Tag: review

MLP Review: “Hard to Say Anything”

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Well, that sunk a couple ships! Big Macintosh has been delivering bushels of apples to Sugar Belle in Starlight Glimmer’s old village. Big Mac has developed a crush on her, but his shy demeanor prevents him from expressing his feelings. Just as he musters up the courage, a Justin Bieber look-a-like pony named Feather Bangs, muscles in.

The CMC, who are stowaways will try to give Big Mac relationship advice short of love potions because that worked so well in “Hearts and Hooves Day”. It all comes to a head when both Big Mac and Feather Bangs participate in an epic sing battle for Sugar Belle’s affections, but she has had enough of the nonsense.

Finally, Big Mac comes up with a solution that dates back to Sugar Belle wishing for more space to display her baked goods. So, Big Mac and Apple Bloom build a new shelf and Big Mac gets the girl. Meanwhile, the CMC offer Feather Bangs advice on how to woo the three ponies who resemble those who fawn over Gaston in Beauty and the Beast. And yes, waifu-stealing specialist Vincent Tong voices Feather Bangs.

This episode adds nothing to what we have seen before with love triangle episodes in animation, but that was not the goal. One goal the episode did achieve was that it made things far more tolerable than average. Big Mac got some much needed development in “Brotherhooves Social” and this episode does well to build on it. It also does well for the CMC to learn the error of their ways from “Hearts and Hooves Day” and their ideas are much more reasonable this time around. Sugar Belle was also likable here and I enjoy how Sugar Belle went into WTF mode early during the duel as things started to get awkward since Big Mac is a little bit country and Feather Bangs is a lot of cheesy pop.

Overall, it’s a good episode that builds on the development of Big Mac and to an extent the CMC after their misadventures in “Hearts and Hooves Day”. Plus, Big Mac gets the girl. What’s wrong with that? (Seriously? Why can’t he be with Sugar Belle?)

GRADE:  B+

StatManDan

MLP Review: “Parental Glidance”

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We’ve been waiting for this one! Well, at least those in the US who did not wanted to be spoiled by the early Canadian releases. Scootaloo takes a page from Wil E. Coyote’s playbook to vault herself up to Cloudsdale to research on Rainbow Dash for a school paper on the Most Inspiration Pony. Unlike Wli E. Coyote, Scootaloo is successful in getting to Cloudsdale and right into the yard of Rainbow Dash’s parents—Bow Hothoof and Windy Whistles.

Bo and Windy give Scootlaoo a tour of Rainbow Dash’s foalhood home and Scoots is like a foal in a candy store. Plus, Bo and Windy are extremely supportive of her daughter. However, when Scootaloo tells Dash’s parents that their daughter is in the Wonderbolts, we find out why Dash did not tell them.

There’s being supportive of you children at what they do, and there’s taking it to eleven like Dash’s parents do. To put it lightly, they can be a bit embarrassing while Scootaloo does not see anything wrong with it. Dash finally snaps when her parents cheer her putting away a towel and asks them to leave. This upsets Scootaloo because she has not had parents as supportive as Dash’s are.

Dash then tells a story about how she wasn’t always the best at racing, but got better as the years past with her parents supporting her all the way from participation badges to gold medals. Realizing that she has taken her parents for granted, she tries to make it up with them. I’ll skip the working title and say that Dash and the Wonderbolts put on a show in honor of her parents. And then the episode ends with Dash and her family giving the same supportive treatment to Scootaloo with her report (which only got a B since it was heavy on photos and a moldy sandwich).

We have seen the evolution of the CMC as the show has progressed and they have become much better characters from Season Four onwards. Last week, we had Sweetie Belle giving a lesson to Rarity about how the former is no longer the sweet little filly from years past. Here, Scootaloo is giving Rainbow a lesson about how important it is to have supportive parents—even it is to the point of embarrassment which sometimes parents do.

Admittedly, Bo and Windy are very likable in this episode and sometimes reminded me about those MasterCard ads with Peyton Manning. Rainbow is also not completely unreasonable here. It does get embarrassing if your parents cheer every single little thing you do, but the point here is that they have been very supportive and helped give her the confidence to be who she is today. That’s something you just do not take for granted.

Overall, this was a fantastic episode with a lot of heart in it. Not just for seeing Rainbow Dash’s parents for the first time, but the role Scootaloo plays as well.

Post-Episode Notes:

  • CUT THAT RIBBON! CUT THAT RIBBON!
  • Dash’s parents are very likable
  • Scootaloo does very well in central role
  • A ‘B’ for the report?!?

GRADE:  A+

StatManDan

MLP Review: “Forever Filly”

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As a reminder, reviews for both MLP and for Steven Universe will follow when the show officially airs in the United States. So the review for “Parental Glidance” will be after next Saturday.

Rarity has been busy with the Spring Transition at her Canterlot shop when she comes across a picture of her and Sweetie Belle—and then realizes it’s been ages since she last spent time with her. Determine to make amends, she sets aside a day with her to do the things they used to do together (or so she thinks).

Sweetie Belle and her fellow CMCs are working with Zipporwhill to help her with her cutie mark and her dog Ripley who does not seem to want to play with her anymore. However, Sweetie Belle is pulled aside when Rarity wants to spend time with her. They do all the things they used to do when Sweetie Belle was younger and things the latter is clearly not interested in doing now. She’s grown up a bit and wonders if Rarity even realizes that.

Sweetie Belle does realize that Ripley is a bit older and suggests to Zipporwhill that he may not want to play with puppy toys, but rather chase sticks, etc. Rarity sees this—after jumping to the conclusion that Sweetie is being ungrateful—and is proud of the pony that she has become as they try to find new things to do together.

So here’s yet another episode that is an example of how things have changed over time with the show. Sweetie Belle is more mature than in earlier seasons and of course Rarity now has three stores instead of one. The CMC are now in the business of helping others with cutie marks. I have a feeling we are going to get quite a few of these episodes this season. This was still a good episode, it just does not add anything special or does anything new. However, many will get a kick out of the sister photos, especially with Rarity being a ham.

Post-episode notes:

  • Another episode of how times have changed
  • Does not really add anything
  • Photos are hilarious
  • Rarity overdoes things, but that Rarity being Rarity

GRADE:  B

StatManDan

SU Reviews: The Good Lars, Are You My Dad & I Am My Mom

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“The Good Lars”

Here we find Lars has a gift for baking, but doesn’t want to share it with anyone afraid people will think it’s not cool. Lars, Steven, and Sadie are invited to a pot luck by the cool kids. Steven tries to get Lars to come with his pastries, but he bails (or so Steven and Sadie think). Sadie, who brought paper plates, wonders if she should fix her life first before Lars’s. Well, I feel that it might have to wait as those shadowy figures were following.

We’ll see where this all leads on Thursday.

StatManDan


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“Are You My Dad” & “I Am My Mom”

As a reminder, it is my policy to only review episodes when they have their official US Release. So the “Wanted” special review will take place after Memorial Day (May 29th).

This is what everything was leading up to. Add Jamie and Connie to the list of abducted and we meet a gem named Aquamarine who has a fusion named Topaz and who keeps asking, “Are you my Dad?” Gems do not have Dads. ‘My Dad’ is part of a list of humans given from Steven to Peridot way back in “Marble Madness.” Lars, Sadie, Connie, Jamie, and Onion so happened to be on the list. ‘My Dad’ is actually Greg.

Both Aquamarine and Topaz appear to have been sent by Blue and Yellow Diamond to collect them for Pink Diamond’s Zoo according to the Crystal Gems. Steven attempts to sacrifice himself by saying he is ‘my Dad’ in an attempt to rescue his friends. Steven feeling guilty that he is the cause of all the troubles, then offers himself as Rose in exchange for his friends’ freedom (except for Lars who is still stuck in the spaceship). That ends Season Four with Season Five starting with the one-hour “Wanted” special on Memorial Day.

We didn’t know how this Steven Bomb was going to build, but the end result was quite explosive (no pun intended). Steven is very conflicted at this moment. On one hand, he believes that his Mom is a war criminal and thus, he is part war criminal since he has Rose’s gem. Now, he is determined to end this once and for all. Things are about to come to a head in Season Five.

Post episode notes:

  • Clever use of call backs
  • Sets up a climax brilliantly
  • Steven is very conflicted and feels only he can ‘end things’
  • Things are going to get intense!

GRADE:  A

StatManDan

SU Review: “Lion 4: Alternate Ending” & “Doug Out”

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We’re back with another Steven Bomb. And like the last Steven Bomb, grades will be handed out at the end of the Steven Bomb on Thursday.

We start with Steven looking for secret messages in the video from Rose. He’s unable to find anything that could answer what his “magical destiny” when Lion coughs up a key. The key opens a door in the desert that leads to…..Rose’s garbage bin. But wait, there’s a video there and it’s entitled, “For Nora”.

Lion then takes him to Greg and they see the video and it’s merely the same video except if Rose gave birth to a girl instead of a boy. So, it would’ve been Nora if a girl, and Steven if a boy. In the end, it turns out that Rose just wanted Steven to be Steven—nothing really more.

We’ll see if there is more to that story, but it might be that Steven was trying too hard to figure out the “magical destiny” from the video. But of course, we are certain to find out more as the week progresses.

StatManDan


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We get a visit from Connie’s Dad and he’s on a case of a break-in at Funland. Doug asks Connie (aka Veronica Cucamonga) and Steven (aka Peter Pizzapopolous) to join him. For most of the episode, Doug’s flashlight is not super effective as the culprit is giving them the slip. Connie and Steven finally corner the suspect and it’s Onion.

Doug was trying to show that his job is adventurous, but ends up looking silly, especially compared to the adventures Steven and Connie have been on. Connie says that she enjoys spending time with him as a respite from the serious things in her life. They let Onion go thinking they scared him straight, but did he really do it?

Well, we’ll just have to wait for the rest of the Steven Bomb to figure out.

StatManDan

MLP Review: “Fluttershy Leans In”

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As you may have guessed, we are refraining form jumping ahead and only reviewing episodes as they air in the United States. So, the “Forever Filly” review will be next week.

This episode begins with Fluttershy taking parkour hopeful Angel to the vet to check on his injured foot. However, Dr. Fauna is completely overwhelmed with animals in her building which was indirectly the result of Fluttershy’s recommendations.

Fluttershy sees an opportunity to pursue a dream of building an animal sanctuary. This is a Fluttershy that is much more confident and has her vision. Three of the Mane Six recommend ponies to help her. However, each of the ponies have their own ideas that directly clash with Fluttershy’s. Fluttershy wants an open-air facility while Hard Hat (Pinkie’s recommendation) thinks she would be better off with something similar to the hospital. Fluttershy wants natural decor. Dandy Grandeur (Rarity’s recommendation) feels the place could use something more lavish. Fluttershy does not want any cages. Wrangler (Applejack’s recommendation) brings exactly that.

None of Pinkie, Rarity, or Applejack can be blamed for their recommendations. They were just offering advice on ponies who have helped them in the past. It’s just the visions of Hard Hat, Wrangler, and Dandy Grandeur clash with those of Fluttershy’s. Fluttershy is upset and fires them. Her fears are confirmed when Dr. Fauna brings the animals and they disapprove.

Undeterred, Fluttershy decides to call on a pony whom she can trust in building the sanctuary the way she wants. That pony is Big Daddy McColt. The McColts are good at building stuff and the sanctuary is designed the way Fluttershy wanted with help from her friends. It is also a big success as the animals readily approve of the new Sweet Feather Sanctuary.

The star of this episode was unquestionably Fluttershy and this was an episode to show not only how more self-confident and assertive she’s become, but to give her a chance to expand on her role of animal caregiver. The episode did its job.

Are there a few nitpicks? Maybe. We never knew until now that Fluttershy had a dream to build an animal sanctuary, but she’s never been this confident and self-assured before. As for Dandy Grandeur, Hard Hat, and Wrangler; they could have gotten away with trying to impart their visions on Fluttershy if this was an earlier season, but not this season. It’s similar to “Suited for Success” when Rarity’s friends tried to impart their visions on what their Gala dresses should look like.

But overall, this was a fantastic episode which set out to show how far Fluttershy has developed from the timid pegasus all those years ago, and how there was something beyond just caring for animals at her cottage.

Post-episode notes:

  • The evolution of Fluttershy
  • Relatable problem with pursuing dreams and visions.
  • Gave Fluttershy something beyond just caring for animals.

GRADE:  A+

StatManDan

MLP Review: “Rock Solid Friendship”

Well, this one had plenty of talking points. The episode begins with Maud earning her “Rocktorate” and pondering moving to either Ponyville or Ghastly Gorge. Obviously, Pinkie is hoping/pushing for the former. Maud says that it will be a rock-based decision, but could explore less exotic rocks with somepony who ‘gets her.’

Enter Starlight Glimmer. Apart from Maud perhaps lending Starlight an indirect hoof in helping her enslave the village, the two start conversing. Things are off to a good start, but then Pinkie gets a little pushy to make them BFFs and to clingy to Maud. Maud and Starlight also come across a hidden paradise within the gem cave in Ponyville, but again Pinkie appears and you get the picture.

It pushes Maud to choose Ghastly Gorge where she can be alone with “great rocks”. Oh, there are the quarray eels that were introduced in “May the Best Pet Win.” After fleeing form them, Pinkie apologizes to Maud for trying to force friendship between her and Starlight and promise to give her space. Ultimate, Maud finds a space in the Crystal Cave town that she and Starlight discovered.

First off, let’s talk about the pink elephant in the room. This is behavior we have seen before from Pinkie where she gets insecure if she feels she does not have all the friends or the best parties. This is leaning towards Pinkie at her worst a la “A Friend in Deed.” On the other hand, it’s nice to see development for both Maud and Starlight here. This is indeed the first episode in which Starlight appears and Twilight does not as well as prolonged interaction with somepony other that either Twilight or Trixie. Of course, with Maud, we have some of the funniest parts of the episode like Rarity panicking after Maud tells her how ‘common’ chartreuse gems are in the cave.

Already, the speculation is that this season will be about developing characters other than the Mane Six and Spike for the most part, but we’re just four episodes in and there’s a long way to go. So overall, this was a great episode though sometime despite Pinkie rather than because of her.

Post Episode Notes:

  • Third Wheel Pinkie again
  • Maud and Starlight interaction and development
  • Giving Starlight another pony she can relate to
  • Humor, especially with Maud

GRADE:  A-

StatManDan