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 BlastingGravy's Character Analysis and Discussion

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PostSubject: BlastingGravy's Character Analysis and Discussion   Tue Jun 28, 2011 3:14 pm

Greetings everypony! This is a collection of my various musings on the characters from My Little Pony Friendship is Magic. So far I have analyzed the characters of Rarity, Pinkie Pie, and Twilight Sparkle. Enjoy!

Rarity


Ok, this was originally going to be a part of my "Favorite Characters" topic, but it got so long that I decided that it warranted its own thread. The original idea was to make a category for my favorite Mane from a critical standpoint, rather than an emotional one. I think Rarity is both the best written and the best acted of the Mane Six.

If you ask Bronies about their opinion on Rarity, most of them will say pretty much the same thing: "I didn't like her at first, but she really grew on me when she got her own episodes." Rarity is perhaps the most complex of all the characters in FiM, which is why she took so long to become popular. The first step was making her love of fashion more than just a shallow fad or hobby. It is her life's passion, and she treats it with all the dignity and respect of a true artist. Lauren Faust herself said that this was a conscious decision on their part, and it makes the character much more interesting than she could have been.

In addition, Rarity seems to have a lot of internal conflict, as she struggles between her good and bad natures. On one hand, she can be selfless to a fault, on multiple occasions making herself miserable just to keep her friends happy. (See Suited for Success and Green Isn't Your Color.) On the other hand, she didn't hesitate to throw Rainbow dash under the bus in Sonic Rainboom, despite her other friends' warnings. She likes to think of herself as a mature and sophisticated lady, and tries to conduct herself as such. However, all it takes is a pillow to the face to turn her into a petty and petulant child. The most interesting part about it is that she seems entirely aware of these warring aspects of her personality. When she feels intensely jealous of Fluttershy, she recognizes that it's wrong, and uses all of her willpower to suppress it. She is so well aware of her childish side that she is capable of weaponizing it against the Diamond Dogs.

I have a theory as to why she is this way. Out of all of the Mane Six, Rarity has the most responsibility. She runs her own boutique, all by herself, while simultaneously caring for her younger sister. The only other character who comes close to having that much responsibility is Applejack, but at least she has Granny Smith and Big Mac to help her run the farm. My theory is that, for whatever reason, Rarity had this level of responsibility thrust upon her at an early age. She was forced to grow up fast, and therefore did not have enough time to properly grow out of her more childish behaviors. Sure, she puts on a mask of maturity, but deep down there is a little filly who is angry for losing her childhood. Wow, that came out more depressing than I intended.

Speculation aside, her surprising complexity is why I think she is the most well crafted character in the series, even though Twilight is still my personal favorite. The writers took a character that seemed like the most shallow one of all, and gave her an amazing level of depth. I am a 23-year-old heterosexual man who, if it was entirely up to me, would wear nothing but t-shirts and jeans every day. To make me like a character that literally refers to herself as a "fashionista," is nothing short of a miracle. Also, it helps that Tabitha St. Germain's voice acting is just awesome. Very Happy

Phew, that was a lot of pony that had built up in my overlyanalytical brain. I'm glad I had a chance to vent some of it. If you guys like this sort of stuff, be sure to check out CosmicSpaceFrog's in-depth character analyses. Some of my opinions on Rarity are influenced by what he has written.

Pinkie Pie


Oh dear lord, am I really trying to understand Pinkie Pie? Well, here goes nothing. (The following was originally written as a response to another thread found here.)

When Pinkie Pie throws parties and makes friends with everyone she meets, it doesn't seem like she's doing it for the attention. I believe that she does it because she feeds off of the happiness of others. She is the element of laughter, after all. She throws a party for Twilight because she thought she was lonely, and would be happier with lots of friends. She even throws a party for Gilda because she wants to "turn that frown upside down." When complimented on her parties, she actually deflects the attention by saying "They're always the best parties because my best friends are always there!" Maybe I just don't want to believe that Pinkie is just an attention whore, but would somepony like that forget their own birthday?

Of all the psychological conditions Bronies have diagnosed her with, the only one that I think fits Pinkie is manic depressive. My theory is that she uses the happiness of those around her to fuel her manic side, allowing it to continue nearly indefinitely. She makes others happy, which in turn makes her happy. This gives her the energy to spread more happiness, creating an endless feedback loop. In party of one, she has doubts as to whether or not she has actually succeeded in cheering up her friends, which breaks the loop and crashes her into depressive mode. This would also explain the depression of her youth, as she had no happiness to feed on.

Her crash is the show's most severe example of Cutie Mark Failure Insanity Syndrome (CMFIS). A pony fails at their special talent, or at least they believe they have, and it triggers a mental breakdown. Pinkie's way of dealing with it is denial. She creates new friends that like her parties, so that she can continue believing that she is still capable of performing her purpose in life. And then these new "friends" immediately start bad-mouthing her old friends, which is their own bizarre way of comforting her. They are basically telling her, "You didn't fail, your friends are just jerks. They are the problem, not you!" It is a desperate attempt to pull herself out of her depressive mode, but she simply can't do it on her own.

Pinkie Pie clearly has issues, but most of the time she seems more than capable of dealing with them. As long as she has the support of her friends, that is. But then again, the same could be said of any of the characters.

Twilight Sparkle


It is time for another one of my in depth character analyses. This time, I will examine Twilight Sparkle. Why? Because purple pony is best pony, dammit!

Twilight is the "book smart" member of the group, in the most literal possible way. She is a full time student, and spends most of her free time studying books. One could argue that she also acts as the town's librarian, but she has never actually been seen performing such duties. She is rational, intelligent, and a bit socially awkward, all classic tropes of a "book smart" character. But, like all of the characters in this show, she fits an archetype without becoming a stereotype.

The "book smart" character is an incredibly common one in television, especially in shows that star a central group of characters like FiM. However, Twilight is unique among such characters in the way that she is also the lead character, both in a storytelling sense, and in the social dynamics of the Mane Six. On the surface, choosing such a character to be in the leadership role doesn't seem to make much sense. Why would such a nerdy character emerge as the leader of the group? The answer is that she is the most level-headed, and is the least likely to let her emotions cloud her thinking. She remains calm and rational even in the worst of situations. This allows her to determine the proper course of action while those around her bicker and panic. (See Dragonshy or Winter Wrap-Up.) Even her instance of CMFIS is by far the mildest and briefest of the Mane Six.

Her rational nature can be quite the double-edged sword, though. She often has trouble understanding and empathizing with other ponies, since they aren't as rational as she is. It is important to note that her social awkwardness stems from this lack of understanding, and not from fear or lack of confidence like Fluttershy. She often completely misjudges her friends' feelings or intentions, and it can sometimes make her seem somewhat cold and unsympathetic. (See Griffon the Brush-Off or Owl's Well That Ends Well.) Ironically, the one sure fire way to provoke an emotional reaction from Twilight is to frustrate her with a lack of rational thinking. (See Feeling Pinkie Keen or Green Isn't Your Color.) This is clearly why she was assigned to study friendship in Ponyville, to learn how to properly understand and interact with other ponies.

There is one recurring exception to Twilight's rational way of thinking. For some reason, every time Princess Celestia becomes directly involved, Twilight becomes panicky and even downright paranoid. Despite the Princess being nothing but a loving a wise mentor to her, Twilight seems terrified of displeasing Celestia in even the slightest way. I believe that this may be an inescapable result of who Celestia is, or to be more precise, what Celestia is. One of the best things about having a mentor is that they provide a goal for you to aspire to achieve. You can look at them and say "that is who I want to be someday." Twilight simply can't do that. Celestia is a goddess in every sense of the word. No matter how much Twilight practices magic, she will never be as powerful as Celestia. No matter how much Twilight studies, she will never be as wise or as knowledgeable as Celestia. Direct interaction with an immortal sovereign goddess on a regular basis would be enough to give anyone an inferiority complex. In fact, Celestia's kind and loving nature may actually make matters worse, as it makes her seem that much more impossibly perfect.

As I've said before, Twilight is my favorite character because I identify with her the most. If you took out the paragraph about Celestia, this analysis would be an allegory of myself. I fell in love with the character the moment she used the word "precipice."

Do you guys actually like these things? So far I have just been doing these for fun, but now I have exhausted my favorite mane characters. If you guys like it, then I might do more in the future.

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Last edited by BlastingGravy on Wed Jul 27, 2011 4:22 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: BlastingGravy's Character Analysis and Discussion   Tue Jun 28, 2011 7:15 pm

Unlike most bronies, I actually liked Rarity from the start mainly because of her style. She presented a level of class that no other pony in the show consistently presented, but let that fall away at times like in Look Before You Sleep. The main reason why I liked her was on some level I could relate to her. I feel that some of the people I hang around with don't care about their personal appearance as much as they should of, so that really made Rarity stand out to me. I'm not saying I am a fashionista like her, but I do share here belief in appropriate appearance. Rarity also probably has the best singing actor (Kazumi Evans), and always surprises me somehow. At first, I would think she would be last pony to get generosity, but my mind changed overtime as I saw her in later episodes and saw how well she fit the bill.

Anyway, great analysis there Gravy, and it definitely was an interesting read! Pretty damn analytically I must say.

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PostSubject: Re: BlastingGravy's Character Analysis and Discussion   Fri Jul 01, 2011 1:35 pm

I always liked Rarity to some extent. She wasn't my favourite until recently *Long after the season had ended*, but she usally hovered around the top. This was primarily because, like Fluttershy, I could relate to Rarity (Same way I could really relate to Twilight Sparkle). Rarity to me always seemed like the responsible mature one, who would occasionally get frustrated from her friends. This describes me quite well, as when I did go out with my friends I was always the most mature of the group and this would sometimes annoy my friends or get me annoied. Examples include me wanting to go to bed on time (Yes, at one point I did acutally care about getting sleep) and not pranking every computer in the school. I'm also not a fasionista, and most the time I don't even really pay attention to what I'm wearing other than making sure I'm not wearing clashing colours. The thing is that my wardrobe is filled with designer t-shirts, button-down collared shirts, and three suits (Including my own Tuxedio) so even though I don't go out of my way while dressing I do make sure that my closet is filled with clothing that looks good on me. Also, the fact that I own three different suits should also mention my love of formal wear. If I owned more suits, and they were easier to clean, I would definately wear them on a regular basis. I also agree with you that it seems that Rarity was forced to grow up rather fast, which ehoes my own life pretty well. I won't go into the details, but let's just leave it at my childhood wasn't very 'childhood' like.

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PostSubject: Re: BlastingGravy's Character Analysis and Discussion   Tue Jul 05, 2011 3:00 am

BlastingGravy wrote:


In addition, Rarity seems to have a lot of internal conflict, as she struggles between her good and bad natures. On one hand, she can be selfless to a fault, on multiple occasions making herself miserable just to keep her friends happy. (See Suited for Success and Green Isn't Your Color.) On the other hand, she didn't hesitate to throw Rainbow dash under the bus in Sonic Rainboom...

While she did go mad with fabulosity in that episode, I remember that once she saw how nervous Rainbow was, she immediately started smacking Twilight around to find a way to let them go support Dash. She also volunteered to have the dubious spell cast on her.

BlastingGravy wrote:
Also, it helps that Tabitha St. Germain's voice acting is just awesome. Very Happy

She was so great in Dog and Pony Show that I sent her a thank-you note. ^^
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PostSubject: Re: BlastingGravy's Character Analysis and Discussion   Wed Jul 27, 2011 4:29 pm

I edited the thread so it is now a collection for all of my character analyses. I copied my post from Rarity's Pinkie Pie thread, in addition to adding an entirely new analysis for my own personal waifu, Twilight Sparkle.

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