Reviews: My Little Dashie
If I do say so myself, I found that the central protagonist's dialogue was very believable, if only because it's relatable. He is deliberately written bland in order for the story to be more of a "self-insert". Said stories have received quite a bad rap, but I honestly think it is a good aspect of writing when done intentionally. Especially so, when the story is written to tap into our personal emotions. As well as that, the story is properly punctuated and contains a little more than three spelling errors. Very impeccable and clean in the matter of grammar. Which is a virtue that some people forget to mention when reviewing this story. And, while I didn't necessarily cry, I did get misty eyed. And I even was a little numb for a few days. So I'm not going to deny that the story had affected me. But the story makes some sacrifices in exchange for these virtues. Quite a few, actually. For one thing, the descriptive language is quite bland. Though I'm not quite sure if this was intentional or not. Either way, I'm not a fan of it. The beginning "part", however, was written quite well, especially the first few paragraphs. So why in the name of decency did the author just stop being creative? It eventually gets to that point where description is as simple as saying "there's a couch and a rug in the room" instead of saying something like "there's a light green couch, just beside the rug in my brother's room." And Rainbow Dash is seriously out-of-character. Some aspects are recognizable, and even sometimes the story has rather amusing as well as plausible gags, such as RD's love of NASCAR. But then we have her acting in ways that, frankly I don't think she'd ever do in a full moon. This may be intentional and even make sense, since she was raised up from a filly completely different to that of her original life. But that certainly doesn't make it any better. RD was just made into too much of a good-willed saint, while still going in and out of the "bratty teenager" attitude. Among other things, there are some VERY serious plot holes. For instance, it is made clear that Rainbow Dash was sent into this universe completely by accident. So why was she found in a box which conveniently said "give to good home"? So, while a fine fic by its own merits, it's so hazardously overrated, it makes me want to cry like I just lost a daughter.
You don't have to be a brony to enjoy this.
Heck, you don't have to be a FAN or a frequent watcher of the show to enjoy this. This isn't the first time I have seen this kind of story before, where a fictional character comes into the real world to someone familiar with the character, and takes care of them for a certain period of time. The one I read years ago was of a different fandom altogether, and was more of the premise of an injured character falling into our world and a person who knows who they are takes them in and grows to love them, and then experiences heartbreak letting them go. I cannot find that story anymore, so I can't say for sure how emotional that story was. This may have reminded me of it, but this story is oh-so much better, and done a lot more realistically than the other was. It's full of heart, and a lot of care and thought went into it. If this was a Self Insert Fic, I wouldn't have cared in the least, it was that well-written. As mentioned above, I'm not a fan of the show. I have seen a few episodes, and clips, and I do like it, but I just haven't gotten around to sitting down and watch it all the way through to fully appreciate it. Despite that, I appreciated this story, and understood it very well. I was reading along to a fanfic reading of it on You Tube, and the reader breaking down half-way through the story, and sobbing at the farewell was a testament to me that this is a powerful story. It makes you look deep inside yourself, and watch as your heart explodes numerous times throughout the course of Rainbow Dash growing up in the hands of a closet brony himself who came to love her as a real pony with a real soul, and his daughter. Bronies and Fillies, and those who aren't, all over the world who have read this story will whole-heartedly agree, I guarantee it.
Don't get the hype
While I hesitate to call this a bad story…it's really not that good, for several reasons. 1. The spelling and grammar, while not at They Just Didnt Care levels, comes across as rather sloppy nonetheless. It just seems to be a rushed job. 2. The main character isn't as fleshed out as he could be. Whereas Jerry conveyed the growing hopelessness of the protagonist through sheer monotony and blurring repetition, here it's just…talked about in somewhat vague terms, although his dilapidated neighborhood and living conditions are described pretty well. His depression is said to stem from the deaths of his loving parents, but we hardly know anything about them or his childhood. 3. Rainbow Dash isn't given too much of a personality beyond "cute"; the closest she gets to her canon self is the way she sometimes addresses her adoptive father. And while she's continually referred to as adorable, Dash hardly even has any dialogue to truly show how cute she is. No mention is even made of her distinctive voice cracks. There are no really vivid retellings or anecdotes of how she actually behaved as a baby or a filly in her day-to-day life, or what it was like to care for and parent her. Only summaries are given. 4. The writer obviously couldn't be bothered to worry much about the logistics of raising a technicolor pegasus pony from infancy and concealing her from the outside world. While not a huge flaw, the sheer lack of attention paid to this aspect of the story strains credibility. Again, not terrible, but as a whole "My Little Dashie" reads more like a rambling, stream-of-conciousness entry in some individual's journal than a good fanfic. This review probably isn't much better, but there you go.
Didn't shed one tear.
I read through the entire fanfic in about an hour. Not once did I even shed a tear, let alone feel any sort of emotional punch. All I could think was, "Is this all there is?” The fanfic felt as though it was trying too hard to make the reader cry. Instead of eliciting the emotions it seeks to bring up, it instead feels like a pity piece, a work that wallows in its own misery instead of trying to tell a story or bring any sort of meaningful theme. Then, despite not even trying to aspire to any sort of ambitions, it looks up and expects readers to join it in its wanton, overwrought misery. The main character is just a bland young man with no characterization as to why he feels the way he does outside of choosing to be unhappy with his own daily routine. He's the character equivalent of a "First-World Problems" image macro. He has a good life outside of the death of his parents, yet he refuses to take responsibility for his own happiness, instead relying on the show for his happiness. If you rely on a TV show for your happiness, your priorities and worldview are skewed. I could accept this all if he were better characterized, but he isn't. His only real purpose is for miserable bronies to superimpose themselves on him. This wouldn't be awful, except not all bronies are miserable train wrecks who hate their lives regardless of reality. I felt a strong desire to be Pinkie Pie, only so I could reach through my monitor and punch the main character in the face and tell him to grow up. Rainbow Dash as an adult acts the exact same way she does as a filly, which is not only unrealistic, but is yet another example of terrible characterization. Like the main character, she's a flat character, only her purpose is to be blandly heartwarming. It's an insult to the real Rainbow Dash, not to mention the intelligence of the readers. I not feel any emotion for her relationship with the main character. In fact, the fanfic has given me an inner loathing of Filly Rainbow Dash. Many found this fanfic to be a Tear Jerker. They certainly have a right to that opinion. I have a right to passionately disagree however, and I exhort anyone reading this review to not waste their valuable time on "My Little Dashie". If you must shed tears, please shed them on something more worthwhile.
There is a reason that this is one of the three most famous MLP fanfics. All three are a work of art in their own right, but My Little Dashie is just plain beautiful. It's great to reread too.
Most Beautiful Story ever
Touching, enjoyable and beautiful, My Little Dashie is a story I'll never forget, and never hope to. The bond between Dashie and the man starts off lightly, and gradually grows into father and daughter. He raised her as his own, and clearly describes their events together. Grown men and women have cried reading this, it's a life changing experience for sure, and I'm glad I read it instead of taking down the road of denial and putting it aside as another fan fiction I'll read and forget.
Tears to my eyes, over and over again
While, admittedly, this fanfic isn't meant for everyone, it is a very touching piece of literature. The very author stated that the point of the story is the feeling, and boy does it come through. It's not just a story about a good everydude finding a young filly Rainbow Dash and caring for her, shielding her from the horrors of this world and raising her, but it's a story about a father, and his daughter. This deals with the very thing every single parent must face: letting go of a child. The story could have been about a man and his daughter, and the feel would've been the same. Not heavy on action, but on situations and feelings. Definitely worthy the time put into reading it, and the "three days without sleep"(according to the editor at least). Warning, though: if you don't cry, you'll certainly end up with a knot in your throat.
It's beautiful and emotional, sad yet wonderful.
They say how only 10% of any fanfiction is any good. If true then I'd argue that 10% of that goes beyond simply good storytelling, and reaches you on a whole new level, that leaves such an impression you won't soon forget it. With that we come to My Little Dashie; a story that despite what seems like a silly concept quickly shows us that whatever the situation in a story is, the writing, characterization, emotion and setting is what really matters when writing anything. Our protagonist is a lonely man leading a dull and repetitive life in a dying city, where his main activities involve working, sleeping, walking and My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic, the big bright spark in such a grey life. It's a bit predictable but it doesn't go overboard into narm or utterly bleak. By chance, one a walk one evening he stumbles across a box which containing Rainbow Dash. She is only a filly, with no cutie mark and no idea of who she is; the protagonist, realising that there is no option, takes her in and raise her as his own child. It's played rather realisticly, not just as a crossover fic, but as we see the evolution of this into something greater. The protagonist reacts as you would expect, unable to believe that a living, breathing Rainbow Dash is here, how did she get here, why was she abandoned? Yet good nature takes over as he decides to become a parent to her. We see this relationship evolve in snippets as you would expect a child growing up, she's curious of this alien world, learning to speak, taking her first flight, in-character moments like watching racing. All the while despite it being a human taking care of an animated pony, it feels so magical, he does his best to provide for her and to help her feel normal in this world. The length of the story is perfect for bonding with these two characters. You probably know how it will end; having to let your child go, with Celestia and the others showing up to take her home. Yet in your heart you won't want it to end. It's amazingly moving and emotional, and so beautifully well written too. I broke down along with the cast, it tugs at the heart strings, made even sadder by the resolution, but optimistic enough for you to draw your own conclusions. Please check it out, it's peices like this which help improve the appreciation for this wonderful show.
The Good Human meets Pony Fic
My Little Dashie ultimately succeeds because it focuses on the growing relationship between two characters, and is ultimately a Father/Daughter story. Over the years, they both grow, and the bits of their life we hear about are enough to make us fond of them. Therefore, the inevitable is truly heartbreaking. The perfect length, and the single best use of a human in Pony fanfiction. Fics like this are the reason this fandom thrives.
Tear Jerker dosen't begin to describe it.
If there is one MLP fic that makes you cry, this is that fic. Based off of this this comic◊ it tells the story of a despondent young man in a run down city. The set up is something of a cliche, MLP is the only silver lining in the dark cloud of his life, but thankfully the story doesn't go overboard into an emo wreck. One day he finds a box with a filly Rainbow Dash inside. And I mean filly, no Cutie Mark or anything. Due to an accident which is explained later, she has arrived here in our world with no idea who she is or how she got here. Our protagonist, for lack of options, opts to take her to his home and care for her, until she can go back to wherever she came from. The commitment to taking care of his little Dashie stretches out into a 15 year odyssey. She grows and matures in a realistic way, and develops a bond with our protagonist. The heartstrings are first tugged when she calls him "Daddy." Now the emotional aspect is on a whole new level: she has effectively become his daughter. In any other story this would be so laughable it would be hard to take the rest of the fic seriously, but here it's done so well that you instantly accept it. "Yeah, Rainbow Dash is his daughter." You don't even think about it, it's just so...right. But all good things come to an end. One day Celestia and the Mane 6 arrive to take Dashie home. Dashie doesn't remember them due to the method of her arrival, but she is told that she needs to return to Equestria. What follows is a parting between father and daughter that is so moving even Celestia herself cannot contain her emotions. It's incredibly heart-wrenching, and the punch is amplified when Celestia erases almost all trace of Dashie's existence. Save of course for a note to her father, stating that she will always remember him and always love him, no matter what. Going by the premise alone, this fic shouldn't work. But it does. It's a heartfelt tale of father and daughter, and learning to let go of the ones you love. Aside from occasional grammatical errors, it's well written through and through. And the final paragraphs are so heart-wrenching that you will not only be in tears, but you will do anything...absolutely anything...to stop Dashie from leaving.