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Good evening, everypony, and welcome back to another edition of "Batbrony Reviews"!!! Well, the midseason finale has arrived, and while I can't say that our final episode before the Season 7 mid-season hiatus was amazing, it was still a very, very decent episode that was very enjoyable to watch. Not flawless, but not in a maddening way whatsoever. This should prove to be a fairly short episode review since there's not too much to cover, so without further ado, let's begin, this is "Not Asking for Trouble"! OK, not gonna lie, that's bucking adorable So as there's not too much to cover with this episode, let's start with the most complex aspect of it, the lesson. This was both a strength and a weakness, oddly enough, and for very similar reasons. It was admirable how complex and subtle the lesson itself was, but at the same time it was almost too complex and subtle for its own good. The best way I can put it is that, in execution, this lesson was "confusingly nuanced." Jeric pointed out to me that unlike with most episodes, the lesson here wasn't telegraphed; this is not to say that we as an audience are too stupid to learn lessons unless they're spoonfed to us, but it's not like telegraphing lessons has ever been a big weakness of MLP, they usually do a good job of delivering lessons without making it seem like they're patronizing or belittling the audience. It's not even to say that MLP can't have subtle lessons, they have many times. This one, however, wasn't even apparent by the time the final frame had ended; the episode was far more about WHAT was happening than about WHY or what we were supposed to take away from it. After all, what happens is very simple: (1) Pinkie Pie goes to Yakyakistan to celebrate Yickslurbertfest with the yaks, (2) she celebrates with them, (3) avalanche buries Yakyakistan, (4) things suck for the yaks and they try to cope while Pinkie unsuccessfully tries to get them to accept help from the ponies, (5) she leaves Yakyakistan and secretly comes back with her friends, (6) they unbury Yakyakistan, the day is saved, and the yaks are grateful despite having insisted on no outside help. And... that's it. That's the whole episode. So what are we to take away from all of this? I think two things contributed to why this lesson was so confusing: (1) the pacing, seeing as about rather than 2/3, it seemed like more like 3/4 of the episode were devoted to Yickslurbertfest and setting up the conflict itself, before Pinkie ACTUALLY fixed the problem, and (2) the fact that the lesson seems to be more applicable to a problem for individuals, but what we had before us was a national crisis for the entire nation of yaks, which made it harder to understand the nature of the problem and the lesson. The first point is forgivable considering Pinkie Pie was trying to help the yaks, she just didn't want to be a bad friend by going behind their backs and wanted to get their permission to seek help from others before she did (both considerate and a wise course of action considering the yaks have proven just how hot-headed they can be in the past). The second point I'm still trying to make sense of, but I think Jeric put it best to me when he said that the writers probably intentionally left it vague and muddled so as not to give younger viewers unfortunate implications. You see, the lesson at play here is basically that sometimes, friends or family who we deeply care about are in some sort of trouble or get themselves into some sort of trouble, but aren't willing to admit that they have a problem, even as the problem gets worse. Such self-destructive behavior usually arises because of one's stubbornness or pride preventing one from admitting they have a problem or being willing to ask others for help, or even an addiction that people are so hooked on they can't even see they have a problem. This makes it a little clearer why they would've kept things so vague and centered on a problem as strange as the yaks being unwilling to accept help with unburying their village; it's not like we'd be likely to see an individual character struggling with an addiction of some kind on this show, after all, that'd be a little too mature even for this show. So what we got instead was Prince Rutherford letting his pride get in the way of doing the right thing and stubbornly refusing to ask for help, even though he really did WANT help. And that's really what the lesson boils down to: sometimes pride, or stubbornness, or addictions prevent those we care about from asking for help, even if they really do want it, and when that happens it's up to us to step up and help them anyway, even if they haven't asked, because we care about or love those we want to and try to help. It's certainly not a bad lesson in the slightest, it was just oddly executed is all, but again, not in a way that really bothered or annoyed me. It was just... odd, overall, neither the best nor the worst lesson we've ever seen presented or executed in this show. Someone needs to seriously dub Andrew W.K.'s "Party Hard" over this scene! Good to know that Equestria is not the only culture in this world that has a problem with ridiculously high levels of sugar intake on a regular basis Thankfully, everything else we got was incredibly likable and fun in this episode. Pinkie Pie had a far better episode than her last starring outing in "Rock Solid Friendship"; she was her fun, lovable, caring self, but her behavior was never unnecessarily too over-the-top, this was clearly a writer who understands how to healthily balance Pinkie Pie's fun-loving side with her serious, being-a-good-friend-and-solving-friendship-problems side. Considering how much of the episode was devoted to Pinkie just touring Yakyakistan and learning about and partaking in Yickslurbertfest (gosh that name is hilarious), I was very surprised that none of it ever got boring or felt like padding, it was actually a ton of fun to watch Pinkie just hanging out with Prince Rutherford and the yaks! Yakyakistan was pretty cool to see more of, and Prince Rutherford and the yaks themselves were just as hilarious as they were the first time, though thankfully not as insufferable either. Rutherford in particular was a hoot, and some of the bits where he trolled Pinkie or delusionally tried to act as though everything were OK with the yaks after the avalance were pretty hysterical. I do have to wonder how their village doesn't get buried more often by avalanches considering it seems like a festival like Yickslurbertfest would be very prone to setting off avalanches, but this was a silly enough episode that that point doesn't bother me too much. The Mane 6 were in the episode about as much as they needed to be (RD's line in particular about them not playing Pinkie Pie's roadtrip game was hilarious), and Gummy was quite funny here as well as only he can be. Also, Pinkie Pie is officially an honorary yak now, which just seems right and is also just kind of amazing and perfect. Overall, I really don't have too much to say about this one. It was a perfectly fine episode, not great, but very enjoyable in spite of some of its minor flaws, and a fine finish to the first half of Season 7. We're entering the mid-season hiatus now, but don't worry everypony, new MLP episodes will be back before you know it, and when they are I'll be right here as always, ready to write more reviews! Until next time, everypony, this is Batbrony signing off. I'm off!!! *cue dramatic exit* BEHOLD! PINK YAK, CUTEST YAK!!!
Hey! Hey! Listen! Hey! Hey! Watch out, watch out, watch out! Listen! Listen! Listen! Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! He- SHUT UP, NAVI, I'M GETTING TO THE REVIEW, OK!!! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh, welcome back everypony to another edition of "Batbrony Reviews"! We had ourselves a nice one today, very nice indeed; Fluttershy's first starring role since the start of the season, and my oh my was it a nice one indeed. "Flutter Brutter" has the distinction of being a very commendable episode despite having an EXTRAORDINARILY annoying character in it. Without further ado, let's begin and take a look, shall we? Wanna see how assertive I can really be? So for me, by far the best element of this episode was Fluttershy. This is a fantastic example of how you do continuity in character development correctly. As a firstborn son and older brother myself, I had no trouble at all, whatsoever, believing that she had a history with her brother (obviously that's not to say I have a bad relationship with my little sister, she's amazing, just saying that I totally believed that she was Zephyr Breeze's big sister from personal experience, her interactions with him felt very natural and sibling-like). On top of that, we both learned where Fluttershy got her timid-to-a-fault nature from (and dear me, her parents did not do themselves or her any favors with those personalities of theirs) and also got to see her current, far more assertive personality juxtaposed beside her parents, who were representative of what she used to be like. It was GREAT, and really highlighted the extent that her character has developed since Season 1 (seems like just yesterday she was afraid of her own shadow). At no point did she take Zephyr's crap, at no point did she back down, and at no point did Fluttershy compromise who she was. She just tried to be a good big sister and dole out some much-needed tough love to her little brother, through and through. In earlier seasons, that might've been a Mary Sue performance, but not here, not after six seasons. This was Fluttershy taking six seasons of lessons learned about how to be a stronger mare than she ever thought she could be and applying it to someone who she loved but also knew desperately needed to change their life. Fluttershy ain't having any of your B.S. Oh, I do NOT like the look of this guy! Now as for Zephyr, I'm actually mixed, but not because he was annoying. Oh no, don't get me wrong, he was, but that worked perfectly fine for what they were doing here. My sole problem is that while this episode worked perfectly fine as a story about his character, I don't think that it's particularly applicable to a real-world scenario. Now obviously there are people out there who struggle with simply trying something, people afraid of failure to the point that they never try at all, people who have trouble seeing things through. But that said, Zephyr took it to a whole other level. He was so insufferable, so annoying, so obnoxious, so narcissistic, so completely incompetent for 90% of the episode that he felt more like a parody of someone who could have these problems than a portrayal of them. Again, that worked here. I delighted in hating him, it was quite fun. And I didn't think his turnaround was too sudden either; he seemed to be taking good baby steps at the end, and he still obviously has to find a job and a place of his own before he can say he's really independent and in control of his life. But like I said, I don't think anyone is going to watch this episode and go, "Wow, that guy's just like me," because I don't think anyone could possibly come close in the slightest to being as annoying as he was. So overall, he worked in the show, but that's it. Not gonna lie, kinda sad this didn't happen Still a better mane-style than his stupid man bun... also, ENJOY GOING BALD IN YOUR 40s, ZEPHYR, IF YOU KEEP UP THAT MANECUT! Besides that, this episode was very nicely paced and covered quite a few places for a slice of life episode. We went to Cloudsdale, Ponyville, Twilight's Castle, Fluttershy's house, Carousel Boutique, and got to see a ton of faces. Fluttershy's parents did not disappoint and it was easy to see how both of their children grew up with the personal problems that they did as a result of both parents not being very assertive themselves. I actually really liked that the show did not beat around the bush and pretend it wasn't their fault; oftentimes parent characters are Mary Sues or Gary Stus who are just there to cheer their children on in animated TV shows, but it was quite clear that the root of both Fluttershy and Zephyr Breeze's problems was their parents not being assertive at all. Rainbow Dash was also quite delightful as well; this is one of the first times I've ever seen where she actually felt like a wingmare to Fluttershy and she was totally supportive of her from start to finish, but not in a patronizing way. Her running gag with Zephyr hitting on her incessantly in the most obnoxious way he possibly could (by constantly insisting that she was the one infatuated with him) was hilarious and had a gratifying conclusion when we saw that Rainbow had gotten to zap Zephyr more than a few times with lightning, and it was cool too getting to see more confirmation that she grew up as friends with Fluttershy in Cloudsdale, and also that she was as aware as anypony else was that Zephyr was an annoying twat. Son, she is one step away from slapping you with a sexual-harassment suit and filing for a restraining order... CUT IT OUT!!! Oh, and there was also a song... that kind of came out of nowhere. It was a perfectly fine song, not amazing, but good. It just really had no set up. One second Rainbow Dash is talking, the next second Fluttershy's singing. So... yeah, that happened. Dinky, that's not your mom! Go on and find Derpy now, I'm sure she's got some muffins for you Next Zephyr Breeze episode: he fails so badly at being a mane therapist that he throws it all away and becomes the Joker... but then he sucks at that too Overall, this was an episode that could have been awful. They really could have done this lesson and new character wrong, but I'm glad to say that that simply was not the case. Fluttershy was portrayed fantastically, Zephyr was what he needed to be, it was great finally getting to see Fluttershy's family and also learn that, even though her parents were perfectly lovely, that did NOT mean that their family life was all hunky-dory and in tip top shape. I will admit that I just want to chop that stupid looking man-bun (or is it stallion-bun?) off of Zephyr's head... and possibly his head too... but that's beside the point. The point is, this was great, and Fluttershy had a smashing good first episode of the season.
OK, welcome back everypony to another addition of "Batbrony Reviews." Today's episode is a... perplexing one. Not so much because of the shenanigans, that's to be expected with almost any Pinkie Pie-centered episode, but largely because of the pacing and the execution of the "moral," if you want to call it that. That's not to say it was a bad episode, just kind of puzzling. Without further ado, let's take a look at "Party Pooped." Beaver-yak is best yak. So to start, let's address the elephant in the room, and possibly the best example of just how bizarre this episode was: the Yaks of Yakyakistan. I both loved and hated things about these guys at the same time. On the one hand, their designs were great, they're basically, as I saw one brony describe them, an entire nation of Hulks (in both size and mannerisms), and dear Lord is their pickiness legendary!!! I mean, my gosh, these guys overreacted at everything, and every time they went on an epic smash rampage, even though I knew they were being gigantic douches, I couldn't help but laugh. What infuriated me, however, wasn't their behavior so much as it was the ponies' reaction to it. Let's be clear: the yaks were being gigantic douches from start to almost the finish, there is no denying that, anyone would say. Anyone EXCEPT apparently the ponies of Equestria. Because my gosh, from start to finish they kept blaming themselves for the yaks' terribly undiplomatic behavior, and for the life of me I couldn't figure out why! The ponies are smart, and they've stood up to jerks before, so why all of a sudden were they chalking up the yaks being colossal douches to their failure to exactly reproduce the culture, mannerisms, and aesthetic of a country completely foreign to them as a country could be? It was terribly infuriating and really took away from the effectiveness of any message that was here (because trust me, there was a message here, it was the message I expected, it's just it wasn't executed like it should have been), especially when the yaks threatened war over... actually, I still don't know what they were threatening war over, that's just not how diplomacy works, DHX. So yeah, I have no idea why the ponies not only put up with the yaks' crap but also blamed themselves for it; it's incredibly silly and it took away a lot from the effectiveness of the message. But that said, the yaks were still incredibly entertaining to watch, and for that I mostly forgive this episode. BUCK YOUR TABLE!!!!!!!!!!! PARTY HARD!!!!!!!!!!! Next, let's cover the main character of the episode, Pinkie Pie. Like the rest of the Mane 6, she never really blamed the yaks for any of the ponies' troubles, and like I said, that was frustrating to watch. But besides that, she was perfectly fine. She was incredibly, furiously productive in her efforts to put together the perfect party for the yaks, and of course she went on a zany journey across all of Equestria and foreign lands even in a single afternoon (while running into Cherry Jubilee on the way, falling down a ravine, forming the Beatles, going through an entire career with them, and breaking up in the Crystal Empire because of creative differences, and then proceeding to Yakyakistan only to be flung by the craziest breaking of the laws of inertia ever all the way back to Ponyville, again, in a single afternoon, as you do when you're Pinkie -_-). The revelation that she has a Secret Party Cave was too funny, her mannerisms were spot on (even if at a few points they felt just a tad forced), and she saved the day as only Pinkie can. All in all, a solid episode for Pinkie, even if again I wasn't buying how the moral was executed. Sergeant Pinkie's Lonely Hearts Club Band!!! Finally, the Mane 6. Besides the already aforementioned idiocy with how they kept blaming themselves for the yaks being the biggest douches ever, the Mane 6 were fine too. Panicky Twilight is always fun to watch (though we are seeing a lot of her this season, it seems), they all maintained unwavering faith in Pinkie to do what needed to be done, which was fun to watch, and their interactions with the yaks and each other were too funny. Fluttershy had the single best line of the episode with her deadpan delivery when she asked how the buck they were supposed to get out of Pinkie's Party Cave, we learned that Twilight apparently has a fear of quesadillas, and Applejack took fiscal conservatism and the phrase "waste not, want not" to a whole new level when she said she'd rediscovered a set of Granny Smith's dentures under the Apple family's farmhouse. Also, Spike got body slammed by a yak, that pleased me very much. Overall, they were fine, besides, again, the problems with the moral itself. The other supporting ponies were cool as well. We've now seen both Princess Celestia and Princess Cadance three episodes in a row, which is some kind of record, it was cool to see Cherry Jubilee return, the Beatle ponies were absolutely epic, and the little yak calf at Yakyakistan was absolutely adorable! Quesadilla: Not even once Overall, like I've said throughout this review, this wasn't a bad episode, it was incredibly entertaining, more so than other episodes this season. But that said, I really didn't buy its message, because the writers had the characters behave extremely uncharacteristically and, at times, stupidly in reaching this moral. Diplomacy simply doesn't work that way, and the yaks should've been called out on their crap at least at some point. It was like if the United States blamed itself every time North Korea did something irrational or refused to come to the table to discuss diplomatic matters, and it made just as little sense as that would. So yeah, that's a big complaint, and it makes for an episode that's more entertaining than smart or thought-provoking, but all the same it was still so entertaining that I can for the most part forgive its shortcomings. That's all I got for ya, everypony, this is Batbrony signing off. I'm off! *cue dramatic exit* Yakity Yak, don't talk- on second thought, I'll just stop.
Okay, guys. I'm going to throw this out there right now. I don't actually hate this guy. Doesn't mean I'm happy about his existence, just indifferent. But now he's back and we will have to deal with the cards we were dealt. But equestrian girls was a long time ago and we all knew he would come back eventually. Hell, he was placed as Twilight's love interest. You can't just sweep that under the rug and play the denial card. But he's back and we'll have to deal with it like adults. If they can give him a personality, rather than being a plot convenience, then he is welcome to return to me. Until then, just stay in the corner, Flash Gor- Sentry, were just not ready.