A Look Back on My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Season 4 Part II – ‘Castle Mane-ia’ and ‘Daring Don’t’ Mini Reviews (MILD SPOILERS)

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Find Part I of my S4 Retrospective here.

MLP Season 5 now has an official date, and as of typing Pony Countdown says we’re roughly 16 days, 3 hours, 55 minutes and 10 seconds away from it. I guess I better get to my Season 4 rewatch. This time I rewatched episodes 3 and 4, and for better or for worse it’s pretty fair to say these two episodes are different to anything that came before them in MLP. First off we’ve got the establishment of the series’ first ever concrete season long arc, but besides that we’re treated to some pretty unique ideas that the show hasn’t touched on, some neat and some… well, not so neat. Enough chatter, let’s talk about some pony!

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The Brony Fandom and Media Criticism

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Criticism is one of the best means by which someone can intellectually engage with the media they consume. Whether it be towards literature, paintings, music, video games, TV or film, critique can strengthen your relationship with media by allowing you to understand how it communicates with you from its ideas to its themes to its presentation to its emotional resonance among other aspects. At this point in my life it’s one of my greatest passions, and yet one of the most toxic damaging things within the My Little Pony fandom. There seems to be a broad collective issue within the Brony fandom regarding how people critically engage with it. After a recent video by Tommy Oliver wherein he discussed how criticism has, in its own way, made the fandom overwhelmingly jaded and divided and a recent post on EQD about Digibro’s channel being taken down filled with malicious comments towards him for looking deeper into the series (e.g. use of the dreaded term “pretentious”), among other smaller incidents and personal experiences, I decided this was a topic I wanted to touch on.

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A Look Back on My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Season 4 – Princess Twilight Sparkle Review (SPOILERS)

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MLP is starting to feel like a real distant hobby. Not because I hold any ill will towards the series or the fandom like I did in the break between Season 2 and 3, but just because it’s hard to maintain your passion through such a long break between seasons, even with a surprisingly strong movie in between. I figured that I should go back and give Season 4 another watch in preparation for Season 5, especially considering it’s the only season that I can’t boast having seen every episode at least three times. It’s not long now until Season 5 graces our screens and I get another opportunity to sit behind my computer screen late at night (god dammit timezones) with a bunch of cheap sugary crap to watch whatever crummy live-stream my dreadful internet will support, as has become the tradition for me with these two-parters. It always gets me giddy to watch these and to see the series be really ambitious, even if it falls just short almost every time because of a lack of breathing room in its conflicts.

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Bristle’s Babbles #19 – ‘The Neverending Circle of Fandom Hate’

So… fanbases… there’s a whole lot of them. Amongst Anime alone we’ve seen the growth of numerous pretty sizeable fanbases for certain shows and franchises. One Piece, Naruto, Bleach, Fullmetal Alchemist, Evangelion, and, more recently, Madoka Magica, Mirai Nikki, Steins;Gate, Guilty Crown, Sword Art Online, Attack on Titan, Hunter x Hunter, Kill la Kill, etc. etc. etc…. I could literally sit here for days listing off Anime with big fanbases, and potentially months and years if I go beyond Anime to other media fanbases ranging from your My Little Ponys to your Pokemons to your Walking Deads to your Frozens to your Harry Potters to your Justin Biebers, etc. etc. etc… Each and every single fanbase I’ve listed is, to some degree within some notable circle, not very well liked, and 99% of the time it boils down to two fundamental criticisms:
1. They’re obnoxious about what they like.
2. They overrate what they like.

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Bristle’s Babbles #17 – My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks (2014) SPOILER REVIEW

NOTE: Old post.
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So here we are again with the second installment in the My Little Pony Equestria Girls franchise. I went into this a different person to the person Iwas when I saw the first film. I was just barely 6 months from cutting off my rocky relationship with the Brony fandom almost entirely, and coupled with the slightly underwhelming feeling I had watching the third season of the series first time around I was at my nadir of enthusiasm for MLP: FiM. I went in with the expectation of a mediocre to average experience and had a mediocre to average experience. Though I was excited to see the franchise get its own movie, it wasn’t quite the way I wanted it to be. Though fairly enjoyable all in all, it was much more a sidestep than a step up, and even managed to pale in comparison to the series’ two parters in terms of ambition.

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