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  1. I was going through the section of the MLP Movie where the Main Six and Spike are going through Klugetown, and when Verko the Naked Mole Rat shows up to collect his debt, he has this creature pulling his big cage. It has such a unique appearance and as far as I know we haven't seen it since. It kind of has a mole like appearance with it's clawed feet, squinted eyes, and that bushy thing on its face. I think this could be nose tendrils like the star nosed mole has, or it's a bushiness of whisker like hairs that could serve the same purpose of feeling things out in dark confined space. The back bit also reminds me of the scaling on Pangolins which is just awesome. Any leads on what this could be would be awesome, or if you have any good ideas as what it should be called that'd be nice too. Sorry for the bad quality of the image, the creature never had a full shot so I had to combine parts from two screen shots.
  2. I'm not sure if anything can be done about this, but there's a potentially significant problem I've noticed lately. Posts from the "Season 9 Spoilers and Speculation" area keep appearing in the activity feed (Search -> All Activity), including ones from a thread that has "heavy spoilers" according to the title. I'm guessing at least some users use this to look at new posts on the forum (I certainly do so at times), and as such, they will see any posts from this area appearing (at least the content not placed in spoiler boxes). Is there any way to prevent posts from that board from appearing there? I guess the same might also be the case with the profiles of people who posted in these threads...
  3. No, this has nothing to do with who Smolder's brother is (but what I'm posting does spoil the end of the episode, so be forewarned). Instead it answers the question as to whether Spike was born different or not: But what's this?
  4. It's been a long journey but finally we've reached the end. The answer to who shall finally sit on the Iron Throne and the fate of Westeros shall be determined. We've seen the fury of ice, but what of the wrath of fire? What did you think of this episode? What did you think of this season overall, and the series as a whole? But most importantly of all, will George R.R. Martin ever finish "Winds of Winter"
  5. near the end of My Little Pony: the Movie the Staff of Sacanas broke, Tempest even confirmed that in the comic series Nightmare Knights. But in Spring Breakdown the Staff of Sacanas is intact? Did they repair it after the movie? Did they make a new one? Is there more than one and this was locked in some kind of volt?
  6. Season 8 Episodes 1 and 2 "School Daze" Review by EpicEnergy Season 8 Episode 1 “School Daze Part 1” Review Episode 1 Opening: Normally, I don’t have an episode’s opening as an individual category in my reviews, but this is an exception because this opening is the first scene we see of season 8, containing much information right off the start. Since this is the first episode of season 8, this episode indeed has a connection with the previous MLP Movie, but not with season 7. First and foremost, I don’t expect S8 ep1 to take place right after the events in the MLP Movie, which is the Storm King’s defeat and the celebration of a certain festival afterwards, since the occurrences taking place in season 8 indicate at least a few weeks have passed since the events in the MLP Movie. Anyways, we are reminded of the incidents that took place during the MLP Movie and the new areas explored. The recollection in this episode of the MLP Movie incidents serves as a crucial component in establishing a firm foundation for future season 8 episodes because it reminds us that the MLP Movie and what happened in it is canonical; moreover, since most of the places there that were visited will be revisited in season 8, knowing about where they are located, who lives there, and what happened there is highly important. Additionally, the dialogue each character gives in this opening of episode 1 is very informative of what happened after the MLP Movie ended, such as where Tempest Shadow went. Very well handled, writers, I couldn’t ask for a better reminder and account of the MLP Movie, what a way to start an episode with. Moving onward. A good portion of season 8 is about the School of Friendship which reaches out to all creatures. Another portion is about adventuring to those places beyond Equestria on friendship quests. Both mainly originate from Twilight’s decision to start a school. It is this decision that lays the path for many Season 8 episodes, and this decision originates from the MLP Movie itself. This opening tells us about the lake from where a good amount of season 8 flows from. We know why there is a school, why Twilight founded the school, why creatures who are not Equestrians attend this school, why we see more of other lands outside of Equestria, and how these lands were found in the first place. The only issue I have with the opening is the fact that the map expanded without explanation. This map remains a contrived and arbitrary plot-device, which is a large problem to have in a narrative, and having it expand for no given or indicated reason makes this even worse. Consequently, I must subtract a few points for this poorly designed and improperly used plot-device that will most certainly affect future episodes until fixed or removed. Characters: The leaders of the nations outside of Equestria all have excellent personalities and play a great role in this episode, so thankfully there is nothing to criticize here. The mane six are also used and depicted fantastically, the only problem is Twilight Sparkle in a particular scene. The mane six approach Twilight to tell her that going by the book simply isn’t working. It is here that Twilight acts severely out of character, which is somewhat irritating because Twilight has set the book as the ultimate authority instead of her own as the Princess of Friendship. I must take off some points from the rating for this incident being illogical, as Twilight completely ignores all her friends and ignores the disastrous effects of following the book that are clearly evident throughout the school. New characters: The EEA scene is where we see the main antagonist of episodes one and two, Chancellor Neighsay. Neighsay has a somewhat arrogant and very serious personality which seems to be present in the entire EEA organization. This arrogant personality is what fits with his speciesism, which means that he thinks that ponies are higher and more important than any other creature/species. Next characters. In this episode, we are introduced to the student six. Their personalities are quite likeable. The student six are comparable to the mane six, but not to the point where they have completely identical characteristics, personality, and/or appearance. They are well-balanced characters. Plot: Overall, the plot is great in this episode; however, there have a few problems in some scenes. The first scene I shall address is when Twilight and Celestia in Celestia’s school talk about how to run a school. This where Celestia reveals that she and no one else has no authority over the EEA in academia despite her standing as a princess or any other standing whatsoever, like a princess of friendship. I suppose the EEA is some sort of independent organization that somehow manages to be the ultimate authority when it comes to academia, but this area remains unclear. The writers could have made it clearer as to why and how such an organization rose to power. Such a restriction has not been seen in Equestria up until now either, as far as I remember that is, though I won’t take off any points since this doesn’t appear to be much of an issue anyways. I must move on. Next, we see the School of Friendship itself for the first time. I don’t like that it is just there. The writers could at least have somepony say when it was built instead of just having Twilight announce ‘I’ll make a school’ then proceed to have it partially accredited, and instantly afterwards we see a fully operational school building. Hence, I must deduct a few points from the overall rating of this episode. Now I will critique the “friends and family day” scene. It’s good the writers gave us that reason for every leader to be there, because this makes the next scene seem hardly contrived and arbitrary at all. I’m referring to the scene where every single leader hears Neighsay make racial comments. During the chaos beforehand, I noticed Gallus just dropped Sandbar for no apparent reason which knocked over the leaders like bowling balls. Sorry to be so critical of what is meant to be a humorous moment, but Gallus just dropping Sandbar for no reason makes no sense, and Gallus wasn’t even upset or showed any sign of doing that purposely, yet he threw Sandbar very tremendously anyways. Also, Derpy causing both Smolder and Silverstream to crash out of the sky into the food/desert stand even though Derpy didn’t appear to touch them at all makes no sense either. What’s more is that Ocellus destroyed a good and sturdy tower as a large, flying insect, which also makes no sense how she managed to do that. Therefore, I must take off some points. Now for the final scene. Neighsay shuts the school down at the very end of this episode, and then the “to be continued” image pops up, which leaves us with suspense. Nicely done on this scene. Moral: There is no evident moral in this episode yet, because it is only part 1 of 2. Episode Rating: 8.5/10 Season 8 Episode 2 “School Daze Part 2” Review Characters: The characters are well-treated in this episode, so there is no problem here. We also see more characteristics and personalities of the new characters. Plot: The general plot of this episode is well designed as usual, but there are some aspects of it that fail to be genuine. To begin with, the opening of this episode, the usual part 2 MLP opening, consists of a summary of the previous events that took place during part 1. I appreciate this, because sometimes people can’t watch both episodes back to back on certain occasions, and this opening type assists by helping us to recall those events. Next scene, we have Twilight, who has entered a temporary yet severe state of depression. She acts severely out of character here and even entirely ignores her friends, but the real question I’m asking is whether this is reasonable. My interpretation, based on the previous occurrences in part 1, is that going into this depressive mood is in fact reasonable and not illogical since Twilight just had her dreams crushed and her friendships with other nations seemingly ruined, and that Twi tends to overreact; thus, no points will be deducted. The next scene I want to address is the potential world war scene. As a large part of the plot that exists to stir up suspense in the viewers to this episode, this subplot has a few issues that I must mention. The major problem is that all five nations instantly threaten each other that will result in a world war if not dealt with, and that every nation’s reason to start such a disastrous incident is that the leaders simply don’t know where each one’s student went. I find this highly unreasonable, since war, which should be used as a last resort, is used as the very first resort; moreover, we don’t even have any reason why the six students are highly important to the leaders to begin with, except for Sandbar (being a pony) and Silverstream (being the Queen’s niece). For these two reasons, I must deduct some points from the episode rating. Oh, by the way, what also makes no sense is that only the mane six go searching for the students while no one else does anything despite the threat of a world war. Moving onward to the next scene I will address, Silverstream says that she has never seen stairs before, and that this is her first time seeing them. As funny as it is, this is inconsistent because Silverstream was at a school with plenty of stairs to be seen. A simplistic, minor error on the writers’ part, but I still must count off a few points. Next scene. We are now introduced to a strange, new critter species. I would call them the correct name, but since I don’t know how to spell it correctly, I will refer to them as the colorful porcupines (I know, very creative). These creatures are obviously used for plot-convenience, because they suddenly appear right on time to threaten the student six so that the mane six can rescue them, and these critters disappear right after that. Since this plot-convenience is at least slightly subtle, and an attempt was made to make it completely subtle, I will deduct a very small amount of points. The remainder of the episode is great, and I have nothing to criticize in it, so I shall end this section and proceed to the moral. Moral: One may argue that there is no moral in “School Daze”, since it is a two-part episode, and most of those episode categories focus more on the story aspect rather than the moral aspect. I would disagree with that. The major moral is that all creatures are equal. This is symbolic of the modern-day issue of racism. Neighsay enforces the morally wrong idea that ponies are superior than any other race. Twilight demotes this by promoting the morally right idea that all creatures should be treated equally, and that friendship should be available to everyone. It isn’t pleasant when writers force modern-day issues into movies because we have seen enough of it in real-life and because the writers usually force it in there and ruin the narrative, but this modern-day issue is symbolized, and it don’t feel forced at all. This symbol fits perfectly into the theme and context, and it teaches us a very valuable lesson. Episode Rating: 9/10 Additional Areas (if applicable) I’ll be speaking of both episodes 1 and 2 as one episode in this category. Humor: The humor is excellent and solid! I am glad the episodes aren’t overflowing with it, nor are they kept at a too serious level either. It’s the perfect balance for this episode, and it is thoroughly enjoyable. Aesthetics: It’s pleasing to see that MLP S8 keeps the traditional 2D animations despite the movie’s animations. G4 is better off continuing what they started than switching over to 3D animations suddenly, though it wouldn’t bother me if G5 had them. Overall Episode Rating (parts 1 and 2): 8.5/10 Conclusion: There are minor problems in both episodes. The map is of course introduced once more, which a very contrived and arbitrary plot-device; however, it doesn't really play a part in "School Daze" so it hardly affects the rating. There is a plot-convenience in part 1 at the end where the students suddenly become extremely clumsy to further the plot, but the context makes this problem rather miniature and insignificant so this also hardly affects the rating. The second part has an illogical subplot, which is the only major problem out of both parts. Aside from those minor problems, the amount of good content in "School Daze" outnumbers the amount of bad content by far. Therefore, this entire episode is rated 8.5/10, unless you round it off to the nearest whole number which would give it a 9/10, Rating Scale: 0 = the worst of the worst, an absolute failure 1 = an extremely horrible disaster 2 = very dreadful 3 = terrible 4 = bad 5 = mediocre 6 = good 7 = great 8 = very fantastic 9 = extremely amazing 10 = an absolute perfection
  7. No pony's made of stone, some ponies are just better at holding back their tears (as long as possible) than others. This is the story of the depressed Pinkie Pie and her emotions in her depressed state. https://www.fanfiction.net/s/13094778/1/The-Hurt
  8. Sup brahs? 'Nother year, 'nother season! Season 7 was pretty cool, wasn't it? Can we expect the same this season, or even better? Any predictions of what might happen? Episode ideas? Which characters might return, or what's going to happen with the main cast? Let's talk about it here!
  9. Preliminary Topic Before I begin my review, I must bring up an essential topic. If you already know why Celestia is a problematic character and what those problems are, then there is no need to read this section. Feel free to skip down to the review at any time. Season 8 Episode 7 “Horse Play” Review by EpicEnergy To begin with, I have much to say about the characters, starting with Celestia. There are three things about her that I want to address. Firstly, the writers fixed the area where Celestia’s ability to raise the sun was diminished due to the Hearth’s Warming story that said unicorns could “bring forth day and night”. Now we understand that bringing forth day and night was not as simplistic as the Hearth’s Warming story depicted it to be, because it required multiple unicorns and Starswirl himself to raise the sun, which permanently depletes the other unicorns of their magic in the process. The strength required to raise the sun is now evident, and it makes Celestia more important and unique. I must commend the writers for providing this significant and needed fix. Secondly, this episode reveals and expounds on more of Celestia’s characteristics, making her even more enjoyable and relatable. Thirdly, this episode creates a negative characteristic in Celestia. Throughout this episode, Celestia interprets things too literally. It starts to get very annoying, but at least Celestia makes up for it in the end. Proceeding, I now will address Twilight’s behavior. Twilight acts out-of-character and bluntly lies to Celestia throughout the episode, which is illogical because she should have listened to Applejack in the first place and she should have known that telling the truth to Celestia would be morally correct and not contradictory to everything Twilight learned. Twilight’s actions are unreasonable, so I must deduct a few points off the episode rating. Lastly, I will briefly refer to the Method Mares. Their involvement in this episode provides even more theatre-related content, adding to this episode’s theatrical theme. The last subject I want to refer to is the moral. It is very basic, and completely unnecessary. It’s also a repeated moral, we obviously heard it before in previous episodes. The focus of the episode was on Celestia and not the moral; consequently, the moral didn’t receive the same treatment, and it is not satisfactory. Everyone already knows not to lie and to tell the truth. Episode Rating: 5/10 In conclusion, this episode focused on making Celestia a better character, and it succeeded despite not fixing every single one of her problems. However, the episode also made Twilight be unreasonable and gave us a basic moral that was already given in previous episodes. I would say that this episode had a balance of positive and negative features, giving it a “mediocre” rating. Rating Scale:
  10. Season 8 Episode 3 “The Maud Couple” Review by EpicEnergy Characters: Let me initiate this review by starting with the primary new character in this episode – Mudbriar. His personality is mainly technicality; as a matter of fact, he is only technical and hardly nothing else. This becomes very annoying over time, since he is always acting and speaking with technicality. Consequently, I must subtract a good portion of points from the episode rating for this. Next, I shall briefly talk about Pinkie. She acts somewhat out of character, overexaggerating too often, which doesn’t provide a natural feel to this episode. Therefore, I shall remove a very small amount of points for this. Continuing, I shall discuss Starlight. She appears to replace the rest of the mane six in this episode by counseling Pinkie and attempting to resolve Pinkie’s friendship problem with Mudbriar. I disagree that she replaces the mane six in this area; rather, I would say that her involvement in this episode has no problems. The only pony who would be qualified to take Starlight’s position would be Twilight, but she is not friends with Maud, so Starlight is the best candidate for this type of situation. Lastly, I want to address Maud’s personality. Maud can now demonstrate with ease her emotions through her tone of voice and facial expressions while still maintaining her normal personality. This is contrary to Mudbriar, as his technicality prevents his emotions from appearing to be genuine. Overall, I must deduct some points from the episode rating because of Mudbriar’s technicality and Pinkie’s highly overexaggerated personality. Plot: The general plot is superb, and well executed. Surprisingly, I found absolutely no contrived and arbitrary plot-devices or plot-conveniences in this episode. As a result, I must commend the writers for creating this genuine plot in this episode. Scenes: In this section I will review specific scenes. I may also skip one or more scenes. Firstly, there is the opening, with Maud performing her “stand-up comedy” that I was really looking forward to after she announced it in the season 7 episode “Rock Solid Friendship”. That isn’t the only amazing aspect of this opening, because the developers also added the “Hayburger” restaurant building into this scene, which was first introduced in the season 4 episode “Twilight Time” (there are a few differences, but it is the same building). Now this is where the new MLP opening song is first revealed. It really needed alteration, since the school and numerous new characters were added, so this change is appreciated since it included the new features of season 8 while still maintaining a few of the old opening features and general flow. The entire opening sequence of this episode is well done. Now I will proceed far into the latter half of the episode toward the scene where we have Starlight and Maud flying kites. Starlight’s kite flying hobby is fantastic and serves to add to her being a great character, so its return makes this episode even more enjoyable. Also, before I proceed to the next subject, one should note that Starlight has kites hanging from the ceiling in her room during this episode. Next, I will discuss the Pie rock farm scene. The writers include Pinkie’s other sisters, Marble and Limestone Pie. It’s very nice to have them back into the picture after a very long time since their last appearance on the show. They are well written, so nice job on this part. They also played a significant role by enlightening Pinkie on what is known as the moral of this episode. That is basically all the scenes I wanted to review, since the remainder has nothing notable that I need to focus on that I haven’t already addressed in this review. Moral: This episode’s moral is well informative and illustrated though the given metaphor. It is amazing how looks can be so deceptive, that’s why I always loved the geode metaphor, a long time before this episode even aired. I own a miniature geode that is within my bedroom up to this day to remind me of how one should not look on the outward appearance and judge someone by that method; rather one should look at the inward gems of another human, the positive side that has so much potential. That is a very considerable lesson to learn, and an even harder one to apply with humans being so judgmental of others. Episode Rating: 7/10 Conclusion: This episode is highly enjoyable in all aspects except the characters. With Pinkie's overexaggerated personality and Mudbriar's technicality, it came become annoying, leaving this episode with a "great" rating. Rating Scale: 0 = the worst of the worst, an absolute failure 1 = an extremely horrible disaster 2 = very dreadful 3 = terrible 4 = bad 5 = mediocre 6 = good 7 = great 8 = very fantastic 9 = extremely amazing 10 = an absolute perfection
  11. Season 8 Episode 4 “Fake It Till’ You Make It” Review by EpicEnergy Characters: This episode centers around Fluttershy, so I will focus solely on this character for this reason and that there are no new characters introduced. Fluttershy acts far out of character in this episode, so the question that should be asked should be based around whether this is inconsistent and whether it makes sense or not. I would argue that it is very inconsistent and makes no sense. It will be evident why I say this in the “scenes” section. Plot: Fluttershy maintains the Manehattan boutique for Rarity and decides to act as the Saddle Row pony’s stereotypical personality to be effective. At first this works. As time progresses though, Fluttershy becomes a more and more unpleasant Saddle Row pony who eventually takes this acting to an extreme that is displeasing even for a Saddle Row pony, which renders her acting ineffective. Now for a short review on this plot. I must complement the writers because they have carefully designed the incidents so that nothing appears to be solely a plot-convenience or an arbitrary plot-device. I must also add that this main plot is laid out nicely, from beginning to end. Scenes: I will review a few individual scenes in this section. The opening scene is great, because it occurs in Fluttershy’s animal sanctuary which is nice to have its appearance once again after its initial development in season 7. This opening also serves to further the plot, providing an explanation of the events that will ensue later in the episode. The next scene I will review occurs a while after this which has something that is plainly absurd. It’s when one of the customers tastes the lukewarm tea and instantly spits it out, and Fluttershy proceeds to lecture the raccoons very harshly afterwards. I’ll refer to this incident from now on as the “lukewarm-tea encounter”. It is at this point, I argue, where Fluttershy losses her character and unnecessarily acts excessively unpleasant. It also at this point that Fluttershy does the completely illogical, which should not have occurred. She does not apologize to the critters, and proceeds to make offensive remarks to the customers while elevating the boutique dresses to a god-like level that no one could buy because they are not worthy. There is a presented reason why Flutters does this, which is also illogical, but I’ll get to that afterwards. For now, I must address another scene before I get to the last part. In this scene, Fluttershy ignores her friends, despite them attempting to help, and kicks them out of Rarity’s shop! I know Fluttershy was acting, but acting does not mean one loses all sense of reason and not know when to stop and take things seriously! The final scene I will review is when Fluttershy admits she became too distracted with her acting, but it fails to suffice as a plausible explanation for her behavior, seeming to be more of an excuse than anything. She says, “I’m sorry, you know I was only pretending right?”. This is a terrible explanation because getting too distracted by acting and pretending to be an overexaggerated and illogical stereotypical Saddle Row pony does not justify being a detrimental employee and horrible friend. In other words, pretending to be someone offensive doesn’t justify being offensive, since harm is inflicted either way if the offended doesn’t know you’re pretending, which is exactly what happened. Also, everyone just forgives Fluttershy after her illogical explanation anyways without even speaking of how wrong her actions were. It’s implying that Fluttershy shouldn’t be held accountable for her actions at all because she was too focused on pretending to be someone she was not!!! I’ll have to subtract many points from the episode rating for this erroneous explanation, response, and implication. Moral: I will now focus on the main moral. In case no one knows what that moral is, it simply is that one has inner strength and need not change himself/herself in order to show it. This moral is highly fantastic, because it is very true and very helpful. Additional Areas (if applicable): Inconsistency with the Season 1 episode “Suited for Success”: In “Suited for Success”, Fluttershy is said, by her friends, to have a freaky knowledge of sowing, which helped her create Rarity’s dress exactly as intended. This knowledge is clearly obvious when Fluttershy gives her real opinion on the dress Rarity made for her a few moments back in this season 1 episode. The inconsistency is that Fluttershy is depicted as having hardly any knowledge of fashion in season 8 episode 4, which even Fluttershy herself admits. Episode Rating: 3/10 Conclusion: Everything about Fluttershy makes sense up to the “lukewarm-tea encounter”, and then everything goes downhill from there. The main moral is exceedingly great, as well as the general plot, but Fluttershy’s behavior is illogical along with a terrible explanation for it. In addition to those problems, this episode also contradicts the season 1 episode resulting in an irritating inconsistency. To conclude, I must give this episode a negative rating. As brutal as a 3/10 may appear, if you line it up with my rating scale you will find it is not nearly as brutal as it could be. Rating Scale: 0 = the worst of the worst, an absolute failure 1 = an extremely horrible disaster 2 = very dreadful 3 = terrible 4 = bad 5 = mediocre 6 = good 7 = great 8 = very fantastic 9 = extremely amazing 10 = an absolute perfection
  12. Season 8 Episode 5 "Grannies Gone Wild" Review by EpicEnergy This episode is impressive. The worldbuilding in it is very appreciative, as Las Pegasus is the setting of this episode, this time without having any antagonist. As if the worldbuilding wasn’t enough, the numerous side characters (old and new) are given satisfying spotlight time that allows them to develop. This also opens the door for plenty of fan-fics and so much potential for the show. I’d also like to add that Jackpot and Trixie appear to be alike, which generates the theory that Jackpot is Trixie’s dad. I would love to see that area explored in later episodes. Proceeding, Rainbow Dash is the only character who presents a complication in this episode, because she acts out-of-character. Acting out-of-character is sometimes inconsistent and illogical, like in the previous episode of season 8 (“Fake It Till’ You Make It”). I would argue that in this episode it is not inconsistent or illogical because Rainbow Dash’s behavior is understandable as she is forced to obey Applejack’s list or face the consequences. That doesn’t make it any less bothersome though. Moving onward, the moral is remarkable. It has been constantly stressed throughout the episode, not in a forceful manner, and is very relatable for many of us. The moral is that old people aren’t as boring and stupid as they are normally said to be. This moral reminds us to respect our elders and not assume unnecessary things about them simply because of their age. Before I close, I wanted to mention that throughout this episode Rainbow Dash uses her wings as hands. As minor as this may sound, it is very creative, and I find it rather neat to have in the show. Episode Rating: 9/10 Overall, this episode is one of my most enjoyed episodes in season 8, except for Rainbow Dash following AJ’s list, which is very understandable in the given context but still can be somewhat irritating in a few scenes. Rating Scale:
  13. Season 8 Episode 6 “Surf and/or Turf” Review by EpicEnergy This episode was amazing, but it did contain a few problems. First and foremost, I must address one of the largest problems in season 8 – the Cutie Map. I briefly mentioned it in my episode 1 review, that it will affect future episodes, and that is exactly what is occurring here in episode 6. I’ll briefly explain the situation – The Cutie Map is already a contrived and arbitrary plot-device, because it suddenly appeared with Twilight’s Castle at the end of season 4 and was largely used after that to mysteriously tell the mane six where friendship problems are and where travel to solve them without any explanation at all. It’s being used to further the plot of many episodes before and many to come yet continues to be arbitrary; thus, it remains to be problematic until an explanation is provided. This arbitrary plot-device mysteriously calls the CMCs in this episode and tells them exactly where to go and gives us no explanation as to why it called the CMCs and how it knew where a friendship problem was. Consequently, this incident affects this episode’s rating. Next topic. The characters and worldbuilding are overwhelmingly superb! There are numerous new characters all over the place. The episode’s story takes place at the majestic Mount Aris, which was first introduced in the MLP Movie. This kingdom is magnificent and has a culture of its own, with new buildings, events, creatures, hobbies, wildlife, and more! The most important aspect is that this kingdom has two separate places to live in: the land (with Harmonizing Heights) and the sea (aka., Seaquestria). I am genuinely astonished at both the characters and the worldbuilding in this episode! Proceeding to the next subject. The moral of this episode has a normal meaning and an allegorical meaning. The normal meaning is that one doesn’t necessarily have to choose between two things, and that your family will accept you for who you are even if you don’t choose. The allegorical meaning focuses on a specific topic, which is the modern-day issue of divorce. After a divorce occurs, the child can sometimes feel like he has no choice but to choose between one parent or the other. The episode is saying that the child doesn’t have to choose, and that he could switch between parents as much as he likes. This is very good advice, but one must take into consideration that it is only applicable to certain contexts. Minor Inconsistencies with other episodes: Before I proceed to the episode rating, I must address a few inconsistencies this episode has with previous episodes. Firstly, in the MLP Movie Twilight is looked down upon by the seaponies/hippogriffs after she intently steals their pearl, yet she walks around Mount Aris without anyone bringing it up whatsoever. How is she suddenly forgiven by the Queen Novo and the hippogriffs for this? I find this to be an irritating inconsistency. Another inconsistency is evident far back, when Twilight says she can’t go to Griffinstone because the map didn’t call her (in the S5 episode “The Lost Treasure of Griffinstone”); however, she easily goes to Mount Aris despite not being called by the map. Why couldn’t she go to Griffinstone for the sake of research, yet she could easily go to Mount Aris for this reason? Like I said, another inconsistency. Episode Rating: 8/10 To conclude, this episode has positive features and negative features, with the positive outweighing the negative by a good amount. It succeeds by far in the worldbuilding, characters, and moral aspects. On the contrary, it had a severely contrived and arbitrary plot-device that is only made worse through this episode. This episode also has a few minor inconsistencies with previous episodes. Rating Scale:
  14. So after season 8 I'm wondering why Cozy was named Cozy Glow given the usual pony name trends it seems an odd choice for her. Usually there's more of a link to their race, talent, nature.
  15. My guess as to how the Mane 6 found out the friendship mission was a fake was that the map contacted them through their cutie marks in Morse Code. Twilight of all ponies would most likely be able to translate it.
  16. Earlier on the comics we are shown an alternate world where the events in the main comic one cause an opposite reaction. Nightmare moon in the main comics results in a good and kind Luna in that world, redeemed Luna in the main world results in an evil Luna in that alternate world. Now at the end of that ark the good King Sombra sacrifices himself to draw the evil magic out of Celestia and Luna making himself evil and them good. However in Siege of the crystal empire evil Sombra is resurected and redeemed so do you think that would also be reflected in the alternate world by flipping that worlds Sombra who should have been good but is now evil so that he should be evil but is now good?
  17. Greeting Ponies! I am Scorpan. Most of you might not knew of me but you do know about my power crazy brother Tirek. *sigh* I know he was a fool to refuse my advise, and go on with his madness. But I am glad I decided to back off on time. I only wish my brother could do the same. I am here now, so if you wanna ask me anything, then go ahead...
  18. I know, the Season 8 Finale won't be till sometime in October. But I would like to speculate on how I think it may go down, considering that a: Cozy Glow is slated to be the main antagonist b: Lord Tirek will return(Confirmed by his actor Mark Acheson), most likely to pull off the HijackedbyGanon trope c: And above all else: Now, since the beginning of the year, I've been speculating on how this will all play out, and this is my personal theory. Note: When the episode comes out, you may disregard this post, unless it somehow ends up being true.
  19. This blog post contains spoilers for "School Daze" (Season 8, Episode 1-2). I am not sure if the intended lesson from "School Daze" is "ethno-nationalism is bad; do away with national barriers and unite!" on the one hoof, or "a monarchy has the right to bypass any bureaucracies it pleases" on the other. Then again, they are not mutually exclusive. I originally intended to post this as a status update (hence the initial zinger-y phrasing), then realized that it is probably a major spoiler. So I thought, "Why not do a full blog post?" As in my teleology post, I assume that if the protagonists of a show explicitly believe in an ethical idea, their antagonists explicitly believe the opposite, and the protagonists win in the conflict between them, then the show is teaching that those ideas are correct. I begin by discussing Chancellor Neighsay's ideology, and then Twilight's, concluding with implications. Disclaimer: I am not intending to cast any value judgments in this post about the episode, its themes, or their implications. School Daze used the character of Chancellor Neighsay to represent a whole bundle of -isms: traditionalism, nationalism, racism, and bureaucratism (if that is a word). Regarding traditionalism, he considers it crucial that ponies are "prepared to defend our way of life" [pt. 1], and traditionalism attempts to preserve a cultural group's way of life. For nationalism, he shows outrage at Twilight because he thought she was "opening this school to protect Equestria!" [pt. 2] from other nations -- and other races. MLP:FiM has used species as an analogy for a racial or ethnic group to teach lessons about race and ethnicity in the past, e.g. in Over a Barrel and Bridle Gossip. Note that the first thing Neighsay says in his outrage is call the incident an "act of aggression against ponies" [pt. 2], showing that he sees "ponies" and "Equestria" as interchangeable. He also wanted Twilight "[t]o protect ponies from... dangerous creatures who don't have our best interests at heart!" [pt. 2]. His view of the other species as "dangerous creatures" is speciesest (read: racist) and recognized as such by the adult characters representing the other nations/species (let's call them "diplomats") when they become angry at him. When Neighsay yells at the diplomats to "return to your kind" in pt. 1, Ember is immediately offended by the term your kind because she recognizes that it was intended as a speciesist slur. Regarding bureaucratism, he leads an institutional review board that makes the rules which Twilight has to follow and is introduced while at the head of what looks at first like a trial. He also is insistent about following "the rules," which causes the main conflict of the episode. Why call him an ethno-nationalist specifically, though? Wikipedia identifies the "central theme of ethnic nationalists" as the belief that "nations are defined by a shared heritage, which usually includes a common language, a common faith, and a common ethnic ancestry." Since MLP:FiM is already a world where nations are defined by species, it is difficult to distinguish a nationalist in MLP from an ethno-nationalist. But when Twilight says, "Friendship isn't just for ponies!," Neighsay replies, "It should be." Neighsay's logic begins with species identity, which then proceeds to nationalism and traditionalism. His value of traditionalism causes his bureaucratism, since he is averse to "changing the rules" [pt. 2]. School Daze pt. 1 began with an expanding map, and with Twilight proclaiming that the Mane 6 need to spread friendship "beyond Equestria" by bringing new friends from distant lands into Equestria. This need stems from her realization that "the world is full of so many different creatures who know nothing about friendship" [pt. 1]. Twilight's line that "different creatures" from beyond Equestria "know nothing about friendship" is strange in an episode where the antagonist represents racism, since it implies that the ponies as a species have a very basic socio-moral cultural element that others lack. Still, her solution is to bring in foreigners that the bureaucrats deem dangerous, ultimately using her royal authority to circumvent the bureaucrats' opinions. The clearest ideological statement Twilight gives is in her hearing in pt. 1: "If we want to keep our land safe, and create a friendlier tomorrow, we need to teach the Magic of Friendship far and wide." She agrees with Neighsay in holding national safety as a goal, but wants to achieve it through international cooperation. At first I was very confused how to reconcile the vilification of nationalism with Twilight's use of royal authority to bypass a bureaucratic process, since valuing monarchy often implies valuing nationalism. However, I think some of that can be explained by saying that the episode supports globalism. I should define this ideological term, since it is often thrown around as an angry buzzword. By globalism here I mean support for globalization, the process of politically, economically, culturally, etc. integrating nations and cultures around the globe. Traditionalism, nationalism, and racism are each opposed to at least some form of such integration. If Neighsay as a character is taken as a Strawman Political symbolizing nationalists, the episode is making the controversial (but not uncommon) claim that nationalism stems from racism and should therefore be condemned because it stands in the way of international cooperation. I found it so interesting that the villain represented bureaucratism because I have seen certain conspiracy theorists lump bureaucratism and globalism together as one big enemy. However, I found an ideology that approves of globalism even though it is averse to bureaucracy: neoliberalism. While it has been thrown around as a vague and vitriolic buzzword as well, neoliberalism generally implies support for free-market capitalism and a government with only the functions needed to ensure that the market runs effectively. It favors unrestricted movement of goods and people across borders in a global capitalist system. A common complaint among free-market capitalism supporters is that government bureaucracies impose too much regulation, which was reflected in this episode. My only reservations calling the episode "neoliberal" are that Twilight's bypassing bureaucratic authority with royal authority is still government action, and that there is no kind of capitalist free market prominent in this particular episode. To the extent that globalism implies centralization of power, there is a possible but weak explanation that the episode's globalism makes it support that the chief executive of a government use executive orders to overcome bureaucratic opposition. However, it is clearer that the episode's characterization of nationalism and racism in the villain, the implicit condemnation of nationalism through association with racism, and the explicit support for diversity and multiculturalism (e.g. the "overcoming differences" mentioned at the trial) as well as for the immigration of "dangerous creatures" show support for globalism. I considered naming this post "Does School Daze Promote Neoliberal Globalism?," but then overcame my temptation to commit the sin of egregious clickbait.
  20. And frankly, it was a bit of a disappointment. While it was an improvement in the fact that it wasn't just another Empire Strikes Back clone, having quite a few original ideas and moments compared to Force Awakens, it didn't wow or excite me as the prior film, nor did it really answer any of the questions TFE asked. Who were Rey's parents? Didn't matter. Who was Supreme leader Snoke? Didn't matter. How did the first order get so strong, not just overall, but since the last movie? Didn't get answered. What was the next step in Kylo's training to become a Sith? Didn't matter. What drove Luke into hiding? Answer fell kinda flat. Despite the variety of locations, the movie felt small in scale. It was essentially one big case scene. All the other places were boring or of little consequence. The entire casino sub-plot felt like a bait and switch. The conflict between Po and the vice admiral felt forced, with neither side being in the right or wrong. A few choices made by the fleet felt dumb, just to heighten the tension. And Rey's journey to Luke wasn't insightful. It was boring. The whole movie felt really small in scale. Even smaller than Rogue One. And that ending. Usually you get left with an indication of where the next film is going. But this felt more vague and open ended. Almost like something to conclude the trilogy with. We were all also expecting something spectacular to happen with Luke, but he just disappeared. Literally. What kind of ending is that to such an iconic character? Add to that moments that didn't make the new cast look as strong or definitive as they were in the last film, while also putting the older cast in the back seat, and no one really shined all that well. There were good moments. That was one hell of an opening they had. Really highlighted the desperation of the Rebellion in an innovative battle scene. The fights and duels were done very well. And it was about damn time somebody used a ship in a light speed kamikaze run. No one really gets how destructive something like a grain of sand travelling at light speed can be, let alone a whole star ship. It made sense and looked spectacular (though why the hell didn't they do that with the other two ships they had?). All in all, while this film looked spectacular and had it's moments, The Last Jedi was bland and convoluted. My dad said it best. He didn't hate it, but it didn't blow him away either. What about you? Is the film better than I stated? Worse? Was it worth the wait?
  21. Now folks, I'm doing a poll based on villains. Mainly My Little Pony. But you'll find that I put in a 3rd villain from the Star Wars franchise just for fun. Anyway, here are our entries. 1) The Pony of Shadows: While his form was indeed scary, he was rarely used and didn't do a whole lot to the Mane 6 or the Pillar 6 in Present time. Some say he had as much screen time as Nightmare Moon during the Series Premier: Friendship is Magic Part 1 and 2. In the end, he was banished back to the void, but without Stygian. 2) The Storm King: We barely saw this guy in the early part of the film. He doesn't show up till way later, and he is not as powerful as many other villains like Nightmare Moon, Chrysalis and Tirek. He ultimately double crossed his second-in-command Tempest Shadow, only to meet his end courtesy of an Obsidian Orb meant for Twilight. 3) Supreme Leader Snoke: The Star Wars villain. He was brutal and intimidating. And while he did torment Rey, he was brought down by his student Kylo Ren, who slashed him in half just so he could take over the First Order. So out of these three: Who came out ahead? Vote and find out.
  22. So I have seen the movie once in the cinema and once at home on the leaked version. And I just want to say I enjoyed it a 2nd time, but am still disappointed by some choices made in the final cut. I bought and read the Art book for the movie before seeing it and it got me hyped for a few things that were sadly cut from the final movie. (I will add pics when I scan them) - The Storm King The weakest character of the film, imo, but there are a ton of concepts and designs and even an early movie poster that hinted the Storm King having a final form after collecting all the magic. It appears to be a huge Kirin/Eastern Ice Dragon creature with lightning firing off him. Its beautiful and wouldve made for an amazing fight scene with Tempest and Twilight at the end and for a more viable reason for him wanting the magic in the first place. - Scorpan The G1 Character mentioned before as Tirek's Brother. The book shows a full design of him serving the Storm King as an advisor of sorts. I guess this was too many characters and he got cut. But this may mean that he will be appearing in future, movie or season 8 maybe. - The Hippogryph land The concept art for the land of the hippos' is stunning. Sadly you only get to properly see one part of it in the film which is the fountain where Skystar sings. Everything in the book is of wings and horse heads and I would LOVE to pay an artist to sculpt these for me for statues around my house. - The Hippogryphs This was the main thing I was hyped for. HIPPOGRYPHS. All of them have incredible designs or different birds and colour schemes. They're so so pretty! BUT In the movie, we only really get to see a lot of Skystar's form, with the rest being stuck onto the end scene. You dont get to see the majesty of this species. The species that Celestia ordered Luna to find and help them! GAH. It's so frustrating to see these designs just thrown away. There is a short storyboard of an army of Hippogryphs flying alongside the pirates coming to rescue Twilight with the 5. That wouldve been better than the cake scene. Sigh alas, it was not meant to be. If you guys have the book, let me know what you wouldve loved to have seen that was left out. I will add pics later for those who have not got the book.
  23. A sneak peek of the S8 premiere was shown at Hascon, and a certain bug will make a return. Are you hyped?