My Little Pony > K-ON! (and its spawns)
Weekends on campus are boring, so I watched My Little Pony. All three seasons.
A few months ago…well, actually, probably about a year ago, I decided to check out what all this pony obsession was all about. I ended up watching four or five episodes and was pleasantly surprised and extremely charmed. Despite that, I never got back to watching anymore. But thanks to a socially and physically reclusive weekend on campus, as well as Yumeka’s post (and partial suggestion), I decided to resume my pony-filled journey.
Thus I ended up watching all three seasons in less than two days.
- I see much of myself in Twilight Sparkle, Rarity and Pinkie Pie.
- Fluttershy is probably the most awesome, though.
- The two-parters are epic.
- Winter Wrap-Up and Cutie Mark Chronicles are two of my favorite episodes.
- I found the second season the weakest.
I won’t be delving into the Brony community or the fandom in general. I’m just gonna compare it to anime.
It’s very easy to see why this cartoon has become a beloved part of a large populace among the anime community. It’s episodic but still has continuity to it, has tons of insert songs, and is just plain adorable. If it were an anime MLP would obviously fall into the moe/slice of life genre. But what makes it better than shows like K-ON!, Yuruyuri and the like? Why does it succeed at doing the same things those anime have without coming across as stupid and irritating? (From now on, K-ON! is referring to all girls in school-slice of life anime that are like it.)
I think the primary reason is due to MLP’s cast of characters. Like K-ON!, MLP’s cast is small and each pony has one or two defining traits. Fluttershy is timid and with animals, Rarity is vain and a fashionista, Twilight Sparkle is studious (often to a fault), etc. What makes them different than K-ON! characters is that the ponies:
- Actually have hobbies
- their main defining characteristic is often exploited, both for plot points and for faults.
In K-ON!, yes, Houkago Tea Time do have hobbies, playing their instruments and baking. But aside from playing in the band, it’s never really used for anything. Except annoyance. By showing the ponies’ few characteristics in both good and bad lights, it made them feel more human and relatable than any of the K-ON! girls. MLP’s cast of side characters such as Princess Luna (whom I love) and the Cutie Mark Crusaders (Apple Bloom is my favorite) are great, too.
In addition to that, MLP also has the advantage of setting. Ponyville, Canterlot, and the Crystal Empire are all far more interesting than your average Japanese high school. MLP’s aesthetic in general is also bright and eye-catching.
Though perhaps what really sets MLP above K-ON! is the fact that I never felt intellectually insulted. Yes, the lessons that MLP teaches about friendship are for girls in elementary school. But that’s way more than what we get out of K-ON!, which would just be that eating pastries and not practicing your instruments can still lead to a good band. Which is incorrect.