Alright, I'll get straight to the point: I don't like Fluttershy. I suppose this has something to do with the fact that I don't like "moe" characters in general. I know some of you are really into those but count me out. Generally speaking, moe characters are boring as fuck.
That said, even though she's almost inherently boring, the writers managed to put her in situations that are genuinely funny, and I applaud them for that. Still, I probably had more fun drawing the rabbit that's sick of being treated like a baby.
Well, Pinkie Pie can be labeled as an air-head. Spike can be labeled as the stereotypical boy, Rarity the shallow egoist with nothing better on her mind but fashion.
So my point is, using labels such as "moe" to express your views on a character, is rather boring and limiting in itself. LOL
Count me out on the sardonic perspective. I'm sure there are different characters to express different aspects of people that come out when in a group like that. There's always the goofy one, the serious one, the shy one, aggressive, etc.
I don't have anything against Moe That said, the only moe series I ever watched was Haruhi, which I did enjoy. The other series never really caught my attention, mostly because their premises didn't appeal to me.
What's wrong with labeling a genre such as moe? While it isn't my personal taste, I can understand why moe characters are appealing. Being able to label something doesn't make it inherently bad. Of course, this seems more like you just don't like the label itself, which you are entirely entitled to but somewhat pointless since, well, anime fans seem to have embraced it (hence it will progressively cement itself in our vocabulary).
I understand that Fluttershy is intended to be adorable, which works incredibly well with the show's target audience. I'm actually surprised how they still managed to make her somewhat interesting.
I guess its because people throw around MOE for anything they deem as cute and after a while, the term loses its meaning or becomes annoying. I don't really see FS as moe because, well, she actually has a personality and one that doesn't seem so tacked on.
One of the things I don't like about Moe series is the style often applied. Its not just cute, but there are some artist who make it very boring and static. We have the same characters with big eyes but other than that, they seem empty and emotionless. If you assigned cardboard personalities to them, you get a combo of boring but after watching the series, I began to open up to Fluttershy because her character is actually a bit interesting and she has been given times to show there is more to her than looking doe-eyed and speaking softly.
As I have seen, there is some moe that is better than others. One of my favorite comedy series is Vampier Doll Guilt Na Za which I was surprised to find is MOE even though it has NONE of the characteristics. Its cute and has the eyes and eveyrthing but it doesn't have that coldness that a lot of bad moe series have. The characters (at least to me) actually have a chance to be characters, no matter how silly they are which is all the better because the story, if read aloud, sounds like something that she be taken a lot more seriously than what is actually presented.
Other times, it get really confusing when people just slap moe on something. There are things that I think are adorable that aren't particularly moe and there are things that are moe that I don't think are cute at all.
She kinda looks fat. But I like it, it seems more realistic as to why she's so shy.
And yeah, I don't like her either-or at least not as much as I like the others. When I first seen her reaction to Twilight I was thinking she'd NEVER talk to anything but animals and that would be cool. : D lovely pic none the less!
Personally, I would rather see a character who is shy based on other reasons besides body image, or at least a character that isn't female. What I mean is that it seems to be a cheap and easy card to play when it comes to character issues and I'm not trying to say that image issues AREN'T an issue. I just find it annoying at best that to a lot of people, a female's characters insecurity can only be based around her body frame, not other issues. I'd rather see Fluttershy be shy due more to other social things like maybe she just couldn't be as outgoing as some of her friend or other people (ponies) thought her fondness for animals and other hobbies weren't of the norm.
tl:dr- You can have other issues in your life besides body issues and be shy but yeah.
Totally understand you, Inkbottle. It's understandable when it happens.. but when it's hackneyed and overdone to the point where people automatically assume that's the ONLY reason for female insecurity, it really blinds society into looking deeper. Or worse, make it look misplaced when a "large female" IS secure and confident (oops, I mean "bitchy" right? xD )
It also makes shy guys and other reasons to be shy completely invisible. As if they don't exist OR if they are.. they're not real guys, etc.
But also awkward cause it *looks* as though we're trying to be "PC" or control the way people are thinking -- but the truth is, these things really DO end up influencing the way people think (as a mass) especially little kids, etc.. So I'm looking forward to the day the awkwardness passes and humanity catches up. lol!
First off, I appreciate the time you took to type out these insightful comments. That doesn't happen that often.
I can tell you that my opinion of Fluttershy has changed since I drew this, since she's gotten more screen time. Is she my favorite? Not really, but she is a very fun character and surpassed moe-status a long time ago.
When it comes to the show, Fluttershy is shy because, well, that's what she is to the point it's in her name. My initial thought when drawing this was not to give her a sweater due to a poor body image, but because I wanted to portray her as a hippie/environmentalist who wears thick clothing to save on heating (a notion that the latest episodes seem to contradict).
Yes, shyness can have a variety of reasons, but I think we don't see many shy characters in fiction because, well, they're boring. That's why Fluttershy is a surprisingly enjoyable character, because they use her shyness as a source of comedy. I think I agreed with the notion that the thick sweater is due to (self-perceived) poor body image because shy characters tend to lack confidence, turning the sweater more into something as a means to shield one self.
The clothing choice brings to mind someone who is down to earth and comfortable in thick, comfy and as you said, protective clothing which adds to FS's personality. Of course, I guess I could see her in lighter clothing for spring and summer but there I go with my clothing/personality thing again! XD
But yeah, when I first saw the series I really thought they were going to go the way of every other shy character in a girl-oriented cartoon but I'm glad that they were able to expand a bit on that. FS may not be my top pony but I like her and what some of the writers have been able to do with her.