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Welcome to another edition of "Because You All Perforce Must Care What I Think." Let's make this short and sweet, shall we, getting the unpleasant bits out of the way first.
Category A: Things That There Was Never Any Hope For Improvement On
1. Human character designs still not doing it for me. No amount of time and effort will make our girls not look like somewhat sexualized and rainbow-hued versions of Mr. ZIP what with the huge heads and stick bodies and all.
2. Still no substitute for actual pony film. Actual pony screen-time even lower than last time around.
3. All protagonists are suddenly skilled musicians, when canonically only Pinkie, Fluttershy (maybe?) and A.J. have even been shown handling an instrument. And Twilight is appropriately lampshaded in the narrative, so I guess I'm only questioning Dash and Rarity? I dunno. Let's move on.
Category B: Things Actually Worse Than Last Film
1. Vinyl Scratch. I am absolutely great with fandom nods. No allergy whatsoever to seeing Octavia, Snowflake Bulk Biceps, and lots and lots of Trixie. Welcomed. But basic storytelling dictates that you cannot have a functionally nameless character pull not one but two eleventh-hour saves without seeding the plot properly first. Story structure demands that the protective qualities of her omnipresent headphones be hinted at before they are used to save our heroes' bacon (something so simple as including a version of the the disapproving Celestia / Vinyl interaction we saw in the "Music to My Ears" short would have been absolutely sufficient) and the Bass Cannon Sedan needs to have been at least established (if not fully revealed) prior to its use as a problem-solver. When you count on an audience's in-joke knowledge and delight over a character to fill in the cracks of a story, that is when your fandom nod has crossed the line. Furthermore, I can't tell if the creators are putting her forward as a strong-silent master of her craft or actually envision her as the same loudmouthed Bohemian that the fans see and are merely having her stay mute to appease the "Nowacking or Nothing" crowd. I wish they would just pick one, because the more the plot actually hinges on her the more distracting her silence becomes. Thank goodness they actually had Octavia speak a line.
2. No Candybutt, not even in cameo. This is not a fault in the story as such, I'm just (predictably) disappointed and furthermore holistically trepid that my functional OC will continue to fade into the background as Twilight becomes more and more Cadanceified. She's got wings now, is a princess, and lives in a crystal castle. All she needs is a coat of pink paint and to get married, and the narrative will have no use for dear sweet Candybutt whatsoever.
Category C: Things Better Than Last Film
1-n. Virtually everything else. The scene compositions were more visually adventurous and intriguing, the villains had a plot which made some damn sense this time, the songs are marginally superior, plot points are followed through on and not just mentioned and dropped, and the whole thing seems to have been stitched together with a lot of love and affection for the property. And Sunset Shimmer is handled exactly the way I wanted her to be handled. The scene where she once again attempts bad-girl intimidation in the darkened hallway only to have it fizzle this time is just splendid, and I for one gratefully welcome Sunny as the unexplained sixth peripheral star in "Magical Mystery Cure."
That is all. Thoughts?
21 comments · 311 views
I am... a tad gobsmacked but nonetheless unquestionably overjoyed to report that via the generosity and talent of esteemed pony musician Night Breeze/Wind Wolf and my good friend S.R. Foxley, "Cadance of Cloudsdale" has an upcoming song cycle dedicated to it! So exite! Very yes!
Check out the first track, "Reduit," below. Thanks, you two. You helped make my day.
103 comments · 810 views
No secret whatsoever: the number one reason people hate this story is the flippin' ending.
It's not the number one reason I hate this story, but it's certainly up there. Those of you who have gone on to read "A Short Story by Twilight Sparkle" have doubtless perceived the autobiographical inspiration in Twilight's experience, particularly this part:
...the whole ending felt shockingly rushed and weak, because, frankly, I was so darn tired of writing it by that point I couldn't see straight. I had testily sworn to myself that I would not endure another morning with that stupid "Tea" story hanging over my head...
...which is, of course, all true of me. That said, it's not like another day of writing it would have "fixed" the ending, either. It's been like two years now (insert shocked-dismay emoticon) and I have yet to come up with a "better" ending that feels right.
So. Message received, from like hundreds of you. You hate the ending. I get it. I hate it too. It's too late to edit the original story, but if it had a sequel, what do you most want to see in it? What, specifically, chafes your gizzard about how this story closes? The general lack of all-around happy? That Twilight doesn't get her just desserts for an entire evening of torturing Celestia with the memory spell? That, in a world where you can literally turn birds into oranges, that some kind of solution wasn't forced using unicorn magic? What?
Please note that the characters will remain kind of panicky and stupid, so if the fact that the characters are panicky and stupid is your major beef, I'm afraid I'm not going to be able to accommodate a fix of that nature.
18 comments · 363 views
In a short story done for a fic competition! It was written by Eakin, a master of arts; his story "Hard Reset" is top of the charts. This one is does not deal with time loops and despair, but rather a fortress and the Sisterhood there. I'm so glad to see another tale told of our Pretty Pink Princess when she was just a foal. It's really good work--if I haven't been clear--and I recommend checking it out over here.
(If you are concerned why I'm talking this way, it's apparently "Type Like Zecora Day." I find my Zecora-style writing quite dismal on account of my rhymes being hella abysmal.)
35 comments · 960 views