Male audience ponies up ‘Friendship is Magic’
Published: Sunday, November 20, 2011
Updated: Monday, November 21, 2011 15:11
Brony. The combination of "bro" and "pony," a brony is a self-describing term used to identify males who watch, follow and are fans of the show "My Little Pony."
Having originally aired in the 1980s, the colorful animated show featuring a variety of ponies was re-launched in Oct. 2010.
Aimed at young girls, the newer version of the show, "Friendship is Magic," has attracted a surprisingly large number of male viewers.
The show takes place in the fantasy world of Equestria and follows a young unicorn, Twilight Sparkle, who is mentored by the ruler of Equestria, Princess Celestia.
After noticing that Twilight Sparkle spends all of her time studying and little to none of her time making friends, Princess Celestia sends her protégé to the town of Ponyville to make friends and learn the magic of friendship.
This sounds like the very last thing that most any male would be interested in watching, right? Viewer ratings and polls say otherwise.
Yet even the most zealous bronies admit to finding their dedication a tad surprising. Shaun Scotellaro, 23-year-old creator of the pony-inspired website, Equestria Daily, said, "Honestly, if someone were to have told me I'd be writing a pony blog seven months ago, I would have called them insane."
His sentiments are echoed by fellow fans, who have similarly surrendered to the show's appeal.
While some male fans feel a little foolish for enjoying a show aimed at a much younger audience, many attribute their devotion to the show's exceptional animation, multi-dimensional characters and interestingly entertaining plot.
Likewise, some viewers claim to identify with the plucky ponies, relating the characters' flaws and problems to their own lives.
There seems to be no apparent trend among the male viewers. Followers range from homosexual to heterosexual, young to old.
The hype goes beyond merely viewing the show, and many male fans collect figurines based on the show's characters, create fan pages, post their own pony art and upload pony videos to YouTube.
By the end of season one, bronies claimed to be ravenous for more of the show.
Time will tell whether the lapse between season one and two will cause the hype to die down, or it may serve to create even more bronies.