These Season 6 installments blew my mind, left an awesome impression on myself, and just stunned me. Welcome to another blog of I, the Super Mario Brony, and today I'm counting down my picks for the Top Ten BEST Episodes of My Little Pony's 6th season. For this list, I'm looking at those episodes that just stunned me so much, and I've ranked based on a mix of their plots, morals, concepts, and my own obvious opinion. (I've decide to keep them a mystery here unless you click the collapses just to spice up my countdown.) The Top Ten Worst will come later, now, start clicking those collapes to see just which are the best of the season for me! (Links to my reviews of them are in the "Numbers" they rank at) If you want the full countdown, click the links below...
The first Cutie Map-themed episode of the season, Spice Up Your Life was a breath of fresh air after Lewis & Songco did a less than decent job with The Hooffields & McColts. Like every good episode, SUYL comes out as one of the best of its season thanks to its original and newer concept and characters; one that's worthy of something interesting and truly has great depth of a gripping storyline about Rarity and Pinkie after their first collab in The Gift of the Maud Pie solve a problematic friendship involving two ponies of a overshadowed restaurant and help them get along together again. In this case, Saffron Masala & Coriander Cumin are both father and daughter who haven't been doing so well with each other. I know Zesty Gourmand can get under your skin since she's literally the unlikable kind of Anton Ego, but she does at least serve a purpose in the plot and the other two ponies more than make up for that snobby critic. It doesn't feel as fascinating to me as any higher-ranked entries since they have better concepts than this, but all-in-all, I love them all. (More on the next two Cutie Map episodes later though)
There's plenty of praise to be said about it; the moral, the characters (minus Zesty), the pacing, the scenes of cooking, the song, etc. The only few unbearable seconds though? Bratty McPlotDevice's stupid cold open sequence cameo. It just screams pointless with no real purpose whatsoever.
Now I may not rank this any higher just cause other episodes of Season 6 have blown my mind more, but by no means do any of the higher entries put this entirely to shame. What still may be the most surprising part about its plot is that none of the Mane Six were featured (with Rarity only being mentioned by Sweetie Belle) and this was only about the Crusaders finding another foal (Tender Taps) and helping him get his Cutie Mark. For memorable moments, Apple Bloom's overreacting around the plot's 2nd part was very creepy and humorous like Twilight's in Lesson Zero, Tender Taps was another interesting character who really makes the plot more charming when the Crusaders try to help find his true calling by his cutie mark via a performance onstage in front of most of Ponyville, and another catchy song was sung greatly by Michelle Creber with which the situation it played in being suited perfectly.
I don't have anything bad to say about it as its humor, plot, pacing and especially its morals of trying new things on your own will help you to find more people to help and that trying them even makes you better at them. This could've have been a joke if it was only Haber writing for it, but with Polsky behind both the story and teleplay, it's really a major miracle. And with the exception of Ponyville Confidential of course, every Cutie Mark Crusaders-centered episode is a major success.
If I was to consider Jennifer Skelly anything after how she greatly impressed me with this 18th episode of this season, it's that she's another Noelle Benvenuti and one who should clearly stick with the show 'til the end. Whereas Benvenuti's Made in Manehattan and Maud Pie were both clever with a great deal of innovation to their plots (even if one is underrated), I felt Buckball had an even more clever concept and at the same time, an entertaining plot since we literally get a good one of Andrea Libman's characters stealing the show from Ashleigh Ball's (which in an ironic way, Libman's characters have been doing so well in this season...mostly, though Ball's have been bruised a little).
Skelly may have left the actual competition to be desired, but even with all that training making up for it, she still deserves another shot for the next season cause if Benvenuti doesn't come back, I hope at least Skelly will like a replacement. With awesome moments like Fluttershy and Pinkie unexpectedly proving to be better than Rainbow Dash and Applejack at playing buckball, the annoying Snails being something less annoying and more likable what with his skill to catch balls in a bucket, to even the scene of Libman's characters switching lines and personalities when snapping at Ball's characters, this just stands out as a stellar outing with so many good things to say about it.
Has Fluttershy ever gotten terrible treatment like the rest of the Mane Six for this season? (Not counting Spike) Clearly not. We've all obviously been anticipating Fluttershy's taller but younger brother Zephyr Breeze to show his face on the show, and it was definitely worth the wait to see him and his portrayal in this 2nd installment of Dave Rapp. I can often relate to Zephyr since I have been, and still am a bit of a slob, but even if you don't like him, I stand by my opinion when I say he's one of the most underrated characters of the series. Sometimes I may and sometimes I may not understand why some would hate it just cause of Fluttershy's brother, but I view it as a good plot, since it feels very personal to me when Zephyr is lazy at jobs, its story is completely original and crafted excellently, and it's moral is so strong that it often reminds me to keep taking risks even if some aren't entirely necessary cause as the saying goes; "It's better to have tried and failed than to have never tried at all."
Some writers may have started off terribly, but if Rapp clearly meant to go to McCarthy for help like some student-teacher figure, then he certainly showed off true wisdom and what to do with himself when he decided to take another shot at Friendship Is Magic. Even if McCarthy has just one little dark spot in her work like Rapp does, she just goes to show that she's like the chairwoman of MLP's crew who can spice up pretty much any episode that just might be bad and add positivity to it to make it good instead.
Even in spite of how the Fox brothers lost their charm after this like Haber did after Season 4, The Gift of the Maud Pie is fantastic for bringing back Pinkie's charming and hilariously emotionless but caring sister, good humor that every good episode of Pinkie has had, and a well done script with great characterization and pacing. Maud has always been a great character since her first role in Season 4 even if she's had a stupid moment or two during other good episodes like Make New Friends but Keep Discord. I mean who says that deadpan characters like her aren't funny? You know what still isn't much of a help to the episode even if he did serve a purpose though? That pouch pony. He may be nonsensical, but our other three main characters more than make up for how lame of a character he is.
Spice Up Your Life may have been another great collab episode for both Pinkie and Rarity, but The Gift of the Maud Pie ranks higher than it for me (not necessarily that you-know-who didn't make even a one second background cameo but) because of bringing back a beloved character who's been around since Season 4 and providing even more hilarious moments for Rarity besides every funny one Pinkie's had in the past. This may be the only good thing the Foxes ever wrote, but even they can have something acceptable in a season with mixed bag of both good and bad installments.
Every writer has had a misstep or two during production and development for a season, but writers like Valentine can always learn from their mistakes when writing their second chapter for a season. And with The Fault in Our Cutie Marks, I feel it's a stunning improvement over On Your Marks and Valentine's first episode (involving the Crusaders) Flight to the Finish. With Gabby being another interestingly lovable character (much like Gilda eventually was in The Lost Treasure of Griffonstone), another awesome song with both the Crusaders and Gabby, plenty of other good characters (even Zecora didn't get much of a huge role), and a fantastic moral of feeling good about something even if your not entirely good at it, with or without a symbol to show it, it's all so fascinating since minus what Larson did to them near the end of Season 2 as I said, every CMC episode at least makes my category of episodes that are spot on (even if not all of them are necessarily good *cough* One Bad Apple *cough*)
Even if a griffon getting a cutie mark is impossible, what matters most is we get an awesome story, lesson-worthy moral (which was delivered magnificently), excellent pacing, and greatly likable characters... much like something like Top Bolt. Speaking of...
Considering all of Rainbow Dash's previous Season 6 roles before this were some of the worst episodes of the series (even if some could've been worser than her's), I though it was about time she was given something good for once after only one good episode that started the second half of the season up (or at least starting up with the last episode of the real first half of the season). And Lewis & Songco delivered something quite stunning with this epic and entertaining chapter. You could argue that this is not only a better sequel to the ever so wonderful Wonderbolts Academy, but also how you fix up Newbie Dash and make it good. Some of the best moments of the episode have to be Sky's & Vapor's backstory of when they both met and formed a bonding friendship to get which only makes more and more sympathetic that it ranks them so high on my favorite overall characters list. Choosing just one above the other though, only for her beauty and how much more understanding than she is, I'd personally go with Vapor Trial but regardless, Sky Stinger is still both sympathetic and great too.
The one small problem that prevents it from being slightly better than the next entry though? Those few brief seconds in Twilight's castle (in opening sequence only and not the ending) where- never mind. (Cause I'm gonna get more and more complaints if I spit it out again) Either way, it's incredible and I love it.
I had a bad feeling about this judging by its original description of finding a friendship problem between the Flim Flam Brothers, they might be reformed. But Burke and Wyatt both proved me wrong by instead just having Fluttershy & Applejack get them to work it out with each other and repair their brotherly relationship. By instead making a love-to-hate villain like Gladmane cause these friendship problems, the plot is done very well and even a great deal of a cleverness to its layout like the Las Vegas-inspired town of Las Pegasus was just so creative that if there was ever another episode to revolve around Equestria's city that never sleeps, I'd want an episode to be a video game-themed one with a Wreck-It Ralph-style storyline. Flim & Flam still aren't all that bad of characters and above their roles in The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000 and Leap of Faith, they were portrayed very reasonably here as to helping our two our Mane Six characters of the episode bring Gladmane to justice.
It was ultimately REALLY hard for me to choose between this and Top Bolt this was extremely creative concept-wise and TB was spectacular, but ultimately for not featuring that one little character even as a cameo in Twilight's castle before Fluttershy and Applejack went on their journey, I went this. Even if Kevin Burke & Chris "Doc" Wyatt eventually become Joanna Lewis & Kristine Songco 2.0, I'd still prefer the lady writers to stay although I wouldn't mind the two guy writers popping in for a brief visit every few seasons after how great they made this Cutie Map-themed episode which is only a close behind The Lost Treasure of Griffonstone as my favorite of them all.
How could I not put Dragon Quest's fixed up reboot so high on this list? After impressing me with every episode of Season 5 whist The Hooffields and McColts was just okay, Lewis & Songco's promise of trying to fix up both Dragon Quest and unexpectedly Newbie Dash seemed to have been a miracle and showed off just how much better of writers they can be than Merriwether Williams and Dave Rapp since I feel these lady writers have no cons in their work (although Legend of Everfree to be honest is something I'm just neutral towards and is at least bearable unlike the atrocious Friendship Games in the Equestria Girls spinoff trilogy films). Whereas Quest gave Spike terrible treatment from a bunch of racist bullies, Gauntlet here gives him the exact opposite and instead focuses on an intense and gripping storyline that would look absolutely stunning on a massive screen in a movie theater.
Spike's always seemed to have gotten bad treatment like Luna did in all of her episodes, or Rainbow Dash for most of this season, but this has to have given him so much true kindness since Secret of My Excess which never felt extremely mean-spirited. Everything from its spectacular action, perfect pacing, outstanding moral, and even avoiding giving an unlikable character like Garble another unwanted redemption makes Gauntlet of Fire a watch for your friends who have a thing for dragons and epically awesome storylines. So if this installment promises you anything, it's to satisfy you in the right way without making itself unwatchable in any way and a chapter that gives wonderful characters like Spike the proper treatment. It's topped my list of the best of (nearly) the entire first half of the season before the hiatus, but now that the entire season has aired, I found Number 1 to be just a little more awesome.
Before I award my personal favorite episode of the season an Oscar (of my own at least), here is an
Yeah, you had to have guessed either by now or since my review that Fan Fiction would be the very best of this season. Gauntlet may have blown my mind for fixing up Dragon Quest, but I rank this higher for being the episode of this season with a special guest star; in this case, we have Patton Oswalt. Oswalt's done plenty of voiceover work beforehand (both in film and on TV), but voicing another underrated character like Quibble Pants certainly adds charm to an already entertaining Season 6 chapter that, like Gauntlet, would also look cool to watch in a movie theater. This episode is just so incredible, it could honestly give even Pinkie Pride a run for its money. Yeah, as I said it's clearly my 2nd all time favorite episode to this day.
Whether or not Haber took part in this, I still think Vogel would've succeeded but all I'm hoping for Haber is that he'll finally leave after two seasons of failing to make a good episode without any other writer's help as he claimed via one of his Twitter tweets, again due to losing his charming potential after Season 4. To make an episode highly entertaining and epic, it must insert a new idea of charm and innovation to itself... whether or not it has a guest star. And Stranger Than Fan Fiction has both of those factors. It's hard to consider an installment with visuals that don't quite match up to the awesomeness of a dragon-themed episode, but its the episode's guest star that makes this my top pick. Even if this doesn't make up for Haber's mistake in the finale, this will admittedly make up for Vogel's, but not quite for Every Little Thing She Does. Despite how terrible Rainbow Dash was in the next two proceeding episodes, Fan Fiction... and Top Bolt both go to show that even my least favorite Mane Six character can make up for most, if not all of her dark spots she gets or has when goes through major development in a weak season lacking much desired potential.
Epically awesome and entertainingly rewatchable, cleverly constructed with every character developed greatly (not to mention a great moral), Stranger Than Fan Fiction easily comes out on top as my personal favorite of Season 6 and the best it ever has to offer.
Do you agree with my list? What was your favorite episode of Season 6?
As always, for answers to your comments, leave them here in comment section below.