Ok, before anyone judge me and this blog, I feel like this is something I should write about, but let me start from the beginning of what mainly influenced me to write about this. I was listening to the new Kevin Smith’s podcast, Fatman on Batman, where he interviews people that was involve with Batman, and they talk about Batman. He interviewed the amazing voice actress, Tara Strong, who played Batgirl in the Batman animated series, and many others, including Bubbles from Powerpuff Girls. She also played a character named Twilight Sparkle from the new My Little Pony series, subtitled Friendship is Magic. Before I go on, anyone should check out the interview: http://smodcast.com/episodes/tara-strong-batgirl-bubbles-and-bronies. I can’t say how amazing it was listening to this interview which is almost an hour and a half long, but what mainly caught my attention was the discussion on bronies. For those of you who don’t know, a brony is a guy who watches My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Now, I knew about bronies for a long time, but the conversation they had about the community just fascinated me, since they made fan fictions, held conventions, and even raised charities to help sick kids. As I continued listening, strange memories came back to me, and I figured out they were from the original My Little Pony series way back in the day. I soon thought to myself, am I a brony?
The memories I’ve been getting didn’t feel like something that would be for girls that catered towards little girls, since what I remembered involved a little purple dragon, who talks, and a bunch of ponies turning into giant demons. I thought to myself that there is no way it can be a girl’s series, so I asked my older sister about those strange memories, and if they’re really part of the series. She told me that the memories I had were part of the movie, and I loved playing with the toys that she had. At that point, I was in some sort of denial. No way I can like a show that catered towards little girls, but as I started thinking, the purple dragon was a boy, and the demons did look pretty grotesque. Maybe that’s why I liked it as a kid, but still, it’s a series for girls, right? I continued listening to the podcast interview, and Tara Strong mentioned that the new series has an actual good story, with great characters and development, and it is a reason why anyone, doesn’t matter what gender, can get into it. But it’s still for girls, right?
So, after some thought, I decided to give the series a shot, just to see what the big deal is. Not only did I sat down through one, not two, but five, five freaking episodes! Now, to be fair, four of the episodes were two two-parter episodes, so I had to stay and watch to get the full story of each arc. Now, what really got my attention was that the director and producer was Lauren Faust, who also directed Powerpuff Girls, and one of my favorite cartoon series, Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends. My first thought was, “Ok, if she’s in charge of the series, then this must be decent,” and the fact was, it actually is pretty good. The first thing I noticed was the animation, which is the same flash animation tools used for Foster’s, and the second character that was introduced was the purple dragon, named Spike, from my memories, who is the best character in the series, by the way. As I continued watching the episode(s), I noticed all the things Tara strong point out in the series. There was actual character development, interesting characters, and an engaging plot. There is also a moral lesson that the character(s) learn at the end of each episode, mainly revolving around friendship. That is something that can be appreciated, since there aren’t many modern cartoons that caters towards children that has a moral lesson behind it, at least none that I know of.
Now, I continued doing research on the brony community through the very reliable web sites wikipedia and knowyourmeme.com, and I am quite astonished by the community. Take note, the brony community consists of guys from the 18-35 age demographic, most of them in college. These guys create fan fiction, art, video game mods, and memes that actually affect the series. The bronies made names to a couple background ponies, one called Derpy Hooves and another named DJ PON-3, which they eventually got their own screen time and lines. It’s great that the writers and producers are bringing in fan made jokes into the series, it shows how strong of a community this fan base is. They even made an animation based on a freestyle rap that Tara Strong voiced as Twilight just for fun. There are even brony conventions, which reached up to 4000 attendees, and they held charities that raised up to $21,000 within a month for the Children’s Cancer Association. These guys hold a very strong community, and it obviously shows how passionate they are about this show. Also, some of these guys range from high career fields such as doctors and lawyers, which makes the community even more astonishing.
Now, it may seem creepy that the brony community consists of adult male who follows a cartoon, which its main demographic is little girls, but here’s the thing, I think it’s what makes the series great. The creators of the series made it appeal to a more general audience because if you think about it, what if a dad has to watch this show with his daughter? The father can enjoy the show with his daughter, since it has that appeal to an older male audience. After sitting down and watching the five episodes, I can see why there is such a big fan base, and I can also see why the series can be appealing to an older male audience because it’s that good. And here’s another thing, why is it okay for some girls to watch a boy’s cartoon, but it’s not okay for a boy to watch girl’s cartoons? Think about it. So, I thought I was a brony, and perhaps I am. I enjoyed the five episodes I seen, there were parts that I laughed really hard, but I’m not going to make an effort to watch more episodes. I will, maybe, watch it if it comes on, if there’s nothing else on, and Spike still makes a regular appearance. I guess I’m just a casual brony, a low level/tier brony, if you will.
VaderFan, signing out, and leaving you with this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSVBcm_BZRs.