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YMMV / My Brave Pony: Starfleet Magic

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YMMV tropes for Dakari-King Mykan's My Brave Pony: Starfleet Magic, the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic.

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  • Narm: Has its own page.
  • Never Live It Down:
    • Grand Ruler Celesto likely isn't gonna live down the fact he played hopscotch to Pop Goes The Weasel even though the author has since gotten rid of that passage (though shamelessly taking a scene from Singin' in the Rain isn't much better).
    • Lightning Dawn has not lived down his actions against Human Celestia in the first Starfleet Humans. Granted, he did feel some regret afterward, but all Lightning gets is a slap on the wrist for storming into the principal's office, telling her that it's a good thing her horse died, and burning her face with scalding-hot coffee.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Ace Ray's "reprogramming" in the original version of Starfleet Magic III, which reads eerily like the infamous "Room 101" scene from 1984 - and serves much the same purpose, too.
    • Ace's fate in the rewrite isn't much better, as he gets carted off to an asylum to be locked up until he "gets better". Each time he tries to protest his sanity or tries to cling to his beliefs against Starfleet, he gets strapped down and sedated. They plan to keep him there until he changes his tune, locking him up for life if need be, and the last line in his chapter makes it seem like he's slowly going insane for real.
    • Twilight Sparkle's death at the hands of Raven; she pretty much shoots a beam point-blank to the heart (or in Raven's bio, slashes Twilight with her claws), to which she falls to the floor in a fiery explosion, guaranteeing her death.
    • Cadance keeping the corpse of her stillborn colt around for 9 chapters is just plain creepy and squicky, even if decomposition doesn't seem to be an issue.
  • No Yay: Spike and Rarity. The former's only 15, for fuck's sake, while Rarity's in her 20s in the fic, and for some, forcibly aging him 10 years just to make his relationship with Rarity work doesn't make it better. Having a child in VIII does not help either.
  • Padding:
    • The author outright admits to using this, as he believes he has to fill a word quota. More specifically, he believes that every chapter has to be an equivalent length to a half-hour TV episode, with no exceptions. Amazingly, he complains in the author's notes of the third series about how long his fanfics are, and yet does nothing to fix this.
    • Aside from padding in-chapters, Mykan seems to have an obsession with writing 26 episodes per-season, which leads to many episodes where nothing advances the plot. The biggest offenders are in My Brave Pony: Starfleet Magic II (as one MST points out, you can reorder most of the chapters without affecting the overall plot) and Starfleet Magic VI (which doesn't have an overarching plot so much as it does a bunch of unrelated story arcs stuck together).
  • Ron the Death Eater:
  • Rooting for the Empire: The story is meant as a Revenge Fic against My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, centering around ponies in another dimension and/or in space, fighting off an evil sorcerer without The Power of Friendship and therefore being superior to the cast of the original show. Many readers actually wished to see the bad guy win, just so that the main characters get their asses kicked.
    • Especially the case with the Arc Villain Windy Bag in VI, whose goal boils down to kicking Starfleet off of Equestria. Considering Starfleet's Designated Hero status and treatment of the Equestrian population, it's not hard to see her as a Well-Intentioned Extremist at worst. It helps that she also has a vendetta against a blatant Author Avatar, and a particularly jerkish one at that.
    • In an actual decent twist, in chapter 20 of the original badfic, we find out that Serpent Tyrant's motive for collecting the Rainbow Stones is to undo the genocide his son Titan had caused. Other than being told the supposed Dimension of Darkness's denizens are evil, there are no indications of them committing great atrocities and we are only seeing things from a certain point of view - The Unicornicopians. It's also not hard to see him as a Well-Intentioned Extremist.
    • The Insectos in Starfleet Magic V. Unlike most villains, the Insecto royals actually have a better family dynamic than any of the heroes, making them easier to sympathize with, especially as Pinsar actually says that he served Titan in part to keep his family safe. Additionally, they can easily be interpreted as Proud Warrior Race Guys rather than Always Chaotic Evil, as the only evidence of them doing anything evil is the word of Starfleet.
  • The Scrappy: Most of the cast is greatly hated (with Rhymey and The Grand Ruler becoming some of the biggest.) But even then hardly anyone likes Big Bad Titan for being a bland Generic Doomsday Villain who is a walking list of Saturday Morning Cartoon Villain clichés that isn't funny, intimidating, unique, or remotely competent.
  • Sequelitis: The original story has four sequels and counting, one's a "movie" and another is based on My Little Pony: Equestria Girls, and they don't get any better. Beats0me, a DeviantArt member who draws parody comics of MLU, noted that the beginning of the series is So Bad, It's Good, reminiscent of watching a corny old kids' action cartoon. However, the further it goes on, the more racism, sexism and other disturbing content start cropping up. It doesn't help that, from the third story onward, all of their plots follow the exact same formula, differing only in a few names and details.
  • Serial Numbers Filed Off: The prologue and first two chapters are pretty much a rip-off of the pilot episodes of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.
  • Signature Scene: Twilight Sparkle's death in season 3. It's so infamous that even the author himself likes to talk about it.
  • So Bad, It's Good: For some. The sequels are a much different case as shown by the Sequelitis entry.
  • Squick:
  • Strangled by the Red String: Almost every couple in the story is comprised of characters falling for each other in a very short time for the shallowest of reasons.
    • Lightning and Starla, who fall in love immediately for no reason besides that the main character needs a love interest.
    • Rhymey and Fluttershy as well, both pony and human versions.
    • Ditto the Grand Ruler and Princess Celestia, both pony and human versions.
    • Additionally, there is Sunset Shimmer and Human!Artie Bristles.
    • In addition, there is Tree Hugger and Buddy Rose.
    • Rarity and Spike, who is a baby dragon, remember, making this a much more disturbing example. The fact that he was eventually forcibly aged up, thus facilitating the relationship, may or may not help. Before that, Rarity fell head over heels for Thunder Cloud/Esroh Dab for no apparent reason.
    • In IX, Pinkie falls head over heels in love with Dearka for no reason other than to facilitate drama.
    • Artie and human!Sunset Shimmer in IX. They just... develop feelings at the very beginning of the season. It's also blatantly obvious that this only exists to parallel human!Artie and Sunset Shimmer's relationship, which is another example of this trope.
    • Apple Spice falls for Pinkie Pie within a day of first meeting her to create a Love Triangle between him and Dearka.
    • Shining Light and Flurry Heart, if this is to go by. As early as 1 and 1 1/2 years old respectively, Starla already ships them together, as if to highlight just how hard these two are being strangled together.
  • Strawman Has a Point:
    • In My Brave Pony: Starfleet Magic II, there is an ex-Wonderbolt named Ace Ray who was kicked off the squad for badmouthing Starfleet and has become a loser who sits around stuffing his face all day. However, he accuses the Starfleet of being arrogant and lazy for not taking action against their enemies sooner and thus leading to the destruction of Equestria. He also calls them out on assuming every enemy they fight is irredeemably evil without even considering the possibility that they might have a reason for acting that way. He then accuses them of being overlords due to their species essentially taking over United Equestria, doing everything of value, and Celesto being extremely powerful, both politically and literally. The reader is clearly supposed to side with his sister Skye, who tells him he's bad for speaking his mind about Starfleet. However, he makes some very good points that were mentioned by reviewers and riffers of the original fic.
    • Twilight Sparkle protests Starfleet killing all of their enemies, Krysta and Lightning Dawn's argument can be summed up as "Starfleet is always right, everyone else is always wrong."
    • Starfleet Magic VI has Brass Bolt, who's basically Ace Ray 2.0, and makes even better points about Starfleet than Ace did. It's very hard not to agree with him, especially since his thoughts and situation read very much like a protagonist in dystopian fiction and are completely accurate to Starfleet's portrayal. To quote the story itself:
    “They come to our world, lead their enemies to us, and if that wasn’t bad enough they turned us from normal ponies into these human shaped weirdos! Oh, and to add insult to injury, they treat us all like we’re inferior and enslave us with their martial laws, and when trouble comes they just fight and kill, and they arrest creatures with no good reason…
    …They’re nothing but a bunch of silly, overbearing tyrannical dictators! Why can’t you guys see that? Why can’t anyone see that?”
  • Take That, Scrappy!: Rhymey is one of the more hated original characters because he speaks in nothing but rhymes, and unfortunately, not good ones. note  An unintentional example happens when he confronts Ace Ray in My Brave Pony: Starfleet Magic III, who is in the process of making points about Unicornicopia that are more valid than the author realizes.
    Rhymey: There's no need to make a fuss / there is nothing he can do to us.
    Ace Ray: And you... will YOU STOP WITH THAT RHYMING!
  • They Copied It, So It Sucks!: There is really no easy way to put this. Mykan's tendency to outright ignore being original in any way concerning Starfleet means that he frequently will take absolutely anything he pleases from other works of fiction, with obvious examples being Today's Special and Power Rangers to the point of outright plagiarism. And even then, he'll use them completely out of their original context, only really using it because "it's cool to him". When confronted about this, he will outright deny the idea of original context. Even when the moments in question work at least somewhat, it's only because it worked in the source material and just so happened to be one of the few things Mykan didn't butcher completely when he transplanted it into his work.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Serpent-Tyrant/Serpentari from the first season was sorely underutilized. His/her backstory and motivation involve Titan destroying their homeworld, thus easily setting up a plot where they do battle against Titan or even team up with the Space Ponies to fight him. Serpent-Tyrant in the original even leaves some room for interpretation as a well-intentioned Anti-Villain. Unfortunately, they're never actually explored as a character, they have no interactions with Titan or his minions, and their role in the plot is limited to a generic antagonistic force that could just as easily have been filled in by some random monster(s), with minimal contribution to the main plot.
    • Cerise from My Brave Pony: Starfleet Magic II is a major in Starfleet, can stand toe-to-toe with Lightning and can use the Uniforce. She was a one-shot character up until Starfleet Magic VI, where her appearance consists of her completely sucking at her job.
    • Whenever Twilight's spirit shows up, she only appears to motivate the others before she's quickly forgotten about. As per usual with Mykan's hatred for the character, she's not allowed to be useful even as a ghost.
    • Brass Bolt from Starfleet Magic VI is a Suspiciously Similar Substitute for Ace Ray who wants to see a revolution overthrowing Starfleet and sets an entire prison's populace loose on them, making for a very interesting potential Big Bad who's not a completely clichéd Generic Doomsday Villain. Instead, he gets busted in the second chapter by a cheap Ass Pull. Even better, the author later complains that he's having trouble driving the story forward without a Big Bad pulling the strings. The season later introduces Windy Bag, who has basically the same personality and motives as Brass Bolt and could easily serve the same narrative role as him, begging the question of why the two were made into separate characters (other than for the author to take a cheap shot at his critics).
    • Awdr Pomption III could've been a good addition to IX. His forced marriage to Starla fits IX's themes perfectly, and it would trigger Character Development in both Starla and Awdr. Unsurprisingly, he never appears in IX.
    • En Shi, for the same reasons as Awdr, but with the added bonus of making Swift Star relevant again. Like him, she never makes an appearance in IX.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • It may sound far-fetched, but the idea of a team of space-faring ponies inspired by Power Rangers could have actually been a fun one had the series not been a gigantic Take That! to MLP, the plotting been better and not directly ripped off from the inspiration, the story not taken itself so seriously, and it didn't shoehorn Today's Special plots for no discernible reason. In fact, a number of fanfic writers took the setting and produced their own works that are, at the very least, more readable than the original fic, although none have yet to achieve the full Narm Charm potential of the "alien Power Rangers" premise.
    • The relationship between Lightning and the Grand Ruler could have been quite an interesting plot arc had some actual time been devoted to it.
    • Starla Shine's wedding with Lightning Dawn could have offered more insight into her character outside of Starfleet and her attraction to Lightning, but instead her wedding is entirely comprised of hand-me-downs from Princess Cadance's wedding. Starla's maid of honor is Twilight Sparkle, her flower girls are the CMC, and even her wedding dress is just a modified version of Cadance's wedding gown.
    • Despite the controversy surrounding it, the idea of teaching about the death of a loved one could have been a good idea had Mykan just focused on meaningful character interactions and development instead of Victim Blaming and his own hatred for the pony in question, Twilight Sparkle.
    • Season IV's baddies hail from a Bad Future and are introduced easily shrugging off everything in Starfleet's arsenal, and Starfleet is more or less directly responsible for the Big Bad's existence. This could easily set up an interesting story that explores the Space Ponies' shortcomings as both a society and a military organization while pitting them against an enemy that doesn't go down to brute force. Instead, we get none of that, the heroes have all the solutions handed to them on a silver platter, and the only thing separating this season from the previous ones is that it's also an uninspired ripoff of Futari wa Pretty Cure.
    • Windy Bag's plot could've been an interesting way to develop a story with an Anti-Villain antagonist who has legitimate grievances against the Starfleet regime and potentially provide motivation to shake up their policies and status quo, or even a Grey-and-Gray Morality-driven conflict. Instead, Windy is treated the same as the rest of the Always Chaotic Evil antagonists, and Starfleet never spares her views a second thought.
  • Trapped by Mountain Lions: Oftentimes, different plot points will be strewn together simply because the author thought they were "cool". And while these could have been decent standalone plots, throwing two unrelated storylines into the same story means the lesser plot ends up taking time away from the overarching narrative while ending up being underdeveloped.
    • The mini-arc involving Serpent-Tyrant/Serpentari is ultimately almost 100% filler and has nothing to do with either Titan or Nightmare Moon. It's especially damning given that his/her backstory would've been easy to integrate with the fight against Titan.
    • Goldwin's episodes solely exist to plagiarize Today's Special and add absolutely nothing to the overall plot.
    • In Starfleet Humans, the main plot gets sidetracked by a subplot involving the characters getting cast in the school play. It did, however, lead to Lightning Dawn's Never Live It Down moment.
    • Raven in Starfleet Magic III barely contributes to anything and is only in the story to kill Twilight.
    • Starfleet Humans: Starpops has a subplot involving Celesto Grandruler working on the International Space Station. This adds absolutely nothing to the main plot.
    • The Phantom of Magic subplot in Starfleet Magic IV could largely be ignored except for the Mane 5 getting access to their Valkyrie Mode.
    • Starfleet Humans: Starfleet Events sidetracks the plot concerning the competition between Canterlot High and Crystal Prep with the plot involving Xaydie and Human Fratello.
    • The Black Dragon Knight subplot of Starfleet Magic V has virtually no impact on the main conflict against the Insectos.
    • Starfleet Magic VI manages to have the A-story come off as this, as Starfleet's wild goose chase after escapees is far less cohesive as a plot than the B-story involving Windy Bag and Mykan Stevens.
    • The Batlings subplot of Starfleet Magic VII has nothing to do with the main plot involving the Space Pirates and only exists to make it so the fates of Applejack's parents are made unambiguous.
    • In Starfleet Magic VIII, the subplot involving Megadox and Data Stream contributes nothing to the main plot involving Stammadon and only exists so Mykan can rip off Superhuman Samurai Syber-Squad. This is perhaps the worst example so far as the story rotates between two groups of main characters from chapter to chapter.
    • Season IX has two examples:
      • Probably the most infamous one is the Applejack and Apple Spice plotline. A good chunk of the plot of the season is devoted to an Arranged Marriage plotline involving Applejack being engaged to a childhood friend of hers, Apple Spice, due to an agreement made by their parents years ago despite neither being for it. You might think this ties into the main plot given the bad guys are waging a war against love and marriage but it never does and the whole thing is resolved at the last minute with Apple Spice ending up with Pinkie Pie.
      • The season also has an arc with Daybreaker that doesn't contribute much to anything.
  • Uncanny Valley: The Unicornicopians are represented as pony heads on top of humanoid bodies, and later the Equestrians are forcibly converted into being the same thing. The result is completely unsettling, with some characters resembling colourful tikbalangs. Not helping is how obviously photoshopped the images are.
    • Probably the worst example is Brain, who's supposed to look old, but has a younger face with a balding head.
  • Uncertain Audience: The series bounces back and forth between violent themes (despising love and compassion, advocating Violence Is the Only Option, characters getting Killed Off for Real) and lighthearted elements (spontaneous musical numbers, wholesale references to shows like Today's Special, and knock-off Power Rangers fight scenes). As a result, the series is too dark for kids while simultaneously being too immature for adults.

Alternative Title(s): My Little Unicorn


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