By a coincidence, Pinkie Pie and Applejack both end up attending the Ninth Annual Equestria Super Chef competition. Pinkie Pie is one of the registered competitors, but Applejack wanders in totally by mistake while trying to deliver an apple pie and is accidentally mistaken for an actual contestant named Marine Sandwich. For the first round, Pinkie Pie panics and forgets all her recipes while the judges eat the pie Applejack was trying to deliver, leading her to win the round. As the two reconcile backstage over the mix-up, they meet another contestant, Toffee Truffle, who’s extremely nervous about the competition, as it turns out she entered to try and win the prize money to reopen Dodge City’s Cherry Pit restaurant. To help her win, both Applejack and Pinkie Pie purposely sabotage their own desserts in round two so that they’ll lose, but it turns out Pinkie’s chocolate-dipped pickles stuffed with bleu cheese wrapped in “garbage surprise” end up being a surprise winner. Seeing how they tried to lose, Toffee admits she appreciates the gesture but doesn’t want her victory to mean nothing, wanting to win fair and square. As it turns out, Toffee’s entry in the final round, Dulce de Leche in sugar cookie cups, looks like it may be the best, but then the furious competitor Marine Sandwich, thinking Applejack stole her position on purpose, busts in and starts immobilizing everyone in glaze using a special weapon she calls “Fondant Fools”. While Applejack stalls her by bucking custard pies, Pinkie and Toffee load up one of Pinkie’s party cannons with her caramel cookies and fires it into the weapon, gumming it up and causing it to self destruct and freeze Marine Sandwich in her own icing. Toffee wins the third round and the competition, but admits she “couldn’t have done it without her friends”.
The “Friends Forever” series takes what the Micro-Series did and expands it by one, more or less. Whereas the Micro-Series focused on getting into each character one at a time, the Friends Forever series focuses more on pairing and duos in small one-shots. Just like the Micro-Series, some are funny, some are endearing, some are a bit dramatic, and some are better than others. Still, with lots of possibilities and the chance to expand a lot more on the comic universe, it provides a lot of good new plot opportunities that couldn’t be touched on by a “big arc” in the main series.
So…how does the first one measure up?
It’s a bit of a conundrum to start on, actually. While the story advertises Pinkie Pie and Applejack, let’s be honest: the real “friendship” in this one is those two with Toffee Truffle, an OC created just for this issue. She’s a cute little character, much like there would be on the show, but considering the fact about how much she figured into the plot, it made this story seem far more like fanfiction than most of the others. (Well…perhaps before the Season Five premiere, but that review is a long way away…)
I’m not that big into cooking shows, so if there was a lot of hidden jokes in here regarding the cooking world, I didn’t get them. As I mention below, I only recognized one of the other characters in terms of who they were trying to parody. But aside from that, it was entertaining on its own. Probably a bit more action-orientated than you would see most episodes, but it had a good amount of zany humor. Was it really that earth-shattering or fantastic? No…but it didn’t have anything bad about it either. Ultimately it was thoroughly “average”, and didn’t really hit on any relationship between the two earth ponies of the Mane Six, so this one might have ironically have worked out better as a main series one-shot. But
Jumbo Don, the unicorn who allows everyone to watch the cooking competition, is a takeoff of “Jumbotron”, the name of the huge TV screen in Times Square.
The chefs are likely all based visually off of actual people, although I can’t recognize all of them. Blade Sparxx is the pony version of Guy Fieri, though.
When Pinkie gets flustered, one of the random questions she thinks of is: “Why do birds sing?”, I nod to “Why Do Fools Fall in Love?”
2.5 Stars out of 5