Friday, December 7, 2012

Back After Hiatus


Hello my darlings! It has been quite a while since my last post, most regrettably, and even longer since I last managed to share any completed artworks with all of you, but hopefully this is a trend which will soon be changing again. All sorts of things have been keeping me busy and away recently, from work to health issues to family matters and what have you, but even though I should remain busy with the former throughout the rest of the month I'm hoping that the latter two won't be eating up as much of my time or affecting how I must choose to spend it as much as has been the case recently. It's lovely to be back and active again now, at any rate!

Anyhow, this picture is probably not what anyone would have expected to see next, considering the fact that I have shared several sketches, ideas, and half-finished works-in-progress recently, but for whatever reason it was an idea that popped into my head one day whilst I was at work and it just wouldn't let go--I simply had to draw it! Originally Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash were going to be wearing scarves in this picture, since I wanted to create something for the holiday season but the more I thought about it the more I realized something with more year-round relevance was probably better for a cute random moment between these two and so I modified the original sketch slightly. So there you have it, an excited Pinkie pulling Rainbow in for an impromptu photo opportunity, much to the latter's complete surprise and bewilderment.

It's a fun silly picture, and not much after such a long wait I suppose but even though I can't promise anything, I do have many other pictures in various stages of completion that I'm hoping to be able to get up soon (and obviously, after all of these recent episodes I'm going to have to try and squeeze a new Rarijack in there somewhere!). Until that time though I hope everyone enjoys, and with any luck I will manage to catch up with all of my correspondences both here and on deviantART soon, and upload the full-sized version there accordingly (EDIT: Or actually, by the looks of things the full-size version might have posted after all... perhaps that annoying habit of Blogger's has been rectified at last!).

Until next time then, stay lovely friends~!


WD

78 comments:

Kein said... Reply to comment

Yay, nice to have you back, darling :3

PonydoraPrancypants said... Reply to comment

Oh, it is absolutely wonderful to know that you will be having a little more free time, dear friend, and, selfishly, the thought that you will devote a portion of that time to making new artwork is equally wonderful.

I have to confess that lately I haven't been feeling well at all, with being sick, my hand injury, and being so overworked that I sometimes get the impression that my body is just ready to give up and fall to pieces, but having family and good friends (and you among them) is absolutely life-affirming and sustaining in times like these.

Speaking of friendship, this artwork shows what it's all about, doesn't it? Look at those two, and their expressions, and the bright cartoon style and those colors that pop! This is destined for the same kind of universal love as "reaction Rarity" - it'a just perfect. As if I needed a reminder of what a talent and a genius you are, but this is a great one in any case!

In closing, I am so happy to see this, and I am so excited at the prospect of having more of you around! Now, to set this as the unlock screen on my phone (which is already "WhiteDiamonds - WhiteDiamonds everywhere!") :)

CaineScroll said... Reply to comment

Sorry I haven't been commenting lately...I haven't really been up to writing my usual long comments like I used to without drifting off. And I haven't even hit forty yet. *sob*

Oddly enough, I find that this picture has a really Looney Tunes-esque feel to it, and I find it rather solid compared to your other works (lines are more solid, etc.). That's not necessarily a bat thing though; I think it's pretty well-done.

Also, I find it rather similar to another picture you posted in the earlier stages of the blog. Not sure if it was intended, but it does make for the icing on the cake. =)

Hopefully I'll be able to keep up with y'all sometime soon! =D

@PonydoraPrancypants

I can totally sympathize with you on everything except the hand injury...I hope everything pulls through alright. We all are, for that matter! =)

By the way, you're welcome. ;P

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

wait... that was a hiatus? well for one I certainly didn't notice, even if you did disappear from time to time 3:

Oh, picture! Like Scrolls said, it does share similarities with that earlier image, but I was also thinking it was a continuation of that other picture over yonder. First Rarijack, now Pinkiedash... Fluttertwi? Oh, and I adore Rainbow Dash's face in this one, her face is so very squishy and well... squishy. Yay marshmallow pone!

Something else which I am going to bring up - what has become of the jacket ponies, by the way?

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

oh Blogger, you so unforgiving on comments. Once it's out there, it's out there for good. don't you just hate it when you have something else to say right after posting?

anyway, an addendum: if you want festive, I think more snowballs would be great. My head seems to have conjured a random scenario in which a Pinkie Pie in a snowball flings herself at Rainbow Dash. wheeeeeeeeee...sploosh

Harwick said... Reply to comment

Now see, that's how you come back after a hiatus... with something that makes a huge splash just to rub it in everyone's faces how grey their world had been without new White Diamonds' work to appreciate! Okay, that's probably not the sentiment behind this outstanding piece, but really... looking at it is like hitting that point in "The Wizard of Oz" where it switches into color and you realize you had been watching black and white images this entire time. It's just insanely bright, cheerful and lively, and it makes you feel good just gazing into their crazed eyes.

I love that Pinkie can be seen as either waving or positioning the camera to capture her with her bestest Dashie (depending on what level of technology you wish to grant them.) Really stellar job on the rendering of them... They have a very polished dimensionality to them while still staying bright and cartoony. (I really love the treatment of Pinkie's eyeballs especially with their glossy highlights.)

Expression-wise, the pic is a charmer and sure to be a huge favorite. Honestly, it's among my favorite examples of your work already... Great job!

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

Today's episode was oh so cute! And special guest appearance! -runs off-

Obsequiosity said... Reply to comment

My wife (who is puzzled yet tolerant of my pony habit) watched the latest ep over my shoulder.

She now demands I draw fan art of the Rainbow and Scootaloo flying.

Anon said... Reply to comment

Isn't this an unexpected, but refreshing change of pace! You've made a cheerful new piece to go with the new episode today (Well, technically it was posted last night, but it was too late for me to leave a comment at the time...). I have very much enjoyed your increased activity at the blog lately, and I especially hope this new freedom continues.

Now that he's mentioned it, I felt the same color shock as Harwick described. From the web preview, the image almost looks like Pinkie is waving through a window from the blog while pulling Dash over from the blue background (and Rarity looks on with dissatisfaction). You've got to admire Dash's response time. She is already sporting her "I am not enjoying this" face. Pinkie's expression is quite reminiscent and similar to Harwick's preoccupied pony poker-playing Pinkie Pie's presence in "Know When to Fold 'Em". My favorite part is also her eyes. They are impressively spherical and realistic, particularly for a polished doodle. I also happened to misread the title as "Say Cheesecake", which would have made anybody else hungry.

I'm glad to hear that life has been a bit easier as of late. Even if you won't the time to spare for new drawings like this, I am certain we will all appreciate the time you spend with us here as Season 3 rolls on. You really do know how to make your friends smile.

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Kein

Oh, aww, well thank you so much dear! It's lovely to be back I must say, and I hope to make a habit of it again!

@PonydoraPrancypants

Hello my dear friend. First off, I am so very sorry to hear that you have not been feeling well lately, and that work and other troubles have been making things so difficult and unpleasant for you. I guess we've been having a similar time recently then, though things have begun to turn around for me and I sincerely hope the same will also be true for you. In the meantime at least I'm hoping we can start corresponding more regularly again, if you can manage the typing easily enough with your poor hand... it's been a while since we had a proper conversation after all and I'm feeling quite overdue at this point!

As for the artwork, you are far too kind as usual... thank you so very much for the warm words! As I said this basic idea just sort of came to me one day, and though I'd originally thought I would go with more of a wintery feeling and a cooler blue color palette, for better or for worse I decided to change everything up and go with a vibrant, cheerful Rainbow and Pinkie Pie picture (I don't really ship these two actively as I think you all know, even though I'm rather fond of the pairing, but nevertheless I do think they have entertaining chemistry together and I enjoy exploring that when I can). And yes, with any luck there will be some more new artworks to follow very soon... I have many half-finished projects lying around on my computer and I feel it's about time I started getting active and posting more regularly again!

Thank you again for the very lovely comments! <3

@CaineScroll

Well hello there dear, it always is a nice surprise to hear from you these days! I'm glad you like the picture and I appreciate the kind comments, and indeed you're right in that this one probably has more of a zany "Looney Tunes" type of quality than is typical of my work... just like with the tone of the cartoon series itself such a thing just naturally seems to happen whenever Pinkie Pie is involved. So that was largely intentional, and though I hadn't planned the more "solid" look initially I was consciously aware of it as I was working on this picture; in this instance it was because of how I had to import my initial sketch and build off of it, so my process was slightly altered and I didn't have any of the initial doodle lines preserved which usually add a little bit of "texture" to my finished products. It's different, but for what it is I'm not unhappy with it.

And yes, between the colors and the subject matter and whatnot, there definitely is a similarity to that old infamous PinkieDash picture of mine... it's not something that escaped my notice but since that original picture is so old at this point and was made at such a small resolution I thought it would be nice to "revisit" the idea again in a sense! Anyhow, I'm sorry to hear that you have been stretched so thin recently, and while I'd like to say it will get better the truth of the matter is it only gets worse the older you get (or at least in my own experience!), but perhaps you'll get lucky and that won't be the case for you. At any rate, I do hope you will hang in there and I appreciate your stopping in!

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@zhoomcar

Hahaha well, you're right in that I myself haven't really been on a hiatus dear, but certainly as far as getting new artwork up I think I have been, unless you're happy to count that recent little Rarity sketch of mine! Otherwise it's been a couple of months since I finished anything I think, and personally I feel that's just FAR too long... never again I hope!

In any case though, thank you so very much for the kind words... I'm happy that you seem to enjoy the picture, and Rainbow's cute surprised smooshy-cheeked face in particular! I guess to an extent there's a similarity to my Rarijack, insofar as a more zoomed-in composition, but otherwise I think they're pretty different and obviously the mood couldn't be more of a contrast between the two images. As for pairings I have always had a soft spot for this one as I mentioned to Ponydora (and previously on the blog in an older post I believe), but while I have nothing whatsoever against Twishy (or Flutterlight?) I can't really ship that pairing at all, more because I have a hard time imagining either pony with any character in a romantic context than for any other reason. TwiLuna is the only pairing for Twilight that, for whatever reason, I sort of like (even though as I was trying to explain to Harwick earlier, I think of that as being more of an intellectual, pseudo/substitute-romantic attraction/relationship as opposed to anything else), and FlutterMac is the only pairing for Fluttershy I've ever seen that I actually think might work for her personality, even though the two of them have never even spoken a word to each other in the series...

Anyway though, me rambling on about shippings again, my apologies. Concerning the jacket-ponies since you asked I do still plan on finishing them at some point, since I've started coloring both Rarity and Twilight, and as for your suggestion for a wintery Pinkie-Dash picture I actually like that very much; honestly it's a really fantastic idea! I'm not sure if I'll manage to get around to it before Christmas, and certainly not before finishing some of my other queued up projects but eventually, I really do think it would make for a great artwork.

@Harwick

Ohh, well as always your are such a dear and are far too kind to me; thank you so much darling! Once again I really must thank you so sincerely for the kind sentiments about the picture, and I'm so happy everyone seems to enjoy this one... it's a little bit of a change of pace for me but I certainly did enjoy the idea and had fun making it. I'm glad you like the fun bright colors (and I love that reference by the way, as The Wizard of Oz is one of my favorite movies and as it's my mother's very favorite, I grew up watching it over and over again), and their "crazed eyes" haha, yes. With Pinkie Pie in particular I was really going for such a thing, so I'm very happy that seemingly translated well for you!

Thank you very much again for the warm words, and once again I'm so glad you enjoyed this. It means so much to me!

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Obsequiosity

You know, it really warms my heart whenever I hear stories from pony-fans whose spouses manage to embrace, or at least graciously tolerate, their admittedly unconventional hobby... I really think that's just such a nice thing and especially in the event that they themselves end up becoming fans as a result! And yes, for what it's worth I completely agree with your wife.

@Anon

Anon-dear, you're using exclamation points again, and in a non-quotation context! I imagine I can only take that as a very positive sign. ^_~ I'm so happy everyone seems to enjoy this picture, and I really appreciate the compliments about the coloring... Pinkie's eyes were actually done in a matter of moments (as far as the coloring, that is) and really they were probably one of the easiest parts of this picture. It was one of those things that I just sort of winged in thirty seconds and it actually came out looking decent.

Anyhow, yes, Rainbow's expression/reaction is probably my personal favorite thing about this idea of mine... even though she can be an obnoxious character at times I really do like her quite a lot, and especially when she plays off of characters such as Pinkie to comic effect. As I said to Harwick I was trying to capture that manic energy in Pinkie's eyes and expression so hopefully that worked out. And yes, it absolutely is a satisfying feeling to be posting new artwork again, and more than anything lovely to be able to enjoy everyone's company once more! All I need now is to get caught up again on my deviantART account and everything should be right with the world again, heehee~

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@zhoomcar & everyone

So anyhow yes, about that newest episode! (Spoilers ahead, obviously) I thought it was quite enjoyable myself... as I know I've mentioned before Cutie Art Crusaders episodes aren't generally my favorite, but still I don't really dislike them and it was nice to see Scootaloo finally get an episode mostly to herself, she certainly deserved it at this point. Obviously as most of you can probably guess I absolutely loved Rarity; she with her idea of appropriate camping gear and the way Applejack reacted with exasperation were very funny in my opinion, and were probably my own personal favorite moments of the episode. The best part of it though, my bias aside was probably seeing some real bonding moments between Rainbow Dash and Scootaloo at last; I know it's kind of been a running gag throughout much of the fandom about how Rainbow treats Scootaloo with total indifference, which can be funny in certain instances, but it's usually rather sad (to me) so it was nice to see some kind of growth and real sentiment between them.

Otherwise, this felt like another very predictable storyline to me... it wasn't anything amazing in terms of plot or most of the dialogue or anything, but still points such as the animation, seeing Princess Luna again (I really like this new development to her character, and it was great to see her interacting with regular little pony-folk in a normal, everyday sort of circumstance), and little touches like Rainbow Dash's snoring gag and Granny Smith in the beginning all made it enjoyable enough. I think the only thing that didn't really sit so well with me was Rarity's blatantly taking advantage of Sweetie Belle throughout the episode, but considering the latter didn't really seem to mind and even seemed eager to help I suppose it probably shouldn't bother me, either.

PonydoraPrancypants said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

I really enjoyed this weeks episode, and my thoughts on it are strikingly parallel to your own. I even agree that the only thing I found slightly off-putting was Rarity's taking advantage of Sweetie Belle, though that was mitigated somewhst by a few sweet moments they shared together.

I'm glad you loved Rarity's style of "camping" as much as I did! I am left to wonder what her magical tent is like on the inside. You also must have loved seeing Rarity and Applejack so comfortable with each other that they could sleep draped over each other on a log, hehe.

I really loved this new facet to Luna's character, and it explains a lot about where she is at any given moment. Some people have been grumbling that it is unsettling that she can enter ponies' minds, but I like the idea of her being on guard against her subjects' terrible nightmares. The fact that nopony else has mentioned seeing her in their sleep suggests she only intervenes when necessary.

I understand this episode was the debut for a first time writer for the show, so I can only say that it was a very promising beginning! Even if some parts were predictable, there was too much to love not to enjoy it.

Harwick said... Reply to comment

I thought the episode was another winner, although like most of the CMC based ones it was very easy to predict how it all would unfold a few beats ahead of the story. That's quite all right, as it unfolded with undeniable charm, but it will keep it from being among my absolute favorites (although I gather those who have been waiting for the series to show some "Scootalove" are over the moon about it.)

I did note that it followed my prediction of having (nearly) the entire thing set during the camping trip, thereby avoiding having to come up with any kind of home life for Scootaloo. At most we can assume she has no older siblings of her own. Interestingly enough, her new relationship with Rainbow Dash makes every one of the Mane Six a big sister figure with the exception of Fluttershy (assuming you count Pinkie's relationship with the Cake Twins and Twilight's with Spike, which I tend to do... Although I suppose Pinkie might actually be closer to "Antie Pinkie" for real for once.)

I really did love Granny Smith's familiar attitude towards Scootaloo... Honestly, one of my favorite bits from last year was the "honorary family" status that the Apples granted the rest of the Mane Six in their competition with Flim and Flam. I would suspect that the rest of the CMC would get that status too. I'd really be tickled to see that brought up again with the Apple Family Reunion episode coming up, as I don't think the Apples would claim that status lightly just to win a bet... When AJ said it, it was for real.

I thought the dream sequences were fun, especially the old mare one. I had seen the clip on EQD that spoiled Luna's appearance (the one that showed her first sighting shrouded through the trees) so I had pieced together that helping Scootaloo not be afraid of the night would be a likely role for her. Having her shepherd ponies through their dreams is actually a pretty common role she plays in various fanfics, but I was certainly happy to see the canon storyline go in that natural direction as well.

I will say that I wish they had left her more quirky, myself. I liked that she spoke in "Thor-speak" and was generally very awkward. We already have a kind, sweet and perfectly composed Princess, so Luna being a bit off was a nice contrast. She still had a bit of sternness about her that Celestia lacks, but I hope that she was just being exceptionally careful due to dealing with a traumatized filly and might have a bit more of an edge or quirk to her in her next appearance.

Rarity was entertaining as always, and I'm so glad she was included. Yes, they exaggerated her nature again for a laugh but surprisingly people seemed more receptive to it this time (from the reactions I've seen.) Perhaps because Sweetie emotionally blackmailed her to go on the trip in the first place, and because she did contribute plenty of good cheer when they weren't in transit. Her little laugh and break into a gallop at the end with Sweetie was adorable.

As for Dash and Scootaloo, it was indeed good to see that relationship finally (really) begin. Dash's horrible wicked whinny was a fun gag as well, so overall she had a good showing I thought. And she shouldn't feel bad... the only reason AJ could be so critical about her story was because she and Rarity had already heard Twilight tell it before...

So a sweet episode! Which one is next? Oh! It's the "Wonderbolts Academy"! Let's see if Dash can keep her streak of good episodes going after a few made some fans turn on her. I, at least, am expecting her to have to compete with an "Ice Mare" who considers her "dangerous" and maybe play some beach volleyball.

Dice Pony said... Reply to comment

Darling, dearest! I love the Pinkie/Dash image, Pinkie's smile is absolutely fantastic and I think stands out because you seem to keep the exaggerated expressions as a special "umph" to pull out from time to time.

I love the vibrant colours as well, I know that's just those ponies colour scheme but it's a very bright, high energy piece and definitely top notch!

The Fabulous Mistress of Pony Arts is back and on form! ;)

---

As for this week's episode...(spoilers ahead!)

I'm not RBD's biggest fan, and by proxy, I've never found Scootaloo very interesting either. So this episode was never really going to be my cup of tea.

However, it threw up some nice surprises (Especially for a writer's first episode on the show) which really raised it up in my view. It's one of those episode where it ended and I felt a sort of;

"Yeah that was pretty good."

Some of the main highlights for me were; the pacing was just right (IMO) and the writer kept things moving at a steady and even pace. They didn't linger on certain parts for an unnecessary gag, they didn't speed through everything to make it more "epic". It felt just right.

I also really enjoyed the way Luna was used, and genuinely didn't expect it until the first time we saw her in the nightmare. I love the concept that as the Guardian of the Night she's also responsible for watching over pony's dreams. It makes me think that perhaps there are monsters/spirits in the MLP world that can prey on dreams, or perhaps other dangers.

My two main gripes, and both Prancypants and Miss Diamonds have already commented on one, were the way Rarity was portrayed with Sweetie Belle and the way the main bond between Scoots and RBD was set up.

The former, already mentioned, really bothered me. We've seen Rarity develop as a character and her actions in the Sisterhoof Social really contradict what was put across in this episode. I would have liked to have seen more of Rarity putting on a brave face for SB's sake, and then finally getting to enjoy herself at the end at the falls. Instead the writer did what so many fandom writers do and mistook Rarity's displeasure of getting dirty for a displeasure of hard work. We know that Rarity is no stranger to hard work, especially with regards to her business, and that when it's important to her friends (or sister) she can work hard/make sacrifices as required.

Of course, being one of my favourite characters, perhaps I am being a little over-protective.

Anyway, moving on, the other issue I had was the way that the whole "Scoots & RBD coming together" was set up.

I really think that it would have been much, much nicer (and the payoff so much sweeter) if Scootaloo hadn't specified Rainbow Dash at the begining. We all know Scoots is an RBD fangirl, so I felt the "golly gee gang I should would love it if Rainbow Dash was MY big sister!" thing was really unnecessary and forced.

A nicer morale would have been Scootaloo feeling lonely without a big sister to help her/look after her/encourage her compared to the other two and trying to impress RBD all the same. Then, at the end, when she explains why she ran off/was trying to be brave, Rainbow Dash could have offered the role of sister/mentor herself and I think that would have upp'ed the "Daww!" factor a few more levels.

That said, the ending was very heartwarming and certainly got an "awww" out of me. ;)

Those are my thoughts on the episode anyway. More RBD next week from what I hear.

Really hoping we get a Rarity episode soon, and that Meagan writes it. She really "gets" Rarity in my mind, great balance of her character.

Dice Pony said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

They had better do a version of "Playing with the boys" if there is a sporting contest montage between the cadets! XD

CaineScroll said... Reply to comment

I'm going to take Prancy's word for it and I think the new episode was a pretty good one for a new writer. And while Scootaloo was never my favourite Crusader, I'm glad they finally decided to give her some love (much to the fans' delight). Rainbow Dash was exceptionally charismatic in the episode as well, as we got to see a bit of her sisterly side and FINALLY acknowledge Scoots as a little sister of sorts.

Also, it was nice to see Luna taking an active role in an episode for once without Celestia around. And like Harwick said, I'd like to believe that she only intervenes when necessary, otherwise she'd have one heck of a job (I mean, imagine having to masquerade as a nightmarish creature for every other pony who has fear-induced insomnia). Making her more forceful and stricter compared to Celestia was also a nice touch, since it conveys a significant contrast between the two sisters.

And who could forget (of course) Rarity? I loved the little antics she put in the episode, even if they weren't all that significant to the story. My personal favourite was that last bit with the race, where she acted all indignant and turned out to be enjoying herself after all...well played, Rares. Well played.

PS: I wrote a decent-length comment! Yaaay~~ XD

Multifish said... Reply to comment

First of all, that picture is simply wonderful! Quite lifelike and show accurate in terms of feeling rather than art style, which of course, we've come to expect and love of you.
Second - although I'm sure the answer is "yes" - are you up to date on the latest pony shenanigans? By which I mean, have you watched the most recent episodes? With a follow-up question: Have you been hit by any inspiration from what has emerged from the latest season? Any S3-inspired art coming up?
Also, Yay! More Rari-jack! I am one of MANY converts to that ship directly due to your exppresive art. Keep it up!

RenaTurnip said... Reply to comment

Aaaahhhh geez I'm always the last one in the new thread xD Curses, self, pay more attention.

On this art, Pinkie looks incredibly happy to have pulled Rainbow Dash into a photo moment... Dashie looks a little confused~ Poor girl probably has no idea what's going on, hehe. Unfortunately I haven't got a trademarked paragraph of critique on this one, but it's cute and silly and I would expect nothing less of either Pinkie or of your art, so that goes without saying, really :P I think I agree with everyone, as well, when I say it is very bright and colourful and enjoyable. It is certainly a bit of a different take on colour choices from you than usual, but this is totally welcomed, I'd say. It's not as if colours have ever been a weak point in your art, so making a positive shift can only be a good thing.

As for the hiatus, like zhoomcar said, I kind of didn't notice it or interpret it as one either. We've all certainly been various degrees of busy, but I think everyone's poked their nose in enough from time to time. There's never been a shortage of life on the blog, that's for sure.

On this week's episode, I really really enjoyed it. My friend and I kind of watched it together at, oh, 4:30AM, and we were sort of giddy and giggly about the whole thing, as there were so many adorable moments by all the characters, not least of all Scootaloo taking center focus for once. The two of us think this was our most favourite episode this season, which I will say comes with heavy bias, but at the same time there were all sorts of things in it that were done very well. And I think it's nice that Scootaloo finally has... a place, we'll say? She never necessarily lacked one, but now a connection with Rainbow Dash has been cemented, and I find that really nice :c Also it seems like there's some kind of continued trend with putting Applejack and Rarity together as often as possible, although in this case it's the most understandable as all three Crusaders were present and needed their big sisters, of course.

I'd say my only qualm was that a lot of the animation choices (at least, the ones that weren't brilliant) were really awkward. My other friend points out that various times, hind legs were in very weird positions, and that wings double as shoulderpads, which I completely didn't notice until he mentioned it. Glad to know pegasi are so functional :c

@CaineScroll

I'm going to use that picture for the rest of forever whenever it's relevant to any conversation. Or even when it isn't. Probably moreso the latter.

Anon said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

Ah, yes, that did happen this time. I'm not entirely comfortable with them, but I was afraid my excitement may otherwise be read as sarcasm. I mentioned briefly in the last thread (which I only mention in case you missed Jody's recent comments) that it dawned on me how cold and uncaring it must sound for me to be speaking with periods all the time. I may be a bit monotonous to strangers, but you all are hardly strangers to me anymore. If I can express my enthusiasm for your return any better with exclaimation points, I suppose I can make an exception now(!).

I happened to run into a problem recently, so I wanted to ask you something about your coloring process if you wouldn't mind. As I understand it, the process of coloring lineart starts with the flat base color, and you do all of your coloring on one layer with the Marker tool set to Spread. I meant to follow the same method, but found that the Marker's density is largely determined by the pen's pressure. To fill in a base color using the Marker would be slow and cumbersome (not to mention it would look uneven like crayon) unless you go over the entire area and erase the excess color. However, I can only do that with one base color per layer, and to use more than one layer would be breaking the rules. It would be easy to use another tool like the Pencil or Brush, but it wouldn't look the same until the Marker is applied on top of it. So the question that I direct to you is, how do you initially add color to part of an object in a doodle?

I am more motivated than ever to color and finish my picture now that I have felt modest success, and I admit I'm a bit paranoid that I might suffer another huge setback once I become too busy to continue. I figure that drawing is a talent which must be maintained, and I really haven't been doing that at all. If I hope to recreate anything like your signature soft coloring style in whatever time I have left to work uninterrupted, then there is no one better to ask than the master.

Anon said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds
@Harwick

I haven't been able to review the last episode lately, but I see that you all have done a good job of it for me. I think the fandom has shown that Scootaloo has the potential to be a deeper, more balenced character, and this episode hopefully will help her along that path. Luna makes another character-building appearance, and this one is especially interesting. It makes me wonder how she helped the ponies with bad dreams before she learned to speak in a relatively normal manner on Nightmare Night. (Discord must have learned present-day conversational etiquette in the time between his escape and his reappearance in Canterlot. Could that explain Sombra's inability to achieve proper speech? Or maybe he just had a thick accent or something.) I guess she could help them overcome their fears by creating worse ones. Was that how Nightmare Moon rose to power? Sleep-induced mind control would be quite a power to abuse. Though it makes me wonder why Luna could ever be dissatisfied when she has prominence in every pony's dreams.

If I would change anything about the episode, I would omit Luna's dialogue, and even her face in the moon for the climax near the end. The drama of Scootaloo looking up desperately but hopelessly at the plain moon, wondering if Luna's appearance had all been nothing but a dream, would have set it even more deeply among the most intensely emotional scenes of the series.

This was still a surprisingly touching episode, and evidence of what sets this show apart from others of its kind. It just occured to me that our episode discussions at this blog are like TVTropes' "Fridge Logic" page for MLP:FiM. That's one thing to be proud of.

Harwick said... Reply to comment

@Anon

I like to make fun of the inconsistencies with Luna's way of speaking, but I think Luna Eclipsed really did have a reasonable explanation... It was expected of royalty to take on flowery archaic expressions and use increased volume when addressing their subjects, likely to appear that much above them. 1000 years ago the average pony didn't talk like that, nor did royalty use these things amongst themselves. Hence the Crystal Ponies didn't use "Thee" and "Thy" and so on, nor did Discord. (Although Princess Platinum probably should have.) So it really was just a problem of Luna not knowing how to be casual around her subjects.

Not that this really answers how she was when/if she spoke to ponies in their dreams. Perhaps she didn't often appear as herself, or maybe she just yelled at them inside their own heads anyway.

I have seen where some people have felt that this added aspect of her position conflicts with the idea that she would feel unappreciated and grow jealous, but I don't have a problem with it. If she really did go around trying to calm ponies' nightmares then it would be pretty easy to become linked to scary dreams in the process. Presumably Scootaloo knew her from Ponyville and wasn't afraid of her, hence she was relieved to see her and had a calm talk with her... But even then, Luna had the creepy eyes-glowing glimpsed-through-the-trees scene and the rise up into the stormy sky exit, so I can see how anyone who didn't know her and like her would find her just as spooky as the Olden Mare... And then wake up remembering that they had a scary dream about Princess Luna.

But even if she had usually been as successful with helping ponies as she was with Scootaloo, it doesn't mean that she still couldn't resent the fact that those ponies still didn't stay up to appreciate her night sky, even after all she did for them. Watching over dreams may just be a job she is saddled with, after all, while her sky is an art that she loves. There's no reason why she couldn't still wish that ponies slept during the day instead, forcing the dream-walking job on her sister while she got to deal with rational, fully awake ponies instead.

I agree with you about Luna's urgings from the face of the moon. It was heavy-handed when subtlety would have served so much better. I also felt that it robbed Scootaloo of some credit for being brave and making the confession... Not only was she backed into a corner by Dash's questions, but she had a Princess telling her that she had to come clean right then and there. It didn't even seem like her decision so much as her obeying orders.

Harwick said... Reply to comment

So the Hub accidentally released this weekend's episode online already, and while they took it down it of course is still bouncing around the internet. I just watched it on YouTube (where I'd watch it this weekend anyway) and the main downside is that now I want to talk about it but can't because most people haven't seen it yet.

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@PonydoraPrancypants

Yes, that's true about Rarity's interactions with Sweetie Belle... I do still think they were somewhat detrimental to her and felt out of character for her (after Sisterhooves Social especially), but at least the two had several sweet moments as well. It still bothers me a little though, but ah well.

Hahaha, I also am exceptionally curious about what Rarity's tent must have been like on the inside, and I agree with you completely about Princess Luna; I seriously doubt that she would use such an ability for any sort of nefarious purpose and I don't see anything wrong with it. And I'll be perfectly honest, in regards to Rarity and Applejack, seeing them be close and comfortable with each other didn't surprise me at all considering the way this season's been going so far! I think thus far there have been worthy shiptease moments in more episodes than not, so perhaps I've gotten a bit spoiled at this point. ^_~

@Harwick

It seems as though most of us are in agreeance about the Rainbow Dash/Scotaloo episode. Like you I was a bit disappointed in the lack of an eccentric Luna, because I very much enjoy that aspect of/take on her character, but still it was nice to see her get a little more screentime and development. Considering how so much of the fandom seems to feel about her, and between the Rainbow/Scootaloo thing I can only imagine that for many the latest episode provided almost as much "fanservice" as the Trixie episode.

Also, regarding the most recent leaked episode, I'm thinking it might be time for you and I to schedule another phone conversation in the very near future, ahem~!

@Dice Pony

Hello darling! <3 I do love receiving comments from you you know, and I must thank you so sincerely for the kind words about this picture! I've made mention of the fact that I made a conscious decision to go a little bit more vibrant than is usual with this one already, of course, but overall I'd say it's probably something of a trend that I've recently gotten into with my fanarts as time has gone on, in addition to utilizing a little more contrast. Looking back at many of my older works I think they were a lot more subdued due to my coloring process, which I have sometimes had some misgivings about, and besides that I prefer more saturated colors when viewing artworks on my laptop (since it always drains them out somewhat). Anyhow though I am glad you like it, and both ponies' expressions as well; I certainly did have fun with them, that's for sure!

It's nice to know that I was not alone in my feelings or reaction to the most recent episode. Perhaps I can be a little overprotective of Rarity too at times, given so many in the fandom seem to enjoy bashing on her whenever they can find the slightest opportunity, but it is what it is and at least she was not horrible towards Sweetie Belle at all... and as Harwick said it could be argued Sweetie had it coming given her unashamed guilt-tripping in the beginning. Otherwise I agree with you about Rainbow Dash and Scootaloo; it would have made it a little more special and less predictable if they hadn't set it up for her to be desperate for Rainbow's affections in the beginning, but considering that is an element of her character that has been established for quite some time now I wasn't really surprised, and it didn't really detract from the episode at all I don't think.

Anon said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

I guess I was confused by the Old English elements of the Canterlot Royal voice. In the line "Nay, children, wait", she uses words of an ancient language without shouting them as she usually would, but I can see that she must have been repeating her last attempt with the same verbiage. (Interesting fact, since I just noticed: the dictionary definition of "verbiage" is "Speech or writing that uses too many words or excessively technical expressions." Apparently, everything I say is pure verbiage.)

I don't have a problem with it either, since it must be hard for her to relate to the ponies, and it would still get lonely if you can only talk to one person at a time through their dreams. It may depend on Luna's personality and the parts of her job that she enjoys the most. Even so, this secondary job brings up more questions. We have generally accepted that Luna sleeps during the day. If she spends the nighttime appearing in ponies' dreams, then she would be in a dream world almost 24/7. I assume she doesn't really need to intervene most the time, as Equestria is not a particularly negative place. I wonder if she can intrude on her sister's dreams, and if she then has more control over them than Celestia. If Luna can create any sort of nightmares she wants, then she must have unlimited pranking opportunities. (As they say on EQD, "Artists, get on it.") I wonder if Luna personally sleeps or dreams at all. It must be boring to have conscious control over your own dreams every night. If anything should make her lonely, it's the thought of wandering around in a world you created for hours during the day. Imagining a world where more ponies than just Twilight would admire the stars she rose the night before. I almost hope she really sleeps more during the night, for her sake. What else could she possibly be doing in that time?

I enjoyed her sternness very much as well. It gave an air of seriousness to her scenes with Scootaloo that went on to define the episode. This aspect of her character reflects the season premiere, as it shows her demeanor has become a recurring part of her personality. I'm almost tempted to edit the ending to replace the scene's moon with the regular plain one and remove the dialogue, but not the background music. As obvious as that sounds, I don't really expect the video editors of the fandom to think of it.

If you all are up for it, maybe we should all agree to watch the episode early so we won't have to worry about discussing spoilers. We all know it's going to take me two weeks to respond to any of it either way.

@WhiteDiamonds

*waves*

Harwick said... Reply to comment

Apparently White Diamonds lost power in the midst of replying to all of the collected messages. She didn't mean to quit halfway through the batch, so she'll finish them up when she gets back on the grid. She didn't want anyone to feel like they were skipped. ;-)

jodyjm13 said... Reply to comment

There's really not much I can add to what everyone else has said about your latest drawing; once again, you've done a fantastic job of displaying personality through the characters' expressions and poses, giving the drawing an energy that really makes it feel alive. The bold colors are perfect for both Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash, as well as for the situation.

The most recent episode was excellent as well, and once more I'm not able to add much to what's been said, though I must remark that Luna still knows how to make an entrance. Granny Smith's cameo might be my favorite cameo of the season so far, and I loved the rainbow falls setting at the end of the camping trip. The characterizations, and the interactions between the characters, were mostly very nicely handled; I think Dice Pony nailed the flaw in Rarity's characterization as mistaking "Rarity's displeasure of getting dirty for a displeasure of hard work", though given how Sweetie Belle guilt-tripped her into going and seemed to accept her burden as the price for having her big sister along, it didn't bother me too badly. A very impressive debut for a new writer, indeed. (See, RenaTurnip, you weren't last after all!)

It's late and I'm tired, so I'll mostly forgo replying to individual comments for the moment. CaineScroll, it's great to see you posting comments again; I hope you enjoy your school break! Anon, that's an excellent point about Luna's moon-shadow urging Scootaloo on at the climax; now that you've brought it up, I agree that the scene would have been better if the moon was blank and silent. (Still, it led to at least one amusing comic...)

At the risk of committing a blogging faux pas, I did want to repeat something from my last set of comments in the previous thread. Probably the most common complaint I saw about "Magic Duel" was that Trixie's redemption at the end seemed too forced and too sudden, but I saw the closing scene in a different light. To me, her apology seemed forced and not-entirely-sincere, like an actress reciting a speech, and her exaggerated expression at the end of her apology just added to the effect. And then, of course, she follows it up by bragging about how humble she is; for Trixie, everything is ultimately about Trixie. Rather than seeing it as her too-sudden redemption, I saw the closing scene of "Magic Duel" as Trixie's first, tentative step on the path to redemption.

Time for me to be going, but I did want to link to a Rarity/SB drawing that I thought might not make the EqD drawfriend (due to a prejudice against black & white drawings) but would still find some fans on this blog.

Coconutswallow said... Reply to comment

I am in love with the vibrancy of this piece. The colors leap from the screen and the entire picture screams "suddenness."

I believe awhile back I said that I would never stop praising the way you do facial expressions, so here is keeping to my word: the way you've portrayed Pinkie and Dash is fantastic. So much emotion and character in a single drawing. I agree with everyone else that the particularly cartoonish style, more so than your usual, only serves to help this piece.

I rather like Harwick's idea that Pinkie is wielding a camera here. In my mind, she just got it and assaulted an unsuspecting Rainbow Dash in her rampage throughout Ponyville, taking pictures of her and any pony she can get her hooves on.

A splendid return to arting, if I do say so myself. No better way to launch back then with something catching and loud.

Needless to say, I eagerly await the finishing of your jacket ponies. The sketches you've displayed already show excellent promise (as if there was any doubt, regardless).

@EpisodeThoughts

I'd have to say that Rainbow Dash and Scootaloo are pretty far at the bottom of my list of favorites in their respective groups, but despite that slight obstacle, this episode was quite good, and not just because of the other characters. As it turns out, Scootaloo and Dash bonding is adorable. Somehow it took until the show portrayed this for me to realize it, despite the fandom's abundance of it prior. Go figure.

Some of my favorite little moments of the episode were Rarity's embarrassment at the mention of Rainbow's rescue and Sweetie's rousing camp song. Cute and priceless.

All in all, the episode was well structured, had good pacing, and a not at all bad moral conclusion. Combined with Sweetie Belle/Rarity and Applejack/Applebloom sister bonding and Luna: Dream Mode, and you have a very fun episode. It didn't breach my top ten or anything, but it continues the seasons winning streak. Not a poor episode in the bunch, yet.

In defense of Rarity's behavior:

This actually didn't bother me, but that's because of the way I perceived it. First of all, I think Rarity went at things fairly enthusiastically all things considered. She might have brought along "all the comforts of home" but she didn't show any strong apprehension of the camping elements apart from her initial hesitation and towards the end, where of course we learn she was really rather enjoying herself.

In regard to her treatment towards Sweetie Belle: having been a younger sibling myself in situations like that, there have been plenty of times I've been more than eager to help and ease the burden of my olders to impress them. I saw Sweetie Belle as volunteering herself to pull the cart and attend to most of the camply duties. After all, just because they made a stronger bond in Sisterhooves Social doesn't mean that Sweetie Belle's desires to impress Rarity just disappeared, and we saw that she was willing to go to quite the lengths in that episode.

I think Sweetie was just super-pleased that Rarity even decided to come along with her (whereas she probably would have refused prior to Sisterhooves Social) and therefore wanted to do everything she could to make it easy for her given the distaste Rarity expressed. I'm sure Rarity made several "Are you sure you can handle it, dear?"'s in the beginning, but after Sweetie's insistence, thought no more on the matter.

Of course that's just entirely my headcanon that for some reason just sprang into being while I watched the episode.

Coconutswallow said... Reply to comment

@CaineScroll

I hope you don't me taking that image of yours and posting it oh, you know... everywhere. I can think of a select few street corners that could benefit from a colorful new poster...

@Anon

I imagine that Luna can visit more than one dream at a time. They're dream worlds after all-- normal laws of singularity need not apply. Plus, I imagine her as capable of multi-tasking, being able to move about the real world while projecting into dreams at the same time, though that might be giving her a bit more omnipresence than would make sense.

My interpretation was that she doesn't have complete control of a pony's dreams, merely that she can influence them to a small extent. Of course, we're only witness to a single incident, so for all we know she could be the Equestrian equivalent of Morpheus (you know, the mythological one, not the one that offers you the red pill, in case there was any confusion there).

I might be able to catch the leaked episode today, but I'm unsure. Though even if I did, I'd only be a day early. Such a jumpstart I would have...

Pardon, but obviously that line you linked to from Luna should be my line.

@jodyjm13

Ahem, I'm sure you won't mind to step aside so that I might take the last spot, thank you. I'm sure discontent won't be expressed if I pocket a few bonus points for inactivity as well.

I doubt I could agree with your interpretation of the end of Magic Duel more. It was forced because Trixie was forcing it, not the writers. Obviously Trixie has a very long way to go before she can truly claim "Redemption" status and I'm not sure if her pride will ever entirely go away (I mean, it isn't showing any signs of leaving Rainbow Dash). Twilight merely planted the seeds. Other adventures, I'm sure to be portrayed by many a fanfic, will wrap Trixie around the rest of the 180°.

That is an exceedingly cute picture, by the way. Many thanks for sharing it and I do hope that EqD gives it a fair shake.

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

So, as I usually do, quickly popping in just to spout something random about the latest episode: I thought it was okay. They sure went overboard with the Pinkie Dash shipteasing on this one. Anyway, despite some of the cool things they had in this episode, the resolution sort of left me scratching my head. That being said the random twister sending the five plummeting to their deaths was probably the most unexpected moment of the whole episode.

@WhiteDiamonds
Oh, and you do love to ramble. Don't worry, most of the denizens here have a tendency to do that anyway. I only really mentioned FlutterTwi seeing as they were the last two ponies that hadn't had a group picture sort of thing, unless you count that Flutterdash commission you did a while back. As for me Raritwi is my preferred ship of choice... I'm actually not entirely sure how it came to be, but I suspect is probably has something to do with both of them being unicorns. Or something. But Rarijack is quickly cementing itself into its own little corner. Damn you Season 3!

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

Yes, many thanks (as per usual) to my dearest Harwick... we were in the middle of a conversation the other night when regrettably, the power inexplicably went out in my area. I hope none of you thought I had forgotten about you, because I certainly didn't (and thank you again dear for telling them all for me)!

@CaineScroll

Indeed, that little moment at the end of the episode with Rarity and Sweetie Belle (and Applejack and Apple Bloom) was adorable... like Harwick said it really helped to make up for any less cuddly moments that may have existed between the two throughout the rest of the episode. It was definitely one of the best parts, in my own opinion!

@Multifish

Well good evening! I remember you I believe, though I think at this point it's been quite some time since you last posted here, but whatever the case may be it's lovely to have you join in the conversation here and I hope you will stay around if you're so inclined! Secondly thank you so very much for the kind words about this artwork... I've been wanting to do something fun with Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash for a while, revisiting the kind of energy behind that older aforementioned work I'm mine, so I'm really happy that so many people have enjoyed this... I had a lot of fun with it!

Regarding the recent pony episodes. I am indeed all caught up, and more than I probably should have been actually since, like Harwick, I was naughty and watched the leaked episode when I heard about it (it's not as though doing so would prevent me from watching it on the Hub sometime again, anyway). I've been enjoying all of it thus far, and as far as inspiration goes I do indeed have some ideas, though many/honestly nearly all of them at this time are almost exclusively Rarijack-related (which isn't as bad as it sounds since I likely won't get around to doing all of them, and on that note thank you so much for the sentiments concerning that ship; that really is a wonderful compliment to me and my artwork!). Otherwise I've never really been the sort of pony-fanartist who takes a lot of inspiration directly from the episodes themselves--usually my drawings are only loosely inspired by events, but we'll see what I can think up as time goes on... hopefully something that everyone will enjoy.

Thank you very much again for the lovely comments!

@RenaTurnip

Ohh you aren't even that late anyway, don't even worry about it dear! And even if you were it's not as though I would appreciate the comment any less.

So on that note, yes, thank you so much for the nice words! You picked up on exactly what I was going for in regards to Rainbow's expression so that's wonderful, and overall I was hoping to make something that was just fun and silly so it's nice that everyone seems to be enjoying it for that (sometimes it's just nice to do random lighthearted things, and I've noticed that many people seem to enjoy them as much as they do my fully-finished paintings anyway, for better or for worse!). Thank you very much again, and as always I sincerely appreciate everyone's understanding of my occasional bouts of inactivity.

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Anon

Oh, I haven't forgotten about that last thread (or the one before it) believe me, it's just that I've scarcely had the time to keep up with this one and my deviantART, if you all haven't noticed. There are only so many hours in the day, or week that I can ever devote to these places, and yet the comments never stop coming so I can only do what I can do I'm afraid.

Anyhow though, on the topic of artwork. This is something that actually ties into what I mentioned in an earlier comment about my older fanarts looking less "bright" in color, because I used to apply the base colors with the marker tool only but as you said, this tends to mean that there is a certain degree of transparency to it which isn't always desirable or easy to work with. So these days (and I don't remember at what point I started doing this) I usually fill in the flat base colors with the pencil tool first, and then apply the shading. However, that's only my method and certainly if you wanted to do something different or use more or less layers, you should do what you want... there's no one right or wrong way to make art after all, and experimenting with something different would probably be in your best interest. I look forward to seeing whatever you do create when you have the time though!

@jodyjm13

It's true... all of you are always so wonderful and consistently say such sweet and lovely things about my artworks that there's really never much left unsaid, I'm sure! I sincerely appreciate it, and your approval of my artworks always does mean a lot to me, so thank you Jody-dear. I myself am making an effort to keep my comments a little on the shorter side tonight just because I only have so much to respond to and do and will likely be busy over the next several days, but I did want to mention that I still plan on getting back that last blog thread when I have the chance and also, to thank you for sharing the Rarity/Sweetie Belle picture. That most certainly is adorable, uncolored lineart or no!

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Coconutswallow

Well, hello there dear! Long time no see, but as always it's a most pleasant surprise to welcome you to the fold again. I hope you've been well lately!

And thank you, as always, for the very nice compliments on my latest artwork. As usual I think you're far too generous and kind to me, but if I captured the mood and energy I was going for with the colors, expressions, and general style in this picture then that's all I can ask for and I'm very happy about the fact. I myself liked the Pinkie-wielding-a-camera idea and indeed, that's pretty much what I had in mind when the idea first came to me, something reminiscent of a sudden snapshot ala-MySpace (if anyone here still remembers that place) or Facebook, etc. I'm so happy you like it, and hopefully I'll manage to finish those jacket-ponies soon then!

@zhoomcar

Well, I... even though I know they're only cartoon ponies, I guess I just find the subject of romance (or potential romances) irresistible, it's just the way I'm hard-wired! Blame this fandom though, if you will, because it's what ever gave me the silly idea and got me started on the whole thing to begin with. =p

And regarding the newest episode, which as I said I actually watched the other day, I'll probably have to come back with some more in-depth commentary later but suffice to say that I enjoyed it well enough, even if it wasn't my favorite episode **SPOILERS AHEAD** For one thing Rainbow Dash felt slightly out of character to me throughout much of the episode (I know she is immensely loyal at heart, does have a conscious and always tries to do the right thing when it's important but still, she seemed a little too meek, hesitant and consumed by guilt in many scenes in my own opinion), and for another thing Spitfire felt like a completely different character to me, not only in voice but in attitude/personality as well. Even if she was meant to come off as a little more stern or formidable/imposing given the militaristic setting, I saw no traces whatsoever of any of her personality that we've seen before in other episodes. That complete difference, when coupled with her voice change meant for me that if it wasn't for her appearance, she may as well have just been a different pony. These things didn't ruin the episode for me by any means, but still they did keep me from enjoying it to the fullest.

Otherwise though, haha that potential PinkieDash content as you said (and also the Rarijack this season in general, as you also mentioned). I was just saying to Harwick the other night that intentional shipteasing or canon or no, I've been feeling pretty validated this season so far about the pairings I've always liked or at least had a soft spot for, in the former case. I have no idea if it's purely coincidental or not, but whatever the case may be I really can't complain about that, haha~ =^.^=

There were other things worth mentioning about the episode as well, but as said I'll touch on them later, if Harwick doesn't manage to beat me to it at least.

@CaineScroll (again)

And also, I am just terribly silly or else was busy or distracted when I responded to that first initial comment of yours because somehow, I completely missed that 'WhiteDiamonds everywhere' meme-image you posted, but that definitely gave me a laugh this time! Thank you dear, and actually this picture seems to work very well for such a purpose, doesn't it? ^^;

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

Only a few hours left until my exam results come out and some lives are somewhat altered by a bunch of numbers... Sleep! Yay!

Harwick said... Reply to comment

New Episode thoughts:

So, as noted, I watched it early thanks to it being on YouTube days ahead of its usual Saturday morning airing, and I really wanted to discuss it at the time. Luckily, Ponydora and Di came to my aid respectively, and through online chat and phone I worked through most of my issues with this one.

Largely, I thought it was another solid episode but again not among my personal favorites. It was a bit light on humor and not quite as gripping an adventure to be especially notable to me.

The main thing that I needed to discuss though was that surprisingly open ending. Really, the purpose of the Academy wasn't clear enough for me... I was left with the impression that one either washed out or became a Wonderbolt at the end of it. The idea that next week things will go back to normal without any explanation of what happened for the rest of Dash's time there just seems wrong. Is she now a Wonderbolt? Is she waiting on another step in becoming one? Did she fail? It's way too big of a thing to just leave unanswered.

I have since heard on EQD that the episode originally had a different ending (suggested to be one without that final scene by Spitfire, Lightning Dust's apparent explusion and Dash's return to the academy). If this truly was a late change, then it would explain why the ending we got left me scratching my head... they hadn't originally planned for the story to need continuing. As I had mentioned to Di, even this kind of ending wouldn't necessarily mean they'd have to drop the Wonderbolts destiny for Dash... They could always have reopened the door to her becoming one in a future episode by having things change. (Personally, I've always liked the idea that Dash eventually takes Luna up on NMM's offer and becomes captain of a new squad of Shadowbolts instead.)

However, by changing the ending and having Dash continue with the Academy I do hope they were able to reflect that in some other episodes and we get some answers as to what happens to her now. I'd be happy just hearing that Dash got high marks at the Academy and feels she's sure to get the call the moment a slot opens up on their roster. Heck, maybe being a Wonderbolt is different than we've imagined, and the precision flight team is just a small part of it. Perhaps it's like she's joined the National Guard, and she needs to report in a weekend a month or something, so she's already a Wonderbolt but not one of the stunt fliers yet. Who knows? But I'd sure like to know, and the fact that I'm just baffled about it kind of bugs me.

Looking at EQD, I see that there are some people who feel that Lightning Dust got a bum rap. I can see it, but only to a point. She did nearly cause a national tragedy by killing some very important civilians, and didn't seem to care in the least that she had. I'm pretty sure that's grounds to bounce someone out of most any program around, let alone one that is centered around the honor of being the absolute best of the best.

I do find the reactions of segments of this fandom hard to figure sometimes. There are always people who want to give every antagonist every benefit of the doubt, and seem to get angry if they aren't treated to redemption no matter how they behave. Heck, there are plenty who go out of their way to portray the truly villainous figures as being not-at-fault or largely sympathetic for their actions. (Usually blaming poor Celestia instead.) And yet, conversely, there are segments of fans that flip out if the main characters take a bite of cake without permission, or sweet talk a guy out of buying the last of the asparagus, and so demand swift punishment upon them. I really hope there aren't too many members of those groups that overlap.

PonydoraPrancypants said... Reply to comment

I apologized in advance for snarking, but I didn't care for this episode, to the point that I might call it my least favorite episode of the series.

Instead of treating this episode at face value, I'm going to assume that it was meant to be like "Fight Club," and that Lightning Dust was never real - she was Rainbow's Tyler Durden. That explains why she was essentially an even more egocentric and compassionless version of Rainbow Dash, and why the Rainbow Dash in this episode was such a goody four-shoes. What really happened was that Rainbow actually did all the things both she and Lightning Dust did (like fitting through an opening too small for two ponies, and Rainbow imagining she was injured, though the injury is then gone), until finally the Rainbow personality becomes dominant when it comes time to save her friends (hence why Lightning Dust disappears during the rescue). Lightning Dust's symbolic expulsion is the Rainbow personality realizing that she was never a wingpony from the beginning.

I can only figure this is what was meant to happen, and that the original ending revealed the dual personality twist, because otherwise neither Rainbow Dash or Lightning Dust make sense as characters in this episode.

Okay, of course I'm kidding and being unecessarily critical, but I know I never would have gotten into this fandom if this had been the first episode I had seen. I found it lacking in friendship (except for Pinkie's bordering-on-mental-illness obsession) and magic. Also, where were the Top Gun jokes.

Oh well. Bring on "Apple Family Reunion," the Spike episode, and please, something for Rarity!

RenaTurnip said... Reply to comment

Ahhh... I apologize for returning to this side of the train car again, but I really did not enjoy this latest episode very much. To the point where I sort of forget what parts of it I did actually like, I confess... the only thing I can really remember is finding Pinkie somewhat cute in some moments.

That episode for me was pretty much a continuous string of confusion for me :x To agree with at least a few people, Rainbow Dash felt out of place in how she acted. There were elements of her core personality there (as it is very hard to detach 100% from this no matter how hard a writer may mess up), but she didn't quite feel right to me. And if RD seemed odd, let me emphasize my point tenfold for one mare named Spitfire. Although she's not necessarily a favourite character of mine, my heart was more or less broken at how bizarrely they portrayed her in this episode... her voice being different was a small part, but her personality and attitude were just "what, huh?" And while I could have accepted that she was just playing it hard to keep the trainees in line, I got the feeling that they were trying to sell Spitfire in this new role as something far more than a temporary portrayal. Which is to say, this is how we're supposed to see her. I didn't like it :c For anyone here who may just happen to be familiar with Metroid: Other M, and how the fans of the series are sort of pretending the game never happened in order to keep their headcanons sane, that is how I'm treating this episode and Spitfire, in the end.

Aside from Spitfire and RD, though, my friend and I have become further confused by what the Wonderbolts are exactly. First (and repeated) impressions were that they were stunt or entertainment fliers, and other things such as a rescue or emergency dispatch team, or many other worthwhile things... but this here sort of took all that and threw it into a dyslexic cement mixer, to put it as confusingly as possible. To be honest I'm not even sure what I'm saying anymore either, but the position of the Wonderbolts just kinda confuses me now.

Otherwise, the episode just kind of felt weak to me in general... it was structured/paced in such an odd way, where I was looking at the timer and it was at 20:20 and there was still no resolution (out of an episode 22:00 long), and then in the very last moments suddenly "something happens"... there was also the matter of the other trainees being not especially top-flier material. Rather than a bunch of carefully-selected pegasi chosen for their talents and hard work, it just seemed like Rainbow Dash and Lightning Dust were the only two with any exceptional skill, the rest being almost random Ponies who the Wonderbolts decided could tag along for fun. Nothing really outstanding about them. I say this just because it's always felt that the Wonderbolts were meant to be Equestria's top fliers, and all. The best of the best, and all that.

Finally there is also the matter of that tornado incident >.> I admit I can't really explain why it rubbed me wrong, but the idea that out of nowhere suddenly five of the six most important characters in the show were suddenly plummeting to their deaths (with, I may add, not the slightest bit of real emotion in the moment) kind of made me go "what :|". Aside from the fact that Rainbow Dash has already had to save falling Ponies once, it just felt like it came out of nowhere to me... and otherwise was very hard to take seriously in any regard whatsoever. And it also makes me realize just as I type this that there was apparently no squad around the academy grounds in case of emergencies... when, you know, the Wonderbolts were at the Best Young Fliers' Competition to save Rarity when she fell, at least. I don't know, I feel like I could go on for a while about this and I feel like I'm being a huge drag now too <_<; My most sincere apologies for being so down on this episode.

RenaTurnip said... Reply to comment

On a much more amusing note, to me at least, I'm realizing now how much energy it can truly take out of you to post a long post on this blog xD Between this and the last thread I've had just about enough typing to last me the whole night. I simply cannot imagine being any of you when you post three or four times in a row... I salute all of you and your tenacity.

@zhoomcar

Here's to hoping it went well~

Obsequiosity said... Reply to comment

I liked Saturday's ep well enough; but then again I can be cheaply bought with Pinkie Pie antics.

I am primarily fascinated that this was a Merriwether Williams episode and plotted almost like an apology for the characterization she got in Mare Do Well (I might qualify that I *loved* Mare Do Well right down to RD's character flaws. But on the Ponychan board I frequent, MW became persona non-grata with the RD fans).

My primary gripe is that Prancypants got my hopes up for more Top Gun parody, and Rainbow Dash did not inform Lightning Dust that Spitfire has Lost That Lovin' Feelin'.

Anon said... Reply to comment

(Edit: The link stopped working after I posted it...)

For every occasion, there comes a time that one must face his or her duty for the sake their colleagues. Tonight, I will tell you of a rather unique and very impressive Ask blog which follows Captain Luna, "aboard the airship Corona Borealis, on a daring voyage northward..."

@Coconutswallow

By this point, her powers overall may be up for speculation. That particular progression of her character is just too good for us not to modify our respective headcanons to fit. That is fine work on the side of the show's writers, I say.

@jodyjm13

My immediate assumption was that the scene served to remind younger viewers that her previous appearances were meant to lead up to that moment. Whatever the case, our fandom will always make light of any situation one way or another. Though at first, I thought that comic would be a reference to this iconic scene.

@WhiteDiamonds

Ah, thank you for the answer to my question. That's a bit of a relief to me, as that was the method I was going to use before I thought to stop and ask you first. My complete drawing is progressing slowly but surely, and probably would have been finished by now if I hadn't (foolishly) decided to add a background. After starting on that, I figured I may as well show the entire wall in the background. And then I realized that it would mean adding other objects to the picture, including all of their fine details. I cannot promise that the resulting picture will be well-drawn, but it will still be a good effort. (This usually means it will not be well-drawn.) I eagerly anticipate your future art just as much. Let us all hope you will continue to work much more quickly than I do. I wouldn't wish that on anybody else.

Anon said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds
@Harwick

I believe my thoughts on the episode would best be summarized with the following true story, which took place just before I played the video:

"I wonder which character interpretations this episode will be based on. Who was the writer for this episode?"
"Wonderbolts Academy: Merriweather Williams"
"Oh no."

Predictably enough, this episode was one of my least favorites of the series, though it manages not to be "the" least. It still ranks above "Dragon Quest", "Putting Your Hoof Down" and "The Mysterious Mare Do Well". As you might notice, there is a pattern among those few. They were every single episode written by Williams (short of "Hearth's Warming Eve", but to be fair, the Six weren't even playing as themselves that time). I intend not to rant or be excessively cruel, but it must be said that Williams' episodes don't live up to the higher expectations that MLP:FiM has developed. There are masses of fanfictions that are more show-accurate than her canon work. I suppose it's possible they are well-recieved among younger audiences, but I still think her inclusion in the second season had a part in its differences from the first.

I did miss the old Spitfire as well. The captain of the Wonderbolts used to be a distinct idol for Rainbow Dash. Her voice used to exhibit experience and a bit of age. This time, however, she sounded younger than Rainbow. I think her new voice even put more stress on her voice actress, as she nearly misspoke some of her lines (specifically, she seemed to have lost control of her tone on the line "Do you not think you'll be an unstoppable team?").

On the other side of the story, Pinkie Pie took up just about all of the screentime, and her antics kept the activities of the other Mane Six anchored next to the mailbox. In the few appearances they made, the main characters were extremely flat. Twilight especially, who reverted into her "Baby Cakes" alter-ego.

Lastly, the ending was ambiguous as Harwick described. Rainbow did use a twister to round up the parasprites in "Swarm of the Century" nearby Ponyville, and Spitfire didn't seem bothered by it, so I don't think it really is serious enough to cause so much as a national tragedy, but I did notice that Spitfire changed her opinion on recklessness of the idea after Rainbow quit. I assume the original ending involved Dash giving up on her dreams of joining the Wonderbolts after catching a glimpse of the way they are run, and it was changed either to promote the moral of following your dreams or to reuse the concept in the future. I also felt that the other Mane Six characters were shoehorned in at the last moment because Dash's character description states that she is loyal to her friends. It would have been better for her to save the other pegasi flying the course. That would have shown a clear contrast between her and Lightning Dust while reflecting on her loyal personality. Because there was a time when she was just like them. Rainbow had people who would help her back up when she fell; her friends. Those friends were not present at the time, but they taught her that while competition is fine, and it's always good to be improving yourself, when it really matters most, you must to sacrifice even the dreams most dear to you and be selfless. Her friends would have appeared in the scene within Rainbow's choice.

It's a shame this has to be the last episode of MLP before the Earth folds in on itself (preferably like that city from Inception), and it is unfortunate that it wasn't all (ahem, anything) it could have been. Perhaps it will help us appreciate the next ones all the more.

jodyjm13 said... Reply to comment

I seem to be in the minority here in that I liked "Wonderbolts Academy", though since I merely liked it, that means I'd rank it as a below-average episode of the series. (Still, the reviews here are kinder than elsewhere that I've seen; it was excoriated on Derpy Hooves News.) I don't want to go into too much detail on this particular episode, lest I come off as argumentative, but I feel compelled to say that, personally, I didn't think Rainbow Dash was that far out of character during the episode; to me, while watching the episode, it felt like Dash, who was used to being a far better flier than anyone else in her acquaintance, was caught off guard by Lightning Dust doing better than her, and it took until the climax of the episode for her to truly find herself again.

Otherwise, I do agree with many of the objections raised in this thread, even if some of them didn't bother me as much in terms of enjoying the episode. (In terms of fitting this episode into the continuity of the series, yeah, there's some major problems...) Still, there were some details I really liked, such as Rainbow Dash and Lightning Dust's wing-slap early on, the POV shots of pegasi launched from the Dizzitron, and some of the rapid-fire Pinkie Pie patter ("What if somepony else gets the package by accident and then she remembers us instead of Rainbow Dash..."). Lightning Dust was also handled well, I thought, starting out as a friendly rival whose disregard for others was revealed bit by bit. There were definitely parts of the episode that could have been improved (most tellingly, the ending, which cried out for something other than the flat, clich├ęd "heroine gets everything she wants"), but I still enjoyed the ride.

"Apple Family Reunion" is coming up this weekend, and while I've so far succeeded in keeping my expectations reasonable this season, I'm having a hard time refraining from having high expectations for this episode. Especially given the spoiler tweeted by Meghan McCarthy that I inadvertantly read earlier this week, which promises something that I've been waiting for almost since I first got hooked on the show.

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

Oh dear, but I am tired. I probably should be saving all of these replies for tomorrow but of course by that point the new episode will have aired (which will be taking up all of my attention at least, I'm sure) so I will make a good effort tonight. Forgive me in advance for any typos or awkwardly-worded sentences which may well exist in my posts, my friends!

@Harwick

Ahaha yes, I figured you would get back here before I would have a chance to and say everything else about the episode that I was feeling/that we discussed, and I was right! If nothing else I really must thank you for sparing me all of that typing dear, because you already know that I feel the same as you in regards to the strange, ambiguous ending of that episode. As I mentioned it didn't bother me as much as it seemed to you, since the matter of Rainbow's outcome/future didn't even occur to me until an hour or two after watching the episode, but still it did just raise so many questions and did not at all satisfy in terms of the storytelling for that episode just on its own I feel, with the way they tried to wrap things up so quickly at the end. Ah well though, perhaps the writers will surprise us and actually demonstrate some serious continuity in terms of a major character story arc in the future, that will clarify what happened to Rainbow. Even though I'm inclined to seriously doubt it.

@PonydoraPrancypants

I'm sorry to hear that you disliked the episode so much. As stated it was no favorite of mine either but I didn't think it was so terrible as to consider it one of the worst of the series... a great deal of this may be due to my own personal bias regarding the Pinkie moments though, granted. While I do agree with you that her obsession with Rainbow bordered on "mental illness", I myself found many of those scenes to be quite amusing and to the point that they probably saved the episode for me, but likely this is only due to some of the fanfictions I've read in the past and the fact that I've come to regard the idea of her having a slight fixation on Rainbow to be an appealing headcanon as a result. Even if you completely disregard any potential (friend)shipping implications/fuel for those who enjoy or look for such things, though, I liked the fact that the scenes touched on Pinkie's more vulnerable side and insecurities that we haven't really seen since "Party of One", albeit with a more lighthearted tone this time around. In my own opinion, and even though I probably should feel bad for saying so, it was a nice difference compared to the usual zany Pinkie antics that we've already had a good fill of this season.

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@RenaTurnip

And yet another person who did not enjoy the episode very much, most unfortunately! Even if I myself didn't love it I do think it's too bad so many people agreed with me in this regard. I feel I touched on my thoughts about Rainbow Dash already at length, but in regards to Spitfire again allow me to reiterate that, like you, I really was immensely turned off by how they chose to portray her this time around. As I discussed with Harwick, and as I sort of mentioned in my initial post I could have understood the idea of a sterner, more imposing Spitfire given the fact that she was acting the part of drill sergeant during this training camp, but it really went beyond even that I think... in my own opinion there was literally nothing aside from her physical appearance which would have suggested she was even the same character. One of the things that I always did like about Spitfire initially is that she reminded me of (as I tried to explain to Harwick, and forgive me for not being able to think of any better comparison here) a beachside southern California native... that's probably a very poor example for those of you who have never lived here or even visited but in general, there is a sort of "beach culture" here where people are very casual, relaxed and laid back, which is something that I always found amusing and likeable with Spitfire and especially when coupled with her original voice and line delivery and her sort of cool, self-assured attitude. Spitfire in this episode possessed none of those qualities, and really is was almost rather sad for me to watch her this time around... they should have just used some other different pony for the role, honestly.

Ah well though, c'est la vie I suppose. Oh yes and lastly, regarding your remark about the blog and writing long comments I really had to laugh dear... most certainly it is a LOT to keep up with, and especially when I remind myself of my burgeoning deviantART inbox as well, eek..!

@Obsequiosity

Well I'm happy to hear that I am not the only one who was seemingly very entertained by Pinkie Pie's performance last week... I know I said those scenes probably sold the whole episode for me and I really wasn't exaggerating when I did. On the subject of Merriweather Williams, it's funny that you should mention that actually... Harwick and I had also discussed the strange about-face in her handling of Rainbow Dash (and I hardly doubt we were alone or the first to do so) and wondered if she might have been trying to overcompensate somehow... as I myself don't know when last week's episode was written though or if Mare Do Well had even aired at the time, it's difficult to say if it was merely a coincidence.

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Anon

Oh my goodness, that really is some very gorgeous artwork on that ask-blog you linked to, isn't it dear? I don't follow or check in on many of those things, lacking a tumblr and often the free time to do so of course, but I may have to try and make an exception for that one. Thank you for sharing!

You are very welcome for the information... as I said before I really don't think you should hold yourself to my own methods exactly, and I really think experimenting on your own would be in your best interests, but nevertheless I am glad it helped and I know I'm looking forward to your next artwork whenever you get around to sharing it with us. And as for the most recent episode, in the interest of saving time and also because, really, I'm growing more tired by the moment, I'll say that at risk of sounding like one of those fans whom DicePony had previously expressed disdain for (those who will gripe about specific writers and whatnot) I agree completely with your appraisal of Merriweather Williams's work on FiM to date. All of her episodes thus far (with the only exception of "Hearth's Warming Eve" which ranks amongst my favorites of season two) have been amongst my absolute least-favorite, and primarily because in my own opinion the characters tend to lose almost all of their subtleties which make them charming and which I believe caused people to fall in love with them to begin with, for the sake of cheap gags/"humor" or making them work in certain roles which otherwise would probably not suit them very well. Admittedly this episode did feel like an improvement to me over her season two work (I would believe that she had gotten more comfortable with the characters either by choice or because she was encouraged to do so, if this episode was written after some of the loud fan disapproval following Mare Do Well and others), but still I agree with you and some of the others in thinking that the episode could have been so much more if only she and perhaps some of the other staff had thought it through a little bit better. Oh well, though!

@jodyjm13

Well now I almost feel bad for voicing the numerous complaints about the episode that I did, but allow me to reiterate that despite the things which did annoy me I didn't really dislike the whole thing either, and like you would probably say that I just wouldn't rank it amongst my favorites at all. It was forgettable but nothing that I would go out of my way to avoid watching again, such as "Putting Your Hoof Down" or "Dragon Quest"...

But in any case yes, the most recent episode aside I really must agree with you one-thousand percent about the upcoming Applejack episode... even though I did allow myself to watch the one short clip which was initially released, and have seen a very adorable screenshot besides I have otherwise kept myself quite spoiler-free, but I have heard enough that I think this will be just what her fans have been asking for for far too long now. My cute adorable pony, I really can hardly wait! <3 <3

@zhoomcar

Well dearest it's been some time now and we still haven't heard anything from you... while I would like to offer my belated good-luck wishes to you I'm quite sure you don't need them! But still, please do let us all know how it went sometime when you have the chance, won't you?

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

Ive been running around, not much has happened lately. Oh, and my results... they were a bit lower than I expected, which could be an issue when it comes to my preferred university course... anyway, the way the Australian education goes is most states use this ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admission Ranking) thing which is essentially a number which corresponds to your ranking within a state. So an ATAR score of 60.00 would mean that you are better academically than 60% of the students in the state. As for me, I achieved a score of 86.85, which essentially means I am better than... you get the idea. While it does sound impressive, it doesn't exactly guarantee me the course that I currently have set my sights on, (clearly in requirement 90.90) but hopefully I'm one of the lucky few who are accepted who have gotten below that score. If not, I have made compromises. As long as I'm doing something along the lines of psychology/criminology/forensics, I'm fine with it. At the end of the day, we've all been freaking out over numbers, so... whatever.

At time of writing though, it seems the latest episode of pony has leaked YET AGAIN. Quality control is really going out the window this season. Just about a quarter of the episodes leaked already? Nonetheless, I'm hanging around for another couple of hours for the livestreams anyway. Can't wait for more apple butt pony! (Seeing if she can buck her way back up my best pony list!)

But anyway, what I've actually been doing lately is playing bits of games here and there, and inadvertently getting hooked on one particular game's soundtrack...

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

Oh yeah, new episode means lots of AJ. It's still not an episode in which AJ is portrayed as "good", but it's a step closer. Lots of cute moments in this one. I'm still a little disappointed certain characters never got to say anything though. -hint hint Braeburn-

...so will barn razing to barn raising be a yearly trend for these reunions now?

Dice Pony said... Reply to comment

SPOILER FOR APPLE FAMILY REUNION BELOW

----

So, I just wanted to say this because it got pointed out to me after the fact...

The two shooting stars that we see in the episode (appearing when Granny is saying how the whole family is together for the reunion) and again after AJ writers her letter to the princess...

Well I think it's highly likely they represent AJ's (and BM and AB's) parents who Lauren Faust always envisioned as dying early on, leaving the farm to granny and their kids.

Makes some of the episode even more touching, well it does to me.

Sorry for spoilers but I simply had to share that theory and just... I dunno, let go of some of these feels! XD

Also, baby Applejack = Adorbs.

XD

RenaTurnip said... Reply to comment

For once, I have gotten up early on a Saturday and managed to catch the latest episode roughly around air time (although it was still on the Internet, but, well, that's okay). My friend and I have just finished it now and I think I'll come give my thoughts on the blog while it's fresh on my mind!

*looks up* And darn, Dice Pony has beaten me to the first comment punch xD I admit I was being a derp and wanting to be first, for no reason other than its own sake, but that's no bother~

~Spoilers for this week ahead~

I'm glad to say, this was another one I enjoyed :D There were dozens of cute moments and pretty much every character with a speaking role made it more fun to watch. I was also a little pleased to see the return of Babs so soon, which I admit surprises me a bit considering I wasn't particularly drawn to (or away from) her. She made it a lot of fun throughout the whole thing, though, and I'm still caught between trying to decide whether I find her endearing or "a bit much", but I think it's much much closer to the former, so I'm glad for that. I think I've totally warmed up to her.

In no particular order, things I enjoyed included: the other elderly mares, who made me laugh a lot, and the designs on a lot of the Apple family members (assuming they weren't all in the first episode, 'cause gosh if I can remember). The animation and facial expressions continue to be very well done, as they have been for this whole season, and they've only lended themselves to making things so very cute. Granny Smith's moment of "... yeah" made me laugh on the spot, and then Apple Bloom got a "... seriously?" too. Those were both good moments to me.

It's unfortunate that Applejack had to play the role of the problem, where most of us viewers were probably facepalming and going "no no stop look at what you're doing" for most of the episode. I thought not long in that she was, and I quote how I put it to my friend at the time, acting very "Rarity-but-really-more-like-Twilight", which I decided around the time she was explaining the obstacle course. She was rather a bit eccentric and very heavy on the details/insistence/attention, which is something I think is more like those other two girls, and was further driven home (if only spiritually) when she revealed those sewing machines too. If nothing else, though, at least we know Applejack is very capable of large-scale management. She just needs to learn to pace herself and others a bit better, methinks. (And at least she can outrun the heck out of a wagon pulled by two grown stallions.)

I'm trying to remember everything else I enjoyed, but I've got a terrible short-term memory for these things even as I'm listening to the episode again to try to remember while I type this. There was just a lot to enjoy here and it's left me in a very good mood. I hope everyone else enjoys it so much too! It was super cute and definitely ranks among the top of this season's episodes for me.

@WhiteDiamonds

I think that's a good way to describe Spitfire, in the end. She was always very cool and I always liked her for that coolness. I'm pretty sure that most people will probably continue to view her in that light, if nothing else, so hopefully that episode doesn't influence the future too strongly.

Harwick said... Reply to comment

New Episode Thoughts:

For me, this one was the least memorable of the season so far. It was cute enough, and well put together I suppose, but really didn't do much for me overall. I believe I've stated two things before that I tend not to favor in my pony episodes, and this one combined them both: Cutting out most of the Mane Six to focus on a single pony, and plotlines that consist of the lead character heading down an obviously wrong path through a bad decision and having to watch and wait for them to come to their senses and fix the mess they're making.

Now, "Lesson Zero" did both of these to a degree and still made what I thought was a great episode, but there were some important differences: Beyond Twilight, the rest of the cast still made significant (and funny) appearances and had a vital role in the feel-good resolution. Perhaps more importantly however, the antics that occur as Twilight dug herself deeper and deeper in that episode where both unexpected and (for me) truly entertaining. Sadly, "Apple Family Reunion" doesn't match that one and instead better illustrates why I don't usually care for those traits.

The montage of AJ's friends helping her out was charming (and the Spike-lighter gag was funny) but it was telling how lively I thought that little bit of interaction was compared to what followed. As a result, it was a real shame that only a few of the cast got silent cameos at best, and Fluttershy and Twilight didn't make an appearance at all. Rarity and Pinkie especially are ponies that can steal a scene and liven up an interaction without derailing the plotline. Granny Smith is usually the go-to for these things in the Apple Family, but she could have used some back-up. Including Rarity with the gossiping quilters or Pinkie with the fritter bakers would have likely upped the comic potential of those scenes by a large margin.

And that really goes to the second point... the wait for AJ to come to her senses wasn't as entertaining as it needed to be for me to really enjoy it. It needed an unexpected bear-neck snapping moment or two. I did like the fruit bats though... Sweet Apple Acres is full of all sorts of crazy magic and critters, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Harwick said... Reply to comment

New Episode Thoughts Continued:

Least I sound too down on the episode, I quite liked the first act and everything from the fruit bats appearance on to the end. (I'm not really sure how a square-dance combined with a barn raising allowed for more catching up between family members as opposed to fritter-making, but I'll let that kind of detail slide.) It was fun to hear AJ sing a lively (if not especially unique) song, and the general good spirits carried it through. The set-up for the reunion was charming as well, especially the flashbacks as seen through the photo album... I would have enjoyed more of those. Baby AJ was adorable, as was full-grown AJ in many scenes throughout. Babs was well used as a plot device, and they made Braeburn walk through the background a sufficient number of times. (I was happy to see Apple Cobbler, and Uncle Strudel as well.) I will say that the photo at the end made the gathering seem a bit small for *all* of the Apple family being in attendance, but again I'll let that slide.

As for AJ's parentes, I assume someone is going through those shots of reunions past looking for evidence of them. I haven't had the chance to review them just yet myself, but it did seem like they were being careful to avoid the subject once again. I do have to say, one could almost take this as confirmation that they were deceased as it seems the thought that they might make it to the family reunion never crosses anyone's mind despite claiming the entire family will be there. I know they could still contradict this on a whim, but still...

So ultimately a cute but largely forgettable episode for me. Sad to see it specifically be an Applejack episode, as she could have really used a stellar one to turn around certain fan opinions about her. (It's also sad that this episode focusing on her had to reverse the season's trend of having her clearly be the most sensible member of the gang.) Still, she's sweet and loveable and lively, so I certainly didn't mind spending the morning's episode with her. (And I also didn't mind that it had been leaked, meaning it was already on YouTube waiting for me when I woke up! With a busy holiday weekend ahead of me, I wasn't sure when I'd get a chance to sit down and watch it otherwise.)

Harwick said... Reply to comment

@Dice Pony

That connection hadn't occurred to me while watching the episode, but I certainly like it. I actually wish it had been hinted at more in the story itself because I think it would have made a big difference to have that on my mind when it was first unfolding.

Harwick said... Reply to comment

Ugh... "Least" and a slew of extra keystrokes and misspellings. I'd kill for an edit function, so that I'm only exposed as an idiot temporarily.

PonydoraPrancypants said... Reply to comment

Wow - my whole long comment that I was writing just got deleted. I just don't know what went wrong!

I'll try this again. First of all, Harwick, I feel your pain about the edit function. As a writer, I am constantly embarrassed at being the worst offender in terms of typos and mistakes. Also, apparently "undo" doesn't work on this site either, so that would be a nice addition.

I liked this episode quite a bit, in spite of what are very legitimate criticisms raised above. It was sweet and good-hearted and, I felt, true to the characters and the show. Enough to get rid of the sour taste in my mouth left by last week's episode, even.

Personally, I am a big fan of "vignette" episodes that focus on single characters or their lives, including their families, and show us more than we might see in an ensemble episode, and also showcase some special aspects of life in Equestria. Cindy Morrow, who also penned "Sisterhooves Social," "Hurricane Fluttershy," and "Winter Wrap-up" (which all involve some special event as the plot centerpiece), is great at this. I was delighted when all the Apples started arriving via conastoga wagon, carriage, taxicab, and airship, and got down to the business of family fun. It was good to see Hayseed Turniptruck has found himself a lovely Apple gal, and good to see Babs and sun-loving Apple Cobbler again, in addition to many other previously-spotted and brand-new Apples.

I liked Applejack's square-dance barn-raising song. Who knows how dancing and barn-raising gave everypony the time to catch up that the other activities did not, but it was still a fun song and it was nice to hear Ashleigh sing in her own natural key.

This one was just what I needed to get back on the wagon, so to speak. Also, I caught the shooting stars (the second time they appeared). Nice touch.

PonydoraPrancypants said... Reply to comment

Also, Spike as a BIC lighter was the first time I've laughed out loud this season. This one gave me plenty of warm fuzzies. :)

jodyjm13 said... Reply to comment

I don't know if I'll have time to post my thoughts on "Apple Family Reunion" and reply to some comments here before Friday, but I did want to at least say that I enjoyed the episode and thought it was solid, though not extraordinary. (Also, to Di: This is your blog, so you should never feel sorry over sharing your views with us here. In particular, nothing you (or anyone else) have said about "Wonderbolt Academy" upset me.)

And the main reason I'm commenting now is to wish everyone Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas, and I can't think of a better way to do so than by sharing this classic Pogo comic strip. I hope y'all have a great holiday season!

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

Wishing Di and everyone else here on the blog a merry Christmas.

Obsequiosity said... Reply to comment

It was the little things in this episode that I adored: the previously mentioned shooting stars, Granny's temporary facelift, "seven-legged" races, baby Applejack, Hayseed Turniptruck being canon Apple kinfolk, fruit bats, pull-start sewing machines, another fiddle playing pony and a new fiddle tune, finding out that ponies use relatively short (probably Stanley #5 length) metal-bodied jointer planes with indescribably sharp irons that Babs and Apple Bloom are able to just shuttle along a beam with ease, both with and against the grain (sorry, woodworking geek off his medication)...

Plotwise, it's a little weak, but I enjoyed it thoroughly nonetheless. The only thing that can buy me off more cheaply than Pinkie Pie antics is Granny Smith antics.

@jodyjm13 Deck Us All with Boston Charlie!

Harwick said... Reply to comment

It's creeping towards midnight here, and I still have gifts to wrap, presents to assemble and rooms to clean in preparation for the huge influx of family coming for the holidays (we'll need to sleep 9 for the coming week, 2 couples and 5 singles, so it's going to be a full house.) But for now, George Bailey has found ZuZu's petals and all seems right with this Eve, so I thought I'd check in and wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays of all kinds!

My year has been improved by coming to know all of you in even such a limited way, and I'm looking forward to continuing to hash out issues with candy colored horses well into the future.

Hopefully next year we can put together the White Diamonds Christmas Special, where we all gather in her wonderfully decorated castle (available for events and retreats) and enjoy her hosting skills as we learn a lesson about the spirit of the holidays. And a special guest musical star would lead us all in a song. There might be some muppets involved too... we can work out all of the details next year.

In any event, have a wonderful holiday season everyone!

Favo said... Reply to comment
This comment has been removed by the author.
PonydoraPrancypants said... Reply to comment

'Twas the night 'ere Hearth's Warming, some hours before dawn, and not a poster was posting, not even Anon;

The commenters had gone, their thoughts already recorded, the status of wrapping having been reported;

Our dear host herself has - I hope - hunkered down, with a cup of hot tea, far from the bustling town;

So here all by my lonesome I'm left to reflect, on a lady and her friends whom I greatly respect;

Dear Diamonds I assure you I make no mistake, when I assert you shine more brightly than your brilliant namesake;

Thank you for blogging now well more than a year, and for hosting so many insightful comements posted here;

Harwick, Jody, Anon - Dice Pony, Rena and Zhoom - how much fun would it be to all be in one room?

Favo, Coconut, Obsequiosity - and I suppose I may as well also count me;

I've posted many thoughts - some deep, some quite shallow; most involving a pony some liken to marshmallow;

On Hearth's Warming Eve, though, I've not much to say, save to wish you all wonderful, happy holidays;

So I've one last remark before I turn off the lights, "Happy Hearth's Warming to all, have a fabulous night!"

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

Hahahaha! You all thought that I wouldn't make it to the blog in time for Christmas, perhaps, and yet last-minute as I frequently am these days (may we call it fashionably late?) I have indeed! Merry Christmas to all of you my dear dear friends, some early and some probably right on time, or at least I hope I've managed to wish those of you on the other side of the planet a fabulous happy holiday while it's still applicable! I'm afraid that I won't be able to get back to all of my blog replies/thoughts tonight (I do still need to share my impressions on the latest episode after all <3) since it's so late here now, but certainly I shall try my best to do so tomorrow, and also let it be said that I am essentially dead-set on getting that newest artwork of mine up as soon as the big holiday rush is over (since I wasn't able to make my weekend schedule as I'd wanted to do, and my most sincere apologies to you especially, Harwick-dear... I really don't mean to always be such a terrible tease! ^_^;;;). In any case though I just wanted to say, as I hope you all already know, that I feel very lucky that I have come to know all of you and that we are celebrating another Christmas together once again, and I hope that you all are/will be enjoying the day to the fullest with your own respective families and friends. Warmest holiday wishes to you all, you know that I just adore you! <3

CaineScroll said... Reply to comment

I leave for one day and this is the torrent of comments I see when I get back? Simply outrageous!*

Anyway, I suppose I should voice my (supremely late) opinions on the last two episodes...there's nothing wrong about Wonderbolts' Academy, but I have to admit that most of the characters were sadly out of character, Spitfire being the most prominent example in my opinion. Her drill sergeant attitude left me wondering what the Wonderbolts really were: a troupe of flight performers, or a military division? Evidence from Season 2's Secret of my Excess shows that they're more of the latter, but that also poses another question...what are all those other (less talented) pegasi doing at the Academy if the Wonderbolts only selected the best of the best? Seems like another example of throwing existing elements out of the window just to make room for storytelling purposes (Anyone notice that RD's reputation as the only pegasus who could pull off a Sonic Rainboom was not even mentioned once?). Oh, and I'm sure someone out there must have been counting the number of times when Rarity plummets to her doom. Overall, not a very satisfying episode. =(

I kinda liked Apple Family Reunion (thankfully), as I think it mostly stays true to the flair of the series. AJ's eagerness to plan the "perfect reunion" seems to be more of a Twilight thing, but when you take into account that she's all flustered up about it for the sake of her family, it kind of makes sense. She was just too focused on organizing all those events to remember that reunions are all about mingling and catching up with each other. Oh, and baby AJ in that flashback was heart-wrenchingly adorable. =P

It was also pretty fun to see some recurring Apples: Braeburn was a particularly nice surprise in my case. It was also good to see Babs again (with a 180-degree attitude spin, no less), though I haven't really familiarized myself with her probably due to her very recent debut. I also found it rather surprising that there weren't as many Apples in the final photo as I expected, given that they arrived on wagons and airships. It also means a high invitation to Apple ratio when you take into account the number of envelopes that appeared at the start of the episode.

I also enjoyed the song as well; nothing like a good hoedown song to finish up a country-flaired episode. I can't see how raising a barn would make them any less busy than they were during the events, but I guess that little technicality pales next to the fact that we finally have an AJ-centred song.

Episode-reviewing aside, Merry Christmas to everyone here on the blog, and here's to another year of commenting and sharing. My New Year's resolution would probably be: Post more often. But we still have six days until that day, so I'll settle with the festive greetings for the time being. Hope everyone here's enjoying their holidays so far! =D

*Just kidding. ;)

Anon said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

It appears that most of us have seen it already, but I am glad to hear you at least enjoyed it as much as I did. The art quality of "Captain Luna" is unparalleled, its adventurous airship theme is popular among the people of our group, and it is well applied wwith the blog's voyage journal style. The ship's name, "Corona Borealis", was reminiscent of Harwick's "Mare Nubium". Now that I think of it, the steampunk pony genre seems to fit this blog and its members precisely. We may not be the toughest seafarers, but I have faith that, with you as our captain, we could best any storm.

@Harwick

It is ironic how an episode where the protagonist is so focused on making the events of the story memorable has turned out to be anything but that. The main problem, as you described well already, was that the viewer could plainly see the error of Applejack's ways. It distances the audience from the protagonist and leaves us waiting for her to catch up to us. The story could have been told more fluently if it followed Granny Smith and Apple Bloom a bit more closely, but of course, it would mean taking an episode away from a character who so desperately needed her own.

While I could see the benefit of throwing back to "Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000" by including AJ's honorary family members, I'm sure I would complain that the episode shoehorned the other main characters into the story as I did after the previous one.

Her song was a nice surprise, but I sort of wish it was a bit more substancial. I look forward to whatever remixes the musician community will come up with, at least.

I should probably add a bit more tomorrow, but it's getting quite late. Still, it was a solid episode, and a clear improvement from the last.

"As for AJ's parentes,"

...and then Harwick was Italian.

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

For those of you who observe it (and I sincerely wish we did here in the United States, believe me), Happy Boxing Day my friends! I'm back, having had a very quiet and laid-back sort of Christmas this year which was nevertheless pleasant, and I hope all of you likewise had a lovely holiday. While I really rather hate this let-down feeling that typically follows the holidays, the good thing as I mentioned yesterday is that hopefully it also means I'll have far more time to be finishing artworks and other such fun, frivolous activities in the coming weeks... that is the plan if all goes well, anyhow, and I know I at least am looking forward to having a little more free time again!


But anyhow yes, I do believe I am the last person to post about the subject at this point, so how about that new Applejack episode everyone? You know, even though I watched it as soon as it aired, and probably did have time to come and post my thoughts about it then if I had pushed myself it's probably better that I waited, because my initial reaction was that I actually was somewhat disappointed in the whole thing. Now that I've had a bit more time to reflect back on it though, I realized that it really wasn't so bad and that I actually did enjoy it quite a lot! I think, for me in this instance it was a rare case of my getting my hopes up prematurely for something, which I generally make a point never to do for this very reason, and so while I actually didn't think the episode was bad at all it still wasn't everything I had thought it might or should be, and naturally I was feeling a little let-down afterwards as a result. Reflecting back on it now though I do feel it was a pretty solid episode, because if nothing else I am always happy to get more Applejack, and the fact that she was the "problem" in this episode was not so much of a problem for me seeing that her heart was very obviously in the right place the entire time... she was just trying to make this event something truly special for her family, and all for their benefit not hers. While I always hope that we will be given a little more of a look into the minds and emotional states of these characters, and see a little more of what 'makes them tick' as a result not every episode is going to go that way I realize, but at least it was very enjoyable for me to get a bit more of a glimpse into Applejack's/the Apple family's typical home life/dynamic (Granny's line about Applejack having the appetite of a grown stallion in particular was highly amusing to me), and interesting to receive further confirmation that Applejack's greatest fear is that she will somehow fail in her responsibilities/efforts and let down her family/friends as a result. This was still the strongest message that I took from this episode in the end, sans the moral itself of course (and was this the first time this season that we've actually seen any of the ponies write to Celestia? Because I can't recall any others at the moment) and one that really I could never be disappointed with, since it only confirms what a wonderful character Applejack really is. Good stuff and I am looking forward to the next installment, then!

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@zhoomcar

Ah, there you are dear! Thank you very much for coming back to fill me in (and for the holiday wishes as well!), since I really was beginning to wonder about you. While I'm sorry to hear that your scores weren't exactly where you'd hoped they would be, they were at least quite close and as you said, hopefully enough to get you where you would like to be all the same. And psychology/criminology/forensics, really? I had no idea, but color me impressed.

And yes, I saw that the episode was leaked a little bit early again, but at least not days in advance this time! I'm not sure if this trend has been shown to have any sort of significant impact on The Hub's ratings/viewership at all, but if so I can only hope that they'll manage to keep things under tighter wraps in the future.

@Dice Pony

Every time I see you, my dearest darling, I am reminded of how it has been FAR too long since we had a proper conversation with one another, something which is almost exclusively my fault at this point I'm so sorry to say. It really is so terrible! However I am seriously hoping that once the hectic holiday season is over (as much as I love it I have been scrambling all over the place these past couple of weeks like my scaredy-cat Grace with ribbon-tape stuck to her tail) we shall be able to get all caught up once again... I simply refuse to rest until we do in fact!

Anyhow though, all that having been said I'm so happy to hear that you enjoyed our latest Applejack episode... seeing as how she is your most-favorite pony of course I really had been hoping you would love it! I myself didn't make the shooting star connection until I saw it being mentioned by some other people on deviantART (and interpreted in various artworks), and since then I understand Sibsy has indeed confirmed it was supposed to be a very subtle nod to Applejack's deceased parents by the writers/crew. While it isn't the same thing as any of the characters actually discussing or referencing the fact on the show, of course, at this point it seems almost certain that we will never actually see Applejack's living parents on the show, so like you (and even though it's been my headcanon from the beginning anyway) my heart is just full of "feels" for poor darling Applejack. She really is just such a wonderful pony, isn't she?

@RenaTurnip

Another person who enjoyed the episode I see, that definitely is a nice thing to hear! And especially in your case since I understand the season didn't start out so well for you, dear. Anyhow I have already shared my general impressions of the episode of course, but when it comes down to more of the specifics I will say that I enjoyed many of the same things you did (those elderly mares really were quite cute weren't they? And it was nice to see a little bit more of Applejack's extended family in action, even though I understand some people were disappointed we didn't get a little more out of some of them). Even though, like you and some of the others I was a bit disappointed that Applejack was singlehandedly the cause of the "conflict" this time around and that she didn't demonstrate as much of her good, practical Applejack-sense as we've come to expect from her, as I said in my review I understand that it was all out of a desire to please others and create something special in the end, and so it didn't bother me as much as it certainly would have otherwise. Overall I thought it was quite solid, and definitely full of some very cute moments as you said.

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

Well, if I would have come to share my thoughts on the episode as soon as I had gotten through watching it, my post probably would have read quite a bit like yours dear, because it seems that as is usual with this show and these characters our thoughts and feelings tend to echo one another pretty closely. However, once again I'm happy to say that for me personally, the whole thing really was redeemed quite a bit once I had a chance to reflect back on it and realize that for me the "good" in this case far made up for whatever initial disappointment/discontent that I may have felt. Since I'm sure that for me most if not all of that is due to how much I love Applejack and generally enjoy watching her do even the most simple/uneventful things on the show, I can understand that some people who do not share my same bias may not have gotten the same level of enjoyment out of it that I did. Still though I am sorry to hear that you were disappointed enough that you would consider the episode to be your least-favorite of the season thus far... that really is too bad.

But, anyhow! Moving on to other things I really must say that your Christmas Eve post made me laugh, not only because I honestly do like the idea of a WhiteDiamonds Christmas Special very much (and the castle does/will look fabulous this time of year I can assure you... I'm already planning out the decor and festive spread and so forth in my mind's eye) but also because, like you I was still clamouring quite a bit to get everything done last night. In the end it worked out for me though, and I hope the same was also true for you!

@PonydoraPrancypants

Oh dear, I really am so very sorry to hear about your post, my friend! I sincerely do hate it when that happens. Blogger used to do the exact same thing to me all the time, back when I was still in the habit of posting regularly on Equestria Daily, and so back then I got into the habit of typing up all on my longer comments in Wordpad or Notepad or somesuch and then copying and pasting them to spare myself potential headaches. Anyway I am sorry about that, and also the fact that my silly blog lacks any sort of edit function entirely (I'm sure you've all found plenty of typos, awkward sentences and grammatical errors in my posts before, and though I technically could just delete them and repost corrected versions I'm afraid lack of time usually means I don't bother, ah well~).

Anyhow though, getting back to the new episode. I'm so happy to hear that you enjoyed it, really! Even though in the past, I've been inclined to agree with Harwick in that "vignette" episodes (as you say) tend not to rank amongst my favorites, there are exceptions to this and honestly, you raise a very valid point since thinking back I realize that I really have enjoyed seeing the characters be fleshed out a bit more and getting more of a glimpse into their more private everyday lives, even if I don't always enjoy the larger stories in episodes that do this. So yes, I suppose it just depends on how an episode or pony is handled, and whatever the case may be it's just nice to hear you found this latest installment enjoyable!

Lastly, haha, thank you so very much for that little poem... you really are far too good at what you do and I know that it brightened my evening considerably when I read that last night, so the effort was sincerely appreciated. I hope you had a wonderful holiday!

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@jodyjm13

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to you as well Jody-dear, and thank you very much for stopping by to spread a little seasonal cheer even though you doubtless have been busy, as well! I'm happy to hear that you enjoyed the recent Applejack episode too, more or less, and as for "Wonderbolt Academy" it's not that I feel bad for sharing my thoughts persay, but that I can't help but feel somewhat guilty if I'm ever overly-pessimistic or negative about anything, and certainly if it's for any reason as silly as my over-analyzing a cute benign cartoon about ponies. Whatever the case may be though I do appreciate it, thank you.

If I don't talk to you beforehand, I hope you have a very fabulous New Year!

@Obsequiosity

Hahaha indeed, Granny Smith was quite entertaining throughout this episode and as I mentioned before I also enjoyed many of the little touches present throughout... in fact I'd probably go so far as to say they really did make this episode for me. Knowing you're an Applejack fan I'm glad to hear you weren't disappointed my friend, and ALSO (though this is completely unrelated to any discussion here and perhaps you'd actually hoped I wouldn't even notice) I really must thank you for joining my little group on deviantART... other than yourself DicePony is the only person here who has ever really shared that particular interest with me and I have to say it was a happy little surprise to welcome you aboard. ^_~

@Favo

Merry Christmas to you as well dear, though you know, I must say I can't recall anyone here ever giving you any reason to believe that you might be unwelcome here (quite the contrary actually) so I'm really not sure why you would say something like that? Whatever the case may be though, I hope you had a very nice holiday~!

@CaineScroll

Regarding torrents of blog comments, now you know how *I* feel dear, hah (and these torrents typically result in my posting my own ridiculously-lengthy posts as well to catch up with everyone, for which I honestly must apologize). But at any rate thank you for sharing your thoughts on the episodes as well as for the holiday wishes... I hope you had an excellent Christmas yourself!

@Anon

Yes, I agree, the quality of art on that blog really is extraordinary and once again I thank you for bringing it to my attention. It's times like this that I find myself almost wishing, yet again that I could someday manage to start up some sort of pony-related Tumblr of my own, but seeing as how I find it nearly impossible to keep up with my internet activities and artworks as it is I know there is essentially zero chance of this ever happening. Ah well though, perhaps someday!

Hm, you know, considering the fact that Harwick and I seem to be able to carry on various food-themed conversations for far longer than most people would probably ever venture to guess, it really wouldn't surprise me if I ever learned he actually was some sort of Master Chef-calibre gourmet... not at all in fact...

RenaTurnip said... Reply to comment

Sorry for the somewhat late well wishes. I really hope that the season has treated everyone as best it can. You all deserve it so much.

I was really hoping to have this done yesterday, but by this point I just need to relax and take some time off, so forgive me for not being done... and here, have something nice, everyone. You'll have to forgive a few of the slightly more obscure representations of faces. I asked the ever-helpful Harwick for his advice as far as that went and we agreed that familiar avatars was probably the best way to go, for the most part.

It's late and I'm tired, and I promise that sometime I'll get this finished and shiny and amazing, but for now, this is what I've got.

Happy holidays, everybody~ Here's to a good season and the best 2013 can be, too. I hope everyone has a great year.

CaineScroll said... Reply to comment

@RenaTurnip

I don't care what anyone says, this has got to be one of the best pictures you've made so far. And not just because Scrolls has a chick/chocobo/thing on his head. I particularly love Harwick going all Godzilla on everyone else...as well as Gluey Zhooms. Gotta love that bloke. xD

I've said it for the umpteenth time now, but happy holidays to you too, Turnips. ^_^

Favo said... Reply to comment
This comment has been removed by the author.
RenaTurnip said... Reply to comment

*wakes back up to make some additional comments*

Although this is not set in stone, there is a chance that after this weekend's Pony episode I may take a break from social activities for a while. I'll still be findable on dA, especially if I've got art to post, but I probably won't have much to say to anyone on many things. You could just say I need to take a serious break and clear my head and other such things :x But just know that if you don't hear from me, I won't be out of arm's reach, and I'll miss talking to you all. My apologies for this if I do decide I need some time off.

@PonydoraPrancypants

Aww, now that was silly and totally adorable, and I was pretty much laughing from the very first line. I can just sort of imagine a brief montage as a voice narrates over, with brief images for each moment in there. Although I admit I'm not really sure how many images you could draw reflecting a group of people talking on a blog, eheh.

@CaineScroll

That was, in fact, a Chocobo. I suppose I'm not surprised that you made the guess, but I have to be impressed considering it's hardly distinguishable from a normal chick :P I'm glad you like it so much. I'll definitely finish the detailing on it all sometime... doing full scenes is a lot more work than just individual characters and such.

Obsequiosity said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds
Heh. When the idea for that goofy sketch popped into my head, the first thing that occurred to me was, "Well, if nothing else, WD will get a chuckle out of it."

When it got added to that group, I did a little looking around and decided it was worth keeping on my list, if nothing else in case I decided to polish that sketch into something presentable. That's when I noticed who helped run the group and had to chuckle myself.



By the by, a friend of mine (that I met through Transformers Geekery) passed something along from John Scalzi:

"Many people believe geekdom is defined by a love of a thing, but I think — and my experience of geekdom bears on this thinking — that the true sign of a geek is a delight in sharing a thing. It's the major difference between a geek and a hipster, you know: When a hipster sees someone else grooving on the thing they love, their reaction is to say 'Oh, crap, now the wrong people like the thing I love.' When a geek sees someone else grooving on the thing they love, their reaction is to say 'ZOMG YOU LOVE WHAT I LOVE COME WITH ME AND LET US LOVE IT TOGETHER.'"

Y'all are a bunch of geeks, and I thank you for that. Enjoy your holidays.

CaineScroll said... Reply to comment

@RenaTurnip

Haha, I suppose me of all people should know how long it takes to do pixel art (I was the only one dumb enough to re-watch three hours worth of recorded livestream, remember?) That said, it looks really impressive the way it is now, can't wait to see it done! ^_^

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@RenaTurnip

Oh, my goodness! Forgive me for being so late to see and comment on this, my dear, but that is just absolutely fantastic, I love it so much! You honestly amaze me with your pixel-work, and I can only imagine that must have taken you a very long time to do... if it's incomplete as is posted I really can't wait to see what else you have planned for it! While I've honestly never thought about how one would go about representing some people, such as Anon in pixel-form before, I have to say that you really did make some very good choices, and I really must agree with CaineScroll that Harwick in particular is utterly hilarious (that tail stuffed down the chimney, I can't stop laughing...). Once again I love this so much, thank you for taking the time to make and share that with all of us!

@Obsequiosity

Haha! Well, if nothing else that group absolutely confirms what I said to you in my post on said comic strip, in that I realized some time ago that I had passed the point of no return and may as well just embrace my shiptastic fangirlishness for what it was, unabashedly. When the founder had invited me on to help staff several weeks after the group had initially been founded, I actually thought about it for some time before I realized it was a no-brainer and I really wasn't fooling anyone, least of all myself... if anything I imagine people would have been surprised to not find me there had they looked.

So in any case yes, I really must agree with that fabulous quote you posted as well as thank you for sharing, because for better or for worse it probably does describe me to a tee, meheh~! I hope you have a lovely New Year as well, and I look forward to seeing the potential polished version of that strip and/or whatever other artistic goodies you may have in store for us all!

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

@RenaTurnip
colour me dead. Absolutely dead. Actually more like epic squee everywhere -glomps- I've been represented as a glue bottle, extraterrestrial status confirmed, whoo! Or at least, from the glue dimension. I do wonder though, who is that in the picture frame on the mantelpiece?

jodyjm13 said... Reply to comment

Yet again I find myself commenting on one episode mere hours before the next one debuts. I suppose it's appropriate as I don't have a whole lot to say about "Apple Family Reunion", other than I really enjoyed it. There was, in engineering parlance, a design flaw with the episode: the second (central) act of the story was about how Applejack's new-and-improved reunion plans were keeping the family from enjoying the reunion, and it's really, really hard to make it fun to watch people not having fun. While Studio B! couldn't quite overcome that hurdle, they at least managed to keep the second act from dragging down the rest of the episode, which was very good indeed.

The flashbacks to previous reunions were humorous, charming, and wonderfully true-to-life, and the scenes of Applejack's friends helping her get things ready were delightful (and made me wish they could have been at the reunion as "honorary Apple family members"). For heartfelt moments, there was Apple Bloom checking in on a sleepless Applejack and, later, a heartbroken Applejack fighting tears as she looks on the wreckage of the barn and her plans. It was great to see Babs again (as well as Braeburn and Hayseed Turniptruck, albeit in non-speaking roles), and Granny Smith is almost as good as Sweetie Belle in stealing scenes. And, of course, there was the moment I'd been waiting for almost since I first became a fan of the show: Applejack's solo song; while I would have hoped for something a bit more personal to AJ (e.g., "The Art of the Dress", "The Smile Song"), "Raise This Barn" was an undeniably fun and catchy song with a great closing verse. Still, I hope she gets another song in the future; if given a chance to perform a more standard musical number as Applejack, I think Ashleigh Ball would give a masterful performance. Overall, a fine episode, though not quite among my favorites.

@Harwick:

I'm of the opinion that, if the one-two punch of "The Last Roundup" and "The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000" couldn't get someone to like Applejack, then they're probably never going to come around. In all honesty, if someone's reached the point of claiming the Apple family conned "half the town" to work for them in "Lesson Zero", or saying that Babs Seed stole "Apple Family Reunion" from Applejack, then I don't think there's any way to change their mind.

@Obsequiosity:

Or, alternately, "Bark us all bow-wows of folly!"

@Favo:

I can't speak for everyone here, but I'm always happy to see you comment, and I hope that you'll do so more regularly whenever you do feel like it.

@PonydoraPrancypants:

Thanks for sharing that seasonal poem; it made for a pleasant Christmas gift!

@CaineScroll:

I agree with you in general about "Apple Family Reunion", and more specifically about Applejack's behavior during the episode. While that sort of overplanning is Twilight's specialty, given the pressure AJ was feeling I can easily see how she fell into that trap.

@RenaTurnip:

Thanks for such a fun, creative piece of pixel art! I admit I'm particularly impressed with the tiny little version of this very blog page over the fireplace.

I hope it's nothing unpleasant that's causing you to consider a temporary near-silence; whatever the cause, do whatever you feel is best for you at this time.

And it's definitely past time for me to go, as there's new pony in about 7 hours!