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If you like my channel, consider supporting me on Patreon: http://www.patreon.com/digibrony
Digibrony is drawn and designed by Mizuki Takashima: http://mizuki-takashima.tumblr.com/
Go watch Episode One of The Elements of Brony: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EtP8OU-vgmc
Digibrony After Dark: https://www.youtube.com/user/DigibronyAfterDark
If you scroll back through my videos as far as you can go, you’ll find a twenty-minute documentary on celebrating Hearth’s-Warming Eve as a real-life holiday. It doesn’t have many views, but I think it’s one of the most fun videos on my chanel. That said, the white space behind it is deceptive, as this was not my first video. Newer viewers may not remember that for the first month or so, my videos featured full-screen footage of the show, before Hasbro first started blocking pony videos in January 2013. Eventually, to avoid the risk of more copyright strikes, I removed all of those videos, but the first one I ever did was actually Thoroughly Analyzing Too Many Pinkie Pies, on November 29th, 2012. 1 year ago.
To celebrate the one-year anniversary of my channel, I’m gonna have a little fun and answer a question I’ve gotten a number of times. Any follower of this channel will know that I’m a big fan of Applejack, and that Applebuck Season is my favorite episode of My Little Pony; but also that I’ve found every Applejack episode since then to be sorely lacking. The question posed both at me and at the community in general is: what do you think the writers could do to make a good Applejack episode?
My biggest concern with Applejack is that they keep trying to give her personal issues to deal with, but these issues don’t resonate with us because we already understand Applejack’s character and development too firmly. She’s stubborn, and her family matters a lot to her. We get that so early on, that it seems weird to keep dedicating episodes to these facts. Applejack, more than any other pony, does a lot of legwork as a support character throughout the episodes, and gets so much footage of being a straight mare and a family mare that reiterating these points in full episodes feels like a waste of time.
Applejack doesn’t need more episodes dedicated to her old conflicts, nor does she need the show to invent new ones for her. What Applejack needs is more episodes in which she helps OTHER ponies with their problems. AJ rocks in major support roles like in Sisterhooves Social, Sleepless In Ponyville, and even the otherwise maligned Spike at Your Service. She’s a great pony for others to bounce their zanyness and problems off of, so what if there were an episode all about Applejack trying her hardest to find solutions to the complex problems of her friends? She’d essentially be playing Twilight Sparkle for a day, but whereas Twilight solves problems with magic and knowledge, AJ would be solving them with intuition and her down-to-earth, rugged cunning.
Another idea would be, what if AJ had to shoulder some problems with major real-life consequence, not just for her family? Maybe she’s tasked to lead the season’s harvest in some fashion, but again, the issues which arise are not her own, but with the ponies she works with. It’s not her stubbornness or perfectionism which gets in the way, but her stuggle with being a good enough leader figure to ponies with very different sets of problems. Again, this would come out a bit like Twilight’s role in Winter Wrap Up, which leads me to think that maybe too many of the things Applejack is good for are things that Twilight is good for, which is why the show focuses so much on the traits that they don’t share.
The Applejack episode I’ve always wanted the most, however, is a purely slice-of-life story with no overarching conflict and as little dialog as possible. You might be thinking that this sounds incredibly boring–but that’s exactly the point. In Japan, they have this genre and general concept called “iyashikei,” which roughly translates to “healing.” Some relatively popular iyashikei anime are the likes of Aria, Yokohama Shopping Log, Hidamari Sketch, and Natsume Yuujinchou, etc. These are shows that generally have very slow and relaxing tempos, often with a focus on atmosphere and heartwarming dialog over major conflict.
Applejack would be the perfect character to have an Aria-esque daily life episode, starting from her morning routine, going up through farm duties, little interactions with her family, quiet scenes of relaxation, chilling out with one or two friends for a little while, and hanging up her hat at the end of the day for bed. The episode almost writes itself, yet there’s virtually no chance such a boring episode would ever be put into the show.
The reason I want an episode like this so much is that, as meaningful and interesting as it can be to witness character conflicts, it can be equally resonant to be reminded of our every day lives, with their own little highs and lows, periods of quiet and introspection, and day to day micro-conflicts. Problems that solve themselves, little arguments that aren’t ordeals of differing viewsets, and days when everything just goes right and you have a great time.
Applejack is perfect for this kind of role because unlike Rainbow Dash, Rarity, and Twilight, she isn’t really striving for anything more than what she already has, and unlike Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie, she isn’t struggling with any major personality issues. The lesson of this Applejack episode would be to experience satisfaction. Contentedness. Being reminded that sometimes, we don’t need to be worried about who we are or what’s up ahead, but can just relax and enjoy life as it comes. It’s a lesson that’s less about growing as a person, and more about achieving fullness as a person. Feeling not just that you’ve accomplished something, but that you’re content with what you’ve accomplished.
Anyways, that about wraps up the first year of my channel. More so than Applejack, I feel like Twilight Sparkle as of season 4 moving forward. I’ve got these new wings, but I’m still figuring out how to use them, and I’m not really sure what the future might bring. There’s a few more keys left to unlocking my full potential, and I’ve got a lot of adventures left in me before I’m really gonna hit my stride. That said, I’m proud of where I’ve come, and confident that I’m going to continue doing well for myself.
Here’s to everyone that’s followed this channel over the past year, friends and trolls alike. You guys helped make this by far the best year of my life, and I hope you’ll stick with me as I make the next year even better.