One of the things which slowed down the process of writing the blog post just so happened to be finding an artwork to use. In fact, at the very time I'm writing this I've still yet to decide on an artwork. Once I do though, I shall provide underneath it a source of where I found the artwork from, or a mention of who made the artwork. It's always been something I've forgotten to do in previous blog posts, but I figure that my cover art for these blog posts should from now and in future help link people to the maker of said artwork, in case any of you ever happen to be curious about it. Anyway, onto other things regarding life and what not.
Life and What Not!
Warning: Spoilers for those of you who watch Naruto but don't read the manga incoming!
First off, for those of you who remember the few times I've mentioned it, I'm a fan of Naruto. The series has recently ended, and it has been quite strange to think that the very anime series which got me using YouTube (the very first YouTube video I ever watched was a Nartuo vs. Sasuke AMV with In The End by Linkin Park playing), and to which has been going for such an incredibly long time, has finally drawn to a close. It's had it's up and downs, but overall I enjoyed the series and have many fond memories of it.
I'd also like to bring to your attention, this old blog post of mine; Six Series, Six OTP’s: The common ground found between them. I shall just say that thanks to Kishimoto, I have been spoiled rotten when it comes to my OTP. Oh, to just dreaming of all this happening for FlutterDash, becoming canon, getting an album cover, getting a movie devoted to their romance.
Anyway, aside from Naruto ending, the other big thing that has happened as of late is an old friend of mine contacting me. Smash King 24, a fanfic writer I know from my SSB fanfiction days, has announced a fanfiction writing contest; Smash King24's Christmas Contest 2014.
This is though, nothing new, as back in 2009 he had held a similar contest known as Smash King24's Christmas Contest 2009. In that very contest, I helped him run it as one of the fanfiction judges, and I shall be resuming my role as a fanfiction judge for Smash King 24's upcoming contest as well. This may dip into my time a little bit, but I imagine no more than would have otherwise been spent being distracted by other pressing matters. It does help me accomplish one of the deeds I was hoping to achieve, getting re-immesrsed in the SSB fanfiction fandom, which outside of this contest is probably going to be a hard thing to do given my gloomy views on the latest entry of the Super Smash Bros series. Anyway, I just thought I should inform you, as it is a fanfiction relevant matter, and if you happen to have enough time and like writing SSB fanfiction, you may even consider joining yourself.
I do apologise if I'm taking a while to reach the heart of this blog post, there are simply so many things to talk about. In regards to Grin Brothers, I shall in fact save most of them for the next blog post, where I'll have less to mention on other matters. I just wanted to mention that until December 1st, the Grin Brothers will be taking a break from uploading. That said, for anyone interested, before taking our break we managed to finish up our LittleBigPlanet 2 playthrough series. We have also uploaded many short gameplay videos of various other games, known as Grin Brothers Mini, and even compiled them into a playlist. If you're interested, feel free to check them out.
Episode Review of Come Back Lily Lightly
I best quickly explain something before I begin the review. This episode is in fact, a 3rd of a single episode. Come Back Lily Lightly is but one of the stories of a multi-story episode known as My Little Pony: A Very Pony Place, much like the already reviewed Meet The Ponies. Unfortunately, I could not find a single video which contained all three episodes together, and unlike with Meet The Ponies, each of the stories are of a fairly decent length. As such, I've decided to review each story separately, though I also hope to get them done within a decent time frame of one another (though no promises, I've been really bad at doing things on time as of late). With that out of the way, let's begin the review of the first story of My Little Pony: A Very Pony Place, Come Back Lily Lightly.
Come Back Lily Lightly focuses on a newly introduced unicorn, Lily Lightly, with Princess Rarity, Cheerilee, Brights Brightly, Pinkie Pie, and Minty serving as the supporting cast for the episode. At the time of the episode, Unicornia are preparing for their yearly Night of a Thousand Lights festival, to which Lily Lightly serves as its organiser. Whilst Lily Lightly is organising the festival, a secret of hers is revealed, and embarrassed by said secret, she runs off. Thus Princess Rarity and Brights Brightly go off to search for her, while at the same time, Minty and Pinkie Pie are trying to make their way to Unicornia, with little success (expected given Minty is involved).
As per usual, I start things off with the positives to the episode, the first of which connects to the first sentence of my summary of the episode. Whilst the episode does focus on the new character of Lily Lightly, a fact not all too surprising given the G3 series of episodes, it does have the rest of the main roles filled by familiar faces. They are as great as they were in previous episodes, with Brights Brightly getting more focus and chance to present her character than in her previous appearances. These characters serve their roles well, and the inclusion of Pinkie Pie and Minty makes for plenty of enjoyable banter and humour.
That said, the newly introduced Lily Lightly is also a great character. The episode does a good job introducing her, showing her to be mature and orderly, yet also worrisome and withdrawn. She comes across very relatable and well defined, thanks to the course of the events the episode takes and the many interactions she gets.
Along with the good characters, Come Back Lily Lightly has itself some good humour moments. Not exactly an abundance of them, though to be fair the episode doesn't focus much on a comedic tone, but plenty enough. Many come through thanks to the voice acting, and the interactions between Pinkie and Minty serve as the highlight in terms of funny moments. As said though, Brights Brightly gets some decent screen-time in this episode, and she ends up having some fairly funny moments interacting with Princess Rarity. Along with the humour, another good factor comes through in the form of most of the music and songs. Background music is lovely, particularly towards the end. Of songs, there are three in total, and whilst the 1st is rather poor, the other two work great and address the main themes of the episode.
I do have one last positive thing to make note of, but I feel that'd be best saved for the conclusion. So for now I move onto the negatives, which unfortunately, are rather critical negatives. The first problem I encountered with this 20 minute episode is the first 4-6 minutes of the episode. This time frame introduces Lily Lightly and the organisation of the festival, which is explained repeatedly within the first few minutes, with the entire organisation finishing within a single transition screen. We then get a scene where Lily Lightly is crowned a princess of all things twinkling and glowing and something along the lines, which hints that it'll be the crux of the episode as Lily Lightly gets nervous and excuses herself, but it isn't.
At the 4 minute mark we get rather randomly thrown into a song about giggling, a very poorly done song about giggling as most the characters end up talking their lines. It's a shame, as the tune is rather nice. This song does serve a purpose though, as the song results in Lily Lightly's secret being revealed through her inability to stop giggling. This is all well and good, Lily Lightly's fear and worry is well conveyed as she runs off... using the exact same scene as to her prior nervous exit. I couldn't believe my eyes, the lines of dialogue were different but the animation was the exact same, completely identical, to a scene I had witness only a couple minutes earlier. The animation to this episode has many moments where it comes across as faulty, voices and lips out of sync, characters appearing to be oddly drawn from a distance, a lack of consistency with eyebrows. It's mostly small things, but noticeable.
The final flaw within this episode though, is something I have to warn you of. If you ever consider watching Come Back Lily Lightly, whatever you do, do not wear headphones. There is a character that appears within this episode, a firefly, and when she speaks, your eardrums shall burst. Her voice is incredibly high pitched, a pain on the ears to listen to, and generally annoying. Thankfully, her voice adjusts for her singing moment, but every scene with her talking comes with a bit of pain.
Come Back Lily Lightly has great characters, good humour, and good music, but is unfortunately marred by some key flaws. It's a real shame as well, given that this episode does deliver a great message of being yourself, and how being different is a good thing. It's simple, but explained well through its story and the character of Lily Lightly. Right now, I'm unsure what to rank this episode, only that I do at least consider it an average episode for the good things it does do, but if you're unable to look past its faults then you'd be unlikely to enjoy Come Back Lily Lightly.