We're stepping into a different kind of spoiler today...
Now that season seven of the show proper is on hiatus, it is now time to cross back over into the other universe and see what everybody's favorite humans are up to. Yes, it is time for me to start looking at the three Equestria Girls specials! Since each special is of a similar length to an episode of FiM, I'll be doing separate posts for each special, starting with this one - "Dance Magic", but, before I say anything else, let's put this on record: 2017 has been the craziest year for both pony and EqG. To illustrate, these specials aired in Poland many weeks before their US airdates of June 24, July 1, and July 8. Of course, they were dubbed in Polish, but that didn't stop me and many others from watching all three.
Then news came out that Brazil was joining the early-release party - "Dance Magic" airing on June 17, and, since it was airing on the same network as Legend of Everfree, everybody knew that somebody was going to upload the English version to a site like Dailymotion.
Then somebody found out that Poland carried the English version as well and promptly uploaded them to Dailymotion. As a result, I am writing this on June 11! So, how about that special? Well, what if I told you that it featured the Shadowbolts... Inexplicably minus Indigo Zap, but, in any case, this is the first time they've appeared in anything since the third EqG movie, Friendship Games. That immediately got me excited, considering Friendship Games, while not as good as Rainbow Rocks (then again, I doubt Rainbow Rocks's status as the best EqG movie will ever be topped), was very good on its own right. Oh, and being called "Dance Magic" and being something Equestria Girls-related, you knew there was going to be some kind of music number. Here, it happens to be part of the storyline. Speaking of...
We start off with our humane six washing Big Mac's truck. We find out that they are trying to raise funds to fix Camp Everfree, and the car wash was part of that fundraiser. Twilight comes in carrying all the money they've gotten so far, and, so far, they only have half of the funds they need. Considering almost everybody in the group has tried to chip in in their own way, everybody wonders what is next. Rarity hasn't done anything yet, but she has a plan and calls for everybody to meet her in the music room later on. Spoilers: she has nothing, but, at the mall, she comes across a TV ad for a music video competition. She then immediately runs to sign up for the competition... and runs into Sour Sweet, Sunny Flare, Lemon Zest, and Sugarcoat of Crystal Prep Academy. Again, no Indigo Zap for some strange reason. Anyways, they're here to sign up for the competition as well. Rarity goes ahead and shares literally everything she had in mind for the Rainbooms' music video with the 'Bolts... and later on, with the rest of the Rainbooms. However, there is one problem. They would need to use the money they've raised so far in order to help with the music video - costumes and stuff. Of course, everybody agrees to take this risk.
Cut to later on still, when the 'Booms start working on their video. A lot of things go wrong - missed cues, ripped clothing, among other things. That ripped clothing sends Rarity back to the fabric store at the mall, and, after Rarity is finished doing business there, she stumbles upon the 'Bolts working on their video... using Rarity's idea. Now I bet she wished she didn't spill literally all the beans with regard to her ideas for the Rainbooms' video in front of the 'Bolts' faces. Anyways, we then see Rarity working on fixing that ripped clothing in her bedroom, when the rest of the 'Booms show up. Rarity shares the fact that the 'Bolts now have her ideas and concepts and are now seemingly executing them better than their own attempts so far. While the rest of the group tries to reassure her that the 'Booms will knock it out of the park, Rarity promises everybody that she will give those Crystal Prep students a piece of her mind. Twilight eventually agrees to join her, if only to point her in the right direction... to the school itself, that is. The two of them then sneak into the school and work their way into the music room, where they see the four 'Bolts practicing. Insert crazy Rarity face here. It is then revealed that the 'Bolts have seemingly finished work on their video and will be submitting it soon. Back on home turf, after Rarity shares this with the rest of the humane seven, everybody eventually agrees to come up with a new video concept.
Several failed concepts later, Rarity basically admits defeat, goes to the ice cream parlor, and mopes in the only way she can. The 'Bolts happen to be there as well, talking about... a new concept for their video. Of course, this gets Rarity's attention, so she walks on over to the four and she says she has a plan... Later, in the Canterlot High gym, we see Rarity's plan in action: while the 'Booms were good at coming up with a song, they weren't good at dancing, while the reverse was true for the 'Bolts: good at dancing, bad at songwriting. You know where this is going: the two join forces, share a pretty good moral, make their crazy good music video, and, of course, wind up winning the competition. The song itself was very good and memorable - but I'll stick to my Black Sabbath, Blue Öyster Cult, Judas Priest, and Witchfinder General, thank you very much. (No offense if any 'Booms or 'Bolts happen to be reading this - that style of music is definitely not my preference.) Oh, and I haven't mentioned what the Crystal Prep students were going to do if they were to win. Their goal was to host their spring dance on a yacht using the money won. Well, it turns out the cash prize was big enough for both that to happen and the Camp Everfree fundraiser to be a success. We see all 11 of them watching their video on a TV at the mall, and they celebrate. Rarity suggests to Sour Sweet that the Rainbooms perform the song at the Crystal Prep spring dance, which Sour Sweet seems to be fine with. Everybody then rolls off to get some celebreatory chow, and... roll credits!
I think it's going to be hard for the next two specials to top this one, because folks, this was good - and I've seen the other two specials already! While I'm still not 100% sold on the idea of an actual EqG-focused TV series or miniseries, my message to the EqG team is this: If such a thing ever happens, take a look back at "Dance Magic", because this might be the best reference as to how an EqG TV series might look and feel. Not to give too much of the other two specials away for those who haven't seen them yet, but this special, to me, was the most consistent and well-paced of the three, with a story that felt like something FiM has tackled in the past ("Rarity Takes Manehatten", anybody?). Okay, "Movie Magic" is good as well, but I think this one just barely edges it out. The twist - the 'Booms and 'Bolts teaming up to make the video - felt very satisfying to see play out when the song started up. It might've been a bit predictable, but I consider being predictable not a bad thing if you have good execution - and this definitely had good execution. Now, I did have a few problems here. I legit cringed when Rarity spilled her ideas for the Rainbooms' video right in front of the Shadowbolts' faces. Of course, it wound up becoming moot at the end, but still... On the other hand, it's one of those scenarios where I'm not sure how else it could've been written while still keeping this storyline intact, and, considering Rarity was pretty good in every other part of this special, I'll chalk it up to being a nitpick of mine. Heck, I consider Indigo Zap's odd absence even more jarring than anything Rarity did in this. Seriously, where was she? Though, what we did see from the Shadowbolts here was really good. Maybe Indigo would've muddied the waters more, leaving the other 'Bolts with less room to breathe and develop. The big highlight of this was, indeed, the music number. I really hate to constantly make Rainbow Rocks comparisons because I know I get tired of making them and constantly saying that RR's songs (the Dazzlings', specifically - oh please EqG team, have them appear again some day, if only Sonata) are still good to this day, so I'll just say that, of all the songs EqG has pulled off over the years, this one was really good. Again, maybe not my taste, but still, I found myself appreciating it. Overall, this shows that EqG can work in a format like this - good story, good comedy, good music number, good pacing... To some, including me, this might be as good as it gets when it comes to these specials.
Next week: Our humane seven travel to a movie studio to see the filming of the next Daring Do film... Yeah, Daring Do is a film series as well as a series of novels in this universe! Oh, and some of the props are stolen. That's usually never good.
Am I going to have to start making a list of characters I'd like to see again in EqG media? The one I have for FiM is long enough, but the one for EqG might just be even longer, and the Crystal Prep gals will be right below the Dazzlings on that list... Maybe that's where a possible EqG TV series could shine.