Tuesday, 22 May 2018

"Flutterwonder" back up. Unless it isn't


See that video above? If the answer is no, if you just see a blank screen, then what follows is no longer relevant. But at the time of writing, that embedded video is "Flutterwonder". The original "Flutterwonder", on the account of the artist formerly known as PinkiePieSwear. And at the time of writing, it was public. Not even unlisted, but fully public for the world to see, 8,000-plus comments and all. If this remains the case, then I will be absolutely delighted. This is a true classic of our fandom, after all.

But given everything that's happened in the past, right now that is an "if". We'll see.

Monday, 21 May 2018

Episode review: "The Break Up Break Down"

Sugar Belle tries to talk to Big Mac, who's leaning on the open split-level door
Not often we see those stable-style split doors used in MLP these days!
I have a sore shoulder I'd rather not aggravate, so today's review isn't all that long. We were back with a veteran writer this time in Nick Confalone; I didn't like his last episode ("The Maud Couple") all that much, but he had produced some fine stuff in the past. As such, I was cautiously optimistic, although I've rarely been a huge fan of romance-themed episodes in Friendship is Magic. After the break, a briefish assessment.

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Our Fragile Fandom

Introductory note: some of you may wonder whether this post was inspired by a recent event involving a ponyfic author deleting their account – not just removing their stories but making it seem as though said account had never existed. The answer is: not really; I didn't know this author and have never reviewed one of their fics. Plus, I've been thinking about this post for a while. However, it was the aforementioned issue that prompted me to publish it now.

Fandoms are ephemeral, and online fandoms – which is most of them – even more so. In music, for example, MandoPony chose a while back to make some of his MLP tracks inaccessible – not merely unlisted, but privated/deleted entirely. Some are still available on his Bandcamp account, but others – one notable example being the villain!Sunset song "Shimmer On" – now only exist online because of unofficial reuploads by others.

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Text Review Roundup: "Non-Compete Clause"

I really must keep my big mouth shut. Last week, I expressed relief at the fact that Canadian early releases weren't happening. This week, I discover that Finnish early releases are: episodes 10 to 13 inclusive, including one that hasn't already been leaked, are out in Finnish-language versions and will doubtless receive unofficial English dubs as soon as Finnish-speaking bronies can be persuaded to make them.

Louder Yay's reviews will stick with the US schedule as usual, at least unless that becomes as unworkable as it did at times during S6. Mostly the same reviewers as last time, although one was unable to post more than a very brief comment as part of a more general journal post and I've added Dark Qiviut. "Non-Compete Clause" was the worst-received episode of S8 so far, although not everyone disliked it.

Cuddlepug – mixed (graded B) NB: another Cuddlepug Special not-actual-review

Dark Qiviut – very negative ("carries too much stupid and lazy to handle")

Derpy News – slightly negative (graded C; "Outside of AJ and Dash, we have a good episode")

JDPrime22 – mixed (rated 6/10; "the students are acting smarter and more mature than two grown ponies")

Louder Yay – rather negative (2/5; "It wasn't horrible, just underwhelming.")

Mega Sean 45 – generally positive ("the students really have an amazing amount of chemistry and humor [though AJ and RD's ultra-competitiveness] wasn't funny, it was just... sad")

MLEEP Reviews – negative (3/10; "[AJ and RD] nearly killed one of their own students and didn't seem to care!!! [...] I didn't crack a smile once")

Rainbine – extremely negative ("[made] me unbelievably angry") NB: not a full review for personal reasons

ShutterflyEQD – broadly positive (" really nice to see that the whole group of students really did learn a lot from field trip after all")

TheDragonWarlock – very negative (graded D-; "The characterization is deplorable, the comedy is terrible, the pacing is bad, and it brought out the worst in Applejack and Rainbow Dash.")

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Ponyfic Roundup 203: To Me, To You

Title explanation: Chuckle Brothers catchphrase

We appear to be having summer in May this year. This suits me, as it's my favourite month of the year. Everything's fresh and green, the sun is warm but the air often still has a slight edge in it that makes it much more comfortable for walking – something I do a lot of. It's also the angling close season, which means riverside walks are usually fairly quiet and peaceful.

Read it Later story count: 336 (nc)

It's been a busy week and so I haven't had very much time at all to read, so my run of five-fic editions has come to an end here. Just the three this time around, though at least I did manage to read the fic I trailed last week! Let's start with that one:

Erase and Rewind by DuncanR
The Teeny, Tiny Pinkie Pie by RK_Striker_JK_5
Two Kinds of Beauty by Saacsa

★: 1 | ★★: 1 | ★★★: 1 | ★★★★: 0 | ★★★★★: 0

Monday, 14 May 2018

Episode review: S8E09: "Non-Compete Clause"

Smolder (centre) raises arms in frustration at a startled Rainbow (left) and Applejack (right)
I know how you feel, Smolder
We had yet another new writer this time in Kim Beyer-Johnson. I'm not against new writers as such – Brian Hohlfeld did a very fine job with "Surf and/or Turf" – but I think FiM may be going a bit overboard. This came to mind after I read the synopsis of "Non-Compete Clause", which reminded me of nothing so much as "Fall Weather Friends" from S1. An episode I still enjoy, but I did wonder whether Beyer-Johnson would fully capture Applejack and Rainbow's character development since then. The answer was...

Saturday, 12 May 2018

Chase the Ace, Worcester style

At nearly every Worcester ponymeet, we play a simple card game called Chase the Ace. It's basically the game that Wikipedia describes under the name of Ranter-Go-Round, but we have one or two house rules. So, for the benefit of newcomers and (as The Descendant used to say) interested passers-by here's how we play the game.

This goes on a bit, so have a page break.