• Forgotten Friendship: Special Followup

    Hey there, I'm Marvel. Maybe we haven't met. I snuck on board the editorial staff late last year so I'm still relatively new, but dang, I couldn't ask for a more fitting first followup.

    Sunset's become my favourite character in the whole franchise. The one fanfic I got off my lazy butt to write was centered around her and her relationship with her ex-mentor. Much more importantly, like a lot of other fans, I've been waiting for her reunion with Celestia for about as long as they've been apart (give or take).

    Almost 5 years of character development, and what does it lead to? We're pretty late on the draw this time, but join me in remembering this special; let's see what happens when Sunbutt Jr's past is today.

    Oh hey, the full theme song! Not gonna pull any punches here, it's not as memorable (ha) as the Pony show's, but these days I always skip the FIM theme song and I didn't for this one so... make of that what you will, I guess?

    Is it contractually-obligated-song-o'clock already? My watch must be off. 
    Wait. Is that... the shadowy confrontation corner? Did they finally fix that lightbulb? 

    If so, that's a decently meaningful shot. 

    Montage time, everybody! Bonus points because it actually has a narrative purpose: to quickly and yet effectively get you to be proud of how far Sunset's come and to see how much she values those memories.

    Good on DHX for using a tired technique properly!

    Twilight... no. Stop. You literally learned you're not supposed to overuse your magic just because you can. Overpowered is canon, right? Are any of the shorts canon? What the hell are we doing on this small floating space rock?

    The relief she must be feeling that Pinkie kept her skirt on is palpable. Just look at Pinkie's face, you know she's tempted.

    Uh oh. They bumped into each other. By EQG 1 logic, that means she's the love interest. 

    Which... wow, might explain some things... 

    I always love when you can see a hint of Sunset's old ego. We know she's still got the anger issues, and she's certainly been humbled, but it feels more realistic for her to still have little silvers of it now and then. Pride was a huge part of her downfall.

    Plus, nowadays it compliments her laid back personality and tells you something about her: being more naturally gifted in magic and her studies early on made her both arrogant and, at times, lazy. Like, yeah, I can handle whatever comes my way, so I don't need to stress.

    ... No wonder she's so fun for the writers to contrast against the Twilights.

    Pfft. Stop being so proud of yourself, you dork, you're destroying a girl's self-esteem.

    I'll never stop loving Fluttershy. She's such a gift, even in the subtlest ways.
    It's cute to see how much it means to Sunset. The rest of the girls are pretty jazzed, but Sunset's worked hard for this. That's right, Sunny, you earned your made-up friend superlative.

    Also, I feel the need to point out that it feels like at least once a movie/special, someone has to say "it's just _____" only for everyone to gasp. I know it's only happened twice, but these teenagers fundamentally don't understand how silly the things they care about sound and I for one think that's beautiful. Not true to life at all, nope.

    Damn, the superlative for Best Face is a tight competition. Both Flutters and Twi are bringing their A-game.
    I always wonder if they're taking Sci-Twi down the ol' Head vs. Heart theme train again. She gave up a scholarship to be here. As Flutternutters says, she's a bonafide genius. And now she's not the most likely to invent cold fusion? Is she making more sacrifices than she realizes? 

    I dunno. Am I reading into things too much already? You betcha.

    Shipping fuel, activate. 

    Yes, it's as simple as a character comforting another character and no, I don't have any shame. If Rarijack fans get Rarity embroidering a heart onto AJ's hat, I can have this, okay?

    Hey, so, I love this? Not the legs (I see that gutter your mind is in), the reason it's framed that way. 

    Part of the reason Trixie's so lovable to those who do love her is that she's always the underdog. Despite, or at times because of her ego, she's a bit pathetic, in the sense that she has less self-awareness and yet more to prove than everyone else around her.

    She's already shown in a more sympathetic way even before her obvious red herring role is ditched. 

    Presented without heterosexual context.

    I know we've seen this place before, but I just want to say I get the feeling Sunset bought those lights more to be cheap than the Hipster Aesthetic of it all. Although she does have three different guitars, a flatscreen, and a dual-monitor computer, so you know what? Sunset's not doing too bad for herself.

    A beach episode appeared! Hey look, they know what we want to see! Sun, sand, the waves, beach balls, umbrellas. Pylons. Yep. Nothing like a PG day at the beach with no other intentions...

    Nurture this nerd's inventions, please. Otherwise she could end up like that bad guy from Meet the Robinson's.

    I haven't thought about that movie in years, geez...

    Okay, but in Rarara's defence, I pretty much did the exact same thing when editing the header image. Gotta get that exact right shade.

    C'mon, Rares. Us detail-freaks have to stick together.

    She's coming.

    "Help! Please, save me, R2!"

    Sunset Shimmies.

    Let's just take a breath and appreciate that Fluttershy hides behind Applejack specifically.

    This isn't even one of my crazy shipping things, I just find it adorable that she hides behind AJ because AJ is the strongest yet most considerate one when it comes to Fluttershy. They have one of the most pure, sweet friendships in the bunch, I swear.

    Without context, it just seems like someone shouted "Free Princess Guide cookies!" and Sunset left a her-shaped dust cloud in her wake.
    This is the one that I feel like is the most confusing. The idea seems to be, as Rarity demonstrates later when asked to recall a memory where Sunset was leading the conversation, that the memory is just fuzzy, but in this case would Twilight also assume she came to her senses on her own? 

    This is less so a plot hole and more so just something I wonder about the characters. Like, how each of them would explain and reinterpret their lives. It's the psych major in me, ignore her.

    Even if we put aside the Sunlight shipping here, which by now you know I can't but whatever, this just goes to show the time they've spent bonding over being demons and whatnot has meant something extra special to Sunset. And for that kind of continuity, you get a cookie, DHX.

    Split it equally among the whole crew, please, I only have one.

    This is the moment angsty fanfic writers will use to tell Sunset the last three or four years of her life aren't real. In fact, she's in a mental hospital back in Equestria. She's been talking too much to patient Heartstrings.

    Heck, while we're at it, all of Friendship is Magic takes place within the span of the twinkle in Twilight's eye right before she faces Nightmare Moon. Nothing you care about is real! Stakes? Consequences? Screw that, it's angst time, baby!

    And so, a wallpaper was selected.

    Help the horse. She's in too deep with those humans.
    Hey, it's been a while! You two didn't even really interact much in Friendship Games, outside of the cut cafe scene. Hugs are definitely warranted.

    "Hey, Twilight, do you hear something? Some kind of distant shrieking?"

    "Oh that? It always happens with big moments in our lives. You get used to it."

    Holy crap. I can't imagine what Sunset must be feeling in this moment.

    Something she's waited for for years, yet something she's dreaded going/being handled poorly. Heart beating out of her chest, adrenaline pumping.

    Nope. Wouldn't know what that's like at all.

    Okay, here's my one nitpick and I bring it up not because it matters (this is actually super inane), but because I see what they're going for in this scene and still don't dig it but you might: Sunset's mane.

    Specifically the back of it, because they have an additional part that doesn't need to be there. Most characters, at least our main ones, only have the back of the hair on one side, and the top offsetting it on the other side:

    That looks nice because it's asymmetrical and it's just generally true of how ponies' manes work in real life. 

    And Sunset's initial mane design is very much the same. Back part on one side, top on the other. Nice. But this time they updated her so in addition to that, she also has another part of the back on the side the top part of her mane is and it looks cluttered to me as a design. 

    I'm no artist, so please explain how wrong I am, but I mean, am I right?

    Good mane. Very good.
    Anyway, the point of showing Sunset from the angle they do is to have hair in her face. That I'm not denying, that adds a fair bit without going over the top. But maybe I'm the only one who thinks they went slightly overboard on the mane, because I feel like the reason it's parted like that is to show she's more human now, but all I want to do is to give her a hairbrush.

    This has been my unnecessary mane rant. 

    In comes Twilight for the win for that Best Face superlative, despite the fact that she doesn't even go to Canterlot High.

    Celestia uses shame into silence. It's super effective!

    Do you see what I'm saying though??? Just having the top part hanging over her face would be enough, it's weird to also have so much mane behind it... I'm going insane. This is such an insane thing to rant about.
    Elements of a Good Apology:
    1. An expression of regret over what happened.
    2. An acknowledgement of the full impact it had on the one you're apologizing to.
    "Princess Celestia, the last time we saw each other I was your snide little pupil who betrayed and abandoned you."

    Good mane design right there. From this angle she doesn't even have the extra hair. Okay, I'm done for real.
    3. Asking for forgiveness (as an admission that some wrong was done).
    "I mean that I come before you a changed pony, humbly asking for forgiveness, guidance, and knowledge."

    4. An acknowledgement that the one being apologized to might need some time before forgiveness can be granted (if at all)
    "Or I could just go, and you'll never have to see me again..."
    By the way? I'm dying inside and I love it.

    And, of course:

    5. Saying "I'm sorry." 

    This was Sunset's last hurdle. The last big apology she had to make for her past (well, not the very last, as we'll see with Wallflower, but the most significant).

    The reason we've wanted this for years isn't just for the feels that come when they're finally on good terms again (although sign me up for SunMom and SunDaughter fluff). It's to see Sunset earn that last bit of her redemption and finally come full circle.

    And with that apology, come full circle, she has. 

    I feel like we've always imagined Sunset crying more, but you know? The gentle peace of this reunion seems about right for where Sunset is in terms of accepting herself for who she is now, as opposed to defining her worth by who she used to be.

    After all, her past is not today. Because she's worked so hard to make it so.

    Twilight is all of us (except I'm crying more).

    The parallels between these four characters are so meaningful when you realize how they all might've impacted each other. It's not just surreal to see them together, it's a choice the writers made specifically for this special.

    You look so much like someone I used to care for/but now they've gone away/ A life of darkness is bound to try to tempt you/so promise you won't stray... please promise me.
    What I love most about this parallel is the idea that Luna/Nightmare Moon indirectly caused Sunset's downfall.

    Not that Sunset isn't to blame, she is. But that we know from Celestial Advice that Celestia was still anxious about Twilight leaving for Ponyville, so it seems she's had a history of raising her students to be a bit sheltered.

    There are, after all, unique pressures on her students that no other foals can really relate to, even in their classes.

    Woona and Sunny 
    Wouldn't it just make sense that Celestia would nurture her students that way, even unintentionally, after losing her sister because Luna never got enough attention and care? And despite trying to teach about humility and friendship, couldn't that contribute to Sunset's over-inflated pride?

    And this is before she knows Celestia has the power to make her an alicorn.
    Fun fact: Sunset found out about alicorn ascension and it pushed her over the edge. Twilight never knew until she became one. Celestia's certainly learned over time. 

    Alright, back to the special. There's been enough ranting as it is.

    Honestly, Princess Twilight and Sunset act like siblings sometimes. Seeing as they've both been partially raised by Sunbutt, that makes Sunset the cool, leather-jacket-wearing black sheep who can't live up to her brainy little sister and that headcanon is something I wouldn't trade for the world.

    Oh, and Luna's not entirely wrong. If I'm not mistaken the climax of the special takes place in the faculty lot.

    Oh hai, Moondancer, fancy meeting you in the exact same spot you always are! 

    Incoming Twigasm. Sunset knows.

    Not to be confused with Starswirl's private library from Reflections Part 1 of the comics, found within the mountain on which Canterlot sits. Twi knows about that one.
    "The books here are rated R. For restricted, of course."

    If we go by the comics, Sunset managed to find some dark magic spell books without knowing about this place, so you have to wonder what other nasty goodies they've decided are best left forgotten. 

    ... Yeah, maybe it's better Starlight doesn't know about this place yet.

    Rebooting system.

    I love that Tara didn't read that line in the "Don't make fun of me, let me enjoy this" sense. Twilight is genuinely afraid Sunset will take away the books.

    This moment of Sunbutt Sr. and Sunbutt Jr. bonding has been brought to you by years and years of fan demand. 

    Seriously, though, how many angsty teenage You're not my mom moments have these two gone through to get to this point?

    Pictured above: the field researcher v.s. the career student. 

    It's still wonderful that they made that distinction. Otherwise, Sunset would just be a dumber, sweatier version of Twilight (and if you think that's the last Gravity Falls reference I'll make today, you haven't seen the ending of Gravity Falls).

    You know you've been living in the human world too long when you go back home and all the names are eye-roll worthy. 

    Something something easy Tide Pod joke about non-edible substances being eaten
    Twilight might be second most likely to invent cold fusion, but she's beginning to realize whose inventions are really going to change the world.

    Huh... haven't heard from Seth in a while. He must be watching this pan from Trixie's feet up to her head on repeat again. Too bad I don't know how to gif.

    But, since we're talking about her, I love that Trixie is the best candidate for being a red herring because she casually swears revenge against people and talks like she's up to something naturally. That's just her speaking voice. 

    Twilight has a sailor hat. This was another news flash on a little show I like to call Important Information.

    Bonus points for Rarity fixing those plot-holes before we have a chance to comment angrily.

    An anon on Tumblr pointed out to me that this might be a callback to the comics. 

    V.s "With every choice you make you prove yourself to possess a kind heart."

    This is how man-made rivers are made; with liquid pride.

    I just have one question for you, Sunset Shimmer. Do you like bananas?
    3 things here:
    1. This is the first time Sunset's been referred to as one of Twilight's students. She's just... studying abroad. In the multiverse.
    2. Celestia's a goof and Twilight's forever adorably humble. I'm glad some things never change.
    3. Sunset saying that Celestia never had a sense of humour when she was growing up only adds to that whole Luna's banishment indirectly affected Sunset theory. I have to believe that's what took the fun out of Fun in the Sun princess. And again, I could totally see a more serious, goal-oriented upbringing/teaching influencing the megalomania... just a thought.

    And now it's a sports anime.

    "It took 20 episodes to get here, but it'll all be worth it to prove myself better than my rival! It's all come down to this! For my team! For all the teams! For everyone who knows what a Volleyball is! I know the special technique hasn't worked in practice and I shouldn't be able to perform it whatsoever, but deep down, now the heart of the cards is with me! 

    But first, I should stand here and flashback to my little sister dying in the hospital in order to establish--"

    "Oh my god would you just play!"

    She puts so much effort into making her friends happy. That's the small distinction here that keeps Pinkie's appearance from suffering Comic Relief Syndrome too much; she's trying to be a good friend to Dash.

    Points for sneaking in a decent Ponk.

    The selfie cam's prototype name was definitely 0wl1l1c1ous.

    Cute Sun.

    Also? "The same person who perfectly photoshopped your friend"???

    I'm so angry right now.

    "Y'arr, I'm a parrot."

    The dance she does. She might even rival the Sunet Shimmy, the new dance craze terrorizing the nation.

    I never particularly care about plot-holes like this, but this kind of accidentally making things worse thing only works when the character getting mad doesn't, I don't know, see that it's an accident.

    Twilight, you were right there when Sunset was tripping on the volleyball. If anyone, I'd blame Rainbow Dash.

    Callbacks, yo! Gotta love 'em!

    I'm also delighted by the fact that Sunset's a known vandal and she keeps the spray paint and Flanksy hat in her locker at school. Criminal. Mastermind.

    I'll bet you anything Sunset used to take lunch money because she thought herself too good to get a real job. This was how she survived. In this economy, a girl's gotta hustle.

    The battle/confrontation music going on in this part is pretty sweet. I mean, we already know Trixie's just a red herring, but I appreciate the effort all the same.

    You know? After thinking about it, I think this was Trixie's revenge. A flashy mock-up that must've taken her hours to put together.

    Trixie's version of revenge is just to come back harder, stronger, and more egotistic than ever, and you've gotta respect her, in a way. 

    I don't have anything to say here, I just think the fact that Sunset's such a stickler for what is and isn't a word is the funniest joke in the special.

    Don't worry, Trixie, it's okay. At least she didn't call you a meanie.

    There's usually a point, with Sunset's anger, that you can see the transformation in her expression from rage to the pain it's hiding. I'm currently of the belief that some of the best written rage-fuelled outbursts have that duality to them, and it's great that they don't rob Sunset of that.

    Rude. That's just rude, she's right over there. It's not even a big hallway.

    Nonetheless, Trixie proves her narcissism hasn't made her totally devoid of empathy. Some of the best moments with her are the ones like this, where you see a glimpse of her being more in tune with the people (or ponies) around her than you'd ever expect.

    I know Seth has dibs, but can I at least send her a thank you card for this scene?

    The library is her oldest friend, so this is really a betrayal of Shakespearean proportions.

    I think it says something that Celestia's been researching, too. I know she has some leisure time, but she's also got a country to run, you know? 

    ... On second thought, maybe it was a bad idea to team up with Trixie. I know she's never been explicitly evil, but the school at large doesn't think too highly of her, either.

    I feel like instead of breaking SciTwi's camera, the thing to do would've been to have the girls see Sunset sitting with Trixie at lunch and make their assumptions from that. Plays on the theme Trixie was talking about a scene or two ago.

    Pinkie's running low on material if the funniest thing she can come up with is to jump up on the opposite side of the table from her chair. "Now I'm over here! And look, my keys jingle when I shake them!"

    Okay, disregard everything I've said about Best Faces before, Nurse Redheart wins. Possibly forever.

    This really reminds me of Rock Solid Friendship and Maud's inability to connect with people/ponies. It's great when they put in jokes that reflect the characters this well.

    Insert shoving ship in everyone's faces here.

    But again, the staff's continual insistence that SciTwi is the most hesitant to count Sunset out, even after the camera incident, is just heartwarming. 

    ... Huh. They managed to pinpoint the second Sunset's heart ripped in half and time their group picture around it. Are you sure they're not supervillains? 

    Oh wait, they're highschoolers. Yeah, no, that's accurate.

    So here's where we start what I like to call the Is it a plot-hole or just a complicated character? game.

    Because Wallflower's whole thing is that she's been ignored for so long she feels invisible, but then, why does she do things like skip picture day? You can't explain this away too much because, I mean, she works for the yearbook committee; couldn't she insert another picture?

    But as we'll see later on, I don't think she has to be entirely right to be sympathetic in her motivations. For instance, here, if she has enough social anxiety that she can't get her picture taken for the yearbook despite being the editor, it doesn't have to make sense. Anxiety doesn't make sense, and is often counterproductive to the very thing you want to improve on.

    More on this later, though.

    This shot is so wonderful. They're thinking so hard and she's sitting right there. It's like that meme:

    "Wallflower Blush? Who's that?"

    "Dunno. Must've died."

    "I'm right here."

    "I can almost hear her voice..."

    I can already feel the waifu status elevating. Or, shyfu, if you will.

    Can we PLEASE have fanart of 3rd grade Trixie raising tadpoles?
    Sunset's constantly rolling her eyes at Trixie, which I like. It sets their relationship apart from Starlight and Trixie in the main show. Starlight inexplicably loves/laughs at Trixie's giant ego.

    Have we seen this before? The journal as it's being written in? This is the smallest increment of worldbuilding possible, but I like that it appears at the same time it's being written, instead of all at once after the pen's left the page.

    I'm getting Dora the Explora vibes. Can you find the rock formation, Sunset?

    See, this is the kind of thing that makes me suspect social anxiety. Not to armchair psychologist fictional characters, but I have social anxiety, so when Wallflower says she was thinking of putting her garden in the yearbook but not her face, I kinda get it.

    Not that I couldn't take a picture back in high school, but I totally identified more by my interests than by who I was as a person, as a shield. 

    Webster's just found their new image for "putting your foot in your mouth."

    Okay, Sunset, you get a pass this time. Insulting one friend to build up another potential friend is marginally better than before. Uh, character development, I guess?

    Human language is just barely more legible than the squiggles from earlier. Congrats!

    It's at times like this that I think the mystery aspect of all this would've been helped if they'd used an actual background character design for Wallflower. 

    Her design is ultra cute, but, well, go read Background Pony by shortskirtsandexplosions. Just as a rule, but also to see how effective the meta narrative can be.

    Had they written it juuust right, they could've fooled us better. We know the Scooby Doo logic of these things by now. If someone's introduced in Act 1 for the first time, they're probably getting a mask ripped off their face in Act 3.

    But if you're prone to making meta jokes, like our writers are, and you pass the set up off as just another fourth wall break for a stock character we've seen throughout the series in the background... well, you just might have a successful bait and switch on your hands. At least for the less observant viewers like I tend to be.

    I wonder if there's an angry geologist section of the fandom that are mad Clover the Clever's pouch didn't sink farther into the earth by now.

    By the way, there's a great musical motif with the memory stone. William Anderson does A-1 work, surprising no one.

    For half a second, I thought I was watching Illumination's new Grinch movie and I got scared.

    Okay, but I'm just saying. The unrequited crush thing isn't a bad explanation. All she wants is for Sunset Senpai to notice her, is that so wrong?

    I wonder if Snips and Snails got any accolades for their contributions. Sneakiest Sidecars?

    Those sideburns. Those pajamas.

    SciTwi: "Someone's been sleeping in my bed."

    "Senpai, when I said I wanted you to notice me, I thought it would be implied that I meant consensually."

    Yeeeeeaaah... this is why there's a boatload of analysis videos on your ethics with that thing, Sunset. I know the plot demands it, but still.

    Well now, that's just adorable. You really wanted to destroy those smiles, Wallflower? A true heart of stone.

    Personally, I like that musical numbers transcend social anxiety. That's comforting. 

    I'm also genuinely wondering: Do you think spontaneous musical numbers were a thing before Starswirl threw magic into this world, or is it a package deal with Equestrian Magic? 

    "Wallflower, you can't Naruto run your way through life."

    "It's who I am!"

    Trixie is a true bro, confirmed.

    The most interesting thing here isn't that Sunset's smart enough to do something during the song. It's that in a world with spontaneous musical numbers, it's just common courtesy not to.

    Good for Trixie, making good points here. Look at her go. I'm so proud.

    The Men in Black send their regards.

    Trixie, don't make me look at the clock, do you even know how long it took me to take all these screenshots?

    I know she's trying to get someone's attention, but 1. This room's a fire hazard if I ever saw one, and more importantly 2. I'm having flashbacks to the time Sunset tried to muscle her way past a boulder in Legend of Everfree. No, sweetie. Stop.

    Obligatory adorable Sunny shot. 

    "Fortune cookie messages are getting more and more specific these days."

    Wait. Did we see her do that? Rewind and enhance, Alfred.

    Holy Faculty Lot, we totally did! This is right after Sunset's spots the rock formation on Wallflower's monitor. Sunset puts away her journal, then stops to switch something on offscreen. There's even a small switch sound if you listen for it. Clever framing, DHX.

    They also apparently have a red light blinking on the camera throughout the rest of the scene, so they really went all out on this one.

    Thanks to everyone who pointed this out to me! Don't you love it when they care about those kinds of details?

    You say that, but if it was Tricks Up My Sleeve, you'd pump up the volume. I know your game, Trixie.

    Sunset's not entirely in the wrong here, to be fair to her. Yes, Trixie makes a good point, but at the same time, you pass strangers all the time. I didn't know everyone I went to high school with. 

    But on the other hand, the point is just not to do inconsiderate things like turn off the lights on someone and totally ignore they exist. 

    So decent moral is decent.

    "At least I'll have one friend in the morning" is one of my favourite lines in this whole thing. And Sunset reunited with Celestia in this special.

    The moment Sunset remembers what it's like to have an ego as big as Trixie's and how easy it is to stroke.

    Sunset "I punch what I love" Shimmer.

    This is about when the eye-rolling on Sunset's part stops. Sweet that she's starting to appreciate that pageantry. 

    Character development from Rainbow Rocks! Way to go!

    I'm really concerned about this fire hazard room. Please get Trixie out of there before Wallflower really loses it and torches the school.

    I wasn't joking about that faculty lot thing from earlier. We're jumping ahead with the second shot there, but that's right before VP Luna scolds the truck driver for parking there, and it looks like the exact same place.

    I thought they were making the giggles, but they were foreshadowing.

    Did anyone else think Flash was going to... do anything? Even just watch the climax and later talk to Sunset?

    Something about the way he pulls directly into frame made me think he'd at least have a line at some point. But no, that's fine, stay in the Flashmobile, I guess. I would laugh if it turned out he pumped it into reverse.

    The downside to shouting your evil deeds to the victims of those evil deeds.png

    If you like plants that much, have I got the camp counsellor for you!
    Waifuness reaching critical levels!

    What's adorable is that she's willing to erase Sunset's friends memories, but saying I hate you? That's crossing a line.

    She said it earlier, though. She hates confrontation. Even when she despises someone, she hates getting in their face about it. Consistent characterization: ain't it great?

    Sunset's heart is breaking into smaller and smaller pieces the longer this special goes on.

    I don't much like this trend.

    Blink and you'll miss it, but she's crying when she dives in front of the memory magic.

    "Guess I was good for something after all." (Gravity Falls finale spoiler warning)

    There's a special kind of horror in how Rebecca Shoichet delivers these screams. It's so much worse than the novelization makes it seem.

    Especially the desperation in this moment. We already know it's futile. Twilight's forgotten Sunset. But it's all Sunset can do to beg.

    Gotta love that shipping fuel! ... Not the time? Yeah, okay.
    A gorgeous sunset we have tonight, huh? Sinking lower and lower...

    Gosh, my heart can't take this. Did this take more than just high school? Does she not remember her falling out with Celestia, or was she this genuinely upset when she first came through the portal?

    She must be feeling some real body horror here and it doesn't sit well if I think about it too much.

    Yeah, see, this is why it's important to know if she was like this when she came here before. Because there wouldn't have been anyone there to help her back then.

    You have a determined nerd on your side, Sunset. Nothing can hurt you now!

    Maybe you shouldn't finish each other's sentences, girls. I think that's only confusing her more.

    Confused Sunny is just the cutest thing, though??? 

    I'm sorry, this is what happens when you put me in charge of covering a Sunset special. Riveting commentary.

    Collect all seven! 

    By the by, my partner always thinks Applejack's designs are the best in these magical girl power-ups because hers are always the least over-the-top. I say it's because hers are the least toyetic and look at least somewhat closer to a style someone might actually wear.

    "It's not your special to moralize in, Twilight!"

    Oh. Maybe we did need to know the melting point. Thanks, Maud!

    ... Pinkie? Do I want to know what memories you got back?

    Whether it's Sunset lifting Twilight up or Twilight running at Sunset so fast she makes her leans back, I'm pretty happy with this special.

    Leave me in my Timber is just a phase denial state, alright? I'm happy here. I've built a life.

    When Rarity's the one jumping for joy, you know it's a party.

    Then again, she's chill a few seconds later, so this party doesn't go until the break of dawn. I guess they are teenagers, they probably have curfews.

    Now we come back to my favourite game. 

    Wallflower says she's erased awkward hellos, public speaking, all that sort of stuff. But (and shoutout to my partner again for this) if she's actively been erasing people's memories of her, how can she get mad at them for not remembering her???

    She didn't erase everything, really, but I can imagine other critics will be harsher on her. After all, no relationship is one-sided, and if she wants friends, she should talk to someone.

    But it's that teenage anxiety that I can't help but understand. All teenagers feel ignored to some degree, but especially those who have trouble speaking up. She's her own worst enemy, and the special frames her that way, for the most part. 

    And I think what she was really taught by Sunset comes in the form of the line "Everyone matters, no matter how invisible they feel."

    Wallflower is later shown to let people into her garden, and I think it's because she's finally accepted the truth that's really been hindering her this whole time: not that others have been ignoring her, but that she never gave them the chance not to. That she matters, and knowing that, she can be brave because she's more confident in that fact.

    Goal achieved: Senpai finally noticed you. 

    ... Whoa. I just realized thinking about yearbooks probably means they're getting closer and closer to graduation.

    I swear, if they time a graduation story in EQG with the ending of Friendship is Magic, I'll be a sobbing mess.

    The d'aww is real.

    Very, very real.

    Well, I think that about covers it. This followup was a bit late (in my defence, I didn't know I even could volunteer to do it until Monday night), so sorry about that, but this fandom knows a thing or two about waiting, doesn't it?

    It's not always true that a long-awaited event lives up to expectation, but on the whole? Forgotten Friendship pulled if off excellently.

    Thanks for having me, everybody. And thanks to the staff for a supremely satisfying special that's definitely worth remembering.

    Marvel's Blog: Here