I never did a second in the Weird Pony Trends series, mainly because I had so many other editorial ideas to do. I think it might be a good a time as any to revive it.
The Friendship is Magic fandom has a wide range of people that like vastly different things about the show. Some just watch it as a cute little cartoon to joke around about on the side with friends. Others embrace the community, creating things or building connections to celebrate at conventions or local meetups.
Today, we delve into the 3rd layer of pony obsession, an area where the dreams of hardcore pony fans everywhere have spawned a character to represent them in whatever type pony based fantasy they wish. Said persona is you, me, the writer, the reader, a human transformed into a pony, an Equestrian diplomat, or anything you or anyone else needs.
Go get it below!
Where does "Anon" Come From?
"Anon" actually originates from 4chan, an image board where everyone is defaulted as Anonymous. Before pony, the guy with a question mark or "No picture available" emblazoned green mask was simply a representation of your typical 4chan user. It was adopted around the internet when "showing" the site. With My Little Pony absolutely dominating every corner of 4chan early on, Anon was heavily adopted by the burgeoning FiM fandom. I could go on forever about the nonpony exploits, but lets shift gears to the actual relevant side!
Here on the ponynet, there has always been a massive following of people that desperately want to interact with ponies in real life. Wouldn't it be wonderful to wake up one day to Twilight serving you breakfast in bed and plans to take your favorite pony to the nearby amusement park for a day of equine fueled fun? If not, then anon probably wouldn't do much for you. One must embrace at least a little bit of insanity to enjoy the concept. Needless to say, we went absolutely nuts with it, and thousands of fanfics, comics, art, and more have been crafted in Anons ever-changing visage.
Who is Anon?
(in 4chan culture, "Faggot" is just another word for "Friend")
Anon can be just about anyone as I mentioned in the opening. In the field of fanfiction or comics, He (or she) is pretty much a less cringy way for the author to self insert themselves into a pony story, while opening it up for the reader to do the same.
As an example, while I, as a writer could say:
>"Sethisto, can I pleeease have a belly rub?"
in my recent Trixiexhuman self-insert masterpiece, it's a lot less awkward for the reader to read:
>"Aaanooon, can I pleease have a belly rub?"
Allowing them to rub some Trixie bellies themselves in their own vision of the fic, instead of my ugly mug doing it. Some read it as a faceless individual doing the rubbing, but most insert themselves.
Obviously the personality and life of any given Anon may not match yours, but it's still a lot less weird reading about a faceless individual cuddling with Rainbow Dash than some dude named Tim. The writer may even use Anon as a representation of who they wish they were. In some cases, he has massive muscles, oceans of confidence, pheromones and physique that drives all the mares nuts, and even super powers.
Anon really is just a blank slate. A template to do whatever you wish with while exploring the world of Equestria in the first person.
What are Some Good Examples of Anon?
You may be thinking "Dude, Seth! That last section was really creepy!", and in the context of normal, everyday people, you are probably right. This is the internet though, the place where strange things are created and celebrated. We wouldn't be a fandom at all if we followed cultural norms barring dudes from liking cute ponies in a show originally designed to sell toys to 12 years old girls.
The truth is, a good amount of Anon content does devolve into hooking up with ponies. There isn't any good way to sugarcoat it. This is "Weird Pony Trends" after all! You know what you clicked on.
Most of the time, they are simply a celebration of how cute and innocent ponies are. While Equestria has gotten more and more Earthlike in the show over the years, there is a sense of keeping things carefree and silly. Anon regularly falls for ear droops or belly rubs from these adorable marshmallow horses, and while darker stories do exist, they are typically pretty rare or shoved into their own little ignored worlds.
With that in mind, lets delve into a few things Anon has accomplished over the years, starting with one we regularly posted here on EQD!
An entire series (or meme) spawned early in 2014 about Anon (which represents you in this context) doing nice things for your "waifu" ponies. The original idea was a terrible abuse piece, but in true pony fandom fashion, it was quickly converted into the polar opposite as you can see from the crossed out things up above.
Just about every major pony was targeted with one, unleashing the "magic" no matter what character someone favors. We posted four compilations of these, primarily because they are adorable:
There are still a few here and there, but like most memes, it has died down. Another ongoing series does something similar though...
Comics starring anon are a regular thing, as represented by the incredibly popular Pony Simulator series by doubleWbrothers. It's also a good example of something in in this area that doesn't devolve into the more "lewd" side of the fandom.
And going along with that, have some Dashie ones to go with it. (middle click the images for comics). She is regularly shown to be "tsundere" toward anon, a Japanese trope about a character that actively hates on and the one they secretly have a crush on. It's pretty out of character for Dash, but it's a thing.
A very popular form people like to use is the persona of a snarky guy that both messes with and is messed with by ponies. The humor can get pretty sexual, but we won't post anything NSFW here. Have a few of those, expect some swear words.
I can't go into too much detail on this one, but Fluttershy in particular has been the target of a massive idea involving her being completely obsessed with a disinterested anon, trying hundreds of hilariously bad "techniques" to get him to like her. This is one you should only look up if you are not easily offended. It's so big, I can't not mention it though.
Of course, we can't forget one of the most popular Anon in Equestria series of the last few years ongoing right now. The Anon in Pencil's Marble Pie story falls into the category I explained in the last section. His muscles are bulging, power exceptional, and every mare in Equestria wants a piece of him. It's the ultimate in "I like ponies a bit too much" wish fulfillment, and loved by thousands for every suggestive, butt emblazoned page it releases. Viewer discretion very much advised, though so far it seems to be staying away from going full explicit even if a few chapters are incredibly borderline, including a more recent page.
The Art of the Green
Lets close this up with an area that the concept of Anon absolutely thrives in. Over in the wonderful world of 4chan's /mlp/ board, the idea of "greentext" stories has been going strong since the day it was first opened. Hundreds of "Generals", (essentially threads revolving around a single story topic) have come and gone over the years, putting the reader in all sorts of interesting Equestrian situations.
The primary "Anon in Equestria" area is of course the longest running. There are thousands of >greentext stories ranging from as as short as a few paragraphs to as long as a full on novel. The majority of these are simply a clash of civilizations, with Anon doing his best to fit in with his new colorful neighbors as they pony about their every day lives. Adorable brony built pony culture is at it's maximum, with belly rubs, ear scratchies, scrunchy faces, and socks abound.
As a general warning before you gallavant off looking for more, a few devolve into full on cloppy romance. Most tell silly adventure stories with whatever flavor of the week pony is popular at the moment, but the weirder ones are out there.
From here, many a satellite group with new topics involving anon's exploits in Equestria have spawned. Everything from the oldschool Anon and Lyra stuff that you probably ran into without even realizing it, to the more modern day new ideas I'll cover two of below. These side communities are created and die almost daily, so you never know what interesting topics you will find.
One of the newer themes stars the idea of "Royal Guard Mares", where Anon is typically assigned a guard mare to watch over him from some yet-to-be revealed threat. Within these threads, several stories with wildly different styles are told from various authors, typically a few paragraphs worth of content a day.
In the image above, you will find fan art of one particularly popular greentext in this genre, starring a stoic Celestial guardmare named Brave, and her polar opposite bat pony counterpart Vannie. Both move in with Anon for better protection, leading to an almost sitcom style tale about a human and his guardmares. Lots of cuddling and silly pony hijinks ensue.
(You can read it over here, though again, sometimes these can lead to explicit material over the course of months of writing. For now it's SFW)
Another interesting and long lived concept is the world of "Anon in Pony Prison", where for whatever reason (usually scratching ears or belly rubs without permission) Anon is locked away in jail.
Punishments as harsh as five minute time outs and no dessert for supper are the norm as ponies go about their adorable prison lives dealing candy and attacking rival "gangs" with pillows in the middle of the night. It's a celebration of the original innocent days of pony, where murder is nonexistent and bad behavior is punished in ridiculously cute ways.
Again, some do turn into clopfics, but you can find a rough archive of these over here.
And finally, we have Anonfilly, a relatively new yet hugely popular concept about Anon becoming a little filly. This happens in a few different ways, usually based around Twilight Sparkle transforming him for reasons ranging from wanting him to take her place at a tea party, to a grand, misguided science experiment.
Anon as a filly is almost always disgruntled, with strings of curses and angry nicknames for Twilight. In some cases, he secretly enjoys it, reliving his childhood and hanging with the CMC after school. As with all things Anon, a few can take a turn for the lewd, which is why I'm going to avoid posting the story list here. For the most part though, it's just a cute idea fulfilling the wishes of those wanting to return to the good ol' days.
If You Haven't Run for the Hills Yet, Lets Close it!
I could go on forever with the hundreds of ideas spawned out of the concept of a blank slate human visiting or living in Equestria, and even the other side with ponies traveling to earth, but I think the general concept has been made pretty clear here.
Whether you just want to hang out with ponies in a completely platonic way, are interested in how a human would deal with life in Equestria, or simply read it for the plot, the concept of Anon is an always open option for your pony journeying. Buried within piles of strangeness and blushing, scrunchy faced mares are nuggets of entertainment that just about anyone can enjoy.
Like all weird trends in pony, it's really what you make of it in the end.