Wednesday, June 25, 2014

March of the Ponies: Season 4, Episodes 24-26/Final Conclusions

[NOTE: Links to other March of the Ponies stories will go here as they are published.Part 1 - Abridged MLP historyPart 2 - Review of Lauren Faust's prior works, Part 3 - MLP Comics (TwilightRainbowDashRarityFluttershyPinkiePieApplejackCMCs/Celestia,Spike/LunaNightmare Rarity arc (main series)), Part 4 - Equestria Girls review, Part 5 - Fan-made episodes (Dusk's DawnDouble RainboomSnowdrop); Part 6 - Fan works (MusicDoctor WhoovesFriendship is Witchcraft/Mentally Advanced Series, Fanfictions), Part 7 - Season Reviews: Season 1, Season 2Season 3Magical Mystery CureSeason 4], Part 8 - Top Main CharactersTop Supporting Characters

As promised, I was going to give my thoughts on the season's final 3 episodes, and here you go!

Well, that's out of the way, let's talk final conclusions on the franchise and its fandom.

For all of my frustrations with a lot of the episodes, this actually was a fun trip. Once I got into the franchise's in-canon stuff I was actually really impressed with what I saw.

Additionally, the amount of fan works reminds me a lot of the Harry Potter and Airbender fandoms that I already work within. And they actually had really good premises for both characters in the show as well as in the background. Granted, I didn't enjoy many original characters, but they're fine in minor roles.

Yes, there is a LOT of crap in the fandom, and I can honestly say that when I saw a story with a description that had... less-than-family-friendly content... I cringed a little. What I find enjoyable about the show is that it doesn't need to go with R-rated material or 'shipping' in order to sell itself. It makes it on character interaction and psychology and succeeds with it much of the time.

That's not to say that all 'shipfics' are terrible. When kept innocent, I can handle one every once in a while, but they're definitely not what I see as the pinnacle of the world.

Now this theme-limiting I have does keep me from enjoying stories other people really like. Fallout: Equestria has a huge fanbase but I'm not hugely into it. I never cared for Fallout and trying to shoehorn its style into MLP borders on the absurd in a bad way.

Seriously, read this fic!
I much more prefer crossovers (The Third Generation), alternate universes where character interaction in over-the-top crazy situations are the norm (Doctor Whooves), emotional stories (My Little Dashie) or character/episode analyses (Her Own Pony).

And that reminds me: I LOVE the analysis community the show created. Tommy Oliver, Antony C, DigiBrony, MysteriousMrEnter, Silver-Quill, Fiery Joker/Firebrand, Voice of Reason, KP and AnYPony are all really solid at their jobs at reviewing the show from VERY different viewpoints. Additionally, I think the reaction videos from Soundspeed, CobaltSky7, SirFrogFinest and MrAwkwardReviewer are hilarious yet insightful.

Overall, I think what the fanbase likes (as do I) is that the show has a very "Superman" comic feel to it. It chooses to display the aspects of humanity that make the world great and shows what their strength is when at their best.

It does so with a mythology that (feels like it) has a rich history and gives people an ideal to shoot for. But it also makes it OK for the characters to fail, so its audience doesn't feel bad for not being able to always live up to the lessons.

This show is good for helping people get in tune with their emotions, and as long as the fanbase is looking to the show for that purpose, then by all means, go ahead and enjoy it.

Though I won't be a fully involved member of the fandom, if I see trades, from time to time I may give them a read and review them here, and I'll probably allow the show to join Arrow, Doctor Who and Korra as shows where I review the episodes (YouTube exclusive. Don't expect them here.). Who knows? Maybe my viewpoints will draw someone in the fandom to review the show (or get them into comics).

So if you want a final assessment, I say give it a look and try to see it from the perspective of a Superman comic fan. That's probably the viewpoint I'd advise if you want to come at it from an angle where you can understand the show's popularity. But it is a high-quality animated show and at least deserves an honest assessment.

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