While “spangling” an official boffyball (a game that’s only played outside of Equestria) jersey for a local fan, Rarity gets an unexpected visitor in the form of Gilda Griffon. Although the recently-more-friendly griffons have just recently started playing boffyball, their team now has a shot at making it to the Boffyball Cup Championship if they can beat Yakyakistan, and she asks Rarity if she can design the official team uniforms. Rarity agrees and returns to Griffonstone with Gilda to meet up with the ragtag team of rookies. She also meets up with Coach Klaus, who helped rewrite boffyball rules to allow Griffonstone to participate in the league and is a local legend, and the rest of the players, including the scrawny and weak Firegem (who was subbed in due to lack of griffons who came to tryouts and all other better players being sick or injured). During practice, Rarity notices that Klaus frequently singles out Firegem and constantly criticizes and punishes him for poor performance, and while Gilda admits all of the griffons see what’s going on and think it’s wrong they’re afraid to call Klaus out on it. At Rarity’s insistence, Gilda finally goes to do it, but relents and actually joins in on the coach bullying when Klaus ends up making her the assistant coach. The day before game day, another player ends up getting sick and Firegem gets the added pressure of being tasked with finding a replacement, but with no one else available Rarity herself, in spite of hating the game, ends up taking the last player’s spot. On game day, the griffons are doing terribly, and Klaus ends up telling the team to use Firegem as a tackle decoy while the others try and score. This finally ends up being too much for Gilda, saying that winning won’t matter if they don’t take care of their own teammates. While Klaus ends up relenting, he gets too enthusiastic and breaks one of the conduct rules, getting him ejected from the game and forcing Gilda to fill in as coach. Although they still end up getting creamed, the team manages to score a single point at the buzzer to prevent a perfect game; getting enough enthusiasm for greater interest and participation next year. Rarity presents them with their new uniforms to wear at that time, and begins to head home…mentioning that just because you admire someone you can’t be afraid to call them out on their wrong behavior.
In a rather interesting turn of events, this storyline. Gilda Griffon has only appeared in two episodes (three if you count her brief cameo in Season Six’s “The Fault in Our Cutie Marks”, which hadn’t aired when this comic came out), and her interactions both times have been almost exclusive to Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash. It seemed a rather odd turn to suddenly pair her with Rarity of all members of the Mane Six, especially since Rarity would be the most “stereotypical” of ponies. Yet in spite of that, it works out pretty well.
All around this was a fairly nice story. It didn’t quite focus on a friendship between Rarity and Gilda as much as other entries, but it did so enough. It created a situation where both of them contributed equally to solving the problem too. And it did touch on a lesson that would be good for the show but hadn’t been covered directly just yet: what to do when someone you respect and admire does something that you know is wrong. They’ve done storylines like that before, but the closest that it ever came was in the episodes that focused on the Wonderbolts: “Wonderbolt Academy” and “Rainbow Falls”. It hadn’t focused so much on an individual until now. So, it wasn’t quite unique, but unique enough. Most of the characters in this arc are one-shots, so it’s not quite as effective as it might be, but it’s still alright.
Jay Fosgitt did this one again, so it’s again a case of the unique art style kind of impacting the story. It almost looks like one of those old Tiny Toons episodes with them on a sports team rather than My Little Pony in this instance. The griffons in particular seem to be something more out of that cartoon rather than out of MLP, where, in spite of different appearances, they all have roughly the same physicality. It makes for an interesting story artistically, although it’s hard to tell you’re actually reading an MLP story in this instance as Rarity is the only pony for most of it. That’s neither here nor there, but I can see how it might distract some readers.
Overall, this is another average story to me. While it does what you would expect a “Friends Forever” plotline to get done, it’s again not too poignant or amusing. It’s just another nice little story.
Rarity has to hire sherpas to move all her luggage. 😛
When listing off everything she brought, Rarity includes: “industrial strength hair dryer I can’t live without”, an allusion to “Spaceballs”.
In what ended up being a goof thanks to DHX Media, this issue created a character named Greta Griffon. However, nine months later, Greta Griffon became a canon character for Season Six’s “The Fault in Our Cutie Marks”. It’s pretty clear at one glance they’re not the same character. There could always be more than one Greta, though. 😛
“Fancy Creatures and Where They Hang Out” might be a knockoff of “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”.
Prince Rutherford cameos…doing what he did “best” back in “Party Pooped”.
When Rarity joins the team, she says: “I make this sport look good”, an allusion to “Men In Black”.
This is probably the first time Rarity has had to handle her own luggage.
It’s interesting to note that this came out in between Season Five and Season Six, and yet Rarity is still writing to Princess Celestia at the end of it.
2.5 Stars out of 5