Season 3 definitely kept the new quality that season 2 had, better animation, better jokes and songs. Unfortunately it didn't keep the same episode length, only 13 episodes compared to the regular 20 plus. Now I don't know for sure but i guess it was because of the equestria girl movie? (which yes i will appreciations for those too). Either way it's probably why this season is seen as one of the weakest, because there wasn't as many episodes to remember fondly like others and probably because of well… a controversy that i've seen still continues to this day. Twlights wings, I don't remember id it was leaked or outright said by hasbro before the finale but i do remember there was a big uproar about it months before it and man it was chaos, at the time it was the most hateful atmosphere in a fandom i've seen (being the the steven universe fandom for a few years now, i can safely say that the uproar about the wings is not nearly as bad as the shit i've seen said in this fandom.. but that's a topic for another day.) When I first heard about them I admit I wasn't happy.. mostly because I like patterns and it broke up the symmetry with two of each pony race with the mane six, but besides that pet peeve I didn't see anything wrong with the idea. Was it a cash grab for new toy merch? of course but just because things are made up for toys doesn't mean you still can't create interesting stories about them. It was a interesting idea to me to see where they were going with it and what could come about from twilight being a princess now.
Anyway onto the season episodes themselves, I rather liked them. I remember nearly all of them and most of them had an impact which was brought up upon later in some fashion. From the crystal empire (another obvious way to sell toys but still wasn't bad) and sombra to the multiple pinkie pies and the dark theory that our pinkie got trapped to the many memes and in-jokes that came from this season. Since the brony fandom came to rise in between season 2 and 3, no doubt the creators saw what we did and decided to add in things to easily be remembered and joked about to this day. Especially for pinkie pie, I noticed her brand of comedy definitely improved with this season, focusing more on being a 4th wall breaking cartoon then just a silly pony like the other two season. Which I think worked to her benefit, but speaking of 4th wall breakers we got the return of discord which was hyped up. Now I'm a sucker for redemption characters, they are so rarely done (and even more rarely done well) so when I heard that he was going to be redeemed I was happy. It was one of the better episodes of the season and I really liked Discords and fluttershys building chemistry and it was nice to see a kinder side to him and who better to help him the element of kindness herself. Speaking of redeeming villians we also got the return of trixie and man that was a good episode as well and I did help trixie start her path towards redemption (I say she didn't fully start to embrace friendship until her and starlight met).
this season did give a lot more characters to mostly one notes characters from the previous seasons luna, cadance, shining armor, spitfire and a few other. It even started Rainbow dash on her journey to actually being a wonderbolt too! There wasn't much of character changes besides that in this season, in fact there wasn't even a character focus ep for each of the mane six, at least not for rarity. Applejack on the other hand got two, the apple reunion which not only showed her ridiculous family but gave us an applejack song finally!. The other is Spike at your service, which definitely brought to light one of the man problem with applejack, her element of harmony. The problem with 'honesty' being her core personality, is she either stretches the truth to often or is two harsh about it, which was shown in this episode. Now I don't mind if she lies or is harsh because it shows she is more thee-dimensional, but they so rarely write an AJ focused ep well if it's focused on the honesty part, because she would either have to lie or be mean for the conflict. Keep in mind this doesn't make me hate her or anything, again it's just a problem i see with the writing.
Season 3 was too short for its own good but did help produce memorable moments, great jokes and change the status quo in many ways that helped shape the later seasons and plot.
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