• Member Since 16th Feb, 2012
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  • 59 weeks
    Season Eight Episode Reviews: Molt Down

    This week is a Spike episode? What a re-”molt”-ing development this is!

    Let's look at “Molt Down,” the episode that will surely be perfectly normal and have no long-lasting repercussions on a character's appearance.

    Read More

    2 comments · 838 views
  • 60 weeks
    Season Eight Episode Reviews: Break Up Break Down

    I dread going into this week's episode. For today, we discuss matters of the heart. Romance, love, heartbreak, and all that rot. Which means we run right into the most loathsome of all fandom constructs, the kind of thing that destroys friendships and leaves the most brilliant of minds curled up helplessly in a corner, foaming from the mouth:

    SHIPPING.

    Read More

    6 comments · 558 views
  • 61 weeks
    Season Eight Episode Reviews: Non-Compete Clause

    We've had a string of good episodes the last few weeks. Whether it be shapeshifting seaponies, an actual Celestia episode, or discovering Starlight's dark phase, we've had lots of fun and plenty of laughs.

    Today's episode is about Applejack and Rainbow Dash competing.

    The good times are over.

    Read More

    7 comments · 584 views
  • 62 weeks
    Season Eight Episode Reviews: The Parent Map

    Happy Cinco de Mayo, everyone who cares about that! What better way to spend the day than watching a cartoon about horses dealing with their mommy/daddy issues? Well, tough, because that's what we're doing. This is “The Parent Map.”

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    4 comments · 401 views
  • 63 weeks
    Season Eight Episode Reviews: Horse Play

    So hey, it's a new episode. Surely nothing to be excited about. Just another standard episode of a cartoon pony show.

    Only it's a CELESTIA EPISODE!

    Prepare for extra spicy biased scoring as we look at Best Princess' newest episode, “Horse Play!”

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    5 comments · 471 views
Feb
6th
2014

Comic Review: Issue #16 (BOOKS! GOD I LOVE BOOKS! Part 2) · 5:29am Feb 6th, 2014

When we last left our heroes, they had starred in the single worst pony comic to date. But enough about Friends Forever #1, let's look at the ponies continue their quest to deal with a giant bookworm and a horde of fictional characters, including Daring Do, who is totally still fictional because my therapist says “Daring Don't” never happened. Can the ponies stop these menaces and, most importantly, get Twilight an emergency book infusion before she goes into withdrawal?


The issue begins right where we left off. Twilight, Rainbow Dash, Rarity, and Pinkie (now minus a hoof – she covers the wound with a variety of objects) trapped in a world of nothingness, while Applejack, Fluttershy, Spike, and Daring hide from the rampaging hordes. The worm itself has mostly retreated, deciding to cocoon itself for something the fictional villains believe to be quite bad. Fortunately, the lost four finally come up with a solution: improvise their own story, which will attract the bookworm. Once they beat it, they can then follow the trail back home. And they have to hurry, because the Evil Queen has learned of the Elements of Harmony and wants them for her crown...

I had some reservations about last issue, but I figured I would wait until the second half came out before writing it off. Unfortunately, this issue did little to rectify its predecessor's mistakes. The pacing continues to be breakneck, jumping from one reference to the next with nary a moment for actually building a plot or developing the characters. In fact, it's what people think Cooke-Price issues are like, only it's done by Nuhfer and Mebberson. We go from Lord of the Rings to zombie invasions to Star Trek and finally Film Noir, with all the styles just bleeding into each other after a while.

But the real disappointment is the Daring Do stuff. Back when the issue was first advertised, a lot of attention was paid to selling her involvement in the overall story, how she would be helping our heroes sort this out, etc. Instead, you could have really cut her from the whole thing and it wouldn't have mattered, and while that might be an apt reference considering how Indiana Jones is the most useless character in his movies, it's still not a good payoff. Some actual interaction between, say, Dash and Daring would have been both a wonderful followup to and a way to wash out the taste of “Daring Don't,” but they get one panel together where Dash is barely conscious and Daring just poofs back into her book.

The bookworm was also a massive letdown. At the end of last issue, it felt like they were building to something big with how the “beast” was about to emerge. Early in this issue, the worm cocoons itself and lands in one of their stories, which only heightens the buildup. But then the worm comes back and...the most it has are a couple of little wings on its back...maybe. The bloody thing's so hideous that I can't tell. Oh, and how do they defeat it? Here's the spoiler below:

Worm: BLAH! I'm going to eat all the stories in the world!
Twilight: Eating stories is bad.
Worm: I'm sorry. I'll be a good worm from now on.

There's a little more to it than that, but still, all this frantic rising action and that is how the story resolves? Then how is the worm doing this in the first place? How are any of the characters able to go in and out of the books like that? How does creating a story even produce a tangible book when all of them were already established as being devoured? Why does Sweetie mention the Elements of Harmony when they were put back in the tree during “Princess Twilight Sparkle” and this is explicitly set after “Power Ponies?” HOW DOES ANY OF THIS WORK?

All my complaining aside, there are some funny moments. The Lord of the Rings parody worked well enough, even if the jokes were fairly standard, and I dug Bilbo Dashie's furry hooves. The scene where the four in the real world try to sneak the way out to the others was drawn and paced perfectly. And Sweetie Belle once again being an instigator of doom (she's the one who tells the Queen about the Elements in an attempt to scare her) was hilarious.

Even so, I'm very glad they're doing away with the two-issue adventure arcs, with the next issue kicking off the first four-parter since the Nightmare Rarity arc. The format is fine for something like Big Mac looking for nails or Shining Armor and Cadance hooking up for the first time, but this issue is practically begging to be longer. Any of the plotlines could have been something great, but they're constantly butting against each other for time, and ultimately nothing gets fleshed out like it should. I hate to say it, but I found this arc to be just meh and am glad it's over.


Next month, the secrets of Star Swirl the Bearded...

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Comments ( 8 )

Next month, the secrets of Star Swirl the Bearded...

Please please pretty please he's not related to Discord...

Daring Do, who is totally still fictional because my therapist says “Daring Don't” never happened.

I like your therapist. :raritywink:

Next month, the secrets of Star Swirl the Bearded...

Guess maybe I should getreay to bid farewell to my current head-canon. Or maybe not, the quality of the comics fluctuate enough that I'm quite content to pick and choose which ones count.

1801929
My headcanon is that he became Sombra instead.

1801929
1802059

My own headcannon is that he studied under Starswirl... and then he killed him, would explain also the incomplete spell of MMC.

1801929
1802059
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Bah! Discord executed him when he took over Equestria. Fear not for he went out defiantly in the end, and his descendant helped the Royal Sisters take back their homeland.

Personally I've always liked the theory that Starswirl, canonically coming around before the beginning of Equestria, really was just an incredible researcher whose work was later taken and modified by various sources but the pony himself was just the precursor.

I think Sweetie Belle referenced the Elements of Harmony as a bluff, hoping to scare Maleficent off, or distract her looking for something that didn't exist.

This was my favorite arc so far, actually. Yes, the pacing was too rushed, and the moral/metaphor about the power of stories... also that "relatability" thing... was kinda tricky to decipher, I think it was some kind of commentary on fanfics. But its imagining of the creative process was awesome... not to mention the appearance by Maleficent (and the cameo by Daenerys Targaryen, as well as Loki, Kaa, and so on).

I can't wait for next month's, though.

I actually liked this issue, and thought that the way that they beat the bookworm made sense due to the worm's motivation, the problem was the ridiculous pacing.
As for the next issue...
fc03.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2013/154/1/e/life_cycle_of_star_swirl_the_bearded_by_celestiathegreatest-d67os0n.jpg

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