I quit about halfway through because the “You can’t take it seriously because it’s X” argument infuriates me. I can expect a certain consistency from any medium I choose to take in, and the “Twilight Alicorn isn’t a big deal because this show was never serious to begin with” is crap for one reason: genre and quality aren’t determined by tone. There is no reason why I can’t say “I am worried because this could change the show in ways I don’t like” because it’s not about how lighthearted or serious it is, it’s about whether the relationships between the characters, the personalities of those characters, and the interactions of the characters with each other and their surroundings fits what I’m trying to get out of it. I’m not going to accept the argument of “shut up don’t take it seriously cuz it’s a show about cartoon ponies”, not because it’s a serious piece, but because taking it seriously involves recognizing the niche it holds in your interest and how that could very easily be ruined.
Well granted, the slice of life aspect has been a main focus for much of the show, but an aspect of adventure, it’s polar opposite, has been present in an appromately equall amount in other episodes.
The show isn’t static, it shifts between the two poles, but never fully settles in one. For many episodes, slice of life was the focus, dealing with normal problems with fantastical ways of going about them, for many others, they have been saturated with adventure to the point the ponies have beat off an army, stared down a dragon, rescued a maiden from a troll-like breed of dogs, looked into the face of madness and more, and thats not even this season.
This season, they’ve been saturated in serious episodes, but the fact is, the slice of life to adventure aspect is still about 50/50. Which I’ve always perceived to be the normal. As when viewed as a whole, that’s how I see it.
All I imagine happening is that The adventure side may be a little indulged for season 4. Not overly so, but a little. And once that’s been indulged, it will swing back round to the overindulgence in slice of life again to compensate.
It’s kinda like Fullmetal Alchemist, where one episode may be about a guy who butchers people in a literal sense, and another is about a side character going on a date with the buxom sister of a parody manly man who’s every appearance is designed to make you laugh.
…Think that, but less pronounced. And preferably without the dark aspects.
I think you’re misunderstanding what I mean by “fantasy”. It’s true that adventure contexts have taken place consistently throughout the show, but, save for the season premieres and finales, they’ve always been portrayed as normal circumstances for the universe, and we’re used to further the slice-of-life idea. Diamond Dogs, cutie marks, and magic are all well-known, consistent parts of the MLP mythos, and are seen as normal things. So even when the setting seems mythical and fatastical, it’s still only portrayed as a “and they all learned a lesson and went home that evening” type of story.
Fantasy as a genre, on the other hand, is usually a sweeping epic that involves making use of the fantastical settings to overcome evil, often with little or no moral at all. It’s overarching, action-packed, and exotic by nature. To me, Twilicorn risks tipping the scales too much, since her role changes. I’m not saying they ARE moving to fantasy, but my fear is that they’re moving too close to it, and will ruin the fluidity of the slice-of-life aspect.
Now, in regards to your Full Metal Alchemist analogy, let me point out two things: the fluidity of that show isn’t the same as the fluidity of MLP. Something is a fantasy when magic and fantastical situations are used to create unique experiences for the characters that aren’t easily recreatable. I haven’t actually seen FMA before, but my impressions are that its characters are constantly dealing with things they haven’t seen before that present immense challenges. Even if the tone and genre change, that’s still something fans can ride on as a reason to continue watching. MLP, on the other hand, has been centered around revealing what is commonplace in the ponies’ lives; that’s why it’s a slice-of-life. To make the jump from the continual reveal of the MLP universe to obstacle-based action, even if it’s successful, will certainly isolate some watchers. And I’m not even under the assumption that that jump will be attempted. However, if they’re making it more fantastical in a setting sense without changing the genre, that’s even worse, because you risk getting stuck in limbo between the two without being able to rectify either.
Let me illustrate this as best I can. If Twilight’s transformation is permanent, then it makes the most sense to focus on her as a developing Alicorn for season 4. This takes away all focus on the development of the universe, because the writers have to spend all their time making sure we know what’s going on with Twilight. And, even if there are episodes that don’t deal with her directly, but rather with other ponies, they still have to deal with Twilight’s change as an event, because it has to be that big of a deal in universe. Therefore, the show begins to focus on a fantastical situation in a slice-of-life way, which hurts both. The only other option is to go all the way on the fantasy route, which, as I said, will isolate a lot of viewers. Either way you slice it, this isn’t a safe choice.
Lastly, and this is directed at everybody, as was mentioned, the teen/young adult audience is not the intended target. As long as the show is serving it’s purpose in regards to the children who watch it, no one is going to waste a lot of time crying.
OKAY FIGHTING GAMES:
I’m also looking forward to Fighting is Magic, mostly just to see how fluid the gameplay is. It looks really good so far, though I’m never going to fight with Pinkie Pie if she makes that “OW” sound effect every time she gets hit.