Times that MLP failed at friendship

Poll results: Do you feel the artists deliberately dehumanized the kitties? Do you care about the kitties?

No -- they wanted you to feel bad for the kitties so you would hate the villain.
66.67% 8 votes
I don't care about the kitties, either.
16.67% 2 votes
Other (feel free to mention it in the comments)
16.67% 2 votes
Yes. And that was a terrible thing to include in "Friendship Is Magic".
0.00% 0 votes

Poll ended with 12 votes.

Starponys87
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Friends with Autism
Many bronies, as I understand, think I’m just upset the comic was darker than I wanted. That’s not true. Rather, I feel the kitties were drawn as a terrible caricature to keep us from caring about their lives. To my surprise, it seems many bronies don’t get that impression.

From the MLP comics, the very first story arc haunts me to this day. I feel the artists deliberately dehumanized a race of innocent kitties. I don’t think they meant us to feel bad about the (possible) genocide. For the life of me, I don’t see how such writing fits any message of friendship.
To be clear – my main problem is not the (apparent) destruction of the kitties per se. It is about the writers – because I feel they didn’t care about the kitties any more than the changelings themselves. The apparent dark humor sends that message to me. To me, it makes “Friendship Is Magic” feel like a terrible joke. If the Mane 6 had found out – and said some angry words about it – then I would have felt that the writers cared.
I hate to think that most bronies don’t care about the kitties. Fortunately, some who enjoy this comic do care about these innocent creatures, despite disagreeing with me that the writing was terrible.
I really feel that the kitties were being played for a silly caricature – like we were not meant to take their lives seriously. I feel that if the kitties had been wearing pink triangles and saying “love is love”, then most bronies would have cried “homophobia”.

I hope you can at least appreciate why I’m so sensitive. It’s because I want to be a friend. And I feel bad to enjoy anything that makes me feel like a terrible friend. And saying it’s just fiction doesn’t make it right to me. Please don’t brush off my grievances.

I wish that this story arc would be officially disowned. If I’m not mistaken, the developments in Season 6 effectively discard that arc from the canon. Even so, I wish it would be made official.
Otherwise, I wish there would be a follow-up where the reformed changelings are forced face to face with their true dark past. In the process, they must make up for what they did to that race of innocent kitties.
I’m thinking something like this:
A mysterious race of monsters is attacking Equestria. As Thorax and Pharynx figure out, it’s the kitties the changelings had preyed on. With all love sucked out of them, they have become monstrous shadows of their former selves. And they mistake the ponies for the changelings.
With the Mane 6 down for the count, the reformed changelings must save the day. The kitties are possessed by a literal spirit of hate, seeking to consume everycreature it can. The changelings cannot fight fire with fire. The evil spirit can be defeated only by breaking the cycle of hate.
The changelings are led by Spike, Thorax, Pharynx, and Ocellus. In this case, the Elements of Harmony are not enough (including the Pillars and the Student 6). Instead, love itself must overcome this literal embodiment of hate.
As Spike, Thorax, and Ocellus discover, the changelings must return the stolen love. They figure this out when seeking a path to forgiveness, finding the chance to reach out to a few kitties. Pharynx, meanwhile, must overcome his fear and cynicism.
The kitties are not as bothered by Spike, since he’s a dragon. Therefore, Spike manages to advocate for the changelings – explaining how he made friends with them. For the kitties to receive the changelings’ love, they must let down their defenses – and so must the changelings.
Mr.Myoozik
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Music Connoisseur
Normally, I would just say “let it go” since it’s frankly a petty thing to complain about, but I know that’s not gonna happen so I’ll just offer my rebuttal instead and keep in mind that I haven’t read the comics at all:
No they didn’t dehumanized the kitties and it was just to show how evil the villain is. It’s a very common trope in fiction to have a villain or an evil person murder an animal, an innocent person or commit some sort of mass genocide to show evil they are and that they mean business. And again since I haven’t read the comics, there’s not much that I can really care about a group of kittens, at least not to the level to feel deep emotional trauma over. So above all, you’re making a big deal out of something non-impprtant that shouldn’t matter.
Lastly, spamming the same thing again and again in other threads really isn’t gonna help your point or get people to be on your side.
Starponys87
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Friends with Autism
@Myoozik
I just thought that the kitties were being played for a silly caricature – like we were not meant to take their lives seriously. I feel that if the kitties had been wearing pink triangles and saying “love is love”, then bronies would have cried “homophobia”.
Cosmas-the-Explorer
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I will say in hindsight, that the cats deaths were kind of overly edgy for me.
Honestly that first comic arc was a little to over the top for my tastes. I preferred the Nightmare Rarity and Big Mac arcs but that’s unrelated.
Now I think there was a practical reason besides dark comedy for that kitten scene. Since this was the first comic arc, it showed that the IDW comics would have more the potential to have more mature content than the show.
Although a bit crude, it was meant to show that there that the comics had the potential to be darker than the show.
Whether this justifies this scene or not is up to you, that’s just my idea for why they included this scene.
Latecomer

@Starponys87
Hmm… I’m not really a fan of the comics, but you do have a good point here. It’s a stronger cynicism - and a cheaper joke - than you’d see in the show. And your follow-up arc idea does have merit, too.
Cosmas-the-Explorer
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You know your story is a beautiful one.
I guess for me I prefer to think of the joke as non Canon.
I think it is ooc that none of the ponies were outraged. Like I said the was probably meant to show how edgy the comics could be, which I found to be trying too hard to do so.
I would love to see a comic like that.
Starponys87
Princess of Love - Extra special version for those who participated in the Canterlot Wedding 10th anniversary event by contributing art.
Elements of Harmony - Had an OC in the 2022 Community Collab
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Friends with Autism
@Latecomer
Because of that story, I refused for a long time to acknowledge any of the comics. I had to convince myself that Season 6 effectively trashed what the comics had done before with the changelings. Seasons 6 forward do a lot to make up for sending terrible messages in the past. Still, I feel that a few of the comics should be officially disowned – or given a proper follow-up – for proper closure.
Starponys87
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Elements of Harmony - Had an OC in the 2022 Community Collab
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Friends with Autism
Learning the right way to tell people how I feel – and learning to be open to useful feedback – I think I’ve found that many bronies who defend this comic actually do have a heart for the kitties. These people don’t perceive that the caricature was evil spirited.
Whether the artists themselves cared about the kitties … I think I would have to do a Dateline-style interview to figure it out.
Latecomer

@Starponys87
Well, it’s a bit late now I’m afraid.
@Starponys87
Well, it wasn’t Season 9 Fluttershy - you should compare it to Season 2 Fluttershy. (And Season 9 Fluttershy has her own issues - like apparently trying to force vegetarianism on predators, an idea which has embodied the concept of “naive hippy” for decades.)
Starponys87
Princess of Love - Extra special version for those who participated in the Canterlot Wedding 10th anniversary event by contributing art.
Elements of Harmony - Had an OC in the 2022 Community Collab
Twinkling Balloon - Took part in the 2021 community collab.
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Friends with Autism
Many bronies, as I understand, think I’m just upset the comic was darker than I wanted. That’s not true. Rather, I feel the kitties were drawn as a terrible caricature to keep us from caring about their lives. To my surprise, it seems many bronies don’t get that impression.
Fortunately, some bronies who enjoy this comic do care about these innocent creatures, despite disagreeing with me that the writing was terrible.
I hope you can at least appreciate why I’m so sensitive. It’s because I want to be a friend. And I feel bad to enjoy anything that makes me feel like a terrible friend. And saying it’s just fiction doesn’t make it right to me. Please don’t brush off my grievances.
Starponys87
Princess of Love - Extra special version for those who participated in the Canterlot Wedding 10th anniversary event by contributing art.
Elements of Harmony - Had an OC in the 2022 Community Collab
Twinkling Balloon - Took part in the 2021 community collab.
Artist -

Friends with Autism
Don’t get me wrong. I’m fascinated by the fear of literally dying of a broken heart. Those who survive being sucked dry might always fear another heartbreak. I would like this theme to be seriously explored – if it’s done tastefully and has an uplifting tone.
I can’t help but think that many parents, and some Hasbro staff, complained about the earlier comics being needlessly dark and graphically violent. I can’t help but think Season 6 was partially a response to the “FIENDship Is Magic” / “Return of Queen Chrysalis” debacle.
I like to tell myself the first comic arc is effectively discarded by Season 6. Unfortunately, the first volume of has still been actively marketed. Therefore, I feel I must ask for a proper sequel – where the changelings must confront the true horrors of their past.
The reformed changelings seem to suffer from extreme PTSD. They seem desperate to recover the childhood innocence they never had. Ironically, they’ve become a lot like the innocent kitties in the first comic book arc (though far more intelligent).
How shocking it must have been for them to realize their queen cared nothing about them. All those wasted years. And depending on the canonicity of earlier comics, they may be haunted by memories as horrible as the Vietnam War or the Holocaust.
Changelings … victims of war themselves? It’s like a miracle that someone at Hasbro thought to do this!
Starponys87
Princess of Love - Extra special version for those who participated in the Canterlot Wedding 10th anniversary event by contributing art.
Elements of Harmony - Had an OC in the 2022 Community Collab
Twinkling Balloon - Took part in the 2021 community collab.
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Friends with Autism
For my “History of the Changelings” arc, I’ve thought of the following plot twist: Thorax was – in fact – assigned to be a changeling spy. Pharynx thought that Thorax could play the part the most convincingly. Unlike other changelings, he was not prone to sounding pathological when speaking. Pharynx did not imagine that Thorax would have the nerve to defect from the hive. (When Thorax never came back, Pharynx got suspicious but covered up his suspicions for Chrysalis.)
Another question: Why didn’t Chrysalis suck all the love out of the Mane 6 and the royals the moment she had them secured in her hive? I’m thinking, Pharynx advised her to keep these ponies as emergency reserves. In reality, Pharynx was going to suck the love out of them for himself – to overthrow the incompetent queen once and for all!
Pharynx was not there when Thorax came back to the hive. Pharynx had seemingly the perfect plan … and Chrysalis, for once, was blindly following it … but he failed to recognize one thing (say it with me): the true magic of friendship.
Also – why did the crowd just let Chrysalis go – instead of trying to detain her? For one, they thought Tartarus was a bad idea; she might transform her way out of there. Why not stone then – or banishing her to the moon? Maybe the real reason was … the crowd was hoping against hope that Chrysalis would finally see the light. (I really hate these ridiculous “villain exit stage left” scenes.)
(More and more, it really seems that the show decided not to paint her as menacing a villain as the comics used to. Yet those earlier comics have given me inspiration for a serious exploration about victims of war on both sides. I think it would be great to release such an MLP comic as a special that’s rated the equivalent of PG.)
Starponys87
Princess of Love - Extra special version for those who participated in the Canterlot Wedding 10th anniversary event by contributing art.
Elements of Harmony - Had an OC in the 2022 Community Collab
Twinkling Balloon - Took part in the 2021 community collab.
Artist -

Friends with Autism
In the original comic, when the CMCs recount their misadventure with Chrysalis, did they momentarily forget to mention the kitties? Or did they not care? This is one of the most disturbing plot holes I’ve encountered when handling ponies’ characters.
If the CMCs are respectable characters, then they just momentarily forgot. In that case, they will remember pretty soon – and be horrified that they could possibly forget.
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