Thursday, July 19, 2012

Picking Apart "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic", Season 2 Episode 7

Since the next two episodes focus more on Rainbow Dash, I'm gonna take this opportunity to discuss something on her that's probably piqued interests the Internet over, especially bronies.  And it's that Rainbow Dash is considered to be a lesbian Pegasus.  In other words, a girl who likes girls.

Rainbow Dash: Ugh...
I sort of touched base on this back for my critique on the episode "Fall Weather Friends" and believe it or not, there are a few reasons that could potentially back this up.  First of all, Rainbow Dash has been shown to be a tomboy pretty much throughout the series, except when she mentions the Wonderbolts and unleashes her inner fangirl, as seen in "Sonic Rainboom" and "The Best Night Ever" so far.  I had also mentioned that despite being voiced by a girl (Ashleigh Ball), she still sounds like a boy, never mind that it seems to be easy enough nowadays for voice actresses to pull off.
On the Yahoo! Answers web page, the user Scootaloo had asked, "Why is Rainbow Dash considered a lesbian?" and the user Urszula gave the following answer:

Because she has a rainbow mane and she is the least feminine of the group so people make assumptions.
But, obviously, the only true lesbian lovers in the show are Fluttershy and Rarity.

This is probably the most legit answer as to why Rainbow is considered lesbian by fans, namely bronies I'm sure.
They also say her rainbow-colored mane and tail use the same colors as the Gay Pride movement, which is also a six-colored rainbow.
Now as for Rarity's relationship with Fluttershy... well, I really can't grasp that.  Sure, they're best friends and they get together for weekly spas and all that, but... lovers?  I... really don't think so.  Besides, this show is supposed to be a kids' cartoon with a demographic for young girls.  I seriously doubt however plausible that lesbian mannerisms would be depicted at all.  I know that some episodes in this series such as "Lesson Zero" and "A Canterlot Wedding, Part 2" make it seem like Hasbro only had bronies in mind while producing the episodes, which of course makes my depiction of this series even more questionable.
Mind you, there's absolutely nothing wrong with being gay or lesbian because it's still love no matter what, right?  In fact, the problem of being discriminated because of it still exists in this American society and that's why Gay Pride even exists in the first place. 
And try as I might, I just can't seem to stop making the mistake that Rainbow Dash is a dude.  I know she's female, I know, but I just keep making this mistake, possibly because of her brash personality and voice.  Okay, I'm gonna put this whole thing on hold for now because we don't have to worry about lesbian stuff in a kids' show for the rest of the season, so it's time for me to go over this episode.

May the Best Pet Win!
We start with Rainbow Dash having this weird dream of some variety, in which Owlowiscious suddenly starts sprouting body parts of the other four pets, creeping her out.
She then falls into some kind of darkness and just wakes up instantly, only to find herself surrounded by all five pets.
It turns out, their owners have banded together for their weekly Pony Pet Playdate, which happens to be in the same park where Rainbow had been resting.
Now apparently Rainbow Dash never knew of this and considering that this is a Season 2 episode, and according to "Lesson Zero", weeks pass every time friendship reports are delivered... how long has Rainbow Dash been kept in the dark about this?  Well, never mind that they wanted to tell her but figured that there was no point because she doesn't have a pet.
Anyways, Rainbow Dash tries to get some more rest, but the pets are being too loud, so she tells the others that she doesn't intend to be pet-less for life.  Fluttershy jumps at the chance and offers Rainbow a variety of woodland creatures that she looks after, but of course Rainbow wants something cool and over the top.  And this leads to what might be considered the third musical number and at a time span of three minutes and 41 seconds, it is the second longest song in the whole series.
Now, Rainbow, my dear, I cannot express my delight
It's abundantly clear
That somewhere out here
Is the pet that will suit you just right
[Rainbow Dash]
I can't wait to get started, but first let me set a few rules
It's of utmost importance
The pet that I get
Is something that's awesome and cool
Fluttershy: Awesome, cool, got it!

Now this is one of two songs in the series that, believe it or not, was nominated for "Outstanding Original Song - Children's and Animation" in the 39th Daytime Emmy Awards.
Oh, and notice this tortoise that takes an instant liking to Rainbow Dash during the song.  I'm gonna go ahead and spoil things for you because I don't care, but the tortoise is the one of all the animals who becomes her pet in the end and we'll find out why.  Besides, this isn't much of a spoiler because the episode was in fact dropping hints that the tortoise would be the one to end up with Dash anyway.
So Rainbow Dash decides to hold a contest and much to her chagrin, Fluttershy insists that the tortoise enter the competition to be given a chance.  Now Rainbow completely dislikes him at first because... well, he's a tortoise, he's slow, and he probably wouldn't stand a chance.  But remember the old saying "slow and steady wins the race"?  In reality, that works for me just fine.
Applejack and Twilight believe that Rainbow is completely missing the point about what it means to actually have a pet, which... yeah, she does seem to lack some sense on that subject.  After all, owning a pet is much more than just partnership, it's an animal you can call your own.

In this children's book entitled "Newt", written by Matt Novak, Newt meets this odd twenty-eyed bug and tries to figure out what it might be useful for.  Eventually, he comes to realize that simply calling the bug his own is good enough.  So can we expect something similar for Rainbow Dash and her future pet tortoise?  Well, maybe, but there's a little more to it than that.
So Rainbow Dash tests the skills for each of the animals picked out and of course passes the tortoise as a total reject.  Eventually, only the owl, bat, falcon, and eagle remain and Rainbow presents the ultimate challenge - to race against her through the Ghastly Gorge.  Now she sets up the one rule that we might want to make a note of.

Rainbow Dash: But whichever of you make it across the finish line with me will have proven you can keep up with me, and will have earned the honor, and glory, of getting to be my pet!

See, the trouble with the four flying animals is that they failed to realize Rainbow Dash has to actually win the race and with one of them.  Instead, they insist on racing to the finish to see who crosses first.

So while "Ride of the Valkyries" plays as background music, the animals try to keep up with Rainbow's breakneck speed.
But during the race, Rainbow Dash accidentally smacks into a canyon wall, which in turn causes an avalanche that pins one of her wings to the ground, trapping her.
And just as she starts to cry, the tortoise is able to dig under the rock that's pinning her and lifts it up long enough for her to escape.
Meanwhile at the finish line, the falcon crosses first, followed by the others, but Rainbow's friends start to worry when she herself doesn't show up.  Well apparently, Rainbow isn't able to fly due to her injury she sustained from the rock that crushed her wing, so the turtle successfully carries her to the finish line, making him the pet she chooses.  And she names him Tank. 
Aw, look at the little guy.  Look how happy he is.
Rainbow has Spike take a letter for Princess Celestia, in which she expresses that tenacity is an important quality to have.  Now I have tenacity.  As an art school student, I have plenty of tenacity and it serves me well.  It reflects the never-say-die attitude I like to live with.  The episode then comes to a close with Tank suited up and ready to keep up with the fiercely fast Rainbow Dash.

So Tank is able to live his dream of being a pet with someone.  Not to mention, Rainbow Dash is able to make things work for the little guy so he can stick with her.  I just have one question.  How is he gonna stay in her house in Cloudsdale?  Maybe the homes there are solid enough for any non-Pegasus to stand in.  Well, no matter because this is Tank's only appearance for the rest of Season 2, so we don't have to worry about a thing.  And now all six of the main characters have a pet, and Tank might just turn out to be the coolest of them all.  You never know.  Now as for this episode in general, the only thing that really stands out is the inclusion of the classic tune "Ride of the Valkyries", which sounds cool no matter where it is used.  Just throw it in, get a good enough scenario to go with it, and the scene is all set.  It's a bit mystifying that although Rainbow Dash cries in this episode, we don't actually hear her burst into sobs.  Is she too man for that?  Heaven forbid, Hasbro.  She's a girl and probably just as sensitive as anyone.  Well, that's it for now.  Another episode featuring Rainbow Dash is coming up next.

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