Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Pony Music Library 10: "Shine Like Rainbows"

iisaw's The Twilight Enigma is complete! This is awesome news, as it means I can stick it on the e-reader to take with me on holiday in a fortnight. :) And now here is some music.

What? "Shine Like Rainbows"

Who? Daniel Ingram

Which? Rainbow Rocks song

When? September 2014

Why? Because it's lovely. Simple, heartfelt and full of friendship, this is my favourite EQG song of them all. It even inspired me to write a fanfic. The album version has a slightly longer chorus, but the one here is the version seen in the film's end credits. The greatest sadness about this is that those wonderful drawings by Katrina Hadley were never made available as prints. Why, Hasbro, why?

Monday, 30 May 2016

Episode review: S6E10: "Applejack's 'Day' Off"

Applejack gets ready to fix stuff
"I'm gonna fix this episode an' that's all there is to it!"
After the triple hit of Rainbow's elevation, Starlight's musical and Twilight's sweeping, the synopsis and preview for "Applejack's 'Day' Off" seemed to promise something of a more traditional My Little Pony episode. Not that there's anything wrong with those – if you read my fanfic reviews, you'll know I'm quite a fan of slice-of-lifey slice of life. The Fox brothers, who wrote the not-bad-I-guess "The Gift of the Maud Pie", returned, and...

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Pony Music Library 9: "My Little Pony Intro (Alex S Glitch Remix)"

I think I've finally thought of how I can do a reading of The Unbearable Lightness of Bucking. My sticking point has been a complete inability to do an Applejack voice – but I may just have a way out. Watch this space! Anyway, music now:

What? "My Little Pony Intro (Alex S Glitch Remix)"

Who? Alex S.

Which? Show song remix

When? July 2011

Why? I'm not generally a fan of glitch music, but somehow this almost five-year-old remix of the main Friendship is Magic theme has stuck in my head from the moment I first heard it, almost as soon as I entered the fandom in spring 2012. It's one of those songs that I can't really explain my love of, but which I would undoubtedly miss if it disappeared. As it (sort of) did for a while when its creator took down his pony stuff. Happily, he re-uploaded in 2015, and everyone can now enjoy this piece of fandom history, which Alex himself dubs his favourite pony track.

Friday, 27 May 2016

The best and worst episodes from each season of FiM

Something a little different today: me, rambling about stuff on the basis of nothing but my prejudices. Okay, that's not really different, but it's pretty much what a blog's for. Also, the title is misleading: I really mean the episodes I like most and least from each season. These do change over time, so don't be surprised if they don't quite match things I've said in the past. Right, go:

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Text Review Roundup: "The Saddle Row Review"

Least surprising news of the week: Titanium Dragon bestowed a "Not Recommended" on Shining Armor's Amour's Armour. I'm now 0 for 3, as our American cousins would have it. Woo-hoo! Mind you, though I confess to being a little disappointed that TD didn't like We Who with Songs Beguile and It Doesn't Matter Now, I really didn't expect anything else this time round. It still bemuses and amuses me that SAAA became popular in the first place, given that it's linguistic silliness more than an actual story. :P

Fluttershy's scary face
Be afraid. Be very afraid
It's annoyingly hard to find reviews when the episode title includes the word "review"! I hope I haven't missed any really obvious ones, but apologies if I have. There's a new reviewer on the TRR block today, so a big welcome to Thrond Media Pony Corner. Another newcomer, though possibly a one-off, is PonyLaces. As I did last week, I'll include my own review in the list in italics, so people who are only here for TRR don't have to go searching. (Also because if you can't do a bit of gratuitous self-promotion in your own blog, where can you?)

Anyway, the reaction this week from the text-based reviewers is not as ecstatic as it (mostly) was for "A Hearth's Warming Tail", but is still in positive territory:

Batbrony Reviews –  positive ("pure, unfiltered fun" but dislikes Plaid Stripes)

Derpy News – very positive (rated A-)

Louder Yay – positive ("Confalone's best episode to date")

MLEEP Reviews – mixed (rated 8/10 but "the new characters ... weren't that memorable")

MLP Fanatic – wildly positive ("a spectacular episode in every way")

PonyLaces – very positive (rated 9/10)

Ponyland News – wildly positive ("I loved it 100%")

Super Recaps – broadly positive ("one of the better episodes this season")

TheDragonWarlock – mixed (rated 6/10)

Thrond Media Pony Corner – positive ("lightweight ... but ... a lot of fun")

Unleash the Fanboy – broadly positive (rated 8/10; "epically fun ... but some of the stuff here was too unbelievable")

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Ponyfic Roundup 108: All Round the Wrekin

Test cricket is back! In inimitable style, the season got under way at Headingley last Thursday with an England batting collapse and the final session washed out by rain. Happily, we annihilated Sri Lanka inside three days in the end. Mind you, it's a bit much expecting them to be able to cope with seaming pitches in northern England in May; just as it is when we get put into bat on a dustbowl pitch in India – as will doubtless happen on this winter's tour.

Oh, and there's some ponyfic to look at, too. Seven stories this week! Nothing amazing or amazingly awful, but nevertheless, here we go:

What If Socks Didn't Work Orally? by Fiddlebottoms
Empty by Inquisitor M
Twilight Verbs Article Nouns by Lapis-Lazuli and Stitch
Twilight Likes to Read, A Lot by Saakra
Heirlooms by Rocinante
Heart's Manifestation by Littlecolt
Portal by Benman

★: 0 | ★★: 4 | ★★★: 3 | ★★★★: 0 | ★★★★★: 0

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Pony Music Library 8: "Magic Duel"

It's music time once again, and you don't know how tempted I was to put one of the "Sweep" remixes in here! Maybe one day it could happen... only on The Hub but it really would be pushing it to nominate a piece a couple of days old as a firm musical favourite! Instead, here's something different:

What? "Magic Duel"

Who? Night Breeze

Which? Original instrumental

When? May 2013

Why? Some genres are better represented than others in our fandom, and it's fair to say that classical piano pieces are firmly in the "others" camp. Happily, this piece by Night Breeze (who these days goes by "Wind Wolf") fits the bill very nicely. Its subject is exactly what its title would have you believe: Twilight's battle with Trixie back in S3E05. The track itself is very pleasing on the ear, with a sound strongly reminiscent of Mozart's music.

Monday, 23 May 2016

Episode review: S6E09: "The Saddle Row Review"

The Sweep song
Yes, I'm weak, okay?
All right then; it's time for another episode review. This is the episode that was called "Saddle Row & Rec" in a number of places – but, in the end... wasn't. Nick Confalone's writing record on My Little Pony hasn't been too bad: he brought us the reasonable "Party Pooped" (in partnership with Jim Miller and Jaysson Thiessen), the decent "Hearthbreakers" and the enjoyable "No Second Prances". What could Mr Confalone bring to the party this time? Let's see after the break!

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Great British Brony Convention: I Aten't Dead

As I touched on very briefly the other day, the Great British Brony Convention (GBBC) Twitter account has suddenly been revived after a long silence. Unsurprisingly, this piqued my attention, given that I've been one of those wondering what the post-BUCK convention landscape might look like. GBBC have put out several tweets in the last few days, and here are a few that caught my eye:

It's thanks to the massive positive feedback from 2015's GBBC that we're even thinking of doing another. Couldn't be here without all you !

There's no doubt that GBBC was quite popular with the few people who attended that I've spoken to. One or two did voice small complaints that it felt more like an overgrown season finale event than a con as such, but I haven't heard anyone say they hated it and wished they hadn't gone. Considering the expensive tickets (and yes, £60 is expensive, even in the UK) that does speak of a convention that got plenty of things right.

A lot of conventions disclose their finances. We sort of didn't do that, and people assumed we ended massively in debt. We didn't.

Did people assume that? If they did, it wasn't in places I frequent. I certainly didn't assume anything of the sort. I have said that I was a little uncomfortable about the comments made (eg on UK of Equestria) before GBBC 2015, which gave the impression that the con was basically being bankrolled by one person. That's never a good idea, however well-heeled that person is. Of course, I don't know that was the case, but I can't remember it being contradicted. It's true that cons vary in terms of financial transparency – BronyScot is the gold standard, with BUCK putting out a general breakdown and UK PonyCon not really publishing much. However, UK PonyCon has been running for over a decade, and that track record is worth a lot. GBBC right now has a track record of one convention. Better than zero, of course!

What are we planning? It's a secret... ssh... we're not telling

Well, that's really helpful. :P But seriously, unless they're planning something substantial this year then I wouldn't expect details yet in any case. My guess right now is that they're aiming at 2017, in which case I wouldn't be surprised if it's a few months yet before anything appears. I can't help thinking that an announcement just before the UK PonyCon/BronyScot season (Oct-Nov) would be rather handy for building buzz, so I wonder whether we might hear something in the autumn – at least a more detailed hint, even if not full details.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Pony Music Library 7: "A True, True Friend"

Yes, two PML entries in two days! Before I begin, though, the recent hints that the Great British Brony Convention (GBBC) may resurrect itself – in some form or another, anyway – are interesting, but nowhere near enough information has yet been released to form any realistic judgement on them. I'll keep an eye on any developments, of course! Now, back to music, and today's track is another show song – like "Babs Seed" (PML 3), it's from Season Three. This is a piece that really captures the essence of what My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is about.

What? "A True, True Friend"

Who? Daniel Ingram; orchestrated by Steffan Andrews

Which? Show song

When? February 2013

Why? Because it's so perfect for this show. Everypony is involved and the magic of friendship is at its very heart. The song builds as it goes, with (naturally) Pinkie stealing the show near the end. The style changes slightly for each pony, but the track remains a coherent whole. It's also great fun to sing, especially in a group. The version on official albums is slightly different (listen to Rarity's speaking part), but as with "Babs Seed" I'm sticking with the show original, cast voiceovers and all.

Friday, 20 May 2016

Pony Music Library 6: "Hard Knocks"

It's about time we had another PML post! Tempting as it would be to add several of the songs from "A Hearth's Warming Tail", I think they're much too new for me to be able to say with confidence that they'll stay the course and become classics in my book. This track, however, is another story. It's faded from the fandom's consciousness a little recently, which is a shame:

What? "Hard Knocks"

Who? Griffinilla ft. Alex Cole

Which? Original song

When? September 2013

Why? This is a pretty dark and even by MLP standards chilling song, telling the story of a roughly treated pony toy (presumably named Hard Knocks) from his own perspective. I'm not entirely fond of the little fuzz-speak interlude, and even after all this time I don't quite get all the lyrics, but as a whole it's quite impressive stuff and has stuck in my head for more than two years now.

Thursday, 19 May 2016

UK PonyCon ticket stocks starting to run low

UK PonyCon tweet about low ticket stocks
It's still more than four months until UK PonyCon 2016 begins, but this official tweet tonight tells its own story. Ticket stocks in the con's online store are already beginning to run low – and in fact, Child Weekend passes have completely sold out!* The message is pretty clear: if you want to come to the convention this year, you need to get into gear pronto – there are no on-the-door sales, remember. I would guess (and that's all it is) that you might have a bit more leeway if you just want a Sunday ticket, as my experience last year was that Sunday was less busy. But for weekend or Saturday tickets, you know what you need to do.

* 23.30: Well, they had when I looked. Now they haven't. At a guess, someone had one in their basket at the time, but didn't actually buy it.

Text Review Roundup: "A Hearth's Warming Tail"

Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy singing on a cloud
I couldn't fit this picture into my review, but it's much too cute to leave out entirely!
After the very mixed reception given to "Newbie Dash", this week's episode got a far more positive reaction from most of the text-based reviewers. As you'll see when you read down the list, gushing praise for this ep hasn't been universal – there are also a few dissenters on UK of Equestria – but it's certainly captured the hearts of an awful lot of fans.

It's been pointed out to me that some people now come straight to these posts from Google etc, so won't have read my own review. I'll therefore add that to the list, in italics to make it clear it's nothing new for regular readers. Without further ado, let's get to the actual review links:

Batbrony Reviews – wildly positive ("amazing ... quintessential MLP")

Derpy News – wildly positive (rated A+)
Louder Yay – extremely positive ("I was grinning virtually non-stop")

MLEEP Reviews – wildly positive ("all-time favorite episode of the series")

MLP Fanatic – very positive ("I liked pretty much everything")

Ponyland News – extremely positive (rated 9.8/10)

Super Recaps – mixed ("some very strong elements ... story didn't live up to all that it could have been")

Unleash the Fanboy – wildly positive (rated 10/10)

TheDragonWarlock – slightly negative (rated C+; "kind of forgettable")

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Ponyfic Roundup 107: Spotlight on Alarm Clock

As promised last week, a story longer than 30k words! This wasn't originally going to be a Spotlight review, but I turned out to have too much to say to fit into a paragraph. So, then:

Alarm Clock by Meta Four
Derpy, Dr. Hooves and OCs
Adventure/SciFi; 53k words; Oct 2012–Feb 2015; Everyone
Ditzy Doo sees things nopony else can see: higher-dimensional spatial anomalies, fae creatures, and eldritch abominations. She solves problems that other ponies don’t even know exist. But now, she may have bitten off more than she can chew.
It's Royal Canterlot Library time again, and this inductee is certainly an unusual beast. It's a Derpy fic, but one like no other Derpy fic I've read. This Derpy is generally called Ditzy Doo (or... well, that would be telling) and is on familiar terms with an imaginative range of creatures both good and... not so good. Inevitably, Dr. Hooves plays a major role, and he's not quite so involving, but the supporting characters are well judged. The story took a long time to finish writing, and its age does mean that the writing is noticeably less accomplished in its early stages. Also, one or two fandom references are more obscure than they once were. A bigger problem is the Celtic-y "Fair Folk" stuff, which I find aggravating more than atmospheric. Nevertheless, a very good read and a must for anyone who enjoys Derpy-sorry-Ditzy-as-hero tales. ★★★★

More of my rambly thoughts on this story await beyond the break, though so do plenty of spoilers, so proceed with great caution if you haven't already read the fic!

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Comic mini-review: My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic #42

My Little Pony comic #42, main cover by Andy Price
Andy Price's main cover is worth the price alone!
Here we are at last: Katie Cook's final appearance on a My Little Pony comic. She says she may be back one day, but who knows how long the series will endure? Issue #42 brings together the classic team of Cook, Andy Price and Heather Breckel one last time – and delivers an immensely enjoyable romp. Pinkie is at her best, Rarity is fun, the artwork is consistently entertaining and the design is inventive (there's even some live-action... sort of). The story, meanwhile, is just plain silly in the best way. It's been a long time since I enjoyed an MLP comic as much as this one. I really can't think of anything bad to say about it. Strongly recommended! ★★★★★

Monday, 16 May 2016

Episode review: S6E08: "A Hearth's Warming Tail"

Pinkie singing her song
Either Canterlot has invented electricity or there's a lot of magic here
As it's May, it's clearly time for... a Hearth's Warming episode. Well, okay, then. The big pre-showing news about this ep, apart from its timing, was that it would mark the My Little Pony writing debut of Michael Vogel, once vice-president of development at Hasbro but now promoted into the greatest job anyone could ever want. The stakes were upped a few days ago by Big Jim Miller tweeting that it just might be one of the best all-around episodes the show had ever done. I'll give you my take on it after the break.

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Thoughts on the mid-season hiatus

The other day, Discovery Family announced (via EQD) that there would be a mid-season hiatus interrupting Season Six, just as we had last year. It shouldn't really have come as a surprise, given what happened with S5, but a lot of people did seem to be caught out by the announcement. The fact that the break is occurring after 12 episodes is a little odd, but can be explained by the previously-announced movement of the original episode nine to later in the season for as yet unknown reasons.

That's the small stuff. The big question is what this may tell us about the future of Friendship is Magic as a whole. In particular: does this make it more likely that S6 will be the last season of the show? What with the movie having been brought forward to October 2017, there's not going to be a huge amount of space left over for any putative S7 – although there would surely be enough, if the powers that be wanted there to be one.

My hunch for some time now has been that the film will act as the closing chapter to the FiM story as we know it, whether that follows on from S6, S7 or something else. By "something else" I mean some non-series specials, something that Doctor Who has done occasionally ever since its reboot began. It wouldn't surprise me all that much if we had S6, then a few specials, then some film preview shorts, then finally the movie itself.

There's also the fourth Equestria Girls film to consider, although we know from the example of Friendship Games that those are allowed to overlap with FiM seasons if that's how the scheduling ends up working out. Whatever the case, I don't think anyone believes the current show has all that long left to run – although some sort of show based on the franchise will surely continue with a G4.5 or G5 series.

Way back during S3, I said that I thought five seasons would be a reasonable run for Friendship is Magic. We're going to get at least one more than that, but I really won't be heartbroken if it ends there. Disappointed, yes, as the show is still very enjoyable, but a run of well over 100 episodes – and a Hugo nomination – for a glorified toy advert is some going. My Little Pony as a franchise isn't going anywhere, but the movie may mark the end of an era.

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Pony Music Library 5: "Flutterwonder"

It's been a busy week, so this is my first PML entry for a little while. This one's for all those who can't help but smile at the phrase "Deep Wide Bell Wonder".

What? "Flutterwonder"

Who? PinkiePieSwear

Which? Show song remix

When? August 2011

Why? He's changed his name to Matt R and hasn't made new pony music in years, but PinkiePieSwear will always be known for a couple of his remixes, of which this is my favourite. It takes the "So Many Wonders" song from "The Cutie Mark Chronicles" and turns it into something very different but still somehow entirely fitting for Fluttershy. Filly Fluttershy, incidentally, who can never be ignored in any case. Yes, the accompanying video is low-res and basic when set against many newer PMVs – but come on, it's nearly five years old! Besides, it's the music that really matters here.

Friday, 13 May 2016

BronyScot tickets are go!

Tickets for this year's BronyScot convention in Glasgow are now on sale! Well, mostly: the Rock Nessie musical event on the Sunday, which is ticketed separately and in a yet-to-be-announced venue is still listed as "coming soon". It's a slight shame that they weren't able to get everything released at the same time, but you can trust a con with BronyScot's track record not to keep people waiting any longer than they really have to.

Prices this year:

Adult (13+) : £19.99
Child : £7.50

Nessie's Treasure Trove: £35

Vendor: £45 / £60 / £75

Rock Nessie: TBA

The "Nessie's Treasure Trove" option includes a Saturday ticket, plus a selection of goodies: a metal Nessie pin, con poster, badge set and art cards. It doesn't include admission to Rock Nessie, though. Vendor ticket tiers depend on whether you have no helpers, one or two; again, these include Saturday admission.

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Text Review Roundup: "Newbie Dash"

Last Saturday's episode was the most divisive we've seen so far this season. I really was surprised by the intensity of some of the criticism – not that I have any problem with that, apart from when it gets personal. I'm actually wondering whether there may be some sort of Transatlantic split here, since our little UK of Equestria bubble was mostly (though not universally) positive towards the episode. I haven't watched many blind reactors yet, so I'll be interested to see how they felt about it.

I've dug up eight reviews this time, and they split right down the middle:

Batbrony Reviews – fairly positive ("flawed? Yes ... but that doesn't mean I don't like it")

CrowRider1 – quite positive ("pretty good, not crazy good")

Derpy News – negative (rated D+)

MLEEP Reviews – wildly positive (rated 10/10; "one of my all-time favorite episodes")

Ponyland News – positive (rated 8.2/10)

Super Recaps – very negative ("easily the worst episode of the season so far")

Unleash the Fanboy – quite negative (rated 5/10; "a disappointment")

TheDragonWarlock – rather negative (rated C-)

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Ponyfic Roundup 106: Hungry Horse

So, we will indeed have a mid-season hiatus again. At least, so EQD tell us. For some reason they don't actually print/link to the press release, but I'm sure they're correct. This has several possible implications, so I'll save those for a dedicated post in the near future.

In case anyone's wondering, Hungry Horse is a UK pub/restaurant chain, a bit like Wetherspoons but slightly more expensive and with slightly better food, though sometimes rather slow service. I went to a meet the other day and had a decent gammon steak and pint of cider at such a place. As for today's ponyfic, there are six stories under the microscope, and as those of you who read last week's teaser will know, these include something quite special. Off we go!

Nopony Expects the Spanish Inquisition by BrownDog77
Promises by Alexandrite Ward
The Old Gray Mare by Thornwing
How does it move? by PoniNinja
Something Like Laughter by Dubs Rewatcher
Rarity Cleans her Room by ThatOneYellowPony

★: 1 | ★★: 2 | ★★★: 1 | ★★★★: 1 | ★★★★★: 1

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Comic mini-review: Friends Forever #28: Luna and the CMC

Watched "Newbie Dash" again, having read some pretty critical reviews. Nope, still like it. Still makes me happy. Still find the impersonations funny. Mind you, I also still quite like both "Rainbow Falls" and "Bats!", so I'm clearly a terrible person. :P Anyway, I've finally got round to reading the latest Friends Forever comic.

Friends Forever comic #28, sub cover by Sara Richard
Being me, I chose this Sara Richard cover instead
Quite a moment, this: the point at which the IDW comics catch up with the Cutie Mark Crusaders' new status – as seen on the main cover, with its "Now with more cutie marks!" splash. I'm not in the "Oh no, it's Jay Fosgitt!" camp, and Heather Breckel is a reliable colourist, so I don't have too much of a problem with the artwork. Unfortunately, the story itself is a real disappointment, well below Jeremy Whitley's best. The biggest problem is a trio of new characters – two baddies and a goodie – who, quite frankly, I don't care much about. The bullies are nowhere near as interesting as (old-style) Diamond and Silver, while the nice guy has a really pretty ridiculous special talent which is only useful for about two pages right at the end. Luna has the odd funny line, and the CMC are okay, but I can't really praise this issue. ★★

Monday, 9 May 2016

Episode review: S6E07: "Newbie Dash"

BronyScot ticket sales will open on 11 May. I'll write more about that in a dedicated post later this week, but for now suffice it to say that I wish them every success. It's very unlikely that I'll make it to Glasgow myself, but I hope many others do. Okay, episode time!

Rainbow Dash impersonating Rarity to Soarin'
I honestly cannot imagine why anybody would write fanfics about this episode
Rainbow Dash has finally made it into the Wonderbolts as a full member of the squad. That much we knew from the synopsis and preview clip, but how would she get on? The fulfilment of Rainbow's dream – one first mentioned the S1 premiere – was quite a responsibility for the episode's writer, and a little surprisingly they gave it to a newcomer: Dave Rapp. (Dave Polsky was also jointly credited for the story, but only writers get tags here!) How did Mr Rapp do as a newbie himself? Follow me past the break to find out!

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Pony Music Library 4: "Great to be Different"

If all goes well, I'll be at the first meeting of a new brony meetup group today. Which does mean I'll miss seeing the episode live, but I think I can cope without 167 hours of US TV adverts. :P

Welcome to PMR 4, and this time I have something that probably everyone in the fandom will have heard many, many times. Maybe you're fed up to the back teeth with it. Bad luck: I love it, so here it is.

What? "Great to be Different"

Who? Forest Rain

Which? Original song

When? August 2012

Why? Partly because I like Forest Rain's voice, partly because I like Derpy – but mostly because this is such a wonderfully life-affirming song. It's easy to be cynical about our fandom – and sometimes with reason – but "Great to be Different" overcomes its less than original message and makes the whole thing work. It was inspired by a once-famous incident at Bronycon 2012, when someone left letters, signed as from Derpy, around the con bearing encouraging messages – and "it's great to be different" was the one Forest Rain discovered. Although I've linked to her own account, the most popular video is Brony Dance Party's animation from a year later.

Note: Derpy's voice is provided by Decibelle.

Friday, 6 May 2016

Friendship Games blooper reel

At last, some really pleasant spring weather. I walked over to the polling station to vote (strangely enough) yesterday after tea, and it was a beautiful early evening walk. Anyway, enough of that and on to ponies! Well, humanised ponies...

This was originally posted on EQD a couple of days ago, but it's silly enough to repost here. Done in the style of those Pixar credits blooper reels, it makes a fun couple of minutes' viewing. It doesn't seem to have been posted on Hasbro Studio Shorts, which is a little strange, but I imagine the release was deliberate. It would make a nice extra for the DVD/Blu-ray in due course. (Not that we even get the Blu-ray in Europe, grumble grumble.) The video is notable for a direct pony/human size comparison (near the end), though there's nothing to say that EqG humans are the same size as Earth humans!

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Text Review Roundup: "No Second Prances"

It's Thursday, so it's time once again for TRR. This episode was very well received by the fandom at large, so it's no surprise that the text-based reviewers are also positive overall. The consensus isn't as strong as it was for "Gauntlet of Fire", though, with one notable exception to the praise-fest. It's nice to welcome back Unleash the Fanboy, whose reviews seemed to have disappeared for a while. Half a dozen prime text reviews are served up here:

Batbrony Reviews – very positive

Derpy News – very positive (rated A-)

Ponyland News – extremely positive (rated 9.6/10)

Super Recaps – strongly positive (favourite episode of S6 so far)

TheDragonWarlock – very positive (rated A-)

Unleash the Fanboy – equivocal (rated 6/10)

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Ponyfic Roundup 105: Living in Another World

I'm not really a football fan at all, but I was nevertheless pleased to see Leicester City win the Premier League. Even though they're not exactly poor (their squad cost £22 million), they're certainly not as mega-rich as the usual suspects. Also, and much more importantly, I went to the monthly Leicester ponymeet on Saturday and had a good time as usual. It was actually the rugby side who were playing that day (beating Worcester, regrettably). Nevertheless, the whole city centre, including the station, was decked out in blue and white in support of the football team, and it all looked rather impressive.

Back to ponyfic, and this week we have another half-dozen stories to chew over. The quality is as variable as usual, but there's some solid stuff in here, as a glance at the the star summary will show.

The Hoodie by Octavia Harmony
The Never-Was and Wouldn't-Be by Obselescence
Bronies Vs. Haters by TheOnly
Hurricane's Champron by billymorph
Horsefeathers by Fervidor
Give A Like - Feed A Changeling by Lise Eclaire

★: 1 | ★★: 1 | ★★★: 3 | ★★★★: 1 | ★★★★★: 0

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Pony Music Library 3: "Babs Seed"

Things are fairly quiet today, so here's the first non-remixed show song for the PML:

What? "Babs Seed"

Who? Daniel Ingram, Cindy Morrow and David Corman

Which? Show song

When? November 2012

Why? It's fair to say that "One Bad Apple" hasn't gone down as a classic episode, although it did introduce us to Babs herself – but the song that ep contains has been a favourite from the very start. It's simple, catchy and perfect for its audience, and it's no surprised that it's been remixed by any number of people. Performed live, too: I was there when Acoustic Brony did it (non-acoustically!) at BUCK 2014 and The Rainbooms at UK PonyCon in the same year. The version I've chosen, though, is the original. That's partly because of the accompanying video, which is much cleverer than it at first appears. In particular, watch how the ponies' eye-blinks relate to the beat. Oh, and there's that CMC milkshake scene, surely the hnnnggest hnnngg that ever hnnngged hnnngg!

Monday, 2 May 2016

Episode review: S6E06: "No Second Prances"

Starlight finds her new friend at the spa
"...but I say proper cucumber placement is more important!"
After a one-week mini-hiatus, we returned to new episodes of Friendship is Magic's Season Six with a new story from the pen of Nick Confalone, who previously brought us the reasonable "Party Pooped" and "Hearthbreakers". There had been a fair amount of hype about this episode beforehand, although a good deal of this was down to a certain person on EQD hijacking Fluttershy Day to obsess about the character in question. Poor show, sir. Poor show! Anyway, let's get on with the actual review.