- "Meh, Applejack reminds me of Texas and Texas is too conservative, I hate conservatism thus I hate Applejack technically."
- — User:WindigoWinter
Technical hate? Really? Is that how low we've sunken? The sheer abundance of irrational hatred on this wiki bewilders me at times. It's never enough to say an episode or character is bad anymore—you have to hate it too. Especially if anything even vaguely contradicts one's unimpeachable mastery of the character's personality.
There were several blogs I wanted to do in July, and I am pleased to have waited until the aftermath of 28 Pranks Later for this one. That episode really brought out the ugly side of this site, though not quite as much as No Second Prances, which I addressed previously. One of my other blogs-to-be will be introduced as a labor of love, even though it concerns the episodes I believe are the worst of the series, because I know the show is capable of being better and wish it the highest of quality in the future. This blog is not conceived out of love. The one undying hatred for which I am best known here is mine against Sunset Shimmer—star of the new My Little Pony Equestria Girls franchise—and here I intend to vindicate that contempt.
Sunset is the worst pony in my book, and here is why.
Literally the worst
Before I elaborate upon some finer points, there is one massive aspect of Sunset's character that must be discussed: a choice which I cannot bring myself to respect. Equestria is a land of magic and myth, where unicorns wave magic wands from their heads and bend reality to their will. Sunset was not just any unicorn either. She was a student of Princess Celestia, the most magical pony of all, who might have offered her unimaginable powers... in time.
Ironically, it was a quest for power that drove Sunset Shimmer to trade her birthright for a pittance. She thrust herself into a strange world without magic to escape her mentor's displeasure. No more horns, no more hooves, no more cutie marks. She forsook her mystical equinity alongside her scholarly prestige to become... a common high-schooler.
I might have been able to overlook this, had she not gone native by the time of Rainbow Rocks. Sunset has grown accustomed to the human world, developed a strong attachment to it, and scarcely ever looked back at the glory of Equestria. Instead of transmuting lead into gold, she is content to campaign for Fall Formals and sleep in on weekends.
A drastic drop in ambition! But yes, there was that one exception...
Sunset Shimmer once had a villainous plan to return to Equestria and seize power. Let us review this plan.
- Sunset steals Twilight Sparkle's Element of Magic from the Crystal Empire, even though she has no clear foreknowledge of Twilight's visit and the Crystal Mirror has no reason to be in the Empire beside its convenient name.
- Sunset fails to secure the crown even beyond the mirror, for it ends up in the hands of Fluttershy (EG) and later Vice Principal Luna.
- Instead of exhibiting any of the meanness or impatience she is purported to have, Sunset tries to win the crown back through a popularity contest... with the help of Snips and Snails (EG), no less.
- After approaching the matter like a bratty queen bee and much unlike a unicorn, Sunset has Spike kidnapped and threatens to break the active mirror portal with a sledgehammer. Everyone else buys this because it's convenient to the plot, which is but one of EG's many problems.
- When Sunset finally achieves the ultimate power of evil from the Element of Magic (again, because it's convenient), she uses it to make zombies out of high schoolers instead of attempting to make more effective minions from-the-ground-up. This fails because—Hey!—friendship is still magic regardless of a world's physical properties or some rubbish.
It is a mess from start to finish. It is poorly thought-out and unenjoyable, borrowing upon the worst of EG's cliche library while also striking down whatever menace she might have posed with sheer foolishness. Sunset's one effort to follow a dream is dashed by none other than her own careless self.
Beyond friendship (and magic)
Snips and Snails aside, Sunset has had other companions, including ex-boyfriend Flash Sentry (EG). Even before Twilight went spoony over this two-legged boy toy, Sunset was there. Those criticisms are as applicable to one pony as they are to the other.
See my first Lecture Hall for further analysis.
"I've found you... faker!"
Now that the matter of ambition is done with, I can finally discuss the character's name. Those things tend to say a lot about any character. Take Discord, spirit of chaos and disharmony, for example. Allow me the next few lines to explain its juicy complexity.
Before Starlight Glimmer, there was another "Not-Twilight Not-Sparkle" who, unlike Starlight, had virtually the same background as the source character herself. The initial premise of Equestria Girls was Twilight Sparkle versus her clone. Had Sunset Shimmer not come first, Starlight's reception would have been much warmer, for she actually has a history she can call her own.
But alas, there remains a number who believe Starlight Glimmer is merely Sunset's clone made for the show proper, where Sunset has yet to appear.
That aside, Sunset is still one of the laziest characters conceived for MLP:FiM. The writers took Twilight, warped her virtues, and then filled in the blanks with teenage girliness. She is an unpleasant creature in many respects, this among them. How the "Element of Forgiveness" theory arose after the first film is beyond me, especially since Sunset herself is the one who requires forgiveness. Worse yet is how the conclusion of Rainbow Rocks and the leaked novelization of Legend of Everfree suggest the writers are simply rolling with whatever these fans invent.
"Twilight Sparkle's doppelganger who's a different color but has the same magic powers and a secret Seventh Element of her own but lives in the human world and stays friends with Fluttershy and-" Ick. As loath as I am to call a character a Mary-Sue, Sunset approximates (if not fits) the bill.
Sunset Shimmer is the culmination of everything bad with Equestria Girls and yet somehow still a stunningly shameful character in her own right. Her purpose in the films is to resolve disasters as they arise or else be the disaster. Beyond that, she is an unmotivated fill-in for Twilight Sparkle, either by shared history or shared friends. Because one Pinkie Pie isn't enough for both of them.
Do remind me why you all love this character over the not-so prodigal students.