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RWBY Recap: Volume 6, Episode 13 – Think Happy Thoughts

At long last, we’re given one parting glimpse into the machinations of Neo and Cinder. In the process, some insight is also gained into Neo’s semblance: her changeling abilities aren’t limited to herself. Right before Cinder’s eyes, she transforms a Mistralese airship into an Atlesian military-grade one — at least, on the outside. But that’s not the only thing she’s changed. Wherever they’re headed, this nefarious pair seems to think less is more in terms of fabric. Neo’s new costume design, while disappointingly objectifying in my opinion, incorporates elements of Roman Torchwick’s, right down to the feathered bowler hat. I’ll give them points for intention, even if the application is terrible.

Meanwhile, in Argus, the Grimm consequences Caroline Cordovan brought upon her community need addressing. There’s a gigantic Leviathan Grimm creeping towards the city, drawn to Cordovan’s negative emotions and Ruby’s lantern (which is suddenly important again). Too bad the only resource Argus had that was strong enough to defend its borders from gigantic Grimm attacks was just wasted, in nearly every sense of the word.

Yup, that’s what the mech was for.

Enter Ruby’s Silver Eyes power. If she can figure out how to summon it, she might be able to solve this latest ridiculously huge problem “her way.” After all, when there’s a gigantic Grimm terrorizing your city, when Ruby does things “her way,” nothing bad ever happens ever … in Chibi-Land. Yeah.

When you’re tasked with thinking happy thoughts to take out a Grimm, flying is easy. (Well, technically, it’s easy because Weiss is holding Ruby up with a Summoned flying wasp Grimm.) Getting her Silver Eyes to do their thing? That’s something else.

In her desperation, Ruby summons Jinn for the third time, though the clever genie catches on and lets our heroine off with a slap on the wrist. It’s unlikely this counts as a third and final question, but it gives Ruby just enough time to recover, calm herself down, and renew her efforts at enabling her power.

In the process, we’re treated to a beautiful montage of past scenes, some familiar and some not. Seeing them reinterpreted in Autodesk Maya is lovely in of itself, despite some of the depressing content. The very, very best part of this part is that we’re finally shown moving footage of Summer Rose, Ruby’s mother, as a grown woman. Seeing the stylistic similarities and differences between mother and daughter in a span of mere seconds is heartwarming, jaw-dropping, and … surely frustrating to all the amazing Summer Rose cosplayers I know who now have a lot of redesigning to do. Ultimately, one Allison Rose gets smashed right in the feelings, and Ruby finds her way to taking out the Grimm.

I still get goosebumps rewatching this moment, to be honest. Pardon me while I go watch it again, and revel in the aesthetic wonder that is the combination of dramatic timing and Casey Lee Williams’ singing.

Well, mostly. Cordovan cleans up the rest of the way in a very uncharacteristic bout of calmness. So while Cordovan steals some thunder, Ruby and company are free to resume their quest.

As Cordovan plots a course to Atlas, Qrow and Ruby share a tender moment, which in my mind, reinforces their blood tie. (And Blake and Yang share a totally tender moment in the back of the ship, which in my mind, reinforces their friendship. Yeah, I can hypocritically grasp at straws too, like the best of them.) And you can practically hear Qrow’s little Huntsman heart singing as Maria, his childhood heroine, offers him praise too. I will say, it’s nice to see how Ruby’s methods are rooted in Qrow’s, whose are, in turn, rooted in the Grimm Reaper’s.

Also, Oscar Pine is only fourteen. That means he’s too young for Ruby. Thank goodness.

Final thoughts: As an end to a story arc, this finale episode would be most dissatisfying. It’s clear to me now that the post-Beacon story doesn’t end in three parts like the last one, in part because of how it’s been written. (Miles Luna and Kerry Shawcross deserve massive kudos for holding down the RWBY fort after Monty Oum’s passing, and despite my criticism of how they’ve handled things, I sympathize when they stagger under the huge responsibility that was suddenly placed on their shoulders four years ago. It’s been messy, but beautifully so.) We have a ways to go before this story ends, and I’m okay with that.

Volume 6 started out very fast-paced. Honestly, I was afraid that it would only get faster, to the point that RWBY would have its series finale by the end. But in classic Shawcross and Luna fashion, the plot grew stagnant. And I’m actually somewhat relieved about that. While our heroes spent the majority of this volume in Mistral proper, and way too many short episodes were devoted to the dumbest fight in the history of dumb fights, this volume ends on a note of Wait, there’s more! When we see Atlas, its militant center bordered by literal inferno, it’s in the episode’s final moments, but I’m glad we’re finally there.

I can’t wait for Volume 7, where we see our heroes undertake a lengthy journey on foot from an Atlesian docking bay to General Ironwood’s office!

P.S. Fly, my pretties! FLY!!!!

P.P.S. Do you think Caroline Cordovan would pass the Weller Test? Why, or why not?

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RWBY Recap: Volume 6, Episode 12 – Darth Maul, Much?

Let me just say, I am monkey-fighting tired of this Monday to Friday fight between Cordovan and … everyone else. For the purposes of this review, I’m not going to give it another ounce of my attention. Suffice to say, as of this episode, it is over.

The most interesting part of this episode is the conclusion of the other fight: the one between Yang, Blake, and Adam Taurus.

It’s interesting to see how Adam tries to gaslight and manipulate his opponents, a bit like Spider-Man but … evil. And it’s all the more empowering to see how he fails so hard at it. From the way Adam taunts Yang and Blake, it sounds like he’s a reluctant Bumblebee shipper himself; he sees Blake’s defection to “the good guys” as though Blake dumped him for Yang.

“What does she even see in you?” he demands, infuriated.

I dunno, man. Friendship?

We’re also treated to an excellently choreographed two-on-one fight. Adam’s semblance is really at play here, now that we’ve been duly informed that it, like Yang’s, absorbs force and flings it back at attackers. Like Yang’s.

The episode concludes with a very Darth Maul-like sendoff for Adam. If you’ve kept up with Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels, you know how that goes. Calling it now.

While things are starting to look up for our heroes, with all the negative emotions emanating from Argus (and my living room couch) for the past three or four episodes, it appears the final battle of this volume involves the inevitably Grimm consequences.

In terms of pacing, I am becoming less impressed with this volume. It started out so strong. QROWBYNJR were going places, the plot was doing things, and … aw man, it was so good!

Now, how many fifteen-minute episodes were spent on this ridiculous mech fight, when we could be learning more about Neo, Cinder, and Malachite — or perhaps, learned more about Emerald’s inner conflict? And nu, where’s Winter? I’m getting “Jaundice” flashbacks, and not in a good way.

Next week’s episode, the season finale, had better be a lengthy one. Otherwise, I don’t know how they’ll manage to tie up all the loose ends of this volume — or the Post-Beacon story arc.

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RWBY Recap: Volume 6, Episode 11 – Sympathy for the Adam

The Mech fight continues. While the sheer ridiculousness of it all is, in my opinion, unforgivable, the falling action gave us plenty of footage of RWBY, JNR, Qrow, and even Maria kicking butt. (Plus, bonus points for an onscreen transformation from man to bird and back again for Qrow — I’d never seen him actively use his magical ability in battle prior to this, and it’s awesome.) Even so, the very idea that a grown woman (well, she didn’t grow a lot, but she’s nevertheless an adult) in a gigantic mech would so publicly shoot at a bunch of teenagers is a stupid premise. Obviously she’ll be dethroned after this display of immaturity, but I’m frankly surprised it was allowed to last this long. It becomes clear, however, that Cordovan’s beef is with Maria and Maria alone; hopefully, next week’s episode will conclude, but not without a fight of Snowbird proportions. (For the record, I do NOT ship Cordovera. I do not. We have to stop shipping anything that moves or bickers with one another.)

While that plot point is weak, I have to give the CRWBY immense credit for coordinating the Blake + Yang vs. Adam fight in a way that utilizes the animators’ strength: PvP, one-on-one fighting scenes. While, in past sequences, inactive battle participants kind of just stagnated in the background, they wove this into the plot spectacularly: Blake ran out of breath and had to rest, prompting Yang to cover for her and pull Adam away.

It was beautiful to see the two girls help each other (I suppose that remark was an attempt at profundity), and thrilling to see Yang finally go toe to toe with the cause of her trauma (and survive). While I still feel Yang and Blake need to talk about whatever tension/unresolved issues they have, it’s clear now that much of those things are water under the bridge.

A recurring theme throughout this volume has been trying to garner sympathy for the villains. Does it work? Well, I do have an ounce — a single ounce — of concern for Emerald, but Salem and Adam are not as deserving in my opinion. This episode, by showing (not telling — good job, Ruby could learn a thing or two from this) a hitherto unknown part of Adam’s backstory that was teased in Adam’s short: the reason Adam wears a mask.

Well, part of it. See, Adam’s face is branded, rendering him blind in one eye, or at least permanently scarred. The brand has numbers, and I guess that’s supposed to disturb viewers greatly or evoke events of the Holocaust. I don’t know what to make of it. In recent times, to signal virtue, television writers have so belabored Holocaust, World War II, and Nazism references that whatever the CRWBY was trying to do here just doesn’t move me at all. I’m too numb to this line of reasoning to even be annoyed or offended at the misappropriation of my history anymore. If — a big if — that’s the direction they were even going.

Adam Taurus, while not always the head honcho of the White Fang, was a prominent leader of the organization, and clearly had a lot of say in how they operated. Blake mentioned early on in Volume Two that White Fang members wore masks to symbolize the monstrosities Humanity made of the Faunus comminity. I cannot help but wonder if they actually wear these masks because Adam is insecure about his own face…? Perhaps, like the oddly-animated Prince Adam of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, behind his beastly facade/mask, he’s really just a blah sort of humanoid dude with vanity issues.

Ultimately, a lot of things get damaged on this episode:

  • Cordovan’s dignity
  • Cordovan’s mech
  • Adam’s mask
  • Adam’s dignity
  • Blake’s sword
  • Yang’s bionic arm

Whether these things are damaged beyond repair (or reappearance, apropos Ren’s guns) remains to be determined. We’ll just have to keep watching, I guess.


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RWBY Recap: Volume 6, Episode 10 – …But Mechs!

If you’re getting tired of the Atlesian military outpost clowns, you won’t like this episode. If I’m projecting my own opinions on you, reader, I apologize as well.

Last week, Jaune had a plan. Sort of. Part of it involves Weiss, Jaune’s sister, and Maria delivering an Emmy-winning performance for Cordovan and her cartoony cohorts and commit Grand Theft Airship. Maria played all her assumed roles convincingly and comedically; I can’t say the same for the rest. :p

Another part of the plan involves Blake taking out the CCT tower, with Yang serving as the getaway driver. Seems these two are getting along well again, at least in this time of great need. Did their dissent in the ghost village stem from the Apathy, or was it simply amplified?

Meanwhile, the rest of the party waits by the coastline. Qrow is still pessimistic, which prompts yet another Speech(TM) from resident motivational speaker and cut-grownups-down-to-size-er, Ruby Rose.

Honestly, Ruby the Lecturer just doesn’t cut it for me. Only a few months ago, she was, frankly, a pipsqueak who laughed uncontrollably for uncomfortably long periods of time. Now we’ve got a pint-sized Peter Capaldi giving speeches every other episode. I imagine the writers are trying to transition her character into that of a true responsible leader, but the way she’s going about it ends up coming off as sophomoric. This isn’t how to be assertive. And if she’s going to tell off an adult for being stifling and overprotective, she’s really barking up the wrong tree with Uncle Qrow, the cool uncle!

Amidst all this dissent and discord, the team fails to notice that Blake hasn’t carried out her part of the mission until it’s too late. Turns out she’s gotten a little sidetracked … by none other than Adam Taurus.

Yup. Adam is real.

Or is he?

See, Yang has been having PTSD-induced hallucinations of Adam for the past couple of volumes. Every time she has these visions, he’s dressed in his Volume 3 costume — that’s what she remembers from the night he sliced her arm off.

An early PTSD-induced vision of Adam, seen while Yang recovers on Patch Island. (Volume 4)
On the train to Argus, though most footage in the opening montages should be taken as symbolism. (Volume 6)
Outside the mayor’s barn in the abandoned village (Volume 6)

This, on the other hand, is what Blake saw when she uncoupled the traincars headed to Argus during the Grimm attack:

Viewers were left wondering if this was actually Adam, and if so, why did he look so different? This episode confirms that Adam was, indeed, following Blake from Mistral to Argus. His outfit has been redesigned, yet he retains some form of eye-protection. (What does he have to hide, when he’s no longer part of the White Fang?)

This has been a guide to determining whether the Adam you see on your screen is real or imaginary.

Also, do you like Mechs? Rooster Teeth Animations likes Mechs. And they really, really want you to check out their new show about Mechs. Even Cordovan has one. And like her, it looks really stupid. But Mechs!

On that note: Who wants to see Gen:Lock recaps? Judging by the previews accompanying the past few episodes of RWBY, the show will have strong language and violence. Assuming that’s all it has in terms of mature content, I’m game to give it a try.

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RWBY Recap: Volume 6, Episode 9 – Second Thoughts and Afterthoughts

This week’s episode is all about second thoughts, second thoughts that characters have and characters who really should’ve been given second thoughts ages and ages ago.

We’re given a rare glimpse of Cinder’s cronies, Emerald and Mercury, who clearly grieve in different ways. Emerald, as predicted, is starting to recognize how futile her alliance with Salem’s faction is without Cinder’s protection. (After all, wasn’t she going along with this strictly out of loyalty to the sole mother figure in her life?) The feeling is apparently mutual apropos Salem and higher-up members of the team.

Mercury, on the other hand, shows himself to be heartless and greedy where Emerald’s finally realizing she has a conscience (or something). As they wage a clumsy, emotionally charged duel, someone in the CRWBY thought it was a good idea to have Mercury give a villain’s monologue further clarifying his origin story. No time like the present, I suppose, to learn some cool things like Mercury’s actual lack of a semblance — his father, who abused him, had a semblance of his own that could take others away. (Honestly, this sounds vaguely familiar, though I cannot recall where else in RWBY this might’ve come up. WoR, maybe?)

Their fight is disrupted by the craziest resident crazy of this crazy cabal, who gives some ironically helpful parting advice: “Do what makes you happy, children.” Evidently, being a murderous psychopath is what makes Tyrian happy; but if Emerald is so miserable…. I thought she grudgingly appreciated Ruby’s friendliness, somewhere beneath the marching orders of Cinder’s last nefarious plan. I detect a defection.

After this ominous sequence, we return to the exploits of Team RWBY and their allies. Qrow is, for the moment, missing; Oscar is also missing; and like always, Pyrrha is missing from each of our hearts — especially Jaune’s. And that’s the most important part of this episode, you know. Suddenly, after two volumes of barely addressing the loss of Pyrrha beyond some poorly-executed lip-service; after going through the heart of Pyrrha’s home kingdom with no talk of her loss or a conversation between Jaune and her grieving parents; we get to talk about Pyrrha.

….Because smack-dab in the middle of this random little city on the outskirts of the kingdom is a gigantic golden statue of the Great One.

Okay, then.

Jaune stumbles upon this statue while searching the neighborhood for Oscar, who ran away from Jaune’s sister’s house some hours before. (But again, Oscar’s not important anymore.) Rather, he’s led by a single maple leaf. Here, Jaune meets Pyrrha’s mother, who leaves flowers at the memorial. We also learn that Pyrrha used to train in this city, which is why the statue was put up here.

Honestly, this feels like an afterthought on the writers’ part, in a mad dash to address Pyrrha while the characters are still in her old stomping grounds. At this point, I’m like, “Thank you for addressing Pyrrha; please talk about Penny more, because Penny can actually be brought back from the dead in the canon continuity for a change.” Pyrrha is, in every respect, dead, buried, and forgotten by this point — and until now, the attitude of the writers seemed to be just keep moving forward.

Plus, this came at the cost of a compelling “Where’s Oscar?” subplot, because when Jaune and company get back to the sister’s house after a fruitless search, Oscar is right there, giving the indication that he cured his hurt feelings with a bit of retail therapy.

Also, Qrow starts acting like an uncharacteristically grouchy old curmudgeon instead of cool, carefree/less uncle who happens to be middle-aged. The scene with Ruby telling him off just didn’t have the intended effect for me. None of this felt overly characteristic to me, but stress does bring out other sides of people that I simply may not have noticed before.

The episode closes with the important, albeit awkwardly executed message of not underestimating the youth. When we next see JNPR, RWBY, Oscar, and Qrow, they’ll be “winging” a way to get into the Atlesian military outpost. Here’s hoping the falling action of this volume, which started out so strong, will be a bit less awkward in pacing than this episode was.

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Famous Characters Who Are Actually Time Lords

The most famous time-traveling Time Lord we know of is the Doctor of Doctor Who; in fact, outside of Doctor Who, it’s rare to hear of these Gallifrey-hailing beings existing.  But I think they do.  There’s always the off-chance that a Dalek or Cyberman wanting to kill all remaining Time Lords in the galaxy might happen upon this list, so I’ve only named people I am confident would be able to fend for themselves against an onslaught of angry exterminators.  Without further ado, here’s my list of famous, fictional characters who I believe are actually Time Lords!

Continue reading Famous Characters Who Are Actually Time Lords

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RWBY Volume 6, Episodes 7-8 – More About Maria

Sorry I didn’t have a post last week; life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.  So that just means I have a little bit more ground to cover.

Episode 7 focused opens with a flashback to Maria Calavera’s young-adulthood, when she had functioning silver eyes and the associated abilities at her disposal. Also, she has not one, but two epic scythes.  (Imagine the look on Team RWBY’s faces when they see a baby; that was my face when I saw Maria’s weapons.)   Maria turns a gigantic Nevermore to stone using her fabulous secret powers … but we soon see that she wasn’t completely alone, so it really wasn’t safe to unleash them.  Maria is jumped by a band of evildoers, likely early pawns of Salem, whose ringleader slashes the poor Huntress’s eyes!

In Maria’s prime, she was known as the masked Grimm Reaper, someone Uncle Qrow admits he really looked up to as a young Huntsman himself … until the Reaper disappeared.  Now, our heroes know why.

Just as Maria’s storytime ends, Yang’s super-strong motorcycle hauls the weary travelers up a hill, where they overlook their destination: the city of Argus.  They meet up with Team JNPR, who have been staying with one of Jaune’s seven sisters and her family, which includes, by the way, an insanely adorable baby. :hearteyes:  We catch up on what Jaune and company have been up to, which has primarily been trying to get into the Atlesian military outpost located in Mistralese Argus as part of some ancient peace treaty.  The episode closes abruptly with a shot of Team RWBY getting the gates slammed shut in their faces.

Maria’s unfortunate loss of vision, in my opinion, plays into a much larger narrative of some evil force, most likely Salem, that is, for whatever reason, obsessed with maiming and otherwise disabling Silver Eyed Warriors.  Remember in Volume 4, when Tyrian gleefully spoke of wanting to take out poor little Ruby’s silver eyes?  Clearly, Maria’s attack was before his time in the faction, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s had some part in harming other Silver Eyed Warriors in the past, at Salem’s command.  Why she wants Ruby kept alive, however, is beyond me, though I’m not complaining in the least that she does.

Episode 8 continues with Team RWBY, with Qrow, Oscar, and Maria standing awkwardly behind, in front of the gate, engaged in a battle of the wits (or lack thereof) with a very obnoxious pair of Thompson and Thompson analogues.  The ridiculousness of this sequence played out the way I might imagine a real anime trying to be funny; thusly, I didn’t find it very funny. 😀  Qrow manages to appeal to the guards by namedropping Weiss Schnee; and the woman in charge of this Atlesian outpost comes marching out.

From the way they described her, my reactions went from this:

…To this:

Instead of Winter, we get another old woman who has some kind of fractious past with Maria.  Imagine if Jacques Schnee’s stepsister Dolores Umbridge had a child with the brother of Edna Mode.  You’d get this random character.

Seriously, what a waste of an opportunity to reintroduce Winter to the storyline.  It would’ve explained right away why Winter wasn’t where Weiss was trying to meet up with her during the events of Volume 5.  Wherever that even was … it’s all a blur to me.

Qrow is evidently disappointed as well; he disappears halfway through the episode to go buy drinks.  Qrow’s alcoholism, interestingly, is no longer being played up as a joke; it sounds like the writers are staging what is effectively an intervention through this turn of events.

Jaune gets caught up on Ozpin’s quasi-betrayal of trust, and reacts essentially the same way Qrow did.  So I guess we can add him to the list of potenial Branwen progeny, along with Mercury and Ruby, since he looks/acts similarly to Qrow.  (Kidding!)  That one moment from the opening sequence actually comes to pass exactly as it was shown, who’d-a thunk it?

While everyone goes off to brood about Ozpin, Ruby goes outside, where she talks with Maria about her silver eyes.  In the process, Maria reveals a bit more about her history as an early Huntress and Silver-Eyed Warrior.  Her father had the power too, and used the little knowledge he had of his own situation to teach his daughter how to wield the power.  She speaks of bloodlines, and how for whatever reason, Salem wants them neutralized.  This all but confirms my suspicion that Ruby inherited the power from her own mother, which may explain why a) Ozpin was so surprised, and b) Qrow knows as much as he does about Ruby’s powers.

The informative moment is again abruptly cut short when Yang discovers Oscar has disappeared.  (Plus, Qrow is still gone.)  Honestly, given how he’s been pushed around so much, I totally get why Oscar would run off — I’m surprised it took him this long.

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RWBY Recap – Volume 6, Episode 6 – The Eyes Have It

I don’t know anymore, you guys.  This reviewing thing….  It just doesn’t feel fun anymore.  RWBY is getting stupider and stupider with each passing volume, and watching it now feels like a chore.  I want to quit; there’s just no point to doing this, or anything really, anymore.  All I want to do these days is curl up into a little ball and sleep, because I’m just so, so exhausted….

 

Joking aside, it isn’t hard to not be apathetic about this week’s stunning episode of RWBY.  (Oops, I did it again.)  It is effectively a resolution to the whole “why is this sleepy little ghost town abandoned?” storyline, which is nice, because I’m glad it won’t be dragging out for the rest of the volume.  It was a neat little story-within-a-story, and I like that we’re getting more than one new Grimm per volume now.

In this episode, Ruby and friends survive the night in the sleepy little ghost town and prepare to leave in the morning.  (Heck, they even make it to the afternoon, because Drunkle Qrow slept through sunrise.)  Maria, however, starts to suspect something has gone awry as she reads the diary of the deceased homeowner….

By now, the exhaustion they feel isn’t the only negative emotion hitting the group hard.  Qrow drinks harder than usual, Yang’s Yangrier than before, and Ruby’s pushed to the point of wanting to just throw the genie lantern relic down a well because from her perspective, there’s simply no point in going on.  Failure is inevitable.

But something moves at the bottom of the well that jars the poor girl out of her reverie.  She drops the lantern in shock more than anything else, and the entire team RWBY goes down to investigate.  Meanwhile, Maria realizes just in time what’s down there.

These new Grimm, the Apathy, are particularly interesting because not only are they drawn to negative emotions, they generate them as well.  And when you’ve got an entire pack of them in the underground tunnels, no amount of sunshine, lollipops, rainbows, or a caboodle of cute little Zwei puppies can remedy the effects of their infernal screams.

Ruby tries to use her Silver Eyed Warrior powers to fend off the Apathy; it takes a pep talk from Maria Calavera for her to succeed.  Which finally confirms what I’ve been wondering for a few weeks now: who is Maria Calavera, really?  Why, she’s a Silver Eyed Warrior too … or, she was when she had functioning eyes.  (A while back in Volume Four, didn’t Tyrian speak about taking out Ruby’s eyes…? o.O  That poor, poor woman.)

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RWBY Recap: Volume 6, Episode 5 – Look Who’s Back!

This week’s episode marks the return of yet another fan-favorite character, whom we haven’t seen since the end of Volume 3.  She’s back, and she’s very angry at Cinder Fall for the death of her dear old Dum-Dum….

It really was nice seeing Neo Politan back in action.  What can I say?  Three ice cream flavors rolled into one adorable villainess is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.  I’m only a little sad to see that her glossy, tricolor hair doesn’t look quite as detailed with her Autodesk Maya render.  But she’s back, and that’s what matters.

Neo blames Cinder for the loss of Roman Torchwick in Volume 3, that much is apparent.  But like before, Neo cows at the sight of Maiden powers.  Anyone else remember how she retreated from her fight with Yang, despite having the upper hand, when a masked Raven portaled in?  So they agree to a truce, and a time to “talk.”  (Hahaha.)

The rest of the episode explores RWBY’s findings in the apparent ghost town, where they’ve chosen to wait out the worst of the winter storm.  There’s a delightful horror-film vibe to the ensuing scenes, which I enjoyed very much: it turns out that the village’s residents are all dead in their beds.  The causes of death (or is it cause of deaths?) remaining a mystery to our heroes … who are oh-so-noticeably succumbing to sudden exhaustion.

While Ruby and Weiss look for food in a village tavern, Yang and Blake go off to find transportation.  During this time, each of them get to have a heart-to-heart conversation about whatever it is that’s bothering them.  Yang still suffers from PTSD (I’m glad they’re not brushing that off), and she’s still hurt by Blake running away; Blake tries to reacquaint herself with Yang following the trauma, and is rebuffed; Ruby worries that Qrow is handling the stress badly, and Weiss really doesn’t want to go back to Atlas.

Meanwhile a mysterious life form watches from beneath a wine cellar….  I suspect that next week, the Big, Undefeatable Grimm will finally come out to play.  We just … have … to stay … yaaawn … awake until then.

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RWBY Recap: Volume 6, Episode 4 – Qrow Did WHAT?!

This episode, in some respects, seemed a bit insubstantial to me on the first pass.  The episodic content:theme song ratio in this thirteen-minute segment did not look promising to me.  But I got to watch it with my friends after an awesome outing to a local anime convention, so I can still look back on the viewing experience positively.

Instead of shifting the perspective from QROWBY to, say, Team JNPR back on the train, the episode continues to show us how Qrow and RWBY are taking in the information from the genie’s vision.  Also, Ozpin reveals that at this point in time, he has no concrete plan for defeating Salem.  So, in a fit of indignant rage, Qrow punches Ozpin’s current vessel: a child, Oscar Pine.  Granted, Qrow feels like his life’s work has been a waste, given how much Ozpin has kept from him, but punching a child … that’s low, Qrow.

The middle portion of the episode is spent on Salem’s faction.  Emerald, Mercury, and “OOZZZPIIIIN” Guy return to her dark castle to report their failure.  Tyrian the creep taunts and torments them, and there’s a general feeling of unease as Cinder has, to their knowledge, fallen and can no longer protect her puppets from Salem’s rage.

And honestly, I’m surprised that Salem is this enraged.  She should know better.  If she’s immortal and truly undefeatable, why didn’t she just wage her battle against Ozcar, a mere child, in person?  What is the point of entrusting the battle to mere mortal fallible pawns?  Granted, having multiple minions to divide and conquer each of the Huntsman academies seems like a good idea, but she isn’t even doing that — she just sends them all to whichever school RWBY have arrived at, to battle them.  In hindsight, her plan has serious flaws.

The episode ends with QROWBY + Maria Calavera finding an abandoned village where they intend to spend the night.  At the beginning of this volume, I was optimistic that we’d have a change of transportation pace because the characters were getting on a train.  But now I’m getting some serious Volume Four flashbacks: there’s been lots of walking, and now we’re going to an abandoned Mistralese village…..  If there isn’t another big, bad undefeatable monster Grimm here, I’ll be very surprised.