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#rwby vol 7

RWBY AMV - Bloodstream (Ironwood 2020)

Made this RWBY AMV today… Featuring the “Tin Man” Ironwood… James as friends call him… General for everyone else…  I wanted to do an AMV for Ironwood since he is a pivotal character in Volume 8…  He’s stressed and losing his humanity as fast as his body parts…  Ironwood wants to protect Atlas at any cost… Including murder…  He’s steady relying on his own decisions and will not adhere to advice from anyone else…  Which will not take him anywhere good… Hope you enjoy my AMV… Keep a close eye out for the next one…  Thanks for watching!!!

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This will be the first in a series of posts analyzing the writing in RWBY from Volume 6 onward.

Disclaimer: This is not a hate-filled dumpster-fire rant or an analysis of the creators as people. I will be sticking to pure criticism of the writing and characters based on my own knowledge of good storytelling techniques and writing effective plots, conflicts, character arcs, etc. I have scrolled through plenty of comments on RoosterTeeth in which people harass anyone criticizing the show. In the words of one of such commenter: “You are beyond entitled.” The problem with this, of course, is that art is open to interpretation. Someone liking RWBY makes them no more or less entitled than I am for disliking it. Others have argued that “if you don’t like the show then don’t watch it.” My response to that is: If you do not like reading criticism of RWBY then do not read onward from this point. 

Truthfully, I’m not sharing my thoughts here with the intent of making others hate the show. Not everyone likes or needs to critically analyze a show they are watching for fun. I am simply one of those people that does and I also needed an outlet to organize my thoughts and frustrations after Volume 7 as well as starting a discourse with others. And I can understand when people are upset at others for bringing negativity to a space meant for enjoyment, but by responding hatefully you only breed the very negativity you were trying to prevent. And not all criticism should be looked at negatively. Compliments are vital, but it’s not of benefit to nod along and feign approval to appease others when you don’t mean it. Closing ourselves off from criticism means closing ourselves off from opportunities to change, grow, and improve.

Introduction

I’ve seen many videos and posts already addressing issues they had with the show, problems ranging from animation and character design to the budgeting and studio. I want to clarify that in this post I will be talking almost exclusively about the writing and characters, mainly for two reasons. Firstly, the writing and characters were what originally drew me to the show and also what disappointed me later on. Secondly, while there are numerous financial reasons why the quality of fight animation and character designs as well as episode length can decline that are not necessarily the fault of the creative heads, the writing is. A good story or even a story with consistency does not cost money, it merely requires intelligence in creative thinking and methods of storytelling. Writers need even a basic understanding of planting and payoff, structure, consistency, tropes, symbols, metaphors, subtext, and subverting expectations in order to execute a story competently. And that is where Volumes 6 and 7 failed in my opinion, especially in comparison to earlier seasons. The problems I had with the series were not external factors beyond the control of the show’s team, so regardless of budgetary constraints or internal studio issues, RWBY could still have had good writing and that is what makes this decline in the series particularly disappointing.

The major writing-related issue that underpins most of the other issues is the change from characters who were complex and had nuanced interactions in earlier seasons to characters that are now increasingly simplistic and inconsistent. This analysis will be primarily examining three episodes in Volume 6, as they are particularly relevant to the discussion of this issue. 

Aspects I Felt Were Effective

I want to begin on a positive note by listing the aspects of Volume 6 I liked and considered the season’s strong points:

1. The opening theme was enjoyable and its visuals intriguing (if a bit misleading: the placement of characters in some shots makes it seem as though Weiss is going to be particularly important this Volume, etc.). The lyrics of this song flowed quite seamlessly and accompanied the visuals well.   

2. Salem’s backstory provided some much needed answers to the mysteries the series sets up in earlier seasons and is presented in an interesting way. The series has often refrained from using flashbacks before, instead having characters talk about events that happened, which often violated the ‘show don’t tell’ rule. So it was a visually-stimulating choice to see all of Ozpin’s backstory for ourselves. And it was also, I think, a good choice to have the main characters be present in those scenes but only as observers in the room. With respect to the content of the flashback, it considerably increased the stakes to include all of humanity; and it also gave Ozpin’s character more concrete characterization rather than continuing to have him be a mysterious, wise mentor figure. In terms of themes, the backstory plays nicely off the motif of all legends having some truth to their origin that is present throughout the show.

3. Maria was an interesting addition to the crew with a compelling past. I really enjoyed the flashback with her as well, since her fighting method was clever and unconventional. It is also nice to finally pay off on the mystery surrounding silver-eyed warriors and give context to their abilities through a character who was hunted for having them. 

4. The concept of the Apathy and that episode, in general, was extremely interesting. Not only does the Apathy set up a great horror episode, the way it is slowly revealed (almost like a locked room mystery) keeps a constant suspense and then terror when the final reveal is made. It also comes at a great point in the story in terms of character arcs. The main cast was hopeless and despondent after learning about Ozpin’s past and in this episode we get a literal personification of their apathy and how truly horrifying it is to lose hope, to not care. An incredibly intriguing concept with solid execution.  

5. The moment when Jaune sees Pyrrha’s statue was quite poignant. It was a scene that properly touched on the sadness of Pyrrha’s death and not only brought out audience reaction but addressed Jaune’s emotions as well. The writers handled his survivor’s guilt, his sorrow, his hopelessness wonderfully. And it also organically worked through his healing process. Having Ren and Nora be the ones to tell him that they need him rather than someone from Team RWBY made much more sense and was a great choice by the writers. 

Volume 6 Episode 2: Uncovered

The steep decline in character writing, particularly for Team RWBY, began after the train crash when Team RWBY, Qrow, Oscar, and Maria are stranded on the snowy mountainside in the wreckage of their traincar. Yang almost immediately starts yelling at Ozpin: “What happened to no more lies and half-truths?” Weiss joins in, saying: “Well you certainly didn’t tell us everything about the relic.” The anger they direct at Ozpin would be more consistent with their earlier characterization if they emphasized how the train passengers were put in danger due to the relic attracting Grimm. During their time at Beacon Academy they learn and come to respect that the true value of a Huntress is in protecting others and that their own desires come second (Volume 2, Chapter 10). However, no one brings up this point in the entire discussion. Their dialogue centers around their own desire to be given all of Ozpin’s knowledge and secrets. Their anger stems from feeling left out, in a sense. And this is the seed of Team RWBY making things about themselves that grows into a giant oak through the rest of the show.

Ozpin states that he did not want to bring on negative emotions by telling them and this is a relatively logical argument since the Huntsmen and Huntresses on the train could fight off the Grimm, but if Team RWBY and the others were made anxious or angry by the information it would both attract more Grimm and make it difficult for them to focus on fighting. Weiss responds to Ozpin with, “I’m getting real tired of people choosing what’s best for me.” This comment might have been even a little bit impactful if Weiss had done anything besides complain about having to go back to Atlas since it was agreed that they would. The way Weiss, and by extension Team RWBY, handle the information about Salem and her war against the whole world makes an excellent case for why people should choose what’s best for them. 

Predictably enough, I think this problem arises from the stakes being raised too high due to the revelations made in Volumes 4-6 about Salem. It feels as though the writers wanted to expand the lore and darken the tone of the show, but they could not properly handle what such developments would entail. It’s hard to accept the moments in which the characters relax, banter, complain, or do nothing when you know that all of humanity is at risk and they are the only ones with this information. In the end, it just makes the main characters feel too local in their concerns when a problem exists that stretches over the entirety of their world. Issues like self-discovery, personal identity, free choice are normally important but not when the lives of everyone on Remnant are at risk. In this case, Team RWBY are incapable of thinking outside themselves that Weiss has time to complain about returning to the same country as her vaguely abusive father and Yang has time to yell at Ozpin about keeping secrets, but they don’t have time to consider the gravity of the situation: all the people Salem could kill, all those she could manipulate into joining her, the next academy she could make her target, etc. With all the information they do have at this moment, they have done nothing to prove themselves mature enough to handle or make use of that intel. And yet they demand Ozpin tell them everything else he is hiding.

Returning to the dialogue, Ozpin also makes a strong case for why he lied to the people of Mistral about Lionheart as well. Practically speaking, knowing the truth about him would bring on panic and, eventually, Grimm, putting Mistral’s population in danger. The group’s annoyed expressions seem to indicate they don’t understand this line of logic. But Ozpin also adds, “Leonardo deserved to be remembered for his lifetime of service. And not the unfortunate missteps he made in his final years.” Yang screams back: “Missteps?!” as though she has known Lionheart all her life and has authority to deem his actions unforgivable. Lionheart likely served Ozpin since before any of them were even born and had likely faced more dangerous and difficult circumstances, but Team RWBY feel entitled to make moral judgement on someone they knew for a few weeks at most. And, again, this is inconsistent with the characterization of Team RWBY in earlier Volumes. The show itself did not frame those opposing the main characters or thinking differently in a negative light. This was the strength of earlier Volumes, when characters on the same side had different opinions and ideologies without the show ham-fistedly depicting one as morally right or wrong. Characters as different as Qrow and Ironwood could work together on the same side and trust each other. In emergency situations like the Fall of Beacon, Qrow could recognize that Ironwood is a capable and organized leader enough to ask: “So what now, General?” (Volume 3, Episode 11). Placing Team RWBY on a moral pedestal while not justifying it with their actions takes away a lot of the depth and nuance of the show. Now, it’s merely a show that relies on protagonist-centered morality.

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I’d like to take a moment to remind folks that this is why James lost his damn mind. Well not the only reason but like here is Salem, his fear, the thing he has been fighting to stop, after literally being lied to the entire time we’ve known him. Y'all just…..

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Like yeah his head is split but dammed if I don’t understand why.

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Yeah, it’s been kinda hectic but hey, Thanksgiving break time! Time for me to catch up on my shows, and that includes RWBY. I will not break down the opening because too many people have done it and i feel I won’t do it justice, but I will add speculations, since I don’t have a First membership.

  • Ohhh, Cinder backstory? I feel like we will get a lot more info on her this volume *eye emoji*
  • I keep forgetting Neo never really got involved with the Salem side of what happened at Beacon
  • The whale is also a SHIP?!?!?!
  • all the subtitles say is ‘ominous choir’
  • Again, Neo is finally meeting Salem
  • Neo is upset she doesn’t get the credit…
  • TYRIAN YOU MOTHERF**** QROW BETTER MESS YOU UP
  • Neo isn’t gonna be another puppet I betchu
  • awww, Emerald actually missed Cinder, i am so sorry she doesn’t deserve you babe
  • Okay, Salem has some freaky lights installed in her Grimm. And she has a PlanTM
  • Back to Mantle, and OSCAR!!! You are okay and with other people.
  • REUNION!!! Thank god they aren’t dragging this out. And he doesn’t hide things from them about the General (Fuck you James)
  • Boom goes the drone
  • KDIN!!! I love May and Kdin is gonna be my fave Huntress
  • OHHH, wait until you settle things with Ozpin before you share. I feel that, not gonna judge
  • Help the people, never sleep again. Also, there is Amity. I smell the fissure…
  • Ohhh, two targets, two teams. divisions, but I understand both sides. Baby girls, don’t fight.
  • Juane, our paladin has a plan. Listen to Oscar please.
  • NO PENNY, DON’T TURN YOURSELF IN!!! Pyrrha did and look what happened.
  • the Maiden eyes…
  • “we are still united.” Blake you better be right
  • James… you are on cracking the thin ice buddy, better have some rice ready, tinman. (don’t play the mind games, how dare you blame the girls for Salem!)
  • AceOps, only Marrow has rights. And Clover is confirmed KIA, sorry farigame
  • Winter, you look like you’ve been through hell. and James only focusing on Atlas.
  • Councilpeople, be careful… Damn, that is cold-blooded. Heil Furher Ironwood. 
  • Hunting time has begun, dun dun dun.

Speculation time: Okay, the teams have been formed, now let’s see how they handle their missions. I will call them Team Mantle and Team Amity from now on. there is gonna be some trouble between Cinder/Emerald and Neo won’t be one to fall in line so probs some things are gonna be… rough. Now I have a feeling the AceOps are not gonna back down from a fight with Team Amity while the Grimm is gonna be chasing Team Mantle since Oscar is with them.

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For real this animation is so good.

Volume 7 episode 2:


I am here for older sister protective Winter Scnee!

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Originally posted by flipomatic

I appreciate them so much

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Originally posted by usareis

I dont trust Ironwood or any of the Ace-Ops fuckers at all.


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Originally posted by lacependragon

Awkward friend hug. I do appreciate the eyeball from Qrow at the end.

Ok the Ace-Ops are cute or whatever.

I’m excited to see where this is going

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Exactly 1 year late to the party

Finally getting around to watching rwby volume 7

Oh my! This season already off to a great start.

The theme song is fantastic, song and animation with it, looking forward to the new outfits!!

Here we are in Mantle.

I appreciate Weiss yeeting that asshole guy

Love Pietro and his shop!

Look at them all fight together like a close knit family I’m so SHSJDNLND!!

PEEENNNNNNY!!!

That makes me so happy!!!

Aaahhhhh!!

Me: I love this and its wonderful and great

Also Me: Who are these Ace-Op fuckers?

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Listening to a podcast on RWBY Volume 7 and I am BAFFLED by some people’s takes/opinions on Robyn and the Happy Huntresses. Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with people interpreting things differently than I do, or enjoying different things about the show, or being critical about it ; this is just me completely bamboozled that you could think Robyn and the HH have fulfilled their role in the show in Volume 7 and would not have much purpose or relevant things to do in the following volume(s). Never once after finishing volume 7 did I think that was the case. 

I’m sure part of it is that I am willing to trust the writers, or at least give them the benefit of the doubt, and others aren’t so inclined - which is fine, you do you. But it’s still wild to me!

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Ever since volume 2, Raven presented herself  as someone that is shrouded in mystery,  whatever we knew about raven was always mirrored by how much yang knew as the story progressed. According to Tai and Qrow, Raven is a complicated woman, she has a funny way of looking at the world that many would disagree on, but despite this she remained a strong, clever, independent woman who is devoted to whatever cause she believed in.

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However, over the course of volume 5, many of us have now begun to realize that raven may not be the person she once was. Throughout volume 5, Raven has been shown to be manipulative, untrustworthy, and more than willing to sacrifice anyone around her. But most importantly, it was through ravens confrontation between Yang that we realize juts what kind of person raven is, so, who is she? well….shes a coward.

Despite Ravens best efforts to be the only victor in the fight of volume 5 and make others believe that everything she has done till now was the smart decision, we begin to realize that raven is simply letting herself live in denial rather than accept the fact that it was her fears that prompted her to make bad decision, decisions that she claims are for her and her tribes benefit. Some of those decisions included, siding with Cinder to help Salem obtain the relic in exchange for Qrows death,

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 stealing the spring maiden powers by killing the previous maiden 

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and even attempting to steal the relic from the vault. 

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And for what exactly?, HOPE!, hope that the maiden powers and the relic of knowledge would be more than enough power to help keep her safe from Salem!

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1-Ruby’s reaction to Penny was ridiculous. Ruby, who saw Pyrrha turn to ash and had no indication that Penny could be revived is just like, “Oh, Penny’ back that’s nice.” Then she’s more concerned with where they’re staying for the night than the fact that she’s alive. Wow.

I’m hoping if the manga continues, they tackle this scene better, or perhaps another adaptation. But so far in the manga they’ve done some nice work with the character dynamics and omitted some scenes in favor of having Team RWBY bond.

2-Oscar, Ironwood, and Ozpin. 

I wish this volume was spent with Ironwood confiding in oscar, perhaps training him, and being hopeful of the future because it would have added more weight to their fight at the end of the volume. 

3- Ace Ops. These are seasoned huntresses. Why would Team RWBY be able to beat them that quickly? The power scaling in this show, good grief…

4-Clover and Qrow. Introducing a character that negates Qrow’s semblance was a cool idea, especially after all the grie Qrow went through in VOl 4-6. We saw Qrow lose faith in Ozpin, address his alcoholism, learn to trust his nieces decisions…And then we introduced a character he could finally feel comfortable around and…killed him!? Awful, just awful.Youcould have at least waited a season of two, or just had Qrow fight Clover and side with the kids

5-Jaune. Can’t stand him, new hair or old hair. I don’t care. I was glad his role was diminished somewhat because he got way too much screen time before. He’s a secondary character.

6-Ren and Nora. It seems like a lot of Nora’s comments on Ironwood should have been coming from other characters, either Blake, Yand, or possibly Weiss. Ren somehow regressed physically and mentally in this season despite everything that happened in prior volumes. The tension felt forced here.

7-Robyn and the happy huntresses. Why is a vigilante allowed to run for office??? Even if she’s a huntress she breaks the law…Like she steals supplies. I wish we had more time to flesh out the characters of May, Fiona and Joanna…Like they could have been removed from the volume and nothing would be lost.

8-The Schnees. Willow was so disappointing. There’s something really lazy about having two alcoholic characters. Like WIllow would have been more interesting if she felt she couldn’t live up to the Schnee name and shifted responsibility to the scheming Jacque who then trapped her in the relationship. Imagine if she had been the winter maiden, unstable and kept inside for her own safety. This would have made Winter’s choice to inherit her power all the more interesting. Also…Whitley could literally be written out of the show. Like, he has no reason to exist, Jacques is right there.

9-The new outfit designs.

It’s cold. Their outfits make less sense for Atlas….Also Blake and Weiss’s hair is some yikes m8. The CHONK braid on Weiss’ head did not translate well into CG. I saw a screenshot with an update for Blake but  it came a bit late. 


Final thoughts: I think RT doesn’t give the animators enough time…or the writers for that matter. Instead on shoving out a volume every year maybe rework your writer room, discuss the future, bring in a few veterans  and look at what fans and critics are saying  before you write a new season.

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