Shortly after airing, an article on CartoonBrew claims that this is "the end of a creator-driven era in TV animation." It's said by many that children's shows are no more than marketing ploys to get children to buy more toys. [The network that airs My Little Pony is co-owned by Hasbro after all.] No matter what Hasbro's intentions were, the production team behind Friendship is Magic made sure that the cartoon they were producing was indeed of high quality.
Many users of 4Chan, a popular image board, latched onto the show. Users began to post thread after thread of endless pictures of ponies. At one point, pictures of ponies were even banned from the site due to abuse, and many people rose up against the show expressing deep hatred toward those who even mention something pony related. To this day, there are still many who think poorly of bronies. This is likely due to the fact that some bronies love the show and the fandom to the extent that they usually end up spamming pony related things where they are not wanted. Not only that, but some like to take something as innocent as My Little Pony and make it into something dirty or suggestive, thus tarnishing the brony name.
It was likely the anti-pony movement that made bronies what they are today. The more something is opposed, the higher the supporters must rise up, and rise up they did. Bronies soon began to create their own websites. After seeing so much opposition from 4Chan users, bronies moved on to create PonyChan, an image board just for My Little Pony related content. Many brony-created sites are around today, ranging from Facebook alternatives such as Bronysquare to entire news networks such as Everfree Radio.
The show is centered around six main characters, known to the fans as the "Mane Six." Each of these ponies have a very unique personality, as well as a magical element known as The Elements of Harmony. Together they are able to harness their powers to defeat evil villains and mythical beasts, be it through the sheer power of magic or through more conventional means. When they are not fighting monsters or going on epic quests, they live out their lives in a peaceful and quaint town called Ponyville. They have jobs, homes, friends, and hobbies. This balance of adventure and a friendly small-town feeling gives the show a whole lot of heart, as well as action and adventure.
The show also contains various pop culture references, ranging from James Bond to Tay Zonday's Chocolate Rain. The show also heavily embraces the brony fandom, giving many shoutouts and references; sometimes hidden and other times in plain view. This offical TV spot gives a direct shoutout to the bronies by name, further proof that the show is aware of and embraces the fandom.
Bronies are known for their creative works. Art, music, animation, and fan fictions are just a few things that bronies create based around their favorite characters, or original characters that they create themselves. There is so much brony-created content that much of it actually rivals the show itself; there's even multiple fully fan-created episodes both completed and in the works, along with many other crossovers and even live-action shorts.
Bronies also meet in-person at scheduled meetups and conventions, as seen in the image near the top of this page. These meetups can range from a couple bronies watching an episode together, to annual conventions that bring out the best artists, game designers, and musicians by the thousands. Bronies also work together to support charities, raising tens of thousands of dollars through various campaigns.
The brony fandom is dynamic and expansive. If you're interested in the show itself, the series is available on iTunes, Google Play, and even Netflix. The show has also been uploaded to Youtube by fans, and the Hub TV Network allows free streaming of a couple recent episodes. Keep in mind, to fully grasp the show you must see more than just one or two episodes.
Aside from the show itself, there are tons of great brony websites out there ranging from informative sites such as this one, to social networks and forums, to massive networks covering multiple media formats. Check out the various links above for details, and see links to informative articles below.
Thanks for your interest in Bronydom!
Intrigued? Read more: