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Synopsis:

Rainbow Dash is getting to highlight the Summerfell Festival alongside the Wonderbolts, pulling off her infamous “Sonic Rainboom” for an adoring crowd. However, when she tries to push it even harder (the 20% Faster version), she ends up messing up her wings and crash landing into a strange rain cloud. Apparently, the cloud is inhabited by gremlins who feed off of the sadness and misery of others, and they torment the flightless Rainbow Dash and throw her out of the cloud to feed off of her failure at the faster Sonic Rainboom. Soon the cloud is growing over town and causing a negative feedback loop of creating more depression, feeding off of it, and then growing larger to cause even more depression. Rainbow Dash makes it her personal goal to rid Equestria of the cloud, but her first crash left her flightless for a week and her anxiety has led her to not only take it “easy” on the cloud, but each failure seems to make the cloud bigger and nastier. Rainbow Dash’s attempts to succeed, mostly to get her own confidence back at this point, escalate but still fail, only resulting in the cloud and gremlins getting stronger and stronger. Finally, after one attempt, she realizes even if she improves her own feelings, one pony doesn’t have enough positive feeling to dispel the cloud. Instead, at the risk of her own life, she puts literally everything she has into doing a “Sonic Double Rainboom” seen all over Equestria that fills it with so much positive feeling that it decimates the cloud and blows the gremlins out of Equestria. Two weeks later, Rainbow Dash is alive but seemingly permanently grounded. To encourage her, Applejack recruits her to help sell a special batch of apple goods that came from apples that grew as a result of the Double Rainboom. She surprisingly tosses one to Rainbow Dash, who catches it by instinct by taking off and flying again. Airborne once more, Rainbow Dash thanks Applejack by generating plenty of breeze for her to feel in her mane.

Review:

Unlike the first one in the series, this one can best be described by one word: “Huh?”

The last arc managed to go more “mature” than the show should have been without seeming too awkward. This one, however, crossed the line. Whereas the last one gave the sensation you were reading an adult story in a cartoon world, this one feels almost like a certainty. It almost loses the MLP element all together, in my opinion. The villains, in particular, seem like they’re from a different, more-mature comic in terms of their speech. It doesn’t match with their comical appearances, which don’t even really seem to mesh with the series. The setup of the story and its progression doesn’t really mesh with the series either. The pacing is a bit random, and the show has never really dealt with the issue of a character pushing themselves hard enough to permanently cripple themselves or even kill themselves…at least not in explicit terms.

To top it all off, Rainbow Dash ends up having to share a lot of her spotlight with Applejack in this one. The fact she’s the only other member of the Mane Six in the story and seems personally invested in her well-being, I’m sure, really excited the Appledash fans, but I thought it was just another bit of awkwardness.

On top of all of that, the story wasn’t terribly engaging. I suppose in a sense it was a roundabout way to get Rainbow Dash to care more about the happiness of others than herself, but it seemed very oddly paced and constructed. It left me more confused than inspired. It was so unusual and put together that I didn’t really get a grasp of Rainbow Dash seriously being crippled, so I couldn’t really “feel” for the resolution.

All in all, a very odd arc. Too odd to me to be terribly enjoyable. One of the “duds” of the Micro-Series.

Fun Facts:

The Cutie Mark of the newscaster is “PNN”, like “CNN”.

The gremlins vaguely look like variations on Ren and Stimpy.

The gremlin mentions Mule Tzu in “The Start of War”, a take off of Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War”.

The “Double Rainboom” may have been the series reflecting back on itself, as that’s also the name of a famous fan-made episode. Probably why it’s specifically called “Sonic Double Rainboom”.

“Ah! The happiness! The goggles! They do nothing!” is a parody of a quote from Ramir Wolfcastle on “The Simpsons”.

Rainbow Dash’s house has been tethered to the ground while she’s flightless.

The “special crop of apples” that Applejack grew seems to be Zap Apples.

Rating:

2 Stars out of 5

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