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There's a big coronation on the horizon in the land of Equestria!
People all over the world will be tuning in to see the unicorn pony Twilight Sparkle become a princess Alicorn (for any lay-ponies out there, that means she's getting her wings) on Saturday morning's episode of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.
But here's a twist: the most dedicated fans of this cartoon series (which is targeted at five-year-old girls) are men in their teens and 20s.
They call themselves "bronies," and they are fiercely devoted to My Little Pony. Not only do they watch all the episodes and endlessly discuss plot points and themes in online forums, they also create pony art, post fan videos and even attend conventions.
And they're serious about their adoration:
“First we can’t believe this show is so good, then we can’t believe we’ve become fans for life, then we can’t believe we’re walking down the pink aisle at Toys R Us or asking for the girl’s toy in our Happy Meal,” said Luke Allen in an e-mail to Wired.com. “Then we can’t believe our friends haven’t seen it yet, then we can’t believe they’re becoming bronies too.”
Show creator Lauren Faust said she was surprised by the response:
"This might be a little short-sighted on my part, but I just assumed that any adult man who didn't have a little girl wouldn't even give it a try ... The fact that they did and that they were open-minded and cool enough and secure in their masculinity enough to embrace it and love it and go online and talk about how much they love it - I'm kind of proud."
It's not just guys; there are also tons of teenage and college-age female fans. Some call themselves pegasisters, others hate the label and believe the term "brony" should be unisex.
But regardless of gender, they almost unanimously say that they're drawn to the show because of quality of the programming.
"The awesome animation and great characters makes the show appealing to all generations," said Sethisto from Equestria Daily (one of the most popular My Little Pony fan blogs). "Friendship is Magic is breaking all sorts of societal boundaries, and those brave enough to weather its initial stigma see it firsthand."
All of the excitement comes to a head this weekend, with "Magical Mystery Cure" - airing (Feb 16th) at 10:30 am ET / 7:30 am PT.
Will you be watching?
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