8 comments posted · 4 followers · following 4

11 years ago @ Equestria Daily - \"Keep Calm and Flutte... · 0 replies · +2 points

Also, regarding the idea that Discord is un-reform-able, I don't think it was ever made clear that he was fully evil or that he was a manifestation of pure chaos and thus "uncontrollable" (and, hey, that seems a bit like an oxymoron - wouldn't chaos be in too much of a flux to really manifest as anything for long?) Surely we didn't learn everything about him in that two-parter from season 2? Celestia implied his magic could be used for good. If she's right, which she appears to be, so far, he's "just" a powerful wizard creature that really enjoys to use his magic to cause chaos. (Now, I'm not saying that he isn't lacking in empathy, and that he isn't sociopathic - hence there needing to be an attempt at some reforming!) Also, considering the "premise" of the show, which is that (to quote both Twilight and Discord), "friendship is magic", this kind of thing, acts of befriending, really should happen more often with some of the bigger villains. I agree that the lesson, “some people [for whatever reason(s)] are so far gone that they cannot be redeemed, and, sadly, one has to keep one’s distance from such persons” has its place, but there have been other villains that I feel are more suitable for that conclusion – namely Sombra, who, unless it is revealed that, say, he was corrupted by his dark magic, appears to me (without me having been given much of a background on him) to have chosen evil, and the Changelings, who seem to have “evil” hard-coded into their biology, as slaves to their own dark nature.

(Oh, and though it would've been too much too soon for this single episode, I would love for us to get a Fluttercord duet some day! But, for now, I'm just hoping that some fantastic fan-art depicting Fluttershy and Discord skating will pop up in the weeks to come. ^^)

11 years ago @ Equestria Daily - \"Keep Calm and Flutte... · 1 reply · +2 points

All the changes and extra things mentioned above, would not have required more than ten extra minutes, so if it had been a two-parter, I think it might’ve been a good idea for it to include 10 more minutes devoted to some problem in Equestria that Discord’s magic would be apt for resolving, at least much quicker than the princesses could (hence the suggested urgency I wish that Celestia would’ve expressed when asking for the main six’s help), and he could’ve been shown doing so at the end, before delivering the “friendship is magic” line. I think it could’ve worked well to have the problem be a maelstrom of chaos magic that somehow formed by itself (perhaps because of some failed magical experiment or maybe just as natural catastrophe that risks happening every thousand years or something like that). That way, they’d have a non-person “enemy” that doesn’t need any character development or a lot of exposition. Celestia could’ve alternated between trying to keep that situation in check with her own magic, and keeping an eye on Ponyville via some magical means (making any physical absence from the Discord situation readily understandable). After Discord decides to go along with some of Fluttershy’s desires, for the sake of their budding friendship, I’d have him pop away to ground zero of the on-going catastrophe (which could also be encased with a similar Discord-restricting boundary), where he would simply absorb the maelstrom, thus neutralizing it (after all, it’s his kind of magic, so I don’t see much of a problem with him fixing the problem just like that). I do think this side-plot with the chaos magic maelstrom could’ve been pulled off well with an extra 10 minutes, which, with my other changes/additions, could’ve made for a two-parter story. Along with the suggested montage of Fluttershy and Discord antics, I’d mix in some cuts from Celestia working to stave off the chaos maelstrom.

As for people saying that the episode sends a bad message, via Fluttershy letting herself and her friends be abused, I don't think it goes quite that far. Yes, Fluttershy gave Discord a good deal of lee-way (and I must say I was glad to see a Fluttershy episode where she wasn't all that scared - not just because she has faced Discord before, but because, presumably, she has grown! So, it was nice to see a Fluttershy willing to take some risks), but up until the end, Discord hadn't really done anything that would very obviously risk causing long-term harm to anyone (he undid his initial tricks without much ado, and, well, okay, I admit the furniture tumbling around was dangerous, but I’m sure Fluttershy had the house evacuated soon, save for her and Discord’s presence), and at the end she did throw away what she had thought of as their budding friendship without much ado. Also, when the dinner table objects were attacking the other main characters, Fluttershy couldn't know, 100%, that the objects didn't really have somewhat of a life of their own - just because Discord imbues something with chaos magic doesn't necessarily means that he must control everything that goes down – after all, it's chaos. And, though she promised that she wouldn't use her Element against him, I'm sure that if it had been clear to Fluttershy that Discord began really hurting beings, at any point after that scene on the ice, she would've broken her promise by joining with the others to stop him (and she _was_ wearing her amulet again at the end of the episode). So, Fluttershy gave him a taste not only of the kindness within friendships, but also the loyalty within them, and by sticking to her promise, at least at the time, she made Discord's loss feel extra big when she ostensibly gave up on their friendship. As Discord himself said, "Well played."

11 years ago @ Equestria Daily - \"Keep Calm and Flutte... · 2 replies · +2 points

Moving on, the episode has what can be viewed as logical flaws with regards to character behavior, i.e. the characters were possibly behaving as if they are dumber than they are made out to be, with the one biggest possible exception being Fluttershy. The main flaw of the ones of this type, that I can think of, would be that there was no mention of anything that would force Discord to stick around, or make him not want to leave Ponyville to go cause havoc somewhere else. That is, Discord was perhaps behaving stupidly, and any characters counting on him to behave stupidly would have been stupid for doing so. To resolve this, I think Celestia should’ve simply made it so that the releasing spell just made Discord’s “prison” bigger, by un-stone-ing him and creating a magical boundary, just big enough to fit the homes of the mane six, and the routes between the homes, along with some of the vicinities, in it, that, if he were to cross it, or somehow else go beyond it, would have him be automatically turned to stone again. I’d have this fail-safe mechanism work only so long as the mane six were still unified – i.e., it would dependent upon the magic of the Elements, so that while Discord wouldn’t be able to leave Ponyville just like that, he could still have the hope of being able to do so if he could break down the magical boundary by breaking the main six’s friendship bonds, as he did once before. I think I’d show the magical boundary flicker a bit in the background as Discord exclaims that he is, “free, forever!” Right as Fluttershy has her outburst and declares that she is not his friend anymore, I’d have the boundary visibly regain its fortitude. This wouldn’t have required that much more screentime, but rather changing a few of the scenes that did fit into the episode. All in all, perhaps an extra minute. Possibly, Discord is the type who would stick around “for the lulz” (that’s certainly how he engaged Fluttershy right away), but, even so, how would the others know that he would indeed do so, given his usually erratic behavior?

I would’ve liked for us to have seen that Celestia, even if she didn’t physically stick around, was keeping an eye on what’s going on, now and then (through some magical means, if indeed she had to be absent). Similarly, I also wish that the others in the main six had camped out close to Fluttershy’s house, so they could keep a closer eye on how things were going. They did visit her, but I think Discord being that close to Fluttershy warrants them being close as well, most of the time. Mostly, this wouldn’t have added much more screentime either, but could’ve been pulled off by changing the circumstances in the scenes where the main six came to visit Fluttershy. Again, perhaps it would’ve required just one more minute, and I think it would’ve been more in-character for them to be that worried about Fluttershy. Oh, well, at least Fluttershy could’ve, supposedly, just whispered for them, as Twilight said, and they’d all be at her side…

Finally, I also wish that some great need and urgency for Discord’s magic had been expressed by Celestia, even if she didn’t explain it all in detail (but I think it would then have had to be addressed in a future episode, to not feel like a cheap plot device – indeed, even as the episode is now, I hope they show some of what she had intended for Discord, in a future episode), so that we’d understand that she’s be willing to take the risk of Discord simply causing havoc (before being turned to stone again), even if just in a relatively small area of Ponyville (see above about the idea for the magical boundary restricting Discord’s movement).

11 years ago @ Equestria Daily - \"Keep Calm and Flutte... · 3 replies · +5 points

The tl;dr version: I quite liked most of what was there, but it had some flaws and some areas that could really have been enhanced through additions of other things, and it should, with such flaws remedied and such improvements made, have been a two-parter.


I had to write a massive post, like the massive dork that I am, because Fluttershy is my favorite alongside Twilight, and this is one of the most important episodes this season, and one of the most important episodes, conceptually, for the show so far.

I liked really like most of what was actually in the episode, but I think something was missing for the ending to feel more natural on Discord’s part (for most people – I was still alright with it, and I even shed a tear when Discord was looking at the abandoned skates on the ice… but I do think that finale could’ve been made significantly better via the addition I suggest in the next paragraph). Also, a few things, that I go over in the other paragraphs, seemed to be missing for the story to be more logical with regards to Discord’s actions, and the actions of the main six (other than Fluttershy, whom I felt was in character and, finally, showed that she’d out-grown some fears, as her character development during the last two seasons should have the case be). I also have a few responses to some of the criticisms that others have put forth, regarding the idea of Discord being irredeemable.

When it came to Discord’s transformation I felt that all that was really lacking, for me, was a scene, after Fluttershy had called Discord her friend, in which Fluttershy and Discord were clearly shown to have a good deal of mutual fun together, with Discord hesitantly joining in, thinking that engaging in "co-operative" play could hardly be as fun as causing a ruckus on his own. So, now, given the scene where Fluttershy throws away the ice-skates at the end, and rejects play-time with Discord, I think it would've really enhanced the story if, prior to that scene, Fluttershy would've suggested that Discord use his magic to grant joy to someone other than just himself, in a non-destructive way, and she could've suggested that he freeze up some empty pond near her house for them to go ice-skating on. During such a scene, I'd have Discord be surprised to find that it is actually fun to harmoniously engage with another being, and have fun *together* (I'd have some of Fluttershy's animal friends join in, as well, to make it a more joyous scene).

Not only would the scene elements described above give us a stronger bonding moment between Fluttershy and Discord, thus making her "throwing away" their burgeoning friendship later on (in such a similar situation!), significantly more heart-wrenching for Discord, but Fluttershy suggesting that Discord give using his magic in a kind manner a chance also goes well with Celestia's reason for the reformation attempt, which she stated to be that she wanted to have Discord wield his magic for good. (It would also go well with Discord's conception of "fixing" the flood - turning it into ice for him and his friend to enjoy once again!)

Additionally, something else I would add to improve the acceptability of the process of Discord being partially reformed, is to make the passage of time in the episode seem as if he had stayed with Fluttershy for more than a day, by adding a short montage of chaos antics and intermittent ambivalence from both sides of the pairing, to make it seem as if Discord stayed with Fluttershy for about a week. My suggested ice-skating scene could follow such a montage, when Discord starts thinking that maybe Fluttershy is becoming too dizzy to even react to his pranks, giving him more incentive to, for once, try something that she’d like – something he ends up liking as well.

11 years ago @ Equestria Daily - Keep Calm and Flutter ... · 0 replies · +8 points

"Sometimes, we all just need to be shown a little kindness."

So far, none of the bigger villains (Discord, Sombra, and the Changelings - I'm not sure I'd count Luna amongst them), have been redeemed and befriended by the main cast, and after having seen how they handled "Nightmare Moon" in the very first couple of episodes, I had been looking forward to seeing future villains redeemed, eventually, but hitherto they have mostly just been blasted by "friendship" or "love" - and, though the words are in there, that's not very friendly or loving to the villains!

Sure, I can accept the notion that some villains are so far gone that friendship and love are to them as holy water is to vampires, and that a completely peaceful approach does not work against an aggressor, but I would like to see the main cast succeed at turning around some of the "bad guys" - I feel this is part of the promise of the premise of the show, which is that "friendship is magic", and I look forward to seeing them make the attempt with Discord, and, I hope, more villains to come!

11 years ago @ Equestria Daily - The Crystal Empire - D... · 1 reply · +6 points

I feel this is the worst two-parter so far.

Some of the biggest flaws, IMO:

• Celestia's test seemed contrived and to be without any meaningful context with regards to both Twilight's studies and the mission at hand (whose success the test was even endangering), and therefore I found it a waste of time for it to be referenced in the dialogue at various parts in the story and for it to be the topic of two whole songs (!)

• Sombra had the worst build-up and reveal of any of the villains so far, had only two lines or so, and no real dialogue with anyone. He was also defeated way too hastily for him to, even at the end, have any truly felt presence in the story. (Also, in his cloud form, he seemed cheaply drawn and animated compared to the other characters.)

• The challenges Twilight faced in the latter half (see list below) were boring and didn't seem thematically tied to anything meaningful in the story (pretty much just Celestia's meaningless test - e.g. Twilight being "challenged" by receiving a vision of her failing the test):

- There was no interesting detective work leading up to realizing where the heart probably was.
- Some new form of magic that was not really explained, and whose use thus had no payoff for the audience, was used to make progress in a couple of parts.
- Twilight spent a boring amount of time traveling on/along two spiral staircases.
- The vision Twilight was trapped in, though it was personal to her, was one she didn't even overcome by herself, as she was saved by Spike, who didn't have to make any real effort to do so. And, again, that form of magic, and why Sombra was so big on it, wasn't really fleshed out. Also, the vision was all about Celestia's seemingly pointless test.
- The only significant challenge Twilight faced, being trapped by Sombra's magic, was one she didn't overcome even partially. So the only true challenge she had was too hard. And, during this challenge, once again, Celestia's test was referenced...

As for the things I liked:

• The biggest thing that I liked the most was the idea of using the Crystal Fair to rekindle the spirit of the Crystal Ponies, and the song devoted to that process of setting up the fair has been a favorite MLP song of mine for a few months now. Overall, the fair-related scenes were fairly good (no pun intended). I particularly liked Fluttershy getting jousted into the air.

• Twi and Spike singing was also very nice... conceptually; I wish the topic of the song hadn't been related to that particular test.

11 years ago @ Equestria Daily - Anthony Bourdain eats ... · 1 reply · +2 points

I don't see him/her applying any remarkable amount of force, but pretty much just stating his/her views. If anyone feels pressured by what either of us have written in this thread, and even compelled to downvote what we say, despite both of us being rather polite, considering the topic at hand, perhaps any perceived conflict is actually in your mind - a conflict between your conscience and your ego. Not saying this is necessarily true for you...

11 years ago @ Equestria Daily - Anthony Bourdain eats ... · 3 replies · +3 points

To those wondering if any fans of the show are actually mad about this, well, even if I was mad about it, it wouldn't be merely because of my fandom, but, being that I am a vegetarian partly out of empathy for the non-human creatures, whom I don't want to suffer simply for the sake of my tastebuds, I find that any instance of people eating meat when they didn't have to is saddening (just as regular predator-prey relationships in the wild are saddening, but that is another topic...).

That said, I have recently been feeling that this particular cognitive dissonance that part of humanity exhibits to be rather creepy - to think that so much love could be shown for animated non-human animals such as our little ponies, yet actual ones, unless they're owned as pets, are fit for murder (although this term is reserved for the premeditated killing of a human being by another human being, the difference between that and what is done to animals is only an academic one).

This is not to say that I think this man, or any other person with omnivorous dietary habits, should be harrassed, but I'd like for them to be questioned about these matters, by all who dare to speak their heart, even if their voices shake... This makes me wonder, yet again, how many bronies and pegasisters are vegetarians (and maybe even vegans). Has there been a poll on that, anywhere? In my humble opinion, Compassion is Magic... Please, let me know if you wouldn't eat "Dash".