First look at new characters for the movie. One of them is clearly the big bad, and I suspect the rough-looking unicorn is one of his henchman. We also have a seapony princess.
I know some people will be delighted to see the sea ponies getting their due. Shoo-be-doo and all that.
And is that an anthropomorphic cat I saw? Yikes but the storm that will raise.
One more character reveal. Another seapony, but a queen. Both of the seaponies' designs are gorgeous.
Yeah, a lot of people are fussing about Capper. I swear, some fans take this show far too seriously. We already had the Diamond Dogs, it's not like an anthro cat is that much of a stretch.
One more character reveal. Another seapony, but a queen. Both of the seaponies' designs are gorgeous.
Yeah, a lot of people are fussing about Capper. I swear, some fans take this show far too seriously. We already had the Diamond Dogs, it's not like an anthro cat is that much of a stretch.
I had the same thought, you beat me to it.
I hope not, that just limits what the show can and can't do. Also I think they have already contradicted themselves by now if they are going to make the comics cannon to the show.
I wish they would show the whole character and not just part of them. Also what animation studio is doing the movie?
The movie designs look interesting. But I'm more curious about the recent info that the comics lines will be tying in directly to season 7.
I think that's an overstatement. What we have is a tweet from a comic writer (warning: potential spoilers) stating that issues #51-53 will tie into season 7.
That sounds suspiciously like it's going to deal with some sort of spin-off/aftermath of some particular episode(s) - possibly the premiere - and that's all. Which is sort of what the comics do; they take what's come before and build off of it, or make up original arcs. There's no real instance of what they introduce being taken into account in the show (notwithstanding the tabletop game Ogres & Oubliettes), hence the many times the show has made the comics non-canon, and I don't expect that to change.
On a separate note, I'm going to indulge in some wild speculation about the future of MLP:FiM:
I think that there's a chance that season eight will be the last season.
Why? Well, hear me out...
The fact that season 3 had only thirteen episodes is anomalous when compared to every other season of the show. Why have half as many episodes as every other season before or since? So I did some digging and here's what I came up with.
There's a persistent rumor that season 3 was only thirteen episodes because their budget was halved by needing to produce Equestria Girls, but I can't find any confirmation of this. Rather, the general consensus seems to be that season 3 was always going to be thirteen episodes because the initial outline for the show was originally set to be for sixty-five episodes altogether (and then a movie).
In fact, this makes sense, because it's exactly what we saw for another show with the same corporate owner (Hasbro) that came out at the same time (premiering in 2010), that being Transformers: Prime - sixty-five episodes, consisting of two twenty-six episode seasons, followed by a thirteen-episode season, and then a movie.
So why the focus on sixty-five episodes?
As it turns out, that's not an unusual number for cartoons. Sixty-five is what you get when you multiply five by thirteen, which means that you can show one episode per day, five days a week (i.e. Monday through Friday) for exactly thirteen weeks, covering exactly three months, which is one season of programming.
In other words, sixty-five episodes is the "magic number" for syndication. Once a show has been made, and finished its initial airing, at that point they can syndicate it to other networks and just keep collecting money from those licensing deals.
Luckily, MLP:FiM proved to be such a huge success that Hasbro wanted more. But I suspect that they're still keeping to the sixty-five episode format. Consider how we were told, back in in February of 2014 that Hasbro was planning on keeping MLP:FiM going for another five years. Now, February of 2014 was in the middle of season 4, so I suspect that they were including that in their outline. So that would cover seasons 4-8.
That makes sense, considering that every season so far has been twenty-six episodes. Five seasons of twenty-six episodes each is one hundred thirty episodes altogether, or two sixty-five episode blocks. So they're making sure to stick to that format for how they order new seasons.
All of this means that, if the show is going to end, season 8 would be the place to do it. Otherwise, they'd re-up for at least another three seasons (which would be two of twenty-six episodes and one of thirteen, dead minimum). Hopefully, they'll want to keep it going, but it's anyone's guess. Major corporations like Hasbro don't judge a given property by whether or not it's profitable, after all; they judge it by whether or not it's profitable enough - if they're not meeting target numbers for return on their investment, they axe a project even if it's still making more money than it's spending...I know, because James Lowder described this as being why Hasbro told Wizards of the Coast to stop publishing novels when he was speaking at the Candlekeep meeting at Gen Con 2016.
Luckily, there are some signs that (at least as I read them) indicate that MLP:FiM is still doing very well. That is, there are a number of additional productions which don't fit the sixty-five episode (and movie) pattern. Mostly these consist of the additional Equestria Girls films. We know this wasn't meant to be a franchise unto itself, because the staff let that slip in the second movie's commentary. So the fact that it seems to be becoming one - three additional movies, three forthcoming TV-length episodes, and numerous web shorts so far - is hopeful.
And, of course, the upcoming theatrical film. That's not something you do for a series that you don't think is still profitable. It helps that the movie will drop in October of this year, right around when season 7 is winding down, so maybe that will help to galvanize the cash-flow right around when Hasbro would be getting ready to decide if they should renew the show or not.
Either way, I'm going to be biting my lip waiting to hear if, when season 8 is done, there's an announcement about season 9...
I do recall commentary tracks or writers interviews where they do discuss season 3. The finale was meant to be a 2 parter. The sad song where Twilight can't think of how to save her friends, was meant to end the first part.
But then the funding for the second half the season never came, and they had to rush that episode, and squeeze it into 22 minutes because Twilight had to be a princess before the movie.
The big issue with cancellation is accessibility. The original target demo is in High School, and many are no longer watching. But with so much backstory and in jokes, etc. It is difficult for a new audience to come in and follow what's going on - so girls in the target demo aren't coming in.
Generally, a show solves this by cancelling after 3-5 years. But the huge popularity of FiM has kept it going. Because adults of both genders are watching, and buying the toys.
But there will still come a time where they must end things and begin a new generation of MLP.
This brings my mind to 1985 and Hasbro's Transformers G1. The '84 line needed to be swept away, to make room for the third wave. And they made a movie to do that.
Characters, who never had any serious damage in two seasons, were brutally dying right and left. And when it was done, virtually all the season 1 characters were gone, and season 3 had a new cast - the new toys.
The backlash of Optimus Prime's death made families leave the theater, and hurt the show and toyline. So much so that GI Joe's (godawful) movie made a quite edit and looped in a line of dialogue to reveal Duke had survived.
And yet in the back of my mind, I'm fearing that Hasbro history will repeat itself this fall.
But, without killing the Mane 6, there is some merit to the idea.
Those characters have all achieved their dreams. Rainbow Dash is a Wonderbolt. Rarity is famous and successful. Sweet Apple Acres is thriving (if the show dealt with politics and economics, I'm sure it would be revealed they make extensive sales to the Crystal Empire). Twilight is a Princess. And Pinkie and Fluttershy never had goals, because they already were doing what they love.
So why not move on? Those character remain, but slip to the background. With Twilight assuming the role Celestia had originally. And instead, the Cutie Mark Crusaders (now just out of school), Spike, and 2-3 new characters (perhaps Gabby Griffin?) become the series leads.
Stories now focus on their slices of life and adventures. The new character might even include a male (if Spike doesn't count as one of the Neo-Mane 6) as well as more than just Earth Pony/Unicorn/Pegasus. Diversity.
This change represents a soft reboot, and could revitalize the show for several more seasons.
It could be argued that King Thorax, Stalin Glimmer, Trixie, and Discord were a sort of backdoor pilot for this sort of idea. Though I'd rather the Alt Mane 6 over that group. Which will never happen since one (possibly two) of those characters be never be referred to by name.
The credits and the lawyers think she's called "Muffins", but the writers in commentary/interviews always use her real name.
[I'd love more episodes with Doctor Whooves (Time Turner), Lyra Heartstrings, Bon Bon/Sweetie Drops, Octavia, Vinyl/DJ P0n-3, and Derpy(!).)
I love the main six(well seven because I actually count spike) and never get tired of them. I hate Starlight with a passion and hope she never replaces any of the main characters. I would prefer that Sunset Shimmer actually returns to Equestria and becomes a main character. But unless her human world counterpart is dead, she really shouldn't be staying in the human world to begin with.
And I think this is the character for the last of the guest voices for the movie. The fact tbey've started dropping these images says we're not far off from a teaser. Maybe they'll release it during the toy fair later this month? Because I imagine they'll be showing off toys for the movie.
Movie toys revealed.
Castle playset based on the movie.
More toys, including a very cool Storm King statue. Also gives a better idea of what Captain Celeano looks like, revealing she's not a griffon. Not sure what she is anymore.
"All Bottled Up" - I know the obvious would be someone's bottling up their feelings, but with this show it's as likely to be about a potions mishap.
And a confirmation there will be new episodes in 2018, which likely means an 8th season. I kind of suspected they might keep the show going after the movie, unless we got some indication the movie was intended to be a grand finale.
New information on the Tails of Equestria MLP:FiM RPG! The official release date for the book has been announced! Tails of Equestria will come out on March 14th, so mark your calendars! :D
There's now an order page for the book on the River Horse website, but it doesn't ship to the United States or Canada, only being for orders by customers who don't live in those territories. For those who do live in the US or Canada, there's a page on the Ninja Division website. That page lists several ToE products, including preview pictures and their pricing, but doesn't seem to have an order form that I saw.
Also, Tabletop Weekly has posted their in-depth review of ToE over on their Youtube channel. While we already knew a lot of what's discussed, there are several points that we're told (or are shown when the camera pans over some of the book's pages) that are new, including:
- Of your three "ability scores," - Body, Mind, and Charm - each has an associated die, but while you can pick the die size for Body and Mind, Charm is set.
- You pick a talent at character creation, which gives it its own die, and when you level up you can either gain new talents or increase the die size of existing talents.
- The game does not use numerical modifiers to die rolls; everything modifies what size die is rolled, or rolling multiple dice, but there's no adding or subtracting values from die results.
- You also pick an Element of Harmony for your character, but that's purely as a role-playing aid.
- Characters can take quirks, which are personality flaws. These don't have any inherent mechanical effect, but if played in such a way as to be a hindrance during an important part of play, someone in the group - not necessarily the person who played their quirk - gets a Token of Friendship. (Ideally, the group will give it to that person, but it's not set.)
- Everyone initially gains a number of Tokens of Friendship equal to the number of players, including themselves and the GM. However, you also gain this number each time you gain a level, and keep any that you previously had. You also gain new Friendship Tokens proportionally if a new player joins the group (e.g. everyone gains one more Token, and that person gains a number equal to everyone else, including them). The book also mentions that if someone forgets part of their character's abilities in a way that majorly hindered them, then give them a Friendship Token as compensation.
- As outlined previously, Friendship Tokens can be paid to re-roll a failed test (for one), re-roll a failed test with a d20 (for two), or automatically succeed (for three), and be used for other narrative purposes (the GM determines the cost). However, these costs can also be paid collectively - that is, players can donate their Friendship Tokens to someone else's attempt. If the GM decides that's a generous enough display of friendship, they might even lower to cost for the effect (e.g. if someone wants to pay three Tokens to automatically succeed at a test, and someone else donates one, then the GM might say that a total of two Tokens is sufficient to do so).
- Die values for the Body stat are described in the book as small animals or young ponies have a d4 or d6, grown-up ponies and larger animals are described as having a "d8, d10 or even more in the case of very strong or athletic ponies like Big Macintosh or Rainbow Dash." It then notes that some creatures have an even higher value, such as a minotaur having a d20, or a dragon having an even higher die!
- "Tests" are where you try to roll equal to or higher than a static number, whereas "challenges" are opposed rolls. Tests have a target number ranging from 2 to 20. A natural 1 on a die roll is always a failure, typically in a way that makes for extremely bad luck, often in a humorous way. By contrast, getting a die result of double or more than the target number lets you (and the GM) describe your success as an "awesome success," where you succeed in a particularly spectacular manner. The full breakdown of target numbers is:
2 - very easy
3 - easy
4 - quite easy
5 - quite hard
6 - hard
7 - very hard
8 - extremely hard
9 - unbelievably hard
10 - indescribably hard
11 - almost impossible
12 - you gotta be kidding!
13-20 - has anyone ever done this?
- When rolling a test or challenge, you roll the basic stat die associated with the test (i.e. the die associated with your Body, Mind, or Charm), but also roll a die for an associated talent that's relevant to the test or challenge. When you roll both dice, you do not add the results together; instead, you use the highest value.
- "Scuffles" (i.e. combat) are essentially challenges with the Body stat. Whoever rolls higher deals that much damage to their opponents Stamina (i.e. hit points). As noted before, losing all of your Stamina means you're knocked unconscious, captured, etc. There are no mechanics for being killed. The book also has rules about combat where several characters gang up on one opponent.
- If multiple characters are cooperating on a roll, they can use a single character's highest die roll to determine success. Moreover, the GM might lower the target number as a result of their cooperation!
- If a particular task if essentially impossible, you can use the "Exploding Hoof Technique." This is where you roll your relevant die, and if you get the highest value can roll the next-higher die. This can happen in succession if you keep rolling maximum values. However, you don't add these together; you simply take the highest value rolled when you've rolled the highest die you can.
- Everypony starts with 400 bits (the game's unit of currency). You're presumed to gain 200 bits +/- a d20 roll (whether that's a plus or a minus is determined by the GM) per month. The game has an equipment list, which includes the following (costs are in parenthesis): barding (light) (100), barding (metal) (200), book (common) (10), book (rare) (50), bucket (5), cart (100), clock (10), clothes (elegant) (100), and clothes (simple) (20).
- The book seems to be up-to-date through at least the beginning of season six, as there's at least one interior picture of Cadance and Shining Armor with Flurry Heart.
- The unicorn mare on the cover (an original character developed for the book), who looks like a wizard, is named Firebrand.
For those who are still watching Amazon, the Tails of Equestria page there is now saying that it will be shipped out on March 10th, rather than March 3rd.
The book is still listed as being sold via intermediary storefronts, rather than directly from Amazon or the distributors. Interestingly, a second storefront - Heliotoys - is now also allowing for pre-orders, with a much lower shipping price compared to collecTOYbles (i.e. $4.49 instead of $12.99).
Domestic orders direct from the distributor have now gone live! For customers in the United States and Canada, you can pre-order Tails of Equestria from Soda Pop Miniatures.
For those wondering, Ninja Division, the company serving as the game's American and Canadian distributor, works very closely with Soda Pop Miniatures - apparently they (ND) serve as a publisher for SPM, and some other companies - and that's why it's being conducted through their website. Also, this sales venue was directly referenced on the Tails of Equestria Facebook page, so it's pretty clearly legit.
The price is $34.95, and says that shipping is "anticipated to begin in late March." Unfortunately, the only shipping method I was given was Priority Mail 2-day, for $11.70, which is rather steep. I'd hoped that there'd be some cheaper, if slower, options.
Still no title/synopsis for the premiere, but Zap2it is listing episode 3 (without title) for April 22. Looks like the April 15th start date is legit since it hasn't changed. It's odd we haven't seen at least the title show up for the premiere. It must be really spoilery or Hasbro's getting better at locking info down.
Well, we have titles and a sort of synopsis for the first part of Season 7
and a bit of other info besides.
Celestial Advice- Twilight agonizes over Starlight Glimmer's future and receives some much needed advice from her mentor.
All Bottled Up- Starlight Glimmer loses Twilight's Friendship map. Afraid her anger might get out of control Starlight casts a calming spells while the pony's search for the lost map.
Other tidbits include confirmation that William Shatner and Felica Day are guest starring this season, and an episode will feature Rainbow's "over enthusiastic parents". No mention if these will be one and the same episode.
Considering I started this one, I will say I am okay if people do not use spoilers. Also since my statement is so generic it is hardly considered a spoiler. It would be like saying a person died on CSI or there is romantic drama on a WB show.
Being the originator of the thread does not mean that you have carte blanche to post spoilers, especially when you've been asked not to. It doesn't matter if you are okay with spoilers or not; it matters whether everyone else is.
Likewise, your statement is not generic, as it pertains to the specific actions of a specific character. The level of generality you're referring to would be more like if you said that there was a friendship problem, and that was all.
Both of those episodes sounds interesting.
I really wish they would do something with Celestia's and Luna's old castle. They went to the trouble to clean/fix it up and yet haven't even touched in two seasons.
I hope the rumors are true that we are finally getting a Celestia focused episode.
"Forever Filly" - Ooh, Rarity and Sweetie Belle episode. It's been forever since we've seen that. "Cart Before the Ponies" was more of a Crusader episode.
"Parental Glideance" - Why am I not surprised it turns out Rainbow's parents are the overenthusiastic type?
"Hard to Say Anything" - Does Big Mac really have a crush on Sugar Belle, or is this just another case of the Crusaders getting carried away with asuumptions?
Okay. So. Some random thoughts on the season premiere (spoilered just in case anyone hasn't gotten to see it yet):
- Is it just me, or does the opening theme have Starlight no longer looking uncertain as she smiles for the group picture?
- This is the first time we've had a season premiere that wasn't a two-parter. Seasons one and three didn't have two-part finales, but every single one before now has opened with two episodes as part of a single story. It feels kinda weird...
- ...but only kinda. That's because this episode honestly felt like it should have been called To Where and Back Again - Part 3. That's an exaggeration, of course, but only slightly. The fact is, this episode felt like it was the natural conclusion to how season six ended, as it was the resolution for what Starlight's adventure meant for her.
- Despite that, this was clearly a Twilight episode, as we got almost everything from the point of view of how she, as a mentor, was dealing with Starlight's success. To that end, I liked how they played up the comparison between Twilight and Celestia, and how it seemed to bring the two closer together.
- It honestly felt like we spent a little too much time on Twilight's simulations. We really didn't need three; one or two was enough to get the point across. Although I did like Princess Celestia saying that there's no wrong way to fantasize. That's a quotable line if ever there was one.
- A great moment with Celestia saying "I was not aware that I was an expression." That was pure fan-service, and I loved it.
- In fact, this was a great Celestia episode too - in addition to Starlight and Twilight - what with getting to see her laughing uproariously and then seeing her fret nervously in her flashback. The entire "watching your students grow" theme really worked well to highlight the relationships between those three characters.
- Of course, the major difference is that Starlight hasn't left, either Ponyville or even Twilight's castle. Given that, and her presence in the opening, and the next episode, she really does seem like she's here to stay. I, for one, am glad.
- Discord is still a major tool. He immediately slipped right back into character with how he was needling Twilight for his own (rather mean-spirited) amusement. I'll defer to DWK's video about this, because he sums it up much better and more hilariously than I could (NSFW for language).
- Speaking of which, this episode really seemed to throw gas on the fire as to the debate about when Princess Celestia started grooming Twilight to become an alicorn/princess. Discord seemed to be implying that she'd done so ever since she sent Twilight to Ponyville, whereas Celestia's flashback seemed to indicate that she was only concerned with Twilight making friends, not even deciding to send her away until she made a very pointed glance at the moon...but what that glance indicated remains ambiguous. The entire thing managed to make it very easy to read into whatever explanation you prefer, which I suppose is a mark of good writing.
- I really wish we got more about the changelings' new status. Even the confirmation that they can still change wasn't ironclad, as it only happened in Twilight's simulation. Tell us what the practical aspects of their new forms are, darn it!
Thoughts on the second episode:
- This might not technically be a direct sequel to the previous episode, but thematically it feels like it. We just got an episode about Twilight and the continuity of teachers and students, and now we're seeing Starlight giving Trixie magic lessons - and friendship lessons - of her own! Obviously this isn't quite the same, as Starlight's magic tip seemed more off-the-cuff than formal instruction, and the friendship lesson was an ad hoc one for both of them, but the beginning part really made it seem like it was following in that vein.
- Er, Trixie? Why are you so excited about doing "real" magic? I know that you mentioned that your special talent was stage magic back in No Second Prances, but don't you remember how handily you dealt with Twilight's friends back in Boast Busters? Yes, tying up AJ was just telekinesis, and maybe wrapping Rainbow up in her own rainbow and putting her on spin cycle was more of the same, but conjuring up a raincloud out of nowhere and turning Rarity's mane green were both quite clearly "real" magic. Obviously nowhere near the same level as transfiguration or teleporting, but still the real deal.
- Okay, the writers are doing their best to try and make this not feel like a retcon, but Starlight's whole thing about her magic being tied to her emotions just doesn't fit with what we know. I find it hard to believe that Starlight is more upset by Trixie's thoughtlessness than she was by having her entire ethos ruined and run out of her village in a rage back in The Cutie Map. Not to mention, most every instance of her using magic that we've seen has made the case that she's approached it from an academic standpoint, rather than relying on emotion to power herself up. When she attacked the villagers in the aforementioned episode, for instance, she remarked that she had "studied that spell for years," or how she consulted a book to make her mind-control spell in Every Little Thing She Does.
- I think the better way to approach that would have been that her anger was manifesting as that cloud around her horn because she was actively trying to repress it, rather than embrace it.
- I know that previous episodes have done away with the idea that Trixie always refers to herself in the third person unless she's feeling humbled (or otherwise down on herself), but this episode really drove that point home.
- It also really underscored just how irritating Trixie can be when she's full of herself. This almost felt like it was going to far, compared to how we've seen her act before, but managed to stay on the right side of being plausible based on what we've seen of Trixie up until now.
- Huh...I sort of assumed that the Cutie Map had to stay right there, since it didn't move even when history itself was altered in The Cutie Re-Mark. Of course, that was because Starlight used it as a focus for her time-traveling, and that incident did damage its functionality, but even so...I mean, we saw it grow there at the beginning of season five! Who knew it was apparently moveable?
- I liked how the friendship lesson here was really one for both Trixie and Starlight. Being annoying is a character flaw, but so is being mad that someone can't just intuit how you feel. Communication is a two-way street, after all.
- The subplot with the Mane Six in the escape room felt kinda tacked-on. I'm not sure that the apparently-intended contrast between the Mane Six and Starlight and Trixie worked very well; what was it supposed to highlight? That what the Mane Six have is an example of what good friendships grow into, whereas Trixie and Starlight are just starting out? Okay, but that's not really something that you need to draw attention to; it's fairly obvious on its own.
- The song just seemed sort of okay. Maybe it'll be one of those that grows on me with repeated listenings?
- Luckily, there was no permanent damage to Bulk Biceps' nut cart. For he is a pony of many hats.
- "The Starlight I love is passionate, lively, and yeah, sometimes angry." Okay, I'm fairly confident that wasn't intended to make it sound like the two of them are in a romantic relationship - we've seen platonic friends say they love each other before, such as Twilight to the other Mane Six in Slice of Life - but that really sounded like the two of them were more than just friends. What should that pairing be named? "TrixStar"?
- And it ends with Trixie not rejecting the idea of using magic to make mischief. Oh Trixie, I'm so glad you're showing up more than once every two or three seasons now. Please stay that way.
I loved Celestia's reactions to Twiley over reacting. And the side comments.
In the second episode, I've come to realize, in the new group of friends, Trixie is the Rainbow Dash - not in the Loyal sense, but the self-centered, ADD, [jerk*] sense.
* Censored - SF Debris uses the appropriate term in his reviews, let's just say its a term related to Cranky.