Chapter 11: Fin
(Please note that any images used in this post are by the artists listed. They are placeholders and I hope to have art expressly drawn for this book to replace these images. If you are interested in submitting something, please see this post.)
Conclusion and / or introduction (will move ideas about, suggestions welcome):
“But wait!” You may be frantically asking at this point. “I’ve heard some horrible, awful, disgusting things about ponies and bronies and what they do online!”
If you have those thoughts, I acknowledge that it is true that there are terrible things online, but they exist for every fan group out there. As mentioned throughout this book, much of the bad pony out there is created by those trying to incite Bronies, rather than by true Bronies. If you haven’t had these thoughts, take this as the grain of salt – there will be disturbing pony content if you dig too deep online. I will be writing an annex that addresses these depths of the fandom, but they first and foremost are not considered to be a part of the mainstream Brony community, and second, they do not reflect the morals that the show and bronies themselves hold dear. Please bear that in mind.
Now that I have outlined what is ‘Brony’ to the best of my ability, I’d like to readdress the questions I raised in the introduction, and discuss it a little further before bidding you adieu.
Who? and What?
To ask what is a Brony is to ask a question that may only be answered by a cultural anthropologist. I have offered a humble set of vignettes to show how every brony likes different things about the fandom. This will vary from person to person. Many like the same things, but with so many different aspects of the fandom to like, the mass that is Brony is much larger than any single person. We are all part of the herd.
Bronies are commonly misconceived as guys that like a girly show. Though most bronies are grown men, this statement is not a true characterization. My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is a well-animated series, with rich, dynamic characters and stories that hold morals for both young and old. It has a world that captures the imagination, and songs that echo that wonder. It is a show that brings viewers back to a younger, more positive time, when there weren’t stereotypes such as the one that Bronies themselves are cast under. It encourages friendship without judgement and to live for your dreams. Bronies believe in all these things, and are not ashamed to say that out loud.
If reading this book has made you a Brony, welcome to the herd. If it hasn’t, I hope you at least understand the depth of the name ‘Brony,” and accept them for who they are. If you haven’t accepted these reasons, and still hate Bronies or think that they are all gays that need to go to a brainwashing camp, then I’m truly sorry you feel that way and hope that you will give us another chance.
Though its origins are known, when (if ever) the fandom will end is unknown. The show has signed on for its third season and what will happen after that is out of bronies’ hands. Should the show end, bronies will be sure to continue creating stories, music, videos, art and games of ponies for quite a long time.
To be honest, I see this fandom as being much like Pokémon. The show, though it originated in Japan, was a very successful animated series that had great characters and songs as well. And although it did end, there were spinoff series for a very long time after. While Friendship is Magic does not have a sanctioned trading card game and video game series such as Pokemon, MLP FIm is currently slated for 3 and one half seasons, at least. And just like Pokemon, I see the fans continuing to produce for quite some time; perhaps they might even make their own fan series on their own. I also see the creativity of the show, the availability of merchandise, and the love of the fans for the characters as reasons that this fandom will be popular for generations of children. With any hope, it may one day be as popular as shows like Looney Tunes are to this day.
Bronies are everywhere, from the smallest towns to the largest cities. Their presence has inundated the Internet, and they don’t show any signs of going away.
Indeed, if you learned anything from this book, I hope that you understand that “why” cannot be answered for every brony as one collective whole. But if you see a brony at your work or at the library or on the street, it’s okay to ask them why. Every story is personal and reveals the brony’s true talent that connects them with this massive fandom. It is a thing of pride and gives bronies the unity and acceptance that we hope everyone else will also hold dear.
Thank you for reading this. I am so truly happy that I can share this little bit with the world, and hope that it does help the world to understand this amazing fandom.