My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is awesome. A few people I know have asked me why I like it. I’m sure there’s plenty of explanations already available online, but I’m not a serious brony (I’m not even through Season 1 yet), so I haven’t run into them to direct my friends to. Therefore I’m writing this up myself, for the next time they ask.
1. It Is Sincere.
This is the primary reason before all others. It’s a reaction against Hipsterism, where people pretend to enjoy crappy things ironically. It can be fun for a while… hell, I own a copy of Black Dynamite myself. But the aloofness and jaded cynicism gets really old, really fast. There’s only so much I can take before I start to hate the world. I prefer to surround myself by people who actually are really excited and really into what they are doing. MLP is that. It’s a group of people making the best damn kids show they can, and being excited about it. But more to the point – the characters are sincere. They honestly care about what they’re doing, and they’re excited for it, and they’re always true to themselves.
2. It Is Good.
Now, this is somewhat relative. It is, after all, a show for small kids. But given that, it’s pretty good! The animation rocks, the voice acting is superb, and the storylines are simplistic but effective. The humor is actually pretty funny much of the time. The characters remain in-character without being flat. Not only that, it actually is attempting to do good in the world – Lauren Faust is explicitly feminist and rationalist. Twilight’s special power is scholarship and rationality. That’s a good message to be sending to young girls.
3. It’s A Cultural Rally Point
I’ll admit it – I wouldn’t watch MLP if it wasn’t already popular among the sort of people I like. Much of the appeal is the common knowledge and vocabulary that comes with watching it. The connection that comes with being unironically enthusiastic about life, and optimistic about the human race and society in general. Things are getting better. We’re getting stronger, happier, and smarter, and that’s happening because we’re actively pursuing those goals. It is the cartoon version of Yes We Can. This is why it’s impossible to shame a MLP fan for their love of MLP. There is nothing to be ashamed of. We are proud of it. We love life, and this show is a reflection of our ideals in a small, cute package.
It’s ok if you don’t get it, it’s not for everyone. But if you ever decide life is better when you can be optimistic and excited about doing awesome stuff, we’ll be here waiting for you with cake.