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May
8th
2022

Friendship is Card Games: Tell Your Tale, Part 2 · 11:48am May 8th

This week, we check back in on Maretime Bay to see what the newest generation has been up to for the last month. Let’s begin.

Welcome to Mane Melody

Well now. Dropping into a music video with zero warning, though I suppose “Karaoke Beauty Salon” in the video title is a bit of a tipoff. Also, I can only assume that Pipp’s off the royal expense account and needs to make ends meet in her new home. Influencer product sponsorships only go so far.

Heh. I do appreciate Zipp hiding from her sister. She likes her mane as it is, thank you.

Ooh, very sophisticated illusions with that preview mirror. Though there could be a technological component to it as well; I’m sure Pipp has plenty of experience with camera filters.

Not sure why Zipp hasn’t tried to escape the store at this point. Though I suppose the front entrance is too visible and Pipp’s employees will be watching the back.

Oh boy. Neutrality isn’t exactly appreciated here, though at least Pipp managed to recover a little. Also, a direct G1 to G5 leap with Posey.

Phyllis is apparently the Grim Reaper of mane salons. Of course, when you’re the economic lynchpin of the town, your judgement goes a long way indeed. I can only imagine what she thinks of the ongoing diversification. Or, as she may see it, the increasing portion of Maretime Bay that isn’t dependent on Canterlogic.

That wasn’t a tumbleweed. Somepony was in the middle of sweeping up mane trimmings when Phyllis walked in.

I honestly do like how this is presenting Phyllis as the unofficial tyrant of Maretime Bay. It’s no wonder Sprout was able to rile the town into an angry mo-mo-mo-mob when they were already used to heeding the judgement of his mother.
(As for her shutting down that pizza buffet, how good could the pizza have been if it was free and all-you-can-eat? :pinkiesick:)

Relax, Pipp. Phyllis said to surprise her. And she could clearly use a bit of humble pie. Review bombing was apparently a key part of securing Canterlogic’s economic dominance over the town.

Putting cucumber slices over glasses doesn’t quite work. Also, while it’s clearly a slip of the tongue, I’m sure that on some level, Sunny enjoyed telling Phyllis about “all those wrinkles!”

I only just realized that the Mane Melody logo is a riff on on Pipp’s own eighth-notes/sawtooth wave/crown cutie mark.

Okay, I admit, that one stallion is rocking that pompadour. Also, great bit of sisterly reassurance. Just because Zipp wants to keep her own style as is doesn’t mean she doesn’t support Pipp.

Huh. Hints to Rarity trying to give Cadence the traditional Crystal Empire headdress/manedo. Just with a more modern ruler, and a far less sympathetic one.

At first, I was going to object to Pipp cracking her fetlocks, but that is her anatomical equivalent of human knuckles.

Sunny biting her hoof only for one of the employees to immediately start filing it was a good gag, I have to say.

:rainbowlaugh: And Izzy is in her own little world.

“Manehawk.” Hmm. This has some… unfortunate implications. Granted, we saw mohawks in G4—it’s Zecora’s go-to style, after all—but actually calling it that implies similar etymology, which just raises some uncomfortable questions.

A straightforward plot, but nicely executed, with as much world- and character building as I could reasonably ask for given the format.

The Unboxing of Izzy

Giving a city tour six episodes in? Seems a bit late, but I suppose everypony needed time to get settled.

Also, nice touch with pony Optimus on the movie theater. Hasbro cross-brand synergy does amuse me.

Oh dear. They never finished removing the unicorn traps. (Actually, did they ever start?)
Ah, that’s actually addressed. Looks like Hitch just missed one.

Ah yes, Sunny desperately pounding against the trap. Because it’s not like she specifically ever released Izzy from one of these. (Yes, the big red button isn't working, but Sunny should know what she needs to press.)

Good thing Izzy isn’t claustrophobic.

… Wait, was that thing secured to the ground or not? Is there even a bottom aside from the pavement? Whatever the case, Izzy’s magical lift capacity is apparently absurd.

Heh. Frustrated cop going into a donut shop. It’s the little things.

And Izzy leaves a trail of destruction that’s moderately worse than usual. I wonder if anypony’s going to sue Canterlogic for this. Their products were clearly marketed under false pretenses; this only makes the unicorns more dangerous!

Nice touch with the Pona Lisa and Equestrian Gothic banners at the art museum… though it’s clear that the images have been vertically stretched.

More of those glowing cutie marks… I’m sure it’s nothing.

You can tell it’s the beach because there are steel drums in the background music.

“Will nothing open this adorable cube prison!?”
The only thing worse for Hitch than having his tour ruined is knowing that he’s aiding and abetting wrongful imprisonment.

I do like the riff on the Final Jeopardy theme as Hitch and Izzy try to brainstorm.

Wow. Izzy hit that rock horn-first and won. Really puts Tempest’s run-in with that Ursa into perspective. (No, I don’t think it’s a contradiction. I think young Fizzlepop was insanely lucky to survive.)

Oh. That museum is explicitly the Houvre. And it was apparently famous even in Zephyr Heights. Possibly grudgingly, but still.

Sunny has clearly been waiting to unload that “think outside the box” line all day. It’s honestly endearing.

A backup release switch… on the underside of the capture device. Huh. Might have been left under there from product testing.

The eager pronk is eternal. :pinkiehappy:

Goofy fun that doesn’t overstay its welcome or overplay any one joke. Even Sunny’s obvious pun hit that adorkable sweet spot of so unfunny it loops back around to amusing. Nice work, this one.

Clip Trot

Ohhh, I get it. Clip Trot = Tiktok. That’s actually a decent ponification. And I do appreciate how everypony else doesn’t get Pipp’s enthusiasm for it.
Also, I have to wonder who put together the inciting video. Did the bunnies arrange this themselves?

Izzy does not comprehend social media, or is at least willing to act like she doesn’t for the sake of the gag.

Zipp incorporates the Flop into her routine. Daring.

Pipp has no appreciation for genuine enjoyment, aerobatic skill, or the ironic appreciation of terrible dancing. Darn shame. But no, she has to chase that latest trend for the metrics.

I do like how Pipp’s stuff, from phone case to sunglasses, has a consistent golden, art deco theme to it. Nicely in keeping with her Gatsby-esque manepiece.

“Aaaaaaand yeah, I can’t think of an excuse. Gotta go!”
If nothing else, Izzy is incredibly genuine.

It is a nice hooficure.

Wow. Posey’s kind of a jerk. Though she does show the problem with chasing trends in the era of eternal content churn. The meme of the moment is just that, momentary.

So… Dare I ask why and how these five ended up sheltering in a cave for the night? Camping trip? Important magic-savior business? Hitch being terrible with diections? There are inexplicably horned raccoons in there with them, so I presume they’re somewhere near the Bridlewood.

“Canternet.” Hmm. One could read that in several ways. Could be provided by Canterlogic. Could have first been provided in Canterlot.

Wait, if nothing’s replaced the dance of the moment, why aren’t they still doing it? Nature abhors a vacuum, and the Internet is no different. Trends don’t just wither on the vine; they’re supplanted.

It’s honestly disturbing to have emojis in an art style identical to the one used for actual ponies. It would be like reacting to things with photorealistic faces.

Oh hey, first sighting of Alphabittle in Tell Your Tale.

Looks like those raccoons do get Canternet access on clear days. Though I can only imagine how they’re paying for their data plan.

Oh hey, first sighting of an accidental alicorn in Tell Your Tale. Ah, the perils of pasting wings on preprepared background ponies without checking to see if they already have horns.
Also, I do like the Spotify logo modified to resemble a spread wing. The ponified ads are some of the best parts of Zephyr Heights’s design.

… Wait, the giant Zephyr Heights video billboards are touch-sensitive? Were they always designed that way or were they modified after magic returned to the world?

Hmm… No, this trio isn’t the same one as the possible neo-Crusaders from the movie’s post-credits scene. Still, good to see friendships build among the tribes, especially in the next generation.

Honestly, “Don’t chase trends; they’ll always outrun you” is an especially apt lesson in this day and age. Yes, the latest Tiktok craze may garner clicks today, but good luck tomorrow. The five-minute format does work for these sorts of plots. It’s certainly doing them more favors than it did Pony Life.

Foal Me Once

Hitch is legitimately good at his job. He may take it a bit too seriously, but this is still a species with the sort of skittishness that can lead to passing out when presented with a bunny stampede.
Speaking of which, I have several questions about the bunnicorns.

Yeah, without a deputy—and that wanted poster with Sprout’s face on it is still there—Hitch may be a bit overworked.

:facehoof: Hanging up ends the call, Hitch.

Pride goeth before a fall, Sheriff Trailblazer.

Flying snails. Flying. Snails. Is it something in the water?

Ooh. Looks like some classical art from the Twilit Era survived long enough to make it into the Houvre. I can only imagine what historians may think of Tree Hugger nowadays. The Rainbow Dash Scream also invites some questions about just what the public remembers of bygone years.

Narrating to yourself is rarely a good sign.

“I’d arrest somepony for a Super Citrus Smoothie right now.”
I suppose the more conventional options of violent crime and sexual favors are out given the target audience, but that still manages to sound bizarre and worrisome.

Why is the seagull screaming? Why wouldn’t the seagull scream? If you were smart, you’d be doing the same thing.

Apparently Hitch has an apartment at the police station? Given the paid-off mortgage, does he own the place?

Okay, finding a smoothie you don’t remember ordering is weird. Finding yourself drinking that smoothie without realizing it is downright creepy.

I do like Zipp acting as both the outside perspective and the voice of reason.

It was pretty clear where this was going, but it is funny that the town sheriff inspires such love in the wildlife that they’ll go on a crime spree to supply him with his favorite things. I wonder if Flutterhy ever had to deal with this sort of thing.

Okay, the flying snails acting as helipacks is genuinely fascinating. Bizarre, but fascinating.

They even stole Sunny’s skates? The fiends!

Justice is blind to both intention and species. The sentence must be served.

These shorts are hardly groundbreaking animation, but I’m not expecting the next “Amending Fences.” They’re thoroughly enjoyable, and more consistently so than Pony Life. If I’m being honest, Pipp still feels like the weakest member of the main cast, but that may be a generational gap speaking. In any case, let’s see what I can make of these:

Ephemeral Accessorizer 2W
Artifact
1W, T: You may put an Aura or Equipment card from your hand onto the battlefield attached to target creature you control. Return that permanent to your hand at the beginning of the next end step.
“Let’s see how it looks first.”
—Princess Pipp Petals

Singing Stylists 3W
Creaure — Pony Bard
Finale — Whenever you sacrifice a Song, proliferate. (Choose any number of permanents and/or players, then give each another counter of each kind already there.)
Don’t mention barbershop quarters unless you want to try the shaved look.
3/3

Equus Prime 4W
Artifact Creature — Autobot Pony
When Equus Prime enters the battlefield, put a +1/+1 counter on each other creature you control.
A scant few centuries are not enough for the Autobots to forget a staunch ally, or their shape.
3/3

Adhesive Gastropter 1U
Artifact Creature — Equipment Slug
Flying
Equipped creature gets +0/+3 and has flying.
Reconfigure 3 (3: Attach to target creature you control; or unattach from a creature. Reconfigure only as a sorcery. While attached, this isn’t a creature.)
0/3

Maximize Views 1U
Instant
Until end of turn, target creature you control gains “Whenever this creature deals combat damage to a player, draw two cards, then discard a card.”
Overload 3UU (You may cast this spell for its overload cost. If you do, change its text by replacing all instances of “target” with “each.”)

Unknowing Mastermind 2U
Creature — Pony Citizen
As long as it’s not your turn, Unknowing Mastermind gets +2/+2, has hexproof, and is a Rogue in addition to its other types.
The best agents hide even from themselves.
2/2

Shrieking Gull 3U
Creature —Bird
Flash
Flying
When Shrieking Gull dies, draw a card.
The worst violence seen by most ponies in Maretime Bay is committed over potato wedges and shiny bits of foil.
2/1

Callous Customer 2B
Creature — Pony Citizen
Your opponents can’t gain life.
“Incredible service. Great prices. Stubbed my hoof on the way out. 3/5, would shop around before coming back.”
—Online review
3/2

Viral Sensation 2BB
Sorcery
Until end of turn, all creatures get -1/-1 and gain “When this creature dies, all creatures get -1/-1 until end of turn.”
“In hindsight, yeah, the Doorknob Licking Challenge was a bad idea.”
—Princess Pipp Petals

Frame Job 3BB
Instant
Destroy target creature. Up to one other target creature gains indestructible until end of turn.
“Ponies will blame anypony else to make themselves feel innocent.”
—Sprout Cloverleaf

Prism-Tail Scavenger 1R
Creature — Raccoon Unicorn
Mutate 2R (If you cast this spell for its mutate cost, put it over or under target non-Human creature you own. They mutate into the creature on top plus all abilities from under it.)
Menace
Whenever this creature mutates, create X tapped Treasure tokens, where X is the number of times this creature has mutated.
2/1

Unsecured Containment 1R
Enchantment — Aura
Enchant creature
Enchanted creature gets +3/+3.
At the beginning of combat on the turn of enchanted creature’s controller, that player chooses one of their opponents at random. Enchanted creature attacks that player this combat if able.

Insatiable Algorithm 2R
Enchantment
Whenever a player casts a spell with mana value greater than the number of view counters on Insatiable Algorithm, put a view counter on Insatiable Algorithm.
At the beginning of each player’s end step, if that player didn’t cast a spell this turn, Insatiable Algorithm deals damage equal to the number of view counters on it to that player.

Kaleidoscopic Interlude 2R
Sorcery
Target creature you control gains myriad until end of turn. (Whenever it attacks, for each opponent other than defending player, you may create a token that’s a copy of that creature that’s tapped and attacking that player or a planeswalker they control. Exile the tokens at end of combat.)
Overload 4RR

Adventure Course 1G
Enchantment
At the beginning of combat on your turn, target creature you control gains training until end of turn. (Whenever it attacks with another creature with greater power, put a +1/+1 counter on the creature with training.)
Whenever a creature you control trains, it gains trample until end of turn.

Artist Collective 1G
Creature — Pony Citizen
T: Choose a color of a permanent on the battlefield. Add one mana of that color.
Inspiration is everywhere for those who know how to look.
1/1

Bountiful Bunnicorn 1G
Creature — Rabbit Unicorn
2G: Adapt 1. (If this creature has no +1/+1 counters on it, put a +1/+1 counter on it.)
Whenever Bountiful Bunnicorn adapts, create a token that’s a copy of it.
The best results replicate themselves.
2/2

Life Model 1G
Creature — Pony Druid
Alliance — Whenever another creature enters the battlefield under your control, add one mana of any color.
“This mare must have been revered in the Twilit Era to appear so often its artwork. For her ability to stand still, if nothing else.”
—Argyle’s research notes
2/1

Haptic Interface 3
Artifact
Flash
Whenever a source an opponent controls deals damage to you, put that many charge counters on Haptic Interface.
At the beginning of your upkeep, if Haptic Interface has a charge counter on it, sacrifice it. If you do, add C for each charge counter on Haptic Interface. Until end of turn, you don’t lose this mana as steps and phases end.

The Canternet 5
Legendary Artifact
Players skip their draw steps.
At the beginning of each player’s end step, if that player has fewer than seven cards in hand, they draw cards equal to the difference.
“May it solve more problems than it causes.”
—Princess Twilight Sparkle, diary

Ramming Carapace 5
Artifact — Equipment
Living weapon (When this Equipment enters the battlefield, create a 0/0 Phyrexian Germ creature token, then attach this to it.)
Equipped creature has menace and base power and toughness 4/4.
Equip 2

Maretime Bay Tastemaker WU
Creature — Pony Advisor
Will of the council — When Maretime Bay Tastemaker enters the battlefield, starting with you, each player votes for a nonland permanent you don’t control. Detain each permanent with the most votes or tied for most votes. (Until your next turn, they can’t attack or block and their activated abilities can’t be activated.)
2/2

No Signal UR
Instant
Choose one —
• Counter target artifact spell.
• Destroy target artifact.
Networks that were only meant to cover single cities face unique challenges as ponies expand anew.

Path of Destruction 1RG
Enchantment
Whenever you attack with a creature with power 4 or greater, defending player sacrifices an artifact or enchantment.
Old Equestria had to deal with monsters rampaging through its cities. Maretime Bay has Izzy.

Fleeting Meme 1UURR
Creature — Illusion
Trample, haste
Whenever Fleeting Meme deals combat damage to a player or planeswalker, draw that many cards.
At the beginning of the end step, sacrifice Fleeting Meme.
Trending today, gone tomorrow.
6/1

The Houvre
Legendary Land
T: Add C.
2, T: Create a Treasure token. (It’s an artifact with “T, Sacrifice this artifact: Add one mana of any color.”)
3, T, Sacrifice The Houvre: Search your library for a historic nonland card with mana value less than or equal to the number of Treasures you control, reveal it, put it into your hand, then shuffle. (Artifacts, legendaries, and Sagas are historic.)

Performers’ Salon
Land
Performers’ Salon enters the battlefield tapped.
T: Add U or R.
2UR, T, Sacrifice Perfomers’ Salon: Draw a card.
A palace of personal expression through music and manestyles.

Comments ( 9 )

Hasbro cross-brand synergy does amuse me.

A nice reminder that these are basically stream-of-consciousness; if you'd remembered the kind of blog you were writing, you would have realized this would go without saying.

I think young Fizzlepop was insanely lucky to survive.

Lucky my flank, she would have been a serious magical powerhouse if she hadn't broken her means of using it.

In any case, let’s see what I can make of these:

Stupid Complicated Game Alert: Treasures used to pay the mana cost of The Houvre's last ability won't be counted, nor will any Treasures your opponents manage to destroy between activation and resolution.

These four shorts, on the whole, were better than the first four (the awful social media monstrosity that is Clip Trot necessitates that "on the whole"). Despite trafficking in the same social media schtick, Mane Melody felt better-structured than most, and made good use out of Phyllis's return. Foal Me Once especially did well by having many of this series' annoying traits not present or minimised (jamming in the moral, Izzy/Pipp characterisation, social media schtick, etc.), making for the first short I kind-of enjoyed somewhat. They're getting marginally better at writing stories suited to 300 seconds too.

The multitude of issues core to the writing and format still means they're largely boring and tepid when they're not aggravating, but we're getting within distance of where the EqG shorts were. And yes, a fair shot above Pony Life.

What are they doing with Posey, though – bringing her back, making her the worst kind of trend-following snob with a voice not remotely fitting her face. And then… making her a staff member/artist at the Pony Louvre? Background pony Dahlia (the new flower girl, pulled from the film – she's made cameos in like half of these) is better, and she hasn't said a word.

Oh, and McSnips-A-Lot continues to steal the show in his brief cameo in Clip Trot. Though on the topic of critters, the lady motif of the critters in Foal Me Once being pegasus, unicorn or earth pony-based, showing they have the same physical appendages as the ponies of the area they're from, may have flown if we didn't have Alphabittle's horn-less armadillos in the flick.

Also, on the heels of some screenshots from the CG special, I'm gonna come out and say it – many of the backgrounds and sets look far nicer in this made-for-pennies webseries.

If I’m being honest, Pipp still feels like the weakest member of the main cast, but that may be a generational gap speaking.

Not helped by her best moments, and the bulk of Mane Melody, being basically copying old homework on how to write Rarity. Personally, the expected but disappointing flanderisation of Izzy, and Hitch losing most of his nuance that made him not just "token male who reacts to wacky mares around him", annoys me more, but that's because they're dropping from greater heights. Pipp's still poor for sure, but she was poor in the film.

>lucky to survive
I still think it was untrained surging shield feedback, not an actual tap from the space bear.

The horny bunny seems like it'd get out of hand real fast, especially with a training grounds.

Algorithm gets points purely for annoying draw go.

I have very little to say about the shorts on the whole but boxed Izzy was funny and I enjoyed seeing the Rainbow Dash Scream more than is reasonable (like "imagining Edvard Munch as a brony"-level).

iisaw #5 · May 8th · · ·

Yeah, I think Izzy-in-the-Box is the best of the series so far, and the continued upward trend in quality (however slight) is a good sign.

“I’d arrest somepony for a Super Citrus Smoothie right now.”
I suppose the more conventional options of violent crime and sexual favors are out given the target audience, but that still manages to sound bizarre and worrisome.

ACAB :trollestia:

Welcome to Mane Melody

Credit where it's due to the creative team -- having Izzy's new style completely cover her face and then leaving it that way for the rest of the short was a funny gag.

(As for her shutting down that pizza buffet, how good could the pizza have been if it was free and all-you-can-eat? :pinkiesick:)

Maybe Phyllis is giving herself too much credit and the simple laws of economics forced it to close.

"Oh my pony." Look, if your characters don't have a thousand-year-old ruler to blaspheme, just have them say "goodness." It's less intrusive.


The Unboxing of Izzy

And Izzy leaves a trail of destruction that’s moderately worse than usual. I wonder if anypony’s going to sue Canterlogic for this.

I thought the blame was with Sunny for letting her freight get out of control.

Hitch is more frustrated by the inconvenience of the rock failing to keep Izzy from falling in the water than the fact that Izzy might drown. (Unless the box is airtight, which would be its own problem.)

For pegasi, the Hoovre is a totally famous museum maintained by those filthy, reprehensible earth ponies that they cut off all ties with for generations.


Clip Trot

As Jazz records Pipp on her phone, the image zooms in and out. How do ponies do that without the ability to pinch the screen?

It’s honestly disturbing to have emojis in an art style identical to the one used for actual ponies. It would be like reacting to things with photorealistic faces.

Isn't that a thing on Twitch?

Odd for a crab to be so angry about water. Then again, it is spending all of its time on dry land, so maybe it has its reasons.

If Pipp helps her social media followers realize that they shouldn't try to emulate her, then she won't have social media followers for much longer. And then what will she become?


Foal Me Once

Based on the title, is this about one of the characters being born?

Not only did the animals return Sunny's property, they unsmoothied it.

According to the last shot, all of the creatures are approximately one foot tall. I'll leave it to somebody else to calculate the height of these little ponies based on that information.

...Okay, I'll do one. Looking back to the 1:33 mark in the video, Zipp is about three feet tall at the shoulder, depending on how close she's standing to that height chart. Her long, vertical neck puts the top of her head -- not including her mane -- somewhere between five and five and a half feet.

If I’m being honest, Pipp still feels like the weakest member of the main cast, but that may be a generational gap speaking.

Hate to say it, but I think it's a generational thing. Getting older is no fun, but feeling old is worse.

I still wish we could see the actual series first so we'd have something to compare the low-budget shorts to, but I'll admit that I least got a couple of chuckle endorphins out of these.

Dustcan #7 · May 8th · · ·

Ah yes, Sunny desperately pounding against the trap. Because it’s not like she specifically ever released Izzy from one of these. (Yes, the big red button isn't working, but Sunny should know what she needs to press.)

These shorts have had surprising continuity with the movie. Which is why this oddity stood out to me.

Wow. Izzy hit that rock horn-first and won. Really puts Tempest’s run-in with that Ursa into perspective. (No, I don’t think it’s a contradiction. I think young Fizzlepop was insanely lucky to survive.)

She did cut down a tree with that thing. But this is a whole another level.

“Aaaaaaand yeah, I can’t think of an excuse. Gotta go!”
If nothing else, Izzy is incredibly genuine.

Honesty!

I swear, 90% of the complaints I see about Pipp being a 'bad character' boil down to her being a character people don't like. That's not the same thing, y'all.
5656164

And then what will she become?

An established pop singer like it's already made clear she is?

"Could be provided by Canterlogic."
...Well. Now that you mention it, Canterlogic after the movie did have a factory and a sudden lack of major business line, didn't they? Zephyr Heights presumably doesn't have the ready manufacturing capacity to spread their technology to the other two settlements, if I'm correctly assuming their economy has been fairly steady-state for a while, but if Phyllis saw that it would probably be happening before too long anyway, then moved quickly to express intertribal friendship via technology license agreements... Possibly Canterlogic in fact now is the primary supplier of information technology hardware to the world beyond Zephyr Heights. Interesting idea; thanks!

"Don’t mention barbershop quarters unless you want"
"Don’t mention barbershop quartets unless you want"?

"Twilit Era to appear so often its artwork"
"Twilit Era to appear so often in its artwork"?

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