• Let's Reivew: Little Fillies #4


    It's time to wrap up this ponified adaptation! What liberties will we find? What themes stay consistent?

    Find out after the break, but beware. Spoilers are always classic.

    So here we are at the end, with quite a bit of book to cover. For context, the past three issues covered the first half of the original Little Women book. This single issue must cover the second half.

    Jo just can't deal with this level of abridgement.
    The art for this issue remains a curious appearance. We finally get some extra characters who are not Discord. The Student Six take on the role of Jo's students, and their designs have a looseness that really throws off the eye. Silverstream is the most egregious example, with Sandbar a close second. While I'll always wonder if this comic tried to capture the art style of the period, I think this issue confirms that there's a lack of familiarity with the characters. Thus we get an attempt to match the flat look of early Friendship is Magic promo material.

    I think Gallus comes off looking the best of the bunch.


    Little Women originally saw publication in two volumes with the second coming out in 1869. While the first volume was an insular story about a close band of sisters, this second half is more nostalgic as the sisters go forth into their individual lives (or in Beth's case, her mortality) and find their places in the world. We start this issue with Jo/Rainbow Dash trying to reclaim some of that old togetherness with a meeting of one.

    It's only troublign if the furniture talks back.


    By this point in the book, Meg has married and will have two children. Amy toured Europe and Beth was coming to peace with her poor health and likely end. Jo is based on author Louisa May Alcott, and featured a choice that was-for the time period–very revolutionary. Laurie becomes a man of wealth, charm, and high standing. A perfect match to Jo of the impoverished March family. Despite the bond they formed in the first half, Jo turns down Laurie's proposal because she doesn't love him. This would eventually lead to Amy consoling Laurie and forming a relationship of their own that culminated in marriage.

    Get it? They're carrying a torch for one another!


    As a RariJack fan, I can't help but feel a little jilted myself. We have a vast departure from the book as none of the March sisters get married. This might be the My Little Pony aspect dictating terms, but I also worry that it's part of message that marriage somehow diminishes a person's independence. In the show, only Pinkie married and had a foal, and she is cast as the March's mother. Much like the show, Twilight/Meg has gained favor with Celestia and Luna and will eventually open her own magic school. Amy has opened a clothing shop, and Beth is enjoying a permanent vacation.

    You keep dodging that uncomfortable topic of mortality, Fluttershy!
    It's what the censors want!


    Much like her book counterpart, Jo/Rainbow Dash makes a livng writing little stories for the newspaper, though she is still unsure of what shape her life will take. While Jo would eventually study German with, fall in with, and marries a professor named Bhaer. It's during this time that the tomboy Jo develops more feminine aspects. Rainbow Dash instead meets her favorite author, A.K. Yearling, and gets some more advice on what to write to find her own identity.

    Next book: Daring Do and the Missing Chin.


    I'm not claiming that a woman must marry to find fulfillment, but this aversion to the topic at all strikes me as equally troubling. It seems to treat marriage as the death of independence even though Alcott made it clear through Meg's relationship that marriage is a new chapter in life. It features growth, compromise, change, and a deepening bond if one is willing to put in the work. It is far from an end to a life.

    Yes, character growth! Something we enjoyed seeing in MLP!


    Instead we witness a reunion of all the characters just as the book featured a gathering to show how, despite growing up and finding their own paths, the bonds between the March Sisters remains strong. Thus we reach the end of a series that took a lot of liberties. The characters even say so.

    Acknowledging it doesn't make you witty!


    This we close out this adaptation with a curious feeling. The March Sisters have certainly gone through change and growth but if you were to only look at the snapshots, one could easily mistake that they've not gone through any growth at all. There's very little visual change to accompany the coming-of-age theme. Even if "The Last Problem" felt like a bitter farewell, it at least showed growth both in storytelling and visuals. I think this final issue needed some of that to really convey such an idea.

    No matter the continuity, Rainbow Dash must fangirl.


    Anything more on the topic can wait until a retrospective next week. For now, let's see how folks received this comic in the comments!

    They were sisters, even from other mothers!


    I'm Silver Quill. Thanks for reading!

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