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Dowlphin

Did you ever notice?

598a8d272c266_MLP-TheApplesiblingscolortriangleDowlphin.jpg.5751d086509ef2bb0a3537589eed8958.jpg

 

I am also fond of the similarly shared color of Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy. I guess you could continue the chain from AJ to Fluttershy to Pinkie Pie. And you could also mention Rarity and Twilight Sparkle. A common theme of having lots in common, heh.


Dowlphin

You can shower someone with them and still be giving next to nothing.

 

It's a cheap currency you can use to avoid having to think about what else you could give that might be more appropriate for what you received.

Remember this the next time you are incredibly appreciative or eternally grateful for something someone did.

 

Words are cheap. Are you saying it for them or for you?

Dowlphin

I hope this is gonna happen in season 5. Surprise lives and cannot be ignored.

 

Would surely make for an interesting little story - a challenge for the writers.

 

And as you know... there can never bee too many Pinkie Pies. :lol:

Dowlphin

Remember Pinkie Pride with the real-world footage thrown in? It immediately changes the character. By creating such a harsh, sudden connection to a different 'realm', the integrity of the intended realm is compromised. This is what's called "breaking immersion".

Said artistic tools CAN be for a specific reason sometimes, when the context fits, but to me it didn't fit in that episode.

 

It doesn't have to be that extreme though.

 

One example of it not being a problem is scenes where they use lighting effects or camera zoom and pan techniques - the latter even has been talked about in praise in Youtube videos. (I don't remember the episode with the scene I'm thinking of, but it was done in an elegant, subtle way, and served a specific technical purpose. It was not a style break, but a style enhancement.)

 

But lately there was another thing that immediately got me 'off-track in my mind', in season 5 episode 3 (Castle Sweet Castle) right after the intro, there was a zoom-in of what very much looked like painted, with tons of details, some kind of heavy blur filter, gradients and stuff. Well, I'll just post it here, then you can see for yourself - in case you haven't seen the episode. (Don't worry, no spoilers here.)

 

5x03_FS_house_style_break.jpg

 

When I saw that, I lost attention for the plot of the episode, had to check again, was wondering why they would decide to suddenly put that attention-catching style break in there, was wondering whether I didn't pay attention and this was supposed to be a painting on a wall somewhere. (thus: immersion break)

 

Is there discussion about this specific scene somewhere? Or about the topic in general?

Dowlphin

I am noticing this more frequently in recent episodes: Vocals are being distributed on the stereo channels depending on where a speaker is in relation to the camera.

This can add acoustic information and some pseudo-realism (if not overdone, which happens when factors like sound reflection on walls are disregarded), but it is a tricky thing to use, because it is very easy to break immersion with it, and this happens especially when a speaker's position changes not by moving, but due to a changing camera position. Because then the watcher becomes aware of a 'camera man' teleporting around in the scene.

I think this is especially noticeable in MLP because lately they're overdoing the stereo separation with lateral voices.

 

I don't know why people who get paid for this stuff ("professionals") don't notice those subtle but crucial details, but I guess treating this area as an art form might be more than what is the norm in the business.

 

This isn't a rant. It's just that I keep noticing various things that disturb immersion and would love to contribute my expertise, but unfortunately things aren't that easy.

Dowlphin
I recently made a referral code bonus webpage
 
 
that gives a good introduction to the game. I played with the idea of entering the whole advertising game since my altruism focus doesn't seem to get me anywhere, but the more I read up on it, the more off-putting it became. So I'm always trying to get a little caress for my soul without playing in the hands of an ugly system, thus doing open, sincere, more personal advertising.
 
Star Citizen is gonna be an amazing game, unlike anything before, and I am very excited about being a part of the unfolding project. Now is a good time to join, because soon there will be a major update, and more generally early adopters are being rewarded.
Check it out and share it and you'd do me a tremendous heartwarming favor if you used my referral code as mentioned on that sweet little webpage I made. :-)
 
(Oh and in case it tells you somewhere on signup that you need a quadcore-CPU and don't have one (yet): People have confirmed it can run on dualcores if they're performing well (e.g. somewhat overclocked and/or of newer generation). And it generally only affects the performance I think, not the ability to run it at all.)
Dowlphin

The bandwagon is irresistble. ^_^

 

Any mod desginer here who would like to do that? ... The model would make sense as a warhammer as well as a staff.

 

Although I guess some picture edits would be fun, too. I'm just not in the mood for stuff like that, otherwise I'd make something myself. But maybe this idea inspires you for all kinds of weapon-associated stuff involving that scepter.

 

But imagine how hiariously grotesque it would be to bash a dragon head in with that silly smily face. ... Or to roast some bandits with unicorn power. (Rainbow beam spell maybe.)

Dowlphin

Also blogged here: http://dowlphin.blogspot.de/2015/09/spoilers-mind-illness-not-kept-in-check.html

 

In the past I had my anger and frustration in the MLP fandom with people posting spoilers and just not caring whether others might not want that, despite it being common knowledge that spoilers are unpopular. I can understand when the sickos in TV programming feel the need to post episode previews right after an episode - it's tradition because they're afraid people might not watch it otherwise if they don't get a teaser.
But from fans of MLP I would have expected better. And this can't just be explained away with autism. I know that that manifest as an inability to put oneself in someone else's shoes, but that alone can't be it. It's good old non-caring about others; low social intelligence. One of the many aspects in which the MLP fandom is just like any other fandom or society in general.

 

A person who doesn't appreciate being surprised by a new episode, who doesn't enjoy the mystery and wait, but has so little discipline that impatience and own wants determine their decisions, has a mind imbalance. A mind that wants to control and accumulate. A tendency that also seeks to subdue the show to their will instead of respectfully bowing to its greatness and making an effort to live up to it. This issue is not limited to the MLP fandom, but manifests in many areas of society; it's a general problem.

 

So I had taken my personal consequences from experiences in this area, distancing myself from people and platforms where that common decency wasn't obeyed. Battle-hardened so to speak.
But guess what: It's not enough.

 

Apparently there was a panel at a convention where they catered to that issue and published a preview. I'm quite sure they unmistakably did label it as containing spoilers (because the makers of the show are relatively mature people), but that measure ends at the fans. So what is now reality is that a song from 8 episodes from now (currently the show has summer halftime), melody and lyrics, is being covered by fans. It will likely spread. And you cannot expect spoiler warnings. Because apparently a panel being labeled "spoilers" is not enough of a hint.
I do blame the panelists, too, though, because they had to know what would happen.

 

I remember when I was at a panel where M.A. Larson showed some writing process documents that were not for free publication, only for the panel. Filming and photos forbidden, and that clearly stated.
They still had staff closely watching and enforcing that rule. Insulting demonstration of a lack of trust?
Nope, smartest decision ever. Because without watchers you'd have to expect there to be jerks calling themselves bronies who would disrespect M.A. Larson himself and try to capture the document anyway. Because, you know, he's just some dude and MLP is just a damn TV show. Heard stuff like this from 'fans'.

 

They should have run the same rule for the panel where the song was played.

 

Furthermore, I was at a panel where an interview was to be done and they said no questions about the coming season would be answered in order to avoid spoilers for those who don't want that. There was moaning all throughout the audience! Many people there only cared about their own wants and didn't care about whether that would spoil things for 'their fellow bronies'.

 

I absolutely worship the show, but the fandom keeps disappointing me. And there's no indication for a change, because there aren't really agreed-on standards for the fandom and not enough people with the courage and/or energy to set them.

 

This comes shortly after an animator spoke about another aspect of the same problem complex in the fandom, about denial, and as expected people demonstrating that denial in the comment section.

 

And thus I am still on a quest for a healthy environment, because the sickness around me keeps making ME sick, too. Same result, but two totally opposite causes.

Dowlphin

OK, I'll probably not find the motivation to write a full report about my experience at BUCK Con, so I'll just write smaller pieces whenever I feel like it.

 

While I was sitting in the Auditorium, noticing how the items that were put up for auction were very rare and thus very desirable, generating a lot of charity money, I suddenly realized:

 

 

 

That charity auction is an example of how Rarity inspires generosity!

Dowlphin

Wanted to say this. To maybe make you pause and meditate.

 

It's based on my own experiences.

 

There is a staunch brony hater who calls me his friend and says he respects me.

He never hurt me. ... Maybe because I don't expect much from him.

 

But is it wrong to expect at least a minimum amount of decency from a fan of a show like MLP that conveys certain values and is so full of inspiring beauty?

 

There are self-proclaimed bronies who I, without trying to exaggerate, can only describe as vile scum, fervently perverting everything the show stands for. Sometimes their amount of denial and lack of self-awareness is borderline comical.

 

Dan Vs. might be another show on The Hub, but when you think "brony", an image of Dan would be among the last things popping into your head, no?

 

I know, I should expect these things. But it's still saddening.

 

 

Feel free to comment. For more extensive discussion, you can also talk here: http://mlpforums.com/topic/101832-some-brony-haters-are-more-decent-people-than-some-bronies

Dowlphin

When Twilight Sparkle was made to experience her worst fear by Sombra's Door, Spike came quickly and interrupted its captivating influence. But I think without Spike, Twilight would have made it on her own, too. Spike broke the spell while she was still fully in the grasp of her fears.

The opportunity lies in allowing this to continue on its own. What would have happened is this: Exactly because it is her worst fear, it would have a devastating effect. A prolonged experience would be unbearable for her, thus creating the necessity to find her source of inner strength, to empower and call upon the little bright light of positivity buried under those fears, and because Twilight is also very smart, she would eventually figure out that this cannot be 'right'. She would stop believing that any experience she might have could be that horrible and desperate, and that refusal of belief in her fears, combined with the gained skill in tapping into her positive spirit regardless of the circumstances, would allow her to overcome them.

 

I know this because I have experienced a process like that with ayahuasca. That's how emotional healing works ... the hard way ... when less severe means aren't available or sufficient.

 

So this is actually the weakness in Sombra's Door: Less severe fears are way more tricky. People can learn to live with them, to incorporate them into their life, they don't catch attention, thus they can remain undetected. But fully experiencing one's worst fears isn't sustainable and thus carries in itself the seed of its demise. We are unwilling and unable to live with them, and when fighting this battle inside of the mind, at the end the only casualty can be the fear that struck root there. Ironically, Sombra's Door magic is too powerful to be able to prevail.

Dowlphin

So Many Wonders!

What is this ace

filled with so many wonders?

Casting his spell

That you are now under

Squirrels in the tease

and the cute little punnies

Birds flipping free

and Dowlphin pees honey

Hooooonneeeeeeey!

 

Oooh, I'm a magical ace

and I owe it all to Pinkie Pie's ways

If I knew that sound had so much up its sleeve

I'd have composed sooner, and never grieve

Yes, I move everyooooone!

Dowlphin

FOREWORD: It was hard for me to get into the mood at first when right at the beginning of ep25 I was reminded of an incident a while ago where someone on the forums was inconsiderately posting spoilers about it where it didn't belong (Apparently some Hasbro spoilers I had missed because I only watch the show!) and had his behavior 100% protected and guarded by forum administration. By far not the first time I got loads of horseapples from that direction (and other areas of the fandom), that's why I stay away from there now and only write in the blog part. It got too infuriating again lately to observe the fertile ground for growing problems. ... The insanity of the world, you know.

... Now to some talking pastel ponies in magic land.
 

I will write this commentary roughly along the timeline and in the format of the thoughts that came up while watching.


EPISODE 25:

So the mane 6 and Spike, all of them, go into an intense book-hitting,... but they didn't recruit Starlight Glimmer?!

The paradise of Equestria, where chewing on pencils is (for anatomical reasons) totally fine:

pic1.jpg.6eaaeb908f8ba9988a321b4ae08687fd.jpg

No heartcrossing or toflyhoping this time...

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Derplejack :muffins:

pic3.jpg.60c4f361244e4cbb30398fb686d0fe8a.jpg

Who needs to decypher old ponish to figure out it's the Temple of Ponehenge if you got a picture of the location?

pic4.jpg.93f2f11e932c8e824d5b74fbb42d1083.jpg

Sooo... I can't stop hearing "Pwnhenge". :lol:

Once again AJ is skittling. (Tasting the rainbow.) She did that strikingly often during the beginning of the show. This is almost like a little nostalgia reference:

pic5.jpg.f4cf4df51eb9fd8c3c68493b4c8d9e15.jpg

When Starswirl said they didn't come to defeat the Pony of Shadows (who for brevity and hilarity I will just call "PoS" from now on :P) but to contain him, I thought: Well, imprisoning him in a realm where no time passes kinda is defeating. Just as you can explode twice, you can defeat someone twice. :mustache:

So that other dimension to banish the PoS to is called "Limbo". The show keeps picking up mythical concepts of past times, heh. :smug: My little Popeny :smug:

When the mane 6 started collecting artifacts we learned that AJ suddenly has powers beyond what we would have imagined. That rock she kicked away was disturbingly big. ... Must have been pumice. I wish Maud had been there to comment. Was certainly very conveniently timed, but we can attribute that to the time constraints of the show finale.

In the same style we also learn that Rarity is a super-gardener who can, like if at all we would only have imagined Twilight Sparkle, magically transform an overgrown mess into a royal palace garden with lots of healthy plants that all somehow seemed to merely have been covered by ugly half-dead vegetation. And in the process she can get all kinds of stuff in her hair despite merely pointing her horn all around.

It is so easy to make Pinkie Pie happy. :lol:

pic6.jpg.b0423806397f99788458a8d1180c111a.jpg

When Twilight had finally made a mess, I thought she should have listened to Starlight and have a plan B ready. Dunno why I assumed the plan was specifically designed to only bring back the wardens. - Oh well, opportunity for finally resolving the issue. Not unlike the Nightmare Moon thing.


EPISODE 26:


Why, oh, why was Twilight so hasty with saving them when they were all trapped in a timeless state? OK, we later learn why, but it was already apparent here that she did it out of fan-admiration reasons, because obviously Equestria didn't really need the aid of Starswirl.
Personal note: Fans can indeed be quite selfish.

Starswirl then reveals that he's not the scholar we assumed when he said the words "for a millennia", when it is "for a millennium". :P OK, maybe the long banishment caused him to confuse singular and plural. Maybe the portal was a plurality and should have been a singularity! ^_^
Another theory would be that this was related to another thing I noticed in that scene: Why is nopony there speaking old ponish? Did they slip in a translation spell in there without saying? Starswirl and his gang shouldn't be able to communicate with the ponies of the present.


At the castle was one of my favorite scenes because it listed the elemental association - I'm into that meaningful symbolic stuff:

hope -> Pinkie Pie (laughter) ... more like hop :lol:
strength -> Applejack (honesty)
beauty -> Rarity (generosity)
bravery -> Rainbow Dash (loyalty)
healing -> Fluttershy (kindness)
sorcery -> Twilight Sparkle (magic)

You might know about the AJ+RD elemental confusion thesis, and here I would say if you swapped the two again, you could see how being honest requires one to be brave and how it takes inner strength to remain loyal. But apparently the associations from the old crew were not to match to the new elements so much as to the traits of the ponies. Fluttershy has a big heart, and that is THE source of healing. But laughter can also be healing, and hope can come from the heart, so there's another ambiguity there. One could really dive deep into philosophy here. The unicorns, Rarity and Twilight, had the most straightforward and fitting associations.

Alright, moving on.

Seems like an obvious nod to the MLP movie. (Which I haven't watched yet, but it is neigh-impossible to escape this iconic aspect of it.)

Spoiler

pic7.jpg.a350746c7d067ae06003389a37c3ae35.jpg

Then Starlight tried to console Twilight by saying "You didn't know it would happen." and my playful mind added "And I wish I had warned you. ... Oh wait." :bedeyes:

Then Twilight goes and in still not having learned her lesson, tries to fix the problem by applying the same mindset yet again.

Then in a later scene her friends defend her against Starswirl's skepticism by saying she doesn't do anything half-way. Oh really? Didn't the whole crisis stem from Twilight doing a risky maneuver of pulling beings out of a prison dimension without planning for fixing it if it turns out to be a bad idea? I would call that literally half-way. :umad:

Twilight getting words of approval from Starswirl: The face of fangasmic life fulfillment.

pic8.jpg.b4b54112102c45d70e0ac53843222627.jpg

When Starlight finally suggested talking to the PoS, I was like: Yeah, that was like my very first though. The PoS seemed quite open and talkative after the summoning.
This is maybe part of the progress the realm has made over the idea of glorious fighting against evil. It represents a summary of past successes in Equestria, showing how the old ways are for the past and the new ways are more powerful, have more heart. (This is a lesson our world is struggling with heavily.)
Starswirl is basically too much of an old grump, inflexible as people can get with age, carrying a grudge against Stygian.
Starlight, you've been through this in the past: When someone keeps making mistakes and you see what's happening, see the folly unfold, you gotta be assertive!

Then we have a flackback scene where - as another franchise nod - we see sirens troubling the lands. And when they showed banishing them in another Limbo portal, I thought: Hmm, maybe he accidentally chose the wrong dimension? I could imagine where they ended up. :ooh:

Land of the pink moon! Sold! :pinkie:

pic9.jpg.6e3b5df61215124a41efeb3f952c3743.jpg
And a nice fadeover with pink again:

pic10.jpg.9545494775b5ece77fb9c09b842156cf.jpg

The theme around the resolution of this little story is again a bit relatable to me, since I do a lot of sociological observation, and as quite often, I see a bit of sad irony or hidden lesson here.
The 'heroes' habitually take the credit for their deeds, but forget to credit those who made valuable contribution behind the scenes, if you will. (I am reminded a bit of the latest Daring Do episode - different point but related issue.)
And here comes the kicker: It is happening again. At the very moment they resolve the issue with Stygian, what do we see? Twilight Sparkle again being lauded as the Princes of Friendship, how she always manages to bring friendship into the world, as if SHE wasn't the clumsy student who needs her friend's help time and again, and here I was amazed at how well Starlight took it, considering she was the actual hero of the story. At that point I totally expected Twilight to mention how it was Starlight who practiced the magic of friendship there. Instead she had to bring it up by herself and got a brief seemingly humbled remark from Starswirl that contained the word "I" but not "you". I found that really vexing especially in the context of what had just happened. And as if that wasn't enough, at Canterlot Castle Starswirl again showered Twilight with praise about the magic of friendship. I mean, OK, I get it that Twilight reformed Starlight, but that, too, was something she only managed thanks to the support of her friends.
Only in the very last seconds, in a kind of "in private" moment, Twilight made a gesture of giving credit. As if her reputation or anything forbade her from giving credit publicly.

Starswirl said: "In turning away from others, you hurt yourself as well." And I feel compelled to connect that to my real life experience, because things are easily said as if they were universal rules. Sometimes turning away is the healthier option, or the only one. Some challenges are far too great. Although that is where concentrated virtue like with the mane 6 can pull it off. Stygian might not have seen a chance back then, being one pony against the group. We don't know the kind of energy that has accumulated among them. If a whole group turns away from one person, if they all share the same issue, there are some nasty energies going around.
This is why what is very powerful is to accept things the way they are in order to change them. They couldn't have defeated the PoS with condemnation, without accepting that he existed because of what came before.

You cannot change the past, only learn from it.

Dowlphin

A few thoughts that I had while watching the awesome finale:

 

 

1) Tabitha St. Germain does a pretty good job giving Rarity and Luna different voices, but during the singing part, I realized that maybe they should have looked for a different singing VA for Luna (= not Kazumi Evans), because I think no one did not notice how Luna's singing sounded identical to Rarity's singing.

Hell, if nothing else worked, maybe they could just have done some careful pitch-lowering in post-processing. It just felt way too weird to hear Rarity sing from Luna's mouth.

 

 

2) Did you notice that Luna was uncredited for a long time? I'm not sure right now, but the first time her VA appeared in the credits in connection to Luna might have been in the beginning of season 3.

 

 

3) It took Twilight a while to think about Discord's bookmarks (it was obvious to me right away), and it makes sense considering she didn't really accept him as a friend, and then she said that she hates to admit that Discord might have been trying to be a good friend after all. ... What the hay? Now how is that meant?! Why do you hate being wrong about your belief that Discord hasn't changed? Shouldn't you be happy that you might have been wrong, hm?

Just as you should be happy when you were wrong a moment later when you told Pinkie regarding the key and the box "I don't think that's gonna work." and it did work.

Twilight Sparkle didn't believe in Discord's change because she had trouble with changing herself.

 

But she is/was also delusional, because while sometimes she is open about her resentment for Discord, at one point in the finale she said:

 

"How can he do this? I thought our friendship meant something to him."

 

This sounds quite arrogant. She merely tolerated Discord, like an inconvenient necessity to keep in check, and then she says something like that.

All I can say is that I have witnessed this degree of trouble comprehending basics of friendship and sincerity in people, so I'm not saying this is unrealistic. It's just that I'd have expected better from Twilight Sparkle. ... Hm, then again... I sometimes say the same about real life people.

 

So Twilight said: "I thought he had changed". But her attitude towards him didn't change that much.

Someone once told me something I'd call remarkable spiritual wisdom that's worth exploring:

 

People change once you change your perception of them.

 

This ties into the next point...

 

 

4) Some people say they expected Discord to be playing Tirek for a fool, but not me. I think he did the betrayal because he didn't experience much friendship from the mane 6 except from Fluttershy, so his old life was still enough of a temptation. He felt like Fluttershy was merely providing him an anchor of friendship in an otherwise unaccepting social environment.

If anyone deserves the title "Princess of Friendship", it should be Fluttershy. I empathize a lot with her regarding this matter, and had I been around in Equestria, I'd be the best of friends with Discord, especially in tandem with Fluttershy. (But maybe this is also because of my Pinkie nature.)

 

 

5) Then there was that huge plot issue that was like the absolute low point of the finale writing:

Virtually everypony in Equestria knows about Alicorn Princess Twilight, yet Celestia thinks she can 'hide' the fact that there is a fourth princess and have their magic safely tucked away in Twilight.

The huge blunder with the stained glass window was just the icing on the cake that further underlined how she totally didn't think this through.

 

 

6) There was a remarkable scene where Discord was robbed of his magic. He mixed his old ambition with his new virtues and thus put trust in a villain, as Fluttershy would have done.

 

It is then very nothworthy and surely fully intended by the writers how just like Fluttershy a moment before regarding Discord's betrayal, Discord, once betrayed by Tirek, weepily said the same thing, that he didn't see it coming. Identical dialogue. This underlines how much influence Fluttershy as a true friend had on him, while he was lacking the strength and virtue of the friendship from the other five ponies, thus he probably sought it from Tirek.

 

 

7) The end credits state Tabitha St. Germain as the VA for Photo Finish. Where did Photo Finish speak? I didn't notice that.

 

 

8) It would have been cool if the alicorn-depowerment left them looking somewhat different, Luna for example in her season 1 look, and Celestia maybe without her mane multicoloring. Also, while it was probably impossible due to lack of the necessary writer foresight, it would have been neat if Luna's flank speckles turned out to be something she got due to her Nightmare Moon phase. (But we already saw a kind of 1000 year flashback where she had them, so this would have been a contradiction.)

Oh well, speckles aren't anything uncommon for horses, so I guess it's fine.

 

 

9) And now... I invite you to check out the 12 caption pictures I made to express various other brief thoughts that came up during watching the finale as well as hunting for good frame captures. I didn't link the pictures here directly because the descriptions are part of that style of my commentary.

http://dowlphin.deviantart.com/gallery/46824988

Dowlphin

I watched that episode a second time now and my mind was quite active, so this is roughly what the title says: I'll write down the thoughts I had while watching the episode. Times mentioned are estimates/rounded. Enjoy/discuss! :squee:

 

 

3:00:

Ms. Harshwhinnie reprimands Rainbow Dash and asks her to show more professionalism. ... And I thought: Professionalism, hm? Like reprimanding Rainbow Dash and threatening to take away her coach role right in front of the whole school class? >_>

 

 

5:30:

The CMC are trying to think of what's special about Ponyville. Eventually Scootaloo says: "It's a place where different kinds of ponies live together as friends."

Soooo... does that mean that other places like Manehattan or Canterlot are racist and/or practice segregation? Is it a taboo to be friends with a different type of pony elsewhere? :okiedokielokie:

 

 

Musical number:

I had to laugh at the fact that their walking is totally not in sync with the rhythm. So apparently this is not reserved for fan-made PMVs. Wouldn't have expected that. :huh:

 

 

When the Terrible Two did their psychological warfare, mocking the CMC for not having cutie marks, I looked at theirs and thought: Man! This would be such a great job for reformed Discord! :umad: What an awesome episode that would make!

 

 

10 minutes:

We see/hear, as a first in the show, audible thoughts - from Rainbow Dash. But Ms. Harshwhinnie's urge to be professional is 'still warm'. It's not like people with Alzheimer are watching. I remember wishing for this feature in other situations, in earlier episodes, where it would have made things feel a lot more natural, and then the first time they use it, it's not necessary at all in order for the scene to work properly. -_-

 

 

19 minutes:

When Rainbow Dash tells Scootaloo that she doesn't have to fly during the flag carrying segment of the Equestria Games if she can't, that this is what makes Ponyville so special, I couldn't help but think: Errrr... like ... special...olympics? :blink:

Dowlphin

There are some thematic similarities to the episode Forever Filly, but more basically this was a total unicorn episode. Maud was the only non-unicorn, but she fit in just fine because of the theme.

The issue I see portrayed here that the episode sadly didn't even quite touch on due to it being like a unicorn mind bubble is that friendship based on common interests alone, not on interest in each other, is a relatively weak friendship. It's a wholly different level to base it on deeper bonds than just shared interests. New discoveries and all matters of the mind might delight the heart, but when they are gone, so is the delight. And usually just being together a lot in childhood creates a strong bond by itself, but here we saw an example where that, too, was just based on shared interests. (I have a deliberately puzzling saying to sum this up: "True friendship is nothing personal.")
Thus, Starlight was closed to just sharing joy with her friend, to generate/practice friendship instead of just expecting to reap the fruits. Her openness is very conditional; her friendship is not practiced in appreciation of itself. Once again I am reminded how Fluttershy should be the actual princess of friendship. She is very heart-focused, and that's where the source of potentially infinite strength lies. In fact, because of how she helped Discord, she should be the Princess Of Mighty Friendship (POMF).
:squee: And since Pinkie Pie's element is laughter, she should be the Princess of Neighs (PoNeigh). :lol: But I digress.

This episode could maybe also be considered somewhat autism-themed, since these things seem typical troubles that autistic people face in their life. This would at least explain why the resolution was very modest and still based on the characters' traits that caused the trouble in the first place. A doing-what-works kind of approach that also preserves their character archetypes.

When Starlight commented on how the warehouse looked smaller on the outside, that was an amusing self-joke. Who didn't think exactly that? "Where the hay is that huge warehouse in Ponyville? Never seen it before."

Judging by the bed scene, Sunburst seems to have gotten too used to wearing his robe. Or maybe the reason he is wearing it all the time is because he's got some kind of insecurity. Starlight seems to know, since she's not inquiring about it. This is the same kind of oddity as with Fluttershy in an early episode. It's generally a bit of a downer to me if the writers ignore the characters' pony nature and just make them act like pony-shaped humans.

I found the brief Maud comedy dialogue very witty. Selfless humor, all in the perception, not in the performer. But then she kinda blew it and revealed she's just got a Cmdr. Data approach to it. From the show audience perspective it still worked though. She was funny when she claimed she wasn't and then wasn't funny when she claimed she was.

Dowlphin

I like to say there's no such thing as a bad Fluttershy episode, but I have to and gladly will expand that to Pinkie episodes. Not much more to say here. I just enjoyed it way too much to do an analysis. :lol:

And I love the idea of half-birthdays. Such a pinkie thing. :pinkie:

Pinkie.Scriptum.: When it comes to hugs, she knows what she's doing. If the hug is too tight, you are too tight. :)

Oh and did anyone else see this for a brief moment?... :ooh:

Antlerjack

( I've drawn this myself. https://dowlphin.deviantart.com/art/Antlerjack-710062236 )

I definitely had to raise awareness of severe pie deficiency a moment later... :okiedokieloki:

 

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Dowlphin

Not much to say for me on details here. Slight connections to Fame and Misfortune. When Twilight made a deal with Iron Will, the problem and likely chain of events was obvious.

They need to take the helm and do what Iron Will had in mind, but their way, through sincerity. A bit of a soft mutiny, maybe. Twilight could still improve her leadership skills there. Maybe get some assertiveness lessons from Fluttershy? :squee: (Oh well, as I said, it was predictable that things would turn out that way in the end anyway. Just make sure you apply this awareness to your life, too.) I just found it very unlikely how Twilight could miss the Northern Stars, considering she was looking in their direction, with only the ship's cabin blocking the view.

Lesson: Don't make deals with crooks, but set them straight, set proper standards. That contract wasn't even legit, considering nopony but Twilight's parents signed it. But apart from that, while law is a worthwhile concept, there are higher virtues that trump it. The Dao De Jing puts kindness over justice. The former is more powerful than the latter, i.e. it does not practice justice, yet somehow takes care of its concerns, too.

It is a really good book that I would suggest Twilight to read, so here's the segment from it that I am referring to, from a modern-language version (http://www.beatrice.com/TAO-pamphlet.pdf):

38.
People with integrity
don't even think about it.
That's how you can tell
they have integrity.
Other people talk about
how much integrity they have,
when they really don't have much.
If any.

Truly powerful people
don't do anything,
but they get the job done.
Other people are always busy
doing something,
but nothing ever gets done.

When kind people act,
they do so without thinking about it.
When the just act,
they're always sure
they're doing the right thing.
But when the righteous act,
and nobody reacts,
they try to force everyone
to do things their way.

If you're not in touch with Tao,
at least you can still have integrity.
If you don't have integrity,
there's always kindness.
If you don't have kindness,
there's always justice.
If you don't have justice,
all you have left is righteousness.

 

Dowlphin

Right at the beginning when I saw Kettle Corn, I was like: Woah! Bagua calligraphy! ^^
The haiku thing then made it pretty clear that hers is an Asian arts theme. In case you didn't know, circle painting is a very profound practice about reading and getting to know yourself and your interaction with the world and ensuing inner state. I also want to point out that writing a haiku is about more than the 5-7-5 format. Good haikus contain a bit of a turn of expected events or such, surprising the reader in an enlightening-entertaining way.
- An example of mine:

On the mountain's peak
Eagles circling beneath me
Sky reaches so deep

The episode touches many angles all worth pondering. Rumble was a bit of a wakeup call for the CMC's 'just doing their thing' and becoming a bit inflexible in their mind that way. Him being driven by own issues and rallying others to seek external affirmation and avoidance is of course another common theme, but in that he also had a teacher role. The CMC were right though that cutie marks have a mind on their own (I would say they're a symptom of the inherent Equestrian magic of the land) and one can always trust them to be a wise guide.

We probably don't have to mention that it was kinda obvious what Rumble's issue was early-on. But as I said, in a way only half of his issue was in lack of understanding (of his older brother) on his part. The other half was in the CMC's lack of realizing what was going on.

This episode's lesson is close to me because I have experienced something like this myself. I once participated in something meant to heal and guide, but the organizers were so used to just doing their thing again and again that they got stuck in a rut and had become a bit inflexible in their mind, going in opposition to what the healing and guidance is supposed to be all about. But that served an important purpose, a little crisis that needed to be experienced by all involved. And that's also the spirit of MLP episodes. Conflict arises as a means to shed light on things that need to be resolved.

Dowlphin

Two episodes with Zecora in a row. Nice. Maybe the writers, as I, thought that she hadn't been around for such a long time that she deserves the extra screen time.
And a whole episode full of Fluttershy. Sweeeeeeet! :yay:

OK, some throughs while watching:

- How can Zecora possibly not know about those flowers? She seems to know those flash bees, she's pretty much a herbal witch at home in the place, she knows about poison joke, but not about what those blue flowers can do that are floating around, falling from trees?

- Fluttershy being out of breath from running to the castle... Why didn't she just fly? Is she really faster on hoof than flying? :dash:

- When she presented the situation to Twilight, it was probably just to not waste episode time and because miscommunication wasn't a tool of the plot, but to me as a communication buff it is always a joy to witness right-to-the-point talk like that, haha. She might have picked that up from Pinkie Pie. :)

- They were so worried about Zecora coughing bubbiles, but I don't find that so bad. Ask Pinkie Pie what she thinks about this. :pinkie:

- I kinda expected that Zecora would eventually lose her ability to rhyme, heh. Those weird blue flower diseases like to shake things up massively.

- The two 'Fluttershy door puzzles' in a row were kinda hilarious. :lol:

All those technical points aside, the message of this episode was very dear to me. ( And it was a Fluttershy episode! Always a huge plus! :squee: )
She cares so much for others that she can through cases like this enter an extreme imbalance that helps no one. After all, maybe the information about the mask WAS there in the book all along, as visualized, but she was too tired to make the connection. Then again...
What was a bit of the usual odd writing though was that in three days our smart pony Twilight couldn't figure out a solution. (But these maneuvers are kinda common in writing, actually.)

Another closely related lesson of the episode is that when you obsess too much over something, your mind blocks itself from utilizing things like intuition and calm observation. Sometimes you just gotta sleep over it to see more clearly.

 

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