In ancient Equestria, the Sirens, Adagio Dazzle, Aria Blaze, and Sonata Dusk, are wandering from town to town in Equestria, using their voices to inspire chaos and disharmony and feeding off of what results. After being a “success” in numerous towns, they elect to go on to Canterlot for the big score and enter a music competition. Much to their surprise, they’re immediately booed out for using obsolete tunes. Retiring to their hotel, Adagio and Aria argue over creating a new more modern musical style while Sonata tries out bubble gum. After blowing her first bubble and giving a large “pop”, Adagio gets the idea from that to create “pop music”. This new music turns the jewels on their chests red and is a resounding success, spreading chaos throughout Canterlot and making them sensations. The only one not affected is a young unicorn wizard, Starswirl the Bearded. To try and counter them, he writes his own music and competes against them in their next performance, soon launching the “Music Wars” in which most genres of music in Equestria were created as a result of the Sirens and Starswirl trying to outsing each other. However, Starswirl is beaten every time, and so he finally resorts to using magic. Unable to defeat the Sirens in his own world, he tries banishing them into a world without magic using his newly finished magic mirror; admitting in his personal journal that his greatest failure was not finding a way to stop them in Equestria. Meanwhile, in the world on the other side of the mirror, the Sirens arrive and are shocked to see themselves turned into humans, but more shocked to be in a world without magic to feed on. Adagio, however, discovers they have just enough magic left in their pendants to continue to feed from the new city they’re in…
This is another arc I’m kind of left scratching my head about. Mostly because it’s rather hard to take it seriously. In “Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks”, the backstory of the Sirens/Dazzlings sounded rather heavy and intense. In here it’s rather goofy and silly, especially the “Music Wars” bit with the Sirens and Starswirl inventing all sorts of new genres. Not to mention the silliness of how “pop music” was discovered is something that belongs in an episode of “Animaniacs”. True, it does what the last story failed to do…namely shows the origin of the Dazzlings…but it does so in such a silly way. I mean, I’ll admit the Dazzlings were rather weak villains but they did have an air of malevolence around them. As the Sirens, they’re more cartoonish.
Still, this is likely the only look we’ll ever get at how the Dazzlings looked like and acted in their “original forms”. I thought it was kind of silly that they’re able to freely “float on air” when in the backstory Twilight Sparkle read it looked as if they had to stay in the ocean. And there’s not a whole lot new to their origin that wasn’t already explained either. Plus, the story had enough sense to show Equestria in the past…only for the Sirens to arrive in the human world in the modern day. Shouldn’t they also be in that world’s past?
Finally, the story fails to do the one thing “Rainbow Rocks” needed to do: make the Dazzlings more distinct. Even Sonata seems more like Aria in this one rather than her stupid, clueless self. Now the only defining characteristic is “the yellow one calls the shots”.
Overall, the biggest reason this story fails is because it doesn’t know whether it wants to be serious or comedic to me. If it wanted to be comedic, it should have gone “all out” and made it like the goofier main series arcs. If it wanted to be serious, it needed to be that from the get-go. Because it does neither, we get something in between that fails to hit as hard as it should on either end.
This arc is possibly the only look we’ll ever get at how the Dazzlings went around in their original forms. Apparently, they could live freely on land and ponies didn’t really care they went around floating everywhere. 😛
Ancient Equestria is like ancient Greece…only apparently with bubble gum(?).
Starswirl the Bearded had previously appeared in the “Reflections” arc and looked dramatically different, namely because the first indication of how he truly appeared in the series appeared after that arc came out with “Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks”. He matches that appearance fairly well. However, this doesn’t necessarily ruin his previous appearance as this was supposed to happen while Starswirl was still young, and “The Journal of the Two Sisters” revealed Starswirl had the power to increase or decrease his physical age as a result of his experiments with the magic mirror.
Toward the end, Starswirl writes that if he had “some quality of magic”, maybe he could have reformed the Sirens. What they’re talking about is likely from the end of Season Three: the magic of friendship. Does that mean the comic writers are planning a “reformation arc” for the Dazzlings? Time will tell…
1.5 Stars out of 5