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Hearth's Warming Helper


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Found 212 results

  1. With the show having come to a conclusion, we can now get some insight onto how well the initial viewings for every episode and the averages for every season went. And the results are pretty interesting.
  2. So guys? What'll it be? What is the best takeout food?
  3. Dabmanz

    Yona Fan Club

    Yona is best Yak Here is Pony fanclub for Best Yak who is Yona who is best. When I searched in the fan clubs thread I was surprised there was no Fanclub of the best Yak.
  4. After I failed Fake It 'Til You Make It, I decided to put all 28 failed episodes in order from worst F- minus to least worst F+. That list eventually expanded into a complete list of episodes I graded, from the best letter-plus episode to the worst letter-minus, . The statuses can be found here: A episodes, B episodes, C episodes, D episodes, and F episodes. With each list compiled, I'm taking every episode in the show and arranged it in order from the best to the worst. The list is always subject to change; episodes could be upgraded or downgraded at anytime. S9 episodes are in bold underline. Those aired early are under "spoiler" tags. To see every piece of FIM media I graded (and how I graded each episode for each season), click here. That gets updated during each season and possibly in between or during the offseason, if I changed one. And for readability purposes, I sectioned each list with "— — —" in between. Let's begin! The Perfect Pear: A+ The Best Night Ever: A+ Crusaders of the Lost Mark: A+ Amending Fences: A+ Shadow Play: A+ The Big Mac Question: A+ The Last Crusade: A+ Sparkle's Seven: A+ Sisterhooves Social: A+ The Cutie Map: A+ A Rockhoof and a Hard Place: A+ Parental Glideance: A+ The Break Up Break Down: A+ Party of One: A+ — — — The Last Problem: A Testing Testing 1, 2, 3: A Pinkie Pride: A The Hearth's Warming Club: A Slice of Life: A Dragon Dropped: A Suited for Success: A Road to Friendship: A The Summer Sun Setback: A The Washouts: A Lesson Zero: A Sleepless in Ponyville: A Hurricane Fluttershy: A Between Dark and Dawn: A The Times They Are A Changeling: A Flight to the Finish: A The Mean 6: A Common Ground: A Frenemies: A A Hearth's Warming Tail: A The Saddle Row Review: A Surf and/or Turf: A Marks and Recreation: A Grannies Gone Wild: A Cutie Re-Mark: A — — — Castle Sweet Castle: A- The Cutie Mark Chronicles: A- Once Upon a Zeppelin: A- The Fault in Our Cutie Marks: A- Sounds of Silence: A- Discordant Harmony: A- Wonderbolts Academy: A- She's All Yak: A- The Mane Attraction: A- Uncommon Bond: A- The Return of Harmony: A- Horse Play: A- For Whom the Sweetie Belle Toils: A- Gauntlet of Fire: A- Bloom & Gloom: A- Molt Down: A- What Lies Beneath: A- The Last Laugh: A- It Isn't the Mane Thing About You: A- All Bottled Up: A- The Point of No Return: A- Winter Wrap Up: A- — — — A Flurry of Emotions: B+ The Beginning of the End: B+ Rarity Takes Manehattan: B+ She Talks to Angel: B+ Luna Eclipsed: B+ Scare Master: B+ Friendship University: B+ A Horse Shoe-In: B+ Call of the Cutie: B+ Student Counsel: B+ Marks for Effort: B+ Magic Duel: B+ Pinkie Apple Pie: B+ Viva Las Pegasus: B+ The Parent Map: B+ Uprooted: B+ To Change a Changeling: B+ On Your Marks: B+ — — — Daring Doubt: B Apple Family Reunion: B Family Appreciation Day: B The Crystalling: B Green Isn't Your Color: B Hearth's Warming Eve: B Secret of My Excess: B Top Bolt: B Rainbow Roadtrip: B The Last Roundup: B The End in Friend: B Inspiration Manifestation: B A Health of Information: B Sweet and Smoky: B Fall Weather Friends: B School Raze: B Look Before You Sleep: B Twilight Time: B Rarity Investigates!: B The Maud Couple: B Dungeons & Discords: B Sonic Rainboom: B A Friend in Deed: B — — — Sweet and Elite: B- Triple Threat: B- School Daze: B- Applebuck Season: B- Read It and Weep: B- It's About Time: B- Castle Mane-ia: B- Celestial Advice: B- Going to Seed: B- Canterlot Boutique: B- Stranger Than Fan Fiction: B- Hearthbreakers: B- Twilight's Kingdom: B- A Trivial Pursuit: B- Dragonshy: B- Swarm of the Century: B- Not Asking for Trouble: B- Father Knows Beast: B- Where the Apple Lies: B- — — — Forever Filly: C+ Campfire Tales: C+ Rock Solid Friendship: C+ Maud Pie: C+ Made in Manehattan: C+ Too Many Pinkie Pies: C+ The Best Gift Ever: C+ Make New Friends but Keep Discord: C+ Daring Done?: C+ The Gift of Maud Pie: C+ Three's a Crowd: C+ Baby Cakes: C+ — — — Power Ponies: C A Dog and Pony Show: C The Lost Treasure of Griffonstone: C Friendship Is Magic: C Leap of Faith: C Applejack's "Day" Off: C The One Where Pinkie Knows: C The Cutie Pox: C The Ending of the End: C Fluttershy Leans In: C — — — Buckball Season: C- Magical Mystery Cure: C- Princess Twilight Sparkle: C- Simple Ways: C- Stare Master: C- Party Pooped: C- A Canterlot Wedding: C- Spice Up Your Life: C- Growing Up Is Hard to Do: C- The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000: C- A Royal Problem: C- The Ticket Master: C- A Matter of Principals: C- — — — Over a Barrel: D+ Equestria Games: D+ Griffon the Brush Off: D+ Brotherhooves Social: D+ Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep?: D+ Tanks for the Memories: D+ The Hooffields and McColts: D+ Keep Calm and Flutter On: D+ — — — Filly Vanilli: D A Bird in the Hoof: D Hearts and Hooves Day: D 2, 4, 6, Greaaat: D Just for Sidekicks: D Every Little Thing She Does: D Daring Don't: D Secrets and Pies: D Yakity-Sax: D — — — Feeling Pinkie Keen: D- Spike at Your Service: D- Ponyville Confidential: D- MMMystery on the Friendship Express: D- Non-Compete Clause: D- It Ain't Easy Being Breezies: D- — — — Flutter Brutter: F+ Games Ponies Play: F+ Bats!: F+ The Crystal Empire: F+ — — — No Second Prances: F Honest Apple: F May the Best Pet Win!: F What About Discord?: F Fake It 'Til You Make It: F To Where and Back Again: F Hard to Say Anything: F The Cart Before the Ponies: F Trade Ya!: F Appleoosa's Most Wanted: F The Show Stoppers: F Putting Your Hoof Down: F Somepony to Watch Over Me: F Boast Busters: F P.P.O.V.: F The Mysterious Mare Do Well: F Owl's Well That Ends Well: F Princess Spike: F — — — 28 Pranks Later: F- Rainbow Falls: F- Dragon Quest: F- Bridle Gossip: F- Fame and Misfortune: F- Newbie Dash: F- One Bad Apple: F-
  5. All right, fillies and gentlecolts, you asked for it, and here it is! Er... well... um... I guess you didn't ask for it... BUT IT'S HERE ANYWAY!! THE MEGA POLL. You know what to do. Chop chop. If you feel like making a post as well, I'd love to know what your top five/bottom five are. Here's mine: From most awesomest to least awesomest... The Perfect Pear The Mane Attraction Amending Fences Wonderbolt Academy Shadow Play And from least stinkerous to most stinkerous... Newbie Dash Princess Spike Non-Compete Clause Feeling Pinkie Keen (Just because of the letter) Hard to Say Anything And there you have it. Mods, you would honor me greatly if you would consider pinning this. I really, really want this to take off. I want enough people to vote so that we can get enough data to start to see the fandom trends. Thanks.
  6. So yeah what country's flag do you think is the best?
  7. What my little pony season is the best season in your opinion and why?
  8. The best thing I've ever done was become a fan of the show. After that, I took notes on the certain friendship lessons they learned and tried them out on a new girl. It worked so well, that over time I had a LOT more friends than before. I luv the show and you guys. Thanks so much!
  9. Since there's a thread for Star Wars films, I feel like the other Star franchise needs another thread in the same vein. Anyways, I already did a listing of them a few weeks back, so I guess I'll just copy and paste that here. STII: The Wrath of Khan (This really is one of the best movies of all time IMHO) STVIII: First Contact (I've really grown an absolute love for this movie) STVI: The Undiscovered Country (They really went out with a bang here) ST 2009 (XI) (Ten times better than my dad would say it is, because he takes issue with Kelvin's existence) STIII: The Search for Spock (Underrated, and honestly fairly good third installment) STIV: The Voyage Home (Yes, it's not top 5, and I don't care about the complaints) ST: Beyond (It was actually kind of good, definitely an improvement on Into Darkness) STIX: Insurrection (It wasn't THAT bad... Honestly I thought it was OK) STI: The Motion Picture (*Snoring* Huh? Is it over yet? Seriously, though this one's just boring) ST: Into Darkness (Second half was utter garbage, first half was OK so, tenth?) STVII: Generations (This film honestly should be the worst and has every reason to be, sadly it isn't) STV: The Final Frontier (Absolute, utter garbage that needs to be burned with fire) Haven't Seen: STX: Nemesis (And I don't doubt I'm all the better for it... Janeway as an admiral? OVER PICARD? SERIOUSLY?) Even with its, less than savory installments, It manages to have 7 good films with only 3 bad ones (well probably four, but gladly will just not see Nemesis).
  10. This was a top 10 list with lengthy explanations for each choice, but then I realized that it would be way too much of a hassle to get through the rest of it, so have this tier list instead. I'd rather not deal with just having a perpetually unfinished list and not really being able to do what I had otherwise planned to without it weighing me down. Not to mention, I'd pretty much just be repeating myself with different statistics and a different dumb line at the end so it isn't a wall of facts, and I'd have to rearrange the list to keep up with certain things. Also your welcome Mr. Nitpick (that grammatical error is there on purpose). This list is primarily based on statistics, though there is a little bit of personal bias here and there. S+: None S-: Washington, New Hampshire, Vermont A+: Colorado, Hawaii, Iowa, Virginia, Nebraska, Utah, Idaho A-: Minnesota, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Wisconsin B+: Florida, South Dakota, Delaware, Oregon, North Dakota, Rhode Island B-: North Carolina, Georgia, Missouri, Montana, Wyoming, New Jersey C+: Indiana, Illinois, New York, Maine, Nevada, Pennsylvania, South Carolina C-: Ohio, Texas, Oklahoma, Michigan, Arkansas, Tennessee, California, Kentucky D+: Arizona, West Virginia, Mississippi, New Mexico, Alaska D-: Louisiana, Alabama Washington D.C.: D+ (It's not a state, I know, why it's not on the actual list) Changes: Utah (-1): I didn't entirely take into account the bias this state has for Mormons. Hawaii (-2): Tulsi's beginning to make her state look a lot worse with how she keeps cozying up to the right for no real reason... Starting to think she should have ran as a moderate Republican, because at times she actually sounds like one... She's definitely not a progressive like she pretends to be sometimes. Also Washington has moved down a tier, because I'm really losing faith in the country as a whole.
  11. Made a 2014 version of this topic almost exactly a year ago, so felt like trying it again for this year, even if 2015 has a few days left before we really move on :3 So, what was your best moment of this year? I find it kinda hard to pick since this was an uneventful year for me- though, in a sense, a lot of good things have happened and I have very fond memories- but... 8D But... ... okay, I can't actually pick x3 How about you guys? I hope it's been a good year for you all, and may the rest of it be kind to you too!
  12. I have a feeling we'll be seeing more of these legendary ponies in the upcoming episodes, so let the discussion begin! As for me, my favorite (so far) is Mage Meadowbrook. Not only is her character design lovely ("I really like her mane!"), but I love listening to her accent. I think it was neat how her legend has been mentioned as early as the start of season 5. I included Stygian in the poll as well, as I expect he's got some fans. While he's technically not one of the pillars, he is responsible for their existence, and, indirectly, the Elements of Harmony too. So, who is your favorite, and why?
  13. So, with school started up again for me, and mostlikely for many of you, I've just recently starting trying to get back into the learning mood and stuff. Get use to school and the routine and everything else. And I suppose that combined with other random explained things gave me the thought to make this topic. I've heard from many of my teachers about different learning styles, and from other people as well, and while I've done research online a little and discovered there are a bunch of different ways to interpret different learning styles, I'm probably just going to stick to the three I think are most basic, unless something makes me feel as though there should be other types included. The four main types from what i've gathered are as follows. Visual Learner: Visual learners tend to learn best well.. visually. They may recall words and such by simply seeing them, and may want a demonstration provided to help them learn. These people are also usually imaginative, and may learn well from descriptions of something too! They may also become distracted by movement while learning, but are less concerned about noises. Auditory Learner: Auditory Learners learn best by listening to the teachers verbal instructions. They may enjoy things like plays, dialogue, and the like over books and other things. They may recall things better when speaking it to themselves, or having it spoken to them by others. However they also may be distracted by sounds more so than visual learners. Tactile Learner: Tactile learners learn best by taking notes or reading something, as well as by drawing and doodling. They also learn well when doing hands on activities sort of like Kinesthetics, things like labs, projects, and such. Kinesthetic Learner: Kinesthetics like to be active and involved in what they learn, while similar to tactile in a way, kinesthetic learners tend to learn best while moving and being actively involved, and they lose much of what is said in lectures and the such. They much prefer to do, rather than to watch. These type of learners tend to also have high amounts of energy. I know some of that may seem redundant, especially if you know about all this stuff(Which many of you probably do.) but I felt like putting some kind of definition down anyways ;p. While all of us learn to some extent through one of these methods, apparently, we usually have one method we find the best method for us personally, the one we learn best with. So what would yours be do you think? I personally think I'm probably a Kinesthetic, since I tend to like doing things instead of just having someone show me or tell me how to do something. Although I suppose i could also be auditory, only thing is that I feel I don't recall auditory stuff the best always. (Except names, I think i'm pretty good with names.) Sorry if any of this information is kinda eh on the explanation, or if I'm lacking in knowledge on the subject, I haven't known about this all that long, and haven't learned a ton about it or anything. Plus i'm only a Junior in highschool so ;p. If anything is incorrect, i'll try and change it. Alright, have a great day everyone!(Or well, it's night over here right now ;p.) Edit: added in a 4th learning type, due to Miles informing me of it. I will edit the poll and the descriptions of the learning types to help adjust to this.
  14. Borderlands 1 v Borderlands 2 v Borderlands 3 Category [Max Possible] Borderlands 1 (RM) Borderlands 2 Borderlands 3 Aesthetic [20] [18] [16] X [19] NPCs [50] [42] X [48] [33] Playable Characters [30] [24] X [26] [24] Story [50] [38] X [49] [37] Gun “Feel” [30] [28] [27] X [30] Weapon Variety [70] [58] [62] X [66] Skill Tree Design [70] [57] [63] X [64] Weapon-Based [30] X [30] [20] [23] Farming [50] [41] [30] X [45] Skill Design [50] [42] [43] X [44] General Fun Factor [50] [44] [46] X [48] Total [500] 422 430 [X] 428 Aesthetic- Really the graphics don't matter all too much, but Borderlands 3 is the game that takes it here for sure. The guns particularly probably have the best design of all three games quite easily. Borderlands 2 ends up the worst of the three because it's visuals now are starting to seem dated in comparison to the new visuals with quite a few noticeable differences. But this is no biggie. NPCs- Anybody who's played these games should really be easily able to see how Borderlands 2 takes the cake here. Handsome Jack is quite easily one of the best, well-written, video game villains of all time who's hilarious in his own right even in a game series devoted to a violent sense of humor that leaves the audience maniacally laughing. This is unfortunately where Borderlands 3 falters most though. Ava is straight up terrible, and the lack of many favorites from Borderlands 2 leaves there more to be desired, even among more humorous NPCs and Bosses like Captain Traunt. Playable Characters- Anybody who knows a little about my preferences will know the answer to this one. Axton single-handedly allows Borderlands 2 a victory in this category, even if I also really liked Krieg (because I do like OG Mordecai and Zane). The other two just don't have anything like the handsome, gorgeous husbando that is Axton... Seriously, he's quite something. No wonder he appears semi-naked in adult magazines inside of Moze's mech... Story- Borderlands 2 hits this category out of the park. The story of the second game is not only a masterpiece, but a demonstration of the potential of a Borderlands story arc. Roland's death hits the player HARD and really impacts them in a way they won't soon forget. Also the motivations of Jack are VERY well put out there. As for the other two games, Borderlands 1 has a very barebones story... It works, but it's nothing spectacular. Just an adventure to the Vault. Borderlands 3 on the other hand is a bit disappointing here, but I actually won't spoil it, thus the lack of spoiler tags. Gun Feel- Borderlands 3 simply takes this category and RUNS with it. The guns feel powerful and impactful like you're really firing a gun. The other two simply don't have this, and 2's in fact just feels like you're just using a bullet hose instead of a real gun in comparison. Weapon Variety- Borderlands 3 also easily takes this category with it's ABSURDLY high number of legendaries. You've got stuff as simple in design as the Crossroads that's essentially an SMG version of the old Conference Call, and then you have really unique weapons like the Duc that's essentially what happens when a Jakobs revolver meets a Torgue gun. Borderlands 1 is a clear loser here because there's so many far too similar legendaries that don't differentiate themselves (Looking at you, Tediores). Skill Tree Design- This is a close one, but Borderlands 3 takes it for its level 2 Action Skills, even if I have some gripes when it comes particularly to Fl4k's skill trees, because he's just overtuned and there's also some bad design with his ability to make weapons that should never crit able to. Borderlands 2 is a VERY close second particularly with the design of Krieg's skill trees. I absolutely adore the care they took to design a character that just rampages into battle, damaging himself but absolutely destroying everyone in his wake. Borderlands 1 is a distant third, thanks to Roland's skill trees being $#!+. Weapon-Based- This category was made specifically to tell you the thing I miss most about Borderlands 1 that ISN'T in 2 or 3. GUN PROFICIENCIES. I totally loved this mechanic, and instead of refining it further what do they do other than introduce one of the worst design choices in Borderlands history, the Badass Ranks (not censoring because that's just what they're called). Small buffs you get for seemingly no reason that apply to EVERY character... Guardian Ranks in 3 are better designed, but just please give us back our gun proficiencies (and our broken BL1 Shotguns). Farming- Borderlands 3 easily takes this category as it allows you to choose how you want to farm your legendaries. Whether you like farming one boss or you like Borderlands 2's style (which is the inferior way by the way, just saying), you can farm them up how you like. Now for BL2's way of farming, I HATE IT. It's tedious, long, and just ridiculous for some legendaries, and that's not even MENTIONING pearls. That's easily my LEAST favorite part of BL2 and it's biggest problem. Skill Design- Nothing really to say here except they just got progressively better at what they already were doing since the start, and that is to create interesting and diverse playstyles for each character. Still missing the Truxican Wrestler class mod though, and also the greatness that was Pistol Mordecai. General Fun Factor- Really just a category for anything I left out, and Borderlands 3 does it all the best of the three. Overall Winner- Borderlands 2, but barely. The problems with 3's story and NPCs are just too difficult to ignore, even if the gameplay is an improvement in every possible way. Also, republishing so everyone can see this. Shame on me.
  15. For me, it's almost a tie between Gabby and Gallus. They're very different but I like them both! (Edit: wait, wouldn't this go to show discussion?)
  16. The title is pretty self-explanatory. What is your best and worst childhood memory? We were all kids once and some of us still are. *cough* I think my best childhood memory was learning that Santa isn't real because it made me trust my parents a lot more. I know it's a strange best memory but I was so excited to learn that my parents actually loved me and that a huge fat creeper wasn't crawling down my chimney once a year to get a peak at me. My worst childhood memory is probably back when I lived in the country side. In our garage we had a flight of concrete steps leading down to our basement and my father had repeatedly told me not to go near them. He turned his head for two seconds and I was there quicker than ever. The next thing my father heard was: "Thump thump thump thump thump thump" and turned back to see me tumbling down concrete stairs head first. So now I want to hear from all of you! TELL ME TEH MEMORIES!
  17. HUB I can't believe that nopony has posted this before. Daring-Do is fictional character (even in the land of equestria) modeled after Indiana Jones. She is part of a 16 novel saga and appears in Season 2 Episode 16 "Read it and Weep". She is also overtaking Trixie as best (non-mane) pony. Lets start it off with some fan-art, shall we? [/shameless self advertisement]
  18. Well, I had a random thought, and I think it's time to make a tier list for BL2 Legendary Weapons. Well, here's my opinions on them. At least all the ones I can readily remember being in the game. SS: Unkempt Harold, Slagga, Fastball, Conference Call S+: Lyuda, Quasar, Amigo Sincero, Badaboom, Ogre, Norfleet, Bitch S-: Maggie, Leech, Hornet, Bonus Package, Gunerang, M2828 Thumpson, Hector's Paradise A+: Fire Storm, Storm Front, KerBlaster, Bonny, Gub, Baby Maker, Sledge's Shotgun, Infinity A-: Longbow, Hellfire, Volcano, Nukem, Fire Bee, Chain Lightning, Skullmasher B+: Thunderball Fists, Invader, Hammer Buster, Flakker, Nasty Surprise, Emperor, Veruc B-: Mongol, Striker, Pandemic, Logan's Gun, Madhous (C): Deliverance, Rolling Thunder, Bunny
  19. I did a search; 120 results, none of which looked quite like what I wanted. What was the best day in your entire life up to this point and time? Or if applicable, What is going to be your best day ever? I've had a few really good days, but I also have a horrible memory so finding my best day ever amongst all the rest of my memory-spaghetti would take awhile. So this thread will be about YOU. Yes fillies and gentle-colts this is not about moi, It's just strictly you. This way I'll get to know some of the wonderfull ponies on this forum without sounding overly egotistical. Alright you heard it! Best day, Go!
  20. Okay I see there is a thread for the best and worst Cartoon Network shows well I think there should also be one for in Nickeldeon because in my opinion, they're even more in the toilet then cartoon network. At least cncan make a few decent shows, nickelodeon only has like maybe 1 or 2 or maybe 3 Best Spongebob Squarepants (first 3 seasons and movie) The Fairly Odd parents up until Poof got there Jimmy Neutron Angry Beavers invader Zim Rocko's Modern Life Hey Arnold The Avatar series the new TMNT from what saw of it was good Drake and Josh Ned's Declassified Worst Fanboy and Chum Chum Victorious Big Time Flush Rush icarly Nick Studio 10 (Saw a clip of it one time oh my gosh it was terrible) And that's what I've got. Now there are some old nicktoons that I personally don't like that much but they didn't sink as low as this plus I don't want to mention them to accidently ruin someone's childhood or something So discuss away
  21. Post all your fav forum moments, maybe I just made this thread as an excuse to post this picture, maybe I didn't but who the hay cares. POST ALL TEH LULZY MOMENTS OF THE FORUMS HEAR Spoiler'd for image and wingboner
  22. Note: Various users are credited here, and there are some uncovered Season 9 spoilers (so read at your own risk!) Well, Season 9 arrived, so it's time to post my tops and bottoms of FIM's second-best season so far. My previous overviews are linked below. Season 5 Season 6, 1st Half Season 6 Season 7, 1st Half Season 7 I don't apologize for gushing over S8 this early. One important note: Despite being counted as an episode, The Best Gift Ever is self-contained, so it's not included. Episodes Bottom-3: Fake It 'Til You Make It Or, as I'll say for here, Putting Your Hoof Down 2.0. This entire episode is a major retread of one of the worst of the series. Background/tertiary ponies act rude for the sake of the plot? Check. Fluttershy conveniently forgets being assertive without being a jerk? Check. Fluttershy becomes an even bigger jerk than the folks she talks (down) to? Check. Consequences for her actions go unresolved for a painfully badly executed lesson? Double check! But that only scratches the surface for how bad this ripoff truly is. To go over some of them… a. Manehattan's setting's one-dimensional. Every single shopper to visit Rarity for You acts like a stereotypical depiction of New York's commercialized neighborhoods from an outsider's perspective. Sans the Edward Scissorhands parody, all act snooty, high of themselves, and with a one-track mind. Can you find anything worthwhile of these caricatures? Not at all. Even worse, since every shopper's like this, it makes Saddle Row a one-dimensional, unpleasant atmosphere. b. That said, despite their rudeness, the worst anyone really became was a background pony — Mare E. Lynn her name — agreeing with Fluttershy's eviction threat. At no point did anyone belittle her or act physical. All they want was to buy Rarity's clothes to match them. Fluttershy behaves worse than anyone else and, unlike its predecessor, has no motive justifying this sudden change in characterization. Bossing the raccoons around, threatening to kick them out, dissing them as rodents, and insulting her friends all cross a very firm line that this show established from the very beginning of the show. Why does she bear Kindness? For her inherent empathy and patience for others. She violates her moral code for a shitty, out-of-character reason. On top of that, by claiming to be pretending, FITYMI removes all accountability, rushes its conclusion, and makes her apology unearned. c. Rarity doesn't get absolved, either. Just like Honest Apple, she continues to show horrible leadership by rushing to find a backup storekeeper for the shop. Had she pre-planned everything, she wouldn't be this disorganized. But to make it worse, she becomes very OOC herself by bashing Manehattanites, Saddlettes, and her customers behind their backs, implicating she only extended her clothing line to Saddle Row to make a quick bit rather than connecting people's inner beauty. You do know your employees and many of your friends live there, right? What would they think about you if they caught you shit-talking about them? Won't be fun, ain't it? Now, does it get as bad as the former on the whole? Not quite. At least some of the characters here remain pleasant (contrived excuses aside), particularly Smoky, Softpad, and Smoky Jr. But that doesn't give this laziness a pass. Skip it! @Captain Clark, @Nyactis Mewcis Catlum, and @Jeric are credited for this. Compete Crap Clause Stole it from @Captain Clark. It fits too much. Whereas the former ripped off PYHD, this crap ripped off an actual good episode. So, how can AJ and RD get away with their immaturity in Fall Weather Friends and not here? In the former, neither of them were really good friends at the time. Prior, they disagreed and showed some friction. Additionally, FWF's stakes were lower and more grounded, and the goal was set: Dash has to compete in the Running of the Lave without flying to cheat. The highest moment of tension (their brawl) only affected them. Afterwards, they felt embarrassed, learned their lesson, and immediately worked together to complete their mission. OTOH, FWF 2.0 takes place several seasons later. They're teaching students the lessons of friendship they themselves learned over the years. Are they the most mature? No. That's okay. What isn't okay is degrading them into out-of-character children by putting the safety and education before their lust to win Teacher of the Month! To win it, they (or shall I say the story?) raise the stakes twice. Firstly, Dash's selfish desire to win Teacher of the Month and a stupid timing competition caused friction with AJ, resulting in a careless accident in bite-acuda-infested rapids…despite both knowing that Yona is so aquaphobic and can't swim (more about this later). Yet, after Twilight threatened to take over the trip, they agreed to get along, yet still competed with on another by being passive aggressive and testy with each other, forcing the Young 6 to find the way out of the nature walk for them and nearly getting themselves devoured. On top of that, just before it ends, they go back to arguing again, implicating they learned nothin'! As a result, NCC becomes the third episode — Cutie Pox & Fame the first two — to become pointless filler! The dialogue, usually a strength of S8, was clunky, contrived, and painfully unfunny. Protip: Writing long-standing characters out of character to make new ones better is pure laziness and risks making the new characters unlikable. The Y6 were poorly written. Two moments save it from failing: Twilight actively calling Dash and AJ out for their incompetence and threatening to punish them, and Dash and AJ getting sincerely nominated for TotM — risking that reward will make them think about how stupid they behaved on the trip. A Matter of Principals Discord's at his best when he's a jerk with a heart of gold. An ability to show he cares in his way. Unfortunately, AMoP flanderizes him into only a brat, first by tricking the RM6 to go on a friendship quest (which meant getting Fluttershy into the same pickle), and then using his jealousy of Starlight to make her and the student body miserable. His behavior contributed to friction between Starlight and disorder in the school with substitutes (including Cwanky as an out-of-character lazybones and jerk, and a dragon-sneeze tree to get under Spike's scales ). For the first time since The Crystalling, Starlight and Spike share the spotlight, and both of them were written fine here. While Discord and Starlight didn't get along, Spike acted as the middle man, keeping a cooler head while being as objective as possible. After Discord unleashed a bugbear on the grounds and put Yona in harm's way, Starlight was 100% justified to blast him and banish him from the school grounds. On the other hand, this is exactly what Discord wanted, as he insulted her for her past villainy, and the fact that she got her temper get the best of her proved him right and left her in a big dilemma. The ending is unfulfilled, yet not as black and white as some think. On one hand, Discord doesn't deserve Starlight's job offer for reasons explained. Clearly he doesn't deserve it, and even though the RM6's return — all filthy — nullified her hire, the fact that she hired nullified any consequences for his actions. On the other, despite being the interim headmare, she's also the SoF's counselor, so she also has to look in others' shoes. Rather than balance her job, she focused on leading the school and didn't consider the source of his actions to constructively solve sooner. Is it the worst episode of S8B? Without a doubt. But to echo from my quickieview here, it's watchable mediocrity, nothing more. Dishonorable mentions: Father Knows Beast & Yakity-Sax. ——— Top-6: A Rockhoof and a Hard Place During the second half, FIM went on a five great-episode streak, two of which are included here. This is one of them and the best of them all last year. Kaita Mpambara cleverly foreshadows Rockhoof's eventual wish to become a stone statue, ala Discord by both the princesses initially and the M6 later. In addition to being absolutely funny, Hard Place briefly featured one of the most beautiful set pieces of the show: Mistmane's Crystal Empire garden is full of beautiful colors, composed perfectly, and feels exactly like something she'd do. Long ago, she surrendered her outer beauty to preserve an old friend's, and the hard work she put here is an extension of that same selflessness. There are two stars here: Yona and Rockhoof. a. Yona acted as Rockhoof's foil. When she first met him, she admired him for his strength, perseverance, pride, bravery, and occasion to smash, yakdom's cultural foundations. Immediately, she grew a student crush on him, and her excitement when thinking of him perfectly blends with her innocence and youth. This is why "Day just got betterrrrr!" is so damn funny: It's so easy to understand where she comes from, and her reaction's very in character. So who can blame her for reacting to Spike's news the hardest? So how did she respond? With the season's best scene. b. Rockhoof is the center of this fish-out-of-water tale, and he's incredibly sympathetic. No matter the job, he always tries to impress not just himself, but also others. When they thank him, he knows he succeeded. When he screws up, he feels guilty. War conquered the realm long ago, so his warrior-first instincts don't leave, but today, harmony triumphs, and now he's a veteran looking to live and not give up what he grew up remembering. Everyone can go home, but he can't, and Stygian adapted to modern life, but not him! Once his most innate skill — using the constellations to dictate direction — is moot by time, he believed the only way out was to become stone, an allegory of suicide that was masterfully executed. Not a bad outcome for a Pillars with a bland backstory, huh? This is just a summary of its magnificence, so read my review for fuller detail. Like my main review, credit goes to @TheAnimationFanatic, @Ganondox, and @gingerninja666 here. The Break Up Break Down Unimpressive synopsis, impressive episode. In a season full of improved dialogue, this in particular really showed not just the highly-crafted lines, but also how the editing team responsible for Shadow Play's quick wit influenced this. Not one line feels wasted; they all mean something and carry a purpose to fulfill circumstances later. Some of the best lines not only delivered hilarious comedy, but also genuine heart while fluently transitioning the tone by Act 2's end. Several seasons ago, Discord was the M6's biggest foe, and it took more than a full season after he reformed until they began to have any faith in him. tarting in Season 6, Confalone's Dungeons & Discord added him with the tandem of Spike and Big Mac to create the O&O trio. On the surface, it shouldn't work, yet somehow he succeeded. Now they all act like they knew each other since Spike hatched, and it makes sense. Their organic tandem sells the humor, snarky exchanges, Big Mac's anguish, and Discord's act to mend his friend's relationship with Sugar Belle. Yet, that was only the A-plot. The CMCs were also spectacular here. Thinking Sweetie has a secret admirer, they search for him, experiencing equally funny shenanigans. Yes, thre wasn't nearly as much time spent here, but Confalone economically took advantage of what he gave them, including rendezvousing at the barn and getting mixed up with Big Mac, who accidentally flustered on them (and apologized). Did thy find "him"? No. And they realized it was all a mix up. But being best friends, the journey more than made up the destination, punctuated by one of the most heartwarming lines all year: Awwwww…! P.S.: Here's my full review. The Hearth's Warming Club If only Acts 1 & 2, it would've been good. The final six minutes turned it into the best Christmas episode of the franchise and one of the top-15 overall. To go over it one by one: a. Gallus asks Silverstream what cousins are. Thanks to his sarcasm and pride from earlier, for him to ask a sincere question comes off as rather surprising to the audience, evident by how off-guard Ocellus was as she explained to him. Earlier shots foreshadowed his act to vandalize the Fire of Friendship, but this was the first outward clue. b. Once Smolder and Yona complete their interrogations, everycreature becomes desperate and worried. They want to go home, but someone holds them back. No one confessing equals guilt from everyone. Therefore, they apply their anger on others, such as Sandbar accusing Smolder of feigning anger and Silverstream's conspiracy theory. Ignoring Gallus's words of calm, they argue loudly. While they fought early that semester, this is their first true fight as friends. Their anger is weighty, and watching his friends devolve hurt him to the point of nearly crying. c. Gallus's backstory is devastating. His friends are incredibly lucky to have family to celebrate with, but like many in real life, not everyone is. Griffonstone's family dynamics are either unstable or nonexistent, evidence pointing the latter; he's an orphan in a desolate, corrupt world. His friends are his first real family, and the School his first real home. As bad as damaging the main hall is, can't you blame him for not looking forward to returning to Griffonstone? No! Going back there meant returning to an aimless, depressing life, even for a few weeks. d. So with the ample opportunity to hide his secret, why confess? As what he said to his friends, he didn't went them to stay stuck in her School and feel just as miserable here as himself while in Griffonstone. Yes, his friends will be there, but won't enjoy each other's company. If they ever find out later, who knows how close they'll be. For all he knows, they may relapse and separate, leaving him all alone again. By confessing and accepting the consequences, he saves everyone's friendship. e. Right here, the remaining five demonstrate true friendship. Despite every good reason to be mad, disappointed, and force him to relearn friendship lessons as punishment alone, they chose to not only forgive him, but also support him at his lowest point. Maturity quickly developing beyond their years, they elect to stay behind, proving he's one of them no matter what (and nullifying his punishment). Similar to the RM7 two episodes ago, they become closer. This episode is phenomenal, and I cannot recommend it enough! Road to Friendship Like Big Mac, Spike, and Discord's friendship, Starlight and Trixie's began in S6's No Second Prances, a very rocky episode. Since then, DHX greatly improved their chemistry, solidified their friendship, and make it important for them to have conflicts without making each other look horrible. Road to Friendship continues to build it and is unquestionably their best outing together. Like Break Down or Horse Play, its tight dialogue convinces the audiences to buy into their friendship. Listen to how Starlight and Trixie communicate with each other and their environments. Their chemistry's organic in its humor, drama, and overall emotion. Haber took full advantage of not only take full advantage to comedic opportunities, but how to test their friendships too. We're Friendship-Bound, its lyrics, and tone are ear porn, and Pinkie's friends must be a teeeeeensy bit jealous over its fourth-wall-breaking madness. However, don't ignore Hoo'Far nor him inadvertently contributing to the conflict. He met Trixie and would like to trade his larger wagon for something smaller and more homey. Is Trixie's rusty, uncooperative, crowded and falling apart? Yes. But to her, it's her home, so there's sentimental value attached to it… But Hoo'Far sees it from a material P.O.V. only and believes she needs change. Starlight agrees with him. Since stopping at Somnambula, their whole trip worsened, and to her, Trixie's caravan is its source. By agreeing to trade, they have more room to sleep and store. Trixie told him why her wagon matters so much, but not her. For all she knows, Trixie wants to trade it, yet nopony offered to. Nevertheless, Starlight has NO right trading her property without asking! Thanks to their bad argument the night before, Trix's anger rightfully worsens. Fortunately, the ep understood this, hence its harsh treatment against SG once they split and that she apologized, a reversal of NSP done right. Heh! As a result of this upbeat, scaled-back classic, you'd think they knew each other since before the pilot. P.S.: My quickieview. P.P.S.: SG, Trix, please work on your chant and dance. Thank you! The Washouts A scrapped ending for Wonderbolts Academy was to redeem Lightning Dust, but after being reckless, selfish, and careless to the point of nonchalantly eschewing the RM5's near-fatal peril, it doesn't make sense. Disqualifying her works best. So what becomes of LD now? Does she retry for the WB, start a new career, or change for the better? The Washouts answers every question: leads a successful group of "washed-out" ex-'Bolts and becomes one of FIM's most manipulative antagonists. Her foil's Rainbow Dash, who continues a mostly grand streak of great outings (minus one, sadly). When DHX writes her well, they balance her ego with sympathetic depth, and like Berrow in GGW, Confalone does the same here. The episode phenomenally exploits her ego and self-confidence with equal dedication caring for Scootaloo and never relenting the consequences of when she exposes her flaws. Since most of TW is in Dash's perspective, we follow her every move and witness when she's either strong or vulnerable. However, Scootaloo isn't around her all the time; when she opens the Washouts Fan Club, Dash interrogates her. Later on, she brags about how much better the WBs are next to her and doesn't warm up to them at all till later in the stunt show, transitioning her emotions from envy to concern without being forced, especially once LD uses Scoot's rebellious naivete to claim anyone is capable of being a Washout. As per usual, it's really funny, especially this classic scene! Unfortunately, Dash's "tough love" not only made her feel more left out of the Wonderbolts, but also helped solidify Scoot's decision to become a Washout. Add to the fact that Dash immediately shuttered the Washout club over Scoot's inward objections, solidifying the thought that her mentor didn't act in good faith at any point. I haven't even touched upon the subtle development of Scoot's quest for inclusion (explained further down) and the harsh lesson Dash needed to hear to close Act 2, which you can find here. In all, a fantastic episode! The Mean 6 What better way to close out Season 8A with the second-best 13th episode! After a small sabbatical, Chryssie returns, aimless in the forest and desperate for revenge on the Mane 8, especially Twilight and Starlight. In doing so, she concocted a crazy scheme of replicating the RM6, leading to some of the best exchanges and jokes, mainly the hilarious tension between her and Snarkle. But the real stars of TM6 is the RM7. Immediately conflict brew between them, beginning with TS's impatience with the photographer and slowly growing while trekking deeper into the Forest (i.e., Pinkie accidentally startling FS and Rarity leaving man equipment behind). After FS wanders off to help a bird find his nest, the conflict improves, especially when they encounter QC's doppelgangers unbeknownst (and vice-versa). These exchanges brought forth both needed comedy to keep it entertaining, but also accelerated the frustrations within each of the ReMane 7; Lazy Dash's dismissals of 'Shy and Sparkle at their lowest points and Liarjack bullying Starlight for carrying all the camping gear are perhaps the best examples. Consequently, the RM7 had probably their worst argument since Return of Harmony. Thanks to confusion, everyone was anguishing realistically, the tears from Twilight subtly accentuating the pain. By accident, Chrysalis almost successfully broke them up…if not for their strong bond. Oh, and this… Indeed… *shudder* P.S.: My full review. Like before, Jeric, Clark, and @PathfinderCS credited here. Honorable mentions: Surf and/or Turf, Grannies Gone Wild, & Sounds of Silence. Note: All episodes are listed in my order. As for S8's alone, they're below with their grades and placement (as of the day before S9 debuts). S8 episode ranking: A Rockhoof and a Hard Place: A+ (#8) The Break Up Break Down: A+ (#10) The Hearth's Warming Club: A (#14) Road to Friendship: A (#17) The Washouts: A (#18) The Mean 6: A (#23) Surf and/or Turf: A (#26) Grannies Gone Wild: A (#28) Sounds of Silence: A- (#35) Horse Play: A- (#41) Molt Down: A- (#45) What Lies Beneath: A- (#46) Friendship University: B+ (#54) Marks for Effort: B+ (#56) The Parent Map: B+ (#60) The End in Friend: B (#71) School Raze: B (#75) The Maud Couple: B (#78) School Daze: B- (#84) Yakity-Sax: B- (#92) Father Knows Beast: B- (#98) A Matter of Principals: C- (#133) Non-Compete Clause: D- (#152) Fake It 'Til You Make It: F (#163) Morals: Bottom: N/A. In order to qualify, it must be a bad moral on its own merits. While some were poorly executed, they weren't actually bad. ——— Top-3: Breakdown: Don't be afraid to openly admit your feelings. Those who care for you will listen and understand. This lesson rings true in both this episode and beyond. Communication is crucial to any relationship, both romantically and familiarly. What's one of the most important elements of communication? Listening. Thanks to misinformation and miscommunication, Big Mac & Sugar nearly fell out on the most romantic day of the year. Thankfully, BM didn't give up and openly admitted his love for her as he mended her trailer, and Sugar — in her sweet, bubbly, caring voice — not only cleared it all up, but became more in love with him. Hard Place: No matter how hurt, lonely, or hopeless you feel, you matter. Over a year ago, Rick & Morty co-creator Dan Harmon tweeted very valuable advice for battling depression. The sentence that struck me, who was never clinically depressed, was how your feelings may be real, but aren't reality. That rings so true to Rockhoof, whose self-shame for his inability to adapt to modern times no matter how hard he tried made him believe no one sees him for the hero he was anymore. Yona, who admires him, convinced him he belonged not just by how much she likes him, but by rounding the whole school up to greet him. Surf: Even if you don't know it, you wording can perpetuate doubt and confusion to someone else. Another key component to a healthy relationship is how you communicate. Words matter. Even if what you say's innocent, another person might not take it that way. Observe the awareness of microaggressions to create a more inclusive society, for example. Now, what happens in Surf and/or Turf's completely unrelated to bigotry in any way, but pay attention to what Terramar's parents say to him: When he explained his conflict, he believes that if he chooses one home over the other, he lets others down and pins blame on himself for their separation, a very common feeling among kids of divorced parents. Statements like these perfectly exemplify why Terramar was so confused, unsure, and overwhelmed. Extra pressure's added onto his shoulders without them realizing it. Honorable mention: The best friendships overcome the toughest hardships (Mean 6). New characters: Characters that appeared on screen prior to S8 (even when in the background) don't count. So some of the tertiary characters from Fake It and Stellar Flare won't make the cut. Bottom-4: Every tertiary character debuting in Fake It. Every Manehattanite who walked into RFY's a walking stereotype, and the new ones share the problem. They're uninteresting, irritating, and obnoxious. I don't come to watch FIM to see caricatures of millennials, Gen-Xers, rich people, goths, and so forth. Save those elsewhere. Dishonorable mention: Rolling Thunder (flat co-foil for Scootaloo). Top-6: Yona. Cute yak best yak! NEXT! Gallus. This griffin is a hysterical featherball of jerkery. Embedded with a Griffonstone edge, he keeps his vulnerability within, yet will reveal it when he feels he has to. Cozy Glow. Triumphs over Stygian as the show's best villain. Deceptive, witty, manipulative, confident. Innocent on the outside, scheming from the inside. More than willing to make friends, then dump them after fulfilling her usefulness while making them the guilty party. Smolder. Growing up with her own culture in the Dragon Lands and understanding it from inside and out, she's macho without being demeaned for it, yet actually cares for others in her own way. Since S6, FIM showcased dragons in a more positive light; she's the most thorough example, especially in Molt Down and Father Knows Beast. Autumn Blaze. From my SoS review: Oh, and this: ^ If you can make a really serious situation witty and hysterical, y'got talent. Sludge. From my FKB review: Honorable mentions: Silverstream, Ocellus, Sandbar, Snarkle. Mane 8: Bottom: Fluttershy. Blame it on Fake It PYHD 2.0, her worst portrayal of the entire series. Backtracking her growth all these years, having to relearn her lessons in a contrived fashion (no pun intended), knowingly threatening to evict a rescue raccoon family, and apologizing half-assedly. In PYHD, she became a bigger plothole because everyone was atrocious to her first. But this ripoff gives her no believable motive and regresses her by storytelling demand. Dishonorable mention: AJ. ——— Top: Starlight Glimmer. Were ya expecting anyone else? S7 improved her performance and was its best man character, but two episodes held her back: Fame (being the false vessel for DHX to reject the Death of the Author theory) and To Chang a Changeling (became OOC by calling Pharynx a "lost cause" behind his back). S8 improves her consistency tenfold. No OOC moments, no contrived mouthpiece of DHX. As a character, she takes control and is in character in every appearance she's in. Honorable mention: Twilight. --- Full M8 rank (in order): Starlight Glimmer Twilight Sparkle Spike Pinkie Pie Rainbow Dash Rarity Applejack Fluttershy Moments: Bottom-3: Yona nearly drowns. An in-character, likeable Dash and AJ would stop squabbling over some lame record. That same Dash, who rejected going after a difficult-to-attain windpower record from Hurricane Fluttershy after several pegasi were too sick to fly, would consider her inability to swim and utilize her lessons to help teach her students friendship. That same AJ, who forgave Grand Pear and welcomed him to the family decades after disowning his late daughter, would stop arguing with Dash and focus on helping the students row safely. But nope! We got new characters in disguise whose out-of-character stupidity caused their boat to crash in dangerous water and needed the help of Ocellus and Silverstream to rescue her after nearly drowning! Do they have ANY idea how lucky they are?! If she died, relations between Yakyakistan and Equestria break beyond repair. Even worse, Twilight will have to close down the school! Prince Rutherford agreed to lend his trust to Equestrian royalty and let her join the school. Again, this ain't Fall Weather Friends or Castle Mane-ia! They're supposed to be past this stupid phase! Congratu-feathering-lations for proving Neighsay right, ponuts! Discord unleashes a bugbear on Starlight's students. Reasons why are similar to prior. Had Discord's prank harm Yona or the others, Twilight's school has an irreparable PR nightmare. Not to mention it makes Discord a spoiled brat! The reason it's lower is because a non-student's responsible for this, and the interim headmare both successfully intervened and justifiably called him out for his actions. Fluttershy threatens to evict Smokey and family. Verbally abusing animals, who she values so much and the core of her talent, violates her moral compass that this show sided for so long. To make it worse, Rarity reminded her early on how she rescued them, hired them, and they became very valuable employees. After threatening them, she proudly bashed them behind their backs to a fellow mare who agrees. *scoff* Some "pretending"! Dishonorable mentions: FS claims she "pretended." Discord screws up the treasure hunt. Maud stands Pinkie up. Dash & AJ argue to conclude NCC. Twilight suddenly announces the School of Friendship. Top-5: Yona rallies the School in support of Rockhoof. From my HP review (with edits for here): Discord breaks Sugar Belle's wagon wheel. Reiterating from above, reformed!Discord is written the best by balancing his abrasion with caring for his friends. (Observe this balancing act from The Beginning of the End for an excellent post-S8 example.) In Break Down, he acts like rude and selfish at times (even shooing Hearts & Hooves Day as a commercialized fad), but when he screws up, he'll go make it right. Here, he uses his chaotic magic to stealthily break Sugar Belle's wheel, allowing Big Mac to catch up to her, where they settle their differences and reunite. Yes, he complains about Hearts & Hooves Day being a commercialized fad, yet after his bad advice nearly breaks 'em up, he actively salvages it, proving his belief of romance and friendship with Spike & Big Mac. Smolder and Gallus won't leave the cave. Seven sentences. No more. A simple pause in the action fulfills several points. a. The School of Friendship helped them learn to become better people. b. No matter where they live, how they celebrate, speak, or what they look like, everyone's equal. c. Their friends matter. If they pass their tests alone, they'll help them and support them. They'd rather be trapped underneath than abandon them. d. Individually, they developed. Each task up to What Lies Beneath affects who they are and how they respond to the Tree's test. Without School Daze, Clause, and Club, they never become the people we know now. P.S.: I'm still in a self-plugging mood right now. If anyone wants to read my What Lies Beneath review, click here. After Twilight dismisses class for the winter, Gallus flies away. mlp.fandom.com's caption perfectly points it out: "Note the subtle foreshadowing here - only Gallus appears unhappy in this shot." The Young 6's whole dynamic fleshes out, starting here. Without it, we know nothing of their lifestyles or Gallus's home hardship. Lightning Dust's false inclusive motive. Originally, Scootaloo's love for The Washouts appeared to be a fad. At the start, she represented the rebelous teenager growing fascinated with the extra danger because it was "cooler" than the Wonderbolts. Until the final act, she never relinquishes this role. But this exchange creatively swerved an extra motive to admiring the Washouts: inclusivity. Unlike every other pegasi to date, she can't fly, yet idolizes Dash, who's now a Wonderbolt. She envies her mentor and her rise to stardom and feels guilty. This shot punctuates her guilt: But when Dust retorts, her facial expressions improve instantaneously: Every thing Scootaloo says and does through the rest of Act 2 calls back to these shots. a. Scheming with Dust to have the WBs expel her, qualifying her to join. b. Rejecting Dash's and Spitfire's tough love, believing they had selfish ulterior motives. "Following your wingflaps" subtly points to her disability (thank you, Ganondox, for this point) and envy of Dash for achieving an unattainable goal. c. Dash's snappy decision to close her fan club finalizing her decision to join the Washouts. After all of this, it culminates with the most painful lesson in Dash's life, and the one she most deserved to hear. The Washouts calls back so many episodes so subtly, including Flight to the Finish, and takes advantage of its continuity to build an internal conflict developing within Scootaloo for quite some time. Not only did Confalone and his editors write an avenue for Scootaloo to search for a club that'd include disabled pegasi like her, but also show major differences between them. Does Dash love Scootaloo? Of course she does! She's her surrogate sister. But her ego made her believe she became protective in bad faith. Scootaloo's direct rant was a long time coming, and made Dash painfully realize she'll never become one of the best fliers, the key physical qualifier for becoming a 'Bolt. The Washouts gave her a chance to prove herself, and she wasn't giving it up. Like it or not, Scoot's growing up; she must trust her to use her conscience and judge if a stunt's too dangerous. Dash and Twi did the right thing letting her go and decide for herself. Honorable mentions: Cozy talks to Starlight after watching Twilight expel the CMCs. Silverstream stands up to The Storm King. Twilight sticks up for Spike after helping defeat the Roc. Ocean Flow and Skybeak (Terramar's parents) greet each other warmly. Celestia leads the play's rescue. Gallus's friends stay behind to support him. What I want for Season 9: The usual: maintain consistency, watch out for unfortunate implications, etc. Haber and Dubuc continue working as a team. Shadow Play really showed what they were capable of; despite a slow start, they helped edit the most consistently great season of the show. Haaber's return helped improve S7, Dubuc's arrival added extra touches to improve its formula. So far, they remain that team with the touch. Further develop the Young Six. What Lies Beneath and School Raze show us what to potentially expect of them: The Tree of Harmony likes them, has faith in them, and believes they can spread the Magic of Friendship far and wide. Friendship's in their nature. Don't be surprised if they succeed the RM6 and either become the new Bearers or become successors to the Elements before them. The Y6 are some of the best group of characters FIM ever had; more of them, please! Deliver finality. Hasbro announced Season 9 as its last. As disappointing as it is to many, S9 and FIM's end's also a time to celebrate the show itself, what it became, its consistency from the beginning, and how it can inspire other shows years from now. Story-wise, there's still some closure left. Cozy Glow's S8's villain, yet she, Tirek, or Chrysalis aren't done. Their arcs remain. The Beginning of the End and an upcoming episode may foreshadow their conclusions, but the ride interests me just as much. Verdict: No secret. I love Season 8! Had S5 not top it just a little bit, it'd be my favorite. Great episodes, excellent consistency, great new characters. Best villain. I don't need to say anymore. Bring on Season 9!!! P.S.: My season order: 5 > 8 > 7 > 2 > 1 > 4 > 3 > 6.
  23. Be warned, contains spoilers for Pokémon Black and White. To anyone who hasn't played it yet and plans to, you've been warned. There seems to be a sort of debate what N actually IS in the Gen V Pokémon games (well aside from his real name being really funny. Seriously look him up and you'll see that it's pretty bad if you have a sick mind). Some people say he's a villain because he's, on paper, the leader of Team Plasma, the evil team in Generation V. But here's the thing, technically HE ISN'T. You learn very late in the game (basically the end in fact) that Ghetsis was manipulating his "son" the entire time. Also, he seems to be awfully friendly towards the player for being the villain of the game But onto the actual subject of this blog post. What actually makes N a great anti-hero in my opinion? Well... N has a warped, but very interesting train of thought about Pokémon and their trainers. He thinks (or thought, before his mind was changed towards the end of the game's story) that Pokémon should be released from their trainers because they long to be free. Sure these ideas were brought on by Ghetsis basically brainwashing N for his own gain, but the ideas themselves are rather interesting. I mean think about it. We keep making them fight until they faint for our own enjoyment, we keep making them wear silly (but classy and cute) outfits to compete in contests for our own enjoyment, and we take them from their natural habitats and stuff them inside a little ball. But the problem with this train of thought lies in the assumption that N makes that all Pokémon are suffering and none of them are actually happy to do this for their trainers. Also, he doesn't think about how this will affect the trainers of the Pokémon. But this train of thought feels natural for him to have because the story reveals he was actually raised... by Pokémon and he shows his intelligence by how he argues his point of view, though occasionally he gets a little bit immature about it, but for reasons that actually make perfect sense considering his actual backstory. They aren't random outbursts, they are actually rooted to his lack of real contact with people. N is a part of the evil team, yes, but he actually has a heart. He throughout the game shows that he has legitimate concern for all Pokémon, and even to a degree the player. He occasionally will heal your team, show you the benefit of the doubt even when you disagree with his ideas, and even release his Pokémon after he loses battles to you (he is the only recurring rival or villain to never keep his team. The only Pokémon he DOESN'T release during the game's events is Reshiram or Zekrom (Depending if you play White or Black respectively), and even then he seems to avoid putting him in an actual ball unlike you who keeps theirs in the ball, whether it be your Master Ball, an Ultra Ball, or whatever ball you catch him with. He actually shows more concern for his Pokémon than you or anyone else does with theirs. Not to mention, he actually only serves Ghetsis because his adoptive father convinced him and everyone else that Plasma's mission is to free all Pokémon from their trainers. If he knew the real reason for Ghetsis' agenda against all of the people (including non-trainers even) in Unova, he would have immediately had scorn for Ghetsis and would never have went along with Plasma's takeover of Unova, especially being the king representing such a takeover. N's battles are generally difficult enough to put up a challenge for people who don't have a good understanding of Pokémon, especially the last battle you have with him in Black and White. His Pokémon are made deliberately two or three levels higher than your own, and without a proper amount of strategy it is potentially challenging especially for being a battle in a Pokémon game against a character that technically isn't the Champion or an Elite Four member. He has a variety of types in his teams and his trainer AI isn't going to make battling him too easy, but also not too hard for the tykes the game was initially designed for. I mean none of the trainers in Pokémon games are particularly challenging with a few notable and frustrating exceptions (WHITNEY AND HER FREAKING MILTANK ), but they aren't supposed to be. I think N's AI does this really well and I applaud whoever designed his AI specifically. Well, I'm bad with conclusions, but those are my reasons. N is a kind person with somewhat twisted ideas that provides an adequate challenge for the player. Also, he looks kind of cute. DAMMIT JAPANESE ARTISTS ARE SO GOOD AT MAKING PEOPLE LOOK CUTE Anyways, N in my mind, fits every criteria for a good anti-hero in a video game and he does it well in his own way, making him an interesting character to say the least and I think probably even one of the best characters in the entire video game franchise. Not the anime version of him though, because the cleverness of the character was taken out of the anime. But I say in Black and White, he was a cleverly written anti-hero that checked all of my boxes. Yeah I repeated myself multiple times here, but that is it.
  24. Since the top 20 list wasn't, well... very well-explained, I plan to make a new list soon. But, for now I'll talk about one specific show and what it does so well. That show being? Steven Universe. In my opinion, Steven Universe is just one of the shows I could count on one hand that ascends above everything else that has EVER come on TV. No matter how much I hate the fandom (it's NOT okay to tell people to kill themselves over a piece of fanart or to attack a kid DYING OF CANCER over the fact he got to watch episodes early before he DIED *cough cough* AwestruckVox *cough cough), no matter how much BS there is around about the show having a "liberal agenda" (it doesn't, if you really watched the show without trying to get offended by it, you'd understand it applies to everyone and works for everyone regardless of political stance), and no matter if it messed up a few episodes (I can admit that), I can't stop LOVING this show. Yes, I do think that the first season was downright ATROCIOUS, but after that point, it recovered quite well from it's mistakes and really turned itself around. It went from a show I couldn't stand to a masterpiece of a show that even at it's most disappointing, is far from a bad show. Here's just a couple of reasons why this show is just so amazing. THE CHARACTERS When I watched Season 1, I hated EVERYONE in the show. They were all annoying, one-dimensional wrecks (particularly Steven and Garnet... Ugh). But now, I don't even find RONALDO irritating, and he's a character that's always considered annoying by the animation community as a whole. I can't blame them, but he's even improved to the point I don't cringe when he/s on screen anymore... As for everyone else... Well, I'll give you the three best examples. Steven went from being immature and downright annoying to being mature almost beyond his father's years. He's really shown that he has a heart of, well, solid diamond of a sizeable carat. Gold is FAR from appropriate. Steven has an ability to just humanize ANYONE. To be able to really get to literally anyone on a deep emotional level. Heck, one great scene of his involves him destroying a weapon Bismuth MADE for him because he wasn't out to destroy gems, but instead to speak out to them, to teach them of tolerance and of kindness. I really can't believe it. They really went out of the park with him. From, I swear, giving me ANEURYSMS to being the absolute nicest, sweetest kid in... well, anything ever. Pearl went from a b**** with a serious nagging issue, to a character with more depth than I could possibly have imagined. She apparently was in love with Rose Quartz, was hiding a secret of hers for over 5000 years (one with DIRE consequences mind you), and has shown a level of concern and care for Steven that wouldn't even be expected out of the best of mothers. She also has been struggling with plenty of her own demons for the longest time. When Steven got into her mind, you really got to see what she has on her mind all the time. On the exterior is the organized clean freak we know her to be, but underneath lies a hidden depression, comprised of thousands of years of sorrow. I could go on, but Pearl's insanely deep even for a Steven Universe character, and that says something because they all have an amount of depth I've never seen anywhere else. Garnet went from being a complete f***ing buzzkill to being literally the best LGBT representation in ALL of media, period, and among the absolute best cartoon characters EVER devised. Garnet really shows the beauty of love, regardless of who it's between. Ruby and Sapphire (the two gems that fuse to create Garnet) are absolutely the most adorable couple I've ever seen. The two, well, women also offer up their own characters to the mix, really creating an interesting sort of split personality within Garnet that occasionally manifests itself. A part of her is insightful and mature, while another part of her is energetic and almost childlike in a very charming way. They literally fused out of love, and they've stayed fused for most of almost 6000 years! That's true love, if I've ever known it. True dedication to each other and to their fusion. She, well, they are just such a great way to represent the community as a whole. I could never ask for such. It's also a huge plus that they're "marriage" was the most adorable thing I've ever witnessed in all of animation... Garnet is really a show of how strong the bond of love can be, and an impressive one at that. THE MESSAGE I also love the message of the series as a whole, which I would say is that we should let everyone be who they are, regardless of any standards we may place on them. That we should accept people's expressions of themselves. If you hate the show for having a message like that, well you're offended and you more than deserve to be... Seriously, this show is beyond insightful and if you decide not to see that because you don't like it, you have a problem not the show. There is so MUCH to get out of this masterpiece of a show. There is a lot about individuality, a lot about abusing power, and a lot about the importance of the connections we have with others, among a lot about other things as well. Seriously, there's just so many good things this show could teach EVERYONE that listing them would take far too long. All I'm saying is, this show is deep and thought-provoking with messages that can apply to literally anyone, regardless of who they happen to be. This show is a show for everyone, young or old, conservative or progressive, male or female, white or black, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity... I can't recommend it enough. Though I also can't recommend skipping the first season enough either. There are a few key episodes that should be seen to start with, but this is more about how good the show is and not anything else. This show is a phenomenal show. It's even more than just a show... It's an experience, and it's one heck of an experience. It's one that I think every single fan of animation should give a try, and a real try not just make some pointless 30-45 minute videos trying to criticize it's animation style that don't really go anywhere and prove more or less you're trying to hate the show as hard as you possibly can (I've seen more than one of those ...). All I ask to people who do that s*** is to really give the show a shot before they start bashing it. Maybe you can see the same thing I do in it.
  25. This idea for a new thread just came to me: what were your best childhood memories? Mine were back when my parents used to take me and my siblings to the Volusia Speedway dirt track races every weekend, if I remember right I must've been about 8, 9 and 10 years old, those were good times, probably my best childhood memories right there. I also have so many good memories of when I lived in Illinois and we would go out to my cousin's house every winter and he would attach a sled to his tractor and pull me and my brother around on it in the snow, and during the warmer months we would ride go karts and 4-wheelers around their land. So what about y'all?