• Pony Community Soapbox #98 - Fluttershy's Butt Meta / Sunset's Growth / Bat Vs. Pegasus

    NOTE: Community Soapbox will be moving back to just Tuesday unless we get a sudden surge of interest again.

    And in other news, Soapbox #100 is coming soon! If any artists want to do us a new banner for it in celebration feel free, cause we don't have any now!

    Community soapbox time, where opinions from around the fandom are dropped down below for you all to discuss and debate! Expect these posts normally when not late every Tuesday at 2:00 PM MST And now Saturday at 2:00 PM MST. To submit your own, see this post.

    Headlines for the week: 

    • Another Interpretation Of Fluttershy's Cutie Mark
    • What worries me about MLP being aimed at a more mature audience
    • Spike's Comedic Role could be Just a Distraction
    • Are Pegasi and Thestrals the Same Race?
    • Sunset Shimmer and the Importance of Proper Escalation

    And get your soapboxes below!

    Another Interpretation Of Fluttershy's Cutie Mark
    By Silverwind

    Cutie Marks are open to interpretation as it is, but taking a look at buttershush's butt-mark made me think: It's three butterflies. A defining thing of a butterfly is that it begins as a caterpillar, and emerges from its' cocoon as a beautiful butterfly.
    One could see the same in our dear little yellow-quiet. She was a meek, quiet and directionless filly, not happy or fitting in with Cloudsdale life. But when she made it down to the ground below, she blossomed and grew into herself. She emerged from her cocoon as a brighter character, becoming a butterfly herself.
    That added layer of meaning is an interesting one. Are there similar meanings to the other Mane 6 marks? Or are they just a convenient shorthand for a characters' archetype and role in the show?
    The 'logic' and workings behind Cutie Marks is still sketchy and nebulous, so mentally exploring an aspect of it like this was interesting to me, and did open up the thought to explore other characters' marks in the same way. Could there be any other deeper potential symbolism to other characters' marks as well?

    Are Pegasi and Thestrals the Same Race?
    By: Halira

    After the recent episode where we saw that Starlight had a Thestral plushie in her room back in Sire's Hollow I got to thinking about why we never see Thestrals around again and it occurred to me maybe we do.

    In the alternate reality where Nightmare Moon was victorious we see several ponies including Rainbow Dash have Thestral features and I got to thinking; is this what happens to pegasi when they don't get enough sun for extended periods of time? Their wings are magical and perhaps they respond differently to extended periods of dark and light, and when they don't get enough sunlight they lose their feathers and go all webby.

    Since most pegasi don't engage in such sleeping habits we wouldn't see this happening normally, but ponies set specifically as Luna's guards at night would have this. And for the pegasi of the Nightmare Moon world it would be all of them.

    Sunset Shimmer and the Importance of Proper Escalation
    By: Smartcorn the Alibook

    Sunset Shimmer’s great for a lot of reasons, but the biggest for me personally is how she is the only character to have a properly built up and satisfyingly concluded character arc in MLP.

    Not to tear down other characters, but Twilight’s Princess ascension felt largely throwaway in the grand scheme of things and was rushed in the cramped mess that is Magical Mystery Cure, and I feel this happened with the CMC in Crusaders of the Lost Mark. Carousel Boutique, as great an episode it is, felt dissatisfying as a conclusion to Rarity finally getting her dream store, and Newbie Dash followed a similar pattern with far less to make up for it. AJ and Pinkie don’t have arcs, Starlight felt largely superfluous and underdeveloped outside of premieres and finales, and while I still argue Fluttershy has developed the most and the best over the years, her conclusion in Fluttershy Leans In could have been better.

    Sunset is the only one where every one of her major appearances raised the stakes and made her growth feel earned and satisfying. From fallen and confused villain in EQG to finally accepted reformee in RR to saving the person who saved her in FG to getting all her friends to embrace her world and magic in LoE to FINALLY reuniting with her home and former mentor in FF, it’s been an emotional rollercoaster that I am happy to get back on again and again, and I truly can’t say that about any other character or episodes in the series. It’s this time taken to explore the various angles to her character and truly take her to the next level that make her the heart of EqG, and considering it was completely unintentional, that says a lot.

    What worries me about MLP being aimed at a more mature audience
    By: Nightmare Muffin

    I’m going to be honest, the track record for taking classic animated stories/ characters and adapting them to more modern audiences doesn’t look good. Alvin and the Chipmunks, Garfield, The Smurfs, Woody Woodpecker, Peter Rabbit and more suffer from “popculture over-saturation” and disregarding the nature and charm the characters had in the first place, when pitching them to appeal to modern audiences. MLP:FiM does, at times, suffer from this, but in its defense, its underlying theme is refreshing and presents wholesome morals and lessons that people of any age can learn from, that are a rarity in the real world today. It doesn’t present its characters twerking or making unnecessary toilet humor, like a lot of children’s shows today do and call ‘entertaining’. However, as the franchise continues to evolve, I really hope that this wholesome theme can stick with it. It worries me to hear that MLP is “SUPPOSEDLY” wanting to go with darker or more ‘mature’ settings with the introduction of new generations. Granted, I suppose only time can really tell, but I really hope that innocence isn’t lost and the characters that many generations have fallen in love with for over 30 years start becoming fragments of what they once were, with the times.

    Spike's Comedic Role could be Just a Distraction
    By: MegaSean45

    Spike is getting better as the seasons go by, but there are times when he gets held back more than he should. As a character that thinks of his friends more than himself, and just let some of them take advantage of him just because he's nice like that, it gives me alot of hope when I just say to myself, "He's just buying his time! He'll get his biggest season someday! Get the attention and development he's been lacking for so many years, and have all that he's been through in the past be completely worth it!"

    So, what if his comedic sidekick role right now is just hiding away the possibility of him playing a key role in the final season? Not the keyrole that makes the Mane Six useless of course! Of course the Mane Six'll have a key role in the finale! But what helps me sleep at night is just praying for the writers to just give it all to Spike at the very end of the series! It's happened many times before when the most unexpected character turns out to be the hero, like Pops in Regular Show! There IS more to Spike than we know, maybe more than what the writers know! If they could just put their minds to it, they can finally discover it! They call him a 'main character' for a reason! Why call someone a 'main character' when they don't seem to have a main role? They don't even call Glimglam a 'main character' for some odd reason for all she did!

    So what do you think? Could Spike just be holding out to the end to finally live his true purpose; have all that he's been through in the past be greatly rewarded? It may not happen, but he deserves it! That'll show those people who think he's 'useless'!