquering her fears and becoming more outspoken. She does make some good progress from season 1. By the end of the series she is still very timid, but is at least willing to try and go into the limelight when it is necessary. She’s a nice enough character but while not to the extent of Pinkie Pie, she can feel a little out of her depth. Trusting the enemies may pay off a lot of times here, but it’s always a risky decision and the fact that she chooses this option so quickly is a bit of a red flag. Would Fluttershy be able to fight against the villains 100% if she thinks that they might be turned good? It’s a heroic aspiration, but one that she needs to keep in check.
Applejack takes us back to the intensity we saw with Twilight and Rainbow. Applejack has a rivalry with Rainbow as well as Rarity. In general Applejack is just very competitive and has a lot of great episode in the series. One really solid one is her race with Rainbow in the forest. She’s pretty tough and while she doesn’t have the super speed that Rainbow has, Apple makes up for it with her super strength. Honesty is her main trait and she uses it well as opposed to being too dramatized. Applejack is the kind of pony that you want on your squad.
Rarity is an interesting member of the group since she has magic powers like Twilight. Honestly I think the show may have missed the boat with her a little since we could have had an interesting rivalry there. Rarity is mainly focused on fashion though and has to be reminded at times that she even has friends. Rarity has a franchise and is pretty popular so she is probably the most successful of the group. By the time she closes up shop I fully expect her to be rich. She’ll have led a very satisfying life.
That’s it for the Mane 6, but towards the end of the series we got an honorary 7th member. Starlight Glimmer started out as one of the big villains before getting reformed. I really liked her as a villain. Her time manipulation was on point and she was the closest thing we got to a Dark Twilight. She’s like what Twilight could have become without friends. Since Starlight had a lot of time to focus on her magic she is even stronger than Sparkle which is interesting. In all of their confrontations Starlight had the edge and even at the end of the series she still seems to be more powerful. Starlight is also on the same path that Twilight was put on in season 1 so there’s a lot of good promise to her character. She is a real scene stealer and even the episode without her powers being where they are today in the same flank village she had a lot of great scenes. She’s just excellent at manipulating people.
Next up is Spike and he may not be a pony, but he is still a very important character in the series. He is Twilight’s assistant and is always around to offer advice and help out wherever he can. Things may not always go well for him, but he always tries his best. Twilight and the others would have really been in a pickle without him. I’m not a big fan, but he’s not bad. I just don’t think Spike really adds to the dynamic and the series would have been pretty similar without him.
Meanwhile Celestia is a solid character. She can be a bit mean and comes off as an antagonist though. Luna forgave her so I suppose the rest of us should, but Celestia always jumps the gun and adds on extra pressure to the crew. She also loses pretty much every battle that she gets in which doesn’t help her reputation. I think she stays on the sidelines a little too often which ultimately means that she doesn’t have a lot of battle experience despite being so old. I feel like she should have gotten at least one big win during the series so we could see why she is so revered.
Luna is a big improvement. For starters you will feel bad for her when she transforms into Nightmare Moon. Celestia doesn’t do a great job of trying to understand her. Then in flashbacks and comic adventures we see that Celestia always belittled Luna and teased her. While some of the jokes were in good fun, there’s a saying on how there is a little truth in every joke. If Celestia is always joking about how easy Luna’s job is then you feel like she actually believes it to be the case. This paragraph isn’t supposed to be about how mean Celestia is though. Back to Luna, Luna is just a very nice pony. She’s always the bigger pony in these arguments and gives the heroes great advice. Luna’s job is really difficult since she has to sleep during the day and can rarely spend time with anyone. It’s got to be super lonely and yet she handles her job with no complaints. Definitely one of the best characters in the series.
We also can’t forget about the Cutie Mark Crusaders. All 3 of those ponies are really good although Apple Bloom steals the show. They don’t have Cutie Marks which is something that most ponies get at some point or another. You have to find your specific talent to unlock it though and they had a tough time finding their actual talents. Most of their episodes are about trying various things or helping other ponies find their talents. These episodes are really wholesome and it’s nice to see them making such a difference. They really brighten up every episode and I think they would do a good job with their own spinoff series if given the chance.
Discord is one of the big villains of the series although I suppose he is a hero for longer than he was evil. The guy has unlimited reality warping abilities and should be super strong as a result. Despite this, Discord manages to lose just about every battle he is in which is actually pretty impressive if you think about it. How do you lose when you are so powerful? Discord never ceases to disappoint me and everyone else whenever he can. I like how crazy he is and the guy has a good personality. If you take away his embarrassing losses then he is a great character. Discord never truly changes his spots to the extent that he does whatever he wants, but at least he has good intentions at the end. His plans rarely end up working though which is pretty tragic for him.
Tirek was one of the coolest villains when he first showed up in the show. Not only did he defeat Discord but he also took down Celestia, Luna, and basically the entire cast in the show. The Mane 6 could not stand up to him for a second which led us to the greatest moment in the entire series. His fight with Twilight was amazing and solidified him as the ultimate threat in the series. Honestly the show could have ended right at that moment and it would have made sense. Unfortunately Tirek returned and his character was completely obliterated. He went from being the ultimate evil to comic relief and got wrecked at every corner. I like the idea of a villain teamup, but I have to admit that the show did not handle that part particularly well. Don’t get me wrong, the two part episode at the end was really solid. Tirek just looked really bad and that was a little disappointing.
Meanwhile we have Cozy Glow who was a very different kind of antagonist. Most of the other villains had fierce designs and showed up to destroy Equestria. Glow is a filly and doesn’t look particularly intimidating. She defeats others by making fun of friendship and manipulating everyone. She’s a fun villain even if you can’t really take her seriously in a fight. Cozy does get her share of results after all so it may be a different approach but it works well enough. I was glad she got a super form near the end though.
King Sombra didn’t leave quite as much of an impression on me as the others even though he is a pretty big villain. I gained a lot of respect for him in his final appearance though as he refused to work for Grogar. Sombra did his own thing and while he ended up losing I did appreciate the initiative. Teaming up simply isn’t for everyone and especially a king like Sombra wasn’t about to stand back and take orders. That simply isn’t how he rolls and that is admirable. I think he had the potential to be the best villain if he appeared more.
Queen Chrysalis is one of the more persistent villains. She really can’t stand Starlight or Twilight for wrecking her plans so many times. She has a lot of really good plans for revenge in her following appearances. The dark Mane 6 was great and I still think that should have been a two part saga. There were a lot of great paths that could have taken. Chrysalis can also fight really well and even held her own in a beam fight with Twilight. I don’t think she is as strong as Starlight, but it’s close. Chrysalis was consistently really solid and I’d argue that she was the most evil of the villains. From all of the antagonists she is the only one who was clearly never going to turn good.
Princess Cadence gets outshined next to Luna and Celestia, but this is for good reason. She really doesn’t do anything throughout the whole series and often shirks her princess duties to hang out with Shining Armor. I never liked Cadence, it’s hard to place my finger on it, but she wasn’t all that fun. I think she just came out of nowhere and if you were to cut her out of the show nothing would change. At least Shining Armor has the fact that he is Twilight’s brother to keep him relevant. Otherwise I would really argue the same thing for him. It’s nice to have someone who will debate with Twilight as well.
Big Mac was not one of my favorite characters. He also got most of the worst episodes. I suppose that shouldn’t be held against him though. The series did a lot of things well, but I wouldn’t say that the romance was one of them. The romance episodes have a tendency to drag on and Big Mac only saying “Yup” gets old after the first few times. If he actually couldn’t talk then that would be one thing, but since he can and simply refuses to say anything else it comes across more as a gimmick. The rest of the apple family feel more reasonable.
Diamond Tiara is one of the bullies from the Cutie Mark Crusader episodes. She was sympathetic from the start as you could tell that something was up to make her so mean. She never crossed the line with her pranks either. Tiara definitely made things tough for the trio, but did her part to make things right once she was shown the error of her ways. Tiara is just a fun character and I would have been cool with seeing more of her in the final seasons. Likewise Trixie used to be a bit of an antagonist, but eventually turned good. Now she is Starlight’s best friend and a loyal ally that she can count on. Trixie can be slow on the uptake and may not be the best worker in the school, but at least she tries. Trixie is also sure to stand by Starlight even when everyone else is a bit wary of her. The downside is that Trixie is also super sensitive likely as a result of her past.
Stygian was a big villain in one season as he became the Pony of Shadows. That was a really ambitious story and it was handled well. It had one of the best climaxes as well. On his own Stygian isn’t all that interesting but his symbiote-esque form was really cool. I was pretty surprised that we didn’t see him at all (At least I don’t remember him) after this. I suppose his character arc was complete though. A minor character was Chancellor Neighsay. He is an antagonist since he opposed Twilight’s school, but he did mean well. The guy was just set in his old ways. I don’t buy him losing to Cozy though. That episode was also a bit of a stretch since as Princess I feel like Twilight could have kept her school open. She was still new to the role though so it’s a little realistic that she could be pushed around.
Daring Do is basically a superhero so it was interesting to have her around. Her episodes feel a little different from the average ones so that’s good for a change of pace. I’d like to have seen Rainbow Dash be more useful in those episodes since she also has experience with enemies. Finally we have Derpy who never gets to do much but always seems like an earnest character. It would have been cool to have seen her do more in the show but I suppose that may have defeated the purpose of her character.
Near the end of the show we are introduced to the students of Twilight’s new school. I don’t think they ever quite managed to fit in though. Really they just weren’t all that necessary. I suppose this was probably because the Mane 6 already learned so much and this was a way for the writers to revisit some morals they wanted another crack at. They aren’t too bad, but the episodes just aren’t the same without the Mane 6 taking center stage. Naturally there are a ton of other characters in the show but you’ll have to watch it to see them. With well over 100 episodes you can definitely see how a ton of other ponies and other animals would have shown up.
The best episodes in the series for me are easily the opening two part epic and the Tirek 2 parter. The Tirek episode brought the series the best fight it has ever had and it worked extremely well. I haven’t been so impressed with a payoff in quite some time and it’s clear to me that the show was really going for the gold here. It’s a shame that the fight wasn’t more highly received because I wouldn’t have minded more fights like that. Starlight’s debut appearance was also really solid as was her time travelling adventures. The final two part saga was also really cool even if the actual final episode may have felt a little out of place. It’s hard to expect a perfect ending though so I definitely can’t be too hard on it in that area.
The animation for the show isn’t bad. It’s definitely not exactly my style, but after a few episodes you should be used to it. The show does still manage to have fight scenes with it which is the important thing. MLP has a colorful art style and while the hits won’t have the same impact as something that is hand drawn, it won’t take away from the story. The writing is the important thing after all and the writing in the show is pretty good. The characters are logical and you get some good plots in the episodes. In terms of the music the show has quite a few songs to follow along with. Various characters sing and the songs can be pretty well done. The best one is probably still the song where Applejack and Fluttershy duel over the bats or the Cutie Mark Crusader theme songs. These songs are all pretty wholesome so they work pretty well.
Overall, Friendship is Magic is definitely a show that I can recommend. I know that it may seem a little intense for a kid and I have had parents tell me that this would be too violent for their kid so you may want to wait until they are a little older than the average show like Strawberry Shortcake and such since there are actual big villains here with scary designs. The show isn’t afraid to get a little scary but I would still say that it should be fine for most kids. If you’re a parent just use discretion. If you’re older you can still get something out of this show. A lot of shows that are for kids can still work for older audiences, you just have to go into it with a different mindset. Enjoy the process of learning basic morals and watching a wholesome episode. It may seem basic at times but it’s never a bad idea to re-acquaint yourself with the fundamentals. It’s just a solid all around show. Even with the show done you can expect more MLP reviews soon. I have quite a few comics that I am getting ready to read and I’ll be reviewing all of those of course.
It’s time for the latest look at the MLP series. This special throws in the movie type animation which is a nice twist. It’s a good way to keep the fans satisfied as we await the rest of the final season. It’s a pretty fun special that gives each of the main characters a nice role while reminding us that there is always time for friendship. I would have liked a good fight scene though.
The special starts with the Mane 6 getting ready to leave Ponyville as they have been invited to a Rainbow event and Dash will be the guest of honor. However, when the heroes arrive at this town everything appears to be off. None of the events are as advertised and nobody wants to talk to them. The town has had its color drained away and have lost their happiness. Twilight and the others decide to introduce friendship to this town as they get this festival going. Can they really bring the color back!?
The special is definitely pretty solid so I’ll address the only weak point right off the bat. From the premise you are initially expecting some kind of villain here. After all, it’s not like the color left on its own right? Unfortunately the special does not take that route. There are no action scenes in this special nor is there a real villain. Sure, this series isn’t really about that but throwing in a villain would have been great even if she would have been doomed to turn good by the end. In a lot of ways this special feels like a redo of the Starlight Glimmer episode only without a lot of the best parts. Of course this doesn’t really hurt the score since it’s more of a “what if” than anything else, but it would have been pretty cool to have gotten a little more intensity in here.
All of the Mane 6 look pretty good. I’d say that Applejack and Rainbow Dash were the most dependable members of the crew though. Applejack really got the townsfolk to believe in themselves while Rainbow Dash inspired confidence in her fan club. They actively helped bring the color back into the town which was important. They also took the situation in stride pretty well. Twilight Sparkle tried using her science to secure a win here, but at the end of the day this task proved a little too difficult for her on her own. Together with the others she was ultimately able to succeed though.
Pinkie Pie probably looks the worst from the main characters though. She was almost mean with how she was knocking the old couple’s apricot pies. She has to realize that part of the problem here is that without being able to see color the apricots are all going to look the same. Then you’ve also got the issue with the neighbor being the only one with the good fruits. The resolution here is definitely a little on the cheesy side. It’s a decent subplot, but one where Pinkie Pie didn’t help quite as much as she could have.
Rainbow’s subplot is pretty good. The kids definitely mean well and did a good job of making the unofficial fanclub. It’s really one of the only parts of the town that was actually real even if they were short on members. The main plot involves one of the ponies blaming himself for what happened. I can see why though since he really did mess up here. There is a twist about this though so it’s not 100% his fault. He really just needed more confidence in general.
As I mentioned the animation is definitely pretty good here. The character models are on point and in general this style just makes every pony feel a lot more authentic. This style just fills out the characters a lot better than the old flash style could. Meanwhile we do get a big song at the end which is good. I wouldn’t say that it’s one of the strongest songs in MLP or anything like that but it’s always good to have a song regardless.
There isn’t much to say about the special in general because the whole thing is pretty straight forward, but it’s good at what it does. The writing is on point so even if the whole situation seems rather mild it makes for a pretty interesting special. You’ll definitely be on board right away and there’s no part of the special that drags on which is always important. It’s just a fun experience even if it may not leave much of an impression after you’ve finished it.
Overall, Rainbow Roadtrip is definitely a special that I would recommend to all big MLP fans. It definitely feels like one of the old episodes where you didn’t have to worry about supporting characters so the original 6 get all of the screen time. As good as the supporting characters are, it’s always good to be able to focus on the originals once in a while. There’s nothing to really dislike about the special and I hope to see more like this one in the future.
Suggested by Destroyer Howard Aguello has returned, but it looks like the only thing in his future is another loss. The guy has a gun, but Twilight can easily block that with her barriers. She’s also been shown to get up after taking a hit through a mountain. There’s nothing that Howard has at his disposal which he can hope to stop her with. I’m afraid that this pony is too strong for him. Twilight Sparkle wins.