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30 January, 2015

The Filly Witchy Story - Issue 1

Hello good people! I hope you're having fun here, in this megapolis of Filly Funtasia Fandom, because I certainly do! My nickname is Zejgar, you may know me from my endless Twitter ramblings and my finite Tumblr posts. I am a fan of My Little Pony Generation 3, among many other things. And now I'm here! Isn't that great?


Boy, what a rough time we live in. Filly Funtasia, the very reason why this website exists, refuses to show its face to the public for more than a couple of minutes. We know it is coming, eventually, but right now the entire fandom is very similiar to a cult, in which every member hails one another and reminds that, yes, the promised land shall soon be reached. It takes a special kind of persistency to maintain interest in all of this.

Thankfully, Filly Funtasia is not the only thing in the Filly franchise! Double thankfully, Filly frachise has a lot of things that, if aren't good, at least seem to be full of effort. The toylines and their detail may surprise an average Hasbro customer, since you get more stuff than a figurine and its name.

A lot of you probably already know of Filly Stars leaked story arc (if not, check the news below), and while it is one of the first legit story arcs of the franchise, it is not THE first one. For before that, a story arc had its place in the mystical world of Filly Witchy. The arc consisted of twelve pieces, distributed monthly, and each piece came in the form of a comic issue.

Today I would like to acquaint you all with the first issue of Filly Witchy magazine, by showing you a comic. Check it out (in my somewhat tolerable RU->EN translation) after the break.

I probably should explain why I consider Filly comic books good. The goals of these comic books include showing off the world where the story takes place - Filly franchise pays a surprisingly high amount of attention to the enviroment of its toys, sometimes creating worlds of such detail that they rival some not child-oriented fiction, upon closer inspection. In the case of Filly Witchy, every character is effectively a witch, so the entire story is immediately connected with magic. The creators made sure to include magic wherever they could, including the witchies themselves - every one of them possesses a magic mantle. But what's better is that even the process of acquiring one is magical - the capes appear to be sentient.

You may have noticed that I've left some of the original russian dialogue in there, if you can call it that. I want to show you some of our onomatopoeia, if you don't mind.

You can tell it's the very beginning of the story because Xenia receives her mantle, which she has for the entirety of the toyline. Everyone in her family is happy for her - including her parents, Rhea and Morgan, as well as her older sister Alice. Yes, one thing that Filly does an awful lot is families - everyone in the world of Filly Witchy is a member of a family that consists of four fillies - most of the time it's your typical "father, mother, two children", although sometimes there are special exceptions.

Speaking of special!

~Still I hear the whisper: "Cartouche"~
These two fillies are Abra and Cadabra - the rulers of the land, the most powerful magicians in the land, and also twin sisters. One of them is a trickster, one of them is a noble protector. I dare you to guess which one is which.

What can be a better followup to a magical ceremony than some actual spellcasting?
Yes, almost every spell in Zimsala is cast by rehearsing a rhyming verselet - and they're just as corny in the original as they are here. Though I am a fan of such magic, since the fact that you have to spend time speaking means that the thing you're about to cast is something big and impactful - and if you screw it up, the spell might fizzle or, worse, malfunction, so one has to be really skilled and careful, which adds even more weight to the spell's importance. This is how you do spectacular magic in fiction.

Nothing to say here, except that apparently only those with pink mantles are present in the hall. It would be incredibly awkward if Xenia was chosen by a, say, green mantle. Of course, it is given that this whole ritual is legit, and the mantles do have a will of their own. They easily can be manipulated by Abra and/or Cadabra, for all we know.

Also, yes, a mantle allows a witchy to fly. Every witchy ever can fly through the air just because they have a mantle, but the fillies also have, as we will learn later, brooms, which are used in an usual manner. Heck, the very logotype of Filly Witchy shows us a broomrider.

I'll ignore the fact that jumping belly first into the stone pavement hurts like a truck (speaking from experience here) and rather notice a rainbow in the night sky. An interesting detail about that rainbow is that no other issue of Filly Witchy comic book has this rainbow - only the very first one does. Why? You see, before going Witchy, this magazine was about Filly Unicorn - another toyline about absolutely different kingdom (if you can call it that), and there rainbows in the sky were a rather common spectacle. The fact that this rainbow is back in this makes me think that it's a subtle way of easing the reader into a new story - a bridge, so to speak. Ironic, since in Filly Unicorn and in Filly Witchy's backstory, rainbows are indeed used as bridges.

Plus, a rainbow + crescent combo looks incredible.

~I will believe in myself, this is the only start for me~

More nighttime rainbow. I guess you could call it A Rainbow In The Dark.
I can only imagine the amount of disappointment in Xenia's head right now. She has been waiting for this day (night?) all her life, everyone around her probably promised her that the mantle will be a be-all and end-all, ultimate, priceless artifact that will be capable of solving every life problem ever. And now she finally has it, and she cannot control it. And there's nobody else for her to blame, only herself.

Or the mantle, of course. Dumb fabric.

Here we get to see all six (so far in the story) locations of Zimsala. Each of these structures is a home to a four-packed family, with the exception of the Castle, where Abra and Cadabra live. Apparently the Thirteenth Hour drives the entire kingdom bonkers, complete with a fan-like windmill. I wouldn't want to be close to one during the magic hour. And it's never explained why all of this crazy stuff happens: it may be a natural occurence, or it might be the twins' work, or something else, something more sinister.

But let's take a closer look at the Castle, because it's important and ominous! Sort of.

Hooray! That is all.

And the segment comes to a close with a light-hearted lie.

So what was the point of all of this? Well, obviously not to teach children any morals (that's what parents and real life are for). The point of this issue was to, again, show the reader the world of Zimsala, but still very briefly. We get to see what happens at the thirteenth hour, and we know the very, VERY basic laws on which the land operates. But there's still more to learn, and this is what all other issues are for. Even if the comic book is pretty shallow and obvious, it does not stop me from seeing the creator behind all of this, with a shining idea in their head. The comic is merely a method of expressing the universe.

Or it's just a soulless marketing toyline, in which case I guess I can compliment their hypnotising skills, since Zimsala looks very attractive and deep enough to explore.

But is there anything in the comic stories themselves? Is there some sort of an arc? We will see eventually.