• EQD's Holiday Gift Guide REVIEW: Phase 6 Edition of My Little Pony: Equestria Girls TPB

    Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in the United States and its territories!

    Now while I'm sure spending time with your friends and family is the number one priority for just about everyone in the country today, let's not forget that tomorrow is Black Friday and Christmas is just a little over a month away!

    Now there is no need to panic about what to get the My Little Pony fan in your life. Equestria Daily is here to save the day with a number of holiday gift ideas!

    Starting with this wonderful japanese translation of the IDW Equestria Girls Trade Paperback Comic Collection by Phase 6 (Amazon Japan Listings: Standard Edition | Limited Edition).

    Yes, I absolutely love these collections. And there are a number of really good reasons why you might want to pick this one up, even if you don't speak japanese.

    Reasons I will get into after the break!

    As with the previous japanese editions of the MLP Comics, this trade collection is made up of 3 distinct components.

    The first is the book itself, where its entire cover is printed in one color. In this case, the color is orange.

    The second part is the dust jacket, which is printed in full color.

    And the third part is the obi strip, which is also printed in full color.

    Since the book itself is going to take up a vast majority of this review, let's get started with the stuff that won't.

    Like the Dust Jacket for the standard edition of the book. Which features a brand new cover by Marvel Super Star Artist Gurihiru!

    This cover features the Equestria Girls as they initially appeared in the series, with one exception. Namely Sunset Shimmer. She is wearing her Friendship Games redesign as opposed to her original outfit.

    This creates an interesting composition since Sunset never actually wears that outfit in the comics...

    Come to think of it, this is the comic debut of that outfit for Sunset. Neat little piece of trivia!

    This dust jacket also gives a glimpse into Gurihiru's art process. If you compare the back and the front covers, you'll notice the backgrounds are identical. Yes indeed, all the Equestria girls were drawn on a separate photoshop layer from the background (which I know is common practice in illustration, but it's cool to see evidence of this process on a final product).

    The obi strip contains the usual advertising information.

    Beginning with small ads for the previous 2 books in this series. Books which you can still order the standard editions off Amazon Japan for international shipping.

    There are also youtube and netflix links to go and watch Equestria Girls. But the interesting part of this Obi Strip is the announcement of the next Comic Collection to be translated.

    It's the My Little Pony: The Movie Prequel by Ted Anderson, Andy Price, and Heather Breckel! And it is coming out… NEXT MONTH?!?!

    Apparently Phase 6 is stepping up the release schedule for the MLP comics.

    The back of the book itself is a monocolor reprinting of the back of the dust jacket.

    Same with the spine of the book and the spine of the jacket.

    The contents of the book… there are actually a number of differences between the IDW Trade Paperback of the Equestria Girls comics and the Japanese Trade Paperback.

    Starting with the first ever trade collection of The Fall of Sunset Shimmer by Katie Cook, Andy Price, and Heather Breckel. This story was only published 3 times in the United States.

    The first time it was a backup story in the San Diego Comic Con Exclusive Editions (both IDW and Diamond) of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic #9, as part of the 2013 My Little Pony: Equestria Girls annual, and as a bonus comic to the Walmart Exclusive Equestria Girls "Sunset Shimmer" Edition DVD.

    This comic story has not been collected or republished until… well this japanese trade paperback collection. This is also the first time the story has been officially translated into another language.

    Two first in a single comic. Which instantly makes this somewhat of a must own for comic collectors.

    After The Fall of Sunset Shimmer if completed, we transition directly into the main story of the 2013 Annual by Ted Anderson and Tony Fleecs.

    5 Year old Tony Fleecs Art. I seriously wish the Equestria Girls would get another shot in the comics so that Tony can show how 5 years of practice drawing the ponies (and the Equestria Girls) can do. I seriously bet that comic would look amazing.

    For instance his art dramatically improved between the 2013 Annual and the Equestria Girls Holiday Special. And it's been 4 years since the Equestria Girls special was released.

    Also, found out from a friend in Japan that this little pink slip is for inventory and back order control at physical book stores. The store collects the slip when the book is sold so they can keep track of copies each book sold and thus reorder the book if it sells out.

    With the end of the Holiday Special, one would think that would be the end of the trade paperback collection, save for the cover gallery. However that is not the case, which I will be getting to in a moment.

    Interesting note, this trade collection uses the unpublished Green Ribbon and Red Wrapping Paper version of Tony's Holiday Special Cover rather than the published Red Ribbon and Green Wrapping Paper version. Very nice touch.

    This translation collection also includes My Little Pony: FIENDship is Magic #3 by Ted Anderson and Agnes Garbowska. The issue which featured the Sirens.

    If you thought including The Fall of Sunset Shimmer was an unexpected surprise, including the 3rd FIENDShip is Magic comic was a major curve ball.

    So yeah, this isn't just a direct translation of the IDW Equestria Girls Trade Paperback. There's some pretty cool changes to make a unique publication all on its own.

    Speaking off making the book its own thing, there is also a unique piece of art by Kaori "Sbis" Matsuo which I think is telling the readers to find out what happens next in the Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks Movie.

    Bobby! Can you hire Kaori to illustrate Equestria Girl covers?

    Speaking of covers, there is a cover gallery included in the back of the book which showcases a selection of the Equestria Girls comic covers. Like the connecting covers for Jetpack Comics and Larry's Comics.

    It should be noted that the connecting covers are presented in the wrong order. Larry's cover should be on the left and Jetpack's cover should be on the right.

    It's a minor detail which is easily overlooked. Still really cool to see two New England comic shops (both within driving distance of my house) represented internationally.

    The connecting spine illustration (featuring the connecting covers for MLP:FiM #1 by Andy Price) has expanded by yet another volume! And this time we can actually see Twilight's face! Can't wait to see how far this will go in covering those volumes.

    Like the previous limited edition, the dust jacket itself is the only difference between the two volumes. Once again, the actual trade paperback is identical between the two editions. And once again the variant doesn't come with an obi strip.

    That said, I always liked how the Humane 7 looked in their work attires. Rarity is fashionable as always, and Sunset Sushi is the Brony meme we all know and love. The outfits are rendered with the expert skill expected from the main artist on The Unbelievable Gwenpool (and the current artist on The Unstoppable Wasp).

    Gurihiru, your art style is perfectly suited for Equestria Girls. I seriously hope Bobby Curnow hires you to illustrate an MLP: EQG comic written by Jeremy Whitley. It would be absolutely amazing!

    Bottom line, for the my little pony fan in your life, this little item is an absolute must buy (Amazon Japan Listings: Standard Edition | Limited Edition). Consider picking it up as a Christmas gift for them this year!