Friday, June 29, 2012

Picking Apart "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic", Season 1 Episode 7

Last episode, I was in an angry rut because of all the annoying repetitiveness and that the character Trixie was incapable of shutting the hell up.  Things run much more smoothly in this episode, which seems to revolve around Fluttershy, so it looks like we're going from pretty bad back to mediocre at most.

So we start off by meeting Fluttershy's pet bunny named Angel, who seems to be a rather picky and fussy eater.  For starters, he won't even finish his carrot.
And that's when we learn the plot of the episode, in the form of some kind of black smoke.
Try as she might, Fluttershy just can't seem to get anyone's attention to alert Ponyville of the matter at hand.  Fortunately, Twilight Sparkle also saw the black smoke and informs the denizens that according to Princess Celestia, the source is a sleeping dragon.  Also, Celestia has assigned the six main characters (the Mane 6, haha) to persuade the dragon to go sleep somewhere else.  Yeah, I'm sure they can do that.  Well, they pretty much have to, don't they?

We then see this montage of Twilight's friends getting suited up for action like out of action films and television shows from the 1970's and 80's.
Nevertheless... awesome animation here.  Of course, Rainbow Dash, being the gung-ho gal that she is, opts to fighting the dragon and giving it the heave-ho as their solution.  Sure, like a Pegasus could take on a fully-grown dragon.

Now here's what's interesting.  While Fluttershy seems to be the lack of attention, Rainbow Dash acknowledges her sensitivity and apparent lack of courage and asks Twilight if it's a good idea to bring her along.  Twilight initially believes that Fluttershy does well with large animals (maybe she still remembers the manticore), but as it turns out, during the trip up the mountain, Fluttershy seems to do nothing but hold the group back.

Oh, and check out this scene at the canyon.  Fluttershy is even too afraid to jump over.  Like... what?!  Fluttershy, you're a Pegasus!  Fly over the canyon like Rainbow Dash did!  It's not that far!  You didn't hesistate to hover over a long way down to save Twilight, so what's so different this time?  Luckily for her, but not so luckily for me, Pinkie Pie bursts into one of her quick-paced songs to help Fluttershy gather her courage.

Pinkie Pie:
It's not very far. Just move your little rump.
You can make it if you try with a hop, skip and jump.
Twilight Sparkle: We don't have time for this
[Pinkie Pie]
A hop, skip and jump,
Just move your little rump,
A hop, skip and jump,
A hop, skip and jump,
A hop, skip and jump,
A hop skip and jump,
A hop skip and jump! 
Well, it seems to work, but Fluttershy still proves to be incapable of swallowing her fear and look.  It wasn't even worth a jump at all.  Now, am I really supposed to believe that it looked wider when the canyon was first shown and it only took an animation complex just to make it look easy for Fluttershy?  Kinda lame, really.  Again, why didn't Fluttershy just fly or hover to the other side?  She's a Pegasus!  She can fly!

When they finally get to the dragon's cave, Fluttershy eventually reveals that she's afraid of dragons and sits out.  The others have little to no luck getting "Smaug" to leave and just make him angry in the process.

That's when Fluttershy finally musters up her courage and gives the dragon a pep talk on what he's doing.  Yeah, who didn't see this coming?  And wouldn't you know it?  She makes that big dragon cry.  Now, how disturbing is that?  Well, it works because the dragon agrees to leave.  So the smoke is cleared and Equestria, much less Ponyville, is spared from being smothered in dragon exhaust.
And of course, Twilight wraps up with a letter to Celestia, informing her of their success thanks to Fluttershy, and the friendship lesson of the day was never to lose faith in your friends.  Typical.  Yeah, you can hold confidence for your friends, but in reality, if they're losing themselves, it only lasts for so long.  Because if you try everything to get them out of a slump or something and it doesn't work, you start to give up regardless.  And yes, believe it or not, I learned this in art school as well.  So while the lesson is good, in actuality, it's only to a point depending on your friend's mood.  And Fluttershy was in a pretty depressing mood for most of the episode.

Overall, this episode is definitely on a higher scale than the last episode.  The plot is very good and the animation is still damn terrific, except for the canyon part because I didn't get it, but the pacing was just okay because it did feel like at times we weren't gonna get anywhere.  However, the episode itself did help me regain my confidence that this anime-style animation would not go waste on this series because a lot of things that I didn't care for were cooled down tremendously.  Now, it would be nice if the next episode, or few, or maybe even the whole damn series, could just keep this flow and maybe I would find it even the tiniest bit likeable.  But as it is now, I just have mixed feelings, topped off with an overall mediocre outlook.  It was pretty strange when the dragon started crying though.  It kinda makes you wonder what Fluttershy is really made of, especially on the inside.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Picking Apart "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic", Season 1 Episode 6

You know, come to think of it, I might have been over-exaggerating about the use of repetitiveness in the episode "Applebuck Season".  I mean, three to four times is nothing, really... well, at least in comparison to how much this beast uses!  I kid you not!  In this episode, repetitiveness is everywhere!  It's completely unavoidable!  And by that, I mean practically every other sentence from a character's mouth!

Boast Busters
Okay, so we're introduced to this unicorn named Trixie Lulamoon, who's the third antagonist in the series, and she addresses herself in third-person endlessly, like this:

Trixie: ...the Great and Powerful Trixie!

Trixie: ...the Great and Powerful Trixie...

Trixie: ...the Great and Powerful Trixie?

Trixie: ...the Great and Powerful Trixie...

Trixie: ...the Great and Powerful Trixie...

Trixie: ...the Great and Powerful Trixie?

Trixie: ...the Great and Powerful Trixie...

Trixie: ...the Great and Powerful Trixie... 

Trixie: ...the Great Trixie.

Trixie: ...the Great and Powerful Trixie?

Trixie: ...the Great and Powerful Trixie...

Trixie: ...the Great and Powerful Trixie...

Trixie: ...the Great and Powerful Trixie!

Dear God...  How in the hell did any brony ever get attracted to this show?  The number of times Trixie addresses herself in this episode alone is far too annoying for anyone to put up with!  If not anyone, then it should be.  For one, I wouldn't be too surprised if even Kathleen Barr got sick of saying it.

Pinkie Pie: I mean, duh, bo-ring!

And the worst part is, she suckers in everyone when clearly anyone can tell she's just showing off.  But lo and behold, every other denizen of Ponyville, besides the main characters, has to act as dumb and naive as society itself.  This.  Sucks.

Also, we're introduced to two little unicorn brats named Snips and Snails (more joke names cause we can't get enough) who are easily tricked into believing every single lie coming out of Trixie's mouth.  In fact, they can't get enough of her and even refuse to leave her alone, and they keep saying:

Snips: ...Great and Powerful Trixie.

Snails: ...Great and Powerful Trixie.

Snips: The Great and Powerful Trixie.

Snips: The Great and Powerful Trixie...

Snips: Great and Powerful Trixie...

Snips: ...the Great and Powerful Trixie.

Snails: ...the Great and Powerful Trixie...

Now if I had a dollar for every time "Great and Powerful Trixie" is heard, I'd have enough to get at least an iTunes gift card.  Seriously.  Also, it seems that Trixie isn't just this one hell of a braggart, she also seems to be strikingly mean.

She ties up Applejack with her own lasso, she takes Rainbow Dash for a spin, and makes Rarity's mane green, which for some reason really upsets her.

And look at the audience.  They don't give a rat's ass.  They don't care if anyone gets hurt or humiliated, they just love their entertainment, right?  This is just crap!  I'm sorry, but I totally antagonize this episode for a good reason.  It represents the society most of us have to put up with, in which people just want entertainment and not caring what comes out of it.

Okay, so maybe even the audience draws the line after Rarity is ruined, but I'm still not satisfied.

Golden Harvest: Well, I never!

Neither is Golden Harvest, apparently.  After all, what about Snips and Snails?  Did they care about what happened to Applejack, Rainbow Dash, and Rarity?  No, they didn't.  They're just a couple of bratty kids.  They don't care.  They just wanna see some totally awesome magic regardless of who gets hurt or humiliated.  Trixie's pulling some pretty mean bullshit, especially if she starts to lose the enthusiasm of her own intended public.  Not to mention, she's somewhat of a coward, thinking she's better than anyone else around her.  So to a point, if bronies really like this stuff, much less Trixie, then they're just as bad as the hell-society itself.  Because that means they also don't care.  I mean, they probably just want their freaking entertainment, and nothing else matters.  Now I know you might tell me, "Come on, it's just a cartoon", but keep in mind, there's a chance that younger audiences usually might learn and benefit from watching cartoons.  And this series is supposed to be a bunch of friendship lessons for girls.  So however unlikely, they could learn that lying and boasting is a way to keep up a good image and not give a damn about anything else, that is to say, if they end up liking Trixie.  God, when are the curtains gonna close already?

Well, Twilight's friends are irritated by Trixie's shameful boasting, so they insist that she should get even with her, but Twilight refuses, believing she would be the next showoff no different than Trixie, despite their insistence.

Snips and Snails buy Trixie's tales so much that they refuse to accept that she's making them up, so that means they decide to go and do something incredibly stupid.  They decide to lure an actual Ursa Major, the same creature that Trixie totally defeated in her stories, into Ponyville just to see her perform her totally amazing spectacles of magic.  But what they don't know is that they actually woke up a sleeping Ursa Minor instead and in its anger, begins to trash Ponyville.
And of course, as expected, Trixie fesses up that she made up the part about totally defeating the Ursa Major when faced with taking the Ursa Minor head on.  So Twilight uses her own magic to play soothing music and give the beast some milk, which makes it go back to sleep, and then she sends it back into the cave.
Twilight's friends then tell her that they are in fact proud of her for her abilities because it's who she is and she makes a note of it to Princess Celestia.
Now here's what's really dumb.  Despite Trixie coming clean to Snips and Snails and her obvious fear of the Ursa Minor, she still insists to Twilight that she is better and makes an escape using an epic fail disappearing act.  This seals in stone that Trixie classifies as an antagonist, and purely to Twilight.
Rainbow Dash is eager to teach her a lesson, but Twilight tells her she's not worth the trouble and that she may someday learn her lesson.  Yeah, I'm sure she will.

As for Snips and Snails, they apologize for causing trouble and Twilight punishes them by giving them both... mustaches.  What?  Oh, come on!  What kind of punishment is that?!  They seem to like their mustaches and Twilight says they deserve it?  When are these characters ever gonna smarten up?

Now while the last episode was less than mediocre, this episode is downright awful.  Trixie never shuts up about her image and even refuses to accept that she's wrong and that there might be anyone better than her.  Not to mention, the naivete of society plays its hand and makes many denizens instantly believe Trixie and her lousy lies, including Snips and Snails, who don't seem to have the minds of good children at all.  Put plainly and simply, this episode consists of practically nothing but boasts and brags with two stupid kids backing it up.  So while Gilda was not that great of an antagonist, Trixie is even worse and nowhere near matches the level of Night Mare Moon.
The animation is still on top, and the pacing is pretty acceptable, but everything else just sucks because boasting gets super old after a very short time.  Surprisingly, Trixie seems to have quite a number of positive reviews, which really makes me believe that they just love her for being a pompous braggart, to which she doesn't deserve attention for, unless any brony is thick-headed and arrogant to love such an antagonist.  Lauren Faust had said that the show called for a boastful unicorn and Chris Savino, the writer of the episode, wrote her in, mentioning her talking in third-person is hilarious.  Well, it would have been, except that she humiliates others to keep her own selfish image up.  Even Jayson Thiessen, one of the show's directors, actually likes the character Trixie.  Not to mention, fans want her back.  Like, what the hell?!  Why?!  So they can enjoy her pride-destroying antics again?!  Jeez, someone remind me why bronies live for this series, please!  I swear, they seem to exist for the purpose of acting like perverts or pedophiles because they're young men and most of the characters in this series are female.  This is proven by disturbing artwork that exists on the Internet, which isn't supposed to because it's a kids' show.  Now, if anyone, much less any brony, dislikes me because of me going off about this episode, then... I have really nothing to say.  Because it goes to show just how sad things are that these are choices these young men make and eventually, they're gonna have to live with themselves for it.  Put plainly and simply, porn art doesn't do justice, even if you're a brony.  So now, Trixie haters, come on, come all!  Because it doesn't take a plot consisting of boasting 9000 times to learn a simple friendship lesson.  Just ask Rose Ortiz from Power Rangers: Operation Overdrive.  *sigh*  I just hope for Hasbro's sake that the next episode is way better.  Can't have perfectly good animation wasted on a series that could get set up the bomb at any time.