It's Nightmare Night in Ponyville, and Princess Luna decides to pay a visit, determined to change her public image for the better.It's Nightmare Night in Ponyville, and Princess Luna decides to pay a visit, determined to change her public image for the better.It's Nightmare Night in Ponyville, and Princess Luna decides to pay a visit, determined to change her public image for the better.
"Luna Eclipsed" was a slight disappointment for me and not as good as the previous three Season 2 episodes. Which to me did better at making the characters equally interesting and rootable and balancing them so that there wasn't too much of some and too little of others. That does not mean that "Luna Eclipsed" is bad, actually it is very good, often great, and towards the better half of the season. Just that the previous three episodes were better in my view.
Will get the not so good things out of the way first. The previous three episodes did better at balancing the characters, their personality, their screen time and their development. Mostly "Luna Eclipsed" did very well in this aspect, with one character a triumph, but the balance this time was not always quite there with two in particular. Namely Pinkie Pie, usually fine especially when comic relief, but she is used too much here. What further makes that a problem is the way she is written, here she is very annoying and her attitude is quite cruel. Pipsqueak was also overused, but at least didn't annoy or frustrate me in as strong a way, so that was not a problem.
The other let down was Zecora. There is far too little of her, in fact she is really quite wasted and has very little personality or interesting material (other than her Morticia Addams-like costume). Actually questioned why she was even there, didn't see much purpose. The episode could have taken longer in allowing the town to get used to Luna, that for my taste was rushed.
On the other hand, the other characters are fine. Really like that even when four episodes into the season Twilight Sparkle is more interesting and better used than she was in a lot of Season 1 (especially in "Lesson Zero"). Spike is again far removed from the out of character jerk that was seen in "Owl's Well that Ends Well" and Applejack's empathetic side was lovely to see. The masterstroke was Luna though, a triumph of development. Love her design but it's her complexity that stands out, she has a very wide range of emotions, every kind you can think of really, and although the transitions between one to another are quick they didn't feel abrupt or jarring. Really sympathised with her, rooted for her to have fun and be gotten used to.
Dialogue here has winning humour, heart-warming pathos and a good moral delivered with enough force without being too much. The animation has vibrancy and atmosphere with striking backgrounds, Luna's character design (a lovely mix of intimdating and adorable) standing out in this regard. Had no problem with the placement or tone of the music and the storytelling engrosses, never feeling dull. The voice acting is great as ever, Tabithia St Germain as Luna being the standout, very nuanced vocal.
In summary, not flawless but very good. 8/10
- Nov 25, 2019