Text version of this video:
First, the analysis of The Crystal Empire:
Also, my first impressions of the new episode, just so MisfortuneDogged can see it:
Note that this is a full analysis, unlike my first impression post on the same episode.
This week’s MLP is among the funniest episodes of the show, and one of the tightest in terms of pacing and presentation, which makes it top tier for me. As much as I enjoyed the premiere, this episode is the more brilliant kick-off of the new season.
What makes it so tight? The concept is nothing new to cartoons—Pinkie Pie clones herself a bunch of times, quickly realizes why this was a bad idea, and then it’s up to her friends to figure out which one is the real Pinkie and destroy the fakes. It’s been done many times, including on Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends, which was another Lauren Faust show (though I realize she’s no longer involved in MLP).
This episode succeeds because Pinkie Pie is the perfect character to have this happen to. It’s hardly surprising that she’d come up with the plan to clone herself, and it’s hard to doubt that she could do it. The idea even works as a character exploration, because Pinkie initiates this whole plan out of her inability to make choices. The result is exactly what the viewer expects from having too many Pinkie Pies, and rather than dwell on the chaos of the situation, the fun comes more from Pinkie’s one-of-a-kind reaction (doubting if she even is the real Pinkie Pie), and the reaction of her friends.
Over-arching statements out of the way, I feel the need to run through this episode chronologically and point out all the totally neat stuff in it.
God damn, I’ve finally got something to be excited about. I haven’t felt this fulfilled with a piece of media since I finished Mass Effect 2 six weeks ago. Just as in February, MLP has filled the hole left by my growing fallout with currently-running anime (except JoJo, which is fairly satisfying). It’s a shame I’ll only get one episode a week; I’ll have to continue marathoning all my favorite anime in the meantime.
The season premiere is as exciting as I needed it to be. I’ve seen mixed (though mostly positive, because come on, it’s S3!) reactions, mostly because the villain is almost non-present throughout the episode. I don’t even care, do you care? Do you fuckin care? I don’t care.
The most exciting thing in the premiere is something which had started to emerge in season two, and looks to be a continuing trend—continuity. Back in season one there were two major continuity threads between five episodes—three of which revolved around the Grand Galloping Gala (3, 14, and 26), and two of which revolved around the Sonic Rainboom (16 and 23). You may remember that my first reaction to MLP after finishing S1 was that I wished it had a stronger continuity.