• "Rarity Takes Manehatten": Episode Followup

    For the first episode of the new year, we were gifted by DHX a big-city adventure full of firsts sprinkled with a few, "wow, about time" mumblings from yours truly to sweeten the deal. Rarity's last dedicated set of episodes were way back in season two with Sweet and Elite and Sisterhooves Social, so it's nice to see her getting the spotlight once again after two years of waiting. Once again we're back in one of Equestria's sprawling metropoles far from the idyllic fields of Ponyville, trailing our faithful band of small horses as they race to deliver the One Ring into the fires of Mount Doom.

    Wait, no, sorry, we're on Manhattan Island. I always get those two confused.

    Hey, it's Rarity episode followup time. Grab your eagles, let's go.

    I'm pretty sure you don't need to take the train, Doctor- unless this is some kind of meta commentary on that show. Honestly, I wouldn't know, I don't watch it.

    Hey, come back, we have an entire followup to do.

    "TV-Y? I think we're well past that at this point, black box."

    "Hey, at least we're close-captioned."

    Really though, I was going to berate Rarity for once again taking advantage of Spike with no reciprocation, but then she bought food for him later. Tried to, anyway.

    "A whole carrot dog, even!"

    "You're a jerk."

    Giant razor blades? Rarity, you shouldn't have.

    Twilight Sparkle currently in first place for best face.

    This is off-topic, but I still read this as "Developed for Lauren Faust by Television." You know why.

    Let's take a look at our first glimpses of Manehatten!

    I've been to New York only twice, but I think that these short few establishing shots capture the feel of an Equestrian version of Manhattan Island quite nicely, ads and all. I'm just going to assume for the sake of comedy that the apple juice ad is from the Apple family and that that sandwich is just filled with horse meat.

    Obligatory: lens flare.

    I have to give serious props to the animators for this city. Making dozens of not-copy-pasted ponies can really be a nightmare to remember, and yet we can see that there's hardly any sign of it here. Props.

    "So how did you get those sold-out tickets anyway?"

    "Oh, I bribed the costume designer."

    If there ever was a candidate for secret international espionage agent, it's probably Rarity.

    Seen here, a historic event: the first time since the show's first premiere when random songs in this universe have ever been questioned by anyone ever. By Rainbow Dash, no less. I'm just gonna let that sink in for just a moment before we-

    Rainbow Dash now in first place for best face.

    I'm sure Spike relishes the opportunity to be bought food by Rarity. Ha ha. I'm not leaving.

    If it weren't for all of those bags being carried by Spike I would be seriously questioning where Rarity keeps these gigantic gems. Ponies don't have pockets.

     Oh my god ponies have pockets now abandon ship.

    While we're here, shoutout to Kazumi Evans for only getting better at doing Rarity's singing voice. Also while we're here, let's talk about that stallion's cutie mark. How does one get a cutie mark in luggage? Maybe he carries a lot of emotional baggage. Ha ha. Still not leaving.

    My compatriot CouchCrusader insists that he sees Derpy above the bridge. I insisted that was not the case and kindly implied that he was mistaken. One of us slept on the sofa that night and I'm pretty sure you know who it was.

    This guy had fun once. It was awful.

    As pointed out by everyone on the internet within seconds of the airing, this guy's cutie mark is literally Grumpy Cat. I'm not sure what else about this pony is a reference, but it's safe to say this is probably still Sibsy's fault.


    Pinkie's all, "I sang this song two years ago, get on my level."

    Twilight is literally an ascended princess and has saved Equestria multiple times over and she still can't get a cab.

    Obligatory: season four shading.

    If anyone who hasn't visited the northeastern part of the country is wondering if people actually talk like this, the answer is yes. The answer is a confusing yes. It's kind of off-putting if you live down south like I do.

    Somehow I find it hard to believe that schedule-conscious Rarity would ever leave herself so little time to actually arrive for an event this important. Randomly bursting into song must leave your internal clock somewhat skewed. Hey, at least it sets up this rite of passage scene.

    I like to imagine Prim Hemline is Harshwhinny's long-lost sister. They both have that eye thing going on.

    Go back and listen to this scene again and tell me that the animator in charge of this particular shot didn't spend days hitting his head on the desk trying to figure out how to visually convey the noise that Tabitha just made.

    Rarity also now in second place for best face.

    First place.
    Every time this pony spoke I wanted to stab my ears.

    Cute as a button though, huh? Ha ha. Ow, that was a rock.

    You obviously can't see it in screencaps, but this fabric actually shimmers underneath the lighter purple pattern. It's likely a simple fractal noise evolution but it really adds a lot to the presentation.

    I was going to continue talking about the fabric but I happened to pause on a scene where Rarity's eyes just say, "I'm going to hit you with this and no one will find the body."

    Seriously, though, giving away your extremely expensive fabric: Bad Idea™.

    [horse noises]

    I take it back, Coco Pommel is much more cute. It's a pity we only see her withering in the face of what's-her-name for now.

    Requisite tidbit: Coco's name is most probably a reference to Coco Chanel.

    Just, damn, okay. Take a look at this scene again. That slow, subtle, wordless breakdown that Rarity has when the full weight of how bad she just messed up finally hits her and it's just getting rubbed into her and there's nothing she can do about it. No words necessary, just great animation.

    This exact scene has happened so many times to myself and the Equestria Daily crew that for the sake of my headcanon I'm going to assume that the mane six minus Rarity were all at a My Little Seapony convention this whole time and are just getting back to their hotel room.

    I'm torn between how awful this must feel for Rares and how much I want to award her the zeroth place for best face because now we're on zero-based indexing. Because I said so.

    I'm awarding it out of pity.

    There's no way offering to help can backfire, right?

    It's like Suited for Success, only backwards.

    This is the second time in this episode that Rarity has been involved with denying food to her friends. I'm sure there's a witty joke in there somewhere, but I can't find it because I'm too busy being happy that she's put those glasses back on.

    Even if she is being a jerk.

    And there it is, the shattering of that calm fortress. Maybe the stresses of realizing she's just torn up an apartment room for fabrics and will definitely not be getting her security deposit back finally caught up to her.

    Title drop.

    "Congratu-pony-lations, fillies" is not only a great line, it sounds like the kind of censoring you'd hear on a movie that they've dubbed for late-night TV on a station you've never heard of.

    Twilight, seriously, stop sticking your wingtips up like that. Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy don't do that, and it's seriously messing with your silhouette. I don't have OCD, nope.

    I dunno, drop the lampshade and this might look good!

    For anyone keeping track, the music here is the same from A Dog and Pony Show.

    Hey, it's these three! Somehow I have a feeling that they're part of the reason Rara won in the end.

    On the other hand, this dress actually looks quite good, even though I suspect those are window curtains she's wearing.

    For the sake of comedy I'm now going to assume that this pony is actually Lightning Dust with a seriously trimmed-down mane and hidden wings because after the Wonderbolts Academy she realized her true dream was to become a fashion model.

    I'm not thinking about this too hard.

    Oh crap, maybe I shouldn't have been such a huge jerk.



    Man, this isn't foreshadowing or anything, I'm sure.

    Okay, I know Rarity has her own business and as such is probably more wealthy than most, but seriously she's just throwing around enormous gems like they're nothing. Must help living in the best of times.

    Is that wet-maned Rarity?


    It was nice to see a more somber reprise to the earlier song to sort of wrap up everything that just happened. Not only did we get to hear more from Evans, it puts the focus of the episode where it should be, which is Rarity's regrets for her actions.

    Quick, act sad. Coco, stop being so cute.

    Oh, nevermind, my friends are still in the city. Maybe it would have been a good idea to check the train records or something before leaping to conclusions. Wait, then we wouldn't have gotten the song.

    "Yeah, you were pretty rotten."

    Major, major points to AJ for calling Rarity out on that. With such a smug expression, too.

    I've lost track of how many times Rarity has cried in this episode.

    Gosh darn it this is such a touching scene though.

    They should just call this season, "Rainbow Dash Learns Not to be Enthusiastic."

    Points for using 'aight' though.

    I'll have you know I only freaked out about the potential that they were writing Rarity out of the show sixteen times before they nipped that in the bud thirty seconds later with Coco.

    It was also a good reprieve for Rarity to do such a thing (not entirely selflessly, of course) in order to get her friends into the show she promised them this whole time.

    She also looks like a Count in this scene, so that's something.

    [horse noises]

    Oh man, a mysterious box given to Rarity after she learned a valuable lesson about friendship? There's probably nothing of importance in there, let's be honest. Open it, I dare you.

    Wait, hold on.


    Now this is the part where I'm supposed to be coy, say, "ooh, that's interesting", and leave it at that. But you know me, and I'm not going to pass up this opportunity.


    Rarity's first episode in two years is the first episode where we've been given a key to The Box.

    Surely not, you say. That's not a key, that's thread.

    Real bloody likely.

    Cereal Velocity out.

    Cereal is on Twitter. He yells at mayonnaise. @CerealVelocity