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Nearly two years ago, IDW published their first FIM Christmas special, the EQG Holiday Special. Written by Ted Anderson and illustrated by Tony Fleece, the comic centers around Sunset being framed by a cyberbully named "Anon-a Miss" around Christmastime following the events of Rainbow Rocks.

If you haven't read it, you can see it on YT:


I wrote a whole review for it here, but to sum it up, it's the worst piece of entertainment to come out of FIM. Not Rainbow Falls. Not The Good, The Bad, and The Ponies. Not EQG1 or FG. Not One Bad Apple. This. I HATE almost every single damn thing about it, especially these:

  1. Every single one of the ReMane Five is out of character. Sunset helped save Canterlot High and her city. Based on a rumor, the ReMane Five accuse her of spilling their secrets and abandon her. Consider the fact that in the middle of the comic, Sunset communicates with Twilight while in the Library at night. The comic states she's homeless, yet it's written as a gag and suggests that the RM5 are heartless enough to ignore her and let her live in the cold.
  2. The CMCs are completely OOC and have their worst portrayal, period. This whole comic is a clear ripoff of Ponyville Confidential, but unlike the former, the pony CMCs have an alibi of being forced to gossip or risk being humiliated. Here, Apple Bloom framed Sunset out of jealousy, SB for feeling ignored, Scootaloo just because. Yet, the ReMane Five not only forgive them on the spot, but NEVER apologized to Sunset! If I were Sunset and they treated me like this, I'd leave for Equestria and never return!
  3. This whole conflict trivializes the very-real epidemic of cyberbullying by writing the characters so poorly, giving the CMCs half-baked motivations, rushing the plot through, and simplifying how damaging it it.

I finished episodes hating it, but my anger either subsides or goes away. This comic left me feeling bitter, cold, hurt, and offended. It was the angriest I ever felt after finishing reading or watching anything FIM. My anger hasn't gone away, and I honestly feel angrier about the special now than before. It's my most hated piece in this series. May nothing from this series ever reach this level of quality ever again.

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On issue 3:

I've watched a lot of cartoons in my time, and read a lot of comics, and it is extremely rare to see any type of bullying represented in a realistic manner. Either actual bullying or the effect that it has on the victims.

Even educational material rarely reflects the reality of things.

The primary reason for this is that the mere act of aiming something at younger audiences hogties the author. In order to be considered "child friendly" (read: acceptable by Soccer moms) you simply cannot do anything that might have a significant emotional impact on your readers. This means that you can't make a child afraid of the prospect of being bullied, and you can't do anything that might upset a child who is already being bullied. So you're essentially forced to water everything down.

It's why a depictions of bullying typically just consists of one kid calling another a loser and jostling them in the corridor at school. When was the last time that you saw any media aimed at young audiences where one character is forced to change schools after another snapchats pictures of them in the showers after gym to half the school?

If they'd had a realistic depiction of cyber bulling then Hasbro wouldn't have allowed it to be published for fear of the backlash from soccer moms claiming that it might upset children.

I'm not really certain that what we saw in the comic was actual bullying as it wasn't targeting anybody in particular. It was more mean gossip. Bad, but not the same thing.

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On 11/20/2016 at 7:26 AM, Megas75 said:

Also the artwork is fugly

I disagree. I think Fleecs's style is pretty well-suited to comic versions of EQG. It's not easy to take those designs and make them work in sequential art form. They barely work as animation.

I really didn't intend to this post to just be "I disagree with these posts" but some of my opinions are going to run perpendicular to the opinions expressed in this thread it seems.

Every single one of the ReMane Five is out of character. Sunset helped save Canterlot High and her city. Based on a rumor, the ReMane Five accuse her of spilling their secrets and abandon her.

It wasn't "based on a rumor," the fact that the pictures from the second sleepover were exactly the same as the ones Sunset took was a pretty compelling piece of evidence.

The comic states she's homeless, yet it's written as a gag and suggests that the RM5 are heartless enough to ignore her and let her live in the cold.

No it doesn't state that she's homeless and it doesn't depict that as a gag. Go back and read the comic; we never see her living out on the streets or anything. She said she hasn't been home for the holidays, but that's a reference to her home in Equestria. I could see how you could misinterpret that, but the part about the Humane 5 letting her live in the cold? That's quite the leap.

The CMCs are completely OOC and have their worst portrayal, period. This whole comic is a clear ripoff of Ponyville Confidential, but unlike the former, the pony CMCs have an alibi of being forced to gossip or risk being humiliated. Here, Apple Bloom framed Sunset out of jealousy, SB for feeling ignored, Scootaloo just because.

It's not "a ripoff." It's clearly an adaptation that uses the same premise and many of the same characters but goes in a different direction because a different dynamic exists among the main protagonists and the secondary cast, which to be honest is something I'd like to see more of in the EQG franchise. I've often wondered how a setup from an episode in the show could be done in the human world and what changes they'd have to make to get around the different setting and cast.

As for the CMC being out of character, their pony counterparts also set out to humiliate someone before: Babs Seed. Let's not forget that jealousy also motivated Sweetie Belle to sabotage Rarity's gig with Sapphire Shores. That stuff is canon, and sets a precedent for the kind of lashing-out the CMC can do when they feel slighted or neglected.

This whole conflict trivializes the very-real epidemic of cyberbullying by writing the characters so poorly, giving the CMCs half-baked motivations, rushing the plot through, and simplifying how damaging it it.

I think you've forgotten to try and establish that the plot was rushed through or that the damage was "simplified." I happen to disagree with those assertions as well, but it's hard to know where you're coming from if you don't make a case for them.

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On 11/26/2016 at 7:16 PM, ABronyAccount said:

I disagree. I think Fleecs's style is pretty well-suited to comic versions of EQG. It's not easy to take those designs and make them work in sequential art form. They barely work as animation.

The main issue is that some of the strips are very lazily (and sometimes comically lazily) drawn. Like these:

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On 11/26/2016 at 7:16 PM, ABronyAccount said:

It wasn't "based on a rumor," the fact that the pictures from the second sleepover were exactly the same as the ones Sunset took was a pretty compelling piece of evidence.

It was based on a baseless rumor. Just because the pictures were taken from Sunset's phone doesn't automatically mean she was the one who posted them, especially considering there was more evidence suggesting she was not Anon-A-Miss than evidence that she was.

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Why would Sunset use an avatar that looks exactly like her, and use her own colors, if she intended to stay anonymous? Why would Sunset humiliate her friends like that in the first place? The Mane 6 (and subsequently the rest of the school) jump the gun big time by accusing and verbally abusing Sunset for being Anon-A-Miss despite evidence suggesting she was innocent. This is glossed over and shrugged off at the end of the comic. The Mane 6 never apologize. Sunset was bullied and she deserved a sincere apology.

On 11/26/2016 at 7:16 PM, ABronyAccount said:

As for the CMC being out of character, their pony counterparts also set out to humiliate someone before: Babs Seed. Let's not forget that jealousy also motivated Sweetie Belle to sabotage Rarity's gig with Sapphire Shores. That stuff is canon, and sets a precedent for the kind of lashing-out the CMC can do when they feel slighted or neglected.

Their revenge wasn't justified in Babs Seed (considering they put Babs in serious danger), so I didn't like it then. But their excuse here makes no sense. AJ is hanging out with her friends, so Applebloom decides to falsely accuse Sunset Shimmer of exposing the Mane 6's secrets, destroying Sunset's reputation and friendships (basically, ruining her life) in the process, while planting evidence along the way? This goes way too far, and is extremely OOC for Applebloom. AJ hangs out with her friends all of the time, yet we've never heard of Applebloom having a problem with it before this comic. Suddenly she gets so upset with her sister that she's willing to run a scheme to humiliate her sister and all of her friends and break apart their friendships? Sweetie Belle also gets involved, and so does Scootaloo (presumably just because her friends are doing it). The CMC get away with it via an apology and without much of a speech or lesson learned. The Mane 6 get away with it without even an apology. It never focuses back on Sunset and what she went through, who was by far the biggest victim here.

On 11/26/2016 at 7:16 PM, ABronyAccount said:

I think you've forgotten to try and establish that the plot was rushed through or that the damage was "simplified." I happen to disagree with those assertions as well, but it's hard to know where you're coming from if you don't make a case for them.

The idea of the comic is, judging by the last few comic strips, supposed to be "family is everything, especially during the holidays", but the comic spends 90% of its time painting a cruel story of cyberbullying without actually resolving the conflict at hand instead of giving any sort of resemblance of family holiday spirit. It feels as if this comic had the (what could loosely be called) holiday "theme" tacked on last minute. The comic rushed the ending, and simplified the issue of cyberbullying by shrugging it off at the end instead of addressing its effects.

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