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  1. Note: This review has been edited to clean up and add more content, and credits go to comments by Sloppy Steve, The Dragon Warlock, and TwilightIsMagic for it. Yes, it's true. Real-life snakes can’t eat vegan; they're obligate carnivorous, so they can't digest vegetables in real life. Wolves are also primarily carnivorous, though do eat vegetation at times. If the animals behaved they do here, then yes, having carnivores eat vegan food here would be animal abuse. However, the episode makes a very clear distinction that puts the onus on the animals there, and does so in two ways.  No animal here behaves like those in real life. They may not talk and act animalistic at times, but they can communicate with those who can talk very well, think, and act sapient. This is especially the case when she talks to Antoine the Snake (as he's very recipient to Fluttershy's words and requests), Scout the Flamingo, and Zecora's "gecko." During the predator/prey support group, Fluttershy proposes an important rule in the sanctuary that everyone (including Antoine) agreed to: no eating other animals inside. From this support group, this isn't the first time carnivores or omnivores tried to eat other animals, and FS's gathering is to get everyone to cooperate and get along. The sanctuary is a safe space for ALL animals big or small. The surrounding ecosystem doesn't have this rule. Another controversy is regarding Zecora's use in the episode. After reading posts by The Dragon Warlock and TwilightIsMagic on EQD, I posted this in the episode discussion and then a followup after doubting some of the criticism from both them and I. From the following, these criticisms still hold up. Even though Zecora had no idea at the time that both Angel and Fluttershy swapped bodies or Angel caused massive problems at the sanctuary, it still doesn't excuse her leaving Angel out to run in the dangerous Everfree Forest alone. Understanding how Zecora once caught Swamp Fever and then got nearly eaten by a roc, she should've known better than to just leave "Angel" be. At least carry him back into the heart of Ponyville before letting "him" go. Zecora should've warned them what the potion would do. Yes, she can talk in riddles at times, and when you listen to them more and more carefully, you understand them, and she warned them to take it alone and at home. But by not telling them what would happen to them if they drank them, they get caught in a massive surprise. Alerting them of the consequences would lessen that surprise, make her less of a troll, and give them some input on how to fix it. Until the middle of the second act, Flutterbunny assumed Z erred, only to realize it wasn't the case after their meeting. If her wink says anything, her potion intended to swap their bodies until they figure out they each contributed to the conflict. The rest of the criticisms I had of her plan, both of its construction and implications? Hogwash. There is another here, too. Bunny!Fluttershy's inability to alert both Twilight and Spike that her body got swapped was supposed to indicate how hopeless it is for her to solve it with help. No one knows about the swap, and without a voice, she can't tell others. However, that helplessness could've been clearer to the audience and not relied on not wondering if using The Stare (which she used successfully on Angel earlier) would get others to notice. The rest of the episode, however, is character-driven gold, and their interactions with each other and their environments as both themselves and swapped bodies contributed to the plot, particularly in the humor and drama. Back in Putting Your Hoof Down, Angel had not only his worst appearance of the show by far, but also arguably the worst appearance of any character in the whole show. Yes, Angel isn't exactly the nicest and most patient, but it really took him to the next level, making him a massive, abusive, out-of-character brat in order to get what he wants. While this episode doesn't directly connect to that episode at all, his brattiness returns. Unlike the former (and his desire for a salad made exactly the way he wanted), the episode gets the audience to understand his position in a few ways. Fluttershy focused all her time on the animal sanctuary and classes that she spends no more quality time with him at all, and it shows in the open. As she stays focused on the task at hand, he wants her to give him some level of attention, but keeps getting ignored. During this exchange, Fluttershy utters a crucial line, which I'll further get to later. After Fluttershy gives Angel a little "carrot-based" idea, he decides to get her attention by disrupting the support group and starting a massive fight, disheveling both Fluttershy and himself. During the brawl, Dr. Fauna explains to Zecora that FS is able to keep the "chaos" under control despite Angel's shenanigans. Of course, Zecora believes things are worse than they look, observes how tension's boiling over, and believes the problem must be solved quickly before it becomes worse. After spotting Fluttershy messaging the "gecko's" sore back, he asks her to message his own in an attempting to get attention, only to be rejected in favor of her responsibilities, and this rejection happens at least twice (the latter one equipped with Fluttershy snapping back and Angel hopping away, upset). Why does Angel mock her in front of Zecora? Because he's frustrated with her spending all of her time with everything else. This culminates to his hasty decision to disobey Zecora and take the potion out in the open. Just prior, Fluttershy wanted to be with him and then immediately felt self-pressured to complete her task. Notice the change in Angel's face from celebratory to concerned to fed up as she showed more and more worry. This doesn't make Fluttershy innocent, though. Recall the "crucial line": …and said with a sly smirk. Thanks to that line, Fluttershy suggests she sees his actions as spoiled only. When he tries to get her attention, she yells at him, catching the attention of Dr. Fauna. Yes, she immediately regrets it, but it only restarts inside the storage closet. When he wants to taste the carrot concentrate, she's at her wit's end, accusing him of not taking her occupation seriously and wasting her time, culminating with equal growls towards each other. Right after they switch bodies, the first thing Flutterbunny instructs Angelshy is to "do her chores" while she hops to Zecora's hut, thinking this body swap was unintentional. Yes, Angelshy acted like a brat and used his newfound physique to poke fun at the Ponyvillagers, but Fluttershy getting her under her control only added to the tension between them. Grabbing his tail, stomping the ground, and applying The Stare only fueled his belief of her being "bossy" and animosity toward the other animals at sanctuary. Why does FS's small gesture matter? Because it symbolizes her core judgment to the conflict. Up to this point, she accused Angel of not taking her responsibilities seriously; by literally handwaving, she's suggesting Angel is being spoiled and lazy because he lived with her all her life, and by asking for attention, he's only caring for himself. And, yes, that's true. He doesn't take her job seriously. However, that literal handwave also admits hypocrisy by implicating that she doesn't take him seriously. Unlike PYHD, neither side is in the right from the very beginning. Both of them have streaks of not being nice to one another. Yes, they want to get along and be family, but neither believe they're being listened to, yet only worsen matters by not listening to each other. They oversimplify the opposite's conflict and treat their own as more important. This equal unpleasantness also helped fuel the comedy, especially Angelshy's reaction to the environment and FS's other relationships. Some examples include: Getting very giddy after smelling carrots from Berry Punch's basket. Having initial trouble running to the water fountain. And eventually giving up. Angel bossing Sandra around. Never piss off Angel! The best one, of course, is this: Angel's observant around his environments, FS's extended friendships (namely with the draconequus), and is mocking her for it. And for anyone barfing at the shipteasing, it's not like Confalone hasn't done it before. So why did Zecora come up with this body-swapping potion? Because she forethought the very source of the conflict and concluded that the only way everything will truly return to normal is to make them understand their own positions and see it themselves. Given how they treated each other throughout the first half, the lesson they were going to learn was gonna be tough, and Confalone really showed it. Thanks to not having a voice in Angel's body, FS can't properly communicate with anyone beside Angel himself. Her sign language to Twilight, Spike, and later Zecora becomes untranslatable. On her way into the Everfree, her breath begins to shorten, she starts losing her bounce, and barely escaped from a hungry bald eagle. Seeing as she doesn't take him seriously, Angel takes FS's sanctuary job less seriously, too. Rather than focus on the assigned job, he uses his newfound status to gain revenge on Sandra and become as lazy as Rainbow Dash from 246G, such as letting the storage keys stay lodged in Murial's sore trunk, not reminding Scout the Flamingo to shift his legs, and giving Zecora's "gecko" Antoine's cookies. Again, the fact that Angel's jerkish behavior is to be expected along with a grain of sympathy allows us to stomach his actions. Angel's neglect over taking care of her sanctuary led to massive chaos inside, made Dr. Fauna extremely upset over "Fluttershy" for being so ignorant of the animals' wellbeing (great voice-acting, BTW), and made all the animals distrust Angel after he found out he needed to get the keys out from Murial (who was now dissolving inside Antoine's stomach). (And on an unrelated note, Sloppy Steve from EQD made a great point about the "nuanced" storytelling here. The episode could've just let the biology of the predators go after Fluttershy satisfied Antoine's hunger. Instead, his predatory instincts kicked in after Angel took his treat away for the hungry "gecko" — or shall I say, fire lizard — and swallowed his prey whole, just like a real snake.) If Fluttershy was still a pegasus, she would've been able to fly back to the sanctuary without breaking a sweat. But because she's 1/10 the size, she spends a lot of energy hopping and becomes extremely exhausted and dehydrated once she returns. At this point, Angel realizes what he had done, regretted mistreating Fluttershy, and understood how hard it was for FS to work helping the animals in the sanctuary. It took getting the prey and predators to trust him, work together, and dislodge the keys just to take the carrot concentrate out, but carrying that heavy jar without spilling it zapped a lot of strength out from him. Once Flutterbunny wakes up and feels energetic, they share a magnificent heart to heart. No matter how tough the times may be toward each other, they care for each other, and we see it through their contrition, appreciation for what they do for each other, and around them. From now on, they won't take each other for granted. Beyond the lessons Angel and Fluttershy learned, there are a lot of really interesting bits. The episode further establishes not only the responsibilities Fluttershy has in the school, but also in the sanctuary. Between teaching, taking care of Angel, and running the sanctuary, it takes a lot of willpower to get through all of it. This is the very first episode since the School opened to deal with anyone juggling through very stressful jobs and how neglecting one causes a chain reaction. Often, bodyswap episodes will have the voices change along with the bodies, like Carpet Diem from Gravity Falls. That doesn't happen here; their bodies change, but not the mind or voices. By doing this, STtA must rely on the animation and voice acting to convince the audience Angel and Fluttershy swapped. Libman, DHX, and Top Draw did an outstanding job here, and you can tell they all had a world of fun. With Angel in Fluttershy's body, she doesn't talk all that mellowly. When Angel's in her body, Libman's tone's sharper, hoarse, rude, and louder to make it sound more youthful and "masculine." Thanks to his obsession for carrots, smelling them makes him sound excited and rebellious. From the animation point of view, Fluttershy as Angel might've been a little tougher to sell, since she can't speak. But she knew him ever since he was born, so she can utilize the very same language as Angel when he's a bunny. That communication works with Angel, but not anyone else. Plus, as mentioned before, she quickly fatigued from all the jumping, a limit Angel's more aware of than her. As always, Fluttershy has a way with animals, understanding the need to nurture them and remain patient. Grown out of her timid shell, she exudes authority while simultaneously earning respect and trust from the animals and Dr. Fauna. The episode establishes how impactful the animal sanctuary has been to Fauna since opening: Thanks to all the room for them to roam and heal, her job's not so stressful anymore. Of course, she lends lots of credit to Fluttershy, saying the sanctuary would be a "zoo" without her, foreshadowing the Freaky Friday-like swap to end Act 1. Since the second season, DHX toyed with pegasi/alicorn wings becoming secondary hands. She Talks to Angel doesn't go mad about it like Parental Glideance (and the winged hands were one of the best parts of the episode), but it did one key moment: Taking care of those animals was a big deal that Angel took for granted. Her matted hair and wrinkle under her eyes proved how much Angel's attitude pushed her close to breaking. Holding her right wing out and pointing at her list — which she held with the other — reminds him she is the authority figure and desperately wants him to listen to her. There's some to dislike, but a lot to like. She Talks to Angel resolves Angel's jerkiness from PYHD, intertwines the animal sanctuary quite well, and is the second-best Fluttershy episode of the show.
  2. Note: Be aware of spoilers in the comments! Title: A Health of Information Air Date (U.S./Discovery Family): Sept. 23, 11:30am EST Writer: Sammie Crowley and Whitney Wetta Summary: "While helping Fluttershy gather supplies, Zecora comes down with a terrible disease called “Swamp Fever". Even though a cure has not been discovered, Fluttershy makes it her mission to heal Zecora no matter what it takes." English: Russia aired it early, and a brony subbed it:
  3. Title: It Isn't the Mane Thing About YouAir Date: September 16, 2017Written By: TBASynopsis: When Rarity's shampoo is accidentally switched with Zecora's magical remover potion, she does everything she can to fix her devastated mane in time for an upcoming photo shoot. Watch online live with Poniverse at 11:30 EST at the CMC Clubhouse on Equestria.TV <Insert promo> <Deleted Scene> <Speculation and Hype> <Final Thoughts>
  4. I'll undertake this noble task so go ahead,your questions ask be it advice or anything at all Zecora will be answering the call
  5. Be warned, this may not be easy, Leave if this test makes you feel queasy You may have noticed all the time, A certain zebra speaks in rhyme In the middle of a forest called Everfree, she lives in a hut surrounded by tree To rhyme is not an easy task So only this is what I ask To play this rhyming forum game The end of two sentences must sound the same I have started, as you may see Now this game to you I leave
  6. Does she have some sort of assassin-level fighting skills or something? There's a lot of crazy monsters living in there.
  7. I've been wondering what the legends have been up to since the season 7 finale, and I got a great idea for what Mage Meadowbrook can do! What if she started working with Zecora, and the two become close friends (so close that everyone in the fandom's gonna ship them)? Zecora and Mage Meadowbrook have so much in common, and Zecora is pretty lonely out in the woods by herself with very little amount of friends to share common interests with - mostly Apple Bloom, but with AB being really busy with the CMCs and being a tutor, who's Zecora gonna share some common interests with? Even though she might be used to being a hermit, Meadbrook doesn't have to LIVE with her, but they can share their knowledge and work together to make awesome potions! Hey maybe when we finally get the episode where Zecora goes back to her home land, Meadowbrook can join along! I can really see Zecora and Meadowbrook being best friends, and both of them being outsiders as well with Zecora being a zebra in a pony world and Meadowbrook being in the future, this would make a well-needed friendship for both of them!
  8. Note: This review has been edited to add more content. Do you remember dreading the thought of a Spike episode? I do. For so long, Spike episode were usually among the worst of the series, much less the season. For the first five seasons, no matter the plot, episodes usually starring him were usually awful; anything better wasn't the norm. But since Princess Spike (his worst outing of the show), everything changed. His episodes became good. DHX wrote him with dignity. Since Newbie Dash, the Spikabuse vanished. Even today, the thought of not bashing a new Spike episode is completely refreshing. Molt Down is the first S8 episode to star Spike, and the show's biggest evolution from the status quo since Newbie Dash. How does it approach it? By describing how a child dragon goes through puberty. Like real life, puberty ain't fun, and several allegories hammer that point home. Itchy, painful stone scales: rashes and pimples. Volume shifts: deepening of the voice. Armpit smell: body odor and hair. Fire burps: dunno. A period, perhaps? Sleep disruptions: teens being more alert late in the day. (Thank @Jeric for that pointer and the accompanying research.) Haber's jokes are equally as funny as sympathizing for Spike. Yet, the jokes themselves have an extra layer of dimension, because they're not all the same type, the characters' reactions vary, and visual cues round the story. Other great jokes include: Zecora stuffing each of her ears with a cottonball after Spike suddenly shouted. The camera's wide shot, Spike's irritated voice, and the squashing/stretching of the pot he's in as he complains create a perfect recipe for a joke. It's wonderfully timed and really hilarious. Smolder smacking Spike a little too hard in the back, accidentally driving him in pain. Pinkie's sudden shouting and liking that foul odor. Her sly faces really sell the characterization, too. Twilight grumbling at the thought of Celestia never creaking out. That said, not all of them. Sometimes they got a little repetitive or cringeworthy, notably Rarity's shouts after a while and the grossout shot of Spike's stone scale. But for the most part, they did their job. That said, let's talk about Spike. Although he grew considerably since hatching from his egg years ago, from how Twilight acted, this is the very first time Spike molted. The stone scale is painful already, but having so many throbbing and itching is completely foreign to him. Puberty is a part of life the majority of us experience, and whatever he has to endure throughout the episode parallels ourselves in some way. The stages of puberty poor Spike suffered through echoes our own. Impressively, despite many chances for Haber to unleash the most cringeworthy puberty-related joke possible, he restrains himself just enough to create them at his expense without crossing the line into Spikabuse. How does he do that? I'm not sure, but many of the guesses include: What Spike had to go through isn't his fault. Every dragon goes through this stage, including Smolder's presumably-older bro. The molt effect that Spike suffered from is no less different than any other dragon when they grow up. When they treat it as normal, we do, too. Spike's friends and Twilight don't ignore him. When they noticed something is wrong with him, they're there to help. They care about Spike and want to work with him so he can get better. Smolder interacts with Spike. Back in S2, Spike grew rapidly due to inherent greed, opening up a big implication into how dragons grew. Is greed the cause? Could Spike control it, which was a main part for two future conflicts? How did other dragons grow when they didn't show signs of greed? Smolder's description of greed-induced growth as not normal for a dragon cleared up so many questions and brought forth more insight on dragon lore and dragon culture in her homeland. Smolder has an attitude, and her description of dragon culture's response to the molt effect increases Spike's anxiety for the unknown, increasing the conflict's stakes. But there's one thing to note, which the episode makes very clear — as scary as her description of dragon life during the molt is, she's not treated as a bad person, and Smolder isn't written to be antagonistic. The molt effect is a part of her life, so what she and others experienced is expected. For the most part, she's prepared for the challenges; theorize that others back home do, too. Spike, on the other hand, isn't. He's lived with Twilight his whole life and knows so little about dragon culture. The molt effect, especially the smell, is putrid, and he fears that Twilight and the others will reject him, forcing him to live on his own. He's not prepared to defend himself from predators that relish for that smell, especially the roc. Because Twilight asked him to retreat to an area that won't fry anyone in the school, Spike assumes even more that the more out of control his molt becomes, the less Twilight will want him around. Can't you blame him for being so scared of growing up and fighting to alter the molt? Of course not! For obvious reasons, Rarity and Twilight are usual partners for Spike in his episodes, but they're all really good here. (Credit goes to @Truffles and his reply for this bit.) What makes them stand out here is their immediate empathy for Spike. In the beginning, when Rarity sees Spike hide something under his eye, she becomes suspicious and worried. She walks around him to sneak a glance at what's under his claws, but never gets frustrated at any point. When he admits to being embarrassed by the stone scale, she assures him not to worry, but treats his embarrassment with the respect its deserves. She's the first to recommend getting some of Zecora's blemish cream, and did so again after Pewee accidentally pinched his scale. Twilight gets worried when Spike sleeps in all morning and also sympathizes with him for getting breakouts, just like her years ago and also recommends heading to Zecora. When he accidentally destroys her lecture, she doesn't criticize him or make him feel worse. Recommends to leave the castle for his own safety and everyone else's. Despite battling a sudden ear infection, Rarity never stops thinking about Spike and asks her for blemish cream to help him with his stone scales. When they bump into each other, she notices his worsening condition and took out the cream (only for the roc to snatch her). Right on cue, Twilight shows up and heads to Zecora's to get the cream. Unlike Cart Before the Jerks and Complete Crap Clause, neither of Spike's closest friends and relatives treat his condition as a lesser deal to themselves or belittle him for it. Both of them treated his condition, embarrassment, and pain as important, never stopped thinking about him, and wanted to help him in any way they can. Zecora's really well written in a nowadays-rare appearance. But rather than be treated as merely a vessel to deliver plot devices, she becomes deeply involved in both the A and B plots: Spike's puberty and Rarity's phoenix-related ear infection. Her interactions with the characters and their problems add depth to her character, occupation, and relationships with others. One big change for this season is the treatment of the Everfree Forest, historically a really dangerous place to roam. What was a common plot device for the Mane Six, Spike, and CMCs to face conflict in S1, its dangers and presence became mostly absent after Princess Twilight Sparkle. But for the third time this season, an Everfree creature threatened creaturekinds' safety. And the chase scene was really tense. Zecora, Spike, and Rarity were in great danger, and the score and sounds throughout hammered in the sudden perils they faced. In the leaked version, the chase's tone was more comedic, courtesy of Twilight's lasers sounding like video game beams. Here, the comedy was more toned down, an excellent change from the leaked product. YO! Do you smell what the roc is cookin'?! Little details refine the episode and shape up the episode's quality. Two really stick out: As the episode progresses, Spike's limbs darken in color, foreshadowing his eventual molt and where it'll start. During the break in the chase, when Spike's old skin starts to encase him, the background music becomes louder and completely stops when he's completely cocooned. For several seconds, we hear nothing except Twilight firing at the roc, increasing the tension and making us wonder what will happen to the poor dragon next. So, what happened after he molted? THANKS, JOSH HABER! After everything he went through in this episode, Spike molting and earning wings is an excellent payoff. I don't know if he grew a little or not, but when you're making a child dragon molt, sticking with the status quo would be a complete slap to the face to Spike and the audience. Something about him had to change. Interestingly, even though his new wings feel earned, Spike and his friends treat his accomplishment as merely a new milestone in his life as he grows into adulthood. Here, MD brings forth a really great moral: For Twilight to deliver this lesson to him shows us how much he means to her, their hug proving their tight bond. DHX, please, more of their family dynamic! If there was one little problem with the chase, it's what Silver Quill pointed out: Twilight's magic felt kinda weak. Yes, you could argue that she scaled it back because Rarity and Zecora were trapped within the roc's talons, but she needed Spike's assistance to rescue them from their fall, when Twilight magically corralled them all during the movie. Conversely, the theme of growing was subtly foreshadowed through Peewee's reintroduction. The now-adult phoenix still interacts with his parents, but a sharp eye will notice he has his own nest now, indicating either a family of his own or the preparation for one. Spike may've released him, but they still know each other very fondly, evident by their embrace. Peewee grew up; Spike will, too. Back in Season 5, I panned Spike being handed the bouquet of dragon sneeze flowers, the lowest moment of the season. Rather than capping off a broken episode with a rather sweet moment, DHX doubled down on his buttmonkey status. After all, isn't FIM supposedly a feminist show? Well, you don't empower women and girls by making your only male lead a punching bag for abusive comic relief. It's hypocritical and massively sexist, one of the biggest stains of the series. But after that, the direction for his character improved. No longer did his personality shift to demand the plot. His role wasn't confined to pure comic relief. His episodes no longer beat him down or abused him just to teach him a contrived lesson. Starting out with secondary roles in Amending Fences and Re-Mark, Season 6 expanded his role, including becoming close friends with Starlight, bonding dragonkind and ponykind by working with and befriending Ember, and sacrificing his celebrityhood to stand up for Thorax. Season 6 was Spike's best season. Albeit a diminished role in S7, he was really good in Triple Threat, Owl's Well done right. Coming into Molt Down, Spike was having a great year. Now he left his biggest mark in the show since Times. His wings demonstrate his evolution in not just his character, but also his role. It's unknown whether his wings will have a big impact on the season, or it's just cosmetic. But what happens in the future will wait. When I watched the leaked version, I liked it, but wasn't totally happy with it. Days before its official airing, however, I was unsure whether I was fair to it or not. Now, when comparing the leaked version with the final product, the leaked Molt's lack of polish and missing score completely affected the episode's overall quality. The final product is excellent, well edited, and really makes the audience feel like Spike earned his pair of wings. Molt Down's one of the best episodes of S8 so far and one of the best Spike episodes altogether. P.S.: And, yes, Molt Down's change of the status quo's superior to MMC's.
  9. Good evening, everypony, and welcome back to another edition of "Batbrony Reviews"! Goodness me, at this point the amount of exceptional episodes this season has become so commonplace that it's almost starting to lose its effect. But just almost. This past week we had yet another delight of an episode in "A Health of Information," and easily Fluttershy's best episode of the season. It was well-paced, well-written, had great appearances from new and old characters, and a side of its main character that we rarely get to see. Without further ado, let's begin, this is "A Health of Information." "Ya'll ready to learn all about the magic of... the perfect gumbo recipe?" So first things first, even though she appeared in this episode less than last week's, I'd say this was easily the better of Zecora's two appearances this season, so far at least. For starters, we got to see her helping somepony *gasp* outside of her damn hut! OK, fine, I know this is hardly the only time she's stepped outside of her house, but still, it's a rare enough occurrence that it stood out to me, plus it was interesting that she wasn't helping somepony brew something like she usually is. She was specifically helping Fluttershy track down a moss for some oxen visiting her animal sanctuary whose location in the Everfree Forest she was familiar with, though I have to admit this opening scene raises to points of concern. (1) Does this mean that oxen aren't sapient in this universe? If so that's fairly confusing considering both yaks and cows are. (2) Why the hell was Zecora fetching the moss when she ended up falling into the water in order to get them? Look, I know it set off the whole plot in the first place, and it even tied into why Fluttershy felt so bad about everything, but still, let me reiterate a common sense point that both Fluttershy and Zecora should have been well aware of... FLUTTERSHY CAN FLY!!! Like, I know Fluttershy doesn't like flying that much, but it's not like she would've been flying over a mountain, she would've had to hover like two feet over the water while she was gathering moss! It's not something that breaks the whole episode, but still, I kinda found it to be a silly oversight by both characters all the same. Why does Zecora look so bucking cute in this still image? Wings. You have them. USE THEM!!! Anyways, it's not long before this episode goes from being a pleasant bit of slice of life to a medical drama. Oh wait, my mistake, it doesn't become JUST a medical drama... IT BECOMES BUCKING NIGHTMARE FUEL!!! Why, you may ask? Well because of the disease in question which Zecora (and later Fluttershy and Doctor Horse) catches from a mysterious flower pod called Swamp Fever. I don't know what sick bucker on the MLP writing staff came up with this disease, but get a load of this... you've got silly symptoms like it causing you to exhale bubbles or causing you to break out in spots (which aren't exactly pox so much as polka dots), but it also gives you fatigue, confusion, causes you to eventually start sneezing lightning apparently, and worst of all is the end result. This bucking disease causes its victims to eventually TURN INTO THE TREES THAT DROP THE FLOWER PODS WHICH SPREAD SWAMP FEVER?!?! Well, I think it's safe to say that this is the appropriate response to that... Holy. Bucking. Shit. THAT IS THE STUFF OF NIGHTMARES!!! I mean, let's wrap our heads around what this disease in a children's television show does to ponies. It transforms their entire biological structure into a form completely unnatural to their own, and assuming they lose sapience, more or less kills them in the process of slowly transforming them into a bucking tree. That sounds like some bucked up idea that you'd find in a 1980's children's television show or film, and again, I have no idea who the buck came up with it for here, but it's bucking terrifying in concept alone. Not that I'm complaining, it certainly raised the stakes from the very beginning for everypony involved, but still, definitely wasn't something I was expecting here. Once Zecora's been diagnosed, we get to the real meat of this episode where Fluttershy shines, and on top of that a very solid, subtle moral is delivered as well. Feeling guilty for putting Zecora in a position to come down with Swamp Fever in the first place (and she's not wrong technically, which is possibly the only thing that KIND OF takes away from a still very powerful moral), Fluttershy throws herself into frantic efforts to find a cure. She sifts through Twilight's library even more ardently than the alicorn princess herself, and in the process (through some excellent research) discovers exactly where they need to go to find a cure, Hayseed, the old village of Mage Meadowbrook, a legendary sorceress and healer (some question how an earth pony was a sorceress, but we know that earth pony's do have their own type of magic and the ability to interact with and use magical elements, so I certainly think it's possible for an earth pony or a pegasus to be a sorcerer/sorceress in their own way). Once there, they track down her old home and even stumble across her descendant (seemingly sole descendant by the looks of things), Cattail, and also hunt down information recorded by Mage Meadowbrook in her old diaries leading them to conclude that the key to a cure for Swamp Fever is the honey produced by Flash Bees, who are immune to the effects of the Swamp Fever flower pods. During all of this, Fluttershy foregoes getting any rest for herself, and soon it becomes apparent that she too is coming down with Swamp Fever. In desperation, she frantically attempts to use her natural charm on animals, and when that doesn't work the Stare itself, to get honey from the Flash Bees, but neither works, and after getting stung by them, Fluttershy faints from her fatigue and remains unconscious for three days while nothing Twilight or Cattail do to retrieve the honey works. When she awakens, Fluttershy realizes that in not getting herself any rest, she not only endangered herself but also Zecora as well, since if she'd been fully rested she might have managed to retrieve the cure sooner. Realizing that Mage Meadowbrook successfully got honey from the Flash Bees by wearing a healer's mask with a stripe pattern similar to those of Flash Bee queens, who the males are subservient to, Fluttershy uses the mask to get the honey and heals herself, Zecora, and Doctor Horse of Swamp Fever, in the process also rediscovering the cure for Swamp Fever for good (very odd that Mage Meadowbrook only recorded the cure in her personal diary, but given that she seems to have lived centuries ago long before printed works in Equestria, we can give her a bit of a pass for not more widely publishing her medical knowledge). Fluttershy's character arc in this episode is at the heart of a very mature, subtle moral, especially personal and meaningful to people who can relate to it (such as at least one very dear friend of so many of us on the forums here). People who've had a loved one get diagnosed with a bad disease or debilitating medical condition in general often go through hell to help them get through it, if they can. They try everything they can to make it better, whether that be financially or just anything at all they personally can do for the one they love. They might drive themselves to such lengths that they even start blaming themselves for what's happening in the first place, or keep convincing themselves that they're not doing enough. Again, this message was just slightly undercut by the fact that this was technically Fluttershy's fault, but again that is easy enough to ignore when you consider just how good the message is. It is not good for one to neglect their own needs when trying to care for another, no matter how much you love them or how bad things may be for them. They wouldn't want you to do so since they love and care for you as well, and on a more pragmatic level, not looking after your own needs might actually make it more difficult for you to take care of them, much less yourself. While such perseverance and determination to aid another as Fluttershy displayed is certainly admirable and capable of achieving much, it needs to be tempered and balanced if one hopes to sustain such a drive in the long run. This is a mature message both on an intellectual and emotional level, and I am sure those who can personally relate to Fluttershy in this episode were very much affected by it and knew exactly what the show was doing. Beyond these core elements, the episode had a lot of other great things to offer viewers as well. Twilight had one of her best supporting roles in sometime, and a true one at that. Oftentimes a risk with having Twilight as a supporting character is that, by the sheer nature of who she is as the show's main character, she will dominate the screen time. Heck, we've seen her paired up (rarely) with Fluttershy in past episodes, such as when they visited the Hooffields and McColts, and while they were both supposed to be main characters in that episode, one could argue Twilight stood out far more than Fluttershy. Here, however, she was firmly a supporting character; Fluttershy took the lead on most things, while Twilight offered good support and mature advice the whole time. It wasn't even out of deference to Fluttershy or anything, Fluttershy just had a better handle on the situation from the start than Twilight did and she knew this. Her intro with Spike in which they were having a cooking competition was also rather cute and funny, a more normal side of Twilight we don't get to see nearly as much these days like we used to, plus it was fun seeing her do something not related to her love of intellectual pursuits like baking (also, those sweet potato muffins honestly sounded REALLY good if I'm being perfectly honest). OK, Twiley looks ridiculously adorable with flower on her little hoovesies and her horn! Remember kids, this is what baking too much does to you. Before you know it, you're having fever dreams about pans!!! Cattail was another fun, new element added to the episode. The entire village of Hayseed seems to have had an Equestrian version of Cajun-bayou culture, which was pretty unique to see in this show. While the real world parallels could only go so far, the show has never made a habit of stereotyping other cultures when it does have shades of cultures similar to ones in our own world, and the same was true here. In addition, his willingness to simply help Fluttershy and Twilight as soon as he learned what they were after was admirable to see seeing as he'd just met them, not to mention he basically opened his home to them as well (well, after they inadvertently broke into it, though in their defense they had no idea it was occupied to begin with). The lore with his distant relative and ancestor, Mage Meadowbrook, was quite cool as well, and it was nice learning about the last of the Legends of Magic (though I still think it would have been cool if Fluttershy's allegory among them were Somnambula). But all in all, the best elements of this episode that will stick with me going forward are those relating to its message and just how great of an appearance Fluttershy herself had. That's not to say the episode as a whole wasn't exceptional, it really was. It's just that these elements in particular are what make it particularly unique in its own way as an exceptional episode, especially in a season like Season 7 where there have been so many great episodes already. Well, that's all I've got for you everypony. I feel fairly certain that by the end of Season 7 this episode will still stand out as Fluttershy's best of the season, so it was a pleasure getting around to finally reviewing such a great episode. Until next time, this is Batbrony signing off. I'm off!!! *cue dramatic exit*
  10. As should be VERY evident in this thread, the fandom artist community pretty much exploded after this episode Good evening everypony, and welcome back to another edition of "Batbrony Reviews"! First of all, apologies for getting this review out so late. Just been having trouble making time for it over the last few days on account of a whole lot of exciting real life stuff that's been happening. But that will be saved for another day, for now, onto the episode itself! Without further ado, this is "It Isn't the Mane Thing About You." So first things first, I just have to say that this was an odd duck of an episode. Like, not a bad one, far from it. In fact in execution this is a perfectly good episode, and in tone very much in the same vein as predecessors from Season 1 or Season 2 of the show. But that said, what did stand out to me as apparent was the fact that this was a Season 7 subject in an episode executed like a Season 1 or Season 2 episode, and that threw me for a bit of a loop. Unlike last week's episode, this is not so much a bad or disappointing thing as simply an odd thing to ponder. I cannot help but find myself asking "What if this episode had been executed differently?" and in fact will do just that at the end of the review. But for now, let's delve into what we got here. To start, Rarity kicks ass here, and I don't just say that because of the end. This was undoubtedly a Season 7 Rarity performance; while the character has never been completely self-obsessed or shallow I cannot help but think that if this episode had debuted in Season 1, she would have displayed far less grace or restraint in how she handled things than she did here. Instead, we got a Rarity who, while more than understandably upset at her predicament, did not come across as particularly shallow at any point; if anything, we actually readily understood how being unable to fix such a situation could truly devastate her without it feeling forced. Rarity doesn't just put a premium on maintaining good looks to make herself feel better, she does it to make an impression on ponies both in her own dealings as well as when she's lending a helping hoof to them, as evidenced by the opening scene of this episode where she's going around town lending assistance to various businesses and establishments. This does have a practical effect in that, well, without sounding too shallow, if there's one thing folks love more than practical-minded people, it's practical-minded people who look radiant. Politicians like John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Barack Obama, etc. all had good looks and distinct images, and this applies to business as well. A great example that comes to mind is who will folks always associate as the face of Apple, Jobs or Wozniak? Jobs of course, and not just because he was the better PR guy and knew how to connect to what customers wanted, but because eventually he developed a distinct image that, while not Hollywood-handsome, was its own kind of handsome within the Silicon Valley world. Point is, Rarity looking good isn't just something that she shallowly does to make herself feel better; at this point, it's simply a part of who she is and how she carries herself about, and there's nothing really wrong with that. She doesn't think she's better than other ponies because of it, she doesn't really even flaunt it, she just enjoys looking fabulous and using that part of herself to help others try to realize their own potential to be fabulous in their own ways. When you're just having one of "those" days This makes her reaction to losing most of her mane more than believable, even if some of her bits during her most panicky moments are hilarious. She doesn't just focus on getting it back (even if that is her top priority), she really does try to go about her business as well but just finds at first that she can't. She also doesn't blame Zecora or Pinkie Pie, and tries to have as much of a stiff upper lip as she can. Let's also consider that this isn't just something Rarity would freak out about; she may freak out more than most would, but evidently losing one's mane or tail is something that most ponies dread and understand magic can't fix easily, if at all. Even her sadness is, eventually, oddly subdued; normally we'd expect to see Rarity having a grand and fabulously over-the-top display of drama when she's especially feeling low, but here her lowest point is Rarity just... well, not being Rarity. She truly feels at that moment like she's not her true self, and can't even muster the ability to lament her current state as grandly as she normally would. That was a nice, subtle touch and Tabitha St. Germain's handling of the subdued, restrained Rarity in that moment was very effective. The ending of course was fantastic, and Rarity rocking the punk look all over town was as unexpected as it was delightful to watch, especially when she kept acting like herself again, it contrasted the punk image so wonderfully! And her learning to always believe that she was always fabulous no matter what she looked like, so long as she still behaved fabulously and channeled that into everything she did, was a great lesson for both herself as well as those who may be most affected by this episode, and a nice continuation of part of the lesson from Rarity's own legend of Mistmane which she recounted just a few episodes ago. So all in all, I really have no complaints about Rarity's performance here or how she was written; I still enjoyed her turn in "Campfire Tales" more personally, and for me that's still her highlight of the season, but this was a splendid turn for her all the same. Zecora coming back (in the first of back-to-back appearances, how about that!) was a welcome return, and unlike Daring Do's performance last week, Zecora's appearance here was not, thankfully, botched. I was honestly a little disappointed we didn't get to see her just shoot the shit some more with Pinkie Pie and Rarity when she started talking about manes and how tricky they are to handle with magic, but that was mostly because an unfortunate truth about Zecora is that she's usually there for the purpose of plot devices more than anything else. Most of what she says is either exposition about something that will be critical to the plot, or words of wisdom tied into the lesson learned. Make no mistake, I still enjoy her as a character and think she was used well here, but it is something I've noticed about her over time, and really it's a big reason we should see more of her, so that she's not just being used in such formulaic and predictable ways. Also, I can't help but think she should have taken a little bit more of the blame here for what happened to Rarity; she may not have gotten the bottles mixed up, but she is partially responsible in that she had no labels for two VERY different potions that look exactly the same. Overall, however, it was just nice seeing Ponyville's resident zebra once more, and I'm sure it'll be even better seeing her in this week's upcoming episode! Pinkie Pie, on the other hand, kind of annoyed me here. Her performance was nowhere near "MMMMystery on the Friendship Express" levels of bad or anything, but the best way I can put it is that they wrote her unnecessarily stupid here for the purposes of the plot. This is not the first time this has ever happened to Pinkie Pie as her over-the-top nature is often exploited by the show to create some kind of foil or plot device that gets everything else rolling, and many times it too has come off as lazy writing for this character. Pinkie may hardly be the brightest member of the Mane 6, but some of the shit she was doing in this episode seemed to be stuff that a five year old could figure out. Her spraying of that ridiculously sticky silly string EVERYWHERE in sight felt like something she'd impulsively do in a bad MLP fanfiction, not an actual episode; her repeated suggestion to simply use any cupcakes she salvaged from the silly string rather than bake new ones came off as both lazy and inconsiderate to the Cakes or their customers (even if it was a funny gag at certain points); and she seems to have spent at least an entire afternoon, if not one or multiple days even, simply trying to clean Sugarcube Corner up with the wrong potion, and you're telling me that in all of that time she never realized that this might be shampoo and not a magical cleaner??? All in all, hardly Pinkie's worst showing, but not exactly a flattering one either. She did, however, admittedly look rather adorable at the end of the episode after the shampoo debacle The rest of the Mane 6, on the other hand, were phenomenal, especially at the end. Twilight and Starlight (honorary fill-in for Spike here as far as I'm concerned) did admittedly get off to a bit of a rough start, mostly in that they, once again, couldn't resist messing with the laws of nature by trying to do something with their magic which, not a second before, they had said they shouldn't when they tried to assist Rarity with her mane through their magic. Now look, I get that they were just trying to be good friends, but (1) they've both made this mistake enough times with often near disastrous consequences that they should know better by this point, and (2) Twilight's first attempt in particular was a really shitty thing of her to do. They're trying to help their friend get her mane back, or some semblance of it, and what does she do? Why steal another pony's mane of course, much to that poor bucking crystal pony stallion's horror! I don't even get how the writers thought they could play this for laughs when they literally just gave this guy the same exact problem that Rarity was contending with the entire time, except I doubt he has a group of friends that includes a bucking Equestrian princess to help him try to get over such a dilemma. That'd be like doing a high school drama episode where, in order to help a friend who was anorexic, her friends tried somehow "passing" her anorexia onto someone else. Not a solid solution guys, not at all! At least the rest of their magical attempts weren't harmful to anyone else, and it was fantastic hearing them at least say no to attempting using time travel to fix things, but still, it was kind of ridiculous that those two made as many attempts as they did when they were so sure to start out that it wouldn't work. Besides that, however, Rarity's friends were great. Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash, and Applejack in particular tried their best to come through, first in trying to come up with whatever kind of wigs they could (in all honesty Applejack's was probably the most likely to work, even if Rainbow's looked the prettiest, but dear Lord Flutters I don't know why you thought Harry the Bear's green plant wig would work at all... even if it was hilarious and adorable seeing Harry working on it), and second in trying to bolster Rarity's spirits and help her regain her confidence to channel her inner fabulosity no matter what she looked like. Applejack in particular had some very personal lines of encouragement and support, a nice dose of Rarijack and reminder of how close those two in particular are in a season where we haven't seen a whole lot of it outside of this and one other episode. Probably her best line was when she hearkened back all the way to their very first adventure, reminding Rarity of when she did her first major act of generosity among her friends in giving up her tail to Steven Magnet; this was not only a critical element of Rarity's own nature to remind her of, but also highlighted how close these two are in showing how much of an impression this memory in particular must have left on Applejack. In the end, their support and friendship was exactly what Rarity needed in order to regain her confidence. Ponyville itself was very much alive in this episode, again in a way reminiscent of Seasons 1 and 2. The Flower Sisters, Roseluck, Daisy, and Lily, in particular had great showings and even showed shades of character growth; while they came close to panicking like they were so wont to do in early seasons, they ultimately kept their cool (with some assistance from Rarity) and did some smashing business with their flower sales while they were at it. They also treated Rarity the least different of any other business associates around Ponyville after her mane fiasco, simply unable to help her when they couldn't see her mane, which felt like a far more natural reaction than the other two. Speaking of which, fan pony salesman and Davenport, the owner of Quills and Sofas, were not nearly as charming. Fan pony store owner was relatively harmless, but he came off as a really inept business owner seeing as he was hurting his own business... simply because he had all of the fans in his store going at once, which made it hard for any pony to even enter his store. Pretty stupid move on his part, plus his later comments about "non-fabulous" ponies seemed a bit... superficial, at least how he delivered them. Davenport, however, was far worse in that he wasn't just stupid for not having wider variety in his sofas to start out, but was also a complete jackass! Dude made a business arrangement with Rarity, a very simple one at that; she gave him VERY sound business advice that helped him improve his sales, and in return all she wanted was a custom-made chaise lounge. Hell, as far as we know she was even going to pay for it in bits as well, so the fact that he was willing to break that agreement just for a few more bits is dickish beyond all belief. If I was Rarity, I wouldn't do business with a guy like that ever again! How can you really trust a guy like that in any type of business arrangement if he's willing to straight up break his word when it comes to his own business?! Aside from that, we had some fun appearances from Filthy Rich, Caramel (who may or may not now be a father of a filly via Sassaflash, who he was dating back in Season 2), Granny Smith and Grand Pear (who could be spotted in multiple scenes selling apple and pear products at a shared stand in the Ponyville Market), Apple Bloom conversing with Burnt Oak (again, another great bit of continuity from "The Perfect Pear," even if it would have been cooler seeing Big Mac talk to him), Big Mac and Sugar Belle taking a romantic walk at Sweet Apple Acres (something which I missed in my first viewing, though to be fair they showed it sooooooo briefly that it really is easy for anyone to miss), and Derpy at both the beginning and end, including rocking the ONLY one of the Rarity-inspired punk manes that looked as fabulous as hers did! Seeing so many different faces from Ponyville showing up in notable roles here was great, and something that is far too rare at this point in the show. Mannnnnnnn, the Flower Sisters are SO CUTE!!! As you can see, all of the elements we had in this episode easily add up to a good, perfectly likable episode. So you're probably wondering in what way I think it possibly could have been better? Well, odd as it may sound, I really do think this episode, by virtue of its subject alone, could have been far more daring if it wanted to. Allow me to explain. The elephant in the room with the subject of an episode like this is twofold. Rarity lost something which she believed is fundamental to achieving her own identity. Not in a superficial way (mostly), but this is a character who loves being fabulous and sharing that side of herself with others in any way she can, so it's easy to understand why this situation would be so personally distressful for her. Obviously, this episode can easily be relatable for two groups of people: (1) more generally speaking, anyone who has lost due to unfortunate circumstances something about themselves they consider to be a defining trait, or (2) more specifically, people who have lost their hair, especially due to a medical condition of some kind. That's a pretty heavy real world parallel for any MLP ep, and there's no way the writers weren't aware of it. So how could they have pushed the envelope just a bit more with this one? In just a few little ways, really. For starters, even though Rarity's mane eventually grew back, we didn't need to see that at the end of the episode; it needlessly minimized what she'd gone through, as well as the triumph of how she'd just rectified her situation as best as she could. Going even further, she didn't even necessarily need to fix her mane at all; as awesome as the punk mane was, I couldn't help but wonder (1) why it didn't occur to her to do that in the first place, and (2) how she had enough hair to do that? For her it was a wonderful fix, but in real world parallels, lots of people can't always do such a fun solution as Rarity did. Some may have no hair to spare at all (though of course wigs are always an option), and for others the lack of hair may even be the least of their problems. So what could have happened instead? Well, I say, what if the Mane 6 hadn't been able to really help Rarity? What if no one at first could, and she herself couldn't simply fix it by going with a different mane style? What if eventually, she came across somepony who in many ways had it even rougher than she did? This could either have been somepony with some kind of medical condition, or if the writers wanted to be less serious, a character like Derpy who has been the town klutz for years and has had to always live with that. In either case, she could have simply talked with this pony, asking in awe how they've managed to stay positive or their chipper selves despite their struggles and challenges in life. Their answer? They never let whatever bad conditions or circumstances they had in their lives define who they were. They always stay true to themselves and never, ever let any limitations they face keep them from remaining who they are, for their own sake as well as for the sake of those they love. Doing it doesn't mean it's easy, just worthwhile. Such an example would have been inspiring to somepony like Rarity, and led her to concluding the same thing she did in the episode as it is, simply in more dramatic fashion as the result of a far more serious experience. Now again, I must reiterate that this episode did not disappoint me. Executed as it was, it was a very good episode. But I still strongly believe that it could have been more if it wanted to be, and can't help but regret that we'll never get to see what it could have been if treated just a tad more seriously, even if what we got all around was good itself. That's all I've got for you everypony, until next time this is Batbrony signing off. I'm off!!! *cue dramatic exit* Let's close this thread with, what else, a shitload of Punk Rarity pics!!! I won't lie, if this had happened, it would have easily been the most metal thing ever!!!
  11. Zecora has been a part of the pony community, gaining recognition from others. Even though she is a zebra, would she be considered a pony? In reality of course, zebras cannot have ponies, but in the MLP universe, does she consider herself one?
  12. Hey, a while back I made these mandalas so check it: Big Mac, Octavia, Rarity, Scootaloo, Sweetie Belle, Sunset Shimmer, and Zecora. and then there is Trixie at the bottom which I forgot to put in.
  13. That has been a request from bronys for years now, that Zecora should get her own episode. And i seemed like the only one in this sea of request who always said "...how?" Here is the thing. Zecora is a character that we only heard talking through rhymes with not exception whatsoever and most of the time, these times where relatively brief. Now imagine Zecora having her own episode where she certainly has to talk for most of the episode? This brings 2 difficulties for the writers: 1. All of Zecoras words need to be in rhyme, or else this would be OOC for her. I don't use that term much, but this fits it perfectly 2. The dialogue actually needs to make sense when Zecora talks in rhymes. Writing something like that in an episode is incredibly tough. If the Writers do it wrong, the fans will hunt them down. What do you think guys?
  14. It's been a month since I've started doing a daily drawing. And Oh Boy, it's been a blast. I didn't liked it at first, but little by little I think I became better... Maybe. It all started with this "thing" which I didn't take too seriously, but it was my first pony in a while. Close to 5 years without even touching a pen to draw. It hurted. Then I did this. I like this style better. It reminds me about those old joke magazines like MAD. I tried to replicate the last drawing's style, but didn't work. Her face is derpy without the cute. I actually like this Octavia, but i have to admit, the lightning doesn't make sense. It's a problem I'm struggle with even today, but sooner or later I'll overcome such flaws. Aaand, here I began to make those horrible intrusive text highlights. They take a lot of space and later when it's not 22 days anymore, it became useless. With this one I took a little risk. I like the colors, but they're oversaturated. Here's when I tried to do a background that wasn't just clouds or two colors. I didn't detailed that much, but I liked it when I did it. Today, not so much, but I kinda have respect to it.Was the first time that I tried to do a good shading... "good" xD well, it's not that bad. With this one, I tried an old, OLD comic book style which I didn't know how to do. It turned out decent, but it's nothing compared with other styles. I kinda like it even today though. This Luna brings me issues. I liked the concept, but the final results are... Special. The perspective is so messy, oh goodness. This I don't like. Not at all. Moving on! This was the first one that I really liked how it turned out. I like the highlights, the background is okay, and the lineart is charming. It was the best I did since the beginning imo. Besides, Dashie with Tank is an idea that I'd love to do more often. This was the time that I've started to do certain things, like the mane style, the shadows and highlights, and more "dynamic" poses. They're still stiffy, but here I noticed that I was improving after a long time. ... And I watch this one, and I laugh. Oh god, look at the expression, the proportions, the background! I thought it was ok, but now I realize that it wasn't that good as I expected xD It's not terrible, and it's better than the others, but still, it's not as good as the next ones, thankfully. That's a good sign. I like to mess with the ways of doing the magic effect. This one is... weird. The style is weird, the expressions are weird, and even the shading is. I kinda, sorta, maybe like it, but I feel ashamed every time I look at it well, it was more than 2 weeks ago. I think I've improved. Maybe. Now, this is one of my personal favourites. This is when I really liked how it was turning out, and I can't find any major flaws besides Luna's face. But even still, I think it's funny and doesn't ruin the whole image. Here's when my shading started to look good. I mess up sometimes, but I've learned my lesson since the Crusaders one. Oh geez... Welp, this was the image when all my mane styles started to be like silk... Not really, but I love Celestia's. And this one... I messed up with the shading in a couple of ponys, specially in Rarity, but I LOVE the feeling I receive from it. It reminds me about those promotional posters from movie theaters. And I love how Sunset, Pinkie, Starlight and Twilight look. With this one I tried to do a "good" background, but... Well, it's not that bad, but the pony proportions are messy, and the color is oversaturated again. I try to improve that even today. Keep it light and smooth, Eifie. Don't over do it. This one was simple. Notice the sense of movement and the way the ponys point to the next part of the text like they're dancing. They point to each other in a way, and I think it's fun. I really like to do Pinkie's mane, it's so messy and weird Even when I like the Fluttercord idea, I don't really like this one that much. The background is weird, and I could do the characters better. even though, I like the feeling it emanates. what I enjoy the most are Discord's wings. This one was fun to do. I love the Crusaders, and I enjoy doing them whenever I can. Even if the "18 days" image was just... Ugh. It's my least favourite. But this one redeemes that, right? (Redeemes? That's how you spell it? English is not my mother language, so don't mind me D: ). Oh my. The Apple-Pie family is tricky, but certainly fun. My thing is doing portrait drawings, and the style is weird but charming to me, haha! (Marble's mane is my favourite. Maud's expression is priceless.). And this one right there is special. Why? It was the first one that I send to Equestria Daily. And it was published. I won't lie to you, I was happy the rest of the day after I noticed that. Then Sethisto started to notice my drawings, and ever since many more of them were published on the page. I'm truly glad of that. I'm willing to do so much more because I have a little more feedback. The brony community is the best. Oh, and another one following the trend of the "13 days" one. Notice how now they're more balanced. Now is Twilight who has her eyes open, and the rest has them closed. She really is the princess of friendship, and I'd love to do more tributes about this fact. Kinda reminds me about the PPG. I think this one is my favourite. The shading is the best 've done in my opinion, and the message is fun. Celestia is used to be captured, so we don't have to worry. Some magical thing will save the day at the end of the afternoon. Should i say i really like the manes? This has a special place in my heart. Ember looks good, and the lightning is divine. (Sounds bad when it's my own drawing. I'm sorry! ) This one is a close second because the colors. This one is charming, and it's okay, but not of my favourites. I think I messed un a bit with the background, and the proportions are a little bit off. And Oh MY, what happenned to Sunburst's beard? That's not right! Besides Starlight's magic is light blue. Whoops. (Oh, you noticed the tea cup? Trixie approves. And the prediction came true, Spike and her shared a moment in the season premiere!). This was fun to do, but MY GOODNESS it take a lot of time, and it isn't even that great. The shading could be better, but that happens when you're on a schedule and try to do so many characters. Don't do that, people! Outside that, it's fun to watch and the illustration looks okay. This was the last one. Was the day before the season premiere, and I couldn't be happier. Notice how I get rid of the intrusive text since the "7 days left" one. I'm so glad about it. The countdown remains in the title, not in the image. And here's some others before and after the episode. The "meme" ones are too fun. I'll do some more this week. The title of this one is "Hiatus was just a nightmare, everypony!". It was published before the episodes aired. Those ones, you know. I hope you like watching them as I love doing them! Twitter! Follow me on dA for more!
  15. Ah, Zecora. You are a very interesting character; you're clever, wise, talented in traditional magic and skilled in brewery, alongside with your capability to solve problems that escape to the hooves of our main protagonists. I feel sincerely bad that you are so underused. They have missed so much opportunities to demonstrate just how much you are valued by other ponys and creatures around you. I have always seen you as the type of mentor Twilight needed. You have helped her a lot more that other princesses I know, shotsfired, the Celestia's method is risible, if not thrown in the air waiting to somebody to catch it, and guided her when times required. You've demonstrated that you care and share without wanting something in return, as seen in The Cutie Pox, Bridle Gossip, Magic Duel, and so on. A good example of your lovely heart is that moment in On Your Marks when we see you and the Crusaders making potions in your hut. It's a short, but strong moment that shows perfectly your caring nature. That, or you just like to spare your knowledge with others for the sake of enjoyment. Either way, it's a pleasure every time you're on screen. Which leaves the question; why they hesitate that much on giving you credit? On the last seasons it seemed like you're just a resource whenever the story needs a brief cameo of "mystic and arcane". Your mere existence still is a mystery, but all these questions are still in the air too. We know how you are, but the when and how of yourself is never explained. We know more about Diamond Tiara than Zecora. Let me tell you, that mere idea is disappointing. You are capable of making a complete story on your own indeed. They just don't know how to approach it and show your better strengths. And if the excuse is the way you blend, then they have encountered a bitter end. Your character has much potential, but the thing is, we simply don't happen to see it. You're flawless, wise, virtually perfect on your ways, and I feel sorry for it, because that makes a boring character. That normally makes me be indifferent; I particularly didn't like Celestia that much on her early days, and was for that exact reasons. We didn't happen to know her enough to care about her daily life. It was until episodes like A Canterlot Wedding, Lesson Zero and Magical Mystery Cure that I felt more interested on her as a character. Especially in Slice of Life, and that's a shame that it's only for a few moments. We knew then that she is a sister, she has emotions, she gets mad and has her strong opinions about things that matter little to nothing, like forgetting a gift for the couple and blaming her beloved Luna. She became real. We could empathize with her internally, not only because She Is A Princess, which is not a character but a mere title. A card of presentation doesn't make anyone more likeable. The same treat goes to Zecora; if her character were just wise, problem solver, or a mere entity that exists just by name and title, she would be forgettable. But you're not. We know you're not. You happen to enjoy yourself. I'd love to see you more on the episodes, and of course I hope there are more episodes that consider you important. What I'm trying to tell is, even if your appearances are just cameos on the last five seasons it seems, these are the moments when you happen to shine the most. Your way of telling spooky stories, your caring about the young ones, the enjoyment you get by helping others in need, your calm and relaxing nature, and the fact that even your knowledge is limited, makes you more real. Parasprites, Zecora's only weakness. We know how Zecora is when she's calm, but I'd love to see her struggle. I think tsundere Chrysalis would like to hear it. Just to finish, here's my final thoughts. I'm certain that we only see the surface, and it is a real, real shame, because it neglects everything we learned on your first episode; "Maybe next time you will take a second look, and not judge the cover of the book". We love you, Zecora. I've enjoyed every episode you're in, and if you one day decide to raise and shine, everyone that sees you will realize that you're one of the main protagonists of the series, even if you share even less screen than Snips and Snails. Maybe on the next Equestria Girls or the incoming MLP Movie you'll have your chance and play your part (Does anybody read the whole thing? Haha). Only one thing more; I'd LOVE an interaction with Starlight. I'm sure they will understand and enjoy each other. Twilight missed her opportunity.
  16. -No images avilable. I want the journey to be made with your mind. Also, the "Guitar" is actually my 6 string bass . Let that seep in.
  17. The title says it all. She’s so underrated it’s crazy why there isn’t much on her in Season 4. Her screentime this season is short! There’s just so much to talk about (her homeland, how she learned her magic, knowledge). It's definitely something that just NEEDS to be explored. Do it DHX. Make a episode of Zecora's homeland and bring Zecora along. Oh man I'm totally up for that idea.
  18. In Swarm of the Century, Twilight asks Zecora for advice and when she gets there Zecora's balancing on a stick and then gets a fright, falls off, and asks "Have you gone mad?" but doesn't rhyme. Why wasn't she rhyming then, and on an unrelated note, why was she balancing on a stick?
  19. (I saw that Rarity was taken so I picked Zecora instead. I'll try to rhyme!) Hello pegasisters and bronies! Do you have any questions for me?
  20. This is an old post, brahs! I see what his two episodes are! Warning: This is a long detailed post. If you want the tl;dr version, head-on (apply directly to the forehead) to the bottom of the post, and it'll tell you my point of this post! Remember Gauntlet of Fire? You know how awesome that episode is? I mean I know some of you didn't like it because it felt rushed, but I enjoyed it very much! Some of you think it was his first good episode. He had other good episodes! But we all have our own perspectives. But did you know after the episode aired, Big Jim gave us this amazing message on Twitter? That means he has not one, but TWO more episodes this season! Pretty much just like season 4! Also as of lately, Spike's been doing an awesome job! I mean, yeah, he's still comic-relief, but that won't change in all episodes he doesn't star in - someone's gotta make the snarky jokes, sarcasm, and pointing out cliches. But in episodes he DOES star in, he's been doing a whole lot better! Yeah I'm rambling again, so I'll get to the point. He's got two more episodes this season, and I have no idea how good or bad they'll be, but I do know they're happening, and it really excites me for the second half of the season! If the writers keep up with Spike like how he was in The Crystalling and Gauntlet of Fire, these might be really awesome episodes! So after seeing the sneak peek lists of what the second half of the season's episodes might be, I found two episodes that got me thinking Spike's gonna star in them. Both of these are from sneak peek list #2. Episode 21 - Every Little Thing She Does: That references the song by The Police "Every Little Thing She Does is Magic", so it must be either Twilight, Rarity, and/or Starlight. I also had the feeling that this magic must be some type of friendship or relationship! What I'm hoping for is that, well since we see how Twilight and Starlight get along as teacher and student, I'd really like to see how Starlight and Spike get along without a friendship lesson with somepony else getting in the way! They really got along very well in The Crystalling, and an episode starring mostly the two would be awesome to see! Like Starlight would give Spike the friendship that Twilight's friends have never given him! Would've been nice to see Fluttershy and Spike have that connection since they got along very well in the first episode in the series, and I wonder what happened to that. So Starlight's the next best choice! This episode could be a good advantage to giving Spike character development that involves his perspectives changing a bit, like that his friendships don't have to always involve being an assistant, and that he should just relax and have fun with friends of his own once in a while. Just because he's Twilight's assistant doesn't mean he has to always be with her, or the Mane Six. Starlight and Spike have alot in common, and when the Mane Six are out in their adventures, Spike isn't alone in the castle anymore! Plus Spike would have development from a character that's NOT Twilight or Rarity! I know alot of you like Spike with those two, and you have the right to, but Spike does need episodes with characters that are not them. Sparity lovers, avoid this paragraph! I'm also hoping for this to be the episode where Spike's crush of Rarity officially ends. I know some of you don't want to hear this, but the writers are probably never going to give any of the main characters a relationship (other than in EG, but EG is ew anyway). So if it were the case that Spike and Rarity are never going to be a thing, the next best thing: drop the crush. It isn't going anywhere. I don't wanna see Spike do constant favors for Rarity cause he thinks they're gonna be a thing in the future. Sometimes Rarity takes it too far. I can already see in these past episodes that Spike's crush on her is fading away slowly. He hasn't had popping hearts since Castle Sweet Castle! No, I'm not saying Spike and Rarity can't be friends. Of course that should continue! Just, you know, not the crush; and Starlight could help Spike see that it isn't going anywhere. Whether Spike gets a new crush on Starlight or some(pony/dragon) else, I really don't care about that. Just stop the crush. Episode 22 - Pony POV: I'll try to make this one short. Basically I believe this might be an episode where Spike wants to be a pony for a day. Why? Well, he would believe that he isn't getting enough respect as a dragon than he would be as a pony; plus he doesn't experience something that other ponies are really thrilled to have: a cutie mark. How do you think he feels about never being able to get one? Well, it isn't worrying him right now, but maybe that's because he never realized it. With the help of Zecora, Spike would get a potion for him to turn into a pony for just one day so he could experience everything he could never do as a dragon. Of course his friends feel uneasy about it, and Spike does love being a dragon and wishes he could just be accepted as one, but perhaps he'll feel he doesn't have a choice. Of course the CMCs would help him get his cutie mark. In the end, the moral is: don't worry about what others think of you. Be happy of what you are! Also... as a bonus in the end... could something from Spike's pony form be permanent? Anyway, I apologize for this loooooooooong post, but what I really wanted to tell you about these ideas I have! Another thing I want to know is what you think these two episodes are about! Gimmie anything! tl;dr Spike has two more confirmed episodes this season. What do you think they're gonna be about?
  21. In my opinion, I believe that human Zecora would be something like a Chemistry Teacher or other type of science teacher at either Canterlot High or Crystal Prep because she already seems to know about a lot about potions and plants in Equestria. But still, what do you guys think?
  22. Hi everyone! Wow, i really never meant to let it get to May before i brought a new update on Equestria's Dawn. I promise the final pages have been scanned in and are ready to be inked, and then the prologue will be ready for publishing! I'm still debating whether or not to make a separate Tumblr page for it, it might be easier to do it that way purely because of the navigation system and all...plus i know how (sort of) to use tumblr (kinda ha ha). BUT. all is not lost, for a bring you a basic outline of what the Map of ancient Equestria will look like, the who and the where of what things will be where. of course it's going to be different to what Equestria currently looks like, i know, but please, use your powers of suspension of disbelief ^^ please forgive my horrendous handwriting. Also please note, the names at the bottom of the circles are the names of the 6 mane characters, however since then some names have changed. also, big picture is big and for that i am sorry. Also, i really must beg your forgiveness with these following pieces i've been doing - I've been experimenting with the use of Copic markers with my traditional art (not like i do a whole lot of it anymore BUT anyway...) and where I'm currently living i don't have access to a scanner. Lighting is also pretty awful, and my phones camera is a big pile of owl pellets, so please do forgive the poor quality. First up is Party Pooped - oh hush now, i really like Cheese and Pinkie together, they're so cute <3 Next is Zecora - back when i was about 14-15 years old, i became obsessed with drawing HUUUUGE Alice in Wonderland A3 sized pieces, and every single one of them had wooden frames covered in plant life and decorated like this. So i thought i'd revamp the old style a little and see where it took me. I love using the green colours and blending the shades and URGH this one was a lot of fun. Third, I've always loved the idea of Trixie, Sunset, Moondancer and Starlight all being potential candidates for the role of Princess of Friendship - they're all unicorn mares who share similar traits with their personalities, their diligence to study, their attitude towards other ponies...any one of them could've been in Twilights position. So as a part of Equestria's Dawn, I'm adding in a prophecy, one that speaks of this princess of friendship, but only says, "with eyes of the stars". What else do all of these characters have in common? a twilight/evening theme - Sunset, Starlight, Moon(dancer), and Trixie's last name is supposedly Lulamoon, but her colour and design theme also resonate with the evening. and of course, there's Twilight. bit of a no brainer there. ANYHOW. It'll be a bit of a side step in Equestria's Dawn, kind of a nudge at the FiM series going HEY LOOK THIS IS THA FUTURE WHOOOOAAAA. anyway....this one was taken in two parts because some of the closer detail got lost when i tried to take a picture of the full thing. Part One: Part Two: Also, if you'd like to know what the writing says on the side, it reads: To my Master Starswirl, It has been many moons since my last letter, and in my search for the Elements of Harmony I discovered an ancient archway and a plinth that spoke a prophecy of futures untold...that someday a Princess of Friendship would walk among us, a unicorn mare with eyes of the stars. Who do you suppose it means? Perhaps she reigns in years beyond ours. She would have to study and surpass many a challenge to earn the crown of royalty. Perhaps we should seek out candidates to teach and train... ...In the meantime, I plan to activate the archway shrine to see what may lie beyond. Perhaps I may catch a glimpse of this fabled princess... Please, Master - keep me in your thoughts as I venture forth... Your faithful student, Clover Bramblebit, the Clever. ---------------------------------- Next up, once again with bad camera focus and lighting issues, here's a few sneak peaks at some of the sketch designs for the protagonist of Equestria's Dawn, Clover Bramblebit, and her assistant Toulouse. who is basically playing Spike's role, since we needed a trusty side kick dragon. we all need a trusty side kick dragon. Please keep in mind, a hand-draft all of Equestria's Dawn's pages before scanning and digitally inking them, so the process has taken me longer than anticipated, plus with my studies currently time has been shorter for this project than i'd hoped. However i am persevering, and I will soon proudly be able to present the very first installment of this years-overdue project Stay safe everyone, -Wandering
  23. So halfway through drawing I remembered I had thrown out all my colored pencils (I was mad) so the coloring sucks. There's a bottle beside her and I was going to draw various colored smoke around her. In the background I was going to put the Everfeee forest but not sure Suggestions? And does anyone know what's better to use than colored pencils :/
  24. Hi there, after the last episode I just had to do a picture with zecora and I took a shot at my interpretation of her mask. I'll use the picture for my boardgame too, it fits!