FimFiction Link - Short ID: 4656/anthropology
Published: Dec '11 — Jul '12
Anthropology is a 130k word fic starring the fandoms favorite background pony Lyra. Lyra is a moderately successful musician living with her platonic roommate Bon-Bon. As the title implies, Lyra is obsessed about humans and despite everypony around her thinking that she's off her rocker and humans quite obviously are such a myth that even considering them real is just childish silliness. On the contrary Lyra herself is that odd mix of theatrically paranoid that she's absolutely convinced that the equestrian government is out to get her, but also is perfectly willing to tell anyone and everyone including personal student of the nation's ruler herself Twilight Sparkle all about it. The first half the story has her trying to figure out her dreams, researching the tiny scraps(and entire archives of human books for some reason), experimenting with hands and all sorts of related hijinks as her roommate tries to figure out
Lyra is a fun character to read, and despite her lack of critical thinking skills, and the fact that 12 years old is a perfectly reasonable age to move out of your parents house and in with a stranger for 4 years in ponyland(this is relevant later), the character just comes across as absolutely genuine.
The other characters in the book don't actually add a whole lot. Bon-bon is kind of a bitch and remains a bitch throughout the entire series with her hangups about humans, and how Lyra is incredibly passionate about it and all Bon-bon does is tear her down and try to get her to do her music career. I get what the author was trying to go for, but I have to wonder why they are even friends. It also doesn't help that Bon-bon comes across as an adult given that she's the landlord and as we've mentioned Lyra is a teenager, though nobody in ponyland seems to find this odd which is interesting worldbuilding to say the least
Twilight is the only other character for the first half of the story Before the big twist and there's not much to say about her either. She was asked by Celestia to learn about humans with Lyra, and while Lyra is suspicous she gets over it in like a paragraph and its barely given any lip service.
The first half of the story culminates in Lyra going to go perform at the gala(not that gala) where the story basically ends. Only there's like 70k words left to go.
The story is over, Lyra was right all along, the government was actively trying to suppress knowledge of humans the whole time not only that but the reason why Lyra was having all those human centric dreams was because it turns out she was human all along and a magical accident brought her into equestria as a baby this specific thing is never actually explained as there's drama and conflict to be had with her parents over it and we transition to the next book, or the other 70k words published as a single narrative. 1/2
Lyra was adopted and was taken in by the pony parents, only Celestia doesnt want humans in equestria because of how chaotic they are, which granted, the only pony more hectic in this continuity then Lyra is Twilight, though thats because the show up to at the latest season 3 is canon. Lyra wants to be human again, and gets sent to iowa, where shes taken in by some good samaritans as we get the tried and true fish out of water story as Lyra pretends to have lived on earth all this time her new friends, who actually recognize that getting kicked out at 12 and living basically on your own till 16 is kinda odd think she was kidnapped and raised by the Amish.
She makes friends, joins a band, and tries to find her real parents while adjusting to human culture as her bubbly and incredibly naive self through another suspicious coincidence to move the plot along, she finds out her real parents are actually these famous fantasy writers all along, and the writer just kinda goes along with it, which is the real reason why she started the fic at 16 in my view because otherwise this plotline wouldn't exactly work if Lyra was a full fledged adult. Its just really weird.
More culture shock and a few more friends are made until the plot comes a knocking and we get a real villian Discord. who she defeats with her new friends after going back to equestria for a minute and exposing herself as a unicorn to her new family, Celestia kinda just goes along with this and sends her back without much protest.
Ultimately while I enjoyed this fic while reading it a great deal, the prose felt natural and Lyra is just a fun character, weird worldbuilding choices coupled with a plot held together with a ton of coincidences, like the following
>Celestia has been censoring history about humans for a thousand years but for some reason theres an entire archive of books about humans in canterlot right when Lyra gets interested that she just missed. This is never addressed.
>After arriving on earth Lyra just happens to find a willing family to take her in after meeting her, when she was busking.
>Later when shes having a lot of trouble finding her family, the band run by creepy 30 somethings just happens to recognize the person who is lyra's dad because hes actually a famous writer.
and so on and so forth. Its enjoyable and easy to read and nothing is overtly retarded aside from Lyra herself, but its really convienent each time and those add up in retrospect. The ending also came out of nowhere where we got an out of place action sequence that parroted the nightmare moon fight from the pilot. Overall its a 5/10. Its a decent read, and i didnt waste my time, but its not really anything of quality.