English Doujinshi: My Little Sweetheart

“My Little Sweetheart” is an artbook of sexy My Little Pony fanart, being sold to benefit a children’s charity. Ah, what a blessed era this is.

All the book’s profits go to K.I.D.S., “Kids in Distressing Situations.” They provide vital items like clothes and toys to the children who need it must, suffering from problems like poverty, domestic abuse, and disaster survival. Their website states that “With overhead costs consistently at 2.5%, K.I.D.S. is one of America’s most efficient charities and has earned Charity Navigator’s highest rating of four stars.”

Compared to other fandoms, bronies have been especially prolific in their charity. There’s been charity projects like the fan music album, “Smile!” (with another album, “Seeds of Kindness”, coming). Plus, their record breaking donations to the Humble Bundle as the “Brony Bundle.” I guess all those Friendship Lessons really do have an effect.

So, your warm fuzzy feelings are secured. Now, on to the cheesecake! Normal people needn’t worry; it’s all humanized, so  there’s no confusing questions about your sexuality. Some of the art is rather amateur, being a highly collaborative project with 28 artists. But overall, it’s impressively high-quality. There’s the well-known artists like Slugbox and John Joseco, but also lots of artists who I can’t believe I’d never heard of it. emlan stands out with a beautiful, painterly style that goes far beyond just being sexy. And X-Arielle‘s sultry picture of the Mayor is just damn hot. A full artist list can be found here.

For the hardcore pony fans, the book has a wide range of background characters. Even Carrot Top and Allie Way are represented…along with Fleur de Lis, of course. The book has 53 total pages, and comes in a “bigger than average doujinshi” trim size of 11 x 8.5. It makes a great addition to your bookshelf, or your locked cabinet of darkest secrets. So, do you want to help children in need? And do you want to get turned on by cartoons? If you answer “yes” to either of these question, head on over to get your copy today. Society will thank you, eventually.

My Little Pony, Touhou, and a Corporate Doujin Culture

My god…A My Little Pony version of the 1st Cardcaptor Sakura OP. And it’s done perfectly.

What I truly love about MLP:FiM is the extent of the fanworks. I’ve seen some people say, “I watched a few episodes, but couldn’t get into it.” If they only watch the actual show, though, they’re missing out. Take this video, for example: all the characters in it are background ponies, who appeared in as little as 15 seconds of the TV show. Despite that, fanon has given them personalities, involved backstories, and miles of fanart. It’s like Koakuma, but on overdrive. MLP might even become the American equivalent of Touhou Project, if more doujinshi is churned out. Already, though, this simple children’s cartoon has been reinterpreted so many ways. It’s:

– A symbol of resistance against traditional gender roles.
– An endless source of memetic humor.
– A yuri ship-fest for socially maladjusted males to deal with their sexual issues in a cute, non-threatening way.
– A world of high fantasy, with epic roleplaying campaigns and historical chronicles
– A new call for optimism, sincerity, and interpersonal relationships in a consumption-driven world lacking all those things

There’s one difference I worry about, though. Doujin works like Touhou Project and Ryukishi07’s “When They Cry Games” are made by individual autuers. But My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is the intellectual property of a large corporation. They’ve been surprisingly lenient in allowing fanworks. They haven’t moved a finger against entire sites purely dedicated to My Little Pony fanporn, or a project for a My Little Pony dating sim. With ZUN cracking down on White Canvas for selling Touhou goods recently, Hasbro might be even more lenient than some Japanese doujin authors. And Hasbro might exert less influence on fan interpretations. With an autuer, fans are likely to accept new fanon-destroying canon without resistance. But with Hasbro, fans are less likely to accept a corporation’s canon as authoritative, as witnessed with the Lyra/Heartstrings controversy. But how long can this corporate lenience last? There’s a balance between the consumers they’d alienate by going all Cease & Desist, and the perceived brand damage from being associated with “creepy weirdos.” They might want to please the fanbase and keep the social media hype going, but the brony demographic is still a relatively small part of their profits. There are no hard numbers, but I couldn’t see it being much higher than 15 or 25% of MLP merchandise sales. For now at least, Hasbro continues to embrace the brony fandom. And hopefully they will long enough for us to see more awesome fan animations.

My Little Pony: Fansubs are Magic

As anyone on the  internet knows, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic has become freakishly popular. And it’s even getting well known in Japan. A growing number of episodes can be watched fansubbed on Nico Nico Douga, and the response is quite positive.

Someone is also translating the Japanese niconico comments into English. It’s like a trippy recursive feedback loop of fandom, full of “kawaiiiii”s and “wwwwwww”s.

Ep 1. “Friendship Is Magic – Part 1”
Ep. 2 “Friendship Is Magic – Part 2”
Ep. 3 “The Ticket Master”
Ep. 4 “Applebuck Season”
Ep. 5 “Griffon the Brush-Off”

To be honest, I’m not that surprised. MLP: FiM is, at it’s core, no different than slice-of-life moe anime like K-On! or Azumanga Daioh. There’s an all-female cast, with cutesy archetypes like the socially-awkward genius (Twilight Sparkle), the genki high-tension girl (Pinkie Pie), and the the adorable shy one (Fluttershy). There’s the humor and schmaltzy sentimentality. The only difference is, the characters are magical talking ponies in a tripped-out rainbow world. Which, in some ways, is even more awesome than the usual highschool girl setting. And otaku needn’t worry about losing their beloved zettai ryouiki, etc. fetish fuel; there are plenty of other fetishes to gain (Ponibooru actually has a tag for “foalcon,” oh god what).