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Nimrod

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Personification of Non-Human Cartoons: MLP
« on: June 27, 2016, 03:42:07 AM »
Personification of non-human cartoons: MLP

There are numerous cartoon series that have non-human characters that due to fan appeal and fan art are eventually rendered as humans. The assumptions that these artists make when attributing physical characteristics to a non-human character are intriguing as the artist must assume or make accommodation for an aspect that is not cannon to the show.

If a particular show is popular, there may be many variations to a single character’s looks as there is not basis for it in the show. It can be very interesting to see that just through the storytelling and character development that the look of the human version is reach by consensus.

The first such series I decided to look at was My Little Pony.

THE REASON FOR THE SELECTION -
1) All the characters are equine in nature and therefore lack particular human traits that would have to be fabricated by an artist when making them fully human (as the MLP universe is decidedly anthropomorphic in nature)
2) MLP horses have essentially the same body and just change a few aspects such as color, marks, and hair.
3) There are many examples of people making analogous human versions of these horse characters.

METHOD and FILTERING of the SELECTION SET -
1) I selected only those images that had all main (mane six) characters of the show. Applejack, Flutter Shy, Rainbow Dash, Rarity, Pinky Pie, and Twilight Sparkle. (Yes, I had to look their names up)
2) I did not pick images that were Chibi, Paper Doll, Head-Swap, or **09** versions as these would not embody the aspects to be analyzed and to avoid any concerns of minors being depicted here at the BEA.
3) The primary aspects that were reviewed were; relative height, relative bust size, relative ethnicity as each of these are not in the original characters and would be expressed in human versions.

RESULTS -
After collecting 29 examples the met the criteria each group was ranked in each aspect.
An average of all 29 groups was calculated and the AVERAGE ranking of the primary character’s attributes was generated.

This average would be the general ranking of human height, human bust size, and human ethnicity for the otherwise non-human characters.

The AVERAGE HEIGHT ranks in descending order are;
Apple Jack (tallest)
Rarity
Flutter Shy
Twilight Sparkle
Rainbow Dash
Pinky Pie (shortest)

The AVERAGE BUST SIZE in descending order are;
Pinky Pie (largest)
Apple Jack
Flutter Shy
Rarity
Twilight Sparkle
Rainbow Dash (smallest)

The AVERAGE ETHNICITY of each was;
Apple Jack, Flutter Shy, and Pinky Pie - strongly Caucasian
Rainbow Dash - Hispanic / Caucasian mix
Rarity - Asian / Caucasian mix
Twilight Sparkle - Asian or Indian

INTERESTING RESULTS -
No artist actually created a work that actually matched the Average Ranks.
Some came close, but nobody actually created a group that fit what the majority consider the typical human look of these characters. This was statistically interesting.

The attached graphic includes the two closest versions.
Ironically the closest overall actually has the characters with the artists interpretation of their ages and in bras no less. It was just luck that this artist interpreted these characters very close to what the majority thinks they would look like.

Note: I have blurred out any graphic that could be interpreted as showing minors even though I already filtered out groups that I felt could be perceived so.
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rtpoe

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Re: Personification of Non-Human Cartoons: MLP
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2016, 11:08:35 PM »
Interesting!

I note that the prevalence of MLP erotica out there is kind of disturbing.....
rtpoe

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Whispering and bowing when the west wind passes,
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MaxBigfoot

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Re: Personification of Non-Human Cartoons: MLP
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2016, 11:44:32 PM »
Yeah, rule 34 can get pretty weird.   :P
Of course, sometimes it's pretty neat, as well.   ;)

MaxBigfoot

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Nimrod

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Re: Personification of Non-Human Cartoons: MLP
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2016, 04:21:35 AM »
This was very interesting from a perception standpoint for two major reasons:

1) There is no reference in the MLP Universe to directly define how busty or tall or ethnic these characters as humans would be. The artists just made up or reached some manner of consensus when drawing them.

2) Even with 29 versions it was amazing that not one artist actually hit the matching order of the 6 character's average rankings in either height, bust or ethnicity. There were some that came close but nobody actually matched the average arrangement.


In fact one artist had only flipped two characters in both height order and ethnic expression yet was totally off the average bust size distribution. So nobody was close on in all three categories.

This still brings back questions like;
- Why is Pinky Pie deemed the most busty?
- Why would Apple Jack be the tallest?
- What makes Twilight Sparkle Asian to so many people?

Other characters were notable for their tendency to constantly rank in the same manner;
- Rainbow Dash was consistently the least busty for most everyone, ranking well below the others with an average rank of 2.2 on bust - the next highest being Twilight Sparkle at an average bust ranking of 3.1.
- Flutter Shy had the least consistent bust ranking with an almost even spread seeing her from essentially flat all the way up to rather massive.
- Apple Jack was almost always the tallest with just a few instances where she was 4th or 5th and only one artist saw her as shortest. Apple Jack also is very often oddly seen as very busty ranking just below Pinky Pie.
- Twilight Sparkle is as ethnic as Rainbow Dash is flat. Twilight is often the most ethnic in the group depictions. She also was the most likely to run in the middle of height and bust size... sort of Jane Average of the group.
- Rarity probably had the widest overall range of features running from flat to busty, short to tall and from pale European to Asian - she is not defined by one aspect but rather an overall look, that being unlike the others.
- Pinky Pie was predominantly short in minds of the artists and often plump and most busty, she is decidedly the BBW of the group.

Addendum: I have added the summation table section just so one can see the raw results.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2016, 02:42:26 PM by Nimrod »
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Nimrod

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Re: Personification of Non-Human Cartoons: MLP
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2016, 11:39:34 PM »
While doing some follow-up research on this topic I happened upon a very related quote from a MLP fan site:

Quote
I hate when people draw anthro or humanized Fluttershy with big breasts. And because this has become a norm to the fandom I instantly look away from any humanized Fluttershy. The “people" with big breasts in the show from the main six would have to be Pinkie Pie, Rarity and Twilight Sparkle. Their life style and personalities fit this as Fluttershy’s don’t.

There is no explanation as to why they feel that Pinkie, Rarity, or Twilight would be the busty ones nor do they elaborate as to why lifestyle and personalities would fit those sizes. This started me on a parallel track. Do these characters actually have some indications as to what their heights, busts or ethnic background SHOULD be and not just what fans would like them to have...

To keep things simple I will make the assumption that the character's professions are dictated rather directly by their physique and that there is a high correlation between these aspects and the data about their past and lives from the show creators. (and not from fan fiction or non-cannon sources)

Character - Profession - Other Personality Data Basic Index
Apple Jack   -   Farmer   -   2nd Generation Family Farmer, Middle **09** and oldest daughter, Farm is an orchard (vegan/organic), simplistic and stubborn mindset
Flutter Shy  -  Veterinarian/Animal Care  -  Sole business owner (remote location), very shy and introverted with low self esteem and/or body issues, has a deep repressed hostility
Pinkie Pie  -  Baker/Catering  -  Multi-business owner, extroverted, money focused, youngest daughter of large repressive rural family, nearly manic or hyperactive with addiction tendency and/or OCD
Rainbow Dash - Meteorologist/Athlete (part-time) - Part-time job allows for strong athletic bent, very competitive, judgmental and aggressive, masculine mannerisms, implied lesbianism
Rarity  -  Seamstress/Fashion Designer  -  Business owner, extroverted and perfectionist, appearance motivated and superficial, implication of being older or more mature than others, oddly self-deprecating and giving at times (guilt or failure issues).
Twilight Sparkle  -  Royal Princess  -  Heredity and heraldic based position, sheltered and reserved but with knowledge based assertions, Student-Librarian-Teacher background, rule based approach to life, weaker social skills.

From this I would make the following suggestions to height / bust / ethnicity
Apple Jack
Height - medium
Bust - medium small (A or B)
Ethnicity - Austrian or Southern Germany
Strenuous farm labor on a vegan diet describes a lean body from a culture used to apple orchard farming which suggests northern climate continental origins. Overly short or tall frames are not conducive and multiple generations suggests that morphology would have stabilized to a mid-line Germanic height.

Flutter Shy
Height - tall
Bust - large to very large (F or G)
Ethnicity - Nordic/British Isles
Deep body image issues and extreme introversion would suggest early body ridicule and early unique physical features. This coupled with skin and eye coloring point to a tall thin but busty frame from northern Europe. Remote animal business location supports a familiarity to Nordic social conditions.

Pinkie Pie
Height - medium tall
Bust - medium large (D or E)
Ethnicity - Irish/British Isles
Strong extroversion and hard focused work effort in a bakery with an implied harsh agrarian "rock farm" youth with possible nutritional deficiencies coupled with the eye and hair color strongly point to Irish background. Malnutrition in youth (and being youngest and thus oldest gametes) point to neurological and behavior issues. General build would be strong, slightly stocky but rounded as per British Isles norm.

Rainbow Dash
Height - short
Bust - very small (AA or A)
Ethnicity - Hispanic
Excessive athletic fixation and overly competitive extroverted actions meld well with a compensating behavior for lack of overly famine features and stature especially in light of the implied lesbian tendencies all of which could come from a youth in a more chauvinistic culture. Lack of a full-time job (one that is shared with others doing the same role) points to an internal conflict with cultural norms and gender roles.

Rarity
Height - medium tall
Bust - medium (C or D)
Ethnicity - Italian/Japanese mix
A background from cultures with a high fixation on appearance, arts, fashion, etc. but just lacking the physical ideal (being a little too short and a little too busty) needed to actually accomplish a career as a model there would be a move to produce the works and move just outside the focus or live through others while still yearning for acceptance.

Twilight Sparkle
Height - medium
Bust - medium large (D or E)
Ethnicity - Asian Indian (high caste mother) with British landed aristocrat father
Due to the burdens of a very regimented and prescribed youth and the focus on title, standing, and merit based on birth the yearning for normal social interaction would be along channels provided by others in control, such as boarding/prep school and books and not normal interaction. The burden to try and mesh cultural pressures and family or peerage history of repression would cause a focus/reliance on impersonal and detached rules of conduct and proper decorum while remaining social naive.
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Nimrod

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Re: Personification of Non-Human Cartoons: MLP
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2016, 11:19:35 AM »
Interesting!

I note that the prevalence of MLP erotica out there is kind of disturbing.....

I totally agree. Doing research for this thread really showed just the massive quantity of this stuff, especially for MLP.
That was a bit off-putting for me as this is a show intended for youngsters.  ???

Below is a graphic that I tacked back to the very end of 2010*, only 2 months after the show (MLP version 4) had premiered and already discussions of the appropriate builds of more human versions of these characters was underway by very early fans of the show.

* this specific graphic was a bit later, however it was drawn by an artist who had already made fan fiction and one-off comics with the more distinct physical features shown here only a few weeks into the run of the show.
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Nimrod

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Re: Personification of Non-Human Cartoons: MLP
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2016, 01:00:08 AM »
It should be noted that there is some difference in rank when considering the individual characters of MLP when not shown in a group. The character that is of greatest conversation is Fluttershy.

When shown humanoid and by herself she is the most likely to be depicted as busty or super busty.

This is also true when just two or three are shown, or even when they are all shown busty, she will tend to be the largest of that smaller group.

This is so common that quotes like the one I included above have made it into the fan lexicon.
There are many conversations about this trend and this image of a commonly busty Fluttershy does appear to have been in place from the very start.

Reasons put forward have included:
1) It is just how she was first shown personified and that simply became the norm.
2) It follows a meme or thrope of either anime or other internet standard.
3) It matches with people's opinion of what a motherly and nurturing character would be.
4) It fits with the perception that the shy character has hidden beauty or assets.
5) It fits that the clumsy character has qualities that offset this physical deficit.
6) It gives the "weakest" character something unique or more than any of the others.
7) It actually is what the creator of the character envisioned and thus has not challenged the trend.

It is still odd that this version of Fluttershy only holds when shown by herself or just a few others.
As soon as the whole group is shown, she often drops in size.
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