My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic ‘Wonderbolts Academy’ Review

It’s not just about pushing ourselves. It’s about pushing ourselves in the right direction.” ~Spitfire

This week’s Friendship is Magic episode stars Rainbow Dash. The thing here is that she finally enters the Wonderbolts Academy to become, well, a Wonderbolt. This episode has been getting a considerable amount of hype. (It was also leaked a few days ago, but I waited until its official premiere date.) It looked to be a character defining story for Rainbow, character development for the Wonderbolts, and maybe the return of the elusive Derpy. (That doesn’t happen.) This episode is still very good, but probably my least favorite of the season yet.

Here’s the official episode description from The Hub:

Rainbow Dash can’t believe her luck when she gets an exclusive invitation to enroll at Wonderbolt Academy, but soon she is wondering whether she is really cut out for the school and whether someone else would be a better fit.

This one starts out with the Mane 6 having a picnic and Pinkie Pie going all crazy wondering if Rainbow had been accepted into the Academy or not. Twilight funnily comments “Pinkie Pie, you’re more nervous than Rainbow Dash.” Once the Mailpony arrives, Rainbow receives her proof of entry and flies off to the Academy in hopes of becoming an elite flyer. Inside the Academy she meets Lightning Dust, a Pegasus whom is very similar to Rainbow in personality and ability to fly amazingly good. First off, it’s important to mention none of the Wonderbolts appear other than Spitfire. A missed opportunity for sure, the Wonderbolts are the elite flyers of Equestria, yet in their few appearances we don’t get to know much about them. But, with that said, we see that Spitfire is a tough-as-nails drill sergeant. This episode has made me a fan of her, I hope she and her two teammates get to do more in the show. Also, despite saving them in Sonic Rainboom and meeting up with them in The Best Night Ever, Spitfire doesn’t seem to recognize Rainbow as the Pony that had saved them once. In fact, it’s almost as if they’re meeting for the first time! Lightning Dust is the new character here, she was seen in the promos for Season 3, so fans were curious of who she would be. She’s not exactly a polar opposite to Rainbow, rather she is what Dash could be if the latter wanted to be the best without any regard for the Ponies around her. It’s a great dynamic as the episode goes on, we see Rainbow noticing how reckless Lightning Dust is of her surroundings.

The rest of the Mane 6 get a few appearances, with Pinkie Pie being a focus. I’m a fan of her, but sometimes she could be written as rather annoying, this episode is an example of that. Does she expect a letter to appear out of thin air in the mailbox? I did not like her portrayal in this episode. The hot air balloon from the theme song makes its triumph return, and it gets shaken when struck by a twister. It’s a pretty funny scene for sure, although, I didn’t like how Fluttershy didn’t fly. She’s a Pegasus, she knows it, yet there she was falling down with the rest of the non-winged Ponies. Of course, it is admittedly funny when a Pegasus ‘saves’ Fluttershy then the latter blushes at the fact that she could have been flying and the other Pegasus looking annoyed at her. Funny, but doesn’t excuse her not flying in the first place.

Overall, this episode was rather disappointing in that I was expecting more with the story. In the end however, it’s a pretty good story and maybe the best Rainbow Dash-centered one. Sadly the Wonderbolts don’t appear, other than Spitfire, whom was definitely a highlight. Lightning Dust was a good character, this will probably be her first and last appearance, but she serves her purpose as a ‘meaner version’ of Rainbow. Pinkie Pie’s annoying portrayal aside, this was a good story for especially Rainbow Dash fans. (No Derpy though.)