OK, good afternoon everypony, and welcome back to another edition of "Batbrony Reviews"! Well, well, well, did we get a treat this morning to kick off the second half of Season 6, or what??? Oh my goodness, "Stranger Than Fan Fiction." It's been awhile since the show had a love letter to the fans, but man oh man, when they do a love letter they bucking hit it out of the PARK! Let's dive into a real treat folks, without further ado, this is "Stranger Than Fan Fiction."
Being nerdy is AWESOME!!! It must be so if Rainbow Dash is one!
So given how much of a love letter to the fans this was, let's just focus on that. The plot isn't all that important, nor even the characters (at least not old ones like Rainbow Dash), though it did have a very heartfelt and well-delivered message. Basically, the whole episode is a celebration of all things fandom and nerdy, as well as a really well thought out examination of what makes for a good nerd and one who's taking things too far. This all centers around Quibble Pants, the AMAZING new supporting pony voiced by Patton Oswalt basically playing himself, because Patton Oswalt is a bonified nerd but also one who's very self aware of nerd tropes. Anyways, for most of the episode he exemplifies the "Nitpicky Nerd." We all know the type, and we've probably been that type at some point in our time as a nerd. The nerd who gets hung up over tiny details that might not matter, or who thinks that any nerd who disagrees with them on something is somehow less of a nerd than them because of it.
Now here's the beauty of this episode and this character. The episode does not flat out say he's wrong. It becomes clear as the adventure continues that, yes, Daring Do's adventures are kind of ridiculous. Her enemies are very stupid and predictable at times, the most unrealistic coincidences just happen, and seemingly impossible feats are regularly pulled off. BUT what the episode does is turn that around on Quibble Pants by the end so that he finally realizes that all those elements, things he's never liked about the newer Daring Do novels/adventures, are things worthy of praise as well, even they're not his cup of tea. The seemingly impossible feats and over-the-top adventures, those are just as great as the smarter aspects of Daring Do like her puzzle solving and sharp wits. And we've all been there. I know I for one love, love, LOVE the original Star Wars trilogy so much more than the prequels, to the point that I have a hard time even thinking of them belonging to the same franchise. But if someone enjoys the prequels, who am I to say they can't or shouldn't; after all, there is still a lot of cool world-building in the Star Wars universe that came from them, so that's something to be sure! The point of the episode is that there is no such thing as "Nerd Group Think." Each and every nerd, like people in general, are their own unique individual with their own unique tastes. Take me for example! I count Batman/DC, MLP, Marvel, Star Wars, anime, and classic films among the things I most nerd out about. What a wide, wide array of things, right?! And there's a beauty in that diversity, a beauty in the notion of all these different types of fans who love all these properties for so many different reasons. In many ways, this episode retread themes very similar to the Season 5 opening, just in a less serious and more nerd-focused manner. But it was a beautiful love letter to MLP fans and nerds everywhere, with a wise lesson to boot, and that alone makes it a great episode.
Of course, there were other things as well. Honestly, my favorite half of the episode was the first one. Don't get me wrong, the Daring Do adventure was a lot of fun, mostly because Quibble Pants added a whole new element to it. BUT the Daring Do convention was PURE JOY! I am so, so happy that I went to BronyCon before this, because otherwise I might not have appreciated that bit nearly as much. But now that I've been to a con, I can seriously say that they without a doubt NAILED THAT!!! Everything about the con setting was amazing, the vendors hall, the cosplaying, the nerdy arguments, heck, Rainbow Dash meeting Quibble Pants! Things like that happen, I met so many people whose names I didn't even learn but who I just talked with because we were nerding out over MLP that weekend! This was a con, a very, very accurate representation of one, and I was honestly sad when they left the con setting. There were even some really hilarious jokes for the adults in the audience. I mean, apparently in this kids show it is now canon that there are body pillows of Daring Do, including one depicting her bound! That... is... AMAZING (and kinky).
I don't know, but I have so many confusing feelings in my head right now!
I'll take one of the tied up ones
DON'T JUDGE ME!!!
Cosplaying is now canon, fan fiction got brought up yet again, there was fan art, vendors, even a HILARIOUS food vendor who took way too much joy in Rainbow Dash and Quibble Pants' original spat in the background (seriously, watch for her in that scene, she is HILARIOUS!!!). This whole con setting was just pure joy through and through, and seeing Rainbow Dash at it of all ponies was simply the best. I mean, she can't deny it out, she is a total nerd. I loved every single moment of that part of the episode, and it made me just want to get back to another con again.
"Heheheh, bucking nerds."
Give this pony a boop! Her amusement is hilarious.
Nerds and cosplaying, nerds and cosplaying EVERYWHERE!
Besides that, this was easily Rainbow Dash's best episode of the season so far. It's been too long since we've seen nerdy Rainbow Dash, and it's always so much fun to see that side of her personality ever since Season 2 and how unapologetic she is about it. Seeing Daring Do return was great as well, she's always a fun character and my only complaint was that we didn't see more of her. Also, Caballeron as the villain was just the best. First of all, he needed more screen time since usually most focus has been on Ahuizotl as Daring Do's archnemesis, but man oh man were the jokes just flying with Caballeron, particularly Quibble Pants's insistence that he was a cheap, knock-off actor playing a villain poorly.
Rainbow, what are you doing? Rainbow, stahp.
Finally, this episode just had some of the most self-aware, meta humor we've ever seen in the show and I loved every minute of it. This could've gone very badly, but the writing was incredibly clever and again, the fact that they were able to balance so much humor with an actually really good message is to be commended. Overall, we couldn't have asked for a better episode to kick off the second half of the season, nor a better love letter to the fans and nerds everywhere. Pony on everypony, and welcome to the herd Patton Oswalt, we're so happy to have you! That's it for this week everypony. Until next week, this is Batbrony signing off. I'm off! *cue dramatic exit*
P.S. HOLY CRAP, SURPRISE DERPY COSPLAYING APPEARANCE WHICH I DIDN'T EVEN CATCH!!!
Best cosplay hooves down, she gonna win ALL the cosplay contests!