Coming up next on Problematic Reviews

Coming up next on Problematic Reviews

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

FiM Fiction Review: The Origin of Sunbutt

Welcome back, internet travelers! Let me start by apologizing for the schedule mix up involving this one. I recently attended a four-day journalism workshop that unfortunately left me very little time to finish the critique, but after a little rest, I think I'm ready to jump right into this one. GeodesicDragon's The Origin of Sunbutt is -and I’m going to get so much hate for this- tragically sub-par. While I looked forward to a short but comical take on Celestia’s cutie mark story and backstory behind the Sunbutt nickname, The Origin of Sunbutt presents itself with very little character and lack of a solid plotline or pacing to drive the thing. Along with mediocre dialogue and sub-par portrayal of Celestia, I cannot recommend it, especially if you're unfamiliar with Geo’s form of storytelling. Head below the break for my review of The Origin of Sunbutt by GeodesicDragon.

=== === ===

The Origin of Sunbutt by GeodesicDragon 
Complete! (Completed on 5 Nov 2013)

While talking to Princess Twilight Sparkle, a Royal Guard refers to Princess Celestia as 'Sunbutt'. He is quick to explain how he came to learn of the nickname, and suggests that Twilight should talk to Princess Luna.

So she does, whereupon she finds that Luna is all too happy to share a story with her... Read it here.

Tags: Comedy, Alternate Universe - Rated: Everyone
Words: 3,222 words total - One Shot

=== === ===

Working down a list here: I can't really say the characters are less than fitting. Simply, the small cast of the Royal Sisters and Twilight don't see much development. Yes, believe it or not, the monumental story of Celestia receiving the very thing every filly works for their entire childhood doesn’t see any character development. Perhaps this is because her task of raising the sun barely flies as a conflict, but we'll touch on that later. Other than that glaring problem, Luna, Celestia and Twilight are actually done well and I was impressed with the portrayal of Twilight. She was put in a role we've rarely seen her in the show and for the most part, her actions were believable. 

However, that doesn't exactly help in the face of the major issue facing Celestia's character. The episode The Cutie Mark Chronicles depicts the process of receiving a cutie mark as a journey of self-discovery. We saw every single pony struggle to find their talent and, in a way, destiny. In The Origin of Sunbutt, while it does intend to focus more on the backstory behind the nickname, I can't excuse the fact that Celestia's conflict is quickly resolved and doesn’t carry any weight behind it. Honestly, it spits in the face of the canon lore surrounding cutie marks in more ways than not. This is because the struggle and self-doubt that accompanies the usual cutie mark story is no where to be found here. It’s a glaring issue that definitely ruins a lot of the story for me. 

While I wouldn't say the dialogue has as many faults as the conflict, it does have its hiccups. I applaud the way conversations flow and lines feel well-delivered, but I can't say any of the characters delivered any memorable performances. Also, since this is a comedy, none of the more comedic scenes felt all that original. Don't get me wrong, I found it mildly funny but nothing made me even chuckle. Perhaps the whole story idea is supposed to be a joke? Either way, most of the things I saw in The Origin of Sunbutt felt eerily overused; even with a story idea so out there. 

Perhaps The Origin of Sunbutt's most prominent issue would be its pacing; or therefore lack of. Any traces of a traditional plotline, the progression from introduction to rising action to climax and so on, seem to be missing here. Especially when it comes to one of the most essential element to pacing. You see, a story usually builds up suspense as the story progresses. Writers use the rising action to teach us more and more about the characters and situation as the plot approaches the climax. This is used so that when the climax does roll around, the suspense is heightened because it is when the protagonists are most vulnerable to failure. In the case of The Origin of Sunbutt, all the story progression to the climax is just not there. We simply have no reason to care. 

=== === ===

Now forget everything I just said. You see, while researching for this review, I realized that Geo has an odd collection of stories. It appears most of those stories often satirize the FiMFiction community. Then it hit me: The Origin of Sunbutt is a parody. Sure, all the problems I mentioned are true, but I wouldn't say they're applicable. Unless Geo intended for everyone to take it seriously… In which case, I can't even begin to consider the implications of that. So for the first time, I'm dumbfounded.  What? A score? No… No, I can’t give a parody a score. Giving it a score would just go against the whole  theme of a parody. I simply refuse. Take the review and run with it. I'm done here. Just call me tomorrow for On Time for a Change.

(Yes, that was a joke. Don't take it seriously)

No comments:

Post a Comment