Friday, December 28, 2012

Something New, and Long Overdue


Meheh, yes, arguably long overdue indeed, insofar as I'm sure most anyone who knows me can only wonder how it has possibly taken me so long to get some new season three shipping-inspired artwork up. ^_^; But at least I can assure you all it hasn't been for lack of inspiration or ideas! In fact, if anything I've probably had too many ideas for my own good that I haven't been able to settle on any one of them long enough to start on/complete a picture to my satisfaction, but in the end I happened to accidentally doodle this little image one day when working on something else entirely unrelated, and decided it would do at least as well as anything else for a start.

Honestly, this picture probably isn't much, and especially when you consider the fact I've mentioned more than once that I'll be getting it up soon for over a week, but for what it's worth I am happy enough with the way it turned out and can only hope that it's a decent enough way to round out 2012. If it's not entirely obvious, I took my inspiration in this case from Rarity's fainting scene in "Magic Duel" (sans ugly dress of course), since I personally thought it was quite cute that Applejack came to her "rescue" in such a way, and if nothing else proved herself to be a most excellent alternative to a chaise longue. I've made an alternate, blue sky version of the image as well (since so many of my artworks of these two together seem to be on pinkish backgrounds, for whatever reason), which I will post/link to as soon as I get the image uploaded to my deviantART (EDIT: And yes, over a week later here it is! I really must apologize to you all for my terrible short-term memory... ^_^;).

So yes, the last new blog post of 2012, no doubt... to all of my followers I wish you a most excellent and Happy New Year, and I hope to see you on the other side then! Cheers, friends.


WD

220 comments:

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CaineScroll said... Reply to comment

D'awww, now isn't that adorable? It's funny how most of your more notable works start out as silly little doodles, and yet they seem to gain more recognition from the community compared to those more refined ones (fun with irony!). And there's something about the way you draw Rarity; she somehow looks chubbier than what she looks like in the show, but I'm not complaining...in fact, combined with that unique shading style of yours, I'd say she makes for a lovable plush toy. ;P

The background of this picture reminds me a bit of the background from your gift to Prancypants, and it does have a sort of sunset-ish vibe too it...(and of course, pinkish). It could be merely my imagination, but I think your style of eyes has slowly changed over time, as well. In any case, I don't think Applejack has many complaints about being a chaise lounge substitute, either.

I admit that 2012 has been quite the roller-coaster for most of us, with lots of ups and downs...I've heard from many people who've experienced things both good and bad in their lives, including myself. However, to me a new year means renewal; a change of pace, and hopefully things will turn out better during the upcoming year. Happy 2013 everybody! ^_^

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@CaineScroll

"Chubbier", haha... well, I suppose you might have a point there, though I think in this instance it's mostly the angle since all of the ponies' heads/faces tend to look very round from that point of view (and in fact, the Rarity image I linked to on the last post's comment thread, this one, is a pretty good example of this). I'm also not sure if my style of eyes has really changed or not, but certainly they are colored somewhat differently/with a little more "detail" this time around, if only because I polished this picture up a little more than most doodles.

But anyhow, all of the little technicalities aside I'm very happy to hear that you like the picture and think it's cute, thank you dear! While I'd actually say that this past year has been very good in my estimation, with the only exception of my health troubles I suppose I'm looking forward to the next all the same, and of course you all know I wish you the absolute best and am looking forward to all of the artwork, conversation, and fun adventures to come!

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

Yayayay, new art! -wallpaper'd-
I could say more but really, I have nothing right now, so zzz

Wishing everyone a happy new year, I guess!

PonydoraPrancypants said... Reply to comment

I'm fairly confident I cannot adequately articulately why, exactly, but this is without a doubt one of my favorite WhiteDiamonds pieces, and maybe one of my favorite pony artwork pieces, ever!

I love Applechaise and her "the things I do for love," yet happy, expression, and just look at Rarity hamming it up! I really love what you've done with their defined manes in this one, and especially how you colored them, with the bold use of light and dark to accent the setting-sun setting.

You did a wonderful job contorting Rarity in a way that really works with the style of the show and marshmallow anatomy, and I kind of just want to hug them, or you for drawing them! They're just so adorable!

As for 2012, it certainly has been an eventful year, with moving to an entirely new town and changing the nature of my work quite a bit. It's also been a fun year of getting to know interesting and wonderful new people, and trying new things. I also wrote a book from start to finish, which I've been meaning to do for quite some time! And even though I managed to bust up my hand pretty good, today I got my splint off, so that was exciting news. In fact, I'm typing this with all ten fingers! Joy of joys!

Since it is New Years, dear White Diamonds, and since the Mayan Apocalypse was a bust, and therefore we have who knows how much more time left to be companionable friend-type people (hopefully many, many years), and since I am very much largely of Scots-Irish descent, I'll end 2012 with a quote from my distant ancestor Robert Burns' famous poem, Auld Lang Syne:

And surely ye’ll be your pint-stoup,
And surely I’ll be mine!
And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my jo,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

Here's to 2013, and here's to you! Cheers!

Multifish said... Reply to comment

Hee hee~ Darn your infectious Rarijack shipping whilst watching the show! I love the expression Rarity dons in this picture - a twinge of guilt, with an overlay of relief and a twist sweet joy. AJ may be my favourite pony (and a favourite visual design of mine) but Rarity steals the show in the pic.

I keep forgetting whenever I comment how in-touch with your fans you are (to an almost scary extent), but it's always nice to see such joy-filled conversation on this little ol' website. For that matter, did you appreciate the recent Applejack coated episode? I for one was overjoyed to hear a song emerge at last, but am woefully disappointed with the lack of remixes, covers, or even just touch-ups (I love the song, but I am SURE with just a bit of work, and a small extension it could be truly brilliant). Although I swear, the Apple Family go through at least 2 barns per season. I hope all of their personal belongings are replaceable.

Happy new year, dear,
Multifish.
(Wow. A lot of brackets in this comment(crazy that you remembered an ancient comment I made when reading my comment last post, by the way! (are my name and writing really that memorable? Maybe you're just clever (Wheeeeeeee!()))))

Harwick said... Reply to comment

Ah, that Rarity... always working the angles. Good thing that AJ is willing to play her part in a proper swoon. Just a delightful piece of work from you, my dear, and well worth the wait and multiple teases. For me it's the eyes on this one that do it... such charming depths to get lost into, and I love the way you've handled the linework with Applejack's mane overlapping them especially. The very stylized highlights they both feature give it a neat look as well, and it all comes together into truly adorable expressions. Very warm and cuddly and loveable, and what more would you want out of ponies such as these?

And since I am late commenting on it, I want to also express my delight at how RenaTurnip's Christmas present to the blog turned out. (I've been without my computer for most of the week, although checking in on my phone now and again.) That made laugh out loud to see the results, as the versions of various posters was just delightful. Sure, we might not make the most attractive dinner party, but you can't say we wouldn't make for a lively one!

jodyjm13 said... Reply to comment

It's great to see one more drawing from you before the year closes, and this one's definitely a charmer. Your "doodles" (I still don't think that's the best term, but we'll roll with it) always convey a welcome energy and liveliness, and this drawing is no exception; AJ's slightly-abashed expression and Rarity's obvious (and borderline mischievous) glee are both captured perfectly. The background evokes a sunset sky nicely in such a way as to highlight (rather than distract from) the ponies in the foreground. A fine drawing to close out the year with, and well worth the wait; thanks for sharing your talent and your time with us!

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@zhoomcar

Well good evening dearest! Don't worry about a longer post; I'm so happy to hear that you like this enough to "wallpaper" it, that really is such a fantastic compliment! Thank you very much! **digital hugs**

@PonydoraPrancypants

Oh, eep! My dear friend, I must say that I am incredibly surprised, but also so incredibly happy and flattered, to hear that you like this picture so much, thank you! I'm not sure what it is about it that appeals to you so much, exactly, but as you know that these two are both very near and dear to my heart it really does mean a great deal, I assure you. I'm so very glad to hear that you like their expressions so much ("Applechaise" haha, that's perfect), as well as Rarity's pose in this instance, because it actually was a little trickier than I might have hoped to work it out just how I wanted it, with having her draped over onto Applejack's back but still with both of their faces properly visible and so on. Anyway, yes, once again thank you so much... I couldn't be more delighted by your feedback!

As for this past year, it has indeed been an eventful one for so many of us hasn't it? Nothing too major happened in my personal life, but certainly in my online pony-life, as you all know, things really took off for me this year. It's been a bit of a whirlwind when I think back on it honestly, but I'm very excited to see what the future still has in store, and I can only hope that I will be as productive and successful as you have been in 2012!

Thank you very much for the lovely holiday wishes, and you already know that I likewise wish you the best. Also, it's just fabulous to hear that you've finally got that splint off of your hand, congratulations! I'm looking forward to whatever new stories you may soon have in store for us as a result. ^_~

@Multifish

Hahaha, well hello again! Yes I certainly do remember you, due to your username or however it may be, and once again I'm happy to welcome you back to my little blog... thank you so much for the lovely comments! As I seem to distinctly recall you asking for more Rarijack on the last blog post (^_~), it's wonderful to hear that you enjoyed this picture, and with any luck, knowing me there will likely be even more season three-inspired goodness to come. Since you asked I did indeed enjoy the recent Applejack episode, quite a lot, and I understand that tomorrow's episode should also provide a very good showing for my dear (very nearly #1 favorite) pony, so I'm excited for that! You also raise a very valid point about the Apple family's barn... I can't say it's anything that ever really occurred to me before you mentioned it.

In all honesty, it probably does seem rather odd that I take the time to write such long and involved replies to everyone, but here on the blog at least I consider most if not all of the regulars to be good personal friends of mine, and so always find it enjoy to share conversations with them. If you're ever so inclined yourself, I hope you'll feel free to join in!

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

Heeheehee, hello darling~ ^.^ Rarity does indeed seem like she might have some sort of game plan in mind in this situation, doesn't she? Or in any case is happy to seize on a good opportunity when it comes along, and I'm very happy to hear that you like the eyes and also the slightly-more-polished than usual linework here, thank you very much! I've noticed that, just in general, I've started to put more time and effort even into my "doodles" as time has gone on, but considering the fact that I'm not as productive overall as I used to be perhaps this makes sense. Whatever the case may be though, thank you so much (yet again) for the feedback, you know I sincerely appreciate it!

And oh, yes, and even though we've talked about it and I mentioned it on the last thread as well, Rena's little pixel-work really is just extraordinary isn't it? I seriously love it so much! It is so so so incredibly cute in addition to being hilarious, and I for one am immensely grateful that she's become a regular here on the blog; she's such a fantastically sweet and thoughtful girl and I really can't say enough about that image... I just adore it. <3

@jodyjm13

Jody-dearest! You know I love hearing from you, always, and it's definitely a fantastic pleasure to receive such kind feedback, thank you so much. I think you nailed exactly what I was going for with this picture in regards to the ponies' expressions, haha, and I'm glad that you also like the colors, despite the fact that I seem to keep putting these two on pink/orange/etc. together for whatever reason! As I mentioned to Harwick I've began noticing that I've started putting a little more time and effort into my "doodles" in general as time has gone on, so for pictures like this you're right that the term probably isn't as appropriate anymore... I've started referring to them as either "polished doodles" or "more cartoony pictures" as a result, I think. Whatever term anyone wants to use is fine with me though, and once again I sincerely appreciate the comments... thank you again and Happy New Year to you!

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

Another week, another episode leaked. Why can't iTunes hold all these pones?

Anywho, my year in review:
• Joined the blog
• Began the thirteenth and final year of schooling
• Year 12 formal, eeyup
• Sang stuff, because sure, why not
• Oklahoma, yeow!
• Exams ahoy (and lots of Pokemon in between)
• Graduated
• Some calendar ended

And lots and lots of pony in between. Bring on 2013!

Kein said... Reply to comment

Obligatory comment because all cool kids do,

CaineScroll said... Reply to comment

@zhoomcar

Again? They should really find a way to stop these leaks, or we might find ourselves in a pony shortage...

And by the way, you forgot "Survive the non-existent Mayan apocalypse". I'm sure that's something you can tell your grandkids, right? xD

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

@CaineScroll
Well, we're three quarters through the season already, so shortage is not too far off... February signals the end of another season of pony, and an even longer shortage at that.

"some calendar ended"
Way ahead of ya, buddy. I can now grab a copy of the eponymous movie 2012 and tell my descendants all about it.

Anywho, coming out of watching the latest episode of pony really left a sour taste in my mouth. Another Merriweather Williams written episode? Oh no! Another Spike episode. Aaaaaah! 3D animated timberwolves! ...what?

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

I'm just going to leave this here Partially inspired by Scrolls' Christmas image, something I hastily threw together in like 15 minutes because sure, why not, better late than never.

Harwick said... Reply to comment

"Spike at Your Service" thoughts:

Not one of my favorites, but that's mostly about it using a fairly tired story set-up more than anything. Much like the CMC episodes, I've come to accept that Spike episodes seem to skew more solidly younger, with an apparent attempt to appeal to young boys especially. I can appreciate that, as all of them include some kind of monster attack which I quite enjoy... Timberwolves, big green dragons, small dragons, phoenixes and Godzilla-Spike himself were all fun things to feature, so I'm glad for these episodes even if story-wise they're not my favorites.

I also wasn't exactly sure why Spike had suddenly become Sweetie Belle when it comes to good intentioned disasters, but upon reflection (and a yet-to-be-had second viewing) I suspect I could craft a reasonable argument that, much like the mane six have meltdowns when they go against their natures, Spike leaving his role as Twilight's #1 assistant threw him off his game in a major way. (I seem to recall him doing a fine job helping wash that pig before he quit on Twilight, after all.)

Someone on EQD noted that the episode didn't really need Spike to be a screw-up at all to work, which I agreed with. AJ's main complaint is having Spike trying to do things for her at all when she's a very self-sufficient pony who'd rather do them herself... So really it kind of muddles the message to have her want to get rid of him not just because of that, but because he's so bad at helping.

Regardless, I'd rather focus on the positives than on the negatives for this one. Apparently it's somewhat of a controversial choice, but I thought the Timberwolves looked really cool, CGI or not. (Admittedly I watched this episode on my phone, so maybe they looked more out-of-place on a big screen?) AJ's heroics were great fun and an exciting sequence, even if Timberwolves can barely hold themselves together.

I really enjoyed the interactions of the Mane Six as they got together to problem solve with AJ. The scene at Rarity's was a laugh-earner (further supporting the idea that Spike's crush is a one-sided adolescent affair to my eyes, although I'm sure that the shippers of the two don't see it that way.) Loved the idea of Dash having an unfinished novel (Not sure if AJ has one too, or if Dash just assumes everyone must have one) and Rarity's silent distress at disconnected plumbing being deposited in the middle of her Boutique. By far my favorite bit was the staged rescue and Rarity's drama lessons... it was a crime that they got cut as short as they did. I also got a good laugh out of Pinkie's "One more question..." and her grinning delight while playing at being scared. The Mega-Wolf was fun as well, even if he folded like a cheap card-table.

On one final note, I noticed that some people really objected to the "Noble Dragon Code", but I really liked it taken as something largely made up by Spike as a way to separate himself from those other dragons that tried to smash Pee-Wee. His insistence to adhere to it is a nice bit of character work in that light, as losing control of himself again or becoming as cruel as other dragons seems like a real fear he has.

It looks like we have two weekends free of new episodes before the big premiere of "Keep Calm and Flutter On", which should be rather big.

On an unrelated note, we had some snow here this week... Too late to make a white Christmas, but still enough to make the first significant snowfall of the season. I put some pictures up on my blog for those who like to look at those kinds of things.

Anon said... Reply to comment

This is, without a doubt, the perfect way to conclude a year of pony art. Rarity, relaxing on a comfy Applejack, savoring the final sunset of December (or perhaps the first sunrise of January) with satisfaction in her eyes...

Okay, maybe she just fell backwards and her dependable friend was there to catch her before she made contact with the ground that would leave her in the spa until next year. Whatever the case, you have rendered our favorite blog duo gloriously as always. Rarity's pose has a strong sense of motion as she pulls herself back up and recovers from the terrible, unstylish fate that had befallen her. Their eyes are wide and deep to contrast your last drawing, full of personality and care. Your Rarijack pictures always have such depth of character, I'm not at all bothered that you are fond of making them. If your (complementary and plainly endearing) Rarijack fangeekery draws you to create such art as this, then I hope this season will continue to be so inspiring, and the friendly exchanges of these two ponies will continue for any seasons in the future. You give us all a good reason to support that pair, you know.

Since I never really made mention of Christmas, I will say that mine was quiet as well for financial reasons, but I know that such things as gifts only distract from something I did get to have, that Christmas is all about; waffles.

Rena's pixel scene did turn out very nicely (she decided to try my idea of drawing blog group picture, I see). I noticed the framed photograph depicting her main OC, so this must be Grasswhistle's home. It would be funny to have Harwick light the fireplace, but at least he gets to keep his chimney-traversing tail warm. Jody is clearly the most sensible one here, posing for the picture holding his coffee/hot chocolate. (Wait, if Jody is drinking coffee...is that why Twilight is opting for the punch? Rena, you sly turnip.) Overall, I like how this one picture realizes a concept we have all shared at one time or another, of us all coming together in person for a nice visit. I can imagine strolling through the decked halls of Grasswhistle Mansion, giving moustaches to unsuspecting guests. It's good to be a lavender unicorn.

It was a special surprise, quite charming and again, very well done. Maybe someday I will be skilled enough to make one, too.

@CaineScroll

I hate to be the one to tell you this, but I think your OC is cheating on your other OC.

CaineScroll said... Reply to comment

@Anon

To be honest, I pretty much "killed" Outback a few months ago, seeing that I couldn't handle two OCs at once. But she just had to be such a memorable character...

"Rena, you sly turnip." --I kinda told her that a few days ago. She are teh sneaky one.

CaineScroll said... Reply to comment

@zhoomcar

I'm caught between two choices here: cute, and hilarious. Probably because I can't tell which one's more accurate.

It looks like a messy line drawing, but I personally think it has a hands-on, indie-production vibe to it (not that it makes much sense)...maybe you should consider using it as an album cover if you ever decide to join the music industry. xD

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

Snoooow! Something that I don't ever get! Your part of town, is it really this picturesque all year?

@Anon and @CaineScroll

Excuse the abysmal video quality, but somehow this is somewhat difficult to find

@CaineScroll

It's what you would expect from a fifteen minutes rush-job, really, and I haven't actually drawn anything in what seems like forever. Also, the working title for such a piece of whatever it is was "Poor in Execution", probably because your holly-derp made me laugh.

Well, New Year's Eve here, I'll just finish my posting for the year with a little relevant music. And it's indie.

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

Happy New Years Eve, Everyone! Put on your party hats, get something to toast with, and find someone to kiss at midnight!

Or curl up and go to sleep early. Whatever works for you.

So apparently showrunner Meghan McCarthy has confirmed that this season's last Pony episode is a single-parter, which leaves room for a Rarity episode among the few remaining. (The finale will be written by M.A. Larson, whose only other episode this season was "Magic Duel".) Definitely good news if it does mean more Rarity, and since I really like "The Best Night Ever", I'm not even that concerned about them managing to make a good single-ep finale.

Interestingly enough, those who follow her twitter account (or follow EQD) were treated to a pair of snippets from the original ending to "Wonderbolts Academy". These go a great way in answering the questions I was left with in the ending we got. It really does make one wonder what led to the change. Even Ms. McCarthy refers to these as "less ambiguous".

Still no word on whether there really is a direct-to-DVD three-episode "movie" in the works. According to that schedule posted over the summer, the studio was contracted to finish 66 minutes of Pony in mid-December. I'm still holding out hope that the quick end to this season will be offset by a spring release of a 3-part adventure in stores. I would think that further word would have gotten out about it by now though. Hopefully soon.

I'm still rather stunned by the premise of the upcoming "Keep Calm and Flutter On" episode. We'll see how they manage that one.


@zhoomcar I must say, you captured an epic, tragic romance story quite nicely in a single frame. James Cameron could learn a thing or two from it.

@Anon
There are certainly some days out here where I've considered roasting my tail over the fire in order to get warm. Hasn't quite come to that yet, though.

@CaineScroll
Surely Outback is just on "Walkabout", right? Unless she ran into one of the many venomous critters down under. Damn platypus.



@zhoomcar
Provided you point the camera in the right direction, the town is indeed quite picturesque. If you don't, it's a decaying steel town with poorly maintained buildings and wires criss-crossing every street. Although truthfully, the decay itself is kind of picturesque, especially in the summer. It's really quite lush and overgrown in places, with ivy and such overtaking crumbling red brick structures.

So I guess it's all in how you look at it.


@Favo

It's New Year's Eve here now too! What will 2013 bring? A pair of comets, as I understand it. The second one, which will be visible in Oct-December may actually be as bright as the full moon, according to an article I read. They think the last time it was passing by it was bright enough to see in daytime. So that's something to look forward to. And hey... the next season of Pony should be starting about when it arrives...

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

Happy New Year, my beloved diamonds! This picture is so heart-warmingly adorable. You can just see Rarity forcing herself not to say out loud what Applejack's muscles feel like pressed against her, can't you?

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

Even though I've only been away for a couple of days, I still have quite a lot to catch up on by the looks of things! My goodness.

@zhoomcar

Hahahaha! Oh my dear, that little artwork of yours absolutely made me laugh (as did Harwick's commentary), thank you very much for sharing! I have missed your little glue-ponies and interpretations of various artworks over the past several months, I must say (and Rarijack makes everything even better of course. ^_~ Just kidding. Maybe).

Reading your list makes me want to compile one of my own! Even though my year sadly is not as exciting or glamorous as I might have hoped, and nowhere near as interesting as yours has been. You all know most of the biggest highlights I think, which are primarily pony-related for me in this case, but also is the good news that at last, as of a couple of weeks ago I have started to get some answers regarding my heart and various health problems (apparently I have a thyroid condition and perhaps an actual physical heart problem as well which should be treatable, yet to be confirmed) which is what I'm most excited about. I'm looking forward to being able to treat/manage my problems and finally feeling much better in this year to come, most definitely!

@Kein

Obligatory or not, you know I always appreciate it dear. Thank you and I'm glad that (according to my deviantART notifications at least) you liked this picture! <3

@Harwick

You and I have discussed the newest episode at this point, of course, and while I will post my own thoughts a little later I can restate here that I liked it, at least! I always do enjoy reading your reflections regardless too, of course.

And as for the beautiful seasonal pictures thank you so very much for sharing, I'm so happy you were able to get them up after all! Those are absolutely fantastic, really, and despite the fact that I have been freezing enough in my 65 degree house recently I can't help but envy you for the sheer beauty of that snow. Someday I shall experience it properly, but in the meantime I'm glad I can at least live vicariously through you!

Oh yes and lastly, regarding the potential Rarity episode: hooray!! I am absolutely thrilled that my second-in-command Best Pony Applejack has had such an excellent showing this season, definitely, and I would never want to take that away from her, but all the same Rarity really does deserve at least one episode all her own in which to shine this season. Here's hoping that it will be one worthy of Suited For Success, a tall order most definitely!

@Anon

Oh, Anon-dear, this really is such a beautiful comment... it almost is poetic in essence actually and I am so very touched and grateful, thank you! It honestly means so much to me that so many people have enjoyed this picture so much, perhaps just because I myself am so fond of the subject matter I don't know. But, in any case your praise of my expressions, poses, sense of motion and character, etc. is all immensely generous and I sincerely appreciate it, believe me. <3

I'm glad to hear that you had a good Christmas as well, even if it was very quiet like mine. After all, who doesn't adore waffles, I'd like to know?

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Favo

Well hello again darling, and a very Happy New Year to you as well! I'm sorry to hear you have been working so hard but hopefully the end result will be well worth it, and of course I wish you nothing but the best in this year to come. Thank you so much for your kind words about my latest artwork, I'm so thrilled that you like it!

@Frankensteinbeck

Oh sweet heavens, I laughed so hard... WHY do all of you tease me so, I swear to Goddess you've all made me ten times worse than I used to be when it comes to my shipping! On that note, and regarding the recent episode do have an out-of-context excerpt sent to me that I should probably feel guilty for finding so ridiculously amusing...

All joking aside though, as always it is a most exquisite pleasure to welcome you back to the blog, my friend~ Thank you so much for the lovely words, I so appreciate them! <3

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

And there it is! The new year rung in in my time zone, at last! Best wishes to all of you my dears, and you know I wish the absolute brightest and best to all of you in this fabulous new year to come. Cheers! **toasts with Veuve Clicquot**

Frankensteinbeck said... Reply to comment

Young lady, it is entirely your fault. I have almost no interest in shipping and even less in fillyfooling. YOU, and YOU ALONE made the Applejack and Rarity combination endearing - and then dared me to torment you with them. If you didn't giggle like a schoolgirl, this wouldn't keep happening!

jodyjm13 said... Reply to comment

Going into "Spike at Your Service", I was hoping I'd end up with a new favorite Spike episode, a modest enough goal given the competition. Having watched it twice (and half-watched it a third time), I'm still not sure whether I like it better than "Owl's Well that Ends Well" or "Secret of My Excess"; there were lots of little details, throwaway gags, and moments of vivid characterization that reminded me of the best episodes of the series, but there were also scenes that seemed to be taken directly off the shelf of cartoon clichés and plugged into the episode with minimal (or no) concern for characterization or continuity. The good outweighs the bad enough that I honestly enjoyed the episode, on balance, though I'd still have to call it a below-average episode for the series.

Probably what frustrated me most about "Spike at Your Service" is how close it was to being a really good episode, and how most of the problems with it were completely unnecessary. Probably the most obvious example is Spike's sudden ineptitude; as Harwick pointed out, not only was it unnecessary, it actually weakened the plot by distracting from Applejack's true motivation for not wanting Spike in her debt. I would have been more willing to cut the episode some slack in this area if they'd used his ineptitude to good comic effect, but the only humor to come out of it was Rarity's reactions to Spike's pie and to the pipe he left in the floor; in contrast, the one thing Spike did do right for Applejack, washing little Piggington, paid off in a nice throwaway gag of Piggington wallowing in the mud again. And again, regarding Spike's "dragon code": I think Harwick's speculation works well for explaining it, and it's easy enough to assume any other episode with someone saving Spike must have happened before "Dragon Quest" or after this one. However, Twilight Sparkle's line about the importance of the dragon code to a dragon implies that the "dragon code" exists for all dragons; thus, that one line, which adds nothing to the story, not only flies in the face of what we saw in "Dragon Quest", but undermines what could otherwise be a nice bit of characterization for Spike. There were other scenes or lines that similarly rubbed me the wrong way; none of them, by themselves, were terribly damaging to the episode, but the cumulative effect was significant, at least to me. (The 3D timberwolves, though, didn't bother me, and I think it did allow for animation that otherwise wouldn't have looked nearly as nice during the chase scenes.)

Still, there were far too many good moments in "Spike at Your Service" for me to dislike the episode. In addition to what Harwick listed earlier, I also loved: Spike's list of things he had to do, which emphasized the fact that he's still a little boy; the first Applejack/timberwolf chase, especially the Looney Tunes moment after the second timberwolf's forelegs got knocked off; Apple Bloom's line about getting fitted for water skis with the other CMC; Rainbow Dash's novel and Rarity's reaction (really, Rarity stole almost every scene she was in this week); AJ's method of getting Twilight Sparkle's attention; hoofbumps between Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash and Applejack and Spike; and the animation of the King Timberwolf, especially after Spike got that rock stuck in this throat. If the rest of the episode, between these high points, had just been OK, it would have ended up an above-average episode; as it stands, I like it, but I find myself wondering if it got rushed through production, or if Dave Polsky and/or Merriwether Williams really will be this inconsistent.

jodyjm13 said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds:

Regarding the background to your latest drawing: I saw the version with the sky-blue background on dA, and while that one also turned out very nice, I think the blue does distract just a bit from the ponies in the foreground. While I can see some people preferring that version, I have to say I like the sunset version better myself, worries about that particular color scheme being overused notwithstanding.

@zhoomcar:

Fifteen-minute doodle it may be, but it's still quite clever; thanks for sharing!

@Harwick:

I've already referred to your comment several times; mostly I agree with you, though I suppose I was more troubled by its weaknesses than you were (for which I envy you a bit). I am curious if you've had a chance to see the episode on a larger screen yet, and what you think of the 3D timberwolves as a result.

And thanks for the photos of your recent snowfall; it's well past time I've gone through my winter photos to post a few to my dA account, and I suppose I should make time to do so this weekend.

@Anon:

So I'm not the only one who had waffles for Christmas breakfast, eh?

I have to admit, when I first saw Rena's pixel art, I was wondering what Octavia was doing amidst all of the avatars and OCs; it took me a while to make the connection to my icon picture. I suppose I could use my OC (such as he is) in my icon, but I'd much rather use it to show off Di's work.

@CaineScroll:

I'm sorta sorry to hear that, as I really liked Outback's design and personality, but you know better than anyone else what you need to do with your characters. Though I do like Harwick's idea of her being on "walkabout"...

@Favo:

"You never fail to deliver marshmallows!" That is such a perfect line I'm tempted to swipe it for later use. I'm sorry to hear that 2012 treated you so poorly, though it sounds like you're taking steps for a better 2013 already; I hope your move to Canada goes well!

@Harwick:

Of the three different "Wonderbolts Academy" endings, I don't know if I could pick one that would work the best; really, I think a couple of earlier scenes would need to be tweaked slightly before I could come up with an ending that I really liked. Still, it's interesting to compare the different versions, and speculate about what might have been.

So far I've managed to avoid any spoilers for "Keep Calm and Flutter On", aside from knowing the title; I have no idea what the fuss is about, and I can only hope I'll be pleasantly surprised when the episode does air in a few weeks.

@WhiteDiamonds:

I didn't even notice that Rarijack teasing while watching the episode, but taken out of context like that it almost seems deliberate. Compared to the "evidence" that some shippers pull out from various episodes to argue that the show's staff is hinting at their favorite pairing, the various Rarijack scenes would just about make that relationship canon. Not that I think the show's staff are trying to paint any of the mane 6 as being in a romantic relationship, but it's reached the point where I'm wondering if they're deliberately teasing a Rarijack relationship for the fun of it.

Harwick said... Reply to comment

@Favo

I've been to Canada a few times, having lived right along the border for most of my life. It's a nice place, even if they do buy things with "Loonies". I had the most expensive pancakes of my life at an IHOP at Niagra Falls, so that left an impression on me as well. Seriously, $20 for pancakes for one, and it wasn't even all-you-could-eat or anything. Madness.

In any event, congrats on the move and enjoy your time in the Great White North, eh?


@WhiteDiamonds
When it comes to the "proper" way to experience snow I'm pretty sure it involves some fun outdoor activities followed by returning inside, divesting yourself of layers of clothing, curling up on a sofa while wrapped in a blanket and enjoying a hot beverage while the stuff continues to fall outside the window. The more you can curl up with someone else, the better.

Matching Suited for Success is a tall order indeed, but one that Rarity is capable of fulfilling. I suppose it would be too much to hope for to have Applejack once again play the major supporting role in any such episode, as she has for the majority of this season.

@jodyjm13
While I made the effort to stay positive in my write up of it, my end opinion of the episode is much like yours... There were enough bits "off" about it to make it below average, though there was still plenty in it that I enjoyed. The only other aspect that rubbed me the wrong way that you haven't mentioned yourself was Twilight and the rest screaming and running, leaving Spike and AJ behind at the end. I felt the "we thought you were right behind us" excuse was rather weak and made the rest look bad.

I did get to see the Timberwolves on my computer earlier this week, and while they do stand out much more on a full-sized screen I didn't mind the look. They're a cool design and they worked well, I thought.

I won't spoil "Keep Calm and Flutter On" for you, and I wish you the best of luck in avoiding them for the long haul until it airs. Apparently that one is written by Dave Polsky as well, so we'll see how he does.

Oh, and I look forward to seeing more of your pictures on DA!

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

"Long overdue" describes me and this new thread, as usual >.> And oh my gosh everybody why are you talking about me D: Ahhhh you all liked the Christmas art so much. You're all crazy. But I guess that really makes me happy ;_; I'm sorry that it wasn't fully completed, but I guess that's okay for now. I'm really happy that it was so well-received by everybody. That made the work all worth it. Totally and sincerely. Thank you, everyone :c

First, to comment on this new art, I think it's hilariously adorable. To get it out of the way at the start, I did sort of think that Rarity looks a bit more like she's intentionally leaning on AJ rather than having slipped, but that is hardly a complaint. Just sort of a thing I noticed! Otherwise, they both look really nice, especially their hair (and especially especially Rarity's, which you gave a positively fantastic shine for both her mane and tail). I also notice how you made Rarity's far ear visible, and I admit that I probably would have completely forgotten about that if I'd been the one doing the art. Ponies' far ears tend to be obscured often, so they kind of slip my mind completely most of the time. I think you were right to add it here, though, especially since Rarity's mane tends to flop "behind" her horn and head, rather than atop them like most Ponies seem to. (One of those things you notice once you've drawn her a few times, or at least I did.)

I am not completely sure whether I prefer the sunset or the blue sky, but I guess you do use the sunset-type colours a lot, now don't you? xD It's not your fault they're such good colours~ But I do say that both backgrounds look fine, and each has its own feel. All-in-all, this is a great piece, as always! :o And I will always be looking forward to more in the future.

RenaTurnip said... Reply to comment

Oh, shoot, I should have commented on last week's episode in the other post. I am so scatterbrained sometimes. I suppose I didn't have too much to say anyhow, but basically, I really really enjoyed it, and although I think the episode was severely flawed in numerous ways (up to and including the 3D animation used for the wolves, which is always such a huge turn-off for me when it's used in cartoons where it doesn't match because it just feels really cheap and doesn't really work...), I laughed so hard at the sense of humour that I just had to forgive everything else. The writing had me laughing the whole way, even as I was sitting there wondering why Spike had suddenly become criminally incompetent and other such things. An awkward case of things, but nevertheless it was a good episode for me.

Also, I wanted to ask everyone who may be interested in watching me stream art in the future (since I have gotten a fair amount of interest), what sorts of times are you all most often available? I don't know how easy it might be to set up an actual exact date, but if I can manage to accommodate as many people as I can, a general timeframe would probably be best... I would normally do it around 2PM EST onward to however long into the night I felt like, but I realize that's probably hilariously inconvenient to most of you, so. Please let me know what might be convenient most often (or if a weekend is preferable, or such) and I'll try to work it in the next time I feel like streaming :o

@Harwick

Ahh, if you hadn't reposted that here, I probably would have come and done so myself a week ago, so thank you very much for that. I appreciate it :o And I'm glad you liked it, too. I also want to thank you for your advice way back, since I think it helped me get started when I was stuck on ideas. As I said before, I really did feel that familiar faces were the best way to go, in the end, or at least as familiar as one could get them. Seems like it worked out in the end~

Also, living in Ontario, we now have tons of snow here, although this is the first Christmas in two years I think where we had snow before December 24. You've got a nice-looking little place over there, though. Somehow I think the snow complements it far more there than it does here. Around here it's just sort of a thing that piles up. It doesn't really make the scenery look any nicer where I live. If I can get a hold of a nicer camera, maybe I'll take some photos of places around here to share just for fun.

@zhoomcar

That art is hilarious xD The moment I saw that, I just laughed and laughed. Very good. I am saving that.

(replying from the old thread)

You are forever a glue bottle! Because that avatar will always make me laugh, ahaha~ I'm really glad you liked it, though! To answer your question from before, the mare on the mantle (now that sounds like a neat title) is one of my other characters, Chatterbox, as Anon so cleverly identified. She isn't necessarily a permanent part of this picture so much as me needing something to go there for the time being. If people didn't sooner associate Grasswhistle with me, I would have put her on the floor instead :P (My original plan was to give her a satchel with a turnip clasp, but this happened instead.)

@CaineScroll

D:!

No no, it's just as Harwick said. She's on "walkabout" :( Just like a boomerang, she'll come back!

RenaTurnip said... Reply to comment

(So much typing @_@ )

@WhiteDiamonds

Ahhh, you really seemed to love it <3 You are correct (answering from the last thread) in that it did take me a fairly long time, and having to figure out the texturing for things took a lot out of me... as things stand, the wall and the floor still need to be completely redone/actually done (the wall is really just a cheap MS Paint effect), and I'm going to have to sit down and teach myself what wood really looks like for the floor, but it'll all be worth the extra time. I just really, really, really wanted to get something done for everybody here, and I don't regret the time spent at all. Not one bit.

And also, yes, I was sort of hoping Harwick's placement would be well-received xD It was probably the very first thing I considered before ever starting this piece. Everything else branched out around that one idea. I'm glad you and everyone approved of it. Also you praise me too much :c *wishes dA's small-size text existed here to use*

@Anon

Waffles are good.

I... I like how you've analyzed it to the point of figuring out that it's apparently Grasswhistle's mansion :P (Which, I must say, is as much a surprising fact to myself as anyone else!) I think that in my mind, I more imagined it belonging to one of the others, since that made the most sense for a get-together, but maybe somewhere along the line Grassy gets an inheritence I'm not yet aware of.

I'm glad you liked it :o Although I confess that I don't really understand the coffee/punch thing. I asked a friend and he said he didn't get it either. Is there something clever going on that I accidentally did and am not aware of? D: I am prone to such things from time to time, I've learned.

"I think your OC is cheating on your other OC" also ranks among one of my most favourite sentences of all time, I must also say. That just made me laugh and then laugh some more because I obviously knew right away what it meant xD

@Favo

Where in Canada? Contrary to popular belief, we are not just one snow-filled nation with one timezone and one area code. (This is one of the funniest things ever, although it's littered with so many Canadian injokes that other people won't really get.) It would be a neat coincidence if you were moving anywhere near me, which considering where I am is both likely and entirely unlikely. (About an hour north of Toronto, to put it simply.)

@jodyjm13

I have to admit, you were the most difficult one to portray, as I had literally nothing to go off of except that Octavia avatar, which I have come to associate with you rather strongly. Even Anon was seemingly easier to figure out, although I did kind of have a bit of help from him on that one, hehe. Still, I'm glad you liked it~ And replying to your comment from the other thread, I admit I'm a bit proud of the portrait of the blog above the fireplace. I thought it was the most appropriate touch to bringing it all together, in a way. Something everyone would be familiar with without being in the viewer's face. Thanks for noticing!

Obsequiosity said... Reply to comment

Dem Applejack Eyes in that picture... (Both sets of eyes, really; I covet the way you do irises and speculars.)

Again, I found myself enjoying the episode despite a few sour notes here and there.

Loved the return of the timberwolves and the opportunity they gave AJ to play the action hero (though I was hoping to see some banging of pots together, showing that AJ is picking up the traditions from her Granny). I adore the fact that RD writes Mary Sue fics, and hope to see that bit return in the future. AJ's sketches in the dirt were adorable, as was the puppet timberwolf.

Polsky and Merriwether are both comedy writers, and it shows. The slapstick bits were dead-on, especially in the kitchen that led to a mop glued to a ceiling, the giant timberwolf choking on the rock, and the "AJ suddenly inflated with bellows". Both the writers and the animators know their setup and timing...

But part of the charm of previous seasons was the dispersal of unexpected (and often subtle) comedy beats in an otherwise "gooey-sentimented girls' cartoon"; the balance was off on this one. (I am glad I do not have to go back in time and explain to my ten year old self that I am bemoaning the lack of gooey sentiment.)

But for the most part it was fun; I'm sure the kids enjoyed it, and that's who it's for in the first place.

Besides, our host should be able to wring tons of mileage out of Rarity's "show me your best damsel in distress" line. :)

jodyjm13 said... Reply to comment

So, did anyone else bother watching "Hot in Cleveland" to see what they did with the brony character? Aside from implying that bronies generally dress in full-body costumes when meeting up, I didn't think it was a bad portrayal, really; Sean was a bit of a stereotypical geek, as revealed in his delight in discussing Star Trek minutiae, but I feel safe in saying there are bronies who can be like that (such as, um, me, at times). More to the point, he was portrayed as a friendly, sociable, handsome firefighter, which flies directly in the face of the more common negative stereotypes about bronies, and he mentioned liking how the show promotes "friendship, caring and learning to value people different than ourselves." It looks like he may be returning for a future episode, so it'll be interesting to see if they maintain this more-or-less positive portrayal. (And, of course, there's already fan (and "fan") art of Sean's OC, "Prince Silver Saddle".)

@Harwick:

Twilight's "Thought you were right behind us!" (those exact words, yet!) was another cliché that bugged me, though it would have been a bit harder to work around that problem than those I mentioned. Having the rest of the Mane 6 show up just as Spike freed Applejack, as a result of them coming back to find the other two, would have mitigated the problem, at least.

There's no new pony this weekend, but I'm greatly looking forward to the (previously postponed) DC Nation this Saturday, not only because "Young Justice" has become a much better series in its second season, but because Brianne Drouhard's first "Amethyst of Gemworld" short will finally debut.

PonydoraPrancypants said... Reply to comment

Just checking in - Happy New Year everyone, now that it's here!

Rena - also wanted to tell you how much I adored your Christmas artwork, and apologize for being so late in commenting, and I especially loved your depiction of one P. Prancypants. :) Really, that made my day.

Now that I managed to get my latest creative writing project posted on schedule, and work is not too terribly busy, I can come up for air and pop in here more often.

By the way, I found that the cute moments in "Spike At Your Service" outweighed the stuff that left me scratching my head, like Spike's sudden ineptitude, and the 3D wolves. I think I am echoing the general sentiments of the majority on that one.

CaineScroll said... Reply to comment

Aww, darnit. Maybe I should really consider Harwick's "walkabout" idea and do a few comics of Outback or something...I did enjoy that "damn platypus" comment, though. xD

I do have a few art projects in mind, but I might need some practice to get back on track again...also, did anyone see the horoscope ponies released by the Hub? Despite being a Cancerian, I think the Virgo pony looked absolutely gorgeous. <3

I found "Spike At Your Service" pretty odd, at best...I find the whole "Dragon Code" more of a deus ex machina, since it was never mentioned even once prior to the episode. I mean, I'm pretty sure a few of the Mane 6 have saved Spike's life before (falling from the sky, anyone?). However, I did like Rarity's whole "damsel-in-distress" demonstration, as well as Pinkie's moustache gag. Overall, I liked the little gags they put into the episode, but I didn't exactly like the story as a whole...it's a shame, really.

Well, that's all for my check-in today. Hope y'all have been enjoying the new year so far! =)

@RenaTurnip

Just fast forward your time by 13 hours and you'll get when I am. But I think a weekend would be best since I don't have classes then. =3

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

The ideas mill has been running dry over the past couple of months, but sure, it's been nine months since the last silly picture, but at least I got something in before the end of the year. Yay inspiration.

@RenaTurnip

There's something about Chatter that I find incredibly endearing. Not sure if it relates to the colour scheme, or the fact that her cutie mark is a big speech bubble. Or maybe it's because she's reading the Turnips paper. She's really cute.

No bew episode of pony this week, but I still find myself deprived of sleep. Thanks, Littlest Pet Shop. (This week's episode was pretty much the equivalent of Lesson Zero.)

Anon said... Reply to comment

@CaineScroll

As our fellow commenters have already expressed, you do know how to make nicely balanced characters (with their own suitably designed outfits, which I'm sure I could never match if I tried). I kind of liked Scrolls' two-toned hair, but we can always enjoy a bit of character development. Whatever helps to drive your creativity is for the best. I don't think I could handle even one of these ponies. (Twilight Sparkle is best OC.)

@Harwick

I had intended to review the episode a far more timely manner, but I was working over the past three days and I've been too busy to catch up. I hope it's not too late for me to jump back in now ("Spike At Your Service" is so last year). Spike episodes do tend to include an action scene for him to run from an interesting new creature, but I've always found that action to be sort of shallow in comparison to similar elements of the season premieres and finales. I will never forget the way Spike nonchalantly ran from a fully grown fire-breathing dragon. Also, I've always found his cartoon-like "ah-ha-ha-ha-ha" cry obscures any intended sense of danger and almost makes it look like a chase scene from Scooby-Doo. That could have its own comedic appeal if those scenes were not meant to be dramatic, but they don't really pose any risk of unexpected consequences as they are. While the dangerous wildlife is often cleverly designed (and rather useful for genuinely dramatic birthday fanart), and they do help to give us more of a clear picture of the Equestrian landscape, I just wish they were introduced in more unique ways.

I don't think Spike's clumsiness was caused by the sudden change of roles, since he did manage to spill the bucket (or are they baskets?) of apples, and the bucket soapy water on Applebloom, as well as break the bowl of eggs and ruin the kitchen before he even remembered about Twilight. I honestly have to guess it was just an unexplained condition caused by Williams' modifications to a character's behavior for the sake of gags. They may have confused the point of the story for some, but they were kind of necessary to keep the episode steadily flowing without adding any more to the plot. If he had done his work perfectly, then the writers would have extra time for something else, but I'm not sure what more they could have done with that time. We know Applejack well enough to see the the true meaning of her trepidation, so it didn't really take away from the story for me in the end.

We have hoped for all of the Six to come together many times over the course of the second season, and though it may have been somewhat quiet and uneventful for most of their dialogue, the presence of all main characters did much to give the story the purpose and energy it needed to take a moderate place in the lineup for this season. Though I admit, I'm a bit surprised no one has mentioned one of the largest animation errors I've ever seen. (Pay close attention to Rarity's mane. Yes, I was engaged in watching Rarity's mane. I have some odd priorities.)

Anon said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

Now, I may finally be able to wish a prosperous new year to you and all of the regulars here together. I first left a comment on this blog in late December of 2011, roughly one year ago. I figured I would only ever post one comment here before returning to Equestria Daily forever after, so I decided to go by a generic alias that suggests I only meant to drop by and thank you for your inspiring work. I never expected I would try creating digital art, but thanks to $80 and the extremely convenient timing, one way or another, I acquired the proper hardware necessary to start on what would doubtless be a long, arduous roller coaster of embarassment and uncertain self-worth. Needless to say, I was determined to put this tablet to good use. Then 2012 came, and I spent those months of waking hours fixing, building or otherwise modifying a business application. In the time I've had this tablet, excluding the project I'm working on right now, I have:

1. Traced an old WhiteDiamonds sketch
2. Drawn many sub-par circles
3. Drawn a less pitiful circle
4. Reconstructed various artists' pony eyes
5. Weeped softly

I know I have said it many times in the past, but I can't stress it enough. I really haven't practiced anything, at all, ever. If I am going to progress any further with pony-drawing, I must accept that every picture I've ever created was made with the mouse, and that isn't really drawing.

However, it wasn't all bad. Maybe I didn't get the chances to practice that I hoped for, but as I've learned, the most important part of learning almost anything, at least for me, is observation and imitation. The knowledge I extracted from the collective Livestreams and YouTube channels of many artists in the community whose work I admire was invaluable. While this year may have gone by without leaving me much to show for it, I did gain some things that are immaterial. Though I can't show them to you all now, I hope I will be able to soon.

As 2012 has gone by, I feel as though I have gotten more of a handle on my life. No longer am I aimlessly browsing through entertainment websites and calculating numbers for a relatively unsatisfactory 2.5D model. Most of all, though, I have you. Every one of you, who would stop by on the weekends to discuss the latest episode, to remark on the latest work of our wondrous host and praise her as she so rightfully deserves, and have come together into a positive community of artists, writers and other average fans, but moreover insightful individuals who are happy to stay up late at night to finish their final replies about one little show that they love. You, my friends, are a greater Christmas gift than I could ever ask for.

Anon said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

At least that comic may not be as shameful as this one.

I just thought I should mention that in case our inability to edit our comments ever gets to be a big problem, it seems there are ways to convert a Blogger blog into a Wordpress blog, which seems to allow the editing of comments (among other features). Also, a website called the "Brony Music Directory" composed (pun may or may not be intended) a list of the top brony musicians by subscriber count. I mention this because I am familiar with all of the first 26 (and numerous others following them). Hooray?

In closing, obligatory Rarijack. I thought you may have not seen that one yet, as it came from Pixiv.

Anon said... Reply to comment

@RenaTurnip

An hour north of Toronto, eh? That sounds close to where I was born, actually. I live many a mile south past the border now, for better or for worse, but I am originally from Lindsay in Kawartha Lakes (eh).

My schedule, if you could call it one, is extremely adaptable. I am available at all times as long as I'm not working, which I haven't had to do as of late. I seem to have an uncanny ability to run into livestreams within minutes of their starting time, so I might just catch it no matter what time you decide on. (I spent New Year's Eve the same way I spent Christmas Eve; watching MicTheMicrophone play classic Christmas movies, MGS2 and Majora's Mask. It was the best New Years celebration I've ever experienced.)

Oh, and that note about the punch was just a reference to an inside joke about how my parents consume vast quantities of coffee, but would never let me try it for myself. It also reflects the minor point that I've never even heard of most of the foods that WhiteDiamonds has brought up, let alone tasted them. (Who would make a cake out of cheese? Crazy Californians and their chihuahuas...)

@jodyjm13

I am shamefully behind in the Equestria Daily archives, but I did happen to watch the promo just to see how negative the portrayal would be. Really though, I'm quite sure the only reason they decided to include a character that is explicitly referred to as a "brony" is because it would get publicity for the show. If the writers had wanted to create a general, stereotypical geek, they wouldn't have needed to drop the name of the show and "Equestria" (and in fact, it would be much more useful not to). While I'm not sure how popular the show is (though I assume not much), it's more of a marketing strategy than a careful detail of creative storywriting. I suppose it's nice to hear that it was intended for bronies rather than anti-bronies, the costume/"fursuit" notwithstanding, but I don't think we should be so concerned with the way they handle it. I bet the majority of the viewership for that episode was made up of bronies, after all.


Since it appears the cool thing to do right now is to review your drawings of each month over the past year, I decided to make my own. It is an accurate rendition of my ability to comprehend the artist's trade. Had I more room, I would add a third circle that looks worse than the first.

RenaTurnip said... Reply to comment

@jodyjm13

Prince Silversaddle, huh? That clip made me laugh a little more than it should have, I think. But I might do an icon of that character and see who gets it. Might make for a little bit of fun.

@PonydoraPrancypants

No worries on the time :o I'm just glad you liked it as much as anyone, so thank you so much. Prancypants was actually the very first character I completed in there, I think... he got the party started, I do suppose :P

@CaineScroll

I know your timezone, silly. But yes, I do try to do it on the weekends and not really in the middle of the week when people are busy. (Speaking of which, my morning stream yesterday was mostly just a bit of an experiment/test to see how it would go, and nothing much happened there anyways, so I hope you don't feel bad about that. It was pretty quiet.)

@zhoomcar

Aww, thanks! Everyone seems to think Chatter is really endearing for some reason even just seeing art like that. I really have to wonder if I'm doing something right when I hear nothing but good about her and Grasswhistle. It's an odd thing, that.

@Anon

You are a total sweetheart D: Even not being the main focus of that last paragraph at all, I completely gushed reading it. And I've been more than happy to meet everyone here, too. All the blog folks are fun and interesting to talk to and, to my surprise and delight, this is a place where I can comfortably talk about My Little Pony episodes... I say this in this way, because I am generally an extremely closed book as far as sharing and discussing interests goes. I don't like to share my opinions on this sort of thing, but here I just feel comfortable doing so, and it's because all of you are awesome people to talk with. (Whoops, there I go off on a tangent, ack!~)

I certainly look forward to potentially seeing art from you, too, as I look forward to seeing anything from anyone here, as always.

And since I was curious (and because I'm terrible at geography and need to look everything up), I looked this up and apparently am not far from that location at all. The red dot represents me, and the purple dot just south of it represents where we lived for fourteen years prior to where we live now. We've kinda... been here a while :P I do find it interesting to find out people are/have been nearby, though. It's always one of those "oh, cool!" sorts of things for me. (Also I do not like cheesecake!)

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

Mercy, I suppose I've been gone for almost an entire week again haven't I. Well, unfortunately I had some unpleasant moments regarding my health again recently, involving several bouts of very high blood pressure (and uncomfortable side effects), likely due to my thyroid problem (which is now being medicated at least, and improving). And then, over the past several days my mother has also been experiencing a similar problem, sans the thyroid connection in her case, which resulted in her being briefly hospitalized so I have regrettably been quite distracted with that. Thankfully everyone seems to be doing much better now though, and I have even managed to catch up on my deviantART comments a little (it so needed to be done!), so at last I am back and able to reply to everyone here again, my lovely dears!

Hmm, on that note I seem to have forgotten to post my own thoughts on the latest episode the last time I was here, didn't I? Though I suppose, considering how much of that champagne I ended up drinking myself that night I should be proud that I managed little to no typos and (relatively) coherent sentences and so on. Anyhow though, regarding "Spike at Your Service" I did like the episode as I mentioned in my earlier reply to Harwick, however that does not at all mean that I can't or don't understand where others have been coming from in regards to some complaints about the episode... people have raised some very valid points. I agree that, as is typical for me with episodes crediting Merriweather Williams as a writer, there were a great deal of inconsistencies with characterization as well as continuity, and I wholeheartedly agree with the thought that Spike did not have to be so utterly incompetent for the plot of the episode to work well... indeed not writing him in such a way would have probably reflected even better on Applejack in addition to Spike. I did see that problem with it among others, already covered much more thoroughly and competently by others here, but for me in this instance it was just a case of the good being able to outweigh the bad, since there were so many little things throughout the episode that I absolutely loved. Applejack throughout the entire episode for one thing, Rarity's drama lesson of course (I'm sure you all did not see that one coming), and really the entire scene with the Mane Six and the staged Timberwolf attack towards the end of the episode... from Applejack's 'stick-pony' drawings in the dirt to Pinkie's mustache gag and Fluttershy shambling around with buckets on her hooves, I was highly entertained and reminded fondly of the tone of the show that I fell in love with back in the first season. So yes, all in all I highly enjoyed the episode, and am really looking forward to the next epic installment now!

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Frankensteinbeck

Well, I... but... I can't help it!! I honestly can't help finding the idea of their pairing adorable (and believe me I have tried, and failed spectacularly! It's just too charming and sweet @_@), and as for laughing well, in this case it's probably more at myself than anything, because I have become such a ridiculous incorrigible fangirl as time has gone on and I know it, ahem. And come now darling, while I appreciate what I can only interpret as a compliment, you really must give some credit to the team behind the series as well as numerous other artists and fanfiction authors out there as well, as they are all to blame for ever making me a fan of this pairing to begin with!

@jodyjm13

I'm sorry to hear that you weren't thrilled with the last episode overall, but still it's good that you found it at least moderately enjoyable, and you bring up some other small points I neglected to mention that I also found highly amusing (and in particular, the scene where Applejack comes to the library to talk to Twilight and comes up with a clever way of getting her attention... have another excerpt/adapted "comic" via Derpibooru that managed to make me laugh out loud). Concerning my alternate blue-sky version of my artwork, which you have reminded me to link to in my main post (many thanks, you know my sieve-like brain) I sincerely appreciate your feedback; some people do seem to have a preference for one version over the other but I really did hope that I'd made the right choice in posting the original, intended version in my main gallery. So thank you.

Oh yes and lastly, in regards to the little Rarijack comic-thing I posted I know for me at least, even an overt scene like this in the series (if clearly intentional) wouldn't hint at any actual relationship going on behind the scenes or anything like that... if anything I think it could only make the case that there could theoretically be some sort of attraction between one or more of the characters. Which, in my own opinion at least may even be better, because it's arguably more fun to explore the potential in that case. ^_~

@Harwick

Ah yes, that certainly is something like what I would have imagined in regards to enjoying snow... that's how all the movies and stories always have people doing it, at least. As much as I do look forward to experiencing it myself someday, I honestly can't complain about the weather in my part of the world even if I wanted to, and in fact, just for kicks I went ahead and took a photo this afternoon from the exact same vantage-point as that rainbow photo (if you recall it) that I posted some time ago, just to share with you. I had to laugh at the almost complete lack of change myself, a good six months later or however long it's been now... ironically now in "winter" there is not a cloud in the sky, unlike the earlier picture. Or oh wait, there's one after all! Unless it's just a blimp...

Also, do have the usual gratuitous photo of Grace as well... this one unfortunately came out a bit blurry but she's actually standing on her own four feet here, which may well be a first.

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@RenaTurnip

You are incredibly, genuinely silly my dear, I do hope you realize that. Of course we all liked that delightful little pixel-artwork of yours, as really someone would have to be soulless or at least quite devoid of good taste not to. It was absolutely delightful, "unfinished" or not, and I hope you will never feel the need to work even harder on it unless you really want to... it really is lovely just as-is. I definitely do adore it, and once again thank you so very much for doing that for all of us! <3

Concerning my latest artwork, I really must thank you once again for the feedback. In this case it probably is a matter of Rarity more "intentionally leaning" on Applejack rather than having slipped, since I suppose I didn't put it past her to stage a fall if she knew that her good friend might be there to catch her. ^_~ I'm glad you like their hair, and Rarity's in particular, and on the matter of her far ear that's just the way that I've always drawn it I think... most artists tend not to show it as if it would be on the other side of her forelock, but when we have seen her from her other side on which her hair curls over it seems to cover her ear, I believe, and so I thought this would be the "correct" way to do it. Once again it's appreciated, and I'm very happy that you seem to like both sky versions equally.

I'm definitely happy that you enjoyed the latest episode as much as I did, by the sound of things! I'd have to say that your post just about sums up my own feelings exactly, and far more succinctly than I managed in my own comment. On the matter of your scheduling a good time for a livestream so that we all might be able to attend, I usually am quite flexible as far as time of day (provided I am not working), and for me the best days tend to be either Thursdays or Fridays, because typically I am not scheduled to be at the studio on those days. Also, I'm looking forward to seeing some photos from you if you do decide to post some up!

@Obsequiosity

Thank you so much for the lovely comments on my latest artwork, my dear! I sincerely do appreciate the compliments to my pony-eyes, and even though I personally think they could probably benefit from even more depth and definition. It's good to hear you enjoyed the latest episode as well, and as for that scene and line from Rarity, well... it's not like I needed the additional fuel and inspiration, you know, haha~ ^.^;

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

And well, while I hate to say it I'm afraid that I'm going to have to come back and finish the rest of my replies some time tomorrow... I thought I would have enough time to get to them all tonight but for better or for worse (blame someone we all know and love) I was distracted and now it's late enough that I'm quite tired. I am off work tomorrow though, and thanks to my doctor's orders I am not doing much of anything so it will be my pleasure to come back and finish all of my commenting then! Oyasumi nasai, minna-san~

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

Equestria Daily taunted me earlier this week with reports of a known voice actress tweeting teases about getting to play a grey pony interested in muffins. Once my hopes were raised, they were promptly dashed when others pointed out that it was apparently already stated back in October that this was for some fan-created work, not the actual show. Must be fairly impressive fan work though, since the actress is one of the voices from those "Last Airbender" shows.

Some other Pony news those who don't frequent EQD might have missed: Pony flash drives are coming, so if you ever wanted to pop off the top of Rarity's head and plug her into your computer, you're in luck! They look very ridiculous, but then that's likely part of the appeal.

Also, Tabitha St. Germain gave an interview last week. While I only caught a part of it, it was interesting to hear her complain (in a good-natured way) about the newly toned-down Luna, as she too really enjoyed the broad, Nightmare Night version of the character. Sadly, it sounds like they've moved on to a much more low-key version.


@Anon

Are you familiar with the old Marvel Comics concept of a "No Prize"? It was something started by Stan Lee, where he encouraged people to write in not with complaints about mistakes they had made in their comics, but with made-up explanations that hand-waved away those mistakes in ways that fit with the story being told. If he liked them, he printed their explanations in the letter columns of future issues and awarded them the coveted "No Prize" (literally no prize at all... although I gather for a while they did send out specially designed empty envelopes said to contain this imaginary award.)

So clearly, in that spirit, it was Spike's own subconscious that was undermining his attempts to help Applejack, knowing that his loyalty to Twilight as her Number One Assistant could not be transferred. While his conscious mind didn't deal with the idea of leaving Twilight until Granny Smith brought it up and forced him to recognize and face that consequence, deeper inside his self-image as Twilight's assistant was already warring with his new demands of being a "Noble Dragon" and resulting in a surface desire to help AJ while simultaneously subconsciously sabotaging those very efforts.

Our definitions of "large" animation errors may differ a bit, because I have to admit that, even when told to look for it especially, it still took multiple views before I noticed that Rarity's mane was in front of her horn. She looks lovely as an Earth Pony, really.


@WhiteDiamonds

I must admit, you have a very pretty suburban neighborhood there. Yes, aside from a few trees missing their leaves, it doesn't really look like much of a winter scene, but then apparently we're going to be pushing 60 degrees ourselves in this next week so wintery scenes are becoming endangered all over.

And Grace is adorable even with a slight blur. I love how cats always look like they're walking a balance beam with their feet centered under them. Very dainty.

As it happens, I managed to put a color version of that artwork you enjoyed for no particular reason up on my blog. I knew plenty of women in college who lost all concept of personal space when they were tipsy and you happened to say something they found funny. It should probably be followed up with an image of Luna talking way too loudly to capture the other notable effect I recall from those parties...

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

Sorry, everyone... the best laid plans of mice and men as they say. Unfortunately, my mother was once again feeling very bad today (with terribly high blood pressure; scary levels even) and had to go to the doctor once again, so I ended up spending pretty much all day with her, hence my delay. She is feeling better now though at least, having been prescribed and administered a second supplementary medication, and so I find myself with a little free time once again!

@jodyjm13

Ah, I forgot to respond to this originally. Well, since I don't really visit EqD much these days due to lack of free internet time, I originally heard about the "Hot in Cleveland" brony character/storyline from Harwick. The funny thing is that I watch that show regularly already, so even if I wouldn't have heard about it beforehand I would have eventually seen it (and it probably would have been immensely funny for me with no prior knowledge). Anyway, I agree that I didn't feel it was a bad portrayal, but since the writers obviously went through the trouble of researching the show and fandom at least somewhat (specifically mentioning "Equestria" and such) I'm not sure why they didn't make an effort to be more accurate in regards to other details. It didn't especially bother me though, and overall I found it amusing more than anything.

@Anon

My, so much to respond to, dear! Yet I usually do look forward to your very thorough comments, I have to say. First off, as if it didn't go without saying I really must state how very glad I am that you did decide to come and post here that fateful day back in December of 2012, because you really have been a wonderful addition to our little "community" and I know that I at least value your contributions immensely. I'm sorry that you didn't have as much opportunity to practice your drawing this past year as you might have hoped, but there is always the future and of course, I look forward to anything you may chance to share with us!

It's nice to hear that you didn't dislike the recent Spike episode (or at least, I can't gather that you did), and regarding that animation error with Rarity's mane I suppose we must share the same priorities, because I also noticed it immediately during my initial viewing of the episode. Actually, there were several moments throughout the episode where I thought the characters looked a bit strange and rather off-model (Spike and Rainbow Dash in particular, and actually during that very same scene) but I'm not sure if these were "errors" so much as maybe something noticeable as a result of tweaking with the Flash rigging (or whatever they call that) instead... who knows. But yes, I did catch it and just neglected to mention in until you happened to bring it up... thank you for the reminder.

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Anon (continued)

While that Wordpress-Blogger conversion-thing/feature/whatever does sound quite interesting, you know me and my technical shortcomings/ineptitude, and I really have my doubts about whether I'd ever manage to successfully implement any such changes. Still though, considering how often our other friends (and we ourselves) have all noted the genuine need for a proper edit function before I may have to look into it... can you tell me where you found that information, if it wouldn't be a trouble?

Oh yes and lastly, the "obligatory Rarijack" picture. Thank you so very much for sharing that with me! As I think you know, I actually do have a Pivix account myself, made specifically for the purpose of keeping tabs on adorable images like that which those sneaky Japanese artists like to try and keep to themselves, but I have not been on much recently and so I may well have missed it without you! SO incredibly cute, and rather like my own version of a similar idea, but perhaps done to even better effect. Applejack, why are you such an adorable pony? <3

And am I honestly to take that remark of yours as meaning that you have never tasted cheesecake in your entire life, my dear? Mercy, how absolutely tragic!

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Harwick (comment ninja'd!)

AAAAAAAAA, the artwork, you colored and posted it!!! <3 <3 <3 Oh dear Goddess, I wasn't about to get my hopes up, but then again I'm not sure it even mattered to me whether you actually "finished" the picture or not, because as I told you last night (via multiple emails and texts) I loved it so much nothing else was even necessary! I love it, I love it... I can't even state how much, and all the more because I never would have expected to see such a thing from you, in either substance OR style. And the fact that you decided to share it with everyone else here, which I was dearly wishing I could have done myself, is such a wonderful thing, because now they can all enjoy your amazing cartoony cuteness as well! Such a fabulous gift, thank you so much darling! <3 <3 **stifling, overbearing digital hugs**

Aah, look at me, so easily distracted~ Thank you for the nice words about my neighborhood! It really is a very pleasant place, and in that respect I'm actually quite happy that I was able to extend my lease for a while longer against all odds, even if it does mean I'm still away from the coast (this community is actually built around a lovely picturesque man-made lake, too... I'll have to try and take some photos of that sometime to share with you all). I will pass your compliments on to Grace, who is currently snoozing beside me on the couch, and on the matter of the winter weather in your part of the world, I have to say that really is awful. Or, perhaps not awful depending on how tired you may be of cold weather, but certainly unnatural anyway, dear Goddess!

Also, I dearly love those adorable little pony flash-drives... how incredibly cute are those! I wonder if all of the mane six will be available, but either way I do believe those are a sampling of FiM merchandise that I would actually be happy to purchase and use for something, thank you for sharing!

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

Oh yes, and also, *Pixiv... normally I don't bother to go back and correct my typos as you all have probably noticed, but for some reason I seem to make that particular one all of the time, and yet I always notice it the instant I go back and reread my posts. But anyhow~! **takes Harwick's ridiculously adorable Rarijack image to keep forever, and signs off blissfully**

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

Oh look, haven't said anything in a week. May as well pull a Harwick and start some discussion around here. So... new incidental ponies, which one did you like the most so far this season? Mine probably goes out to that other pony that just happened to be in the same scene as baby Applejack in the family reunion... or that Wild Fire recolour in Wonderbolts academy. Nice colour schemes yay! (There aren't really many to go through, given the number of episodes :/)

CaineScroll said... Reply to comment

@zhoomcar

My favourite new pony? King Sombra. *gets pwned*

Seriously though, there haven't been many new characters this season, though I liked several recurring ponies, with Trixie being one of the more prominent ones. I still have my doubts about the upcoming Discord episode though...I'm a little bugged by the fact that it could turn out to be fanservice more than anything, and that's a really big no-no IMHO.

(That moment when you re-read your comment and find out that it has absolutely nothing to do with the question's context. Fail.)

Harwick said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

I could hardly resist doing a little more with that sketch after you had such an adorable reaction to it through e-mail and text. (Love that .gif of Rarity in all her leg-kicking glee, by the way). Sure, I might not be a serious shipper, but I can enjoy a cute awkward nuzzle with the best of them. In any event, you're more than welcome to share that image however you see fit (It's somehow made its way onto Tumblr according to my blog stats, and it's actually one of my more popular images there.)

We're back to dreary 50ish degree weather and rain here today. I may just curl up under the covers and go back to sleep. Or keep working on new artwork. Or write something. I don't know... I need to find more motivation, I suppose.

On sad but-not-confirmed news, I'm hearing rumors that someone involved in the show stated somewhere that the second-to-last episode of the season is not a Rarity episode after all. What a disappointment to go a whole season without one for her, if so. Hopefully she has more substantial parts in the few remaining, if that is indeed the case.

@zhoomcar

There haven't been as many stand-out ponies among the crowds this year, have there? For all the talk of fan service, we really haven't had nearly the number of interesting additions to the background cast as we had in prior seasons. Maybe they feel like they have enough models not to bother creating substantially new ones...

I kind of like the square-dancing, wood-sawing Apple Family mare who backed her tail up to the camera during "Raise this Barn". She knows how to make a memorable cameo. I definitely liked that pink and blonde version of Wildfire from the Wonderbolts Academy. Other than that... Olden Mare? I don't know.

RenaTurnip said... Reply to comment

Ahh, I was going to come "pull a Harwick" and spark some life into the blog yesterday, myself, but I got caught up with... art and sleeping. Pretty good job, there, haha...

I'd say my favourite background/incidental Ponies were most of the ones from the Applejack episode, which included this girl in mint green who I loved so much when I saw her, and then this Pony in the hat whose gender I can't quite identify, but is quite cute regardless. There were others but I'm too lazy to dig them up right now. The number of neat designs in the background in that episode just made me really happy.

I'm afraid I haven't got anything else particularly interesting to talk about right now, though. It's been a slow, neutral sort of week... the kind where nothing happens and you look at the clock and before you know it it's time to sleep again. I won't say it's been satisfying in the least, but I guess in one way it's been relaxing on the mind? Sort of xD

@Favo

Ahh, Edmonton. Enjoy the best mall in the world, you lucky butt. As for that video, it reminds me that I was raised to think Americans were all stupid, and when I first came to the Internet, I was extremely happy to learn that my "teachings" were completely incorrect... and I had some loud words to my parents about how stupid and obnoxious they were about the subject. Nowadays of course I realize that there are unfortunate handfuls of people who encourage the stereotype (as there are for any group of people), but I'm glad to know that I was raised all wrong, more or less.

(Doesn't change the fact that that video is absolutely hilarious.)

Stay lovely, blog peeps!

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

The penultimate episode isn't Rarity, confirmed. On the plus side, it looks like it's going to be an "everypony" type episode. Yay? Gee, it sure is quiet around here when there aren't any new episodes to ruminate on.


...I wonder if the wife-throwing thing is actually going to be a thing.

Harwick said... Reply to comment

*SPOILERS IN THIS POST* So readers who don't want to know about any promotional teases for the show should skip the whole thing.


First the HUB has released this promo with scenes from some upcoming episodes. Looks like some exciting stuff to me.


@zhoomcar

I'm kind of curious if the final three episodes will be somewhat linked, if not actually a "to be continued" kind of story... much like the three episodes involving the Gala. It seems like the "Sidekick" episode is set at least partially in the same place as the penultimate episode (based on a screenshot from the ep that was making the rounds weeks ago)... And the description of the penultimate one sounds like it's in preparation of the events, and not necessarily about the events themselves... which could be the focus of the final episode.

Or all three could have nothing to do with each other. I know it's been confirmed that the finale isn't a two-parter, and that the Sidekicks episode is actually numbered episode 7 or 8 this season, and held until late in the season, but I still think there's a chance of them being linked.

Poppun said... Reply to comment

Hello Everyone!

How long has it been since the last time I've had the chance to post here? Either way, it's a bit late so right now so until I can write a proper post I'm just going to share this

Harwick said... Reply to comment

@Poppun
I do so enjoy watching Applejack suffer through Rarity's attentions. Very cute!

@WhiteDiamonds

(Note to others... I'm not really referencing anything she said in that message, so apologies if these topics seem to come out of nowhere.)

I broke down and bought the pickles we discussed after checking around and finding that, after shipping, a single jar of any decent gourmet variety was going to cost me around $15-20 anyway. So I'm invested in these now.... I'm going to be eating artesian pickles for the long haul. Be assured, I'll write some nicely detailed reviews of each variety when the time comes to make sure I get as much use out of them as I can for my money. I'm looking forward to trying the Whiskey Sour Pickles first; Organic cucumbers in a semi-sweet apple cider vinegar brine. Biting into one I'll tilt my head thoughtfully as I chew, swishing the resulting relish back and forth in my mouth. "Bold and piquant" I'll say, "with subtle notes of chile and whiskey that linger towards the front of one's tongue after the stronger bite of garlic and dill fades. A pickle with body and presence. Indubitably, a pickle for only those with the utmost refinement and class... the true connoisseur of pickles." Then they'll be worth the money.

By the way, I found this article about crows which details the lengths at which they remember those who cross them. I say keep your head down and wear a disguise next time you go outside just to be safe, should the mass murder still be in your neighborhood.

It turns out that Entertainment Weekly did indeed have a clip from this weekend's episode. Those ready for spoilers can feel free to check it out.

While I'm handing out links, here's that website that will do 3-D printing in a variety of materials, including plastics, metals, full-color sandstone and ceramics. A variety of artists are already offering pony sculptures there, but it makes me want to learn some stronger computer modeling and create all sorts of funky objects.

That's enough random stuff for now, don't you think? I hope you didn't get dizzy reading that.

Anon said... Reply to comment

(Ahh, I used the wrong word. Oh well, "wept" sounds weird anyway...)

@RenaTurnip

Well, you may have missed much of the past year, but that doesn't necessarily mean I wasn't speaking about you as well. We have all enjoyed your contributions for the time you have been here, and I am sure we would all be happy to have you as long as you're willing to stay. I can relate to your point about internet privacy entirely, as I live in a separate digital world of ponies and pony-related projects, which sadly I could never disclose to the outside world. Still, I see it as a creative outlet that can help us develop talents that will outlast the show, so our time and effort is not wasted.

Ah, so we really were living within miles of each other at one time? That's certainly interesting. I'm sure it happens to people who grew up in big cities like New York all the time, but it's more special when two people happened to be born in local small towns. I may have not stayed there for as long as you have, but I might have to move back to your country to get a job, so who knows, we just might wind up in the same area again someday.

(Just for fun, I managed to find the house I lived in. If you go to street view here and look around until you see a white house with a wide porch and a blue recycle bin by a streetlight, that would be the house in question. It was eventually turned into an office building, if I remember correctly. The shutters used to be a quaint green before they painted them dark brown...)

@WhiteDiamonds

Diamonds, that just sounds awful... You really are one of the very last people I would ever wish to face so many struggles. It is encouraging to hear that your condition is apparently improving, which of course is long overdue by now, but I'm not sure if it outweighs the bad lately. I do wish the best health to you and your mother, as always. Given your legion of loyal followers, I am certain your heart problems will be alleviated sooner than your inbox in the long run.

You have always been so kind and supportive to me, I'm not sure I could thank you enough. It has been a pleasure to stay and savor the company of our distinguished friends. I would never have joined in if you were not such a delightful lady to meet one year ago, and through the bumps and misfortunes that 2012 had wrought, you remain just as irresistibly affable as you were that day. Here's to a new year at this blog, and let us hope that the excitement of new opportunities does not keep us from doing what we have been all along.

Anon said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

I am infinitely grateful for your help and support, again, and since my current project has come up in conversation a lot recently, I only hope I haven't raised your expectations beyond the limitations of my paltry artistic competence. Amongst all of that rambling, what I ultimately failed to put into words was that, though I may have owned my tablet for a year now, I honestly have far from a year's worth of experience working with it. I would hate to leave you disappointed in that way. Actually, considering that my eye study was the first and last time I used a pen-like tool for the purpose of making a drawing (none of which were even own designs, to be entirely fair), I'm not sure I have even a week's worth of practice aside from the time I spent on that particular project. Four-year-olds everywhere would laugh in the face of such admissions, I'm sure. I believe I have learned much from watching artists at work, but only time will tell in that regard. The biggest challenge I face is quickness, as I have been attempting to draw various common forms for the first time, and I tend to go about it terribly slowly. Bizarrely, the linework for the two ponies alone seemed to take two and a half months for me to finish if file timestamps are to be trusted. I hope for the sake of my mental health that the experience I gain will be enough to quicken my next attempt. This is all just food for thought however, and we will see how it goes. I haven't a clue what I'm doing, but I am fairly excited to be back on track towards possibly becoming one tenth as capable as you.

After looking into it a bit more, it seems to be that Wordpress has a feature to copy the content (as well as ratings and whatnot) of a Blogger blog and create an identical Wordpress blog from that source. However, I also learned a few things about WordPress that convinced me it really wouldn't be a better option after all. Most prominently, WordPress is only a template for a blogging website rather than a free web host like Blogger. Because of this, you have to pick out a good free web host to use with WordPress. I once did this a number of years ago, and I can say from experience that it isn't easy. I'm also worried that we would probably lose the nice blue Blogger template that has undoubtedly grown on us all. There are many video and text guides on the subject of Blogger to WordPress migration that are easy to find with an internet search, but after learning a bit more about what WordPress actually is, sadly I don't think it would be worth linking them anyway. WordPress may be a useful option if you had a friend who was willing to lend you their server for personal blogging and pony art, but that doesn't sound like a very profitable business model. We may have to start our own forum just to edit our posts...

On the bright side, I happen to have found yet more Rarijack. I think you have probably seen this .gif before, but it's worth a second look. And here is a more shippy drawing, which some viewers seem to think is yours.

It really is a shame I'm the last person who might ever get to meet you in person, because I'm sure you would enjoy my initial reactions to such extravagance. It may not be such an unexpected type of food to live without as fish or eggs, but it is the most depressing. I am very aware that the problems in your current life are far more serious than mine, and of course I only mean to joke about this at my own expense. Perhaps we all might someday see London or Paris, and then we may both enjoy each other's inexperience with such lavish tastes. (Now I feel like drawing Rarity struggling to consume escargot...)

Anon said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

I was not familiar with the term, so thank you for explaining that. It probably is the best explanation since little else changed for Spike, and an episode is all about how you feel in the end, so I'm willing to run with it. I just thought you were being literal, so I felt I should note those points.

Admittedly, I probably only noticed that error because my eyes were already on that part of the screen before the scene changed, and I couldn't take them off it because it looked like her hair was covering much of her face. I immediately began to wonder how it ever went unnoticed.

@zhoomcar

I'm not sure what would be considered incidental, but the only other background pony I can think of that had lines for only one scene was the professor from Twilight's unpreparedness song...


I don't generally link anything non-pony-related, but this is special. Garunteed to bring nostalgia to anyone born within the past 70 years, this is 5 seconds of every hit song from 1993 to 2011.

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

It's been a while since we've had an episode, hasn't it? Overall, I thought it was a fun episode, despite the apparent pacing issues. I won't elaborate further, probably leave that to the rest of you.

Anon said... Reply to comment

(When you mistype "administrator" as "admisitrator", it's best to just start over.)

@Harwick

I had to rush to finish those last comments, and in my haste, I forgot to ask you about a few other things that came up in my recent travels. I'm aware that you sometimes browse the blog on an iPad, and because of that I've always been weary of linking large images in the fear that they might crash your tablet like Internet Explorer on dial-up. I thought I may as well ask if that really is a problem or not, and if I should choose the more reasonable medium size for reaction images and general tomfoolery. Also, while I was analyzing your gallery for educational purposes (I hope you won't mind if I make use of some of your tricks), I happened upon something mysterious. Was it by chance enscribed by a time traveler who had just arrived in Anno Domini? Was it written by an Art Director, who is perhaps a fan of Arrested Development? Could it be the signature of Apple Dumpling or Apple Pie? Could it have been an...Anonymous Pony? Intrigue!

It's a shame I can't properly comment on your artwork. If WhiteDiamonds ever considered adding another administrator, you would have my vote in a second. I will say that though you may not have such flowing locks as the Princess, I'm sure it would make you look so fabulous. I would also like to mention that I enjoyed your links, random as they may be. For all the stunning art pieces you have given this fandom, you at least deserve a jar of good gourmet pickles. Might as well live adventurous; they won't all be red bananas.

Oh, and thanks to the mishap in my last comment, this blog entry and the past 3 have all concluded with comment numbers ending in "8". If only long-winded comment chains were slot machines, we would be rolling in long-winded comment cash.

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

I'll have to come back tomorrow (or later today, as it may be) to share my thoughts on the return of Discord. I will say the scene with Fluttershy's revolving house made me somewhat woozy.

@Anon

Overly large images don't crash my ipad (I'm using a first generation one), they merely don't load. Usually it's only an issue with ridiculously sized images as well. People like their long, unbroken column style comics, for instance, and they'll upload them at 1500x12000 resolution or more. That gets a bit excessive.

As for your mysterious find, eagle eyed viewers would spot similar markings in just about every image in my gallery. In truth, they're clues left behind for future generations wishing to unravel the greatest conspiracy of our time. Some day the world will be ready for the truth about the life of Princess Celestia.

I really don't want to administrate anything... it's the main reason I hang out here rather than do the work of maintaining my own blog. Regardless, thanks for the kind words! Di herself just reminded me of the red banana incident the other day... Seriously, what the hell is up with those things? Miserable excuses for fruit, that's what they are.


@Favo

Er... I think I was just saying "I like pickles". But I'll take credit for inspiring you anyway.

Obsequiosity said... Reply to comment

Odd, probably one of the bigger "canon-affecting" eps we've had this season and things seem rather quiet here.

Which is a shame, because I had nothing to contribute besides, "Fluttershy trying to balance on ice while quivering with rage is probably the most adorable thing evar," and was curious to see what others said. (Insightful, I'm not so good at...)

Harwick said... Reply to comment

So... how 'bout that new episode, huh? I have only seen it the one time, upon the original airing, so these are mostly first impressions that have had some time to settle, influenced perhaps by other opinions I have read.

If I have one complaint about the writing on "Friendship is Magic" that seems to crop up repeatedly, it's that I often feel that they don't end a story as strongly as they could have. I don't find it a fatal flaw in the show in the least, but whether it's due to time constraints or simply not making the most out of whatever theme they were exploring, I can find myself not truly satisfied with the wrap ups they provide. This seems to be especially true on the "big" episodes. (Many other episodes, I must add, end beautifully, so it's not a constant thing by any measure.)

As you can guess from the preamble, I was among those not really sold on Discord's rather sudden conversion at the end of the latest installment. I can see all of the pieces there and accept it, but for me it was a "some assembly required" type of ending, where I had to build a lot of the explanation for his turnaround myself from the materials provided. They didn't leave anything out, really, and the picture on the packaging was enough to go off of when assembling it all, but it wasn't quite as exciting of a gift as giving me an ending that that worked right out of the box. I'll stop torturing that metaphor now, I promise.

I'm not sure exactly how I might have liked to see them deal with that. Some have suggested that it simply needed more time to show that he grew to value Fluttershy's friendship. While that could indeed work, I'm not convinced it needed another 22 minutes, and so it doesn't seem the best solution. Perhaps if they had gone for more of an intellectual appeal than a straight emotional one? It's not like the Mane Six's friendships haven't been chaotic... Discord is missing out on a whole experience if he passes up the chance to actually try the friendship thing. Maybe that would have been too involved of an argument for the intended audience, but I can buy someone being suddenly swayed by a clever point that they hadn't considered before more than a quick emotional turnaround.

For many people, it seems to have hinged on whether they believed Discord was a really bad guy or just a troublemaker. Personally, I was in the "really bad guy" camp, but I don't mind it going the other way in the least. I'm glad they had him toss out that "most of the time" addition to his pledge to do good, though. I suspect they'll aim for more "Q" influence, where the character caused trouble for the Enterprise crew but seemingly for the purpose of imparting on them some sort of needed lesson. Really though, who knows? At the very least they now have a recurring character who can put any plot imaginable into action with the snap of his fingers. Alicorn Twilight? Time travel? "It's a Wonderful Life" scenarios? They all just got much easier to set up. It makes one wonder if indeed he'll be a part of the season finale (the synopsis of which was announced last week), as Celestia did seem like she had something specific in mind for him to do.

All of that rambling out of the way, I enjoyed the episode for sheer entertainment value. Discord's antics were fun and Angel was the perfect target for his torments. I liked the offensive beavers, the "Be Our Guest" jokes, the rotating Flutterhouse and more. Glad to see Twilight and the gang finally get to keep their elements, though I'm not sure what they'll use them for. Overall, I feel the episode did what it needed to do... I just wish I could have bought into the end more than I did.

Obsequiosity said... Reply to comment

Yeah, what Harwick said. Enjoyable ("Such language!"), but the ending just didn't follow the leadup quite so much.

Discord's epiphany was just lacking in impact; maybe he needed some lonely flashbacks or something to make the fact that he actually wanted a friend something we gradually build to instead of suddenly being true despite all evidence against it before.

Poppun said... Reply to comment

@ White Diamonds

Oh my, I hope everything is better now. Both of my parents have health problems too and I know how frustrating it can be.

@ Rena Turnip

Oh! We actually live fairly close by....Have you seen This? I desperately hope they can manage to raise the money they need to rent the venue (-^.^-)


But talking about this episode I think that they really handled it in the best way that they could considering the time constraints they had to work within. It would have been interesting to know a bit more about why Discord unltimately decided to change; whether it was that he had never thought of having friends before and once he had one he realised both how much Fluttershy's friendship meant to him and that being friends does not mean that they let you do whatever you want (something even some adults don't fully understand) or that having been imprisoned by friendship he began to wonder what made it powerful enough to undo his magic and to re-imprison him.

Still the episode was about Fluttershy trying to reform Discord more than the actual moment and it was a lot of fun (Though I do wish that they would have made a reference to Q's mariachi band). But I had more of a "Michief Maker" image of Discord so that may have helped. Actually I saw this episode as being similar to the two Grinch specials where he reforms at the end; the actual epiphiny is a bit rushed but the focus is more on the havoc he causes before and the aftermath that the end. In particular it reminds me of "The Grinch grinches the Cat in the hat", in the end his personality is similar to what it's always been and we know he's still going to cause trouble of some sort, but he's also toned down slightly and knows that he can't always have ALL the madness he wants

Harwick said... Reply to comment

Have any of you ever wondered what our own Ponydora Prancypants actually sounds like? Have you been longing to hear him wax eloquently on such topics as fan fiction, OC's and more? Well, you're in luck! It turns out that he has taken part in a online panel recorded and posted for your listening enjoyment! Give it a listen and learn the secrets of his craft and past.

While you're at it, you'd probably enjoy his latest one-shot short story "Racist Barn", which is proving wildly popular. No surprise, as it is pretty damn funny.


@Poppun
The Grinch is a really good example to use when looking at reforming a character like Discord. I haven't seen the Cat in the Hat special you mention, but one of the things that works so well for me with "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" is that his turnabout comes following the realization of something he had never considered before. That's what I was craving with Discord... that kind of paradigm shift to leave him open to trying things the pony way. The Grinch's emotional turnaround is just as drastic (likely more so) than Discord's, but I'm willing to buy into it because it's triggered by a change in thinking rather than just him having an emotional reaction to the idea of Christmas being gone, for instance.

I do think that Discord's reform works best when viewed as him still doing what he wants, and it's simply him deciding that he wants Fluttershy's friendship enough to behave (to a point). I would have liked a bit more ambiguity in regards to how "friendly" he actually is willing to be, though.

PonydoraPrancypants said... Reply to comment

Thank you so much, Harwick, for the plugs! I did have fun doing the panel, and whether or not anything particularly insightful was said, it was fun participating in my first ever live pony geek-out. Since you mentioned my work, I think it's imperative that I direct folks to your latest masterpiece! I have always enjoyed those Rainbow Dash tackle gags, hehe.

I already shared my thoughts about the latest episode with you via email, but for the benefit of the community here, I was pretty disappointed with the end result, and with the entire premise of "reforming" Discord in the first place. There were plot holes in the sense that suddenly it seems that a "reform spell" that can be found in a book can change Discord, and suddenly Princess Celestia can effectively use spells to keep the Elements safe from him. Frankly, though, I love Discord as a villain and was not eager to see that change. The fact that it happened in a flash, and without an emotional or logical buildup, just made it worse.

There were a few things I liked about this episode, especially including some of the visual gags with Discord's magic. I could tell the writer and animators had fun with those. I liked Fluttershy's portrayal here, and the development of her character into a more confident, less "gullible and silly" Fluttershy.

I am also pretty down about the fact that there is not going to be a dedicated Rarity episode this season. Still, the remaining episodes alls ound promising!

Onto another topic, Di, I hope you are feeling well and healthy, and that your family is also well. Take care, and hope to see you here soon!

Harwick said... Reply to comment

@PonydoraPrancypants

I can sympathize with your dislike for reforming Discord, as it wouldn't be my first choice either, but I wasn't as against the idea as it seems you were/are. I do think he was a fairly nasty guy from what we were told, especially judging from the stained glass depicting miserable ponies on strings. In truth, I keep going back to what I felt was a purposeful nod to the possibility of Discord not being so bad when Twilight was finally broken in "Spirit of Harmony pt. 2". He seems truly thoughtful as he takes in how Twilight has given up all hope and you half suspect that he will find that the fun has gone out of the game for him... and then he pumps his fist and celebrates instead. I would have bought a bit of redemption from him in that moment, and they purposefully subverted it instead. That makes it harder to buy into the idea that this episode's moment would actually reach him.

Not to mention that focusing on Fluttershy for it seems like an odd choice. I totally buy that, logically, she'd be the member of the Mane Six to most likely give Discord every chance to change, but there was no real relationship there to build on. I'd have had a much easier time believing that Discord felt that he had a certain warped bond with Twilight after focusing on her last time, and might have more easily bought that he'd bend some in order to keep things going between them. I certainly don't object to them using Fluttershy for variety's sake, but they pretty much had to start over from the beginning to build something with those two, and 22 minutes didn't leave enough time to do anything convincing with it.

As for the plot holes, they didn't overly bother me as with a bit of thought I can come up with reasonable explanations for them. I don't mind at all the idea that Celestia can counter some specific bit of Discord's magic if given the time to study and prepare for it... She did think he was gone for good before he broke out last time, apparently, and so might not have directly tried to safeguard against him. As for "reform spells", I just have to hope those are spells used as tools in rehabilitating someone, rather than "cast this and they're reformed" instant fixes. So more "cast this and the subject gets to share the victim's viewpoint" kind of thing. Otherwise, there are certainly some free will concerns about mind-altering reform spells.

I'm basically treating this as a transition episode, and saving overall judgement on the idea of reforming Discord for when I see what they end up doing with it. If they get some great use out of him as a somewhat-ally, I can ignore that the effort to set that up was less than convincing.

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

For those who might be interested, I'd like to mention that my art project is finished. I'm not sure what sort of picture this would be considered, but I guess this would be my first...colored lineart/drawing/ponies/digital painting/virtual image manually constructed via pen-based mechanism. It's a first something. It's not nearly as much as an experienced artist could make, but it still took a lot of time and effort for me, and I feel I've learned enough from it to try a more ambitious project next time. I imagine it will be on deviantART someday, but for now, you can view it here.

Yes, the only thing I knew how to draw was eyes, and I wound up drawing a picture consisting of everything except eyes. You may think this image is made of pixels, but it is actually 90% water, as it was composed of tears. If I had to guess, I think this probably takes place during one of the evenings before or soon after the post-changeling invasion wedding. Rarity is either demonstrating the manner that the bride will trot the red carpet on the wedding day or showing how a unicorn representing Ponyville should carry him or herself at a royal ceremony. Twilight is following along, but she is being...less than cooperative. (It helps to picture the remaining mane 6 giggling in the background.) I imagine she would want to make light of her embarassing birthday dance, and she would be more excited for the wedding than anyone present after their disruptions were over. Where other guests saw a princess with her new husband in the most revered castle in Equestria, Twilight saw her old babysitter and her family together in the corridors that she grew up in. While her friends (and Rarity in particular) basked in the magnificence of Canterlot and its monarchy, Twilight was doing just what the event was meant for; having fun in the company of friends and family.

Now for embarassing progress pictures:

My main references for the scene were these three screencaptures of the area and similar ones in the episode gallery. The windows' height varied dramatically from one scene to another, so I sort of had to make it whatever size would be dramatic, but still workable.

(The following images are all the same size, so you can open each in a new tab to compare.)

Picture 1, 12/17/2012

If this one doesn't really show how big I was planning to make it, you should know that its original size was 10,000 by 14,178 pixels. I like a bit of extra space.

Anon said... Reply to comment

Picture 2, 12/17/2012

Twilight's face was radically different in the sketch than the finished picture due to the nose/muzzle/snout/breathing apparatus being based on Valcron's signature female pony nose, as they were originally intended to be Valcron style ponies. Valcron's style is great for comics and simple pictures, but once you have to shade that spherical nose, it will suddenly become very out of place when his side view noses look flat and normal. I always intended this picture to be simple and lighthearted, which is why I went with his style for a first try at proper digital art, but it expanded out of control until I was left with lineart that just wouldn't work in the end. Another distinctive part of his style is his use of round heads, which eventually forced me to do everything in my power to make Twilight's face less pig-like. Yes, I managed to get that far before realizing that I should probably change something. While I'm not sure if I'm ready to attempt Harwick's style yet, I did get by in the end with a Harwick style nose.

Picture 3, 12/27/2012 ("I can't just leave the drapes like this, right? Come on, they look nice! No one will notice.")

Picture 4, 1/11/2013 (I Hate Leaves: The Drawing)

Picture 5, 1/13/2013 (I Hate Anything Vaguely Related to Foral Plantlife: The Drawing. Also, a copy-pasted candle holder for ambiance.)

Picture 6, 1/17/2013 ("Wait, this was supposed to be a pony drawing? Hold on...")

Picture 7, 1/25/2013 ("That was no trouble whatsoever!")

It's worth noting that I have been working on this for almost every hour of every day for the past month and one week. Any good artist could make over fifteen pictures in that time, and each of them would be better than this, but at least I am better prepared for whatever my next venture might be. I need to improve my lineart, so my next one will probably be more character-centric with a new style. If any of the non-artists who frequent this blog have a request, I might just get around to it...eventually.

jodyjm13 said... Reply to comment

3 weeks since my last comment? Really? Yow... It's been a busy (and frustrating) month so far, though I was able to take some pictures of last week's snow and finally made time to upload my favorites to my dA account. My sister and my mother took more pictures than I did, and I may upload a few of theirs to Photobucket or something similar, once I have access to them.

Favorite incidental pony of season 3 so far? Well, Scrolls has already mentioned King Sombra, so my bid to use the question for a quick laugh has been pre-empted. There really haven't been many of note this season, to be honest; I did like the librarian in "The Crystal Empire, Part 1", but in the end my favorite new incidental pony would have to be Aunt Applesauce from "Apple Family Reunion". None of them can hold a candle to the one true best incidental pony, however.

As for "Keep Calm and Flutter On", despite my (fairly mild) qualms at Discord's reformation and the suddenness thereof, I really enjoyed the episode. John de Lancie got some great lines, and Discord some great visual gags, during the first two acts, though my favorite moment of the episode was when Fluttershy, on the verge of anger, assured her friends that she was not so gullible as to believe Discord was innocent. That scene, and Discord's brief befuddlement at Fluttershy calling him her friend during the dinner, were enough to make me emotionally invested in the climax. Even more so than "Sleepless in Ponyville" and "Wonderbolts Academy", though, this episode does make me a bit concerned for future continuity; after all, Discord could practically resolve any problem with a snap of his fingers, the way he's been portrayed so far.

@Harwick

And you've already expressed why I'm not too troubled at Discord's reformation: he is, at this point, being considerate of others not because it's the right thing to do, but because he's realized he likes Fluttershy's friendship and wants to keep it. A little bit of extra time build up that point (say, a flashback showing him being jealous of Celestia and Luna's relationship) would have been nice, but I'm still happy with the episode as it is.

@Anon

And hey, look what got posted as I was working on this comment. I'm afraid I'm too tired to give a detailed comment, but I do want to say that I really like this drawing; I like the sense of scale of those two little ponies in that huge royal hall, and I enjoy both Rarity's poise and Twilight's exuberance.

Definitely time for bed, though; between the new pony episode and the new DC Nation block, I've got plenty of reason to make sure I get up on time.

Obsequiosity said... Reply to comment

@anon A full work with backgrounds, with backlighting and shadows. And you lament your lack of *ambition*? Don't worry about the speed, that comes with experience. Wish my early stuff was half that presentable. Heck, most of my current stuff...

Definitely going to have to check out @Ponydora's interview/panel; like our hostess, his written word carries a certain "voice" to it that I'm curious to compare expectation to reality.

(My own voice is atrocious; imagine Western Kentucky drawl at a Chicago Suburb rapid fire pace that stutters and stumbles on itself in the rush to get ideas out as fast as I can when typing...)

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

@Anon
You tend to be too condescending to yourself, you know that? I clicked the link expecting something else... and then before you knew it my jaw was on the floor (metaphorically, of course!) Colour me impressed (the pun was unintentional, I swear).The only think that irks me a little is the orange sky, it doesn't seem to blend very well with the colour of the walls. Also you win major points on the detailing of those roses.

In the meantime, I've been trying my hand (hoof?) at Sony Vegas, in the hopes of churning some kind of vaguely watchable PMV. Can't say I've been very productive, but that's mostly due to lack of resources (mainly episode footage). Expect something in the next ???? amount of time.

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

This week's episode was surprisingly fun for a Spike episode! Won't go into details, too busy trying to process everything. But there were some fun moments, as well as plenty of cute.

also SPOILERS

Harwick, looks like the episodes are in fact linked! The Crystal Empire makes another appearance!

PonydoraPrancypants said... Reply to comment

I enjoyed this episode tremendously. Clever throughout, fun visuals, very sweet. I laughed at "Hoo" "is it?" This must have been close to the most speaking roles of any episode, with Granny Smith, Zecora, the Mane Six, and the CMC. Certainly, if you include the pets the number of characters with significant roles must be the most. This episode is a clinic on how to pace an otherwise very busy, frenetic story. Also, I guess OpalTank is now a thing, hehe. She only loves him for his scratchable shell. Anyhow, I'll post more later! Cheers!

PonydoraPrancypants said... Reply to comment

Oh, and now that gems are accepted in lieu of stamped metal currency (and apparently, are quite valuable), I suppose Rarity is canonically the wealthiest pony in Equestria. At the rate of exchange shown here, her order for Sapphire Shores alone must have netted her about a billion dollars. No wonder she has such nice things, and can afford to be generous! :)

Harwick said... Reply to comment

I only have a moment to spare so I'll have to come back later (especially to comment on Anon's damn impressive work!) but I did want to say that I kind of loved this weekend's episode. Lively, well paced, filled with visual gags that made me laugh multiple times, having nods to continuity slyly slipped in here and there... just the total package and easily my favorite episode featuring Spike, the CMC or the pets as the main draw. I'm really looking forward to seeing it again and picking up on all the stuff I missed, as there was constantly action and humor happening in the backgrounds. The animators clearly had a ball coming up with gags for all those pets.

PonydoraPrancypants said... Reply to comment

I'm so glad you liked it too, Harwick! I still can't get over how much I liked this episode. I'll just list a few more things I liked: 1) The nurse still treating the crazy barking pony from "Read It And Weep" and turning to look at her as Winona runs past, barking and dragging Spike; 2) Berry Punch lounging in the train car; 3) Zecora saving Ponyville from a soon-to-be rampaging dragon by donating to the Filly Scouts; 4) Cutie Mark skydivers, and the clubhouse still having that bizarre inflatable Rainbow Dash; 5)Carrot Top's boyfriend; 6) Spike narrating his own life in musicial form; (7 Rarity looking horrified at Applejack's hoof after the "dogs literally are barking" joke; 8) Rarity's adorable yawn; 9) Rainbow lick; 10; Opal's bopping Tank on the head, then immediately nuzzling him 11) snowglobe visual gag; 12) Sweetie Belle in "crystal heaven." This really was everything Friendship is Magic should be.

Anon - your artwork is wonderful. I love the pony poses and all the thought and care that went into each part of the piece. Wow!

Harwick said... Reply to comment

@Anon
Wow! You truly caught me by surprise with that image! I certainly knew you had the ability to create some nice imagery after your other examples, but as meticulously as were in creating them I didn't suspect you'd jump to something so ambitious for your next work. Nicely done! That's quite the ballroom, complete with fully rendered volumes, shadows, reflections, colored lighting, dynamic poses... the works! Plus, it's freaking huge.

And yes, you've learned the horrible secret that so many pony artists have to come to terms with... their heads do not truly work in 3-D. Rendering them out accurately is a constant fight to keep them "on-model", and everyone will never agree what the proper shape of a pony muzzle should actually be. It's up to each artist to figure out how to deal with those angles where the cartoon just cheats and draws the very top of their muzzle and their nostrils and leaves the rest of it all to your imagination. I think you did a nice job.

I'm looking forward to whatever you tackle next!

@jodyjm13
Neat photos! I love iced-up trees as well as fresh snow on the following clear and sunny day. I hope you're keeping warm, as the bitter cold front has been very noticeable here in PA.

I did love how often they crammed Braeburn into the shot in "Apple Family Reunion". I often wonder whether the writer's room thinks of these things, or if the production staff has now become aware enough of the fans to go out of their way to put these things in when a script arrives, knowing fans will wonder where certain characters are. (I did note Aunt and Uncle Orange in the family photo at the end, for instance.)

I do think that Discord will be used much like Q in The Next Generation now... causing trouble but with the intent that the ponies learn something valuable out of it. I suppose my worst fear would be that he ends up being taken down by the next big bad to immediately establish overpowered cred for him/her/it, but really I'm hoping he simply isn't involved at all in any such dire circumstances where he could solve things with a snap of his fingers.

Harwick said... Reply to comment

@Obsequiosity
Most people, I find, dislike the sound of their own voice... especially their own voice recorded. In any event, I kind of want to hear a Western Kentucky drawl in Chicago Suburb style rapid fire now.

Ponydora sounds very personable and intelligent, I thought. Well worth the listen.


@zhoomcar

Yay for linked episodes! I'd love to be able to spot Spike, Angel or the CMC in the background of a train scene in the next episode, but I suspect it won't quite overlap that much. Regardless, it was a fun way to tie things together. Now the big question is, does the Crystal Empire get the Equestrian Games, and do we get to see them in a future episode?

Looking forward to seeing a PMV from you too. I kind of want to make one of my own, but have no talents in that direction. Still, I enjoy watching them.

@PonydoraPrancypants
Indeed I did like it... In fact, I liked it so much that I can not only agree with all the items on your list, I can name all of these moments as well: 1) Pee-Wee's story told out in photos (I'm guessing this was an addition after the episode was written and someone noted his absence, but either way...) 2) Owloysius staring down edible Angel. 3) Pinkie's "who-loves-who-more?" argument. 4) "You really only want to be hit by a flying turtle once." 5) Dash's stealth nuzzle. 6) Owloysius sharing his perch (briefly) with Tank. 7) Every pet glaring at Angel when the CMC declare him "cute"... even Gummy. 8) Poor beautified Owloysius. 9) The happy puddle of Winona under the industrial dryer. 10) "Skydiving" off of the footbridge. 11) Big Mac and Cheerilee still together. 12) Pony Joe has bad luck with his wares on trains, apparently. 13) (I'll even go one further!) Opal's joy at being walked on a leash.

I really came to love Owloysius in this one, as you can probably note from the many times I mentioned him. His whole "responsible but put-upon" thing was what I just praised Twilight for, so seeing him try to help and suffer various misfortunes certainly endeared him to me as well. A bit of trivia: I noticed he mysteriously had a black bow tie that would come and go for at least some scenes towards the end... I wonder what that was originally about.

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

@Harwick
and another thing... 14) David Copper-fail. Spike referencing humans? Aaaaah! Even though it doesn't really count towards much, it looks like 15) ponies (at least where Ponyville is concerned) use Fahrenheit measurements. As for the Equestrian Games... the Crystal Empire has got this one in the bag. I mean, they missed being chosen at least - what is it - two hundred and fifty times... But my opinion on the episode, very fun, it's been a while since we got an episode that was simply "cute characters doing cute things".

I did upload recently a work in progress video for my first shot at a PMV. For the most part, the video was really just editing speeds of episode footage so that it would vaguely be in time with the music, though it's nothing upbeat so no significant amount of editing is needed. What I have completed turned out okay, albeit a bit rough. So far the video just seems to be primarily focused on Spike, in particular Dragon Quest, which fits the song's theme nicely, but I have some other episodes that I plan to use as well, given I can combine that much into three minutes, but it looks like it'll be a Spike centric PMV. For that matter, I still need to download the rest of Season 2 to my computer. Linky linky.

Anon said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

I really hope you are right about Discord's future role, because that would be the only way to let him maintain his trickster personality indefinitely and still have a role in many future episodes. If its ending was any indication, he probably won't be around Ponyville very often, but it will be fun whenever he does make an appearance. My thoughts on the episode itself were as few as yours, but its main appeal for me was the opportunity it provides us to invent our own reformation story. Instead of putting the burden on Fluttershy from the beginning, I would have had it that Celestia put a spell on Discord that limits his more corruptive powers. That way, his possession magic would seem a lot like him making his own imaginary friends. Fluttershy lives on the border of Ponyville, right next to the Everfree Forest, which would force Discord to decide whether he wants to leave to what is arguably the most organized place in Equestria (The plants grow, animals care for themselves and the clouds move all on their own) and be a monster, or take a final offer from the last pony willing to give him a chance. I would have preferred it if the episode had ended with him proving his worth and fixing a problem that he may or may not have had a part in causing from the beginning, to the shock of everyone except Fluttershy. The rest of the episode could have been the same, as his actions were ambiguous about whether or not he really intends to reform in the end.

Oh, and did everyone hear Angel's Wilhelm scream? That moment had to be one of the best.

Actually, I was there to watch Ponydora's panel live, and honestly I was more excited for it than the return of Discord. This means I also got to read the witty remarks he was leaving in the chat. Prancypants is a pretty personable pony whose panel prospered with his presence. It was a good way to spend an hour or two, indeed.

Corey Powell really is proving himself to be a fast-paced quality writer, isn't he? My sentiments are all the same. I haven't enjoyed an episode of "Friendship is Magic" so much in a long time, and I think I have a new season favorite. I enjoyed the development of each pet's personality, especially the way that Owloysius was always more responsible than his caretaker. We also got to see the good side of Angel, suggesting that he really can be a good bunny when his owner is caring and mindful enough of their responsibilities. Perhaps he was only trying to look out for the group after all. I could list each of the amusing touches that made this one special, but you and Ponydora have done a commendable job at that already, so I will just say that this episode lands a high spot on my list. With renewed appreciation for this third season, I look forward to its future.

Anon said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

I was a bit worried about sharing what would be my first try (or rather a series of first tries together in one drawing), but I'm glad to see that I haven't disappointed you all with my repeated discussion of what I'm working on. You happen to be our community's epitome of talent, and likely that of brony art in general in my opinion, so it means the most to me that you liked it from a technical perspective. Considering the time it took me to make it, I would be pretty worried if it was anything less ambitious. I am happy with the way it turned out though, and to hear that you are among those who liked something I made is the most I could hope for. I'm sure any beginner would value your attention and advice. I've learned that it's a lot easier to make a drawing that looks nice when you actually draw it with a pen rather than string the shape together using a mouse. With all I learned from making this one, my next serious drawing might just be better (and more ambitious, possibly). Again, I'm very glad you liked it, and thank you for your kind words. I might try AssasinMonkey's style some time soon, so I might just be working in greyscale like you do. It actually looks more fun that way, though I could be wrong...

@jodyjm13

Ah, yes, I finally made a complete picture with this tablet. It only took me a year. It's reassuring to hear you could tell that Twilight is being exhuberant, rather than suffering a bad cramp. Thank you for the comments, I'm happy to hear you enjoyed it. My favorite of those photos has to be the short snow-covered tree. It has a very cartoonlike appearance, so much that I might just have to use it as a reference someday. I speak for us all when I say that we always appreciate it when you to stop by.

@Obsequiosity

One of the great things about that picture is that it's good at hiding how ambitious it isn't. The marble column and floor were made with filters in Photoshop, the wall and the flowerpot are covered with a premade texture, the shadows and reflections are just scaled mirror images and the indentation on the column was made with a bevel effect in Photoshop. It really is not very ambitious when you consider all of that with the time it took me to draw the rest. I could never do the same with traditional art, and you should give yourself more credit. I do hope you're right that speed will come to those who wait, and I'm glad you liked it.

Anon said... Reply to comment

@zhoomcar

I described above why my standards are fairly high, but I'm still feeling pretty good about where I am at the moment. My main reference for the sky was this photograph. The clouds and sky originally were a dark red, but it looked so intense and apocalyptic that affected the mood too much. I kind of like how the orange matches the candles and drapes, giving the whole picture a turquoise and orange motif. Still, I altered the colors to more of a strawberry color see how it looks. I guess it's interesting that the picture touches every color the spectrum that way, and it does feel more like the evening, but it loses the lofty feeling of the orange. I'm not sure which I like more. Thanks for the input, either way. Oh, and I did take a bit of artistic license with those flowers, turning what might have been deep purple petunias into lilac roses. I think it fits the wedding theme a bit better.

A PMV would usually gather scenes to fit the lyrics, or even lip-sync them, but I guess that's not an option for that more ambient piece. Personally, I hesitate to share music because it's far more subjective than art, but I will say that the songs Harwick and Jody have shared in the past were all surprisingly enjoyable. We all fit within a generation with years to spare if you you measure it as 30 years long, so it's nice to see that many of us have a lot in common aside from what is apparent.

@PonydoraPrancypants

I enjoyed attending your live panel, and you can trust that it means a lot to hear you liked the artwork. To read through any of my constant rambling is a commendable achievement, as well. If you found any part of my drawing impressive, then I know I must be doing something right. Thank you for your generous words!

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

Oops, looks like I derped. David Copperfail was actually mentioned in the most recent episode of Littlest Pet Shop... which was also written by Corey Powell. The episode itself was fun in it's own little way, Powell is really proving to be a great addition to MLP as well as LPS so far.

PonydoraPrancypants said... Reply to comment

So ... about THAT ... I guess it was always going to happen. I don't know what it will mean, except that Season 4 is going to require a new intro montage. Still, I don't know exactly how I feel about everything, beyond a vague disquietedness. I'm sure I'll get through the stages of grieving to acceptance soon enough.

Coconutswallow said... Reply to comment

Well, there's an event to bring me out of the void. Mind if I take refuge here amongst reasonable, smart, and calm minds? Because, oh my, is it a riot out there.

As for my opinion, I can't say what my thoughts are, yet. I really don't have any. I'm doing my best to withhold any strong opinions or judgment until I've seen this episode played out.

I do certainly hold some optimism, though. These writers have shown they have skill to pull this off, and talk about some potential for some interesting plots in Season 4.

Harwick said... Reply to comment

@zhoomcar

I was wondering where I missed the David Copperfield reference... Glad to know I'm not forgetting things.

That's a good start on the PMV. Anon is right, in that instrumental pieces offer a special kind of challenge. I'm all for a Spike centric PMV, personally... especially after all of the expressions he used in the latest episode. They definitely had fun with him.


@Anon

Ponydora was leaving witty remarks in a chat at the same time as he was partaking in the panel discussion? That's some nice multi-tasking. Or... I suppose the panel was pre-recorded and then a chat scheduled during it's airing? That would make more sense.

I've heard Corey Powell referred to as both "he" and "she" and I have no idea which is correct. Regardless, said writer has done a nice job on the 2 episodes s/he delivered, and with casts that I previously haven't liked as much. I'm looking forward to whatever s/he might have to offer in coming seasons.


@PonydoraPrancypants

Something about the whole thing makes me want to cackle hysterically. Honestly, as I mentioned over e-mail, I'm excited by the possibilities more than I am worried about them. I'd rather see them try something drastic which could produce unexpected results than try to replicate things season after season to mixed results anyway. I will say that their wholesale commitment to the idea surprised me greatly, and I put value in that alone. I like that the show can keep me on my toes as to what to expect.

And for those of you who don't know what we're talking about, I won't directly spoil it... but I can't imagine you have much chance of getting through the next few weeks without finding out anyway. Sorry.

PonydoraPrancypants said... Reply to comment

Haha, yes, there was a text chat happening along with the livestream of the online panel, so I was participating in that as well as the spoken discussion. If I seemed to go off on tangents or address questions out of the ether, I was probably responding to something in the chat. Or I was just spacing out.

Anon said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

They were appearing while other panelists were taking their turns speaking, especially during Capn_Chryssalid's longer answers. It was a fun idea for him to keep things interesting in both sides of the stream, I thought.

It seems we are all at a loss for words, if only because the time has to come that bronies will get to judge the production staff's handling of it. My hope were you right all along, and this will only be a temporary change for the season finale or the forthcoming movie. Direct-to-DVD films based on animated programs do tend to stray from canon, which may explain why Hasbro is advertising the change so openly at the moment. I expect it will cause a prominent decline in the show's ratings, so it's possible the executives in charge will turn things back around for the Hub's sake. While I support the idea of keeping the show fresh and trying new avenues, I really don't think this was necessary for that. As long as there are no humans yet, I suppose...

Though I doubt I will ever prefer this way if it does become the norm, I hold out hope for any other outcome.

Anon said... Reply to comment

@Anon

Okay, after reading the article, it seems this really will be a permanent thing, at least for as long as we can tell. It appears the staff anticipated this backlash, so I hope they will always be aware of what fans really want most. I wonder how they will still air reruns of the first three seasons after such a significant and sudden redirection.

CaineScroll said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

I'm afraid I'm with Prancypants on this one...I'm alright with mild changes but this is kind of like a real wake-up call. We've all been accustomed to the same thing for almost three seasons now and they want to turn it in a whole new direction? It's no wonder that fans are starting flame wars left right and centre. I'm still counting on the hope that it's a temporary thing, because I did read one comment about a possible time skip for Season 4 and zooming into the future, but I don't think it's time for that yet.

True, it does leave a lot of ground to work on, but let's just hope that the studio doesn't get too flustered about what they think the fans want. The last thing we want is for the show to turn into a fanservice fiesta. I'm not going to judge anything here until the time comes around, but until then I strongly recommend keeping your helmets on.

Harwick said... Reply to comment

Alright, enough with pretending the spoilers won't get out. If you read this, you will be spoiled.

@Anon
@CaineScroll

While I might not have a lot of credibility after going on record saying I'd be shocked if they made such a change permanent and did slice-of-life episodes featuring *spoiler to follow* Alicorn Twilight, I still have to say that I don't honestly see this changing things that drastically. Yes, it makes me question whether something more major might happen, but I don't think they'll be leaving Ponyville behind or taking the focus off of the band as they currently exist. Of the Twilight episodes this season, I don't see how her being a Princess would *have* to change any of them significantly, or really any of the other character's episodes (hell, it would make more sense with the upcoming "smooze the head of the Equestrian games" plotline.) I do think there could be fun in spinning plotlines out of her different standing, but it all depends on what being named a Princess entails. Cadance was a princess when she foal-sat "regular ol' unicorn" Twilight... It doesn't seem like it necessarily separates one from society.

For that matter, even though the HUB is throwing out the "coronation" word all over the place, the episode's plotline certainly doesn't seem to leave a lot of room for a major, planned, in-world crowning. (They certainly could tack a quick one on there, much like the "Star Wars" themed end to the Discord premiere, but it seems like the kind of thing they'd want to do up right like the wedding instead.) For all we know she becomes some kind of "secret" princess, and only a select few know about it. Maybe she can hide her wings, and so while she does get them permanently they still don't show up in every episode. Who knows at this point?

So there's certainly no use getting overly concerned until we at least learn the details of the situation... and in such circumstances, I'm much more inclined to imagine all the cool things they could possibly end up doing with the set-up than focus on things I think would be bad for the show.

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

Oh dear, well, I've been gone for forever, haven't I? It seems like every time I post here and keep a close eye on the blog over the following several days, there's never much activity, but as soon as I turn my attention away again people come out of the wordwork and begin leaving all sorts of comments (though obviously, I would have expected many by this point). Oh well, such is my life I suppose!

I actually did come back here several days ago and began typing up my lengthy, belated replies to everyone, but in light of the latest turn of events regarding the series and the resultant burst of activity I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to catch up now... regardless, I felt that it wouldn't be right of me to continue putting off commenting here until I had time to address absolutely everything (because who knows when that will be). Concerning that recent news, I will say that I have very mixed feelings about it myself... on the one hoof, this can potentially be a huge change and I admittedly am concerned about what it might mean for the future of the series, but on the other I do like to think I have faith in the writers and remain cautiously optimistic, preferring to wait and see what they do with the idea before passing judgment. The latter was my initial reaction and remains my dominant outlook on the matter, so from here on out I suppose we'll all just have to wait and see what happens won't we?

(Also, perhaps, in light of this groundbreaking news, my keeping my fingers crossed for genuine shipteases on behalf of the writers/artists isn't quite the ridiculous notion I once thought it was, meheh... **bricked** Or, well, even if it is telling myself so at least lets me feel far more positive and optimistic about all of this, so I guess I shall contentedly go on deluding myself for a while, hooray~)

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

Well, looks like it's the end of the line, folks. Time to jump ship and burn this place down before things get nasty. (Nope.)

I don't feel anything towards the whole alicorn issue, seeing as the moment they mentioned Twilight's destiny in the teaser clips there was pretty much only one logical conclusion, being the element of Magic and all... and with Season 4 not for a long while (if at all) there will be plenty a firestorm over the duration of this year. I can only think that the anger towards the finale is the fact that it really is occurring too "soon", and would seem like something that would be reserved for the final season of the Friendship is Magic incarnation. However, the episode isn't for another two weeks, so we'll only have to wait and see how this all pans out.

Instead of freaking out about the output, I just wonder what will happen in the manipulation stage. inb4takedowncelestialunadiscordnightmaremoonchrysalissomenewvillainscrewallofcanon5everandthenmarrysomehumanandfusewithallherfriendsandbecomeamegacornoptimusprime

PonydoraPrancypants said... Reply to comment

Well, at least everyone will finally have to agree with me that Rarity is best Mane 6 unicorn. :)

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

@PonydoraPrancypants

She became an alicorn in Season 1 so there aren't any best unicorns in the Mane 6. She's still best pony though. Har de har.

Harwick said... Reply to comment

Both the artist and romantic in me loves this. Give it a watch if you haven't already.

PonydoraPrancypants said... Reply to comment

That's gorgeous! I've never seen anything like it before, and I have to wonder at the technology involved. Also, a very cute little story.

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

Ohh, boo, I really don't think I shall ever be able to catch up here now, I'm simply too far behind at this point! This is so tragic, and especially since I spent so much time trying to type up catch-up posts to everyone the other night, many of which would probably seem silly to post now in light of the new direction the conversations have taken. Oh well, maybe late is still better than nothing, meh...

@Harwick

I had an adorable reaction to that Rarijack artwork of yours? Oh, well, I'll have you know that you are quite adorable in your own way, as well, and once again I just can't say enough about that precious artwork (no wonder it's so popular on Tumblr; people there obviously have very good taste!)! Thank you so very much again for making/coloring it for me, and now that you have so graciously given me permission to use it in any way I might see fit (as I may have mentioned before), don't be surprised if you see it suddenly pop up somewhere like my deviantART page, for instance! <3 The adorableness must be shared with the entire world, if you ask me.

And ahaha yes, the followup to the particularly spirited conversation that day... (and yes everyone, if you've ever wondered about the sorts of things that Harwick and I discuss over the phone, in addition to art and the creative process, fanfictions and pony-shippings, and the occasional rant about women's cosmetic products, this is pretty much it). First off congratulations to you on your most impressive pickle purchase! I have to tell you, that the next day following that conversation I believe, my mother and I actually began discussing your interest in gourmet artisanal pickles after I mentioned the subject over lunch, and now she's keenly interested in just how fabulous these things really are. So, for her sake as well as my own I have to say that I really am looking forward to your thorough reviews after you've finally had a chance to start sampling your prize, and maybe some photos if you manage to construct yourself a particularly impressive dagwood sandwich with them (I might like to see one of these from you anyway, after all of the hype!).

Thank you for sharing that article about the crows as well (I didn't tell you, but I saw the mass-murder again the next evening as well, but not again since) as that is indeed very interesting, and also that website that does the 3-D printing! I think it's absolutely fascinating, and especially as I've gotten to see just what you were talking about. Not just in regards to pony-producs either (though I definitely have several ideas in mind that I'd love to see brought to life) but just in general... the possibilities really do seem like they must be endless.

Lastly, as well, thank you for sharing that absolutely fantastic animated short. You already all know what a hopeless romantic I am, and though I had heard of it before, I had just never seen it for whatever reason... that animation is simply breathtaking though. So incredibly sweet~!! <3 <3

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

Hmm, speaking of romantic things, I am sharing this video with all of you simply because I found it absolutely gorgeous, adorable, and plain touching for the pure connection that these two people obviously have with one another. I had never even heard of The Civil Wars until recently, but despite the fact that I had never been much into country music for most of my life, there is just something about the simpleness and honesty of that music that managed to touch my heart in an incredibly powerful way. Oh, see, listen to me I'm getting all poetic again now just thinking about it... still though, I must say that if anyone ever came and sang a song like that to me with any sort of conviction, I really think I would have to consider marrying them right on the spot. <3

@zhoomcar

I know, it really had been rather quiet around here until recently (which I am obviously largely to blame for, I realize... I'm sorry). Shortly after I last posted here (not last night, meaning, but the time before that) of course something else had to go wrong with my silly body now that the rest of me has started feeling better, and the short dizzy spells that I had begun experiencing over the past six months or so had gotten to the point that I was having an increasingly hard time focusing on a computer screen for any length of time. It turns out that my eyesight had changed and I was in need of a new prescription, and after getting accustomed to that I decided it was in my best interest to turn my attention back to my deviantART backlog for a little while, since that had also started getting quite out of hand again. One of these days, I swear it, I am going to be ALL caught up on my messages everywhere, and it's going to feel simply AMAZING!

In the meantime, of course, I sincerely do appreciate your efforts to try and breathe some life back into the blog in my absence. I'm still not sure who my favorite "incidental pony" of the season might be on that note, but I'll probably have to second Jody and say Aunt Applesauce... she was admittedly quite cute. Also, on a far more important note, I really have to give you serious kudos for the work you've managed to accomplish so far on your future PMV! Even as it is, just now in its unfinished state I think you have done an excellent job, perfectly timed/paced and with excellent scene transitions. Wonderful, I look forward to seeing more!

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

And with that, once again I'm afraid that I'm going to have to leave most of you hanging for a while longer, since I need to be heading off to work now. I'll do my best to finish getting all caught up when I get home tonight and/or tomorrow, though! <3

Harwick said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds
Ah... "adorable in my own way." Sure, that's the kind of qualifier that one uses when discussing unfortunate looking housepets, but considering that I've seen that type of cat breed you've considered buying, I know you have enough affection for such things to take it as flattery.

Speaking of our rambling conversations, did I ever tell you that your cosmetics rant gave me a fanfic idea? I'm not sure I'm really the best person to write it though. Still, the whole Twilight thing coming up kind of messed up whatever ideas I had for ones about her, so maybe that new one will have to be the story I threaten-to-write-but-never-do.

Tomorrow (or today, depending on when you read this) is the day the pickles are scheduled to arrive! I'm very eager to give them a try myself. Sadly, I don't have the makings for a great sandwich around the house yet, but I'm sure I'll find myself making one eventually.

I need to check out that video still... my computer is currently freezing when I try to watch it... some plug-in crashed earlier and I likely have to restart.

@PonydoraPrancypants
@WhiteDiamonds

I had heard of the animated short before as well, and I believe I have seen art inspired by it on Deviant Art, but that was the first time I got to see it for myself as well.

As I understand it, it's 3-D rendering with a process that combines it with hand-drawn animation for a distinctive look. Love the black and white and the brilliant lighting, especially.

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

Ooh, it's that short film that aired before Wreck-it-Ralph! Is it wrong to say I got more out of this than the actual feature film itself? Not that I didn't like it, of course... Also, I had no idea Disney posted these things on YouTube. (instant faved)

@WhiteDiamonds

Transitions used: Fade out between clips on about three occasions; Cut to black - That particular part of the episode was already set up that way, so I had most of my work cut out for me already mehehe. Also I guess eventually I'll have to figure out how to apply visual effects to these things (although it's not really required for this particular PMV).

Anywho, we're all quite glad to have you back, and I hope your condition improves soon! Yay!

I've actually started progress on a second PMV project, this time radically different from the first in terms of song choice, and it looks like it'll be Rainbow Dash centric. By progress I've literally just threw up a title screen, but this however will probably let me experiment more with using greenscreen samples, vectors and visual effects (But at least it's half as long as the first). Spike PMV will be finished in due time, most likely sometime in February.

Anon said... Reply to comment

("My hope were you right all along"? Oh, how I butcher this language when I neglect to preread my comments...)

@Harwick

I understand with your points, and part of the reason why I'm concerned about it is not so much that she has a royal title and the potential to take responsibility for a land of her own. I described this to WhiteDiamonds when we were discussing genderbent ponies, that the show has a balance among the characters that keeps them all relevant and useful in their own ways. Alicorn Twilight probably won't be such a fast flier as Rainbow Dash, but the ability to fly was the most important skill in the show that Twilight lacked, and the other "action hero" type mane 6 proudly displayed. As an alicorn princess, Twilight is physically, mentally and influentially superior to her friends in almost every way besides speed of flight and endurance (and minor talents like dressmaking). I have read that she will not abandon her friends, and they are still needed for the Elements to be activated, but it still makes Twilight incomparably and quite obviously better than her friends, who were created on the premise of being her equals despite their differences. Some fans have compared it to a sort of "Jesus and Friends" trope. Though Twilight has already acted as a walking deus ex machina many times in the past, it has never been established or displayed so plainly. She may have many powerful spells for a variety of scenarios, but she still had her limits where she needed her friends' help. This new relationship makes the other characters less necessary for anything aside from the use of the Elements.

The real reason why I care so much about it, though, is mostly that it's just an eyesore. Fans were initially worried about the inclusion of Cadance not because they thought her personality or her role was unrealistic, but simply because she had both a horn and wings at once. DHX Media did a good job of giving her a believable personality and writing her into the story in a fitting manner, but when all was said and done, she probably didn't need to be alicorn to suit her role. To me, making Twilight an alicorn is like giving her permanently glowing red eyes. It probably won't present itself most of the time, but it is a constant reminder that the character was changed despite the change being completely unnecessary. Plus, it doesn't look good on her. In a village of earth ponies, a tall winged unicorn will stick out like a thumb as sore as her fans. Character progression is a great thing, and we are probably due for some of it right about now. I just wish that of all things they could have given Twilight, it was anything besides glowing red eyes.

Many fans are suggesting that we maintain our faith in the producers, but the problem is not that I'm worried that they won't handle it well. I don't doubt that the writers have laid it out in the best way possible. In the end, though, it's still Twilight turning into an alicorn. We have predicted this would happen for many months by now. I'm just a bit disappointed that it's going to turn out now. I'm not shocked or worried, just kind of sad. Good things come to an end, I suppose. I am sure the show and the character will not be entirely ruined, but I'm going to miss the regular ol' unicorn.

Anon said... Reply to comment

(Short version: "I think that would make her a bit too Celestia-esque, and this means I have to ignore the wings from now on.")

@Harwick

On brighter topics than that midlife crisis, that animation is rather unique in its style. While I have seen many such romantic shorts in the past, they never do get old. Quite a marvel, thanks for sharing it with us.

@zhoomcar

It has been a privilege.

@WhiteDiamonds

Well, you are very welcome back, regardless. I'm sure you know how much we've missed you. (Especially those of us who only contact you through this blog.) I can also see the appeal you have derived from that song, even though I have never been one to listen to country either. I promise not to find a way to abuse its powers.

Feel free to skip over any of my responses if you need to save time. And really, your eyesight has been affected by all of this? I guess the prescription you were referring to was in glasses or reading glasses, or possibly contacts. I hope it won't effect your future art in any case, but who knows - you might just be the next Monet.

CaineScroll said... Reply to comment

@Harwick
Weird, I just looked at it via a friend on Facebook. It's a charming little story, and I do recall seeing the concept art for it somewhere (I don't really recall where that was, though). With regards to the animation I think it was a kind of mix between both traditional and digital animation (sorry for being way too obvious here ^^;)...they also did a great job portraying New York in the 1940's; it's always been one of my favourite interpretations of the city.

And by the way, you really sound like Rena...why do people who are irresistibly cute, inside and/or out, keep denying that? It's not like cuteness is taboo...is it? O_O"

Harwick said... Reply to comment

@zhoomcar

I thought that might have been where people originally saw it... I still haven't seen that feature, but want to.


@Anon
All of your opinions are wrong, and I shall now refute them with my logic!

Well, no... Those are perfectly valid points and come down into the feel of things, which I certainly can't expect to talk you out of. Generally, I wouldn't have gone this route if it had been my call, personally, just because I prefer the idea of her being a "regular ol' unicorn" as well. It makes her accomplishments somehow seem more impressive if she's not so marked as being special as to expect such things from her. I traditionally like the unappreciated underdog best myself, and so seeing her make good before the end of the tale takes away any chance of my casting her in that role, really.

That said, I still tend to look on the upside... All too often, the story *does* end on the point where the hero accomplishes a great goal and is rewarded for it, and I find it very refreshing to see her have to deal with what comes next. (The most comparable examples that I can think of are stories that come back and focus on the next generation... the hero's children and such, where the original hero-made-good is just a supporting character at best.) I doubt it's going to be as drastic a change as many expect/fear, but the chance that it could be certainly adds some mystery and excitement to things for me.

Harwick said... Reply to comment

@Anon cont.

As for unbalancing the group, there could be some of that but in all honesty it's only Rainbow Dash's talent for flight that is threatened at all with redundancy (assuming Twilight at least eventually becomes a competent flier, though like you I'm sure she'll never match for speed), and I certainly don't think that the others have all been useless except for wielding their elements all this time. Applejack has traditionally been relied on for support and level-headedness, Rarity for her creativity, Pinkie for morale, Fluttershy for her nurturing ways, and Dash for action and commitment. Most of them have "action traits" that pop up, like Dash's rainboom or general super-speed, Fluttershy's stare, AJ's physical talents and Pinkie's ability to randomly produce things, and I don't really see Twilight ever matching any of those either. (Aside from showing surprising melee skills, Rarity hasn't really been given her own remarkable skill beyond her Fashion and Gem talents.)

Really, at most I see the addition of wings meaning that they can't use heights as a danger/obstacle for Twilight any longer (unless she can't fly any better than Fluttershy, whose wings tend to freeze up when scared.) Admittedly, the dropped Twilight off of things quite often, so that might be more of a cramp in their style than one would expect, but still...

I do hope she's not going to be any taller. EQD posted a size comparison which made it look like Princess Twi was a bit taller than Rainbow Dash, but I wasn't really convinced... It wasn't from an actual scene, just someone posting assets sides by side, and while they were indeed scaled correctly when looking at head size and such, there's a lot of leeway for squash and stretch with those models. Twilight might have just been standing up straighter with her head placed farther up her neck on that particular shot, rather than the show intending that she's actually bigger than she used to be. Hard to say just yet.

In any event, when faced with the news I do indeed see things that could be a detraction from bits about the show that I liked. However, ultimately I feel like I've had enough of a chance to enjoy those things, and am willing to give them up in order to explore some brand new takes and ideas.

I joked over on my blog (where I posted a quick Purple Pony Princess sketch) that now we get the chance to see Twi and Scootaloo go to Flight Camp together. But you know what? I do want to see that. Sure, she might be a natural at flying as was Rarity with her butterfly wings, but maybe we'll get the "Rainbow Dash teaches her to fly" storyline instead... and that's a fun possibility. I'd love to see more of Cloudsdale now that half of the cast can navigate it more easily... Hell, I'd love to see Twilight assigned to learn more about how each type of pony lives now that she's a princess. Does she now have a connection to Earth Pony magic, and can she learn how to tap it from Applejack? I'd love to see her have to learn diplomacy and dealing with the nobility, and have Rarity teach her proper grace and manners. In short, my mind can spin off all sorts of fun possibilities that can be mined from this change, and as a result I'm really tickled to see what the show's creative staff ends up doing with it.

And really... I don't think the wings look bad on her. Of course, her crown/coronation dress could definitely be improved upon, however...

@CaineScroll

I have no doubt that the lovely Ms. Turnip is adorable in many ways, certainly. And for the record, I never actually denied such a thing about myself. I'm plenty adorable, dammit.

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Poppun

Well hello again darling, such a long time indeed since I've seen you posting around the blog! Welcome back. ^_^ And oh, what a lovely little artwork is that that you've brought to share in your return; poor Applejack! Haha, I really did laugh out loud at that, her expression is just priceless (and what is it about seeing Rarity torture Applejack with cosmetics and hair products that just delights me to no end..?)... thank you so very much for sharing!

Regarding myself, I am indeed feeling somewhat better now that I have been put on a hormone replacement treatment (which I will probably have to remain on for the rest of my life, but c'est la vie)... I still have some ups and downs but overall things seem to be improving, thank you for asking. And my mother is at last doing much better on her new medications as well and seems to be completely back to normal at this point, after several very scary moments for me. I really do appreciate the well-wishes and kind sympathies, thank you! <3

@Anon

Hello dear. Thank you very much for the kind welcome back, and I have missed you quite a lot too, I have to say!

First off, as with Poppun, I thank you very much for all of your kind sentiments and well-wishes regarding my health. As I told her I have indeed been feeling better now that I've been put on my thyroid "medication" (again, it's really more of a hormone replacement to make up for what I'm somehow not producing on my own, and is long-term if not lifelong management as opposed to a treatment/cure), and now that I've realized my eyesight has changed and I've gotten a new prescription I'm certainly feeling much better. I don't at all think it was "all of this" that has affected me at all (and by that I assumed you meant my condition, or possibly my online duties)... unfortunately I think it's just something that happens to most people sooner or later in life, but at least there are contact lenses. And nice designer eyeglass frames for when the situation calls for it, whee~

Ah, I see about all of that concerning WordPress and my blog and whatnot. If it's something that even you would consider to not be easy/simple, and likely not anything that would even be worth the effort anyway than I'm sure it would be immensely difficult for me, and I'm happy to take your word on the whole matter. Thank you very much for looking into it for me though, you really are such a dear!

Aaaaaaaaaa that Rarijack artwork is absolutely beautiful and adorable, aaaaghh!! <3 <3 **spasms** WHY have I never seen it on deviantART so I can favorite it and add it to my group!?! Well, I'm sure you all know that if it really had been me behind it I would have posted it here for you all to roll your eyes at me and good-naturedly indulge me in my shameless shippery, but alas~ I sincerely wish I could claim credit for it though... **pout**

As for the gif, haha, I have indeed seen that one before as I believe I actually posted it in the comments here myself, once upon a time. Still it's a classic, and would make for an ideal webcam image now that I think about it.

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Anon

Anyway though, moving on to more important matters now... that fabulous artwork of yours! Even though it took forever to load on my computer, I have to say it was well worth it, and allow me to echo the others when I tell you I was not at all expecting anything of this calibre going by your comments or even by anything we've seen from you so far (and even though I was also quite impressed by your very first artwork you shared with us all some time ago, considering your lack of experience). Though we may work very differently and approach art and the creative process with entirely different attitudes, this just goes to show that there is indeed no right or wrong way to do anything, and that by hard work and dedication alone anyone can accomplish amazing feats (something I am happy to tell everyone, and you are a fabulous living example!). Thank you very much for sharing your efforts with us, and now that I know what you can do I am even more excited to see whatever you might have in store for us all later, and especially if you ever did decide to tackle an escargot-sampling Rarity since I dearly love that idea, haha. Ganbarimasu, dear~!

There are just a few more little things I did want to touch on, because honestly even with your gracious words I of course would never dream of skimping on my replies to you (I do enjoy writing them as well, you know). First off on the matter of cheesecake I actually think, in my own experience, that it's easier to find people who are familiar with it or in any case eat it more frequently than fish, though I will admit that the complete lack of eggs in one's diet is a bit strange and unheard of to me, unless one is of vegan inclinations or has some kind of allergy or whatever. Have you honestly never even tried them, or do you just not care for them? In any case, considering how much I enjoy sampling new things, when and if we ever manage to meet each other in person someday (and I sincerely hope that we will!) I'm sure we will have a fabulous time together! ^_~ I had to laugh at your mention of the infamously repulsive red bananas since, as Harwick told you, we had only just been discussing them again recently, and on the matter of the mysterious markings you managed to spot in his artworks I can tell you that I actually am in on the secret of what they mean now, but this may only be because I am actually a unicorn from the future, and so naturally am privy to such things. Lastly, but not at all leastly I'm very happy to hear that you enjoyed that song... I don't normally share things like that you all know but again, as a romantic that one just hit me in all the right places and I thought it was too incredibly sweet not to share. <3

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Obsequiosity

Ah yes, and your post about "Keep Calm and Flutter On" reminds me of the fact that I haven't discussed the episode yet myself, nor the following one from last weekend. As for the first, I don't think there's anything I could say that has not already been touched on, with far more insight and eloquence, by some of our friends here, and Ponydora in particular seems to be of the same mindset as myself. To summarize, I will echo the majority in saying that I definitely would have preferred to see Discord remain a villain in the series, or at least a more threatening antagonist than what it seems he has now become, even though he thankfully is not so reformed that he will be above causing trouble (and opening up all sorts of fascinating storyline possibilities in the process, I'm sure, which is some consolation) by the looks of things. Considering that the writers seem set on taking him away from being a truly threatening presence now though, despite my serious misgivings about the idea, I wish they would have put more thought into how they executed the reformation so that it felt more believable; as has been said I'm not even sure if a longer time frame would have made a difference or not, but I think it would have been nice to see some flashbacks or otherwise be given more of a sense that he felt lonely, shunned, or like something was somehow missing from his existence so that we could understand why he might value Fluttershy's friendship enough to want to change for it. Oh well though, even though I'd have to say I was quite disappointed with the concept and execution overall, there were some moments and things about the episode that I liked very much, and in particular this scene made me laugh myself silly and reminded me fondly of "The Sword in the Stone" with the naughty magical tableware. Poor Rarity, but her flailing limbs in that scene as she hits the floor are just too hilarious for words.

As for "Just for Sidekicks", well... it seems that I am unfortunately in the minority here as I thought the episode felt like filler that would have been much better spent as a Rarity-centric twenty-two minutes, for example, or in any case on a somewhat more compelling storyline since this season is so regrettably short and Spike/CMC-heavy as-is. As with the Discord episode there were at least some enjoyable moments and cute bits of animation though (Applejack with her "barking" hooves was definitely my favorite part), but overall I thought it was rather lacklustre, and so I won't say too much since I really would hate to be a complete spoilsport, here!

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@PonydoraPrancypants

Though I still have yet to listen to the other half of your interview, I'm afraid (shame on me I know, and I really do apologize for it), I did want to tell you that I have read "Racist Barn" at last, and have to say that I enjoyed it immensely! As Harwick said, it really is tremendously clever and entertaining (I imagine as a writer it must be refreshing just to do a fun frivolous one-shot every now and then, much like how I had to draw some quick silly cartoons just to lighten my spirits back when I was focusing so heavily on more detailed commissioned paintings), and though I'll admit that even I had a difficult time picking up on your subtle Rarijack hints my trusty shipping goggles did alert me when Applejack mentioned she and Rarity working out their "issues" at least, so that was fun. Mostly, the idea was just terribly amusing, and I loved Twilight and Pinkie Pie throughout... poor Applejack, even in fanfictions it seems that both she and her barn just can't catch a break!

On your small point about gem value in Equestria, I have to say that was actually one other thing I didn't really like about that episode, since it seems to go against everything we have been led to surmise from canon before (considering that gems seem to be quite abundant, that we know Rarity quite literally covers her outfits in them routinely, and not to mention the fact that Spike munches them down like Cheez-Its). At the time part of me actually wondered if it wasn't meant to be some sort of nod to or tie-in with that pony computer game that recently came out (even though I've never played it myself, thanks to Harwick I am aware of how it seems to shamelessly try and extort real cash from players in exchange for coveted gems), but considering that the episode was probably written long before the fact I'm sure this is unlikely. Oh well though, even if you're right I suppose that would just mean that my own headcanon about Rarity secretly being happiest in Ponyville with her friends (maybe even unbeknownst to herself) as opposed to choosing to live a life of glamour and luxury in Canterlot suddenly has a little more weight to it, or at least it would seem so if she is actually that unbelievable wealthy and could probably afford to live next-door to Princess Celestia quite easily!

Finally, lest I forget, thank you so very much for you kind wishes to my own good health, as well as that of my family. I sincerely appreciate it, and I hope that you and yours are likewise doing fabulous!

@jodyjm13

Yay, new photographs from Jody! As you may have been able to surmise from remarks I've made here in the past, I dearly love beautiful winter scenes, and though I'm sadly still quite behind in my deviantART comments (probably even moreso again now, since I haven't logged in for a few days) I will certainly write some proper comments on each of those images when I have the time. As for that link you posted, dear Goddess but that is some crazily adorable artwork... little colt-Braeburn is simply too darling for words!! Thank you so very much for sharing with us!

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Coconutswallow

Ah, dearest you're back! Long time no see, indeed. Though the feelings of decided calm and complete confidence in the writers that I initially felt when I heard the news about you-know-what have faded slightly now, admittedly, for the most part I think I'm doing a good job of remaining steadfastly neutral on the entire matter, much like you yourself seem to be doing. I think, for me the big issue comes down to whether or not this drastic change will indeed be made permanent in every sense of the word (completely altering Twilight's appearance irreversibly, that is), or whether or not it will be more temporary or else incorporated into the story in a way that none of us would expect, despite the conclusions that people seem to be drawing from that EW article. Personally, I'm still not convinced that we are interpreting things correctly, and considering the fact that the writers have managed to pull some pretty impressive twists before I have confidence that they will be able to handle this whole thing in a way that works, and that will not change the dynamic of the characters and show too drastically. If not, well, I can commence worrying about the matter at that point, but until we know all the ins and out of everything I think it's fruitless to get worked up over the matter, or else to spend so much time needlessly speculating.

Anyway, it is nice to see you around and posting again, I have to say. Welcome back!

@Harwick

Hey you, don't judge me, or Cornish Rex cats for that matter! Certainly I meant that as a compliment you silly goober, and I'll have you know that breed is renowned for having excellent social personalities and vast intelligence, even if they do look like alien-felines. Besides it's not my fault that I'm allergic to regular cats and would like to have something that I could more easily cuddle without fear, not that said allergy has ever really stopped me from attempting that with all of my other cats anyway, I guess...

Anyhow, moving on to the rest of your post. No you had never-ever mentioned anything about any fanfiction ideas, but now that you have told me you simply must write it, you must! I soooo want to know whatever it is you have in mind now, and speaking of your previous Twilight story ideas, it's funny that you bring them up because I actually had the very same thought about them the other night, after learning the news about Twilight's soon-to-be-realized destiny (if it pans out as expected that is). Since it seems I will now have to live with never seeing your Amadeus-Twilight crossover story realized, the least you could do is write this one, after teasing me like that!

In the meantime I'm very happy for you that you now have your pickles, and I'm looking forward to hearing all about this amazing taste-sensation once you've had a chance to experience it. Lastly, despite whatever mixed feelings I may have about the idea of a permanent Twilight-alicorn, I have to say that you impress me as always with your delightful artworks... that little piece is just lovely and I thank you so very much for sharing it with us!

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@zhoomcar

Perhaps just because I know very little (or nothing, really) about the video editing process, I find all of this quite fascinating and once again, allow me to say that I think you've done a very good job with your work so far, dear! I'm looking forward to your Rainbow Dash video as well, especially now that I know what you're capable of. Thank you very much for your sweet and thoughtful well-wishes (and speaking of sweet, even though I've said it before you really were quite adorable in your previous YouTube avatar), and "megacornoptimusprime", I laughed out loud!



Well it's late here now, but at least I can rest easy tonight knowing that I've finally caught up with my long-overdue blog comments at last (or for now, anyways). Perhaps I'll manage to tackle deviantART again tomorrow if all goes well, but in the meantime do have what has got to be the cutest Rarity image from 'MyLittleFaceWhen' ever... that's just plain adorable, really.

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

@HarwickMid-response my glasses slipped from my face and fell to the floor, but anyway...

@WhiteDiamonds

As do I, I only seem to know so much off reading what others have written / taking example from PMVs which I particularly liked (The Stars Will Aid In Her Escape being a personal favourite) and playing too many Asian-produced rhythm/music games with cutesy anime-style music videos. Also I guess to quote Harwick: "I'm plenty adorable, dammit". That picture was like more than three years old anyway, given that my YouTube account would be used for more than keeping tabs on people, commenting, favouriting videos etc at this point, the place deserved a good cleaning up. So now it's the lady from Paperman.

Sweet internet personality calls me sweet. It's a vicious, neverending cycle. One I'm much more pleased to be a part of, really.

@Harwick

That is seriously going to be my quote for the day. Heh.



While it's not romantic, this track still gives me plenty of feels anyhow.

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

@zhoomcar

Confound it, and my iPad's lack of memory. That first @Harwick wasn't supposed to be there at all!

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

My brain did a 720 degree backflip and instead decided to create a different PMV instead. I just wanted to make a PMV about alicorn Twilight, but this happened instead. Linky linky?

RenaTurnip said... Reply to comment

Hello, everyone! I'm so sorry that I've been so blatantly absent lately. I've been in good health, rest assured, but I've been awfully busy and I admit I've been pursuing personal interests over most social activities lately, and I apologize for this. I know I've missed a lot here, and on top of which, I'm not going to have the time to really catch up :c But I have neglected the blog a bit long, so I'm sorry for that. I just sort of wanted to check in, of course. I'm glad that life has picked up here again! The dry spell was a bit unusual, I'll say.

That said, I am just rushing to bed now, but I'm glad to see you're all still silly and awesome as usual. Anon, you're great at art, and Harwick, I fully believe that you're as adorable as you say you are! :o

CaineScroll said... Reply to comment

Thanks to Rena, I now how this totally insane idea that Harwick is actually a bishonen in real life. Cannot unsee. O_O"

*scrolls away*

Coconutswallow said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

I am back! Can you believe it? I'm like that one (so-called) friend who shows up randomly at your door without warning, crashes at your place for a few days, makes an absolute mess, and then leaves and drops off the radar for a year. What would polite society do without me?

Well thank you ever so much for the welcome back! Life has become somewhat of a bouncer for this blog when it comes to me. Here's to hoping my ID is legitimate this time.

I think the neutral attitude about all this season finale hoopla is the best one to adopt in a situation such as this, so I commend you for taking it. I also entirely agree with you in that we haven't yet gotten the full picture. Just looking at the synopsis of the last episode, I think it's quite obvious that some vital component about this whole thing is missing, and therein will be the episode's saving grace, the wit, the cleverness that we've come to expect from the writers of this show.

Is that the Civil Wars I see you posting? Excellent taste, I do say! They are amazing are they not? And yes, their connection is such a close one, both in their musical harmony and personally. They're like a country flavored Simon & Garfunkel. (And by all means, get as poetic as you wish talking about it, it's the only way to discuss music of that sort.)

Also, when it comes to your health, am I interpreting all of these posts I've missed correctly? That everything is now hunky dory? I say, that is quite a relief to hear. A lot of people I know have been having medical issues left and right in this past month and I certainly don't need you added to that list! I forbid it!

Coconutswallow said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

Hear! Hear!

I'm very excited myself over the potential that can come with such a change as this. Shows often have a tendency to stagnate themselves when they repeat a formula over and over again. Throwing in something relatively ground-shaking can be great for reinvigorating a show or spinning it in a new and fascisnatiing direction, even a "kid's show" such as this.

Not to say they have to change the formula too drastically. As you've said, keeping Twilgiht's new status "secret" would be an intriuging approach and even keeping the whole transformation overt wouldn't mean they'd have to abandon the core Mane Six dynamic. After all, they've made it quite clear this is still the Twiight we've all come to know and love. There's no way the show's writers would let her new power tailspin the show away from its primary themes.

As I've been saying elsewhere on the nets, I can't help but think of Whedon's writing when it comes to this sort of thing. He was a master of taking a show in very different directions while still keeping the core themes and elevating the entertainment values above what viewers even thought possible. I mean, the man continued a program a whole two seasons after an event that for most writers would have been the conclusion, and out of that came, in my opinion, the best season of the whole show.

Who's to say the same can't be done here?

Ah, Paperman! You're right on my wavelegnth. I just saw that a few days ago. That is such an amazing throw back to older-school animation and the classic-love-at-first-sight-meet-cute. All with a healthy dose of "look how far animation tech has come" and a beautiful style. Simply mind blowing.

You have a fanfic idea? Would it help you any at all to write it if I say... hounded you to the ends of the earth until you did? Seriously, I would jump on a fanfic written by you like Spike on the Star of Bombay. The fact that this idea of yours is inspired by cosmetics only makes me more amused at the prospect. You're already a master with the digital paintbrush, I can only imagine your digital pen is just as sharp.

Wait... wait just another moment-- you had an Amadeus crossover planned!? Sweet Vulcan on a winter's day, write that as well! Let not this season's finale wreck what can very easily be labeled AU canon if need be. That just sounds amazing!

@zhoomcar

Oh wow, that PMV was quite, quite good! Excellent build up and symmetry between the villanous setup and the justice is served conclusion. Also, it was short and sweet, a trait I think other PMVs could learn something from.

Plus: Adele. Lavish bonus points.

@RenaTurnip

Fear not, for I have been gone far longer than you and in so doing make your absence appear but a breather.

And don't worry, I'm never catching up with everything I missed, either.

@CaineScroll

And thank you for that image... Thank you oh so much...

Harwick said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

You know that I would never judge you for your affection towards mutant wrinkly felines. However, I think even the cats must know what relying on the whole "great personalities" description means about their personal appearance.

As for the pickles, so far the Whiskey Sour ones are definitely winners. Honestly, they have a very complex taste to them, and while I wouldn't leap to describe it as "pleasing" I do find them delicious in their own way. In fact, I can't bring myself to use them on a sandwich where they'd be lost among other flavors. So far, I've just been eating them straight out of the jar. (The extra spicey ones have been used on most sandwich creations so far.)



(Comments to be continued tomorrow...sorry.)

Harwick said... Reply to comment

@zhoomcar

I so rarely get quoted for my wit and wisdom. It's a crime, really.

Nice job on the "Twifall" PMV! I still have to see that flick, but I quite liked the dramatic pony clips set to the theme. Some nice effects in there as well. Poor Twilight... at least it ends happily.

@CaineScroll
@RenaTurnip

If a "bishonen" can be old and grizzly, then yes... I certainly qualify.


@Coconutswallow

Just when I thought I had at least somewhat of a handle on where they'd take the show with Alicorn Twilight, news today breaks of pony spin-off products (and possibly a show to go with it) aimed at an older audience, and a TV movie that will help launch this new IP. Who knows where we're going from here. However, "Friendship is Magic" is confirmed to have 26 new episodes for season 4 now, so that's good at least.

Speaking of Whedon, I just watched "Cabin in the Woods" last weekend. Really enjoyed it, and loved the 3rd act. It's a frustrating film in that you literally can not talk about what's great about it without giving the whole thing away.

In any event, yes... he often did a good job of advancing a story to startling new places and set-ups and having them pay off handsomely. (My favorite may have been when he had the cast of the originally-a-detective-show Angel take over the running of what was essentially their arch-enemy's demonic law firm... such a huge change in set-up, and yet since the characters were so well defined and written the show didn't miss a step.)

I do, in fact, tend to churn out fanfic ideas from time to time. Drawing does not really occupy all of my mind when I'm at it, and so it's only natural that it turns over pony while I'm at work detailing them. This isn't to say that I ever actually get around to writing them, mind you... I used to write quite a lot of original fiction for an online writing group, and I've shared some of it with Di and Ponydora, but I've kind of lost the knack for it over the years. Now writing is like pulling teeth... I can spend hours just forcing out a few hundred words.

Still, it doesn't mean that the ideas don't come. I did in fact once outline an idea to explain Twilight's original antisocial nature and current borderline mental health with a story about a Salieri-like teacher at Celestia's school who had ambitions to be the one to restore Celestia's sister before a little purple prodigy arrived, whose existence and abilities mocked his entire life's work. That's one of the few fanfic ideas that wouldn't be affected at all by the season finale, actually.

My most current ideas were indeed inspired by a rant on cosmetics by the lovely Ms. Diamonds. I'd need a little more time to mull that one over before I even worked out the broadstrokes, let alone considered actually writing it though. I guess for either one, I wouldn't start holding my breath.

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

So, on MLP the comic Issue #3... I thought this particular issue was hilarious, with the costumes, and the Rarijack, and the CMC still not entirely fazed with being filly-napped. This story-arc is only getting better, though there's been no appearance of wall-eyed beings in this issue... though that could be me.

On bad news, MLP: Fighting is Magic has finally received a C&D from Hasbro's legal department. It seemed inevitable, seeing the amount of press it had received with the Gamespot feature and its potential at EVO, but this could have come at a worse time, when people are still kind of trying to get over Twilight with wings Things can only get worse if they begin targeting fan-created music (all the paranoia!). Final call to board flight EQ574 out of the fandom...

@Coconutswallow

Thanks for the comment! I'm not really a fan of Adele myself, but hearing this in the movie really blew me away, so I had to make an exception there. On the topic of video length, I've generally thought that something between about 1:45-3:00 in length comes off as feature-filled enough for me, but then the main problem with making truncated PMVs is that there's significantly less space to squeeze in content, unless your track had a relatively high BPM of fast lyrics. Additionally it indeed is a comfortable length to watch without feeling that you're simply idling away on a video, as for most PMVs I've seen things begin to get a little tired three/four minutes in. Also I'm kind of lazy.

@Harwick

Thanks! This particular project was the first time I attempted "animation" in Sony Vegas, which I thought came out okay. The actual ability to animate anything in Vegas however is quite spartan, as it is a video editing tool first and foremost, and as a result the intro with Twilight falling took the longest to make (even then transitions are still a little off). For the record, three effects were used, mainly for transitions.

Happy Chinese New Year to all, as well! May the blog continue to prosper in the times to come.

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

So how about this week's episode? The first to run concurrently with another (which was a neat touch). Dave Polsky gets another shot at an episode for the season, which turned out alright. The weakest part of it would have to be the

[Spoiler territory, I guess]

entire misunderstanding plot, which made me cringe a little. Other than that, nice visual gags/slapstick, an RD subplot (with rainbow-maned father!) and more Cadance/Shining Armor. Oh and I guess Rarity got a pretty important role in the episode too, even though it meant she got significantly less screen time. And for some reason the Crystal Empire has a Crystal Heart-powered ion cannon.

[That's enough for now]

So... one week til' the end of pony, seen the teasers that have popped up between ad breaks (and they've popped up A LOT) and it looks like it's going to be a doozy. Not sure what to say about Mallory Hagan though. How in the hay do these celebrities find their way into Equestria?

Harwick said... Reply to comment

Wow... quite the eventful end of the week for the fandom, wasn't it? I'll follow zhoomcar's lead and run through my thoughts on a few of them.

I too really enjoyed the latest issue of the comic, which had a good deal of rather wicked, dark humor within it to counteract the idea of everything being sunshine and rainbows in Equestria. Perhaps it's a bit easy to go that route in appealing to older audiences, but so far I don't mind it. Besides, those cute little kitten things really had to go.

Next, the cease-and-desist order hitting "Fighting is Magic"... I have to admit, when I heard the news my first reaction was something along the lines of "Well that took way longer than I anticipated." Not that I don't think it's a shame, but in all honesty I was amazed that they had made it that far with a "ponies beat the crap out of each other" game getting the level of attention it did before Hasbro stepped in. On the plus side, I can tell you that people in the game industry definitely took note and the effort of the developers was not in any way wasted as far as their future careers in game development goes. The trade attention, the experience making and even marketing their work, and obviously all of the portfolio examples will be highly valuable in landing them jobs in the industry. (I would be very surprised if the few members of the team who have already resigned didn't do so to jump straight to paying work for a company.)

Of course, for those of us *not* on the development team, there's not really any upside... It seems that we'll never get to play the final polish on what looked to be a really cool game. Although if Lauren Faust does team up with them to create new characters for it, then that will undoubtedly be awesome despite the great amount of new work it would put in front of them.

Next, the new episode: I thought it was fun and laughed a number of times (although sadly I had already seen the best of the Rarity stuff in the previews earlier in the week.) The crossover with "Just for Sidekicks" was a lot of fun and added a little kick to the proceedings, although I have to admit that it gave away the ending... I knew that they must have landed the games by how upbeat they all were for the return trip.

Speaking of the ending, it didn't make a lot of sense to me. I get what they were trying to go for, but it seems to me like it would only work had the games inspector not known that there was a mix up and that the tourist had gotten the overblown welcome. Still, I enjoyed the tourist and appreciated that they went the extra bit to give her a personality quirk of her own to help keep things interesting.

I do suspect that next season will include the Games themselves, and wonder if any of the Mane Six might end up competing. Do you suppose it is all individuals, or do perhaps cities put forth teams to compete? I'd love to see a Ponyville team going up against Canterlot, Cloudsdale, Fillidelphia and more.

Harwick said... Reply to comment


Oh! I almost forgot... New toys were shown at the New York Toy Fair. Looks like a lot of new, fun blindbag-sized figures are coming, including Octavia (with cello), Steven Magnet, the Manticore, Chrysalis, a gala pony, Fluttershy with her own mold (finally) and what looks like a new mold for Rarity as well. There are also some new Toys R Us exclusive regular figures which include a Shadowbolt Dash, Chrysalis (repainted alicorn... I can't tell if they did anything special with her horn or not) but most importantly, it does look to include Derpy. If so, this would be the first commercially available Derpy figure Hasbro has ever released themselves. Perhaps they're not as against the mare-who-must-not-be-named as some fear.

I already mentioned the whole "movie/spin-off IP" thing that cropped up earlier. Like I said, it was an eventful week. Now, onward to the Princess Coronation (the ads for which look like fun, I must say...) My little cousin is waiting with baited breath to see Twilight become a Princess, and I'm eager to finally see the details of it all myself.

Harwick said... Reply to comment

Wait, wait, wait... Even more importantly... Blind Bag Smarty Pants! Oh, and Flim, Silver Spoon, and Twist. Plus, Crystal Granny Smith is pretty funny.

But I don't think people know how much love I harbor for Smarty Pants.

Obsequiosity said... Reply to comment

@Harwick
I have never broke down and gotten merch yet (I kicked a Transformers merch habit years back and still have a basement full of kites, fishing poles and singing toothbrushes) but I am intrigued by Silver Spoon and Twist. Twisth is besth pony.

Kateasaurus said... Reply to comment

Hey everyone! It's been AGES since I've posted here, and I've definitely missed you all! So I just wanted to pop in and see how everyone was, and even though I've been a bit absent from here, I still follow everything you create.

So I hope you all are well! I'd like to be here a bit more, even if my life has been a bit hectic lately.

CaineScroll said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

I was incredibly upset on hearing about Fighting is Magic's predicament; I personally think it was the best fan-made work for the show to date. Then again, it might because of its wide and prolonged exposure to the public that it finally urged Hasbro to do something about it. Some people have even gone so far as to say that Hasbro is biting the hand that feeds; first we have Twilicorn which pretty much caused a conflict within the fandom, regardless of my own thoughts on it, then we have Hasbro scraping off one of the most anticipated fan work without so much as batting an eyelash. But I suppose it had to happen somehow. And I quote Zhooms here; "Final call to board flight EQ574 out of the fandom..."

@zhoomcar

Zhooms, stop giving them celebrities ideas. Last thing we want is for Ke$ha to teleport across the globe. D:

Anon said... Reply to comment

These replies are a bit late, as I've been busy with work for the past week:

@Harwick

Your words actually have helped me see the more positive sides of it, and though I may not be quite as excited for the fourth season as I was before (though in all fairness, I have so many things to do these days that I savor the weekends without new episodes), I am willing to accept what I'm given for whatever it is and make the most fun of it I can. While I would hate to disregard the long response that you have graciously provided my rant, I think I've mostly said everything I meant to. I hope I can give some credibility to those who aren't too thrilled with the change, especially as some people (like Seth) assert that the fandom "loves to freak out over these things". I do want to mention on the point about how she looks as an alicorn, apart from the image of superiority projected by a flying wizard, the big wings and horn just look busy on Twilight's small frame. I don't know how commonly artists will draw her as a unicorn from now on, but I know I will appreciate it whenever it happens.

It did bring to mind a more interesting subject, however. If the third season actually was the last, what would become of this blog and its people? With no new content from which to draw inspiration, no new stories to discuss and our main common interest mostly lost, how would we go on maintaining an active discussion board? Would we all agree to migrate to another fandom and focus our fanart efforts on its universe instead? Perhaps we would find a great fan animation and expand on that alternate universe? I ask this partly so that we can prepare for that day once it arrives. I'd like to stay in touch with you all however possible, but I'm not sure if I can provide a very thorough perspective on fancy pickles...

And I would say that your quick work on this Twilight is masterful indeed, but really, you knew that already.

Anon said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

I think most adults do have to take some sort of medication for one reason or another, so at least your condition seems to be improving. (On a somewhat related note, I recently found out through my mother that I have poor circulation. This would explain why my feet turn purple in cold weather and my fingertips are always red. I'm sure there is a joke about how I never leave my computer here somewhere.) It's not easy going without you for so long, but you should always take the time you need for yourself, and we will always be here waiting for you when you return (maybe with a new Rarijack picture or two).

On the subject of my drawing, I noticed that the server the image was hosted on did get very slow on occasion, but it was the only one I could find that would let me upload such a large picture. I would have scaled the image down, but it would mean sacrificing detail in the characters, and they really are the best part. Another option would be to remove part of the floor, but I really wanted to leave that there because the whole scene was meant to have a feeling of immersion. (Specifically, I wanted the viewer to be able to zoom all the way in and look around the area as if they were really there.) Anyway, like Harwick, it really matters most to me that you liked the results of my efforts. You are the reason that picture exists, after all.

It's almost funny how I employed so many of my own personal learning methods to make that picture. For example, to create the hair, I took a cropped part of your Rarity portrait for Tabitha St. Germain, scaled it down to the size that I was working in, looked closely at the pixels of the reference and worked out a process that would come to similar results. Just recently, I tried a new technique that involves drawing circles over the heads and eyes of pony faces and tracing the rest of the lineart to create a step-by-step process to follow. I need to work on my lineart above all else, so Harwick's work is the first I'm trying this new technique on. So far, this is my "Harwick sheet". The main purpose of this is to clearly show the proportions of things like the, er, muzzle (Can I not just call it a "breathing apparatus"?) to the rest of the head and to produce clear guidelines I can use when I make my own pony faces. It can be difficult to find a place where a circle can clearly fit the head, and I have often found that the eyelids seem to move the whole eye down instead of just cover it, but still I expect it will be very helpful for my next project. I have considered the possibilty of compiling all of these alternative learning techniques into my own guide someday. It would be the greatest show of disrepect to traditional artists since the invention of dubstep.

I can't guarantee that my next drawing will come any time soon, as I've started to miss my other creative work in the month I spent drawing, but I'm very glad to hear you liked this one. Thank you very much for helping me, as you always have. Since I am working in tablet-based digital art now, I hope you won't hesitate to point out any mistakes you might find. I would never decline a chance to improve, after all.

Anon said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

Seafood is so prevalent in Southern Florida culture that many counties and communities near the Gulf of Mexico are named after fish (like "Cape Cod"). Fishing and boating is common, and local (I use the term loosely, as I live far from civilization, but apparently nearby Harwick's parents) resuraunts tend to border docks and focus on whatever can be caught on these shores. So for someone who has lived in this state for the past eleven years, a total evasion of fish is bit unexpected. I assume the same is true to a lesser extent for cheesecake in Southern California, with its "Cheesecake Factory" fame. I am lucky to have parents who have never forced me to eat anything I don't want to try, and I rarely inquire about the assorted foods that the rest of my family enjoys. I only go to any sort of resturaunt (fast food or otherwise) once or twice a year, and over the years, my mother has always preferred to play it safe with me. Besides, I've never liked the smell of eggs. (Especially bacon. Eugh, I can't stand the smell of bacon.) Those red bananas are probably meant to be cooked for recipes, though I can hardly imagine what purpose they must serve. ("It's good, but...it's a bit too moist and delicious. A few slices of red banana will fix that!") I could go on, but I'm afraid of putting poor Harwick into some sort of post-traumatic stress.

The song has a sort of casual, unplanned honesty that you don't get from a recording studio. I think that is clear evidence that the performers care more about expressing their art than needlessly perfecting it for a commercial audience. I happen to be the farthest thing from romantic (Though I suppose I could be if I wanted to...), but even if I have no interest in that sort of relationship for myself, I understand its appeal for others. If I was a novelist, I would sooner write romances for my characters' lives than one for my own. Still, I would greatly enjoy to be a friend's proud best man someday.

Lastly, regarding "Just for Sidekicks", I think it was a relief for us after Discord's reformation to see a well-structured episode that managed to work in so many charming moments without devoting the story to them a la "Too Many Pinkie Pies". I suppose you could say that the gems that were being used as currency were more denser and valuable than the common ones dug out around Ponyville, if you needed an explanation for it. With no mane 6 characters to work with, I think they did a good job putting it all together, and they even threw in some nice character development along the way.

@zhoomcar

I haven't watched "Skyfall" either, but that's an impressive bit of animation, and I think you picked the best scenes you could to fit the music considering its theme. My taste in music is decidedly more fast-paced, but anyone can appreciate themes from theater and film. I say this as I spin through my drawing playlist full of catchy electro, all of which is pony music. (It's so beautiful...)

@CaineScroll

How else could he know so much about women's cosmetic products?

CaineScroll said... Reply to comment

@Anon

*SHOCK* Conspiracy theory! O_O

PonydoraPrancypants said... Reply to comment

Hi everyone! It's been quite a roller coaster lately with so much happening. Whoo!

First of all, to Katie, it's great to see you back here and I hope you are well. I'm aware that you've been having a rough time with some hooligans on Twitter recently for reasons entirely unrelated to you, and I'm very sorry for that and wish you all the best.

To the rest: I saw the toys debuted at the Toy Fair and ... wha??? "Steven Magnet?" The bit with Rarity and Steven in episode two pretty much cemented that she would be stealing every scene in which she featured from that point forward. Absolutely will purchase those figures. Likewise, I really like the look of some of these official plush figures, and will certainly pick up one or two because - why not? They're adorable and fluffy. I was especially happy to see Derpy Hooves, though I'm not sure if she has been confirmed to be "Derpy" or not. "Derpy Hooves"(TM). Ha! I hope that she isn't "Bubbly Hooves" or something, but except that will be the case.

I was fairly amused and entertained by "Games Ponies Play." It was certainly an unusual episode, as I felt throughout the entire thing that I was watching an episode of "Friends" or another half hour live action sitcom rather than an episode of FiM. All that was missing was the laugh track. Even if it wasn't very "pony-y" or "magical," I liked the goofball tourist quite a bit - the "Wild Mustang from Mustangia," heh. I appreciated that they had to get Rarity out of the picture because she is the only one who would never have bought loopy Chickita as the official Games Inspector. :P For whatever reason the only moment I really laughed was at Rainbow's "and we're walkin', and we're walkin'"

In other other news, Tabitha is on Twitter - OMG! Nicole Oliver may have said it best:

"@sttabitha what the HELL black hole, end of universe occurrence transpired to get u on "the twitter"! SO FAB! Welcome! Xo"

SO FAB indeed. Nearly as fab as our dear host here!

Harwick said... Reply to comment

I hate Twilight's new car.

If you don't mind a spoiler image, come come see me rant about it.

I'll have to come back to reply to the newer comments.

PonydoraPrancypants said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

Twilight's chunky plastic 1939 Studebaker Commander convertible carriage really irks me too. On the other hand, I am head over heels for the new song "True, True Friend", from the finale. It's adorable, folky, sweet, and everypony gets to sing a part in their own style, with their own appropriate musical cues backing them. It reminds me of one Disney animated film of which I am inexplicably fond, Bolt, which uses this folky song as a traveling music throughout the film and then in the end credits. The two songs use the same meter and almost the same tempo, and are both from the same family of folky, chorusy sweetness. Anyway, "True, True Friend" just completely melts my heart.

Coconutswallow said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

Yeah, I'm still not sure what to think of this "new IP" launch. The production team that have made the show have proven themselves, so they have my faith from here on till the Four Horsemen come. This new IP, however, is going to be made by different people if I've heard correctly. I guess the only policy to adopt here is the same one as the season finale-- wait. Their level of talent will be revealed soon enough.

And yes, an actual full season to come! I am ecstatic! They best have half of it dedicated to Rarity. Their lack of an episode featuring her this season needs to be paid back with full interest.

I'm with you on Cabin in the Woods. I've recommended it to everyone I know who enjoys horror films, but it never fails that they'll get confused/frustrated when they ask what the premise is and all I can tell them is, "A group of teenagers go to a cabin in the woods and... you just have to see the rest." Fortunately, all of them who've seen it have loved it, so it's all worked out.

Ah, yes, the fifth season of Angel was by and far the best of the show. That entire change stunned me to no end, yet, as you've stated, it went so smoothly given how well Whedon wrote the characters and the problems he created out of the change in setting. The most clever one being when he had the characters question whether they should have accepted the deal to take the firm in the first place.

Oh dear, I realize now how my statement of "You have a fanfic idea?" could be misinterpreted. I was merely stating my excitement about you having an idea. Not "Wait, people who draw have ideas about written works, too? They can do that? Egads, who would have thought?"

Ahem. Must watch my words more carefully. Silly internet incapable of transferring tone.

I don't know about your pulling teeth analogy, though. I've always thought writing is like riding a bicycle. If you've picked up that pen before, then you can pick it up now. Granted, you know your abilities better than I, but I'm willing to bet you haven't truly lost your knack.

That plotline with Twilight sounds quite brilliant. I'd read that story without hesitation. I do sincerely hope you'll make it come to life at some point.

Cosmetics? ...Cosmetics? My curiosity is exceedingly piqued, sir. I suppose I should take your advice and refrain from keeping in my carbon dioxide, but I might just do so anyway.

@zhoomcar

I'd say that one certainly could make a long PMV that is of good quality. I've seen them, but they are far and few between. Most, like you said, feel worn after a handful of minutes. Besides, often the shorter ones feel more poignant and impactful.

Coconutswallow said... Reply to comment

Latest Episode Thoughts! (And all the requisite spoilers to follow!)

I liked the episode despite it's time old use of the "Wrong person sillies. Oh, sorry jk, let's get teh right person, oops too late, wait, it all worked out in the end" plotline, but then again, I suppose even MLP must tread worn ground. It still stayed likeable with it's portrayal of our lovable mane cast.

Rarity, of course I'm supremely biased here, had the best scenes. Her attempts to tackle that complex manestyle were golden in all their scenes, and of course, though particularly slapstick, the Rainbow Window scene was exceedingly amusing.

Speaking of Speedy, that was a nice little bit of background they gave to our pegasus with the presentation of what looks to be Rainbow Dad. Background exploration, no matter how small, always scores points with me.

The character development they gave Twilight certainly was interesting. She apparently is no longer the manic we've come to know when put into high pressure situations. It looks like she's been receiving lessons on de-stressing and clear thinking from Cadence? I can only assume this is in preparation for her becoming a princess? I suppose it would be a poor princess indeed that behaved like Twilight did in Lesson Zero. Still, it seemed like a rather sudden development, but then again, this is not the sort of show that lends itself to slow character changes. I will admit, though, I thought that was one of her most defining flaws, and I hope they don't rid her of it completely, as it really added a rich facet to her character (even if it's been somewhat overused/harped on by the fandom).

Am I the only one who found the faux game inspector's flirtation with Shining to be the most entertaining scene? I mean, just look at that face. I was somewhat surprised they even put that in there. Bravo, Polsky.

I agree with Harwick, the ending of their ultimate wooing over of the real games inspector didn't make much sense to me, either. "So the other pony got the overblown, specially scripted welcome instead of me? That must mean it was more genuine and heartfelt!" But that logical fallacy didn't make the episode less entertaining.

All in all, the episode was good. I wouldn't say it ranks in the elite of this season, but it amused me all the way through. Plus, it does deserve style points for linking itself to the Spike episode. Some innovation is always nice.

Coconutswallow said... Reply to comment

@Harwick (again)

The shutdown of Fighting is Magic is a great loss to the fandom, as it looked like one of the most well polished, talented projects to ever come out this crowd of content producers, but you're right, it really was only a matter of time before Hasbro brought down the hammer. It was getting far too much media attention, well-deserved it might have been, for them to turn a blind eye.

I thought that Faust's offer to make new characters was exceedingly kind of her and could make for a fantastic new setting. It's a prospect I hope the team considers, despite it being another long work road ahead of them.

I do wonder if the people who have left the Mane 6 team already have indeed been considered by established developers? Not that it's necessarily any of our business, but it would be great if they made that known. I always like to keep track of where the talent's going.

I'm loving these new toylines Hasbro is releasing. Not following the show or releasing things appealing to the older fans my foot. Sign me up for Octavia, new-mold Rarity, Chrysalis, and Derpy, please and thank you.

@Kateasaurus

Welcome to the Hectic Life and Haven't Posted in Eons Club! I'll have membership cards made and laminated soon. Until then, welcome back, and here's to both of us being able to post more in the near future.

@Anon

If this group is as organic and close-knit as it seems, I'm sure WD will find some other amazing harbor to drop anchor in and keep on carrying on this wonderful blog. Or perhaps this whole place will just set sail and drift? Who says the place needs a harbor?

And enough with the sea metaphors. I'll start preparing the "Which Fandom Should We Jump to Next" poll whenever it's needed.

@PonydoraPrancypants

Oh wow, I hadn't had a chance to listen to that yet, but that is quite the wonderfully saccharine, smile-inducing, finale song. "Folky" is always a good thing to have in a song and I too love how it's divided into a part for each of the mane cast. Another win, Daniel Ingram, another win. It's not quite in the upper echelons with some of the others he's made, but it's hard to say that while you're listening to it.

Harwick said... Reply to comment

@Obsequiosity

I admit, I caved with the blind bags of the mane six when I learned the code for finding specific ones. Plus I have a little Gilda sitting on my desk. Beyond that, I have a couple of shirts and a Hot Topic Derpy figure that were gifted to me.


@Kateasaurus

Hey look who it is! So nice to see you around these parts again, my dear. I hope things have been going well for you recently even if life's been hectic. It's nice to know that you're lurking out there regardless!


@CaineScroll

Now see, I took the fact that "Fighting is Magic" lasted as long as they did without hearing from Hasbro's lawyers as the equivalent of the corporation "batting an eyelash" over coming down on it. I suspect that they would have preferred to let it go to completion themselves, but that it began to look like a drawback to their own marketing/licensing attempts. Certainly selling game licenses based on the property would be at least somewhat hampered by any potential developer wondering if the audience would buy their product when the fans are out there creating free games of that caliber to fill the need instead.

Of course, licensed video games are usually pretty horrible anyway, so I certainly wouldn't have minded the competition forcing developers to do better with MLP. But then it isn't my millions on the line.


@Anon

I think your objections are perfectly reasonable and measured to the appropriate degree. Obviously, you can't say it's definitely going to be a disaster any more than I can say it's definitely going to work, and there are perfectly good reasons to be both pessimistic and optimistic about it... I doubt we'll even know how well the transition served the show until well into season 4, if that.

Besides, there are plenty of new things for folks to "freak out" over anyway. Princess Twi is old news.

As for the focus of Di's blog, I don't see it changing even if the show were to end (and not be spun off into bizarre new directions...) Really, the focus is simply all of us more than ponies. MLP is the common thread, true, but new content from fans will go for a long while even after the end of the show, and it's not like other topics don't make their way to fill the slow times between episodes.

There are always more pickles to try, after all.


@PonydoraPrancypants

Tabitha St. Germain on Twitter did shock me. Of course, seeing Nicole "Celestia" Oliver tweeting pictures of herself enjoying cocktails poolside in a bikini surprised me a bit too. I really don't know what goes on in that whole Twitterverse.

I've not seen those Toys R Us fan favorite packs in person before, so I don't know if they name every pony included on the packaging or not. It will definitely be interesting to see how they label the pony who shall not be named, if they do.

As for the song from the finale (which you apparently liked enough to post about 4 times!), I hovered over the "play" button when it first was posted for quite a while before deciding to wait and take it all in during the episode. From the reviews popping up of the big premiere party the HUB threw for it, it sounds like a really fun 22 minutes. I think they may have taken their cue from "Best Night Ever", because I gather there are more songs in it to help condense all of the story into the time provided. I'm really looking forward to it now... and to hearing the "true friend" song myself. I do like that one from "Bolt" too.

Harwick said... Reply to comment



@Coconutswallow

My main concern about the new IP is the same as yours. No matter what the direction (and many of us are in agreement that the pictures going around for days seem legit) it really comes down to having a strong creative team behind it. I think FIM benefited greatly from Lauren Faust having a strong idea what should and shouldn't be done in the show, and I worry that a spin-off without a strong vision behind it would just end up being a cash grab.

But of course, that was the early assumption about FIM, so I'm willing to wait and see. And besides, as long as it has the same vocal talent I'll be eagerly looking forward to more Rarity lines.

I'm a bit disappointed that "Cabin in the Woods" didn't do better, although it certainly had a respectable run at the box office. Modern horror fans just don't seem to like humor mixed with their scares... everything has to be played straight, grim and depressingly sadistic, with very little allegory or metaphor behind it. Seems to miss the whole point to me.

I certainly didn't take any offense at your shock over my coming up with Fanfic ideas... It's not the kind of thing I'd expect people to know, certainly. I shared some prior writing with Di and Ponydora, and even a tiny snippet of pony-based stuff that I had played around with one day to see if I could even get the characters' voices down, but I haven't written anything worth sharing publicly for a long time.

Writing might be like getting back on a bicycle, but mine seems to be stuck pointing up a very steep hill. Any time I start again, I just get worn out quickly.

As for the possibility of Lauren Faust creating new characters for the "Fighting is Magic" game, the biggest upside I see there is that the developers would then be able to actually sell their final product, free of stepping on anyone else's trademarks. That's a nice consolation prize!


@Favo

I didn't think that old post of mine was *that* bad, myself.

Or was it supposed to link to something like this instead?

CaineScroll said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

Personally, I think Hasbro decided to take action on Fighting is Magic mainly because they got so much publicity; I mean, they did appear at EVO 2013 and get a Gamespot feature, which is no easy feat. Instead, they might have done well just as a popular indie game, but given the size of the fandom I think it's very unlikely they would've continued without getting some major exposure. So yes, I don't think we can dish out all of the blame on Hasbro, but it's not going to stop a part of the fandom from getting butthurt. This pretty much sums it up.

Mane6's C&D and Twilicorn aside, has everyone heard of the possible "Equestria Girls" spinoff? I'm all for humanized ponies, but I'm not really sure where they're going with that.

CaineScroll said... Reply to comment

@CaineScroll

Oops. Apparently everyone has. My bad.

PonydoraPrancypants said... Reply to comment

Per my most favorite (and now dearly departed) television program, 30 Rock, Happy Valentimes, everyone! <3 <3 <3

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

Happy Valentine's Day, my lovelies (including you, darling Katie, welcome back! <3)! Unfortunately, I don't at all have time to respond to everybody's comments today and get all caught up with the other topics that have cropped up (though some of you might have seen that I voiced my general opinions on the rumored "Equestria Girls" and the leaked finale song the other day on EqD), but I still wanted to come and wish you all a happy holiday while I could. I am currently in the midst of baking about 10 dozen shortbread cookies (because apparently Ponydora, the owner of my studio liked them as much as you did, or enough to pay me to make a big batch for a Valentine's event this evening), and I knew I would be exceptionally short on time this week as it's been chaos at my studio and so I've basically been living there (without a working internet connection) for the past five days. I'm off tomorrow though, my one free day, so I fully do intend to catch up with you all then. I hope you all have a beautiful day, digital hugs from me~! <3

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

WAIT hang on I almost forgot. I was going to say something in my quick post about how I was sad I didn't have time to draw any fanart for Valentine's Day (not even a quick sketch of my "OTP", I am a terrible shipper~) despite the pointlessness of such a statement, but then I just remembered that I do have these old sketches that have been sitting on my computer for at least six months and which I may have shared with one or two of you before... well, one of you at least I know. I'll finish them someday, because there was more to my idea but at least it's better than nothing, I suppose!

Well now I really must be off I'm afraid, to work again very soon. Happy Valentine's Day darlings, see you all again soon then~!

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

Love those sketches, Di! Miffed Rarity is incredibly adorable!

I wanted to share that I just saw on Twitter that Charlotte Fullerton, writer of "Suited For Success" and long absent from FiM, says she co-wrote one episode in Season 4 with Betsy McGowen, another Canadian animation writer. I love Charlotte's work and I'm so glad she came back. I hope it's a Rarity episode!

I saw and heard the second major leaked song from the finale - and I really liked that one too!

Harwick said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

Aw... I hate to see a couple quarrel on Valentine's Day, but then I do love to see artwork from you! Plus, you know that I adore your sketches. One of the odd things for me to latch onto this time are the lines of AJ's hat... You give it such a nice, appealing shape, especially in the last image. It merges so well with her character there as to look to be a natural part of her but still very believeable in its general hattiness. It's so clearly her long-trained-for-her-head hat that it wouldn't possibly fit anyone else so well. Fun stuff!

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

Ugh, I'm sorry everyone. I've been sitting here typing up replies for the last hour or so, but unfortunately I've realized that I'm not going to get through them all tonight as I'm quite tired now, and since I hate to respond to some people only once again I'm going to have to postpone things until later. I do apologize that I've been leaving you all hanging this week, but, as always, I'll do my best to get caught up with everyone's posts again as soon as I can.

In the meantime, I fully intend on watching the season finale tomorrow morning when it airs on The Hub, and I hope to see you all here at some point afterwards, because I'm sure there will be a lot for all of us to discuss no matter what happens! I'm sincerely looking forward to it. ^_^

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

Addendum: Oh my goodness Katie I just saw the photo of Dexter on the front page of EqD in my blog feed as I was about to log out. That is absolutely hysterical, I LOVE it!!

Kateasaurus said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds I'm glad you liked Dexter's EQD debut! Xyro was looking for a funny Twilicorn image for the post, and I said in jest we should put Dexter in wings... and 20 minutes later, he was an Alicorn. :3

Thanks for all the welcome back love everyone! <3

I'm so glad it's finally the finale today. (Mainly because it's the last day I have to get up early because Xyro is streaming.) I've been looking forward to seeing this whole Twilicorn thing for a while. I know there's a lot of uncertainty about it, but I can assure you all, you're going to enjoy it!

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

Well, this is the end. At least we know where all the songs went. Overall good, the songs stealthily used to compress time and wrap up things quickly (didn't like it though, the time compression, that is, the songs were quite nice) and the last sequences of the episode really gave me a feeling that Friendship is Magic really was over. That was not the case, however. If the staff are to be believed, S4 will kick off right where S3 ended in a three-parter... which will be interesting.

[SPOILERS]

well it looks like Twilicorn is instantly capable of flight right from the beginning. Firestorm ensues.

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Kateasaurus

I did indeed get a kick out of that, and it was a stroke of genius on your part I must say. Though I was hoping to give you a proper welcome back when I returned to respond to everyone's posts, allow me to reiterate that it really is a joy to welcome you back into our folds... I've missed you quite a bit and have been hoping that all had been going well with you in your absence!

@zhoomcar

Yes indeed, that was it, and to be perfectly honest I'm not quite sure what to feel about it... I think it all still needs to sink in a bit! I have to say that I really did enjoy the episode itself for what it was; as you said the songs were used to great effect to streamline the plot of the episode, and on the whole I enjoyed them much more than I usually do musical pieces in the series (especially the "True True Friend" song that was accidentally leaked early and which Ponydora and I had commented on on EqD; I loved that song even more with the action to go with it, just like I thought that I would <3). The whole thing with the cutie marks being switched and that problem being resolved was very well done in my opinion, because even though I had voiced my feelings earlier that I felt that idea was strong enough to stand on its own for a full episode or even a two-parter, I was very happy with the actual handling of it and felt that I got a full episode's worth of satisfaction from the very small amount of actual content. Very nice job on that portion of it.

Otherwise though, I still do have some mixed feelings I'm afraid. I know that we've been assured that the dynamics of the Mane Six characters will not change now that Twilight has "ascended", but it's still too early for me to tell whether or not this will actually hold true and if I can learn to like the direction that the writers have decided to take with the show (if all of this is indeed a permanent change). And especially since, as I understand it, this episode will sort of serve as a prelude to the two-part opener next season. On the one hand I'd like to think I have enough faith in the writers to believe that they won't somehow spoil the fabulous world and characters they've created at all, but on the other hand the ending of today's episode really felt like something I expected to see and feel at the very end of the series, and now that Twilight has attained what she has, what does she have left to do now, and to hope and dream for? I guess we'll all just have to wait an see... next season most unfortunately!

Ben Cremeens said... Reply to comment
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Obsequiosity said... Reply to comment

[Warning, there be 2/16 Spoilers Here:]

Now *that* was an interesting episode, even if it can't stand on its own merits. The conflict resolution was built around everything we know about the mane six from the previous seasons. And as far as the new paradigm, it hasn't even gotten started (good way to make me stick around for the start of season four, I supppose).

Like most pony eps, it's the little things about this ep. (It's rumored that on the sets of Fritz Lang films they hung a sign, "Nothing in this film is accidental." I think MLP has the following it does because it follows that credo. Everyone in production takes their job so seriously even though it's an animated girls' toy catalog, and because they do they've created *art*.) All the more "judgemental" ponies were stuck doing the job they probably give the least amount of thought to (poor Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy just got plugged in the fill the gaps); it'll be interesting to see if they have a little more respect for the challenges within those destines.

But again, the little things. Pinkie realizing we needed a spit-take. The angry cannibal mob complete with butterknife wielding otters. And especially the little Broadway touches in the opening song (I don't know why, but the bit where they lower Twilight from the table to the ground had me laughing until I rolled out of my chair. It was just so out-of-place and yet perfect for the situation.).

And this is the first ep since the last season-ender to really make me take notice of the music. Beautiful stuff going on there, even if there is no stand-alone earworm like "Smile" or "Winter Wrap-Up".

I'm optimistic for season 4; this episode went out of its way to emphasize that Twilight can't be a princess alone and has in fact been learning the various aspects of the Princesserly Catechism from her friends all along. (Celestia ticking off those qualities of a princess while they panned across the elements of harmony was a very "wax-on, wax-off" moment. Loved it.) I can easily see her travelling more to do Princess-y things, while various members of the entourage help guide in their areas of expertise.

Living on the internet where I do, at the intersection of Pony and Plastic Robot fandoms, I happened upon a great quote: "There is no way anyone can ever take Twilight Sparkle seriously as a pony or a leader if she’s anything but a 1970s red Freightliner FL86 Cab-over-Engine triple-axle semi trailer truck! This is what we’ve all grown up with! This is what we expect! Making Twilight Sparkle a stupid MONKEY destroys everything that My Little Pony stands for!" (Trust me, if you live in my neighborhood of Geektown, this is hilarious.)

On to other things:
Finally got to hear some of @Ponydora's panel. Very suave for someone who has to punctuate his introduction with, "I'm a man!" :) Other than the lack of a continental European air, the voice was pretty close to my preconceptions. (I keep forgetting you lot are on the west coast.) And he makes good points about the not-perfectly-consistent-but-with-an-interesting-anchor-point world-building that the show has done. Which makes sense, as he has built an entire novel playing with the societal ramifications of that technology level.

Also, finally got to read "Racist Barn", and it made me shake the dust off an old notebook script, prompting what I think is a very pretty picture of Zecora rolling her eyes at the oblivious recipients of Unicorn Privilege. http://fav.me/d5uyjnj

@WhiteDiamonds I am squeeing at those sketches, especially that grin-and-glare at the bottom. I don't think burly men in their 30's are supposed to squee, but what can you do...

@Harwick Oooh, I didn't think about blind bag codes... That is a dangerous thought.

Harwick said... Reply to comment

So, how 'bout that finale, eh? That was definitely an odd one, and so hard to judge. I can't help but think how mind-blowing it would be to go into that completely unaware... Not that the HUB was going to allow any chance of that, what with the constant promos and commercial lead ins and such, but I suspect there will be the occasional new fan who will stumble upon that episode between now and season 4, and their jaw will just drop.

And then they'll assume that the series ended. I can't blame them. In fact, I'd say that at least at some point in the development of this one, the folks behind the show suspected that it just might be the last episode. Hasbro only put in an order for 13 episodes this season, and that's apparently because that would reach the minimum necessary to put FIM into syndication forever. They technically don't need any more, so I suspect they very purposefully wanted to end the show in a way that would be satisfying should it not continue.

Of course, hopefully they also planned out how to continue it if that wasn't going to be the end, as we now know it wasn't. As suspected, we now have to wait until next season to see how this gets incorporated into things. For the time being, however, Princess Twilight is out in a big way and already doing the Suoerman/Matrix triumphant camera flyby. How will Equestria deal with it?

Generally, I liked the episode. I loved the decision to do it as a full-on musical, even if most of the songs beyond the "True True friend" one were somewhat forgetable on first viewing. I did get a kick out of the opening number and its high choreographic staging. The "What my cutie mark is telling me" song did its job, but was way less catchy than the similar conversation-laden "Find a pet" song. I had speculated that the only way they'd fit so much plot line into the time allowed was to have it narrated to save time on setting scenes naturally, but singing accomplished the same thing in a more lively matter. (And Twilight still ended up telling the casting of the original spell part in flashback, so they kind of used both methods.). As mentioned, the True True Friend song was bouncy, charming and gave me the warm fuzzier, so mission accomplished there.

Harwick said... Reply to comment

And then they laser-beamed Twilight to oblivion. I could see that as a possible stopping point between a two-episode finale... It'd be quite the cliffhanger. Really though, I loved this whole segment of Twilight being blasted into the astral plane or wherever to hear Celestial sing to her. Just the right amount of epic mixed with warmth. Twilight's return and her friends reactions was handled well. (pinkie's spit-take did remind me that the rest of the episode could have used a bit more punching up, comedy-wise... But it was a great moment.)

And honestly, I kind of wish the episode ended there. All of the stuff in Canterlot didn't really do much for me. (I do appreciate that that damn car was ushered off-screen as quickly as possible. Even Twilight didn't wait for it to come to a stop before bailing on it.). The choir of pale Fluttershys were reverential enough in their announcing of "Behold, the Princess Twilight cometh" that I was thinking Twilight might have been named the new pope between commercials.

And then we come to the heart of the matter... Did the Princesses lose a bet? If they did, it must have been to Cadance, because her dress actually looked pretty good (once she ditched that traditional crystal hairdo. Nice to know she can shake out of it and into her normal look before the choir stopped singing hosannas to her sister-in-law.). I like the concept of Celestial in a kimono, but those weren't her colors... And then she had that massive crown that Princess Platinum would have found ostentatious. (I guess she wanted to let everyone know she was top of the princess totem.). Luna's gown almost worked... I liked the back end of it at least. From the front it was a bit of a train wreck (the gold really doesn't work on her or Twilight, in my opinion. ). And as for Twilight... Well... Ugh. The rest of the Mane Six looked pretty good by comparison. Rarity probable made their outfits, complete with wide variety of jaunty hats. Thus ends the fashion portion of the review.

All in all, an impressive, important episode done in a clever way, but perhaps thin on really great "moments". Certainly no disaster, but not a favorite for me. Now the long wait begins to see what they do with it...

Favo said... Reply to comment
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Obsequiosity said... Reply to comment

@Favo: It is incredibly unfortunate that in my head that I cannot separate that song from the movie Silence of the Lambs.

Favo said... Reply to comment
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Favo said... Reply to comment
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PonydoraPrancypants said... Reply to comment

And then Twilight was a Princess.

Since August 2011, I've invested a truly shocking (to me, anyway) amount of though, energy, and emotion into this pony show. It's become a part of my life, just as the good friends I've made because of it have become a part of my life. I wrote a book about the show. I've been to a convention and hugged Tabitha St. Germain. I am a fan - a big fan.

At the same time, I consider myself a rational human being. I understand what the television show is, and what it isn't. I understand that part of being a successful toy company is continuously rolling out new toys, and if you pay for a television show to help popularize your toy product, you want the show to reflect the new toys you are stocking. I understand the business reasons for Twilight's new wings.

I also understand the narrative reasons for the change. Twilight is special, and has been clearly special ever since she first donned the big crown thingy and blasted Princess Luna's amored moon suit into smithereens.

Knowing these things, and having known full well what was coming for some time now, I adopted a "wait and see" approach, urged calm, and decided that whatever happened, I would accept it and look forward to the full fourth season.

With all of that said, I should have been ready for whatever "Magical Mystery Cure" could throw at me.

But I wasn't prepared for this ...

This was an incredibly intense twenty-two minutes of Y-rated television programming. I will say right off the bat that I loved the choice to do this story as a musical episode, as I am certain it would not have worked any other way. I enjoyed the old-school Broadway opening number, and I very much enjoyed "True True Friend," and would name it one of my top five favorite songs from the series. I also absolutely loved Twilight's singing soliloquy and the animation magic deployed for that segment.

Others have pointed out so many visual treats in this episode that I could not hope to list them all here, but I was delighted with the ones I did catch. Derpy was back, and she was everywhere! I suppose this means her extended vacation to the griffon kingdom is over and she is back in Ponyville to stay. One of my favorite things that I haven't seen anyone comment on yet was the fact that Fluttershy was actually paying for a balloon ticket to fly home to Cloudsdale. Oh, Fluttershy. Cutie marks may change, but some things never do. Of course, some visuals were hideous - namely all of the princess dresses. Celestia's was not flattering, to say the least. Thankfully, Harwick's fashion report ahs covered those, as well as Twilight's vehicular crime against good taste.

But I digress - what I really want to talk about is the content of the episode. As much as I liked the format, and the style, and the visuals, and the music, and the animation - the episode as a whole left me feeling ... melancholy, I suppose, and a bit confused at times.

Like many, I am not sure I understand the full implications of Twilight's mistakenly-employed cutie mark switching spell. The show referred to this numerous times as "switching destinies," yet it actually seemed far more to me like simple brainwashing. The affected ponies suddenly believed that their special talent and calling was something it was not, but the new talent certainly was not their actual destiny or special talent - they were terrible at the switched tasks, and still retained their skills and interest in their original "destiny." While "True, True Friend" was lovely, this entire segment raised more questions than anything. I also do not fully understand how the whole cutie mark switching plot logically related to Star Swirl's unfinished alicornization spell, but perhaps if I actually put together the full text of the spell it and thought about it would be "spelled out" there.

PonydoraPrancypants said... Reply to comment

Unfortunately, I felt that the entire ending, from the apparent disintegration to the coronation parade was uncomfortable at best, and disappointing at worst. I was ready for Twilight to move into this new phase of her life, together with her friends, but perhaps just not like this.

From the moment Celestia appeared to Twilight in "alicorn space," pulled up all those high def screens, and explained that Twilight's life was a television show, I knew this was going to get weird. I kid (a bit), but I thought the explanation of how Twilight's studies of friendship had allowed her to complete the secret alicorn spell was little better than handwaving. At least her friends got to participate in the ritual by blasting her with their "frenergy."

I wonder, as an aside, just what that spell did. The Elements of Harmony transferred energy into the Element of Magic, which then blasted Twilight into alicornland, apparently. Is Twilight's life force, or at least her alicornhood, now tied to her friends'? Theirs to hers? By the way, and this is getting into true nerdery, but does this imply that Star Swirl had access to the Elements of Harmony? I had previously thought they were discovered by Celestia and Luna much later, when they appeared to fight Discord, per their speech in Return of Harmony. If so, poor Star Swirl never had a chance.

But anyway, what followed the transformation was where the episode really ran into troubel for me. I cringed when Twilight's friends bowed to her. I'll get over it. I cringed again when the choir of Flutteraphim began singing hallelujahs and shouting for Equestria to "behold." I'll get over that too. I cringed again when Twilight alicorned off into the sunset, right at the camera. I suppose I'll get over that. "Everything will be fine," eh? At least I liked the outfits Rarity made for her friends, which was all vastly better than the stuff the royal alicorn tailor threw together).

One thing that strikes me is that, unlike Harwick, I feel pretty sure that when this episode was written and animated, the crew must have known that FiM was already renewed for a fourth season. No character besides Twilight did anything in this episode, especially poor Spike, who really would deserve something of a coda if this had been expected to be the final episode. He was hardly even acknowledged throughout. There was no discussion of any of Twilight's friends lives, hopes, dreams, or possible futures. If this was the final episode, it would have been pretty tragic, and given how much I know that Meghan and all of the other writers care about the characetrs, I don't believe they would have written something like this, which focused exclusively on Twilight and her journey, as the series finale. I know it's a cliche at this point, but the show is Friendship is Magic, not Twilight is the Magic-est.

Anyway, I liked the episode well enough. I even like the idea of all the new stories that can be told through the vehicle of Twilight's new identity and responsibilities. There were just enough things that were hard to swallow, though, that I feel I've been left with a slightly bitter aftertaste.

PonydoraPrancypants said... Reply to comment

And I'm sorry for the all the mistakes on those posts. Once again I dearly wish this blog had an edit function. Despite all indications to the contrary, I am actually modestly literate. Le sigh.

Favo said... Reply to comment
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Harwick said... Reply to comment

@PonydoraPrancypants

Oh, I'm not saying that the season finale was crafted to be the ideal final episode by any stretch... I would guess that when it was written, the odds were already strong that the show would continue on beyond it. I'm just saying that it strikes me as the kind of "finale that will do in a pinch" that you see whenever a show's future is in doubt (such as when one of the major cast members is leaving) and the show-runners don't want it to go out on a bunch of unresolved issues.

As we saw from the original ending to "Wonderbolts Academy", the script ended less ambiguously with Dash proving herself top of her class and presumably first in line for any future openings on the Wonderbolts. I can see producers being content with that if necessity made that the last word on that subplot (and I could see the decision to alter that ending coming from the show being picked up for another year and them wanting more freedom to play around with that subplot again in future seasons).

Rarity is the only other cast member with clear-cut ambitions, but I'm not sure she is in a place where they *have* to be addressed further. She's proven successful in high society and fashion a few times already, and seems happy to be in Ponyville. If the series ended with her exactly where she is, I don't know that I'd find it objectionable. Sure, I'd love to see her current ambitions detailed and dealt with, but she's not in a place where they had to address anything that I can think of with her.

Beyond that, what open plotlines are there? The CMC's Cutie Marks? That's probably one I would hold onto and gamble that I'd be able to use it in the future if the show continued. You certainly don't want to burn through all subplot fodder in the shortened 13 episode 3rd season and then have to start all over from scratch.

So really, from my (admittedly biased) point of view, Twilight's story is the only one that would have felt abruptly ended with no resolution had the season and show stopped with episode 12 instead. (You simply don't tell a story about a student learning great lessons without getting to some form of graduation.) So they wrapped up Twilight's story as economically as they could. Hell, they even did the "Lord of the Rings" thing and provided an elaborate wind-down for it all, as the entirety of the Canterlot sequences really added nothing that wasn't covered in alicorn heaven or when Celestia explained things to the Mane Six right afterward. (And the bowing was a direct trope use from LotRs as well.)

I do imagine that before it was fully produced they knew for a fact that they were coming back for further seasons, and I could certainly be wrong entirely that they ever thought they weren't when planning this episode, but the points above are the reasons that it really felt like a possibly ending to me.

Harwick said... Reply to comment

As for the message of the finale, yes it was muddled but I thought the general idea behind it was worthy. I didn't get that "Twilight is the most magical pony and fixed everything" was the point, but rather that their friendships were at the true core of who they were. Despite being lost and unable to find their true selves, they were able to put all of that aside and focus on helping each other instead and that was more true to who they were than any other activity that might have defined them. Therefore "Rarity is Applejack's friend" is a greater truth and destiny than "Rarity is a fashion designer". By going back to this basic, overriding character trait that is deeper than their cutie marks they were able to find who they really were again.

This is the core of the epiphany Twilight has... Friendship is greater than destiny. Looking back to Starswirl's spell:

"From one to another
Another to one,
A mark of one's destiny
Singled out alone fulfilled"

vs. Twilight's rewriting of it:

"From all of us together
Together we are Friends
With the marks of our destinies made one
There is magic without end."

These seem to further this interpretation that one's cutie mark-destiny is a more shallow identity than the friendships one makes. One destiny, "singled out, alone fulfilled" doesn't make an alicorn. Twilight is, essentially, "the marks of their destinies made one" (something actually represented in her cutie mark, which is plastered all over the episode.) It seems she's more or less the avatar of their friendship, and as such that is where her power comes from. Apparently Starswirl just didn't get this... his spell shuffled around destinies, but didn't dig deep enough to tap into the greater power of the connections beneath them.

There's my theory, at least. If this really is the first third of a three-parter (when combined with next season's two-part opener) I suspect we'll get some more explanation of what Twilight (and an alicorn in general) is and what she can do as such. I'm kind of hoping that Starswirl is alive and a villain next season...

Harwick said... Reply to comment

Oh, and since I forgot to mention it before, I was thrilled to see Derpy return as well, tucked quietly into the background in many places (the funniest being her peaking between ponies' legs in the throne room.). She and the return of "bouncing with excitement" Lyra next to BonBon during the coronation parade were the best parts of the Canterlot segment.

Anon said... Reply to comment

(What does it sound like when you decide to include an extra adjective, and you neglect to read your adjustment in its new form? "More denser" is what it sounds like, folks.)

@RenaTurnip

rena

i made a pixel pony rena

UMG RENA WERE IS MY PRIZE


Though you have mentioned before that you plan to take a break from social networking activities like this, it can be refreshing to share a quick update and some recent thoughts. On that note, it's nice to hear a few from you again. I remember telling you about the drawing in the live chat, and I'm glad to hear you weren't disappointed by it in the end, and I appreciate the time you took to let me know. It appears that that drawing is what results when you reverse roles with that one watcher in your livestream who keeps giving you nitpicky tips and suggestions. My work is agonizingly slow, and with that in mind I assure you, you can do more with your two thousand pixels than I can with my five million.

@Harwick

On the subject of Fighting is Magic and the two developers who parted ways with the team, Providence actually left one year ago for personal reasons, though judging by the tone of the notice, I assume he urgently had to spend time with his family or something similiar to that. Elosande described on his deviantART account that his departure was an unfortunate requirement of the C&D, but he is still interested in working on games in the future. Mane6 has some talented animators who have worked hard to make "Fighting is Magic" one of the most attractive games in the fandom, but anything related to ponies does get a lot of free publicity from Equestria Daily, conventions and word of mouth. I would be tempted to do the same as what Mane6 did to make "Fighting is Magic", and replace a game's art assets with faithful renditions of characters from a majorly successful animated show if that might make an impression on the game development industry, but since Hasbro has started cracking down on fan game projects, the only ones that still stand a chance are those that never include or mention any of the characters that inspired us to make the game in the first place. It's just a very confined situation for an entire art form, and I hope that my fellow game developers in this fandom will be able to finish their projects before Hasbro's legal team does it for them.

@Kateasaurus

A late welcome back to an old aquaintance; I'm not sure if you will even see this comment, but I saw yours, and I intend to express how welcomed back you are, dang it.

@Coconutswallow
@Harwick

It seems that someday, we will all have no choice but to confide in the appeal of our respective personalities. I apologize to you all in advance.


Ahh, I'm so behind in these comments from all the work that has kept me so busy lately. I'll have to finish the rest later, whenever I have the time.

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

Well everyone, I hate to say it but I think it's come to the point that I've fallen so far behind in conversation here, there's no way I will ever manage to catch up, or at least not without chaining myself to my laptop for several hours (that unfortunately, I don't really have to spare). I am really, truly sorry about that, and I have made numerous attempts to come back and type up some responses to people over the past two weeks, but before I ever manage to get through addressing everyone there are always a whole slew of new comments that crop up as well, and so half of what I had already typed no longer feels relevant or else ends up sounding incredibly redundant, which has gotten to be a little discouraging. So, despite my terrible guilt that I feel for doing so, and for the sake of minimizing my stress levels as much as possible I'm just going to start fresh with this post... I hope you all understand.

Thank you to anyone who mentioned those sketches I posted, as I'm really glad to hear that some people enjoyed them, and once again Katie-dear it is a delight to see you back posting here again. If anyone asked or commented on anything previously that I didn't address, and that they really wanted an answer to, please do feel free to bring it up with me again... I promise I will do my best to stay caught up with everything from here on out!

Harwick said... Reply to comment

To Di: of course, I'd rather have you participating in current discussions than laboring to reply to old stuff and never getting around to posting at all.

And speaking of new stuff, EQD has a fascinating write up of the writer's panel from the Las Vegas convention going on. It turns out the season finale with Alicorn Twi was in the works since Nov 2011. Next season opens with dealing with Twilight's fears and questions about her new role. Oh, and "Spike at your Service" was originally this season's Rarity episode, but apparently Rarity wasn't coming across well in it and so they shifted the set-up to Applejack instead. I'm glad for that.

Other tidbits worth reading over there as well.
http://www.equestriadaily.com/2013/02/unicon-2013-panel-writers-room.html?m=0#more

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

And yes, unfortunately that's exactly what it's been... I've been so hung up on replying to everything that everyone has said, in the proper order and struggling to sty on top of everything new that's been coming up as well, that it's all become impossible and I haven't managed anything at all. It was just too much, I'm so sorry to say... bleh..

Anyway, thank you very much for that dear, and thank you for sharing all of that from the panel as well. That's very interesting about "Spike at Your Service"; on the one hand I actually was very happy with the episode as it turned out (I'm one of the few who seemed to love it, I know) and enjoyed the unusual Spike/Applejack interaction, but on the other hand maybe it would have been interesting to see what the writers apparently considered to be "mean" as far as Rarity's interactions with Spike went. I realize I probably sound like a terrible person in saying so, but since you all already know I'm not the biggest fan of Spike/Rarity shipping I have to say the premise actually intrigues me somewhat.

In any case, it was all very interesting. I can't say that the information about the two-part season four opener necessarily makes me feel more optimistic about the whole alicorn Twilight thing (because for the record, the more I've reflected on the finale episode the more my feelings have come to echo Ponydora's, as in quite a lot of lingering sadness/disappointment with the general direction the show seems to be taking at this point in time), but I'm willing to keep giving it a chance. It sounds like it could be promising at least.

Harwick said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

I was actually relieved that there wasn't that much Spike/Rarity stuff in "Spike at your Service", and like you felt that the AJ/Spike interactions were somewhat fresh as a result. Mostly I'm glad they changed things around though if they thought Rarity came out looking mean... While I have no qualms about ruining the RariSpike ship, we all know how easily a section of fandom turns against Rarity as it is. Personally, I'd rather she not have a focus episode than one that serves her about as well as some of those early Season 2 Dash episodes served Rainbow. Truth be told, she's past due for a heroic/sympathetic lead role, in my opinion.

And really, we need to find something that makes you and Ponydora more optimistic. The glass is half full, darling. ;-)

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

Well yes, exactly, I do believe you said it all and I have to agree completely with your thoughts about "Spike at Your Service", on every count. I could elaborate further even, but in all honesty it's probably for the best if I simply leave it at that.

You're using a Rarity-ism against me, really? Ohh, that stings. In all honesty, I really wish that I felt more optimistic about the direction the show seems to be taking at this point in time, but despite the fact that I've been trying hard to keep a positive attitude about things, and have never ever criticized the series or writers even when they've done things I don't agree with, I just can't bring myself to feel good about any of this alicorn princess business as things currently stand, and with the way that last episode ended (and even if I did love the first half of it to pieces). I'm sorry if I sound excessively negative, or like a "bad fan" of the show for feeling that way, but despite my best efforts to stay positive it is unfortunately just the way I feel. All I can do now is hope that the two-part season opener somehow coalesces the changes in a way that doesn't alter the show or characters so much that it/they lose all of the charm and subtlety that I originally fell in love with (since I honestly could not care less about world-building in the show, myself), but that seems like a pretty tall order I'm afraid to say. But, not impossible, which is the one hope that I'm fully clinging to at this point; with all of the magic the writers have worked in the past I will always try to give them the benefit of the doubt. Either way, of course, I'm not about to give up on "Friendship is Magic" after it's brought me so much happiness... hopefully I'll be pleasantly surprised and relieved with how things are handled, but the absolute worst-case scenario is that I just won't enjoy it as much anymore, I guess.

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

ultimately my thoughts on the future of FiM... seeing as Twilight has essentially reached her logical conclusion, I would be happy enough if they decided to end the series at 4 seasons... and then introduce new characters or something, with Twilight ascended to RULER OF THE UNIVERSE or something. MLP has staying power but the Mane 6 are well... beginning to fade into obscurity.

RenaTurnip said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

I think many of us understand this feeling D: I felt really bad when I started losing track of the blog rather consistently, as I've done this time around too, and it can just be very troublesome, stressful, and ultimately draining to try to attend to everything of interest when some things date back as much as three weeks or a month... I've always felt kind of bad for letting things go like that, but it seems best, and in your case it may also be best :c Don't feel too bad, okay? I've no doubts that not one person here doesn't understand where you're coming from, and since nobody would hold it against you, you don't hold it against you either.

On the subject of the show recently... I've actually been completely won over on the idea of Twilight being an alicorn (which, as I've said before, has been a canonized term to the point where I can't stubbornly stick by "pegasus unicorn" anymore), and I think the girl is positively adorable with a set of wings on her back. A lot of people stepped up to the plate with some very touching art too, and I think that in light of how many people flipped their lids, the most important message is the one in the title of this deviation. "I am still me" pretty much touched me as a deep enough message for me to realize that, at the core, Twilight is still Twilight, and we should still love her.

(Of course, we can only hope that the writers don't... you know. Do something unhappy with it all.)

On the season itself, in general, you may probably remember me being the less enthusiastic one out of us bunch when season three first dropped. I was left with all kinds of conflicted feelings, and fortunately people like Harwick (and, please forgive my poor memory, I think Jody said some words to me too?) helped me see things from a different angle that made some of it much better for me. In the end, though, I'm just not sure how I feel about the show anymore either. I miss the innocence of the first season and the pure magic of the second season. This time around everything seemed... a little shifted. Out of place. And I really just want season four to return to square one in terms of presentation and content and ideas. As much as Twilight is the cutest thing in her new form, it would be a great loss if she lost her position as the organized, stubborn, oft-spazzy character we've come to love in her library, to become something else. (And I will say, I was quite taken aback when she exercised breathing routines to calm herself down. That seemed like a very intentional thing on the writers' parts.)

Still, I do hope to enjoy the next season... but not unlike some others, I'm not really feeling the hype for it right now. Not after the way this season went. We can only cross our fingers and hope for the best, can't we?

@Anon

You jerk. I really thought you'd done something xD Speaking of high hopes I was really hoping you had something epic, but you pulled a fast on one me, you... you! I hope to see something 20% cooler next time, or I will be severely disappointed D:

Harwick said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

I object! I could never use a Rarity-ism against you or Ponydora, as that would somehow imply that I wasn't for you both implicitly. I did not, after all, suggest that you should be optimistic about things based on what you've seen, but that I wish to find something that allows you both to feel some optimism.

There is a full season of 26 episodes coming next year, and Tara Strong assures that Twilight and the gang will be living in Ponyville for them and that the core of the show will not change. There will surely be some enjoyment in those 13 hours (with commercials) for you both and hopefully we'll eventually come across some tidbit that you can honestly look forward to.

Harwick said... Reply to comment

Speaking of Ponydora, he's got a new one-shot story up (and getting rave reviews) that's well worth checking out. The cover art is passable too, if you like that sort of thing.

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

Dat Season Finale (A Late Opinion)

This episode was kind of... there. After all the hype, both positive and negative, the payoff was just... devoid of both anything amazing or horrible. A solid episode, though, certainly. It has the best opening I think of any episode to date, because singing, happy, table dancing Twi is pretty much the ideal way to start any episode. A nice little musical number that was but the appetizer of Ingram's three course meal.

The idea of turning this episode into a musical was brilliant, because how else were they going to condense what certainly needed to be two episodes into one? Fast, lyrical exposition go!

None of the numbers were a bust, either. I definitely had my preferences, such as "True True Friend," which was the centerpiece of the episode along with "What My Cutie Mark Is Telling Me," and my slight disappointments, such as Celestia's first venture into the song world. It was good, yes, but hardly the super-memorable moment I would have wanted out of such a scene.

But even still, Ingram deserves a gold medal for this episode. It didn't collapse or fall, and I think it would have had it been under any other person's musical leadership.

As for the plot? Well, it was what it was. I give them credit for some foreshadowing, such as showing Starswirl's book at the beginning of the season, though the entire Starswirl spell completion plot point seemed to over-complicate the issue. It didn't seem too outlandish for them to Alicornicize Twilight while forgoing the entire unfinished spell plot altogether, but I will say that because of that, they certainly gave me a chance to be an utter geek and analyze everything:

What exactly was Starswirl trying to obtain with that spell? Was he trying to become an alicorn? Did it only affect the Elements of Harmony or did it just switch the destinies of whoever happened to be in close proximity and thus Twilight only messed things up for her friends because she was standing too close to the Elements? If it needed the Elements, then does that mean Celestia and Luna acquired them from Starswirl or was he just doomed because he didn't have them yet? If he had them, then what was the problem, was he a loner (so many jokes made about this already)? What exactly about the change of the spell alicornicized Twilight? Is she a now the ultimate funnel through which the other Elements pour out their Harmonizing Magic 2.0?

Yes, I've asked and am in the process of headcanonly answering all of those. I swear I have a life somewhere.

I agree with others that, after seeing Pinkie's spit take recreation of the fan reaction to Twi's new princesshood, it became clear to me that, despite the seriousness of the occasion, the episode could have been infused with more humor. It would have smoothed things along better, but fortunately the episode still didn't drag, not even in the coronation, which was a little lackluster, though it still solidified and provided the proper pomp that an event of this episode's magnitude needed to end with (ugly attire and vehicular design aside). Though could they really not be bothered to create a new pony model instead of creating a clone army of Flutters? Ah well.

I, for one, didn't have much of an issue with the bow given to Twilight by her friends and Celestia. I thought it nothing more than a one time recognition of her new status, not an indication that they forevermore will be lowering their heads in greeting to her.

And suddenly we have a Lavender Princess.

Coconutswallow said... Reply to comment

I, for one, am hardly worried about the future of this series. I don't see this as a development that can go anywhere but up as long as it's handled with the same competence we've seen the show handled with so far. Of course, it could be screwed up, but no more than any other aspect of the show so far could have been.

That said, though, I don't at all blame or look down on those of you who are less than optimistic. It is a big change and definitely has the potential, at least, to go in several bad directions. I agree with Harwick in that I shall remain with my fingers firmly crossed that the writers will deliver in a big way next season so that everyone's confidence in them might be fully restored.

Nothing to do but bide, now, and watch as the wonderful fanworks pour in this summer.

@WhiteDiamonds

In response to your sketches:

Aww, aren't couples cute when they argue? Of course, that only lasts so long before the viewer realizes that there are deep relationship issues at stake and the couple is on the verge of a meltdown. Suddenly, the cuteness factor just takes a dive...

Really, though, the expressions you have here are fantastic. Rarity's irritation burns through the screen and AJ seems pretty dead set on whatever she's decided to do (or already did). My favorite of the sketches is the middle one. Excellently annoyed Applejack and a Rarity with a "Are you really going to act this way?" makes for a excellent piece.

Allow me to completely second @RenaTurnip, here: your decision to just forgo answering all the previous posts is a fine and wise one. I've also several times in my bouts of extreme life business stopped by this blog, looked at everything that I wanted to respond to, realized I didn't have the time to, and decided to just wait until I did. This inevitably just meant more of a backlog built up while I waited and it would just turn into a cycle. As you can see, I eventually just decided that I'd post what I could when I had the time instead of forever drowning behind. So I completely understand.

@Harwick

Fascinating panel discussion, I say.

Meghan leaves behind AJ pregnacy scares? That's positively hilarious.

I also am somewhat pleased that they have no particular canon for the way Starswirl's spell worked. That means that we fans can interpret it however we want, all be equally valid, and not worry that we're missing something.

In response to this revelation about "Spike at Your Service": I personally think the anti-Rares will find fault in Rarity no matter the way she's portrayed, so an episode that made her out to be "mean" would have given them a lot of ammunition, yes, but I doubt it would have much changed the opinion of her in the fandom as a whole. I'd have to agree with Ms. Diamonds, here, in that I would have very much liked to see a different facet of Rarity in that regard. Seeing how she'd treat Spike's affections when really pressed would probably have been quite character revealing.

However, I still quite support the decision to replace her with AJ. The interaction between Spike and her was still entertaining and the two needed some bonding regardless.

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@zhoomcar

It's sad, isn't it? I hate that I've been feeling down enough about the show recently that I've almost wondered if it wouldn't have been better if they'd ended it at the season three finale (or maybe even with season two, in the unfortunate rare fleeting moments when I start feeling really pessimistic about the changes), but as I said I'm going to hold out hope that somehow, the writers will make this work, and I refuse to pass final judgment until I see what they attempt with season four. However unlikely it may seem to me now, it is possible that it will somehow be amazing and all work out for the best, after all, and I really, truly hope it does.

By the way dear, since it absolutely deserves mention (and since regrettably, I foolishly deleted my original long reply to you when I made the decision to go and start afresh), I really would like to mention at this time just how much I enjoyed that "Twifall" PMV of yours. You really are quite good at making those, and I have to wonder if you've ever considered the possibility of sending your videos to Equestria Daily for one of their compilations? I'm quite sure you'd make the cut with no trouble, in the event that you ever did try.

@RenaTurnip

Hello, dearest, it's so nice to see you around again. I appreciate the supportive words and understanding about my finally giving up on ever getting caught up here again, but all the same I do feel bad... very bad actually. For me, giving up like that means that I've been beaten somehow, and can't handle the responsibility of properly running a simple blog like this which I created and built to begin with, and that's perfectly shameful really. Especially when there are many people here whose company I have grown to enjoy and who I really do like to converse with. I can admit that there have been several times over the past couple of days where I've thought about trying to go back to just answer everything again anyway, even if it's just for my own peace of mind, but at this point in time such a thing would just be silly, I guess... oh well.

Anyway though, yes, crossing our fingers and hoping for the best seems to be about all we can do, and even if the absolute worst-case scenario comes to pass and this Princess Twilicorn thing ends up being a total bust that completely ruins her as a character (which I do not think is likely, but just saying), I can only hope I'll have the rest of the mane six ponies to enjoy in the show. I would really, truly hope so at least. Because unlike zhoomcar it seems, I have to say that even in the unlikely event that the series ever did (or perhaps gets to the point where it should) outgrow Twilight, I think the other ponies still have plenty of story potential to offer, and I think the show or a followup series could work perfectly well if it went on to focus exclusively on them. I really hope it never gets to the point that I find myself wishing for such a thing, I should clarify, but I do think they could all easily fill her horseshoes in the show if it ever needed to come to that.

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

I guess so. But even though I can appreciate the thought behind that, I'm afraid there is little at this time that has managed to inspire me with legitimate hope and optimism, since wild speculating doesn't really amount to much in the end of course, and also since I'm afraid I only take so much comfort from anything Tara Strong seems able or willing to say on the subject (since, after all, I seem to recall her tweeting that she was confident all pony-fans would love the season finale). Actually, after reflecting on things a little bit more I've decided that it's probably for the best if I avoid even thinking about (and consequently, discussing) anything at all pertaining to the changes with Twilight, since doing so only seems to make me feel even worse about everything and also, doubtless, will simply result in my unnecessarily dragging down the mood here for everyone else. If anyone else cares to discuss the matter, either in this thread or at any other point in the future of course I hope they will feel free, but I'm going to do my best to avoid the subject as much as possible for now I think, and will simply busy myself with conversations and art projects that don't leave such a bitter taste in my mouth. Hooray for denial~!

On that note, and on a much happier subject you, Ponydora and I have all discussed his story and your artwork at this point of course, but allow me to reiterate here how much I enjoyed both (and as I can only imagine you have now posted the picture on your deviantART account, I'll do my best to comment on it there as soon as I can manage).

@Favo

The resemblance between Rarity in that picture and myself the other night is truly uncanny, I have to say. Or well, sans the fire ruby of course. But substitute it with a big slice of horrible calorie-laden Heath bar ice cream pie instead and I think you get the general idea.

I know I said I'm going to avoid that Twilicorn subject as much as possible, and I shall after this, but I will say that the first scenario you mentioned is something that I was sort of hoping they would go with ever since the whole alicorn thing was leaked and before the finale episode even aired, and the second scenario, while sad, is nevertheless preferable to some of the things that could theoretically happen following all the changes, at least in my own opinion. I guess we'll just have to see what happens next season, since it doesn't do anyone any good to try and figure things out until then.

@Coconutswallow

Thank you very much for the kind words about my silly little sketches; though hasty (and as I said, rather old at this point) I'm glad people seemed to enjoy them. There's not anything particularly shippy about them as they are now of course, and they are connected though only loosely, but I think my feelings back when I started them were to continue the very loose narrative and have the ponies get to the point that they reach some sort of understanding and make up over whatever it was they had been bickering, who knows. Of course, after this season it appears that the two of them don't butt heads as much as they used to, so who can say if I'll ever finish it now.

Thank you also for the reassurances, as Rena was kind enough to try and offer, too. I still feel very badly about just giving up the way I did but I guess it doesn't do me any good to dwell on it, so I'll just focus my energies on staying caught up with everyone from now on.

PonydoraPrancypants said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

My thoughts on the finale can be summed up in one word:

"Blerg."

But I still adore you (and all of you amazing blog people)! I'd take you (again, and all of you) even over my ideal finale wherein Rarity is named fleet admiral of the Equestrian Navy and designs the greatest spring line in the history of fashion (and, just for you, sloppily makes out with Applejack as they fly off into the sunset, shouting "yee-haw, darling!"). A billion hugs and more.

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

I guess I've been a little busy lately, as I gear myself for my first year at uni. But you shouldn't feel so bad about having to forego some of our earlier conversations, we'll all still be around, and won't think any less of you for doing so. I'm quite happy that you take the time to read through everything here and on deviantART, not to mention comment when available.

On PMVs, i haven't been doing too much lately, due to overall laziness and prepping for uni as mentioned above, but I do have a couple of sketches floating around in my head which I'll eventually (or not) act on once I figure out how everything works with timetabling and such :< Generally self-submitting things to EQD is seen as shameless self-promotion, but anyone here can feel free to submit.. that is, if you're okay with that -hides in a bush-. I have been featured on a small-time site for PMVs, which is enough for me I guess.

Stay cheery, Di! Can't have this little gem here lose its shine. -waltzes away-

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@PonydoraPrancypants

Hahaha! Well obviously we need to just go and make our own show then (far too fabulous for Hasbro)... whatever skills I may have had in animating have been rusting for the last sixteen years or so, but I'm sure with a little bit of practice I could get back into the swing of things again. And perhaps we could recruit my friend ZestyOranges, who is actually going to school for just such a thing (and who happens to share my love of Rarity and Rarijack). It shall be flawless.

@zhoomcar

Ah, dearest! You are always just such a little ray of sunshine to me, and I have dearly missed you I have to say, thank you so much for your nice post! **many digital hugs** Of course I wish you the best of luck with all of your school-related business, and as for your PMVs, I'll have to see what we can do about that then. Congratulations on getting your Twifall featured on that other site though, that's definitely a wonderful accomplishment!

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