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Harry Potter

Harry Potter. The books were at first a bit neglected by me, but well. I know them since I was nine. They aren’t top book in the world, but they are awesome. Why? Well, go on reading!

1. It’s not black and white. Good characters have their flaws (being bossy, or crazy, or squeamish) and bad characters have their virtues (caring for family, loyalty, cleverness). Shades of gray in everyone, which makes the characters realistic.

2. Big variety of characters. Almost everyone can find someone they can relate to thanks to this.

3. Character development. Not only that the characters are well-developed, also that they grow up during the series. I was reading it in my teenage times, and I could grow up together with the main characters.

4. Lots and lots of side-plots, plot twists and events that have influence on the future of the plot. Who would think, while reading the first book, that Sirius Black who lent Hagrid a motorbike would appear again? Foreshadowing appears, and it’s quite subtle.

5. Morals. It teaches value of friendship, it shows that what you’re born doesn’t determine what you’ll grow up to be (Andromeda, who married a muggleborn, is sister of Bellatrix, who is one of most dangerous Death Eaters; Barty Crouch Jr. came from quite a good family and being neglected by his father, ended up wicked), it tells that money and good looks isn’t everything (the Malfoys were rich, pretty and didn’t seem happy while it was hard to find an unhappy Weasley – unwealthy freckled redhead).

6. Lots of place for imagination to us, fanfiction writers. What house was Barty Crouch Jr. in? How did Lestrange brothers become Death Eaters? When did Andromeda fall in love with Ted? What made Sirius drop his family’s views? So many questions, so many ways to answer.

7. Humor relief. Sure, there are loads of dark, sad scenes, but to catch breath, there were happy or funny ones. Good way not to get depressed.

All in all, I find every Harry Potter book absolutely unputdownable. Took me 12 hours to read fifth one, I didn’t make a break even for eating something. True story.
But of course being awesome doesn’t equal flawless, so now, things I don’t really liked in Harry Potter:

1. After all, main characters succeed in everything, sometimes in deus ex machina way.

2. Harry wasn’t held responsible for using Unforgivable Curses. On human beings.

3. My favourite characters died (oh, but this one is petty – what are fanfiction writers for?).

4. Mistakes in story, like forgetting about some characters or in-universe rules.

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic

Yes, this stuff is totally awesome. If you don’t believe, check it out, like, now. Plenty on youtube, and not only there.

So now, the list of: why My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is awesome:

1. Variety of characters. Really, as for a “kids’ show” this cartoon has a lot of different types of characters. There is a nerd, a jock, a farmer, a princess… enough characters for everyone to find at least one to whom they can relate.

2. Universality. Maybe it is widely considered a kids’ show, but I’m rising twenty, my little brother will turn seventeen in April, and our mum is in her fifties, and we all enjoy watching every new episode.

3. Depth of characters. Sure, they have a major feature, but it’s never the only feature they have. Plus, they have not only virtues, like characters of some kids’ shows, but also flaws. Twilight Sparkle is smart but paranoid, Applejack is hard-working but sloppy, Rainbow Dash is loyal but lazy. And the flaws make them even more relatable.

4. Storyline. Well, quite simple and in many cases, predictable. But actually tere are so many different stories created that it’s hard to make up a totally new plot. In this show, the stories told were sometimes told earlier – but this show tells them in a different way.

5. Universe. Ponies live in an awesome country: they have a monarch, they don’t pay taxes, and they change seasons by themselves. They have festivals similar to ours, but with different origin and name – it would be weird if ponies celebrated Christmas, but celebrating Hearth’s Warming is understandable for children and makes sense for the adults.

6. Educational aspect. There are many values children, and even teens or adults, can learn from this show. Value of friendship; fact that even though we aren’t perfect, we are never useless; power of cooperation; appreciation of what we have… these are just a few examples of many. And the morals aren’t pushed strongly, they just… are. It doesn’t sound like lecturing. It’s showing that it works.

7. Catchy songs and phrases, and fan slang. Everypony would agree that there are songs that can’t get off your mane, and sometimes you’d get a brohoof from somepony you didn’t know before just because you were humming the tune. Not only fillies agree, colts do too, and even grown mares and stallions… Joining the herd will let you make new friends in ten seconds flat. And if you get a t-shirt like this: http://www.theshirtlist.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Ladies-Rainbow-Dash-Dark-Side-Moon-Shirt.jpg will make you 20% cooler. You’ll find great friends and the fun will be doubled!

8. Fan community. So-called “bronies”, or “herd”. If you’re a girl, you can become a “pegasister”. If you’re a guy, you can become a “brony”. Are you tired of countless arguments resulting in splitting the community into smaller groups? You’re welcome to the herd! Sure, bronies/pegasisters do disagree about their favourite pony, but their motto is “love and tolerate”. It also comes from the show: even though the ponies are different, they are friends. It shows that you don’t have to be identical to get along.

9. Villains. I mean, we can’t avoid some antagonists, right? Well, they are very suitable for this show. Mild villains. It’s a good word. Well, Night Mare Moon wanted to bring ethernal night, and Discord brought total chaos to Equestria, and their demonic laughter was… demonic, but they are defeated by – surprise! – cooperation and friendship.

10. Names and speaking. Names are very descriptive, and the characters have individual way of speaking. You would expect a character named Applejack to work with apples, Fluttershy to be timid and Rainbow Dash to be speedy. Also different speaking patterns make the characters deeper.

Of course, awesome doesn’t mean flawless, so here are a few things I don’t find so good about MLP:FiM.

1. Almost every episode is a completely different story. There is no continuum, and events in one episode usually have no influence to later episodes.

2. Most of the characters are female. I would be happy to see more stallions and colts.

3. Logic flaw: the main characters are heroes to the country, so their faces and names should be known to everypony all over Equestria. Still, ponies in the capital don’t seem to know them.

See you next time. And I truly recommend the show to everyone here!