Random dialectics: The Season 5 Opener
Hello and welcome to the newest artikel of Random Dialectics! I know I haven't been on here for a while, but there are many new changes in my life, including my line of work and my schedule, which offers me significantly less free time than before. However, I can safely say that I have successfully survived the one jaar “pony-drought”, so what else could be the topic of our artikel than My Little Pony? Today we're going to take a look at the Season 5 two parter. Needless to say, if u haven't seen the episodes yet, SPOILER ALERT! u have been warned!
All right, first of all, let me state that I had high expectations for the first two episodes of the show. The vorige season ended with a huge bang so I thought it will be difficult for the writers to top, boven it. But they managed to do just that in many ways.
One of the things I liked, is that they made some modifications to the structure of the episodes and how they build up the story arch. So we have the Mane Six in their fancy new kasteel (which is a bit too lavish for my taste, but whatever), still trying to understand the nature of the transition that occurred with the Elements of Harmony. It is very clear, that while each individual character keeps their unique traits, their role in the equestrian society needs to be redefined. Twilight Sparkle and her vrienden are no longer just the defenders of harmony in the kingdom, not simply a reaction to a threat, but the instruments of the magic of friendship itself. Their primary task is no longer to study the dynamics of their own friendship; they have surpassed that level. They understand in depths what their connection to each other is truly capable of so Season 5 had to open up new perspectives.
What gives the charm of these episodes, is that, the Mane 6 does not really know how to handle such a transition; they are quite uncertain about their new role and the responsibilities that come with it.
Socialism in Equestria
When a newly discovered map of magic sets the path for a journey to a small village in a remote corner of Equestria, Twilight Sparkle and the others are utterly clueless about their mission. It appears, that nothing is wrong with the place, the inhabitants seem happy, extremely friendly and welcoming and there's no sign of disturbance of any kind... and that's when my favoriete savant genius, Pinkie Pie comes into the picture. She's the first to indicate that something's off. It's an impossible task to determine how that strange brain of hers actually works, but she manages to see through the seemingly peaceful surface from the very beginning. Even after when they realize that all of the ponies in this village have the same cutie mark of an equation sign, Twilight and the others do not give too much plausibility to Pinkie's suspicions.
Shortly afterwards, the Mane 6 meets the founder of the village, Starlight Glimmer, who appears as friendly as the other townsfolk, but to be honest, I knew something was off with her from the very first moment. She breaks into a song about the advantages and beauty of her village and shares her philosophy. It appears, she created an egalitarian society, that is based on equality and sameness, hence the same cutie marks.
But it turns out, she has a much darker agenda. When Twilight and her vrienden refuse to accept this way of life, she steals their cutie marks and imprisons them to a vault, where all the other marks are kept. Then Starlight locks our heroes up and attempts to brainwash them.
What I really liked about this concept is that, despite losing their individual talents, the Mane 6 does not lose their personalities altogether. Their character is stronger than Starlight's magic and they eventually manage to expose her and reveal that she still has her own cutie mark. With a tremendous help from... Fluttershy!
Those who know me, know that although I find Flutters adorable as hay, she's the one who I think needs some meer character development other than overcoming her timid nature. This time, she shows true mental strength and actually manages to deceive a clever antagonist for a short while. But this time is enough for the others to take action and turn the town against Starlight. So yeah, I'm actually giving credit to Fluttershy! Haven't seen such bravery from her since she stood up to that dragon! Great job writers!
Even though Starlight Glimmer escapes the premise, everypony gets their cutie marks back and the village is saved, the “friendship mission” is complete.
But this two-parter offered numerous creative and deep concepts that worth mentioning. Concepts that make this toon so amazing and the story meer realistic.
1. The Mane 6's efforts of trying to comprehend and understand their new role as the instruments of Friendship.
2. The perfect dynamic between the Mane 6, despite their individual, differing opinions.
3. Despite losing their cutie marks and special talents, the Mane 6 does not lose their personalities, just the traits that are connected to their cutie marks.
4. Finally a smart antagonist with some character! A backstabbing, manipulative and megalomaniac personality, wearing the mask of friendliness, dipped in honey.
5. meer active roles for stallions!!!
6. The Mane 6 being saved door ordinary ponies, in return for their help of exposing the villain. Fantastic role-reversal, brilliant idea!
7. Possible foreshadowing of an antagonist who might appear throughout the entire season from time to time, not just in the finale.
8. The continuous improvement in animation, especially on facial expressions. It's truly wonderful what a huge array of facial expressions they have up their sleeve and the background and other scenes were just as beautiful. Here and now, the best examples for that are Pinkie and Fluttershy.
Now u are probably wondering why the headline said: “Socialism in Equestria”.
Well, coming from a country that has been enslaved door that ideology for decades, I am familiar with the classic Marxist-Leninist terminology all too well. It's called communism. Although in real life, “communism” never come to fruition, as instead, we got “socialism”, which is entirely different and kinda like a twisted version of what Karl Marx had in mind. But that's a different story. However, that village in Equestria is a perfect depiction of a socialist, totalitarian state. Why?
1. Egalitarian social structure, that is based on the ideology of equality for all, irrespectively of the individual's background history, skills and weaknesses of social class.
2. Standardization of appearance, clothing, accepted social behavior, cutie marks and even the way of thinking. Did u notice when Starlight quickly braided the mane of a mare, who tried to wear a different hairstyle than the others? The socialist ideology rejects any uniqueness, considers it as “decadent behavior" and a threat to its own existence, thus forcing people on a narrow path both physically and mentally.
3. Brainwashing those who refuse to accept the philosophy. That room where the Mane 6 were locked up and had to listen to Starlights voice on a tape for two nights in a row... that's a sugar coated version of the infamous interrogation rooms in Hungary and all over the Eastern block, where they have beaten the “enemies of the state” to death of sent them to a concentration camp to starve to death. In this case, Twilight and her vrienden were state prisoners, incarcerated for political reasons, because they did not wish to absorb Starlight's philosophy.
4. The extended will of a few on the masses. In this case, it's only Starlight, but did u notice how the other ponies treated her? With fearful respect. They always looked anxious around her, trying to keep a distance. When she broke into a song, they followed because they knew there would be consequences if they didn't. It's like how it used to be in the Eastern block during the '50s. We, Hungarians, had to stand up, clap, smile, praise and cheer for a dictators, the oppressors of generations, the puppets of the Soviets who enslaved our country for 44 years! If u didn't, the omnipresent agents of the Communist Party would recognize it and the volgende thing u knew, a big black car just parked in front of your house in the middle of the night, your door is busted open and some firm hands dragged u out of your bed and that car would take u away to some very cruel and unpleasant corners of the Earth. If u were lucky, you'd return as an empty, broken shell after a few years... of you'd never be seen again.
5. Paternalistic leadership. Starlight Glimmer liked to flaunt in the role of a caring mother, like if the village and its ponies were her little children and she's the one who needs to toon them the way, provide guidance and protection, because they don't know any better. It's a typical trait of all socialist dictators. She's not different than Joseph Stalin of any other Soviet leaders.
So, I know socialism when I see it, we have lived under the yoke of that destructive ideology for decades, until 1989. MLP just showed a sugar coated version of it, thus, Starlight Glimmer is a commie and needs to be destroyed! She should have had a red ster for a cutie mark XD
All right, time to sum up! All in all, I really enjoyed the Season 5 opener, mainly because of it's perfect character dynamics, its effort to aim for new horizons and redefine the role of the Mane 6 in society, a clever antagonist with some character at last and because they finally gave some stallions an active role in the conflict. It had a few minor flaws (like the similar visual designs of Starlight Glimmer and Sonata Dusk) and a couple of forced scenes (the ski-sequence for example), but they are nothing compared to the globaal, algemene great entertainment value of this two-parter. I just hope they can keep this good quality up throughout the entire season. So I can give 5 and a half red stars from 6 to it with a good heart!
Well, that concludes our contemplation for now! Do u agree with this article? of u have different opinions? Feel free to leave a commentaar below! See u volgende time! :3