• Member Since 31st Aug, 2018
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Mike Cartoon Pony

Nintendo gamer and animation lover. Also likes pastel cartoon ponies. They do that to people. And ghosts.

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Equestria Girls - Spring Breakdown Review · 10:45pm Mar 30th, 2019

Honestly, this special just reminded me why, for the most part, I've never got as invested in EqG as I have in FiM.

Even ignoring all the plot contrivances in having parallel worlds like this (admittedly, I got used to them quick enough), the series' inability, by and large, to tell worthwhile stories is what largely does it in for me. Not the writers' fault completely, it's more down to Hasbro only keeping EqG alive through sporadic content that can't build up much momentum, at least since they stopped the EqG movies after Legend of Everfree (for though they were only greenlit one at a time, those movies absolutely DO have momentum).

That's not to say I don't get some low-key enjoyment out of EqG, for I do (and it's also why I'm rarely personally disappointed in the shorts - given they're, well, shorts, I don't expect more then silly hijinks for 60-120 seconds).

I get why fans want all the Human girls to meet their Pony counterparts. Honest, I do. But I'm kind of glad Hasbro keeps the two universes as separated as they can. It's just too convoluted to work outside of a fanfiction. But that also means there's so much dancing around the connected universes without ever doing much of anything with the two. Even the largely strong Forgotten Friendship, though it did have the Celestia/Sunset reunion that had been much clamoured for, didn't use Sunset returning home for much more then doing research on her problem.

This is all just a roundabout way of saying this special is a whole lot of frustrating nothing, the first half especially. It does kind of fit Human Dash to embrace their Magical Girl tropes. But it doesn't make her character regression in that first half to drive the plot any less cringy to watch. Past that, we have the "meh" recurring gags for Applejack and Pinkie, the screentime waster with Rarity and Ragmuffin (his accent being fake was played like a joke without the construction of one). The first half taking up as much time as it did for the setup would be fine if this were a EqG-movie length special. Instead, the special basically has to restart over halfway through.
That second half is bearable, and even enjoyable at times, but again, doesn't really do anything. We only get to Equestria in the last third, and then cut back and forth between them laughing it up and everyone in trouble back in the human world before they rush back to save the day. There is actual fun to be had in the second half - were the first half of the same quality, this would be a disposable but fine special, not as good as Forgotten Friendship, but not the train wreck that was Rollercoaster of Friendship was.

Not having another villain that they reform by the end who got magic through a non-explanation helps. Sure, not much explanation is provided for how leftover magic from the Staff of Sacanas leaked to the Human world, but for EqG, that's a minor blip compared to others in the past. I at least find it better they used a past threat's leftovers rather then making up a new one here. And while it is the case that the fandom as a whole doesn't have much investment in the Movie-related lore (whereas I do, even if I admit it's got its share of cracks), there's no denying the Storm King's symbol carries lots of legacy and weight within Equestria (you'd be surprised how many times Storm King was name-dropped in Season 8 - far more then any other Movie character). Point being, that symbol is spooky enough for the characters, and that works much better then the unexplained magical devices Juniper and Vignette got.

To sum up - first half's a train wreck, second half's an interesting thing with fun moments and ideas that still squanders its potential due to having to race through it after the lethargic pace of the first half. It sidesteps some past common errors of EqG specials, and the Storm King lore works okay, but the overall special is a weak hot mess.

Roll on Season 9 proper, I guess.

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Comments ( 2 )

As a fellow latecomer I just wanted to say how much I've enjoyed reading all these reviews. I don't know if it's a fellow latecomer thing, but it's remarkable how often I find myself in total agreement with what you're saying. Anyway, please keep it up!

Oh, and... "Forbidden Friendship" would be an interesting title for a special ;)


Oh, and... "Forbidden Friendship" would be an interesting title for a special ;)

It would appear a mix of typing this up in a hurry a month back and (probably) the How to Train Your Dragon Score track of the same name being on my mind at the time resulted in that anomaly. Least you're preserved it in comment form even after I've corrected it!

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