-What I meant by retcons is that, in the season 2 Twilight mentioned Starswirl. And the way she talked about him suggests he was a very important wise mage hundreds of years ago. Now, he’s back with other characters and I forgot the reason, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s here just because some fans wanted Starswirl to go back to the modern era of Ponyville just for Twilight to see him. And there’s the episode Rock Solid Friendship. There’s a flashback where Maud Pie kinda helped Starlight back in season 5, probably to suggest that “Starlight wasn’t so evil, because Maud Pie was partially responsible”, which doesn’t make sense to me.
Oh, and there’s the redesign of the changelings. Not only it’s lame, it’s algo really ugly.
-The TV show has shown some self-awareness that I like. In season 7 there’s this episode, Fame and Misfortune, where the readers of Twilight’s new book have some complaints that are very similar to the complaints of some vocal fans. I like the granny pony saying “Twilight was better without wings”. That’s really funny. Or Fluttershy dressed as a tree back in season 2, addresing an inside joke about Fluttershy being a tree in the fandom, which was a line from season 1.
However, many times this self-awareness is selective and arbitrary. For example, every time Discord appears, everyone questions him, including the ponies that don’t know him (that pony from Discordant Harmony for example, the one who says “are you actually Fluttershy’s friend? you?”), because of his previous actions back in season 2. However, the same ponies don’t question Starlight despite her actions back in season 5 and even back in season 6. Everyone is completely superstitious about her. It’s not very consistent.
It reminds me of some fanservice moments from Persona 5. I love that game, but if the main characters exposed that horrible teacher because of using Ann as a sexual object, why would you then uses Ann as a sexual object not only in some scenes from the game, but also in some full animated sequences that basically say “Ann’s clothes are wet, look at her, she’s hot”? It’s hypocrite.
Or what about Uncharted 4? I also love that game, but Nathan is being a dickhead to everyone who loves him and, after all that, nothing happens. It’s kinda weird, because it’s from the same people who made The Last of Us.
-Speaking about inconsistency, I didn’t like the approach of Starlight and the cutie marks. A great thing about cutie marks is that these defines everypony’s talent, which is one of the reasons why Call of the Cutie is one of my favourite episodes in the show. It was a very personal episode for me. And the fact that we see Starlight swapping these cutie marks like nothing in Cutie Map and A royal problem makes this little detail not only less personal, but also meaningless. if it was a scepter or an amulet (like Magic Duel), I’d totally buy that. But seeing her being even more powerful than probably Celestia and Luna (who we didn’t see her swapping cutie marks like that) is very ridiculous.
It also didn’t make sense that she can create dark magic to manipulate everyone whenever she gets stressed. If she can do that, why didn’t we see that back in season 5? We saw ser getting angry an stressed at the end of Cutie Map. It doesn’t make sense. When she doesn’t manipulate everyone with crazy magic or control cutie marks, she wants to find things or ponies as an excuse to say she doesn’t like or want to be judged, like in No second prances, All bottled up, Rock solid friendship and Uncommon Bond.
Starlight and Trixie, now that she reminds me of her, have no right to say they don’t want to be judged after doing things like this…
It’s not something organic with a flow narrative like Steven Universe, where we saw Peridot adapting herself on Earth and trying to appreciate the importance of life and diversity that the Crystal Gems defend. She has more episodes than Starlight in season 5 before she was redeemed, but these episodes were necessary for her character arc. When she finally confronts her boss (yellow something, I don’t remember it quite well), it was a huge moment because she had to make a crucial choice. The moment she tells her “clod”, that was the moment where Peridot was a Crystal Gem.
Or the moment where Garnet realizes that Pearl was lying to her just because she wanted to fuse with her. We had to watch MANY episodes of Garnet ignoring Pearl until the two characters were completely vulnerable. If Garnet accepted her apologies right in the next episode, it wouldn’t feel alright. Pearl wouldn’t deserved that accepted apology that soon. We need some character arc, we need episodes, we need a progression. Starlight and Trixie don’t have that.
But you know what? That’s ok. It’s fine. It’s not that big of a deal.
Years ago I realized that the majority of my complaints about MLP Friendhip is Magic purely stand from the fact that I wanted a more character-driven story instead of what we got, because that’s infinitely more interesting to me. Besides, there’s some good stuff about it. The season 7 had some good episodes as well as the season 8, I love the MLP film, I like the fourth EG film… I like the episodes individually, not as parts of something big.
The season 8 had some filler episodes, but most of my complaints about the bad or boring things are not as intense as my thoughts on season 7.