Since my last mention of the subject, I’ve grown somewhat attached to the fanfiction and songs coming out of the My Little Pony fandom. I still wouldn’t say I’m into it enough to be a brony but I appreciate good content. (After all, not everyone who watched Star Trek on TV was automatically a trekkie)
As such, I thought I’d offer some links for fics and songs that, by their quality and their focus, are most likely to be enjoyed by people who may only know the MLP characters from their Wikia pages. If you’re willing to give good characterization and good humour a try, regardless of its source, give them a look.
- The Wizard and the Lonely Princess by Harry Leferts (Also on Fanfiction.net)
- More a Harry Potter fic than a My Little Pony fic, this explores what might happen if a Freaky Friday wish for a friend lead young Harry Potter to meet Princess Luna during her thousand-year exile on the moon.
- This fic makes an excellent entry point to the fandom because, in addition to being familiar territory in a less controversial fandom, it puts a lot of work into fleshing out and exploring Nightmare Moon as her own interesting character (Showing that a villain is a person with believable motivations tends to make for a good story in general) and the interactions between her and Princess Luna.
- Also, who can resist the image of Hermione Granger debating whether H.P. Lovecraft is a good author with a possessed plush doll?
- Shinji’s Nightmare by Harry Leferts (Also on Fanfiction.net)
- While absorbed into Unit 01, Shinji Ikari comes to the attention of the banished spirit of Nightmare Moon. What results is a rather unique character-centric fic where Shinji loses his humanity, but gains so much more and Nightmare Moon mellows out a bit as she realizes that she’s gained the one thing Celestia and Luna can never have… a son truly her own.
- Arrow 18 Mission Logs: Lone Ranger by AdmiralTigerclaw
- It’s the future and scientists on Earth realize that, rather than orbiting a black hole as previously thought, one of the stars they’ve been observing is actually orbiting what appears to be an Earth-like planet. Unfortunately, politics end up whittling the crew of the resulting mission down to just one guy.
- What makes this fic so special is that, rather than just being an ordinary “Human in Equestria” fic, the writing style and tone of the story make it feel more like someone took a sci-fi story and wrote a crossover. It follows the perspective of a main character who does not have a Universal Translator and casts the artistic differences between realistic depictions of horses and the cartoon’s art style as actual, in-setting differences. The end result of all this is a very satisfying “apolitical first contact” story.
- …and so on
- Since I had to register an account on FIMFiction.net to receive e-mail updates for new chapters, I’ve decided to maintain a curated list of good stories on my user profile page. If you like what I linked above and want more, that’s where I’d suggest looking next.
- The three thumbnail boxes list the top 5 fics in each category while the “Runners-up” box contains anything else that I’d rate highly.
- My one warning is to avoid the site’s dedicated “Favourites” tab on my profile. It’s rather useless because the site forces you to “favourite” something in order to watch it for updates. (But gives you the option of skipping the e-mails on something you’ve starred in case you want to favourite something but opt out of e-mails.)
In addition to the songs I already mentioned in Trifles Make Perfection, there are a few others I’d suggest…
- Winter Wrap-Up and This Day Aria
- Both of these songs from the show itself are ridiculously catchy and have a surprising amount of work put into them.
- For example, in Winter Wrap-Up, listen to the chorus. There’s clapping in the background from the beginning, but it gets louder each time and you only really notice it the third time the chorus plays… to excellent effect. Also, I really like the counterpoint between Applejack’s voice alone (1:57) and the backup chorus at the end of her verse (2:12). Finally, it’s not every day you see a song in a children’s show which has enough poetic awareness to use a grammatical construct like “tough task ahead I face” to maintain its rhyming structure. (2:29)
- The cover by ponyphonic is also very nice.
- As for This Day Aria, the main detail I really appreciate is how well the singer managed to put two distinct characterizations into the same voice. (Especially given how Queen Chrysalis’s use of Cadance’s voice brings to mind some self-absorbed “queen of the high school”)
- Nightmare Night by WoodenToaster and Mic The Microphone
- Focused around the episode in which Princess Luna drops in on their Nightmare Night celebrations (the in-setting equivalent to Halloween), this song is technically rap, but with much more work than usual put into the non-lyrical elements.
- I found it extremely catchy and, if you feel you like the instrumentals more than the voice, the YouTube video’s description contains download links not just for the song itself, but also for an instrumental-only version, a MIDI file, and sheet music for the piano intro. There’s also an orchestral-styled cover by StormWolf.
- Discord (EuroChaos Mix) by Eurobeat Brony
- A catchy, upbeat song focused on the original defeat of Discord, a Sealed Evil in a Can villain who once ruled over Equestria and, when he escapes again, proves that it is very appropriate that he happens to be voiced by John de Lancie).
- Luna (DREAM MODE) by Eurobeat Brony
- This was actually the first MLP song I ever discovered in the form of this crazy-mode StepMania playthrough of the dubstep remix.
- Rainbow Factory by WoodenToaster
- A catchy, dark techno song which paints a darker picture of Cloudsdale. It has spawned a fanfic, but I haven’t read it.
- etc. etc. etc.
- As with the fics, I maintain a list of favourite music on my FIMFiction profile if you want more. (Plus a list of favourite fan art.)