Yeesh, OK people…I guess it’s been a long time coming but since I’m the crews only “Brony” as the fandom has dubbed itself, I’ll be the cat telling you everything you ever cared enough to know about this…strangely entertaining fandom. Now before you get all “Oh he’s a pervert.” Or some stupid mess like that, shut your face and give this a read first. Then you can toss rocks at my awesome glass house.
1.) You actually watch it?!
First and foremost, yes…we do watch My Little Pony…yes the show “made for little girls”. However, like most cartoons these days it’s not simply made for children…the show has enough inside jokes and nods to current and past pop culture to keep us adults entertained. The new MLP show unlike it’s disgustingly girly predecessors was made to encompass the children watching and the adults awesome enough to watch cartoons with their kids (in my case my nieces Lyssa and Mara-Jade, and yes she was named after Luke Skywalker’s wife…). So yes, the show was so well written and animated that grown men watch it almost religiously. Now some guys start watching it on their own, some are pushed by another Brony or Pegasister if you will and end up liking it, some watched it with the kids and got poked into watching it by a certain female like I did. Now in all honesty I thought the show while nice and what not, was dumb. I had better things to do than watch technicolored ponies solve each other issues, I had a show about a TARDIS and The Doctor to watch.
2.) Ok, so why KEEP watching it?
As I’ve stated before, the show is damn entertaining if you actually watch more than a few episodes. You might end up finding yourself in a pony as the series chugs along. I myself found the pony version of myself in the Great and Powerful Trixie. While she has a great deal of talent, she’s pretty arrogant and a bit of a show off. It’s a mix of confidence, an urge to be better than everyone, and good ol pride. However she also goes too far with it and embellishes things to make herself look better, things I do from time to time as well. Just watching the show you’ll find a pony that resembles your personality whether you like it or not. The show actually has pretty engaging season openers, normally (insert bad guy here) returns from (insert bad guy situation here) and decides they want some more. So the Mane Six (yes I just said that.) normally end up fighting said villain with the Elements Of Harmony (AKA: God Powers) and learning a new facet of their on friendship with each other. That and the songs…yes they sing at least three to four times a season. The little songs are actually pretty catchy and well sung (Pinkie Pie has the best singing voice… followed by Sweetie Belle). Sure the songs are about friendship and all that jazz but they’re quality songs…like really good…well most of them.
3.) Right…so what’s with the over sexuallized fan art? Explain that smart guy.
I can’t explain it…I’m not an artist. I’m not into “sexy” ponies because…they’re ponies…but art is art. There’s a sexy version of just about everything so why would this be avoided? It’s pretty clear that most of the ponies are at least 18 (Mares and Stallions) , it’s never said but it’s obvious they aren’t children (Fillies and Colts if you don’t know nuthin’ about horses). So it’s not a big deal. For every “sexy” piece of fanart there’s at least three non sexual piece. It’s all up to the artist’s whims. While I’m not attracted to “sexy” pony art I can appreciate the time and skill it takes to make it. So welcome to the Internet where there’s a sexy version of everything except Jorge (sorry bro).
4.) Ponies aren’t manly bro, do you even lift?
No I don’t lift. Too much of a gamer for that. Also If you want manliness check out Flutterguy or one of my favorites Hotblooded Pinkie Pie. Those two blogs alone prove that anything can be made awesome as hell. Clever writing, great artwork, and ridiculous fights make these two blogs (who crossover on more than a few occasions) quite entertaining. Almost every blog that crosses over into Flutterguy’s world has a hint of beast mode to it.
5.) Ok say I give this show a look see, wtf am I looking at?
Calm yourself dude. It’s a cartoon ripe with inside jokes (All Spike the “Baby” Dragon, aka the smartest person in Equestria), jabs at pop culture, and genuinely likable characters…save like…two (Snips and Snails…just…go you irritate me). Ah you also need to look deeper than at just the singing, brightly colored ponies (and one Zebra), the character development is huge. Twilight Sparkle (the purple unicorn) goes from being a serious shut in with no friends, to being a happy mare with great friends and an intelligent leader. Applejack (the light orange one with the hat) goes from being a stubborn girl to someone willing to be helped and help out. Fluttershy (the yellow Pegasus Goes from being an amazingly cowardly and timid mare, to being a bit more assertive and confident in herself, Rainbow Dash (the blue Pegasus is cocky and almost more of a show off than Trixie (who’s still the greatest). She makes the biggest transformation out of the Six she becomes more patient and kind to pretty much everyone once she realizes she’s not the only pony in the world. Pinkie Pie (the obviously named pink pony and queen of the fourth wall) well…she’s just a lot smarter than she let’s on. The series is riddled with interesting ponies like Zecora the rhyming zebra shaman (it’s not racist so just don’t) and the ruling Alicorn (hybrid of Unicorn and Pegasus) sisters Celestia and Luna. Dome ponies don’t have jack to do with the story and are simply background ponies (like Lyra Heartstrings; a turquoise unicorn and fandom favorite Derpy Hooves; a grey Pegasus with derped out eyes). The fandom has taken these background ponies and expanded the world Lauren Faust (series creator)created to something much bigger than the show has even hinted at.
6.) So what’s the deal with the fanfics? Why are some of them insanely dark?
Depending on which “Ponyverse” you look into things are either slightly different or completely dark. Tumblr is responsible for most of the Ponyverses, ask blogs end up having an extensive amount of story. The grimdark Ponyverses like Lil Miss Rarity, Ask Researcher Twilight, and Ask Discord Whooves (a dark Doctor Whooves blog), are very dark and tend to hit on touchy subjects, but are so well written that you can’t help but wonder what’s next. There are however nice blogs like Ask Lyra and Bon Bon, Professor Adorable’s sing Along Blog (Fluttershy tries being “evil” she’s bad at it), and Ask Gamer Luna. All of which may or may not crossover into one another. Most grimdark stories are made just to contrast the happy world of Equestria. Very rarely will the Ponyverses coincide with the cannon Equestria Lauren Faust has created. It’s just an amazing way to see how far this fandom can stretch out a world.
7.) Dude…aren’t you embarrassed?
Nope. Why would I be? I like the fandom and I enjoy the show, I own a few pony related things and I’m currently writing my own story about my version of Equestria. Hell I even ponified some of the other writers here at 2 Shots. Yes I am a Zebra, no I’m not a shaman. I may not be stomping around in a pony t-shirt with Trixie on it (regardless of how much I like her) but that doesn’t mean if it’s brought up that I’ll avoid it. Everyone has something they’re into, you just have to be man enough to not fear what others say about you.
Bottom of the glass.
I came into this fandom with a huge wtf streak and did not plan on being a part of it for longer than my nieces were around. My friend Amy made sure I watched the first two seasons and I have to say the clever writing and amazingly detailed flash animation pulled me in more than the “sissyness” of multicolored ponies pushed me away. If you have kids, watch it with them, if you have a girl friend into ponies, watch it with her to preserve your “manliness”, hell watch it when no ones looking if you are so self conscious. But if you give it a chance you might find yourself going “Oh…damn he was right…this show’s not so bad after all.” I’m ok with being a Brony and I’m actually happy I had a friend stubborn enough to push me into watching it…I’m also lucky I have little girls aching to watch it as well. Point is there’s not a thing wrong with Bronies, some of us may take it too far but most of us are just guys enjoying something nice and simple for a change.