It’s been quite a while since the last time I saw Sonic Rainboom, and as soon as I watched it, I wished I’d done so before making my Pony Ages video. This episode strongly supports my theory that the ponies are teenagers.
You see, I’ve always been a little bit confused about Rainbow Dash’s status as an exceptional flyer. Rainbow has said on several occasions, somewhat jokingly, that the Wonderbolts should just go ahead and ask her to join, and it got me thinking… yeah. They probably should. What’s up with that?
After all, there’s no way Rainbow Dash is flying under their radar. She’s the ONLY pony who’s EVER performed a Sonic Rainboom, which means that one way or another, she’s the fastest flyer in the history of her race. This ought to be enough to make the Wonderbolts interested in having a conversation with her, and the number one conversation topic on Rainbow’s mind at all times is her desire to join the Wonderbolts.
There’s no way the Wonderbolts wouldn’t be interested in Rainbow’s potential. Given that she was just a filly the first time she did the Rainboom, it’s understandable that she wouldn’t have been on the Wonderbolts radar up until this episode… but now that she’s on their radar, what gives?
I think the answer is quite simple: age restriction. There’s just no better reason that Rainbow should have to follow such a slow progression on her course to becoming a Wonderbolt, between catching the eye of the Wonderbolts at this competition, reminding them who she is at the Grand Gallopping Gala, showing off her ability to lead in the production of a Hurricane in Hurricane Fluttershy, and joining the Wonderbolt Academy in season three.
Remember that in this episode, Rainbow Dash competes in the YOUNG flyers competition. This implies the equivalent of similar contests that exist in the real world, which usually focus on middle and high-school aged talents. The other ponies in the competition who have dialog sound really young, even though they don’t look any younger than Rainbow Dash, which goes to support my idea about the standard pony designs being a catch-all for ages fifteen to thirty. Boys have a tendency to grow up physically before their voice is done maturing, right around this age, after all. And if all that’s not enough, Spittfire calls Rainbow the “little pony” who saved their lives.
There’s no way that after this episode, Rainbow wouldn’t be recognized as at least one of the best flyers in Equestria. The Best Young Flyers competition is probably a pretty big deal, if both Celestia and the Wonderbolts are spectating. There had to be a reason that she was given the responsibility of leading the Hurricane team after all. But if she knew that there was a Wonderbolt Academy, then why wouldn’t she have applied for it a long time ago? Oh, maybe because you need to be sixteen to apply?! Maybe you need to be a certain age to become a Wonderbolt?! It’s worth thinking about.
So anyways, Rainbow Dash isn’t the only important character in this episode, nor even the one who gives a friendship lesson at the end. This time it’s Rarity, and I think this episode perfectly captures all the highs and the lows of her character in one pretty package.
At the start of the episode, Rarity is impressively attuned to Rainbow Dash’s emotional state. Her attention to detail, as spoken of in Look Before You Sleep, comes in handy here. She clearly cares about Rainbow Dash, so much that she offers generously to undergo an untested spell in order to help her.
Then… things go wrong. Rarity, as usual, gets a bit to wrapped up in herself. Her wings keep dazzling her more and more, and all the attention she’s getting isn’t helping. But we have to be fair, here. How would you react if you set out one morning to go cheer for your friend in some kind of fashion competition, and then suddenly your body transformed into Brad Pitt, and everywhere you went that day, everyone was telling you how insanely hot you are. It doesn’t even matter if you were a girl beforehand, I think you’d get pretty sidetracked.
That said, if I was in that position, I think I’d still have the self-control not to enter myself as a model in the same competition as my buddy, but then again I’m not Rarity who’s life revolves around attention, and I’m also not fifteen. And this metaphor is getting kind of weird.
Point is, it’s kind of understandable for Rarity to get distracted, and while Twilight kind of nudges her that she’s being a wee bit of a doucher, she doesn’t get the message, and no one really makes it clear to her that she should stop. She ends up realizing it when all is said and done, and Rainbow’s quick to forgive, so who am I to judge?
Another character who’s somewhat important to this episode is Fluttershy, though she’s mostly there to make silly jokes. This is an M.A. Larson episode after all, and for all that I love the guy, he never really seems to know what to do with Fluttershy except poke fun at her.
Beyond that, here’s some minor notes about the episode:
– Rainbow for some reason thinks that she’s going to fail so terribly, Celestia will send her to the Everfree forest. Why would she do that? I imagine it’s something like when little kids think that they’re going to go to hell over every little bad thing they do. What did Celestia do to be so feared?
(Nightmare Moon banishing) …oh yeah.
Speaking of Celestia, way to be useless at saving Rarity.
– How spicy is a Rainbow? Pinkie Pie likes pouring tabletop hotsauce on her cupcakes. Now, tabletop hotsauce is usually fairly mild, but I wouldn’t put it past Pinkie to have a high spice resilience. I’m betting Rainbow spice is way up there.
– Lastly, I don’t have much to say about it, but there’s a weird extended Grecian metaphor going on here. Rarity’s wings are made of the same stuff as Icarus’, and they burn when she gets close to the sun. Not to mention Cloudsdale is slammed with Greek architecture. There’s a lot of Greek mythological creatures in MLP actually, which is kind of strange.
Anyways, that’s all I’ve got for this ep for now. Here’s a toast to recently reaching two thousand subscribers! I love you guys, and I hope you’ll continue to support me by spreading my videos around and leaving all those lovely comments. I’m gonna be attending Bronycon this year in August: let’s see if I can reach ten thousand subs by then!