My Little Pony Friendship is Magic Omnibus Volume 1 Review

It’s time to check back in with the ponies! I already read the first few issues from this collection during the original volume 1 release, but naturally I had to check out the Omnibus as well right? A certain scene from the first arc still holds the collection back, but it’s still a solid adventure for the most part. In some ways I wish the show would have as many action scenes as this one, but I guess that runs with its own set of risks as this comic makes evident. Well, lets dive in!

So, the first arc is old, but lets recap in case you did not read my original review. Queen Chrysalis and the Changelings are back and they took over Ponyville in an instant. Derpy was the last to fall but now it is up to the Mane 6 to stop this evil threat. They mobilize their forces and head out to also rescue the Cutie Mark Crusaders. Twilight Sparkle will have to use her full powers if she has any hope of winning this round, but it’s still going to be a very tough fight. The villains aren’t hear to pull any punches.

Well, the arc is pretty solid except for one scene where Queen Chrysalis actually destroys one of the animals. It’s a surprisingly violent scene that you wouldn’t expect in My Little Pony. This is the one tricky part about the comics taking a more intense route than the show. While the comics have more fights and serious plots, they can also add in more violence which can get risky. While it’s a quick page that you can easily miss when embracing the hype of the arc, once you notice it there is no going back. It’s a shame since this one moment does limit the rest of the collection. If we ignore that little bit then the rest of the arc is pretty solid. We do get to see Twilight unleash one of her more powerful energy blasts at the Queen even if it’s not enough to take her down for the count.

It is a little iffy how quickly the Pony bonds are broken though. They know that they are up against shapeshifters after all so they should probably suspect that something is up when their friends start insulting them right? I’d expect some of the Ponies to fall for this, but not the entirety of the Mane 6. Ah well, even the ponies have their off days right? The changeling army is definitely impressive and since they seem stronger than the average pony, it’s fortunate that the Mane 6 are strong. An even numbered fight with the rest of the citizens may not go so well otherwise.

Time for the new content! This arc is easily the best part of the volume. The Mane 6 have all been having nightmares and are wondering why this is the case. Well, it turns out that an ancient evil has re awoken. It is the same darkness which once possessed Princess Luna. It has now set its sights on Rarity and kidnaps her. The rest of the Mane 6 will have to hurry if they are to rescue her but the villain’s army is numerous with many shadow creatures at her disposal. The entire kingdom is in peril so Celestia mobilizes her troops. Still, they’re basically just cannon fodder so she needs Luna. Unfortunately, Luna is dealing with confidence issues. Can she pony up in time to stop this threat or is it game over?

This arc is basically what the first arc would have been like without that quick animal moment. The new Nightmare Moon is a fearsome villain and is actually more serious than Queen Chrysalis. She is set on conquering Equestria and comes awful close. Her magic power is considerable and we get some actual fights here. The Mane 6 even have to use their laser blasts to stop her. We often see Twilight Sparkle use her powers, but not the rest of the ponies so that was cool. Naturally Rarity gets the shaft for most of the arc since she was kidnapped, but still looks good during the adventure. Luna’s still one of the best ponies in the series and this adventure is another reminder on that. She’s strong and has a lot of character development. Luna has learned a lot throughout her adventures and keeps that development. Now that she’s gotten over her confidence issues, she is certainly one of the best all around fighters in Ponyville.

Next up was Big Mac’s two part adventure. I always like how Applejacks’ family have good related names that reminds me of the past. I always used to eat Applejacks back in the day and while I didn’t go for Big Macs until recently, I did like the name. Basically he needs to find a nail so he heads for the shop, but the whole village has been taken over by a festival. It’s going to be difficult to find the owner, but this pony doesn’t give up so easily. What ensues are a bunch of random shenanigans where it seems like every pony is conspiring against him. Can Big Mac prevail?

Big Mac doesn’t handle the situation very well and shows why he is the weakest member of the Apple family. He doesn’t take anything in stride so you have to assume that he never leaves the farm since he should be used to this. Ponyville is always quirky as its inhabitants just love to have a bunch of fun. It’s a bit of a stretch that he couldn’t find the nail for the whole 2 issues, but he was kept pretty busy. The most enjoyable side trip would certainly be when he teams up with Princess Luna to wreck everybody at track and field. That was handled pretty well. The rest of the story was fun enough as well.

The final two issues were about Cadance and Shining Armor. I have yet to see them in the TV show so it was interesting to have a little preview. Basically the issues recount the first time Cadance and Shining Armor got to meet. Armor really wanted to impress her so he worked on his skills and decided to take her to the dance. The only problem is that she already accepted an offer from a richer, more sports savvy pony. Shining Armor will have to use every dirty trick in the book in order to stop his rival.

Unfortunately this was probably the weakest two part comic. It certainly didn’t do anything to improve my opinion of Shiny. His banter with Twilight would probably be the only part of his character that works well and Twilight as a kid is still a quality character. That being said, it’s just hard to be sympathetic to the Knight. He doesn’t embrace the role playing game that his gang plays because he gets too distracted by Cadence. Furthermore, he can’t even speak when Cadance appears and can only say things like “der” and ends up running off. He’s exaggeratedly bad in this comic. Of course, you can’t root for the bully since he’s rather mean, but you have to at least admire the guy’s confidence. He talks tough to Celestia and isn’t afraid of anyone. He probably would make a firm ruler, just a petty one.

As for Cadance, she seems nice enough. Naturally her whole romance with Shining Armor seems rather out of place and isn’t handled too well but if we ignore that chunk of her character than I’d say that she did well. She’s not as fun as Luna or as unlikable as Celestia so I guess she is somewhere in the middle. A reasonable supporting character to have around. So, this volume may have ended on a rather weak note, but it’s not as if this story is bad. It’s just a rather generic prom night adventure featuring two characters that I’m not really invested in. Better them than the Mane 6 though since any romance for one of those characters would result in a permanent addition to the main cast and we don’t want that.

The art for the comics is pretty good. It does take a little getting used to with how expressive it is, but the colors are very sharp and the designs are on point. It does help the issues to feel like the TV show and the animations may be even better to be honest. The comics really breeze by as a result. The writing is also on point as you’d expect. It’s easy to just pick this comic up and start reading. Likewise, the Ponies are about the same as always as well. Rainbow Dash and Applejack are always ready for a fight while Twilight is the one who is prepared for it. Rarity and Fluttershy mainly stick to the back row with Pinkie Pie as they verbally support and insult the other from afar. It would be nice if they could fight a little more, but I suppose it’s good to have a contrast. Rarity did good while she was possessed in her evil form though.

Overall, This was a solid batch of stories. As it’s an omnibus there is certainly quite a lot of content here to make it worth your dollar. The only negative from the whole adventure is when the animal was blown up. Some stories were a little weaker than the others like the last one and even the Big Mac adventure, but it makes sense since the Mane 6 were not the leads. The Cutie Mark Crusaders can hold their own stories as well, but now we know which characters cannot do so. While I can recommend most MLP comics whole heartedly I must cautiously recommend this one. It’s a very solid collection but not for the faint of heart. Still, even with its intensity there is always a lot of quick comedic moments to keep things from getting too serious so for the most part it is okay for kids as well. I’m looking forward to the next Omnibus as that should definitely give us some quality adventures. Until then, I suppose it could be a while before I have another MLP review out I guess.

Overall 5/10


Twilight Sparkle vs Infinite

Twilight Sparkle is another Pony who managed to get through with a solid win, but now her road is blocked. While she does have some solid energy blasts at her disposal and teleportation, it will only buy Twilight some time. She still won’t be able to keep up with an opponent of Infinite’s caliber for very long. He will prove once and for all that he isn’t weak. On the contrary, Infinite is quite powerful. Infinite wins.

Twilight Sparkle vs Sparkleface

This is a tribute to the My Little Pony film. Twilight Sparkle wasn’t at her best here as she got defeated fairly early in the film. Still, at least she made the tough calls like attempting to steal the water ponies source of magic. That took guts and leadership skills. Sparkleface is a strong Pegasus, but she’s not quite ready to take on an Alicorn yet. That’s just too tall of a task especially when the Pony in question has significant magical abilities. Twilight Sparkle wins.

My Little Pony: The Elements of Harmony Volume II Review

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

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: 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

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

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

My Little Pony Pony Tales Volume 1 Review

MLP_microTPB copy
It’s time to look at one of the My Little Pony spinoff comics. It’s been a while since I read a comic for this franchise and you may remember that I wasn’t thrilled with the first one. It had some animal violence and that wasn’t cool. Luckily, this one holds true to the show and it feels like it’s higher quality than the last trade paperback. Each story is a stand alone for a different pony, which is typically not my favorite format. It can work though as long as each story is interesting. Let’s see if the stories worked!

One story is about Applejack and her family is preparing for a nice feast. A holiday is coming up so now they can enjoy their food and bond as a family. The problem is that a monster is stealing their food. Applejack decides that she must stop him and she wants to do it by herself so that her family won’t need to worry. Can she really handle this task on her own?

The moral for this story is about letting others help out because sometimes it is for the best. It’s never good to deal with every task by yourself since everyone needs help once in a while. It’s a pretty fun story although it’s certainly weaker than the other stories. Applejack seems like a nice pony and her goal was pretty noble so I don’t necessarily disagree with her decision. Of course, accepting help was the right thing to do, but she wasn’t mean to the others when declining their help either, which is a nice change of pace from what would have typically happened in this situation.

Rainbow Dash’s story saw her go up against some mysterious beings who feed on negative energy. Rainbow Dash’s Sonic Boom seems to have no effect on their fortress of wind and they damage her wing. Her confidence is shaken and the villagers are starting to get riled up. A sense of dread and sadness fills the village and Rainbow Dash is the only one who can stop the villains. Can she get over her fear to do this?

The moral is a classic one about facing your fears and not getting too overconfident. That’s not even the exact moral as it was a little more complex than that. This was a fun story and we actually got some new villains, which was pretty neat. Rainbow Dash may be nervous for most of the comic, but it doesn’t feel too out of character since it’s handled pretty well. I think that the other ponies could have certainly been a little nicer about the whole thing, but not every pony in Equestria is nice. Only the ones who really count. It can be frustrating to see the villains crushing Rainbow Dash’s attempts, but the stakes are certainly higher than usual. This was a fun story.

Next up, we have Twilight Sparkle as she is sent to help out at a library/book place. Unfortunately, her temporary boss is pretty grouchy. Twilight Sparkle does her best to still remain very polite and do her work. The icy feelings between these two ponies start to thaw a little, but then Twilight Sparkle finds out a secret that could change everything. What has she done!?

I admit that it was probably a little out of character for Twilight Sparkle to look through the door into the lady’s secret room after being told not too. Sparkle doesn’t seem like the type of pony who can’t control her curiosity after all. I can’t say that with 100% certainty though so maybe I’m slightly off the mark here. This was a fun comic though and it reminds me why Twilight Sparkle is my second favorite pony. She is certainly very reasonable and a lot nicer than the other members of the Mane 6 beyond Pinkie Pie. (Pinkie Pie is always the best at everything after all) This may have been the best story in the collection.

Pinkie Pie may be my favorite pony, but she doesn’t get my favorite story. A clown has been helping many ponies laugh and smile through the years, but he is now retiring. Pinkie Pie must get him to see why being a clown was so much fun again, but is it really right to try and stop him from retiring?

In the end, Pinkie Pie see that it is a little selfish to try to stop someone from leaving their work when they have finally had enough. That being said, she also helps the clown realize that he can always help the industry out in other ways and Pinkie Pie gets better at being a clown through this experience. She is certainly good at cheering people up already so you may wonder just how much cooler she can get from here right? She didn’t act quite as crazy/insane as usual, but she doesn’t need to always be like that to be a fun character. She still has a lot of personality.

Rarity’s story naturally revolves around a fashion show that she is setting up. Her friends decide that she can use a little rest so they send her to a new spa that has opened up. Rarity is thrilled to go there until she finds out that it isn’t much of a spa. The mud baths are pretty literal and the food is all healthy to the point where it is barely edible. Can she really make the best of this?

I felt pretty bad for Rarity here since this is a case where she is really the victim of the moral. The moral is naturally to give things a chance and trying out new experiences isn’t bad, but…the spa went pretty far. The owners do have a good reason for this though and there are many emotional plot twists. It’s good that Rarity was able to help out, but it still would have been nice if she had gotten an actual vacation. This story certainly didn’t help her pass the other ponies, but she has her moments I suppose. Deep down, she’s as nice as the others.

Finally, we have Fluttershy’s story. It’s really a coincidence that she was last as I was mainly writing down the summaries from memory and hers I happened to remember last. (I had to double check for Rarity’s so at least Fluttershy’s was more memorable) Fluttershy has made a painting, but she is nervous and believes that it didn’t look very good. So, she enters it in an art exhibit, but she makes sure to be in disguise. Will the officials like this?

First of all, I have to say that this is where it comes in handy to be friends with Celestia’s protoge and with an expert in the form of Rarity. The officials naturally say that they can’t stand the painting and try to make Fluttershy feel bad (Along with all of the other painters) but then Rarity walks in and announces that it is quite good. The rest of the Mane 6 agree and they even managed to bring in Princess Celestia who announces that it is amazing. It all works out and Fluttershy decides to be more confident in herself. Her lack of confidence is why she isn’t one of my favorite ponies, but I do like the fact that she has a strong bond with animals so that helps to balance it out a little. You will definitely feel bad for her here. This was another good story and it’s probably second behind Twilight Sparkle’s.

The art is very good here even if the cover isn’t great. Yes…I think the cover could hurt sales and I seriously wonder why it was chosen! Well, mistakes happen I suppose. Still, the artwork inside of the graphic novel is consistent and all of the characters look accurate. This helps you fast blast through the comics pretty quickly even if the text can be a bit on the small side.

Overall, This was the My Little Pony comic that I had been expecting when I read the first graphic novel a while back. The short stories were all pretty good or interesting and this was a nice way to see if each of the ponies could hold their own story without relying on the others. I’d say that they succeeded in that area and the comic is a lot of fun to read from start to finish. It certainly never drags on or gets boring. There may not be a lot of action, but the writing is very good so that doesn’t end up being a problem. If you are on the fence about starting the franchise, this is a good way to get into it. I also recommend it for fans of the TV show as it isn’t a quick money grab. They did put in a good amount of effort here and I look forward to reading the next volume. It may be a while, but I do have another one of the spinoffs to review coming soon….

Overall 7/10

My Little Pony Friendship is Magic Volume 1 Review

My Little Pony Friendship is Magic is one of those franchises within the master My Little Pony franchise that has always seemed very intriguing. It got a huge fan base in a really short amount of time and it seemed to be even more well received than the last show. I’ve always told myself that I would check out the show at some point since it seemed to be a pretty good one, but in the end I decided to check out the first collection of comics. It took a while due to library issues, but now I finally got to read it. I can see why it’s a hit, but is it something that I would recommend? Time to find out!

This collection deals with the Mane ,6 (Pun intended!) as they are having a good time when they realize that something isn’t right. It would appear that the Changelings are back and they’re ready to take over. They’re led by Queen Chrysalis who wants revenge on the ponies for what they did to her in the TV series and she’s going to take it out on Twilight Sparkle. This way, Celestia will be devastated and then nobody can stop her! It’s a very ambitious plan, but can it succeed? The Mane 6 don’t think so and they head off to fight her in what could be the ultimate showdown!

That’s the plot in a nutshell. I’m going to talk about the Mane 6 and discuss who was the best and who was the worst. Let’s start with the best, AKA….Pinkie Pie! Pinkie Pie is pretty awesome and I have to say that she blew the other 5 ponies out of the water. She made them look like novices compared to her and she had a trick up her sleeve for all scenarios. The costumes idea was brilliant and the fact that she was able to carry them around with her was even better. She definitely knows what she’s doing as she even prepared super sticky gum to trap the enemies. Unlike the others, she doesn’t take the insults too seriously and just keeps on bouncing back. Power wise, she doesn’t’ seem as skilled as the others, but then again…it’s not like she’s trying. To her, the whole thing is a game and that’s partially why she’s so cool.

The 2nd best pony would be Rainbow Dash. To be honest, I figured that she would have been the best, but she’s still high up. The fact that she can fly is a big advantage and I like how she always makes things difficult on the other ponies. At one point, one of the ponies complains that nobody is listening to her so then Rainbow Dash says something along the lines of, “What did you say?”. It was a classic troll moment and Rainbow Dash pulled it off wonderfully. Not to mention that Rainbow Dash didn’t really forgive the others when they had their group apologies and she talked the toughest against the villains although she couldn’t really back it up.

Next up, we have Twilight Sparkle. She’s a pretty fun character and I wouldn’t really say that there are any negatives with her except for the fact that her magical abilities seem to be useless against even the weakest of opponents. She is regarded as the leader and I suppose that she fits the bill, but she’s not quite as likable as Rainbow Dash or Pinkie Pie. She definitely has potential with her spells, but she needs to learn how to properly wield them in a fight. Twilight Sparkle is also the most gullible from the 6 ponies so she definitely needs to work on that.

In 4th place, we’ve got Applejack. I’m definitely not a big fan of her and it’s really because I’m mentally picturing a very thick accent. I’m not sure how she actually sounds in the show, but I can definitely imagine it. Technically, she’s not a bad character, but I can’t think of much pros for her either. She’s around and I’m glad that she talks tough, but I always have trouble remembering that she’s one of the Mane 6. She seems like she’s more of a supporting character than the other ponies.

In 5th place, we’ve got Rarity. Rarity is definitely not my type of character since she worries about looking good during a fight and doesn’t seem to take things in stride. In a fight, Rarity doesn’t seem like the ally that you’ll want and she needs to have her “Pony Up” scene already. Things got personal for her in this comic, but you may forget that as you’re reading.

Finally…we’ve got Fluttershy. I really wanted to like her a lot, but she represents some of the things that I really don’t like in my blog fighters characters. She’s very shy and timid but when the going gets tough, Fluttershy has the meanest face of them all and she scares the others. To go into this, I don’t like when any character is typically comic relief/shy and can quickly switch into “serious” mode and then frightens all of the characters. A good example of this is Isshin Kurosaki and the 1st Hokage. If you’re going to be serious, then be serious and likewise for comic relief. The two can mix, but not usually. It’s why I really don’t like when Goku shouts at his friends during a “tense” moment and they all quickly obey or fear him. Unfortunately, that’s what happens with Fluttershy and it seems like it happens in the show as well. (Fluttershy rage moment. Fans of the show will automatically know what scene I’m talking about) That being said, she’s not a bad character…she’s just not my type of character. I can’t really root for her, but I’m glad that she likes animals.

I don’t have much of an opinion on Spike. He was around…that’s about it. I did like Princess Celestia in this comic since she was so rude and condescending to the Mane 6. When Spike went to tell her what was happening, she was very stern with him and rudely pointed out that she was busy as she blasted some poor villains into oblivion. Once she did show up, (Conveniently after the battle was over) she seemed completely sarcastic the whole time and I don’t think that the Mane 6 even realized it. Definitely a solid way for her to make an entrance. The Cutie Mark Crusaders weren’t great either as they joked around a little too much considering what their inevitable fate was.

I did not like Queen Chrysalis and she actually brought the overall rating for the comic down. If any comic could avoid the animal violence cliche, I would have thought that My Little Pony could, but apparently I was wrong. Queen Chrysalis violently destroys an animal in the comic to show how “evil” she is. She is definitely evil, but you can’t take her seriously since she’s used for comic relief throughout the whole comic and she doesn’t act like a villain. The fact that she was draining the happiness from the animals all around with the Changelings was actually pretty dark for the series and unnecessarily so. You feel bad for the animals since the ponies evidently do not care enough to liberate them and they’re basically doomed without even knowing it since they don’t seem to have a brain in this series.

The climax was intense, but it was hard to know who to root for. The ponies were tricked very easily and I have to say that their bonds are pretty fragile. The Changelings had a field day with them and fooled them so easily that I was shocked. I didn’t think that the Mane 6 would fall for something like that and it was definitely an eye opener. Queen Chrysalis was definitely superior to the ponies in terms of power and Twilight Sparkle’s super power at the end was basically plot hax. Most comics fall into that hole, but I hope that she will not use the powers of friendship as a crutch.

I do have to say that the art was pretty bad. Exaggerated facial expressions are one thing, but this one had at least a dozen per page. The art just felt sloppy overall and did not feel like it was intense enough for this series. The facial expressions are part of the reason why I could not take some of the ponies seriously in this version. There’s also the fact that they were losing to a human level opponent and that Twilight Sparkle’s attacks proved to be ineffective. The art is the main turnoff from the comic as the dialogue is pretty strong for the most part.

One character who deserves his own paragraph is Derpy. The comic gave her some major props and I can already see why she’s one of the greatest characters in the franchise. Derpy was the last pony to fall against the Changelings and I like to believe that he was already fatigued from defeating dozens of other opponents. You can’t help but feel bad for her since the Mane 6 ignored her plight and didn’t even try to help her. With “friends” like those…… Anyway, I’m definitely ready for some more Derpy action. Derpy definitely means business and isn’t the type of opponent to go down without a fight.

Overall, the animal violence is what destroyed the comic in the end. It was the tipping point that led to an overall negative score, but it should be noted that the comic was still decent. It may not have been quite as good as I was expecting, but considering that this is only volume 1, it can only go up from here. The main things that should be changed are the artwork and the animal violence. With those things out of the way, this comic could have easily gotten a 6 and beyond! The actual characters are fun and I look forward to seeing more of Derpy in the future. After reading this comic collection and being introduced to the MLP FIM franchise, I can finally say that I am a fan. It’s fun and suitable for all ages. (Not the comic. I’m talking about the show. The comic is a little too graphic for little kids due to animal violence and I would wait until the kids were teens for them to read it) The comic actually reminded me a lot of Strawberry Shortcake and fans of that show will like this one. I recommend this comic to fans of the MLP series as well, but if you want to see happy animals portrayed in a way that’s at least 20% cooler, check out Pokemon!

Overall 4/10