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Ponies Make Me A Better Person

Blogging. Oh, How much I’ve missed you. It was more than 2 weeks ago that I wrote my last blog and went into deep radio silence. And I have to say: As I type these words and, thanks to today’s technology to make them magically appear on the screen, is something that floods me in joy. This past 2 weeks I’ve felt somewhat empty on the inside, no blogging, no happiness. I really love to write, I love the English language and while I still do not master it, I believe writing takes me closer to perfecting it.

Now, enough of that point-less talk. Let’s get right into the important stuff, shall we?


- Because pony; because, because magic.


So as the sounds of silence invaded me this past 2 weeks, my mind has been to some strange places lately. While I was completely separated from the blogging community, I really wasn’t all that deep in radio silence; all thanks to the GIO Bronies community.

Yep, you read that right, and I believe you’re familiar with that term. I am a fan of the current MLP: Friendship is Magic television series, and I don’t see that love ending anytime soon. GIO Bronies has got to be one of the most, or if not, the most active group community I’ve ever seen on Game Informer Online. Now, don’t get me wrong since I could be mistaken, but this group offers me one of the most relaxing and enjoyable times for me on the internet.

And more than 2 months ago I wrote my first ever Friendship is Magic blog. A good chunk of people read it and, if you remember little tiny pieces, it was me basically examining why so many people liked the show and what was the real reason behind the massive appeal.

Well, I did a decent enough examination on it but now, after 2 months, that was a really short and crappy blog to be honest. It was so short compared to my most recent blogs that I felt ashamed of having it there in my blog collection. Of course, that was just me in the process of becoming a better writer here in GIO, and I’m still battling to become an even better one if that’s possible.

But, darn it, I’ve gone off-topic again. Happiness sure gets the better of one-self sometimes. So, let’s jump in once again:

  • Why do I like this show?
  • What makes the show so special?
  • How the show has changed my Life.
  • Behind GIO Bronies and the Fandom.
  • Behind the characters.
  • And What’s the TRUE –redacted- of the show?


Long blog? Unfortunately, yes.

But, one worth the read?


Fortunately, YES.

-'Luna', 'the moon', 'and the space'. Get it? No..?


So, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Reboot of the entire brand cartoon, and thankfully, it was for the better. MLP: FiM started way back in October 17th of 2010, if I’m not mistaken. Lauren Faust, series’ creator, had an initial, but understandable, fear. She had a fear of the show being unjustfully qualified as “stupid, superficial, and girly”; she had to prepare for the inevitable hate comments and opinions. Initially, she did receive some hateful feedback around the internet, but she knew that was going to happen and had expected this already.

Those moments were hard, but the best was yet to start.

Brief after the show premiered, there was this reviewer who took on the job of checking out the debut, long-story short, that review ended up across the internet, and somehow landed on 4chan, one of the largest image boards of the web. The rest is history.

Soon, the MLP cartoon would become a phenomenon, and even more surprising; the appearance of the bronies. Men who love watching the show. I wasn’t aware of the cartoon until sometime in May; when I started noticing a really uncommon amount of pony pictures representing people’s avatars all over the web. I was intrigued, and I wanted to check out what was all the fuss about.

But, you may ask me.

Why do I love this show?

Well, I could easily respond because it clearly shows some attention and care to the fans, or because characters and narratives are really well done or because the cartoon obviously stands out for being completely different than most shows today. Those are all valid arguments, and facts. The show is great on itself.

Friendship is Magic has one special feeling on me everytime I watch it, and while the show is full of modern and old pop cultural references (and all of them pretty awesome), it's still a wonderful set-back to the old cartoons that I now miss so much, recently I've been wanting to watch a little more cartoons to cheer up my soul from time to time, but while there is still some silly fun to be had in some shows, it just doesn't feel right to me, like if the cartoon is reaching towards an already standardized society, with such plain characters and boring episode plots, I just can't think the fact why these "cartoons" have so much fame. I started wondering at what moment did cartoons and most T.V went in to decline.

But that's a story for another day.

Now, maybe you don't even have an idea of what the show is about, so let me clear the skies for you.

Friendship is Magic (btw, I prefer calling it FiM better than the standard, dull My Little Pony, line of toys) is a complete character-driven show, but what do I mean by that?

That every single episode roots from a character's personal problem or a group's central problem. Kinda like the Simpsons in its early, golden years. The Simpsons used to feature rich episodes and character-driven plots while still maintaining that cynical, lovable humor of the show. Ending episodes in such a classy and intelligent way like Marge and Homer kissing and walking off into the sunset, those were my favorite times with the Simpsons.

I still love them, but absurdity and monotony has gotten the better of the show, it's still entertaining to a point, but that warm kiss finale in the early days has now been replaced by either, spilling out a plain joke referencing a Hollywood artist or Homer getting crushed by a car in some way. Luckily, there are still some very good episodes across all those other average ones but, look again, I've gone off-topic.

So yeah, FiM takes place in Ponyville, home to the most likeable characters I've seen since the good ol' Spongebob days. Twilight Sparkle, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy and Rarity are the shows' main protagonists, with Twilight Sparkle being the central character across the entire series.

Episodes plots can go from an initial friendship problem between all of them, some kind of misunderstanding or disgust between certain "opposite poles" or branch out from an exclusively personal problem.

Now, yeah, you read right. The show's characters aren't all magically the best friends forever from the instant. They actually have to go through certain special events between every single one to finally reach a bond within the whole group.

For example: If it wasn't for Episode 5: Griffon the brush-off, Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash probably wouldn't have bonded together until later in the show, basically, both of them are pranksters, or at least like to have some good innocent fun. At the beginning Dash isn't very fond of Pinkie's personality and comes to think of her as plain annoying.

Pinkie, on the other hand, end-lessly chases Dash so they can spend some moments together, but it isn't until Rainbow Dash learns the fact that Pinkie loves to make pranks as much as she does. They finally come to bond and their new friendship is born. And so happens with the rest of the cast in the future episodes.

Twilight Sparkle, the purple colored pony, is always tasked to send her tutor, Princess Celestia, a new friendship lesson every week, you see, at the beginning Twilight didn't really liked the idea of having friends, most of her time being plummeted down into reading or studying. This, of course, changes dramatically throughout the show, as she becomes more attached to her friends more than ever.

I became aware of the show's existence some time back in May through a ridiculous overload of Pony avatars on gaming sites. Soon, summer arrived and like everyone else, I had a bunch of time to kill. And in mid-way July I watched the first episode of Friendship is Magic. At first, like many other people, I questioned my sanity to, why the hell am I watching this?!

At first it can be very strange experience, or at least it was for me, I felt like the only man watching it in the whole world, but soon I became aware of the huge fan base the show possesed.

Days passed and I watched the second part of the pilot on Youtube. The show's appeal started to grow on me. Finished the pilot and felt... strangely comforted by it. I wanted more.

On July 28th I went Pony-overtime. After I finished watching the 3rd episode, the characters and the show had begun to really grow on me. I would watch up to 3 episodes a day. A full 60 minutes of daily Pony. I still had that lingering doubt if my masculinity was in play, but as I ate through all the episodes I realized I really loved the characters and episodes, and If someone found out I've been watching ponies on my computer, I knew I wouldn't feel ashamed in the least.

August 1st. My first ever Pony blog here on GI went live. A relatively small piece of work trying to understand why people liked the show so much and why I liked it. Funny story though, I wrote a paragraph at the end stating I wouldn't see myself "falling" on the brony category anytime soon, I liked the show, but I really didn't loved it to death.

5 days later. I reached episode 15. I ate that entire paragraph. I had to accept it: I had become brony. Episode 15 was the limit for me to accept how much I loved the show. But what made me finally succumb into the truth?

That pink tail... that beautiful, puffy pink tail.

You should know that there were some other stuff regarding my found love for FiM.

These last months have been a really tough and unpredictable rollercoaster of emotions. There's moments where I feel like I want to share my happiness with the world, and some others where I just don't even want to leave the house. It's part of growing up, as I'm now finally shaping my personality for the future, this kind of things are inevitable; and I'm pretty sure I've spent some pretty sad afternoons.

Back in June and July I had one of my toughest times in my life, there were some problems between me and my parents, between me and my friends, between me and my scholar life, between me and my girlfriend and the most scarring of them all: Between me and myself.

All of those moments came together at the same time that it was like my life was going completely down-hill. There were days where I wouldn't even smile once. And let me tell you, that feeling is horrible. I have always been a strong person on the inside, but I felt like I was about to collapse, or more like I, wanted to collapse.

The whole world was coming down on me and I just couldn't handle it. I've always told myself, Life will push you down and beat you sometimes, But it's only in my own power and conviction If I ever want to stand up again. Figuring if I have what's necessary to keep on going and don't look back solely depends in a dialogue between me and myself. But still, its easier said than done. I almost gave up, but I found an incentive to keep on going.

Since I started watching Friendship is Magic some kind of force wants me to just smile and forget. I can't really explain it, but its really kind of magical when I feel that sensation. There's something cheering me inside to keep on going, and while I may find the cause or the reason for it, I really don't want to. The feeling is as magical as happiness itself.

Ponies make me want to be a better person.

From images to, PMV's (pony music videos), the community, to the series itself.

All of them inspire me to try and be a better person for myself and for everyone else that surround my life. FiM has surely changed me in a way, and I'm thankful for it.

Every time I'm feeling down I just have to remember the show and the depression is almost over.

I want to be a better person, but how? In a moral way? Well, not only that. But ethically too. I want to prepare myself and start picking out what's good, what's correct and what's fair. But If I don't have any real incentive for that search then I might as well give up in the process.

I can't imagine myself where would I be now if it wasn't for FiM to enter my life. I'm not necessarily saying it would be worse, but I'm trying to say it really did altered my life to a point.

And that's another big part of why I love the show. But bear with me, there's more to it.

The FiM community has got to be one of the most caring fan bases I've ever seen. And I've seen some really caring communities like Halo's fan base, those guys are really supportive and really love the series and its universe. And its the same with the FiM fans.

Recently, the Season 2 of FiM aired on TV, and with it, one of the most celebrated movie moments made an appearance on the show. Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope's ending was referenced in the final moments of Season 2's episode 1, part 2.

Yes, we all geeked out. It was memorable.

Moments from the episode ending on TV, all across the internet, you could find comments geeking out on the fact that a pony cartoon had mimicked everyone's favorite space opera. Episode IV's ending videos on Youtube were flooded with the fans comments, and guess what; top comments were about the ponies.

It's just such an amazing and vivid fan base the show has that it makes me happy and proud to be a part of.

Now, The GIO Bronies community. Ah, yes, the most friendly and crazy community on the internet that I've ever stumbled upon.

The group talks mostly about the show of course, but that doesn't mean one can go off-topic and delve into any random topic just for the shenanigans that this group is known for. Every single member on the group has a very unique (and crazy)  personality which, otherwise, if we didn't had him/her the group wouldn't be the same.

To summarize everything that's been going on in the group would be almost impossible, for there have been so many stories and events on the community, from the typical Pony initial conversation turned into one abnormal random off-topic conversation, to a synchtube reunion featuring one of the most non-sensical avalanche of comments I've seen, to the never-ending brony round-ups on consoles. This group shares and interacts more from any other group I've been part of in the internet.

So much that missing a single day on the group just feels wrong for some reason, one actually cares for the people around the group. Basically, this group has an amazing chemistry between everyone, every person has always something unique to bring to the table that, like I've said before, without him/her the group would just not be the same old crazy storm of randomness.


The group is certainly something special, one that ultimately, when finally parting ways, it will be kinda hard considering how close everyone is. We're united by the same thing: Videogames and FiM. There is just no better combination for us. GIO Bronies is constantly evolving, and by that I mean the home page is always filled by either someone telling us about certain event or incident in their lives or some recent event that has improved or made his/her life better. And everyone cares for you and if possible, can always aid you in advices or can just simply comment to show their opinion or honest reaction.

One big healthy relationship this group is. And indeed, Friendship can be quite magical. On-line or off-line.


The show's characters, as I've said before, are one of the most likeable I've ever seen on cartoons. The chemistry between the main characters is somewhat special, It's one of the few, few cartoons where I really enjoy hearing them together in a conversation.

Their personalities are very well established, and while they may not be the deepest personalities you'll see in TV, they are certainly better fleshed out than other cartoons. Let's take 2 ponies for an example:

Twilight Sparkle, the show's main star, is actually my 2nd favorite character of the series. Twilight's a very studious Unicorn pony with the element of magic. She enjoys anything science-related and can be a very helpful friend too.

At the beginning, Twilight doesn't really enjoy the idea of having friends, so yes, she's kinda antisocial at the beginning of the show, evading any kind of relation until a certain event reveals her how important, how beautiful and how valuable having friends, is. She has a sane relation with the other 5 ponies. She likes to aid them whenever she can.

She still stands by her own principles, though, but that doesn't mean she's blinded by them. The entire group probably wouldn't have ever bonded if it wasn't for Twilight.


Pinkie Pie. Remember that odd line I left about a pink tail? She's the one responsible for my ultimate transformation into a brony. My favorite pony. She is the soul of the show, the most innocent, cartoony, and funny character of the bunch.

Pinkie Pie can be quite hyper-active and always likes to have a good fun around her friends, but she doesn't have the most perfect personality either. Pinkie, in episode 25 of the show, has an extreme personality change, she turns from the sweet-caring-loving pony to an estranged and rejected character.

-"Zat is Correct!"

After she finds out that her friends are evading her for some reason, she snaps, Pinkie can't come to accept the idea or the reality of losing her friends forever. This is basically the plot of the episode, a very good one and funny too, but you can see how far they delved into the character's personalities.

Every character has an episode like this, and I'm not saying everyone has at least one emotional outbreak during the season, but that the episode is solely centered around them and their current worries and emotions.

In the end I came to love Pinkie so much that I just identify with her from time to time. I'm not saying my entire personality is like hers but I find a good chunk of simmilarities between us two. Just like with Twilight.

I even gave her the honor of featuring my Hero image and my entire bio on my GI profile. As you may have seen.


 

The True Magic of the Show

We've finally reached the conclusion to this blog (Thank God). If you've accompanied me all up this point then I must thank you for appreciating and actually reading this huge wall of text.

From everything I've touched upon today, you can clearly see how much passion I have for the show and its community. Friendship is Magic is currently my most favorite cartoon ever.

But what's the great thing behind it? Is it the great development the show has? The characters? The happy and anti-deppresing tone the cartoon has?

No.

So, what is it?

The show clearly evokes on me something much more powerful than just my connection with the characters.

It reminds me of my long-gone childhood and my inevitable beginning to the "real life". I'm growing up and that moment where responsabilties will overtake my life is soon to arrive.

Something that we all have to pass through at a certain stage in our lives, and by that I mean to finally accept that our infancy is gone. I have 17 years in this life, and its obvious my childhood is long gone by now, my life is just about to get harder and flooded with more responsabilties and obligations than ever before.

The show really reminds me a lot of those beautiful times, those moments where I would gather around with my friends or family to sit back and watch the same repeated Spongebob episode and have the purest form of fun laughing between us all.

-Classic.

Friendship is Magic is like the light in the darkest tunnel, or so I would see it like that. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying the show is some kind of Shakesperian work or something along the lines, but it really is, in my opinion, the best, most innocent, funny and educative cartoon out right now.

So, where is the true magic of the show?

The true magic of the show is found somewhere else.

Not in it.


But in ourselves.

I never came to think about how a band of candy-looking Ponies could ever alter my life, but they did, and for the good.

People hating on the cartoon shouldn't even have the right to express their opinions, as this show is clearly something out of the ordinary and something really special. Something capable of making me write 9 full pages in MS Word, and claiming this blog the longest I've done.

Ponies had made me a better person, and I'm thankful for it. The show is my constant reminder to enjoy my last moments of adolescence and finally stepping in as an adult.



Everyone in this world should be watching the show, not by obligation, but by necessity, the show has encouraged me to appreciate my friends and my time with them before they're finally gone.

These ponies come down to something much more than just a cartoon, but to an ethical discipline and a healthier desire for my pursuit of happiness. I'm happy to say I'll keep watching the show until the very last episode comes out. And I wish the series has a very long run, because they deserve it, and I want the show to continuosly become better and more popular. Who knows what's in store for these ponies in the future? Let's just hope for the better.

At least I know what's in store for mine, or I believe so.

And to turn back and remember within 20 years this series could be something quite magical and very emotional. I just wish I live to see the end if it all. To look back and remember my favorite cartoon character of all time, seeing once again that pink colored tail and those bright blue eyes is something that will definately wash me in joy.

But, let's not imagine that far ahead.

If you haven't watched the show, then you should. The show begins at a slow-pace but it gets better and better towards the end. And the Season 2's initial episodes are something everypony has to see.

These ponies have everything to be loved by everyone. And they should be. The show has proved to be beyond anything today.

A bright future is ahead, indeed.

And the only reason someone wouldn't love these ponies is not because they hate them.

But because they haven't gave them a chance.



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